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Old 04-03-2011, 09:02 AM   #41
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But you probably could if you wanted to.

I'll say right up front that I'm not a 'believer' in this kind of stuff. But I did have a very eerie, odd feeling once that convinced me that I would have attributed it to something if I were predisposed to think that way.

When I was moving into this house, I was stressed out over a number of things. My mind wandered and I recall wondering if anyone had died in this house. Later, I felt a chill and felt something I never felt before. But there was nothing to it. But I'm sure I could have assigned something to it.

I've got a stereo that is 'possessed' - it has woken us up at 3Am a couple times, and switched channels and modes randomly (it may take months). I finally found a loose connection and it's been OK for a year now. Someone from the after-life, or just an oxide film? The engineer in me says oxides.

My brother was also telling stories once about an old farmhouse he was renting out. Seems several tenants reported odd things. Just listening to the stories made me start to hear things. We are very open to the power of suggestion.



A crucial first step, IMO.



I'm always flummoxed at this talk of 'energy', and the need for it to 'go somewhere'. Why would something spiritual need 'energy'? What 'energy' are we talking about? Can I read it with a meter? Can we harness it and reduce our dependence on oil/coal? If it can't be measured, why does it have to go somewhere? When my furnace shuts off, the energy goes somewhere, but that doesn't cause the lights to flicker in another town. Why not?

I honestly think that power of suggestion, our wants/needs to make some sense of the world, our wants/needs to find patterns and assign causes, and our dealing with grief are all the explanations we need for these things.

I wonder why the stereo didn't act up around the time that some people close to me passed on? Or why their 'energy' didn't fix it - that would have been nice.

-ERD50

Are you ready to say that only things which us humans can explain are real? The rest, since it may be out of our perecption is not real, does not exits? Isn't it possible that maybe there are forces/events/energy out there that we can't measure but are there?

I'm not saying that lights seeming powering off then on again, seeming by itself is definitely a sign influcenced by someone's passing. But I leave open the chance that when someone dies, a spirt, soul, energy remains, at least for awhile until it moves on. Otherwise, if what once was a life becomes just nothing..that's sad. Then there really isn't much purpose if our lives because if you live to 100 or 75 or 50 is virtually nothing relation to all of time (if there is such a thing as time..but that's a whole different discussion ).
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:01 AM   #42
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Are you ready to say that only things which us humans can explain are real? The rest, since it may be out of our perecption is not real, does not exits?
Not at all. I can't explain gravity (and AFAIK the scientists can't fully explain it either), but it is very real to me. I've never been to China, but I accept that it is there.

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Isn't it possible that maybe there are forces/events/energy out there that we can't measure but are there?
Possibly, even likely. But I don't know what people mean when they talk about a spirit having 'energy'. If we don't know what it is, how do we know it has to "go somewhere"? Why make assumptions about how something we don't understand "must" work?


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...But I leave open the chance that when someone dies, a spirt, soul, energy remains, at least for awhile until it moves on. Otherwise, if what once was a life becomes just nothing..that's sad. Then there really isn't much purpose if our lives because if you live to 100 or 75 or 50 is virtually nothing relation to all of time (if there is such a thing as time..but that's a whole different discussion ).
I'm not willing to accept that there is any 'purpose' to our lives other than propagating the species, which is just a natural process of living things. I don't think it's sad, I just think it is. I might actually look at this from another viewpoint (and I'm not being critical/judgmental here, I'm just tying to illuminate another side of this), and say that it might be sad to go through life assuming there is some higher purpose. Why not accept it for what it is (obviously, my opinion of what it is) and make the best of it?

I get into this discussion with a friend every once in a while - he tells me that if there is no higher purpose, why do 'good' in our lives? I tell him I see plenty of reasons to do good, even if I'm just dust when I die. Society (and my personal life) works much smoother when I do good, it motivates others to also do good in return. One way to look at it is that doing good is a selfish thing. And I see no reason to apologize for that either. It just is, IMO.

edit/add: Let me add this, so that I don't come across too "Spock-like". I do believe in a form of 'spirituality'. The people close to me who have passed on are still 'alive' to me in a certain way. I often recall the things that they taught me, the examples they set, the good times we had, and I try to emulate the good things they did while they were alive. I guess I could say that their lives served a 'purpose' that extended beyond their deaths. Their 'spirit' is still alive. That's plenty good enough for me, I don't need flickering lights. YMMV.

-ERD50
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:11 AM   #43
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Just being around my former wife made a believer out of me. She has kept journals for years, and too many times something big happened to family or a friend and she searched a journal and there it was, strikingly similar or identical, from a dream or strong waking experience earlier.

