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Supernatural Experiences

  1. Nov 21, 2003 #1
    Has anyone had an experience that lies outside the understanding of present science? Please only experiences that have a degree of credulity and objectivity.

    I will start by recounting an experience of my own.

    A few years ago I attended a lecture given by a native woman on native spirituality. I was sitting about ten rows from the stage. I was amazed to see a strong blue "bubble" surrounding the speaker. I spent some time watching it, how it tended to wobble whenever the woman moved, how it behaved when another person approached, etc. The "bubble" remained around her for the entire duration of the talk, about one hour. After the talk I spoke to each of my neighbours, they had both witnessed the same effect.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2003 #2
    bubbles? clouds?

    hi i thought i might comment on your spiritual experience/insight

    the bubble you and your friends witnessed might have been what is known as an 'aura' or phychic(conscious)/emotional energy field around the person-

    another idea i have for you is to check into the books series written by james redfield, beginning with the book 'celestine vision' these books are a fictional parable to a spiritual journey which protrays insights which are awaken one after another in individual and collective peoples awareness, perceptions, and ultimately experiences as the theme is humanity, or creative evolution into a spiritual culture on earth

    one of the insights presented has to do with seeing energy, such as the bubble you and your friends percieved

    goto www.celestinevision.com

    also you would find several hits if you searched for auras on the internet

    i have had several spiritual experiences, although now is not the time i can share them with you, though it will be soon!

    peace & music,
    david talks in the clouds
  4. Nov 22, 2003 #3

    Of course I have heard of auras before, but the "bubble" I saw was quite different to the light spectrum around a human seen on a photograph when kirlian photography is used say. It was a uniform colour, had a distinct boundary, and was exhibiting certain physical behaviour.

    The most important point is that this is a phenomenon that is unable to be explained by physics at the present time. Even more interestingly, it seems to be a phenomenon that is exhibited by humans and perhaps other life forms, but not exhibited by crude matter such as rocks, protons, etc.
  5. Nov 22, 2003 #4


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    Humans are made of protons, last I looked.

    10 rows from the stage? Have you asked anyway closer to the stage, or on the other side of the room? A visual illusion seems likely. I kinda doubt there is anything special about a certain lecture, which would let this appear around a specific person for that duration, and not be noticed again.
  6. Nov 23, 2003 #5

    <<Humans are made of protons, last I looked.>>

    I knew someone would react to that statement. If you're telling me that the same laws act for rocks as for humans, then I might as well be speaking with a stone wall.

    <<A visual illusion seems likely.>>

    Perhaps you would only believe if you saw for yourself. But the subtle part is that you must also believe before you can see.
  7. Nov 23, 2003 #6
    The problem with stories that will come up in a thread like this is that there's no way to show anyone that it's true. You have to get past someone elses subjective interpretation of an event in order to believe the story. I have spent my entire life doing exactly what FZ has just done: Try to point to a more reasonable explanation. I had gone my whole life without seeing anything that I couldn't explain this way. Nothing. It's funny when I actually witness the same thing someone else does and then I hear them tell the story later lol. So I know first hand people can see what they want to see! BUT........something did happen to me recently and quite frankly my reasonable explanation is just not very satisfying. It happened earlier this year and I posted it on PF2 as soon as it happened and I got blasted by Sivakama! It's not as sensational as the story above but it is amazing to me.

    I was asleep one morning. I was dreaming that I was standing in my parents back yard with my dad. All of the sudden the top third or so of one of the trees in the front yard broke off(I could see it over the house). During it's fall toward the ground a bolt of lightning came out of the sky and popped the falling part of the tree with such a force and loud sound that I bolted right out of bed. It was time for me to get up anyway so I got up and just thought about how weird that dream was. I'm not calling it weird because the lightning hit the tree after it fell instead of before or anything like that. Dreams are always stupid like that and never make any sense. I'm talking about how it was a typical dream until that lightning hit. It was so vivid and real that I can't describe it. I am rarely startled awake like this. It was more like an actual sound woke me up rather than a dream sound, if that makes any sense. I woke up once to an "actual" earthquake and it was kinda like that.

    Anyway, that evening I called my parents for some other reason. I had actually forgotten all about this dream. In my conversation, my mother told me that they lost a tree "last night". At first I thought somebody was playing a trick on me. She went on to tell me that a tree in the front yard got struck by lightning toward the top of the tree and broke. Since they literally have hundreds of trees, I couldn't really confirm anything until I went to visit and it was indeed the very same tree in my dream. (BTW, I live 5 hours away from my parents)

    My first thought is that this is coincidence. But wow what a coincidence! Sivakama told me that people only remember the hits and never remember the misses. But I tried to explain to her, while what she is saying is reasonable, that I so rarely am startled awake from a dream that there are no misses to forget! It just doesn't happen that much. This is truly one of the most amazing coincidences. Or it is something else.

