Extrasensory Situational Awareness

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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Dmitri on Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:52 pm

SteveBonzak wrote:So you don't take medication or see the point in visiting your local doctor for whatever diseases you or your family might have?

OK fine, you got me... So make that 99% then. :P

Sure, maybe nothing is 100%, even gravity may not work 100% of the time because there's a 0.00000000000000000000000000000000001% probability that the next time I drop a pen I go insane in a very particular fashion and start hallucinating that gravity no longer exists. It's possible, right?

Well then, how about: "substantially more than 50%", is that better?

My "100%" may have been too extreme, but my point remains. It needs to be objectively reproducible on a large enough (and random enough) sampling of individuals, which incidentally is the kind of testing medications (since you mentioned them) undergo before they become approved; it needs to be under enough scrutiny and critique by uninterested third parties, etc. Only then we can talk about any reasonable levels of credibility, IMO.

Any phenomenon that wishes to be taken seriously needs to have "coincidence", "wishful thinking", "suggestion", "placebo" and other similar effects/parameters completely eliminated from its "trustworthiness criteria".

BTW, Randi's million dollar challenge is still unclaimed. Sure, I know, it's probably because he's "unfair". :)
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Chris McKinley on Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:30 pm

Or dead. Just sayin'. :P
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Cryptohominid on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:03 pm

Chris McKinley wrote:Or dead. Just sayin'. :P


Nope, James Randi is alive and well, for an 80 something year old man. I had a brief conversation with him about a year ago and he's quite a hoot in person, and still very keen to boot. Former magician and investigator Banacheck (AKA Steve Shaw) has taken over administrating the challenge and is streamlining the process and doing more publicity to entice claimants. So, I'll restate it: If anyone on this board has any abilities of the paranormal sort that can be demonstrated to a level better than expected by chance, sign up and change science forever while pocketing over a million dollars. You'll probably win a Nobel too, so that's at least two million right there. Oh, and if your powers don't work for greedy reasons, I'm sure they would donate the money to the worthy charity of your choice.

What are you waiting for? ;)
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Chris McKinley on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:12 pm

LOL, yeah I was just referencing the hoax about him a couple years back that he had died and been replaced, as if somehow that would have anything at all to do with whether or not his skepticism were valid. I had a chance to catch him at Oklahoma City University several years ago and he was great fun to watch.
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Cryptohominid on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:20 pm

Oh yeah, I remember hearing that 'rumor' (among many, some quite pernicious) a while back. I get it now. :)
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Doc Stier on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:54 pm

Image Image

Since the dawn of history, various extraordinary phenomena have been recorded as happening amongst human beings. Witnesses are not wanting in modern times to attest to the fact of such events, even in societies living under the full blaze of modern science. The vast mass of such evidence is unreliable, as coming from ignorant, superstitious, or fraudulent persons. In many instances the so - called miracles are imitations. But what do they imitate?

It is not the sign of a candid and scientific mind to throw overboard anything without proper investigation. Surface scientists, unable to explain the various extraordinary mental phenomena, strive to ignore their very existence. They are, therefore, more culpable than those who think that their prayers are answered by a being, or beings, above the clouds, or than those who believe that their petitions will make such beings change the course of the universe. The latter have the excuse of ignorance, or at least of a defective system of education, which has taught them dependence upon such beings, a dependence which has become a part of their degenerate nature. The former have no such excuse.

For thousands of years such phenomena have been studied, investigated, and generalized, the whole ground of the religious faculties of man has been analyzed, and the practical result is the science of Raja-Yoga. Raja-Yoga does not, after the unpardonable manner of some modern scientists, deny the existence of facts which are difficult to explain; on the other hand, it gently yet in no uncertain terms tells the superstitious that miracles, and answers to prayers, and powers of faith, though true as facts, are not rendered comprehensible through the superstitious explanation of attributing them to the agency of a being, or beings, above the clouds.

It declares that each man is only a conduit for the infinite ocean of knowledge and power that lies behind mankind. It teaches that desires and wants are in man, that the power of supply is also in man; and that wherever and whenever a desire, a want, a prayer has been fulfilled, it was out of this infinite magazine that the supply came, and not from any supernatural being. The idea of supernatural beings may rouse to a certain extent the power of action in man, but it also brings spiritual decay. It brings dependence; it brings fear; it brings superstition. It degenerates into a horrible belief in the natural weakness of man.

