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Old 05-18-2019, 08:32 PM
 
9,181 posts, read 9,156,037 times
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Interesting project.

Inside the Secret Sting Operations to Expose Celebrity Psychics
Are some celebrity mediums fooling their audience members by reading social media pages in advance? A group of online vigilantes is out to prove it.

The idea of talking with the dead is one of those stubborn hopes thatís difficult for a culture to move beyond. Famous skeptics like Harry Houdini left precise instructions with his wife and friends as to just how he would reach out, if it were possible, after his death.
Gerbic got into the sting racket because of her mentor, James Randi, the famous skeptic who started his career as a magician, the Amazing Randi.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/26/m...-facebook.html
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:39 AM
 
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I guess they are just fakes who want to be something more.


We know that it is possible to communicate with the dead, the bible even warns against doing it...if something was not possible in the first place, there would be no need to put out a warning against doing it.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:10 PM
 
11,896 posts, read 20,305,026 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
I guess they are just fakes who want to be something more.


We know that it is possible to communicate with the dead, the bible even warns against doing it...if something was not possible in the first place, there would be no need to put out a warning against doing it.
Or, the people writing the Bible understood it was fake, and they figured the only way to get people to stop listening to charlatans was to prohibit it.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
Or, the people writing the Bible understood it was fake, and they figured the only way to get people to stop listening to charlatans was to prohibit it.
Yes, that's better logic.

Interesting article, though.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:02 AM
 
Location: PRC
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Or another interpretation is that the church did not want everyone going off on their own paths rather than following the prescribed path. Another control mechanism.

Occult societies and some belief systems have been messing about with other realities for generations, some have found out nothing and some have found out what happens. It is rather telling that most of the orthodox religions do not actually tell you what happens after death and what is the process for getting there.

Compare that with the various Books of the Dead from the Egyptians, Budhists etc which describe the bardoh process which is gone through on our way to the other side.
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Old 05-30-2019, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
Or another interpretation is that the church did not want everyone going off on their own paths rather than following the prescribed path. Another control mechanism.
Come on now, this is nonsense -- where are you getting your information? Again, Paul -- I suggest you read some real church history.

Quote:
Occult societies and some belief systems have been messing about with other realities for generations, some have found out nothing and some have found out what happens. It is rather telling that most of the orthodox religions do not actually tell you what happens after death and what is the process for getting there.
This is simply not an accurate statement. In Judaism there have always been those who believed in a resurrection, and those who did not. Today a lot of Jews believe in reincarnation. Roman Catholics believe in Purgatory, a holding place where souls work through their defects. In Eastern Orthodoxy, prayers are said for 40 days after someone passes. Why? Because the tradition is that the soul remains on earth for 40 days after death visiting places it's been - I believe some think the dead don't even know they're dead until then. There's a tradition held among some Orthodox (particular monastics and more traditionalist groups) that the soul passes through a series of "aerial tollhouses" where they're confronted by demons that interrogate them. It's similar structurally to St John Climacus' "Ladder of Divine Ascent", which is read during Lent at monasteries as well as by lay persons and outlines a path for moving toward spiritual perfection.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_toll_house
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_La..._Divine_Ascent

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Compare that with the various Books of the Dead from the Egyptians, Budhists etc which describe the bardoh process which is gone through on our way to the other side.
The bardo process is straight Buddhism, it's not part of Egyptian theology. You're talking about thousands of years between them, and the Buddhists inherited nothing from Egyptian theology as far as I know. And by the way, there are sects in Buddhism that are more orthodox in their beliefs than others. There are a lot of varieties of Buddhism - just as there are a lot of varieties of Christianity, and Judaism, and Hinduism.

We're supposed to be impressed that the ancient Egyptians, Buddhists, and Mayans all had created detailed guides for the transition to the afterlife -- all of which contradict each other in what they say about the process, and the nature of the soul and afterlife? And the provenance of which is unknown - they all claim to be "true" but we don't know why their claims should be taken seriously. So does Allan Kardec's "Book of Spirits" which seems to be a sort of sacred text for the spiritists - why should his claims be taken more seriously than those of the Egyptians, Buddhists, or Mayans (or vice versa)? Or for that matter - the Jews, Christians, or Moslems?
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:43 PM
 
Location: PRC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily
Come on now, this is nonsense -- where are you getting your information? Again, Paul -- I suggest you read some real church history.
OK, so if church history explains it all, then why are people so afraid of dying? You would have thought that the process would be explained, the fears would be calmed, and the most important thing (as one gets older) would be given more emphasis.

History is an account of the 'truth' written by people who want you to believe that truth. The history taught in Japan is very different to that taught in China or the USA - simply because the people who wrote the books used by the educational system know what bias to place on the events described. History is written and re-written by various people throughout the ages. This is not just a cynical belief, it is actual fact, particularly since most cultures do not like to admit their faults and so leave out the more 'difficult' parts of history and add the biased view. I see this going on all the time in the movies, soaps and other TV shows, so I am practically certain it happens in every country's history books too.

Teaching/training/leading a prescribed way of thinking is a control mechanism - whether it is from the government or any other body or group. Particularly when some religions teach that one HAS to be a member to gain a seat in the afterlife. Now... tell me that is not a control mechanism? I am trying not to name any one particular religion.

Personally, I try to decide which account shows more love, tolerance and understanding and go with that one. At least the Books of the Dead has a detailed account of the process and what they believe is waiting for us, many orthodox religions dont have that and often only mention it in passing. Possibly there are some accounts buried in the Vatican library but we will never know will we? (Yes, I know you say the Vatican library is open to scholars, and if I was interested I could apply to read their texts. What religion is going to allow people - even scholars - to read texts which go directly against their teaching?) The Catholic church has placed its own spin on things for centuries.