Ha
I'm not out to change anyone's mind on this, but just to explain my skepticism, this means little to me, unless you also did the opposite. Did you look into the journal for signs that never connected with anything, or did you only look for connections? Were the connections better than chance? A stopped clock is right twice a day.

More importantly, could she time the market?

-ERD50
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:14 AM   #44
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More importantly, could she time the market?

-ERD50
No; that is why we ultimately broke up.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:49 AM   #45
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Not at all. I can't explain gravity (and AFAIK the scientists can't fully explain it either), but it is very real to me. I've never been to China, but I accept that it is there.



Possibly, even likely. But I don't know what people mean when they talk about a spirit having 'energy'. If we don't know what it is, how do we know it has to "go somewhere"? Why make assumptions about how something we don't understand "must" work?




I'm not willing to accept that there is any 'purpose' to our lives other than propagating the species, which is just a natural process of living things. I don't think it's sad, I just think it is. I might actually look at this from another viewpoint (and I'm not being critical/judgmental here, I'm just tying to illuminate another side of this), and say that it might be sad to go through life assuming there is some higher purpose. Why not accept it for what it is (obviously, my opinion of what it is) and make the best of it?

I get into this discussion with a friend every once in a while - he tells me that if there is no higher purpose, why do 'good' in our lives? I tell him I see plenty of reasons to do good, even if I'm just dust when I die. Society (and my personal life) works much smoother when I do good, it motivates others to also do good in return. One way to look at it is that doing good is a selfish thing. And I see no reason to apologize for that either. It just is, IMO.

edit/add: Let me add this, so that I don't come across too "Spock-like". I do believe in a form of 'spirituality'. The people close to me who have passed on are still 'alive' to me in a certain way. I often recall the things that they taught me, the examples they set, the good times we had, and I try to emulate the good things they did while they were alive. I guess I could say that their lives served a 'purpose' that extended beyond their deaths. Their 'spirit' is still alive. That's plenty good enough for me, I don't need flickering lights. YMMV.

-ERD50
I think there is a danger and a need to make assumptions. The danger is you know what they say about the word Assume. As Felix Unger in an episode of the Odd Couple well pointed out, assuming can make and ASS out of U and ME. ASS-U-ME. Yet at the same time, by making assumptions (not wild guesses) is how we learn. On time, people said, "let's assume the world is not flat..and try out that theory..."

I do agree about if there's a choice between doing good than not do good, why not just do good even if there is no reward. When I was a kid, when I saw a bug, I'd squish it. That was how I was brought up. Bugs are pests, stomp on it. But as I got older, if they aren't like attacking me or colonizing my home, no need to squish it if it's not going do anything bad to me.

Yet I do believe that if our sole purpose is to propagate the species and nothing more that is sad. Than our existence on earth, colonizing this third rock from the sun isn't really much more than the bugs in our backyard.

Still nothing "wrong" with that view, just a choice on how to look at things.

An example, I have a brother I'm really close to, about a year older than me. I don't think he has ever owned a camera. Looking at old photos, reflecting on how people changed over the years isn't too important to him. My mom died almost 20 years ago. I think he only visited her gravsite maybe once since then. Not out of selfishness, but to him I think his way of thinking is, "she's gone, what real difference does it make?" On the otherhand, I've owned probably about 20 cameras in my lifetime and like to see photos on how people change over the years. Seeing life's timeline. I remember when my mom was still alive she said, all she wants is for her kids to remember to bring flowers to her grave. Nothing more. So I try to honor that.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:07 AM   #46
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Yet I do believe that if our sole purpose is to propagate the species and nothing more that is sad. Than our existence on earth, colonizing this third rock from the sun isn't really much more than the bugs in our backyard.

Still nothing "wrong" with that view, just a choice on how to look at things.
And just to take it a little step further, let's consider the two views and our unknowns:

It seems that for you, you will be 'sad' if it turns out there is no after-life. But I won't be sad, as I see reason to celebrate life either way - there's really no conflict. And since we both see reasons to do good, then we live our lives much the same, so I see no 'downside' to my view.

Quote:
I think he only visited her gravsite maybe once since then. Not out of selfishness, but to him I think his way of thinking is, "she's gone, what real difference does it make?
"

I've never visited my Dad's grave site, or any of my relatives (unless a group of us went), even though it is just 20 minutes from me. It just isn't something that 'resonates' with me. It's just some stone box to me. But I think of him probably every day. People just have different ways of dealing with these things.

Since your Mother made the request, I can see the feeling of need to honor that. That's different I think.

