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I am happily married to a wonderful, Godly woman. We both love Jesus and worship God. I compose and perform Christian and instrumental music. I am an ordained minister, and my wife and I are founders and pastors of ALM CyberChurch in Second Life (http://almcyberchurch.org).

Monday, May 31, 2010

Science and Atheism vs. Psychic Phenomena



Today, I'd like to take a small detour from our current topic. For just a few minutes, let's take a look at whether what's known as "psychic phenomena" is real or just the result of an over-active imagination and scientific ignorance.


For thousands of years, there have been two extremes -- those who believe superstition, myths, and legends, and those who believe only what can be proven using instruments and tests. Of course most people fall somewhere in between these two extremes. For our discussion, let's call the first group the athiests, or, alternately, the strict scientists. I realize there are MANY scientists who aren't atheists, but this choice of labels is simply meant to make this discussion move along a little more quickly.

Not too long ago, if I had held up this object and told you it was more nothing than something, the strict scientist would have laughed. After all, we can see that it's not nothing, it's something. We can measure it. We can weigh it. We can look at it with a magnifying glass or a microscope and see that it's full of something, not nothing.

But then we improved upon our scientific tools, and suddenly discovered the atom, and the neutrons and protons out of which atoms are composed. As our tools became more advanced, we began to discover that, indeed, this object IS more of nothing than of something. It's only our limited tools and perceptions that make us think it's solid, instead of a whirling mass of atoms spinning around what appears to be nothing at all. If I could somehow cause these atoms to stop spinning and compress them all together, this object would become a tiny spec.

The same could be said for discovery after discovery. We think we know the nature of something, and laugh at those who suggest things are not as they appear. And then we develop a new tool to aid our perception, and we discover that what we have always believed was only due to our limited perception and understanding.

What about you -- do you think we've arived? That now, in the 21st Century, we have all the scientific tools needed to either prove or dismiss every aspect of reality? If so, I'll just be very blunt and suggest that you just might be sadly mistaken.

Now, if you know me, you already have a general idea of where I stand in my beliefs concerning spiritual matters. But for today's discussion, let's just talk about humanity in general.

Just a few years ago, the atheist would have scoffed at people who claim they can see auras. Even if those people could tell someone's mood or something about their life while standing behind them, it wasn't something that had been proven in a laboratory, so it must be a hoax, or perhaps a mental illness.

Of course, now we can measure the human energy field, and can even photograph it. So maybe some people really CAN see auras, since we now have proven then really do exist.

How about faith healings? The atheist would say they're all either frauds or psycho-somatic. If the latter is true, if someone getting out of a wheelchair is all in the person's mind, then the medical field really needs to ramp up its research into mental treatments for physical conditions.

How about a short leg growing out? Or an ear, deaf for many years, suddenly and permanently hearing? Or terminal cancer suddenly disappearing? I've personally seen all of these. And the first two, I've seen happen to people I personally knew.

And it's not just me. There are too many reports of miraculous healings to count. But unless they can be reproduced in a laboratory, the strict scientists, the same ones who would have said this object is solid instead of a bunch of whirling atoms, will say it's not a miracle at all.

Years ago, I knew this precious little girl, around two years old. One night, she suddenly came to my mind, along with a severe pain in my ear. A few days later I was able to get in touch with her mother, and confirmed that the little girl was having a very bad ear ache in that same ear, and was taken to the hospital and ended up having tubes put in.

This has happened to me on several occasions. I've also had precognitive dreams, knowing something was going to happen that I couldn't have otherwise known. Aside from dreams, let me give you another example: I used to work at a Captain D's restaraunt, and had several interesting "psychic" experiences, if you will, including knowing someone would quit before they knew it, and even exactly what job they would leave for, and knowing someone else was going to break her arm, even though she didn't participate in any physically-risky activities.

And how about the countless times a mother has known something was dreadfully wrong with a son or daughter, and the mother has been right, sometimes even knowing exactly what happened -- such as a car wreck or an abduction?

Governments have conducted many tests involving physhics, and law enforcement agencies use them to many times crack cases that otherwise may not have ever been solved. You may have heard of the Princeton project called EGGS, which uses a process to measure what's called "global consciousness" by observing predictable patterns in unpredictable computer-generated random numbers. They have mapped major spikes in global consciousness five days prior to major events, such as 911.

Of course a million first-hand stories like this wouldn't convince someone who will believe only what man-made instruments and man-devised tests conclude. In this way, man is God, and they follow man's mind and inventions and tests with blind faith.

I realize that statement will make some atheists and strict scientists angry, but that's not my intention. My intention is to raise in your mind the possibility that there is more to life than what we can measure under a microscope or define with our human tests. And consider that those who have been immersed in first-hand experiences of the unexplained would think it ridiculous to say we can explain it all away with our current level of human understanding.

We need to remember that fear of the unknown, sometimes masked as intellectualism, influences the beliefs of everyone on earth, including atheists and strict scientists.

Imagine with me for just a moment that we are a species of creatures who, for the most part, cannot see. Many of us are completely blind. A lot of us can just barely see, but not well enough to clearly describe anything. And a very few of us can see with varying degrees of clarity.

The strict scientists of this species would laugh at those who can see and those who think they can barely see. They would argue that all that exists is what we can measure with our four senses, or with the instruments and tests we have devised.

For those who can see clearly, those blind skeptics would seem rather foolish. But for those who are blind or who can barely see or think they might be able to, the skeptics might be able to sway them over to their point of view.

If you can't see into the non-physical realm, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. But you have a self-inflicted limitation on your understanding if you scoff at those who CAN see, and if you discount the endless reports of the unseen as dillusion or blind faith.

It really has nothing whatsoever to do with IQ. I have an IQ of 162, so I'm not a bumbling idiot. And I have experienced far too much in the unseen realm to see the claim that it's only my imagination as anything other than foolish.

And my challenge to you is this:

1. Realize how limited we human beings really are -- our tools and our methods have always left a lot to be desired, and our need for something solid has always kept us from accepting that there might be something out there that our limited senses, tool, and methods, simply cannot explain.

2. Realize that life goes far beyond how things appear. You are not God. You are not unlimited in your ability to know and perceive. And you are shutting out a very powerful and highly significant part of reality by rejecting anything our limited tools cannot clearly define.
3. Be intellectually honest with these possibilities. Rejecting possibilities like this have slowed down science for years, and I suspect such natural human rejection of the unknown will continue to do so for a very long time.

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