Beliefs are just that, beliefs. They have no provenance and never will because the experience is a purely personal one and in order to KNOW what is correct, we have to experience it for ourselves (or at least experience that other reality where it COULD happen). The occult societies and some religious groups teach methods for personally finding out what happens after death which is part-way to the truth of the matter, but most people are too afraid to find out whether it is true for them or not.
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
OK, so if church history explains it all, then why are people so afraid of dying? You would have thought that the process would be explained, the fears would be calmed, and the most important thing (as one gets older) would be given more emphasis.
What I was reacting to is your control mechanism claim - what's fear of death have to do with it? I saw my sister go to death cheerfully, after a 26 year illness. I've known of many others who went to their deaths in calm acceptance and even joy - without benefit of the Tibetan Book of the Dead or the Bardo Thodol. Others fear the darkness or the pain. I don't know that I will face my own death like my sister did - but fear of death is no proof of anything. What bothers me most about this forum is the way people casually insult the beliefs of Christians and make the most outrageous and unfounded claims about what "those Christians" believe, but raise up in outrage when their own New Age/Spiritist/etc beliefs are challenged.

Quote:
History is an account of the 'truth' written by people who want you to believe that truth. The history taught in Japan is very different to that taught in China or the USA - simply because the people who wrote the books used by the educational system know what bias to place on the events described. History is written and re-written by various people throughout the ages. This is not just a cynical belief, it is actual fact, particularly since most cultures do not like to admit their faults and so leave out the more 'difficult' parts of history and add the biased view. I see this going on all the time in the movies, soaps and other TV shows, so I am practically certain it happens in every country's history books too.

Teaching/training/leading a prescribed way of thinking is a control mechanism - whether it is from the government or any other body or group. Particularly when some religions teach that one HAS to be a member to gain a seat in the afterlife. Now... tell me that is not a control mechanism? I am trying not to name any one particular religion.
What you're saying implies the books of the dead you mention with apparent reverence are just other control mechanisms. You wrote:

Quote:
Occult societies and some belief systems have been messing about with other realities for generations, some have found out nothing and some have found out what happens
Oh, really? And how do you know this? The hesychasts in the Orthodox monastic tradition have been "messing with other realities" for many generations and have specific prayer techniques for experiencing those realities. I'm going to guess you don't realize there is a mystical tradition in Christianity - and that in Orthodoxy, this tradition is alive ad well. So why do your "occult societies" have a better claim to the truth than the spiritual adepts in my own 2000 year old tradition?

Quote:
Personally, I try to decide which account shows more love, tolerance and understanding and go with that one. At least the Books of the Dead has a detailed account of the process and what they believe is waiting for us, many orthodox religions dont have that and often only mention it in passing. Possibly there are some accounts buried in the Vatican library but we will never know will we? (Yes, I know you say the Vatican library is open to scholars, and if I was interested I could apply to read their texts. What religion is going to allow people - even scholars - to read texts which go directly against their teaching?) The Catholic church has placed its own spin on things for centuries.
I don't care what's in the Vatican Library, or not - I'm not Roman Catholic, I'm Eastern Orthodox. They consider us schismatics, we consider them heretics. Having a manual for entering the afterlife has nothing to do with "love, tolerance and understanding". Have you actually read the Egyptian Book of the Dead? The goddess Ma'at weighed the heart of the dead and if found lacking, the heart was given over to the monstrous Ammit to be devoured? The Egyptians had detailed rules for good behavior - just like the "orthodox religions". In short, they were orthodox themselves in their belief. How is that showing greater "love, tolerance and understanding" to the dying? The Bardo Thodol provides detailed instructions for navigating the stages of the afterlife (in other words, it's very similar to the Ladder of Divine Ascent and the myth of the Aerial Tollhouses - an Athonite monk I know well commented that in some ways Buddhism is Orthodoxy without God or the incarnation, which seems about right). So if you don't do it right or are incapable of doing the Bardo process right, you're presumably not going to have a good reincarnation. How is this cold hearted and mechanistic process evidence of more "love, tolerance and understanding"?

Quote:
Beliefs are just that, beliefs. They have no provenance and never will because the experience is a purely personal one and in order to KNOW what is correct, we have to experience it for ourselves (or at least experience that other reality where it COULD happen). The occult societies and some religious groups teach methods for personally finding out what happens after death which is part-way to the truth of the matter, but most people are too afraid to find out whether it is true for them or not.
And this is the great postmodern error: the assumption that X can be true for you but not true for me. There's only one truth, Paul, and no such thing as a roll-your-own reality. As St Paul wrote to the Corinthians, if Christ hasn't truly risen from the dead, then following him is B.S. Same is true of the Bardo Thodol, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Mayan Codices, the Spirit Book, and all other claims to knowing the true way: either they're right or they're wrong. As Kierkegaard said, you have to make that leap out into the darkness in pure faith. And you'll find genuine "love, tolerance and understanding" in our Orthodox liturgical practices, in which God is referred to as the "only lover of mankind".

"O God of spirits and of all flesh, You trampled upon death and abolished the power of the devil, giving life to Your world. Give rest to the soul(s) of Your departed servant(s) (Name) in a place of light, in a place of green pasture, in a place of refreshment, from where pain, sorrow, and sighing have fled away. As a good and loving God, forgive every sin he (she, they) has (have) committed in word, deed, or thought, for there is no one who lives and does not sin. You alone are without sin. Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your word is truth." -- Orthodox Trisagion for the Dead
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