Do you believe in ghosts?
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26-03-2017, 07:33 AM
RE: Do you believe in ghosts?
One person I know suggested that hauntings were more prevalent in areas where there was soil with a high iron content and believed that this acted like ferrous oxide videotape and accounted for paranormal activity I asked for evidence of this and of course he had none, it was just his bizarre theory, sometimes the desire to believe is stronger than the desire to actually know.
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26-03-2017, 05:54 PM
RE: Do you believe in ghosts?



Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

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27-03-2017, 12:22 AM
RE: Do you believe in ghosts?
(26-03-2017 07:12 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(25-03-2017 02:38 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I still don't think anyone defined "ghost".

I'd be interested in any attempt, even from people who don't believe such a thing exists. I don't just mean getting stuff from dictionaries, I mean trying to be scientific about it. I doubt there's anything meaningful to say, but let's see Smile

"The manifestation of a disembodied consciousness"?

That's my attempt. What bullshit. That's not scientific.
Your stab at a definition is as good as any. I would have said the same thing, but would have used "discarnate" rather than "disembodied" because I think the notion that ghosts are formerly living humans is too much of an assumption. If we acknowledge these manifestations for the sake of argument, they could just as well be telepathic beings from another universe who are just dicking with us. "Disembodied" assumes too much, particularly when so many people yearn for confirmation that they are in some way immortal rather than mortal. Or have an interest in ghosts purely to contact deceased loved ones.

By the way, you don't have to believe in ghosts in the conventional sense to be into this stuff. There is a whole Thing called After-Death Communication which uses a variant of Eye Movement Desensitization and Processing (EMDR), a therapeutic technique normally used for PTSD treatment, to trigger vivid hallucinations of deceased loved ones -- provided you're still actively mourning them and haven't fully resolved your grief. Such experiences are presented by proponents of the technique as a way to obtain closure in between your ears in an accelerated fashion, not all of the "practitioners" believe in an actual afterlife. That people can have such detailed and vivid, NDE-like experiences on cue, should tell us something about how much we should trust our subjective personal experiences in this area.

Good point.

Wow, I'd not heard of that! Very interesting, thank you Smile

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27-03-2017, 07:12 PM
RE: Do you believe in ghosts?
Ever since I watched that movie, The Ring a few years ago for the first time, I started believing in ghosts. Ugh. That damn movie. Angry Sadcryface2

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28-03-2017, 07:35 AM
RE: Do you believe in ghosts?
(26-03-2017 07:12 AM)mordant Wrote:  There is a whole Thing called After-Death Communication which uses a variant of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a therapeutic technique normally used for PTSD treatment, to trigger vivid hallucinations of deceased loved ones...

Just a small clarification: EMDR has been totally debunked as an effective therapeutic intervention.
Jensen, J.A., Behavior Therapy, 25, 311-325, 1994

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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28-03-2017, 04:38 PM (This post was last modified: 29-03-2017 09:01 AM by mordant.)
RE: Do you believe in ghosts?
(28-03-2017 07:35 AM)SYZ Wrote:  
(26-03-2017 07:12 AM)mordant Wrote:  There is a whole Thing called After-Death Communication which uses a variant of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a therapeutic technique normally used for PTSD treatment, to trigger vivid hallucinations of deceased loved ones...

Just a small clarification: EMDR has been totally debunked as an effective therapeutic intervention.
Jensen, J.A., Behavior Therapy, 25, 311-325, 1994
"Totally debunked" might be a slight overstatement, but only slight. An accurate statement is, there is no hard evidence that its any more effective than exposure therapy or CBT, and what benefits it provides may well simply be a function of hurting people having access to a listening ear. There is also no explanatory hypothesis for why it would work, merely some conjectures, such as that certain eye movement serve as a sort of "reset switch" for stress-induced obsessive / repetitive thought patterns.

How effective EMDR is or isn't, is beside the point that it has been tweaked to allegedly trigger ADC hallucinations in vulnerable / receptive individuals. I believe that generally such personal subjective experiences actually occur and are experienced as real and profound, just as NDEs are. I believe that all sorts of elaborate / intense experiences can be triggered by various methods such as EMDR, accident trauma, hypnosis, certain kinds of meditation, etc. in people who wish to have such experiences and who want them to validate beliefs or produce closure of some kind. Such experiences are not evidence of discarnate spirits, but of people's strong desire for there to BE discarnate spirits.

I think a lot of people labor under the misconception that their brains (if not maybe always Other People's brains) are orderly and reliable and cannot be deceived under any circumstances. As such, they discount the intensity and persuasiveness that some personal subjective experiences can have, particularly when sought out in conditions of stress with a skilled "guide".