There is no supernatural, says the Yogi, but there are in nature gross manifestations and subtle manifestations. The subtle are the causes, the gross the effects. The gross can be easily perceived by the senses; not so the subtle. The practice of
Raja - yoga will lead to the acquisition of the more subtle perceptions.

From the Introduction to Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda

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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby I-mon on Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:39 pm

Doc Stier wrote:There is no supernatural, says the Yogi, but there are in nature gross manifestations and subtle manifestations. The subtle are the causes, the gross the effects. The gross can be easily perceived by the senses; not so the subtle. The practice of
Raja - yoga will lead to the acquisition of the more subtle perceptions.

From the Introduction to Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda


Yeah that's the stuff.
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby DeusTrismegistus on Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:47 pm

Nice post doc.

Cryptohominid, the problem with your assertion on this thread is quite simply not relevant to the discussion. We have to accept certain things a priori an any conversation. For example it is an understood a priori assumption on this forum that practicing CMA and IMA in particular can lead to functional combat skill given it is practiced in certain ways. If you go to other MA forums that is not accepted as being true and anyone with a background in CMA and IMA is automatically assumed to be a person with no real ability at fighting. For this thread being about extrasensory perception and how to use and develop it there is an a priori assumption that this is possible. Whether it is or not really belongs in a different discussion and as Chris Mckinley as stated in the other thread, this is a subject that is not likely to have any kind of consensus among forum members. That line of dialogue is at best tangential and at worst derailing.
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Bhassler on Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:38 pm

Charles Sanders Peirce demonstrated that information that is perceived below the threshold of awareness can still affect judgement. Just because something is not well understood does not mean it does not exist, nor does it mean that it necessarily operates via any mechanism outside of ordinary, every day occurrence.
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby I-mon on Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:25 pm

Bhassler wrote:Charles Sanders Peirce demonstrated that information that is perceived below the threshold of awareness can still affect judgement. Just because something is not well understood does not mean it does not exist, nor does it mean that it necessarily operates via any mechanism outside of ordinary, every day occurrence.


Indeed, everyone on the thread seems to be in agreement that "stuff like this happens".
If you want to follow an ESP type descriptive model, fine - how do you train it?
If you want to follow an evolutionary, neurophysiological, neuroplasticity model, fine - how do you train it?

At the moment, I'm happy with my fairly simple model:

1. Cerebral asymmetry - the right hemisphere takes in the entire context without separating details
2. Interoception/empathy - the insular cortex, especially in the right hemisphere, integrates and compares the entire physiological state of the body with sensory information and nonverbal communication from everyone in the environment and compares these with all past experience, giving an overall emotional tone that includes threat levels (via the amygdala) and adjusts autonomic balance and cognitive/perceptual activity accordingly. The insula tells us both our own emotional/physiological states and the emotional/physiological states of those around us. Insula is the current popular locus for this function, most likely not all there is to it, of course.
3. Mirror neuron system - also involved in "Emotional contagion" or "emotional empathy" along with the insula. we feel other people/creatures' actions in our own bodies and through this we know some of what they are doing, what they have just done, and what they are potentially about to do.
4. "Cognitive Empathy" involving more frontal areas of the brain, more or less unique to humans and capable of representing another person's thoughts or mind - "what are they thinking about?" "what does that person think of me?" kind of stuff, can be conscious but is also constantly happening on an unconscious level.

SO - how to train? The advantage of using a mind-brain model is that we can use the wonderful concept of neuroplasticity! Use the mind to CHANGE THE BRAIN. All it takes is practice and attention. So, using the brain-based points above, we can:

1. train the right hemisphere by PAYING ATTENTION TO CONTEXT. Learn to reduce the activity of the left hemisphere, ie less words, less mental chatter. More "expansive awareness". things like "looking far" or "soft focus" of the eyes. "listening behind" or 360 degree listening. etc.

2. train the interoception/empathy circuit by PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT'S HAPPENING INSIDE THE BODY! changes in breathing, heart rate, digestive function, subtle muscle tensions, feelings in and around the organs, etc and their associations with the mental/emotional state. Pay attention to nonverbal signals of all sorts from other people, animals, relate the nonverbal information to what you know or feel about their emotional and mental states, what they are saying, doing, etc. Notice how your own internal feelings are changing in response to the nonverbal signals of other people, and how they are responding to you. Tap into and pay attention to this world and your brain will change to get better at it.

