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Which theory may explain psychic phenomena?


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#1    forestSS

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:42 PM

To those who are open to PSI existing. Which theory do you believe may explain PSI (paranormal/psychic phenomena) such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences or apparitions etc?

John Beloff a well known parapsychologist concluded that PSI occurs becuase of dualism ie the mind and brain are separate. Amit Goswami however in his book “The Self-Aware Universe”, lists some studies on quantum physics that may lead to an explanation of psi that agrees with the theory of a nonphysical and conceptual world. He explains that in quantum physics, objects are not seen as definite things. Instead, objects are possibilities, viewed as something called “possibility waves”. Of course his interpretation due to his research in quantum physics has lead him to formulate idealistic monism, that only consciousness exists in the universe and everything is part of it, he argues against dualism and materialism.

Others however have disagreed and put forward physical and materialistic theories to try and explain PSI.

Michael Persinger claims that much of paranormal phenomena can be explained by low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves.

Brian Josephson has claimed that the explanation of PSI may be found in quantum physics. Gerald Feinberg's concept of a tachyon, a theoretical particle that travels faster than the speed of light has been advocated by some parapsychologists who claim that it could explain some PSI phenomena.

Charles Tart however believes PSI is completey non-physical and does not operate to material laws.

There are many theories which try and explain PSI. Which one do you advocate and why? If any?


#2    Crab People

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:23 PM

View PostforestSS, on 07 February 2012 - 07:42 PM, said:

To those who are open to PSI existing. Which theory do you believe may explain PSI (paranormal/psychic phenomena) such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences or apparitions etc?

John Beloff a well known parapsychologist concluded that PSI occurs becuase of dualism ie the mind and brain are separate. Amit Goswami however in his book “The Self-Aware Universe”, lists some studies on quantum physics that may lead to an explanation of psi that agrees with the theory of a nonphysical and conceptual world. He explains that in quantum physics, objects are not seen as definite things. Instead, objects are possibilities, viewed as something called “possibility waves”. Of course his interpretation due to his research in quantum physics has lead him to formulate idealistic monism, that only consciousness exists in the universe and everything is part of it, he argues against dualism and materialism.

Others however have disagreed and put forward physical and materialistic theories to try and explain PSI.

Michael Persinger claims that much of paranormal phenomena can be explained by low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves.

Brian Josephson has claimed that the explanation of PSI may be found in quantum physics. Gerald Feinberg's concept of a tachyon, a theoretical particle that travels faster than the speed of light has been advocated by some parapsychologists who claim that it could explain some PSI phenomena.

Charles Tart however believes PSI is completey non-physical and does not operate to material laws.

There are many theories which try and explain PSI. Which one do you advocate and why? If any?

The theory of how PSI works, from my point of view, is simply that it is a natural result of the interconnectedness of all that is.  And incidentally, I would have to agree with Amit Goswami that everything is ultimately composed of consciousness.  Why do I subscribe to this theory?  First and foremost, something in my gut tells me this is so -- something visceral and intuitive.  

Also, as an avid lucid dreamer, I must say that when you have a conscious dream that is virtually indistinguishable from what we would typically describe as the "real world", it tends to make you question the solidity of our day to day reality.  The nature of reality is a fascinating topic, and a passion of mine.


#3    White Crane Feather

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:47 AM

Realities are simply information constructs, wether it be in a universe, a computer, or a mind. There is a grand if not infinite amount of ways information can relate and pattern.  I suspect that "psi" is simply a another way of exchanging  information. That does not directly related to matterqnd energy as we know it. If information can combine in other ways and dimentions that are unelrated to matter and energy as we know it. It would be very hard if not impossible to interact with that information on a material as we know it level. I suspect the real universe is far more diverse than we jhave ever dreamed of. That seems to be the case. So much for elegance ehh?

Edited by Seeker79, 20 February 2012 - 04:47 AM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#4    Emma_Acid

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:47 PM

You're coming in with the assumption that physic phenomena exists, and then asking how? Thats not how science works.