In reality, the human brain operates pretty sloppily and is quit easily fooled / put into altered states of awareness, if you know how to go about it.
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28-03-2017, 05:53 PM
RE: Do you believe in ghosts?
Oh yeah, I had some EMDR treatment, I think. If I'm thinking of the same thing. I had noises alternating between my ears. It was supposed to help me reprocess memories or something.

It did jack shit. My therapist firmly believed in it, and he kept saying it was helping me, but it was really just him prodding and leading me.

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29-03-2017, 09:11 AM
RE: Do you believe in ghosts?
(28-03-2017 05:53 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Oh yeah, I had some EMDR treatment, I think. If I'm thinking of the same thing. I had noises alternating between my ears. It was supposed to help me reprocess memories or something.

It did jack shit. My therapist firmly believed in it, and he kept saying it was helping me, but it was really just him prodding and leading me.
Alternating ear-bleeps is probably an adaptation of EMDR, I think it was originally intended for the blind, or for children, but probably has grown in appeal in that it can be more automated and removes the variability of whether the good doctor is "doing it right" with the hand movements, or whether the patient is properly following.

I looked into all this years ago because I'm always curious about novel approach that might work counterintuitively. For shits and grins my now-wife and I went to an ADC practitioner, in fact THE practitioner (who originated the notion) in the Chicago area, just to see what would happen. My wife-to-be was not so far along in grieving her late husband at the time as I was grieving my late wife, but neither of us had the slightest thing happen to us, despite the practitioner's strenuous efforts. He wisely had made no warranties or representations and said up front that 20% of people do not have the experience; clearly we were firmly in that 20%. We did of course approach it as a weekend lark, but anyone claiming that's why it didn't work would be suspiciously like the religious claiming one doesn't have "enough faith". In point of fact the "literature" on ADC says that these experiences happen even to the ardently skeptical.

Mostly, we were curious about what it would be like to have a powerful personal subjective experienced skillfully induced, but alas, we were not to have our curiosity sated. But you're talking to a guy who once, in his fundamentalist days, went forward at a "crusade" to see what it was like to be "slain in the spirit" and absolutely nothing happened then, either. The "evangelist" just shrugged and moved on to the next person. There were people catatonic on the floor all around me, but not yours truly. Apparently I was born with special brain shields or something.
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29-03-2017, 10:02 AM
RE: Do you believe in ghosts?
Yeah. I'm not very suggestible, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it. I think it was meant to be done with eye movements, but due to my conditions I was more comfortable with my eyes closed. So the guy used sounds instead.

I previously had "hypnotherapy" for an unrelated condition, and this did nothing either.

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29-03-2017, 12:57 PM
RE: Do you believe in ghosts?
(29-03-2017 10:02 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Yeah. I'm not very suggestible, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it. I think it was meant to be done with eye movements, but due to my conditions I was more comfortable with my eyes closed. So the guy used sounds instead.

I previously had "hypnotherapy" for an unrelated condition, and this did nothing either.
Yeah hypnosis is another whole thing. I once witnessed a weight-loss seminar that involved mass hypnosis and all it was, was guided visualization. Nothing particularly impressive. I would imagine that the main benefit of such a seminar would be in getting people to make the investment to come, to give themselves some positive can-do messages, buy a few vitamins (between the $100 attendance fee and the vitamins, more investment, you see) and so forth. Essentially just doing something other than what hasn't been working. One aspect of what hadn't been working for these obese folks, was half-hearted half-measures. Believing in something and sticking with it was in and of itself an advance for them.

This, in turn, exposes a rather powerful principle in any situation where you want to effect change: just do something different. My personal hero is Gerald Weinberg, author of boring-sounding books like The Psychology of Computer Programming, who likes to tell the story of his brother the shrink. His brother absolutely LOVED being a consulting psychiatrist on the most difficult, intractable cases, because all he ever did was review what had been tried before, and made sure to advise them try something new that HADN'T been tried before. After all, if you don't do the same damned thing that hasn't worked before, there's an excellent chance that something else WILL work. Add to that the investment that the advice had come from a high-faluting "expert" who good money had been paid to for the advice (there's that buy-in again) and you have the makings of astounding success.

One time Weinberg was called into a crisis situation on payday at a large company. For some reason a payroll program that had worked for months refused to process any punch cards (this was the early 1960s). Weinberg simply bid one of the keypunch operators to create a card with a payment amount of zero. He put that on top of the stack they had been trying to run, and started up the program. It ran perfectly. He left with people convinced he was a genius of some kind. All he was doing was trying something different.
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