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What research has been done to inspect whether there are connections between the spiritual and the physical?

Starting from the belief that spiritual does in fact exist, has there been any research done to discover what sort of provable effects and connections exist between the physical and/or mental aspects of human life? If so, what do they present? Are their any TED talks directed towards this?

I assume those interested would be those who study and are interested in the overlap of various studies such has cultural, medical, religious, and psychological, and their practical relationships. Potential experts this question is geared to are those in the field such as neuroscientists, psychologists, endocrinologist, physicians, religious workers, etc...

There of course is a starting bias that the spiritual does in fact exist, and in definition is different that the psychological, emotional, and physical.

Also related, what experiences have you had that proof or disprove the overlap of the spiritual with human life?

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  • Jan 18 2013: Hi again Tom,

    Looks like nobody's around ... has the debate fizzled out ? .... Are you still there?

    Here is one for anybody out there that might be following along...

    The "spirit" is reflected in all of what we might call " human activity" All that mankind has created and designed. Put together or taken apart. Given color and form. Shaped and built.

    The spiritual element of man " awakens" each morning from sleep. The spirit, one can actually say, "re-incarnates" each morning. It is ex-carnated at night only to reincarnate each morning. This is perfect evidence of the spiritual nature of man working in the physical. You may call it something else. You may say ... well ..... we don't really understand what sleep is yet.... but , we are working on it ....

    Sleep is the excarnation of the spirit and soul bodies from the physical and life bodies.
  • Jan 15 2013: Hi again Tom,

    To say something general about the spiritual / physical relationship will be my comment this time. Specifics can be mentioned later on, however, there needs to be certain shared concepts in such a discussion. This may perhaps require its own discussion as it does lead us a bit astray from your original topic.

    To approach the last part of your question, "the overlap of the spiritual / physical" can be an interesting starting point.
    Now, if we are in fact spiritual beings ... living in the circular, repetitive condition of time, then it must be possible to observe how the spiritual manifests itself in the physical world without necessarily "seeing" the spiritual "in itself." We can then assume that we see the "footprints" so to say. What "lives" in the plant, lives also in the animal and the human being. This is what the esoterics call the "life force" or "etheric body" This is not yet recognized by the world of science. Kirlian photography may be approaching an understanding of this etheric element but in my humble opinion is not capturing what is the real essence of the etheric world. It is again only the footprint left behind. The life force is too fine of a "substance" (for lack of a better word) to be photographed. This example is necessarily a shortcoming.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDOi1BLoN3U

    As human beings, we share this life energy with all that is alive, one could perhaps take the idea of the etheric world as a starting point to go deeper into the higher realms of our existence. The next being the soul realm, and finally the spiritual realm. We are a composition of all four worlds. The physical, the life realm, the soul realm and the spiritual realm. Or what the ancient Greeks would have called earth, water, air and fire.

    The stone is physical
    The plant is the physical plus the life force
    The animal is the physical, life, and soul elements
    The human being is then all four


    I will stop here.

    ....awaiting further comments.
    • Jan 16 2013: The question arises : what is physical ? What is matter ? Nobody knows how matter comes into existence : how particles get their masses ?
      We take a lot of things for granted ; ' stone is physical ' , yes , it reflects heat and cold , it grows, it dies and we quick to explain that it is physical laws that ' governs' the stone existence. But what are the physical laws ? Where they were before the universe sprang into being ? There were no 'place' for them to be. Do they develop on the way ?
      Science, physical laws describe one probability among infinite others ; this reality fallows the script this reality dictates !
      What i am trying to say is : everything is conscious , the stone is conscious where the sun is, it reflects. ' Life force' or absence of such is just the models our mind creates, because to function, to make sense of something it needs the distance between the observer and the observed. But this distance is illusion.
      It's not a problem to find it out, the problem is to face it : the only ' thing ' that is real is something we don't have a name for. We call it ' spirit', and it's OK and now we are debating its existence. Funny, isn't it ?:)
      • Jan 17 2013: Natasha,

        There are a few discrepancies here. Both the physical and the spiritual must be taken into consideration

        In the stone, or should we rather say in the physical world, the faculty of consciousness is not "incarnated" on the physical plane. The consciousness of the stone lies outside of its physical existence. It has no feelings in the sense that the animal or the human being does. It feels no pain. It has no inner experiences.

        I think you meant to refer to the plant as growing and then dies. Also the plants consciousness is outside of its physical self. The life element in the plant is something more developed than the purely physical condition of the stone, but still it has no sense experiences like the animal and human being.

        Continuing on the ladder of development, from the stone to the plant, and then to the animal, we see that a third element that arises. This is the soul element. Feelings of pleasure and pain. Desires, as well as consciousness. This is a level of existence that the animal has over the plant in the sense these soul forces are "within its being". The animal has a shared or "group consciousness" as a whole species. It operates often in flocks. One could say that the soul element of the plants (including the faculty of consciousness) is also present, but it is not manifest within its physical individuality. like the animal.