Science isn’t about truth and falsity, it’s about reducing uncertainty ~ Brian Nosek

#5    Beany

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:42 PM

As one who is open to the possibility, I vote for Beloff, although I confess I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it. It's my experience that it "psychic" phenomena does exist, although I dislike using the term "psychic" as that implies an other-worldliness, but then isn't that pretty much what Beloff if saying? That the world is other than how we generally perceive it to be? As for how science works: "a method of investigation in which a problem is first identified and observations, experiments, or other relevant data are then used to construct or test hypotheses that purport to solve it." It all starts with a hypothesis.

Edited by Beany, 20 February 2012 - 04:43 PM.


#6    White Crane Feather

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:04 AM

View PostEmma_Acid, on 20 February 2012 - 02:47 PM, said:

You're coming in with the assumption that physic phenomena exists, and then asking how? Thats not how science works.
Science simply tries to explaine observations. Then maby predict a few to solidify theories. I predict many people will continue to experience "psi" or paranormal experiences. It's up to science to explaine it.... Not Deni it out of dogma.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#7    Emma_Acid

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:16 AM

View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 01:04 AM, said:

Science simply tries to explaine observations. Then maby predict a few to solidify theories. I predict many people will continue to experience "psi" or paranormal experiences. It's up to science to explaine it.... Not Deni it out of dogma.

I know that's what science does. The main problem here is that there has never been any "psi" phenomena shown to exist (and badly organised, biased tests by believers or anecdotes or youtube videos don't count)

Science isn’t about truth and falsity, it’s about reducing uncertainty ~ Brian Nosek

#8    White Crane Feather

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:44 PM

View PostEmma_Acid, on 21 February 2012 - 09:16 AM, said:

I know that's what science does. The main problem here is that there has never been any "psi" phenomena shown to exist (and badly organised, biased tests by believers or anecdotes or youtube videos don't count)
Well good I'm glad Somone around here does. You see the problem then?  The phenomenon most certainly exists. It's the nature of the phenomenon that is up for grabs. Lets look at the phenomenon that everyone experiences that you sometimes know when you are being watched. I know for a fact ( personal anecdote here) that animals have this ability to. I have been bowhunting most of my life, and when stalking a dear it is important not to look straight at the animal. the animal will know Its being watched. I have seen this effect first hand. And it should be rpeatable. In fact it's old native American technique.

How do schools of fish or birds turn exactly at the same time?

One possibility. It's a little early in scientific understanding to rule out other means of communication when we can observe so much that we don't understands. And irresponsible.




Edited by Seeker79, 21 February 2012 - 03:47 PM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#9    Emma_Acid

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:42 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 03:44 PM, said:

Well good I'm glad Somone around here does. You see the problem then?  The phenomenon most certainly exists.

No they don't, that is the problem. All studies that have shown anything near a positive result are horribly skewered and biased. Scientific double blind studies don't bring up positive results. This is why believers in "psi" come out with the "it can't be measured by science" line.


View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 03:44 PM, said:

Lets look at the phenomenon that everyone experiences that you sometimes know when you are being watched.

Let's. Sight is one of the most important senses in the animal kingdom, and also the most complicated areas of information processing our brains deals with, both consciously and subconsciously.

There are no studies that show that people know when people look at them. There is however a good understanding of subliminal processes, such as information gained through peripheral vision that isn't directly acknowledged by the conscious brain, not to mention other inputs. Is there a reason someone would be looking at you? Are you the only person in a room? Are other people in front of you glancing over your shoulder, giving your subconscious brain the impression that there could be someone there?

And that's not to mention confirmation bias - noticing the hits and ignoring the misses. How many times do you turn round and someone is looking at you? How many times do you turn round and no one is looking? You are guaranteed to notice the first one more, and probably completely ignore the second one.


View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 03:44 PM, said:

I know for a fact ( personal anecdote here) that animals have this ability to. I have been bowhunting most of my life, and when stalking a dear it is important not to look straight at the animal. the animal will know Its being watched.

