Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
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30-12-2012, 09:52 PM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2012 09:55 PM by Human Being.)
Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
Just finished listening to Seth on The Eternal Planner. If you haven't listened, I suggest you do, although of course parts are frustrating. The "best" anecdotal "evidence" for the supernatural the host, Rob Rennie, can come up with is his experience with Sleep Paralysis. Seth wasn't very familiar with the phenomena unfortunately, but I—and many others—have had experiences IDENTICAL to the one Mr. Rennie describes in his experience, and it is a truly dreadful and frightening experience to go through, and it tends to happen repeatedly to those who have experienced it.

When it first started happening to me, there was no internet, so there was almost no information on the subject. Later, once I had access to information to research it, I discovered that the paralysis part is basically the body's way to keep your legs from moving if you're dreaming about running a marathon. However, this doesn't explain the other common aspects of the sleep paralysis experience, like intense vibrations, etc. Most of the information I was finding suggested that there was a close tie to sleep paralysis and OBE (Out Of Body Experiences).

So I started to do tons of research on OBEs, how to induce them, and what to do once you're having one... immediately, I no longer dreaded the experiences, but now looked forward to them! Cool, I thought, I'm gonna have super-powers. Even though I hadn't identified as "atheist" at that point in my life, I was still scientific and skeptical, so I went to my drawer and got out a deck of cards. I shuffled them, and with the deck facing down and making sure that I couldn't see, I drew a card from the middle of the deck and placed it face up on top of my refrigerator. I knew that if were ever out-of-body, I could simply float to my kitchen, ID the playing card and be able to verify my experience later.

What happened next, I didn't anticipate; the sleep paralysis stopped. It was like once I was no longer scared of it happening, it just ceased. I was bummed! I wanted to run my tests! I guess the point I'm making is for Mr. Rennie, uttering the name of "Jesus" was enough to make him feel protected and end the experiences, for me it was simply facing the fear head-on. There is nothing supernatural at play at all. Even if there are still mysteries regarding sleep paralysis, I know that a mystery does not constitute a miracle.

Of course, the other elephant in the room is, even if sleep paralysis WAS supernatural, it would still do nothing to prove the existence of Rennie's god or the authenticity of his holy book. Perhaps I should call his show and tell him.

"To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all creeds." — Robert Ingersoll
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30-12-2012, 10:15 PM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2012 10:22 PM by amyb.)
RE: Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
I used to have sleep paralysis and accompanying hallucinations all the time when I worked night shift. It just means the sleep/waking cycle is a bit out of whack, and you are continuing to dream while you're awake with eyes open. OBE is a separate thing, but I suppose they could happen together if you start hallucinating that your point of view has moved. In my personal experience I only had SP when (1)sleep patterns were disrupted (working nights sometimes, days other times) and (2)when I was sleeping on my back.

I just saw an article somewhere that said people hearing voices in the state between fully dreaming and full consciousness were taking this as evidence of God speaking to them. I guess it's all in your point of view: if you have a tendency to believe in woo, you'll think of it as supernatural. If you don't, you will look it up and find the natural explanations for it. I'm actually surprised that even woo-believers would consider stuff when they're half dreaming to be woo, but I'm probably just biased.*

Anyway, I didn't listen to that but I will do so.

*ETA: Ok, I can kinda understand how some people who hallucinate something like a demon on their chest, suffocating them, could thing that's supernatural. But SP hallucinations aren't always like that, and personally, I always assume there is a natural explanation, whether I fully understand it or not. If you believe in demons, it could be seen as powerful evidence, though, and I think this is also how the ideas of incubi/succubi came to be. Sadly, I've never actually had sex with any of my hallucinations though.
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30-12-2012, 10:41 PM
RE: Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
Yeah, I know they're separate things, but I'd come to understand (at the time) that sleep paralysis was a common percursor to an OBE, and could be used to trigger one. I see I accidentally left that part out above.

I very rarely have gotten SP since, and on the rare times it does, I think my body has trained itself to push itself into REM, as opposed to fearfully trying—but unable—to fully awaken. I've also noticed that a messed up cycle contributes and especially being OVER-tired.

"To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all creeds." — Robert Ingersoll
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30-12-2012, 10:53 PM
RE: Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
I have a cousin who thinks that, because her father claimed to have an OBE on his death bed, that somehow proves the christian god. How she can think that's evidence baffles me. But I guess it's another example of two people interpreting the same event in very different ways.

If I'd ever told her I had SP + hallucinations of little Star Wars Jawas gathering ominously around my bed, she'd probably have told me they were demons and it was a sign from god. I just interpreted it as my body messing up the waking up sequence.

I was working night shift ten years ago, and sometimes I'd do 16 hour shifts, so I think the over-tired thing probably played a role for me, too. I can't recall having one since.
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30-12-2012, 11:22 PM
RE: Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
Yes, this was going through my head while listening to the podcast, as well! This is such a fairly normal thing to occur to people.

I've only had a couple of experiences with SP, I figured out if I tell myself I'm just dreaming then I was able to snap out of them. They seemed to also occur when I slept on my back, which is unusual for me to do.
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31-12-2012, 12:52 AM
RE: Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
HumanB,

It was the 3 of Clubs!

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31-12-2012, 01:15 AM
RE: Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
My friend always claimed it had something to do with lying on your back, that that could make SP more likely.

As for OBEs, if I could do that, I'd pretend I was god/ceiling cat and watch people masturbate.
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31-12-2012, 09:12 AM
RE: Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
I don't get it. Where's the connection between sleep paralysis and the existence of a higher power?

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31-12-2012, 09:35 AM
RE: Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
Human Being,

I used to experience sleep paralysis as a kid and had some of my worst nightmares that way. It would appear that I woke up, couldn't move, and would see scary things happening right in my bedroom. I know now that sleep paralysis is nothing more than opening your eyes while you are still asleep. That's why you can't move, because your body is asleep. You then see your dream together with your real surroundings because your eyes have opened. Having these nightmares as a kid, the terror reached a point where I would try so hard to scream out that I finally would get it out for real and that would snap me out of the whole thing. I only wish I knew what that was at the time because it's probably like lucid dreaming where you can control what you dream if you become aware that you are dreaming during a dream. It could have been fun instead of terrifying. Anyway, they stopped when I was around 7 years old.

As for the podcast, Rob Rennie is letting his imagination run wild. He is taking what amounts to very vivid mind illusions and believing they are real experiences and some sort of evidence for a god.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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31-12-2012, 09:38 AM
RE: Sleep Paralysis ("Seth Andrews on The Eternal Planner")
(31-12-2012 09:12 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I don't get it. Where's the connection between sleep paralysis and the existence of a higher power?
Straws, Vosur.

Fucker was grasping at straws.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
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