    But anyway, I don't believe in "supernatural" as the title suggests. Nature itself is strange enough that until we truly understand all of it, we don't really need the supernatural.
  8. Nov 23, 2003 #7

    Thank you for your considered response.

    Actually I don't really expect people to believe things they haven't experienced themselves. I don't think the experience I reported has influenced my beliefs to any great extent.

    However I started this thread as an experiment, because claims in "god" threads that there is more to nature than we presently understand can fall on deaf ears.

    I have had premonitionary dreams also. In one my parent's cat told me that she was starving and about to die, and a few days later my parents rang to tell me that she had just died, and had not eaten for many days before hand.

    But of course this could be explained as a coincidence.
  9. Nov 23, 2003 #8


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    I'm not telling. I'm saying I think so, because we haven't found anything to the contrary.

    There is definitely more. No point doing science otherwise.
  10. Nov 24, 2003 #9
    i don't believe in anything...

    why believe in something? make-believe?

    here are three words:

    Dream Imagine Create

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2003
  11. Nov 24, 2003 #10

    Let me talk about another supernatural phenomenon.

    Right now you are alive and reading these characters. But science has no understanding of consciousness. So do you believe that you are just a chunk of meat, or do you believe supernatural trickery that lies outside accepted scientific doctrine?
  12. Nov 25, 2003 #11
    Science has significant understanding of consciousness. An understanding which has made successful predictions unlike traditional explanations in terms of 'souls' or 'life-force'.

    Read 'A Universe of Consciousness' Edelmann & Tononi
  13. Nov 25, 2003 #12
    I agree that I've not read any account of philosophy of mind which is without problem and thus we could say that the hard problem of conciousness is not solved. But the idea of souls and life-force as a serious explanation of consciousness was in many ways the first to go. Its entirely irrational to say

    No explanation of mind is entirely unproblematic
    Therefore the soul/life-force explanation of mind must be true
  14. Nov 25, 2003 #13
    You're on uneven footing, here. This has the same drawbacks, logically speaking, as the 'god-of-the-gaps' argument flaw. Just because we don't understand or can't explain something, doesn't imply
    there is a supernatural cause.

    While I'm not sure that there are only these two answers, what, aside from the desire to fall into the first category, would lead you to believe the second? This also ignores that non-supernatural, physical laws and relationships, currently outside known/accepted scientific doctrine, are the reality.
  15. Nov 25, 2003 #14
    Mumeishi and radagast,

    Of course science has attempted to explain consciousness, but that does not necessarily mean that it understands it.

    I am saying that consciousness is "supernatural" in the sense that it lies outside present understanding. I am not arguing that we should resort to "souls" etc.

    The problem is that physics is a "natural" science in that it studies the matter around us, but does not study the "life" associated with that matter. Such a study may be done subjectively, by examination of oneself. Unless science can change its approach radically, and become more sympathetic with spiritual approaches, then it will remain an immature body of knowledge, unsatisfying to many, and will ultimately be replaced by a wiser body of knowledge.
  16. Nov 26, 2003 #15


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    The core of science is the assumption that we do not understand *anything* in a complete way. This makes the concept of supernatural rather useless, eh?

    People called philosophers have done such studies, they all got different answers. And many were shown by science to be contrary to experimental findings.

  17. Nov 27, 2003 #16
    So is a theory of everything a useless concept also? Perhaps you are just being denominational and reacting to a word I have used.
    I can't answer for bad philosophy. Also modern physics is becoming more philosophical, since your treasured well of experiment is beginning to run dry. I am amused that you have rejected my observational findings and turned this discussion into a pointless philosophical debate.
    To a member of the science church like yourself, I would say christianity, and to a christian I would say science. Why does science need christianity? Because "a tree is known by its fruit" and anyone who is scornful, patronising and arrogant towards another without even checking whether they are friend or enemy cannot be in possession of true knowledge.
  18. Nov 27, 2003 #17
    If you don’t want any one to jump on your terms like 'supernatural' then you should define them properly at the offset. There is no use in just throwing these heavily loaded terms in then get upset when people think that you mean them in the common sense of the term: that is something outside of physics instead of outside of current knowledge as you have now defined it.

    As far as consciousness goes, there has been a lot on it, in science, philosophy and religion. What science does it show which of these theories are verifiable. Do I believe that we are just a piece of meat? Who is claiming that? Science would claim that we are a piece of meat with this amazing other piece of meat in our heads that is full of electricity and is made of a different configuration of everything else in the universe that seems to give rise to consciousness.