Of course they know when someone is looking at them. They're animals with a heightened evolutionary sense for predators, not to mention much better vision (both normally and peripherally).


Quote

How do schools of fish or birds turn exactly at the same time?

Here you're committing one of the most common pseudo-science. You're coming at the argument with the pre-decided conclusion and then looking for things that fit it - ignoring what we actually know about the subject. We know why fish and birds do this, it is a complex arrangement of biological and evolutionary systems. None of which involve psychic powers.

Edited by Emma_Acid, 21 February 2012 - 04:43 PM.

Science isn’t about truth and falsity, it’s about reducing uncertainty ~ Brian Nosek

#10    White Crane Feather

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:56 PM

View PostEmma_Acid, on 21 February 2012 - 04:42 PM, said:

No they don't, that is the problem. All studies that have shown anything near a positive result are horribly skewered and biased. Scientific double blind studies don't bring up positive results. This is why believers in "psi" come out with the "it can't be measured by science" line.




Let's. Sight is one of the most important senses in the animal kingdom, and also the most complicated areas of information processing our brains deals with, both consciously and subconsciously.

There are no studies that show that people know when people look at them. There is however a good understanding of subliminal processes, such as information gained through peripheral vision that isn't directly acknowledged by the conscious brain, not to mention other inputs. Is there a reason someone would be looking at you? Are you the only person in a room? Are other people in front of you glancing over your shoulder, giving your subconscious brain the impression that there could be someone there?

And that's not to mention confirmation bias - noticing the hits and ignoring the misses. How many times do you turn round and someone is looking at you? How many times do you turn round and no one is looking? You are guaranteed to notice the first one more, and probably completely ignore the second one.




Of course they know when someone is looking at them. They're animals with a heightened evolutionary sense for predators, not to mention much better vision (both normally and peripherally).




Here you're committing one of the most common pseudo-science. You're coming at the argument with the pre-decided conclusion and then looking for things that fit it - ignoring what we actually know about the subject. We know why fish and birds do this, it is a complex arrangement of biological and evolutionary systems. None of which involve psychic powers.
"heightened evolutionary senses..." "complex biologic systems"

--- you see you may have your answers, but you have biasly ruled out other possibilities because of your particular world view... This is not science. scientist ( should) abhor assumptions. Predictability of theories. That's science.

See what i mean....You are also makeing assumptions again. Deer do not have better vision than humans during the day, and they are practically color blind. The certainly can smell better than we can. But that would have nothin to do with looking at them.  Nor do wild pigs.

I would be interested in the proof of how birds and fish stay together. I know the economic theory behind it... But I don't think there has been much testing as to how... Just theory.  Sources would be cool.

Let's use elephants for example. Elephants have the ability to maintain a cohesive herd over miles and miles. It was discovered that ekephants have the ability to communicate over many miles via ultra low frequency sound waves. Pretty cool, but explainable. If me and my son had this ability together it might be labeled "psi". But that's only until Somone figures out why and has the repeatable proof. There are enough human experiences to warrant serious inquiry, the problem is that human experiences can not be quantified other than how many. And it's a whole lot. Nor can many of the experiences can be reproduced. A scientist is not going to kill somebodies twin to see if the other remotely knows if it has happened. Highly emotional events are very difficult to reproduce ethically. I guess we could always bring back the nazis.

Watch that documentary I linked to. The scientists of um will tear me apart for recommending a documentary... But it's a start,

Edited by Seeker79, 21 February 2012 - 11:03 PM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#11    Beany

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:58 AM

Rupert Sheldrake refers to numerous scientific studies done around "psi" phenomena that appear to be credible.


#12    aquatus1

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:28 AM

View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 03:44 PM, said:

How do schools of fish or birds turn exactly at the same time?

Tide goes in, tide goes out...