3. train your body! train every part of the body to become conscious and aware of the movements and possible movements of every part. get to know how each little bit feels as it moves through all of its possible movements. Mimic other people's movements and posture - mimic animals movements and postures so you know in your own body how it feels to move like they do. Pay attention, spend time watching people/animals and actively induce the feelings of their movements in your own body while staying still.

4. spend time "putting yourself in other people's shoes" or "seeing the world through their eyes". imagine what it's like to be them, not just physically but emotionally and mentally, imagine being from their background or what it would be like to have their parents or to be going through what they are going through...imagine what it's like to be a dog or a cat or whatever. This is exactly the kind of stuff the empathy researchers are trying to get into primary school education these days, because they've shown that this is exactly the stuff which kids with their growing brains need to do to train the parts of the brain which do this! Ie if you don't ever imagine what it's like to actually BE someone else you will be really crap at it!

Now, except for number 4. I think you'll notice that all of the above methods are stock-standard parts of the classic IMA training package. I.e. this brain-based model gives us training methods that are identical to those of the empirical, time-tested eastern traditions. They work, and they make sense. Hooray!
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Cryptohominid on Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:33 pm

DeusTrismegistus wrote:Cryptohominid, the problem with your assertion on this thread is quite simply not relevant to the discussion. We have to accept certain things a priori an any conversation. For example it is an understood a priori assumption on this forum that practicing CMA and IMA in particular can lead to functional combat skill given it is practiced in certain ways. If you go to other MA forums that is not accepted as being true and anyone with a background in CMA and IMA is automatically assumed to be a person with no real ability at fighting. For this thread being about extrasensory perception and how to use and develop it there is an a priori assumption that this is possible. Whether it is or not really belongs in a different discussion and as Chris Mckinley as stated in the other thread, this is a subject that is not likely to have any kind of consensus among forum members. That line of dialogue is at best tangential and at worst derailing.


Well, apologies for derailing the thread. Thing is, there have been several threads of this nature of lately and I finally couldn't resist throwing my 2 cents in. I have these same kind of debates on occasion with my CIMA peers in real life, and while many of them like the fuzzy spirituality side better we are still able to have calm, reasoned, and in the end interesting and mutually informative discussions on the topic. I guess I just thought that since this subject is one that follows quite closely along with current ICMA's, and ICMA's are something I have spent a lot of time on and am quite fond of, it would be appropriate for me to weigh in with this group.


If you are saying that I have to be a believer in supernatural powers a priori to comment on threads here, or that I should restrict my comments only to threads where I am in general agreement about the topic at hand, then,

A. That's boring.
and
B. I wouldn't think I much belonged here.

But, if you all think there are some core concepts that must be accepted a priori to be a voice here, let's list 'em so everyone can see them and be comfortable with what they are signing on for.

And geeez, look at my post count. I've been around since the old EF and it's not like I've tried to overwhelm any topic, ever. If you don't like what I'm saying, don't engage me. I'll make my point and move on. If you engage me, I assume you want a back and forth of some sort. Isn't that sort of the point of boards like this, or am I doing the internet wrong again?


BTW, nice post I-mon.
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Doc Stier on Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:46 pm

Cryptohominid:

No need for apology. You're not doing anything wrong.

We all have our respective thoughts, feelings, and opinions regarding the topics discussed on this forum. Your input to this thread is equally important to that of anyone else. Point and counterpoint is to be expected. So just chill out, man, and contribute whatever you want to, ok? :)
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Cryptohominid on Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:51 pm

Dude, color me chill daddy-O. It's just that someone pretty much asked me not to do that, so I had to say something, right? B-)
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Doc Stier on Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:59 pm

Yo, Chill Daddy:

Not a problem!
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Doc Stier on Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:20 pm

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"...whoever has gained mastery over his mind, can govern all the phenomena of nature."

"...the outer world exists only in relation to the inner nature of each individual. What mind is to itself, the phenomenal world of sense-perception is to the mind. The external is only the reflection of the internal; that which we gain, that which we receive, is only the likeness or reflection of that which we have already given. Mental phenomena are merely the effects of invisible forces, which cannot be discovered by the senses or by any instrument which the human mind can invent."
Swami Abhedananda [1902]
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