        Arriving then at the 4th level of existence, in the human being, we find that all of the 3 previous elements are also contained "within" its being. But a new element is also present. This is the faculty of thinking and "self-consciousness". Not to say that the animals do not think, as they obviously do, but to a much lesser degree than humans. Animals follow their impulses and instincts while we can examine them from a higher point of view so to say.

        Only mankind has an individualized self-consciousness.

        Spirit / consciousness manifests itself in a vast conglomeration of physical expressions.
        • Jan 17 2013: Thanks for responding, Daniel !
          I have the feeling that ' i've been here before, i know this room ,
          i've walked this floor ' :)
          I've read a lot of this stuff and i know that mind that creates these models tries to say something very important. And yes, to make it langugable in order to make sense of it we need to create divisions, levels ...separate and separate, language is a code , but nature is a flux. There are no clear cuts, if any at all, nature is fractal in its structure. What that means is that a pattern occurring on a given scale can be expected to occur on other scales, very different. But still the pattern remains the same.
          Look at Mandelbrot set, it's a kind of Logos, visual language , no words , no ambiguity here; you can see how it is unfolding/enfolding insight out and outside in. The best i can put it : everything everywhere are doing the same thing ...infinitely. You are the center of the universe where the center is everywhere.
          And i can repeat myself : everything, and i do mean everything, is different degrees of condensation of the same 'stuff'.
          Sorry, sounds clumsy, but it's the best i can do :)
          One more thing to make my point clear : mind creates a model ( for a example this one that you presented ) in order to understand how it all works, and it may succeed, we do understand, but the trick is the more understandable it is the less it's true.
  • Jan 14 2013: It’s pretty simple,matter is created by spirit.
    You can't study spirit by a scientific method, which is based on separation, for spirit is a unity.
    All nature is a unity, spirit and matter are not separate; all you see around is different levels of condensation of the same stuff, call it consciousness, spirit , god, vibration... what have you.
    If it is not the evidence , i don't know what ' evidence ' is :)
    • Jan 15 2013: Hi Natasha,

      Rudolf Steiner means to say that the spiritual world is here, now, all around us. Although we cannot see it, Steiner is telling us that we can learn to see it. Train ourselves to see it through meditation and careful observation. One has to strengthen the forces of our being in order to do so. The forces that more or less lie dormant in us until we actively awaken them ourselves. It's life long process for the most of us. But it is just to set ones foot on the path. The inner path of spiritual development. We are all on it, whether we know it or not. .... like it or not ... and it's just a question of time before we all arrive there and recognize the spiritual realities in the physical world. It may take years, hundreds of years ... even thousands..
      ... and Steiner claims that we do, in fact, have many lifetimes to get there.

      One of the most special ideas from Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy is the idea that in this process of developing first the recognition and then an understanding of the spiritual world, one also is correct in choosing .... and even dependent upon using just the "scientific method." Thinking is THE most developed tool we have at our disposition. Thinking is the corrector of all our imaginations and intuitions. The corrector of all our feelings and emotions. The potential "overseer" of all our will impulses, both conscious and unconscious. And when one can finally say that one has penetrated into the depths of the spiritual realities of nature and the human being, thinking remains the corrector of the knowledge and impressions that are be gained there.
      That which we see in the material / physical world, is, as you say, a manifestation of the spiritual world. There is no matter without spirit. But we also see that the spirit works on many different levels. We see how the plant differs from the stone. The animal differs from the plant. And how the human being differs from the animal.

      It all becomes an enormous picture...
      • Jan 16 2013: Yes, indeed !
        Hi, daniel !
        People usually agree with a light heart, that we are a part of nature, it's become a working cliche. And it is correct, but it is not strongly enough put. Spirit is not a separate entity, arguably existing, spirit manifests itself in matter in nature in us, not in sequence but at once ! Devoted materialists deny spirit or demand evidence ; it's interesting how the evidence could possibly look like ?
        I am not ready to discuss Rudolf Steiner's philosophy after an hour google search, but even what i managed to get from there and from your posts pushed me to thinking. Steiner introduced the notion of “pure thinking” :
        ' it is not the dry, gray, or abstract experience people often mean by “thinking”. In what might seem a paradox, he says pure thinking is one with feeling and will in the depths of their reality; it is the power of love in its spiritual form."
        Thinking, in its purest form, is "the conscious experience, in pure spirit, of a purely spiritual content"
        It's a perfect realignment ! Pure thinking is a kind of ego dissolving thinking ; it's a grey thinking antidote.
        Maybe now i understand what Steiner meant by ' grace of thinking ', it's a kind of a dialogue with spirit, monologue, actually. Or maybe i am simply trying to fit it to my paradigm, it could be :)
        What do you think ?
        Thanks !
        • Jan 16 2013: Hi Natasha,

          Rudolf Steiner gave roughly 6000 lectures in the course of his lifetime. Many of them are in print now. ...