-ERD50
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:35 AM   #47
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And just to take it a little step further, let's consider the two views and our unknowns:

It seems that for you, you will be 'sad' if it turns out there is no after-life. But I won't be sad, as I see reason to celebrate life either way - there's really no conflict. And since we both see reasons to do good, then we live our lives much the same, so I see no 'downside' to my view.

"

I've never visited my Dad's grave site, or any of my relatives (unless a group of us went), even though it is just 20 minutes from me. It just isn't something that 'resonates' with me. It's just some stone box to me. But I think of him probably every day. People just have different ways of dealing with these things.

Since your Mother made the request, I can see the feeling of need to honor that. That's different I think.

-ERD50
BTW...Spock is my favorite ST character. In that series, the two extremes of feeling and trying to be totally logical, void of feeling were Bones and Spock. The current Tsunami in Japan, Bone would say all the tragedy, loss of life, families ripped apart. Spock would say, why take time to emote over such things. The probability of having the reactors stop leaking within a month are....

We all have our own world view of things...
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:09 PM   #48
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In the summer of 1997 my then wife was pregnant with our second child, a son. While on a family retreat in a nearby town, we went for a walk and chose his first name: Elijah.

As it turned out, Elijah died in utero about a month later and about a month before he was to have been born. We chose a plot in a cemetery in our hometown. His mother wanted to honor him by having a tree planted near his grave.

Unfortunately, the ideal location for this tree -- a few yards away -- was already occupied by a large rangy pine tree perhaps 15 feet tall. This large rangy pine stood within a yard of another very large pine tree. His mother lamented that his tree would end up planted in some other section of the cemetery.

We went to select and purchase the tree at a nearby nursery, and arranged to have it delivered to the cemetery, a process that for some reason or another would take a few days. At this point we still didn't know where we were going to have the tree planted.

In the meantime, we had the graveside service, which was videotaped, showing his mother and I, and our family and friends, with the two large pine trees in the background.

A day or two later, when the tree was to be delivered, his mother called the cemetery to arrange for its arrival, again lamenting that the spot she really wanted for the tree was already occupied.

At which point the cemetery employee informed her that the night before, there had been a tremendous windstorm that had swept through the cemetery, and that the large rangy pine tree had been completely uprooted and had completely disappeared. The other pine tree, a yard away, remained completely untouched.

The large rangy pine tree left a hole in the ground, which is where Elijah's tree was planted later that same day. We decided to have his grave marker inscribed with 2 Kings 2:11b, which seemed fitting.

2Cor521
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:17 PM   #49
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The large rangy pine tree left a hole in the ground, which is where Elijah's tree was planted later that same day. We decided to have his grave marker inscribed with 2 Kings 2:11b, which seemed fitting.
That's pretty darn heart-warming.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:33 PM   #50
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That's a beautiful story about the most painful of events, SecondCor. Thank you for sharing it. Who's to say what's "real" in terms of personal moments like these? There are no experts in matters of the heart and faith.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:36 PM   #51
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Back in the '90's working at megacorp, I was returning from lunch one day. When I got closer to the building, I saw a big ugly black bird standing squarely on the center of a car's roof. I thought it odd, as though the birds hung around the parking lots some of the seasons, I never saw one on a car before. I recognized the car, it belonged to a marketing director. I kidded myself "well, that's a bad sign!"
Later that afternoon, he got the sack (the director, not the bird!)

I then wondered how I could attract those birds onto a few other car's roofs.

Okay, it's not the same as someone dying, but still...wooo OOOOO ooooo OOOOO.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:27 PM   #52
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That's a beautiful story about the most painful of events, SecondCor. Thank you for sharing it. Who's to say what's "real" in terms of personal moments like these? There are no experts in matters of the heart and faith.
I second all of the above, SecondCor. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #53
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I second all of the above, SecondCor. Thanks for sharing.
+ 1. Thank you sent.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:05 PM   #54
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These sorts of things happen all the time, but they are only seen as significant or coincidental if we experience them close in time to an especially meaningful event such as the death of a loved one.

Humans are pattern-seeking, story-telling creatures who are predisposed to look for meaning and explanations for the natural events we experience. That's pretty much it, IMHO.
Agreed.

Many of these posts make me feel sad. They show how fragile our "civilized" society really is at its heart.



A good site
http://www.csicop.org/

Read this magazine at your library.
Skeptic » Home » The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:40 PM   #55
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In the summer of 1997 my then wife was pregnant with our second child, a son. While on a family retreat in a nearby town, we went for a walk and chose his first name: Elijah.