    What is this consciousness and how does it work? Well, theories are being brought up and tested for observational accuracy by the day. Why don’t we have an answer yet? Its not surprising since the psychologists only recognized consciousness even existing in the last 60 something years. But a lot of things have been discovered, and one of those things is the studying of phenomena such as you describe.

    For instance, dreaming and false memory. Now don’t jump on me here. Our memory and its recall/encode procedures can be very dodgy to say the best. It is easy to create false memories of events. Like 2 people experiencing the same visual stimulus, one attributing it to a 'supernatural' cause, the other finding a scientific explanation. 2 different explanations and recalls of the same event. So which is 'true'? Did you really see the bubble around your lecturer? Well, you and those who were around you, presumably within the same mind set as you (as you claim that only those who whish to see it will) all saw the bubble and instantly did not attribute it to anything other than a supernatural cause: you did not understand it, but neither did you delve into it very far to explain it through visual illusion. The eye is a very very deceiving thing. These things, when scrutinized through scientific inquiry can be explained. You cannot go from a story like this into the argument that we do not (an may not ever) understand consciousness through science. If you really thought that science could explain things, and it was 'supernatural' because it was outside understanding then you would do everything to find an explanation for it. These things are complex, and cannot be thrown away so quickly.

    What is your explanation for what you and others have seen? What do you see as happening in these cases?
  19. Nov 28, 2003 #18
    <<Just because we don't understand or can't explain something, doesn't imply there is a supernatural cause.>>

    True -

    But -

    just because we can explain something dosen't mean there isn't a supernatural cause behind it either. Science and spirit why do they have to be seperate - why does one always have to exsist apart from the other?
  20. Nov 28, 2003 #19
    Dark Wing,

    We are getting into the tricky area of definitions here. When you talk about standard definitions, you are almost beginning to speak a different language to me. The way I see things, we start with simple understanding of a conecpt, then as we learn, we refine our understanding. So if the standard view is that "supernatural" is somewhat akin to "unphysical", then I hold no apologies for holding a different understanding, for I view that all phenomena are physical, whether our limited knowledge understands it or not.

    The issue I am discussing becomes very apparent when we start talking about god. The most fervent arguers against god are those who have a very naive understanding of god, then spend their time reacting against their own naive understanding.

    Recently I heard about the phenomenon of synesthesia, and in the case being discussed, people see colours around roman numerals and associate colours with numbers. This is probably a limited example of a more general phenomenon. For example, it seems to me that mediums, who claim to see "glows" around people which exhibit a spectrum of colours (the usual word for this phenomenon is aura) are synesthetes. However no self-respecting medium would even think of subjecting him or herself to the scrutiny of a sceptical scientist. So faced with this fact, any scientist would have to admit that the scientific method applied to supernatural phenomena is rather like a survey with inbuilt bias, and it is scientific scepticism that is fuelling the bias.

    However the phenomenon that I saw does not fit with synesthesia. I am not usually synesthetic. It was not just me who saw it, but others around me. It did not have the form of an "aura" that mediums claim to see. Furthermore it was exhibiting the behaviour of a physical object. It was fixed to the body of the woman, moving with the woman, it would "wobble" whenever she moved, it would act repulsively whenever anyone else came close. I do not believe that an optical illusion or a figment of my imagination would behave like that.

    Ultimately I don't expect you to believe the evidence of a single person, after all you don't know me from a bar of soap. So if you prefer to believe that it was an optical illusion, or my mind was playing tricks on me, or I don't remember correctly, then so be it. But how much evidence would it take to make you listen? I started the thread by inviting other people to share some of their experiences. So far few have come forward.

    I do not claim to understand the phenomenon I saw. If you like, it is sitting in the "too hard" basket. I am content with it being there. For me, the first step in gaining higher understanding is to clean up the personality. When this has been done, then I can expect that answers to questions such as the "bubble effect" may come along.
  21. Nov 28, 2003 #20
    Now we're talking. However I suspect that your question might be the same as asking "Why are cats and dogs always fighting with each other?"

    There is a shocking mindset, often expressed, that we in the modern age are highly knowledgeable, but our ancestors were basically ignorant. I find this to be a highly disrespectful "ism", ultimately indicative of our inability to understand different ways of thinking. For example, few are aware that old testament prophecy was the ancient jewish equivalent of physics, but with different methods and a different outlook. However the prophets probably don't mind, their writing made use of the fact that the majority of people were going to misunderstand them. At the core of prophecy lies knowledge that physics does not currently possess, but when it does possess it, it will spell a new revolution in physics.

    To each person reading this, I ask, do you truly welcome change, or will you try to knock it down?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2003
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