News Briefs 21-01-2015

Remember, the mystery of consciousness is all in your head folks...

Quote of the Day:

I'm a reasonable guy. I've just experienced some very unreasonable things

Jack Burton, in Big Trouble in Little China

Love Letters to Richard Dawkins

There's plenty I don't agree with Richard Dawkins on, but I've never felt moved to write him an abusive email. Plenty of others have though - and when you combine nasty insults and threats written by self-proclaimed 'religious' people with Dawkins's clean, crisp English accent, the result is rather hilarious. (NSFW language warning)

News Briefs 20-01-2015

Welcome to the prison library.

Quote of the Day:

When I worked in the prison library, I learnt that the books someone read said everything about them I'd need to know.

Ken London (via @cultauthor)

News Briefs 19-01-2015

Happy 82nd birthday (for yesterday) to the late, great, Saint Bob...

Thanks @drjohnwardkt.

Quote of the Day:

It's important to abolish the unconscious dogmatism that makes people think their way of looking at reality is the only sane way of viewing the world. My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything.

Robert Anton Wilson

The X-Files To Return?

Still feel a tingle down your spine hearing the X-Files theme music? Then you'll be just as excited as I am to hear Agents Mulder & Scully might be returning to television in a new series. Special emphasis on might.

Deadline reports Fox TV executives Dana Walden & Gary Newman really, really, really want to bring The X-Files back... with Duchovny & Anderson reprising their iconic roles as Agents Mulder & Scully. Series creator Chris Carter admitted last year he had been in talks with Fox about a reboot. Gillian Anderson has said she's very keen to do a third movie. However, it all boils down to whether they can all coordinate their schedules to make it happen.

Will it be a reboot? Walden & Newman made it clear they want Duchovny & Anderson back as Agents Mulder & Scully. The actors themselves have said they want to revisit those damp, foggy British Columbian pine forests again. There's no possible way they would recast Mulder & Scully and start again, so consider this more of a revival. Is it possible we'll see all of our favourite FBI agents back on the television in 2016?

The truth is out there.

'The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven' Says He Never Went

Alex Malarkey, 'The Boy Who Went to Heaven'

In recent years, memoirs by those returning from the dead with astonishing stories of an afterlife realm have appeared with regularity in bestseller lists, from neurosurgeon Eben Alexander's Proof of Heaven to child NDEr Colton Burpo's Heaven is for Real (which was also adapted for the screen). Some have been skeptical of these claims, and in one case it seems it would have been justified: Alex Malarkey, whose alleged NDE after an accident which paralysed him ten years ago at age 6 became the focus of a bestselling book by his father Kevin (The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven), has this week publicly recanted his testimony.

Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short.

I did not die. I did not go to Heaven.

I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.

It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of Heaven outside of what is written in the Bible…not by reading a work of man. I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.

In Christ,

Alex Malarkey.

With the subject matter and the sort of nominative determinism that writes headlines automatically, this news will surely turn up on major news outlets around the world very quickly, giving somewhat of a black eye to the field of NDE memoirs.

There are of course a number of factors at play here though - the mother and father are no longer married, the father appears to receive the income from the book, Alex Malarkey has special needs after the accident. Add to that the complicating factor of his obvious Christian faith - and the sometimes suspicious relationship between Christianity and claims of near-death experiencers - and we may not know the full story behind this. Suffice to say, however, that the testimony in the book will have to be ignored by any serious researchers of NDEs.

(And serious researchers and writers on this topic will be depressed to learn that Malarkey's statement that the book is made up has made it climb within the top 400 books on Amazon's bestseller list (at the time of writing). WTF humans, you can't find a better book on the topic?!

Related:

News Briefs 15-01-2015

So this is the Future, and all we got… is this?

Thanks to Chris.

Quote of the Day:

"The greatest danger to our future is apathy."

~Jane Goodall

News Briefs 13-01-2015

Need to work on these intros.

Quote of the Day:

Every move we make in fear of the next war in fact hastens it.

Gregory Bateson

Entangled Minds and Beyond - Dr Dean Radin on Quantum Physics and Mystery of Consciousness

Synchronicity

Dr Dean Radin has been perhaps the leading spokesperson and experimentalist in the field of parapsychology over the past two decades. His work has covered many areas, from telepathy to presentiment, but his most recent work has been concerned with possible interactions between human intention and quantum effects. In the fascinating (at times very funny) 'Science and Non-Duality' talk embedded below, he outlines some of the amazing results of this research (you can download a link to a recent scientific paper on the topic by Dean and his colleagues via this post on his blog).

Anecdotal reports of “experiential entanglements” – spontaneous mind-to-mind and mind-to-matter interactions – can be found throughout history, in all cultures, and at all educational levels. For over a century, such experiences have stimulated controlled scientific experiments to explore whether the anecdotes were best explainable as coincidence, confabulation, or genuine anomalies. Based on analysis of thousands of experiments published in peer-reviewed journals, the cumulative evidence is now clear: mind-to-mind and some forms of mind-matter interactions have been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt.

For the most part, this evidence is ignored or denied within the academic mainstream, probably because it implies that certain long-held assumptions about the nature of brain, mind and matter – assumptions that are inculcated in universities and repeated as fact in textbooks – are in some cases wrong and in others in need of radical revision. I will review the evidence for these entanglements, the resistance to the evidence, and the implications for a more mature science of the future.

You can read more about Dean's research and thoughts on these topics in his book Entangled Minds.

Related:

News Briefs 12-01-2015

Slowly picking up steam here at Grail HQ. How's 2015 looking for you?

Thanks @djp1974, @tobadzistsini, @PeterSHall and @Marmite_man.

Quote of the Day:

Enlightenment remains unrealized so long as it is considered as a specific state to be attained, and for which there are standards of success.

Alan Watts