As it turned out, Elijah died in utero about a month later and about a month before he was to have been born. We chose a plot in a cemetery in our hometown. His mother wanted to honor him by having a tree planted near his grave.

Unfortunately, the ideal location for this tree -- a few yards away -- was already occupied by a large rangy pine tree perhaps 15 feet tall. This large rangy pine stood within a yard of another very large pine tree. His mother lamented that his tree would end up planted in some other section of the cemetery.

We went to select and purchase the tree at a nearby nursery, and arranged to have it delivered to the cemetery, a process that for some reason or another would take a few days. At this point we still didn't know where we were going to have the tree planted.

In the meantime, we had the graveside service, which was videotaped, showing his mother and I, and our family and friends, with the two large pine trees in the background.

A day or two later, when the tree was to be delivered, his mother called the cemetery to arrange for its arrival, again lamenting that the spot she really wanted for the tree was already occupied.

At which point the cemetery employee informed her that the night before, there had been a tremendous windstorm that had swept through the cemetery, and that the large rangy pine tree had been completely uprooted and had completely disappeared. The other pine tree, a yard away, remained completely untouched.

The large rangy pine tree left a hole in the ground, which is where Elijah's tree was planted later that same day. We decided to have his grave marker inscribed with 2 Kings 2:11b, which seemed fitting.

2Cor521
Rest in peace sweet Elijah. You were loved.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:34 AM   #56
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I am a very logical person. I usually require proof to believe something, i.e. proof being something visual or audible in the physical real time domain. I am an Engineer.
However, my own experiences (sense of presence) with my Mom's and huband's passing have convinced me that there may be another domain that we living human beings are not fully connected to.
I saw the funny looks that other living people gave me when I described the sensation of my late husband's presence. Even very close friends were skeptical.
I quickly learned to keep these stories to myself. I was fortunate to have 2 professionals (doctor and counselor) to whom I could talk freely about the experiences.
I know what I felt (kiss), I know what I sensed. I am not a person who "wants" to feel these type of things to make me feel better. I just did.
That's good enough for me.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:53 PM   #57
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I have an analytic backround (computers), yet at the same time I have no problem believing that there are things out there which either aren't in the real of our comprehension or that we haven't had the luck/technology etc. to comprehend.
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:20 PM   #58
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I am a very logical person. I usually require proof to believe something, i.e. proof being something visual or audible in the physical real time domain. I am an Engineer.
However, my own experiences (sense of presence) with my Mom's and huband's passing have convinced me that there may be another domain that we living human beings are not fully connected to. ...
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I have an analytic backround (computers), yet at the same time I have no problem believing that there are things out there which either aren't in the real of our comprehension or that we haven't had the luck/technology etc. to comprehend.
There is no inconsistency here. Logically, we cannot prove a negative. So we can't say that there isn't something here, and maybe it is just something we do not (or cannot) understand.

I will still say that many of the reports here are easily explained by selective memory. But that doesn't mean all of them are, and it doesn't rule out a more 'magical' cause. Yet, I wonder why so many of us have never experienced these things?

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Old 04-09-2011, 03:29 PM   #59
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We interrupt this "A Sign: Way or No Way" thread with something related, but entirely different: No way! Streets in Texas town baffle visitors

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Where should you go when you’ve lost your way? Try Lake Jackson, Texas. One peek at the local map and you'll know you've found your way — and many more.

“We have This Way, That Way, Any Way, Circle Way, Parking Way, Winding Way and we have His Way,..."
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“It’s not uncommon to give people directions that include some variation of, ‘Take This Way three blocks and make a left on That Way until you get to Any Way,’ which invariably provokes the confused response, ‘Which way?’ ” Yenne says. “That’s when you have to correct them and say, 'No, that would be the wrong way.’”
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The street where the town’s little regional landing strip used to be is now Abner Jackson Parkway in honor of the town’s namesake.

Yenne says he preferred it when the old airport road was Run Way...
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:30 PM   #60
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Yet, I wonder why so many of us have never experienced these things?

-ERD50
It's like a belief in god or any "higher power". You may or may not accept the precept, but there is no defined "proof", either way, that can be validated by others.

I like the line from "Angels & Demons" where the question of belief in god is asked. The answer (from the academic?):

"My mind tells me I will never understand God. And my heart tells me I am not meant to."

As too, the stories previously told in this thread. Did they really happen, and represent "proof" of an afterlife?

As for me? I have no idea. If you believe, than it is real, regardless of my thoughts, or opinion. I'm not about to say that these occurrences did or did not occur.

In reality, what all that matters (if you believe) is that you do so...
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