#13    Emma_Acid

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:45 AM

View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 10:56 PM, said:

"heightened evolutionary senses..." "complex biologic systems"

--- you see you may have your answers, but you have biasly ruled out other possibilities because of your particular world view... This is not science. scientist ( should) abhor assumptions. Predictability of theories. That's science.

The only assumption that I'm making is that the explanation that has the most evidence and relies on the least amount of special pleading is the correction one.

Scientists do not abhor assumptions. I don't think you understand the scientific method.

Science is built on assumptions. To explain a phenomena, you have to out a set or (sometimes arbitrary) assumptions in place, otherwise you have no framework within which to start making predictions.

If the experiments and predictions don't match reality, then your assumptions are wrong.

Simply trusting in the science that has already been done, and has been shown to work, is neither making assumptions or "already having the answers", and you can't reject it simply because it doesn't agree with what you want to be true.


View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 10:56 PM, said:

See what i mean....You are also makeing assumptions again. Deer do not have better vision than humans during the day, and they are practically color blind. The certainly can smell better than we can. But that would have nothin to do with looking at them.  Nor do wild pigs.

Yes, deer lack certain parts of the eye that make up daytime light and colour reception, but also feature things we do not, such as a sensitivity to shortwave light such as UV.

At the end of the day, deer have evolved as prey, they have evolved to stay out of the way of hunters. You know why you shouldn't look at a deer when you stalk it? It is not because it is psychic and knows it is being watched. It is because animals take being stared at as a threat. A deer running away when it is being stalked by hunters is not a reason to start believing the deer is psychic.

Rig up some cameras. Film the deer. If the deer acts differently when it is being watched on screen, then we have a psychic deer. Not when you're in the physical vicinity, and it can see you peripherally, probably hear you and almost certainly smell you.

And what the hell do pigs have to do with anything?


View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 10:56 PM, said:

I would be interested in the proof of how birds and fish stay together. I know the economic theory behind it... But I don't think there has been much testing as to how... Just theory.  Sources would be cool.

Saying "just theory" proves how little you understand science.

If you want to start on the basics, look up Swarm Behaviour. This sort of thing is pretty well understood, and does not involve psychic powers.


View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 10:56 PM, said:

Let's use elephants for example. Elephants have the ability to maintain a cohesive herd over miles and miles. It was discovered that ekephants have the ability to communicate over many miles via ultra low frequency sound waves. Pretty cool, but explainable. If me and my son had this ability together it might be labeled "psi". But that's only until Somone figures out why and has the repeatable proof.

Right, but you don't have that ability. No one does. And you're turning it into a God Of The Gaps argument - replacing whatever we don't know with "psi", until we find out actually what it is. That isn't how science works.


View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 10:56 PM, said:

There are enough human experiences to warrant serious inquiry, the problem is that human experiences can not be quantified other than how many. And it's a whole lot. Nor can many of the experiences can be reproduced. A scientist is not going to kill somebodies twin to see if the other remotely knows if it has happened. Highly emotional events are very difficult to reproduce ethically.

There are human experiences, such as out of body experiences, that are being investigated and have some explanations - they are to do with the way the brain perceives the "self", and show that the brain can do some very strange things - but these do not include psychic powers. No experiment, ever, if properly done, has come to the conclusion that "psi" has to be involved.

And saying that the experiments have to be "highly emotional" and therefore difficult to reproduce ethically is another example of special pleading. You're moving the experimental goalposts.


View PostSeeker79, on 21 February 2012 - 10:56 PM, said:

Watch that documentary I linked to. The scientists of um will tear me apart for recommending a documentary... But it's a start,

So you know not to trust documentaries - maybe your understanding of science isn't that bad.

Science isn’t about truth and falsity, it’s about reducing uncertainty ~ Brian Nosek

#14    White Crane Feather

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:15 PM

View PostEmma_Acid, on 22 February 2012 - 10:45 AM, said:

The only assumption that I'm making is that the explanation that has the most evidence and relies on the least amount of special pleading is the correction one.

Scientists do not abhor assumptions. I don't think you understand the scientific method.

Science is built on assumptions. To explain a phenomena, you have to out a set or (sometimes arbitrary) assumptions in place, otherwise you have no framework within which to start making predictions.

If the experiments and predictions don't match reality, then your assumptions are wrong.

Simply trusting in the science that has already been done, and has been shown to work, is neither making assumptions or "already having the answers", and you can't reject it simply because it doesn't agree with what you want to be true.




Yes, deer lack certain parts of the eye that make up daytime light and colour reception, but also feature things we do not, such as a sensitivity to shortwave light such as UV.

At the end of the day, deer have evolved as prey, they have evolved to stay out of the way of hunters. You know why you shouldn't look at a deer when you stalk it? It is not because it is psychic and knows it is being watched. It is because animals take being stared at as a threat. A deer running away when it is being stalked by hunters is not a reason to start believing the deer is psychic.

Rig up some cameras. Film the deer. If the deer acts differently when it is being watched on screen, then we have a psychic deer. Not when you're in the physical vicinity, and it can see you peripherally, probably hear you and almost certainly smell you.

And what the hell do pigs have to do with anything?




Saying "just theory" proves how little you understand science.

If you want to start on the basics, look up Swarm Behaviour. This sort of thing is pretty well understood, and does not involve psychic powers.




Right, but you don't have that ability. No one does. And you're turning it into a God Of The Gaps argument - replacing whatever we don't know with "psi", until we find out actually what it is. That isn't how science works.




There are human experiences, such as out of body experiences, that are being investigated and have some explanations - they are to do with the way the brain perceives the "self", and show that the brain can do some very strange things - but these do not include psychic powers. No experiment, ever, if properly done, has come to the conclusion that "psi" has to be involved.

And saying that the experiments have to be "highly emotional" and therefore difficult to reproduce ethically is another example of special pleading. You're moving the experimental goalposts.




So you know not to trust documentaries - maybe your understanding of science isn't that bad.
Typical dodging.

If "psi" is part of some part morphic field of other life forms, animals are not going respond to camara are they. Camaras are not preditors.

You don't understand the effect at all. You are laying motionless in a bush, douwn wind, in full camafloug and the deer or wild pig has absolutely no idea you are there. Their color blind, with not so great eye sight remember, and the wind is in your favor. The animal is eating with it's head down. You are staring at it intently hopeing it comes down the game trail. It looks up. And in your direction. Remembering the wisdom of native Americans, you avert your eyes. You wait. The animal puts it's head down. Out of pure experience of myself and thousands of years of now hunters, if you keep staring at the animal you will probably spook it. It will look up every time you focus on it. But if you don't it will not know you are there unless you make noise or the wind moves against you. I can't tell you how many times I have been within a matter of feet of an animal and keeping your eye averted and your thoughts non aggressive is s must. It's also how I feed squirrels by hand. ( just anecdotes though) did you whatch that documentary link? There are repeatable experiments regarding this.

Emma... Come on now... Science is about overcomeing eronius assumptions. Scientist only use assumptions to usually proove them wrong. Just like your assumption that deer have better eyesight, that you tried to pass off as fact, to support your view. Nighttime dosnt count ( we dont hunt at night---quite illegal)  I understand most science just fine.

I don't trust documentaries, books, or even peer reviewed papers. All have flaws, and only the strongest of theories withstand the test of time. Most things that we hold as truth evenchually get prooven wrong, so I rather wait to jump on board for the latest theory just because this generations science gurus say it's so.

Tell me more about these OBEs. What has science prooven about them now?

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#15    White Crane Feather

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:24 PM

By the way emma. My father and I did share a long distance communication of sorts. That I am now finding that I also share with my sons. That's why I mentioned the elephants.  It's either a very interesting psychological effect involving us hearing each other through water or a  psycic phenomenon. For years after my father died I did not go stream fishing out of fear of hearing him in the water like I used to. But I never did. ( an interesting story, but I won't derail the thread)

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-




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