          ..... It's just to start reading ... ;-)

          http://www.rsarchive.org/
      • Jan 17 2013: Thank you !
  • Jan 13 2013: Hi again Tom,

    Yes, Rudolf Steiner was an extremely special man. In all my years of searching for meaning in the relationship of the spiritual / physical world, I have never come across anyone like this man. It's hard reading though. Wasn't meant to be easy. Lots of new ideas. Difficult ideas. But fascinating and wonderful. I have been studying Steiner for about 30 years. Although it demands an open and flexible mind ....and hard work too, if one really goes in for it. I have never regretted it.
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    Jan 10 2013: Hi, Tom. If you mean research in the sense in which the term is used technically, your question is challenging to research online, because you will need to plough through lots and lots of pseudoscience first.

    If you are using the word research in the sense, rather, of what people have inquired about for themselves and come to conclusions about to their individual satisfaction, this will be a much simpler project. Many people believe their own evidence or other people's (non-scientific) evidence of the spiritual but much more importanty are happy with the positive impact spiritual belief and practice have on their own lives- health and psychological wellbeing and all their physical manifestations.

    The TED talks about happiness (like Seligman's) will include elements that might be considered spiritual, depending what you include in that term. Both Amy Tan's talk and Elizabeth Gilbert's have a spiritual element to them, though not a scientific one.
    There has certainly been scientific research into the health and emotional benefits of meditation, yoga, religious belief and alternative medicine. A useful, easily searchable source for the science-interested layperson is Science Daily, available free online. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (scholarly) has an institute in this area and I notice includes, as an example, research investigating a relationship between a particular gene and whether a person would be considered spiritually inclined.

    If you are interested in your question from a scholarly rather than a popular angle, I would search on sites that screen out pseudoscience for you!. A site like the National Academy of Science is reputable also, and will typically label something as entertainment of it may look to the layperson like science but is not actually science. Good luck in your inquiry.
    • Jan 11 2013: Yes, unfortunately there is a lot of pseudoscience out there. I was hoping that posting this would help me in avoiding the necessity to wade through a lot of it on this particular issue. I meant research in the scientific sense, not based only on individual satisfaction. However, tangentially, I do find it interesting that we try to define such hard lines between scientific and non-scientific based on methodology, intent, and opinions. The language we have created doesn't quite match our modern day meanings. Often times what we really mean when we say "scientific" is that "this study has been standardized and is protected against the misleadings of only one person's observations and conclusions. This (whatever the conclusion or proof may be) can be generally accepted, or not accepted as truth and what will happen the majority of repeated occurrences undergone in similar situations."

      Thank you for your references, I'll look into them in the hopes that they will be helpful.

      I am aware and have read a few articles regarding the benefits of spiritual practices on a human beings life and well-being. Those sorts of articles could prove supportive evidence, but I don't think can be the foundational basis for my particular question. It is starting to appear that people have not targeted this sort of research from the angles I have proposed. It also appears that most people don't think it is feasible or conclusive to approach it from that angle.
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        Jan 11 2013: Your best bet on a question related to scientific evidence and the limits of science is a science venue. The integrity and credibility of science depends on not over-reaching in the sense of making false claims of what they have found or can find.

        There are errors, of course, but it is almost always non-scientists who do the "spinning" of what science has shown.
  • Jan 11 2013: Hello Tom,

    Ever heard of this?



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthroposophy
    • Jan 12 2013: Hi, wow. No, I had never heard of this. It is very interesting, thanks for sharing article, my wheels are turning.
  • Jan 11 2013: You seem to be limiting your topic to modern scientific research.

    Research linking the physical and spiritual has been ongoing for millenia. To date, success has been mixed. Billions of people are convinced that it is helpful to pray for earthly desires, particularly good weather and good children. Others see no connection, and some of them consider this perceived absence of evidence as sufficient reason to dismiss the possibility of the existence of anything spiritual. I find it interesting that people have so much confidence in modern research that they think a definitive answer may come to light sometime soon.

    My own personal experiences do not prove anything, but they have me convinced that there is an overlap.
    • Jan 11 2013: Barry : given the long History of mysteries being solved (like "lightning", for examle), what makes you so sure that it is such a hopeless idea? And the reason for limiting "research" to science is simply that it is the only field of that sort that has any respect for the "Truth"., and ways to find it.
      • Jan 12 2013: I would not say it is hopeless, just not very likely. To begin with, many scientists do not consider this kind of research as serious science. Many journals will refuse to publish such research. Science is limited to that which is measurable, and the connections you are looking for may not be easily measured. Another limitation of science is that results must be repeatable, and that quality may not apply to the connections to the spiritual. Also, you can expect opposition from some people of faith, those who insist that faith is the only connection to the spiritual world.

        I completely disagree that science is the only field that respects truth. Poetry can express truths that are universally accepted as integral to the human experience, and science is only beginning to find ways to research these truths.

        I have a great deal of respect for science. Scientific achievements are largely responsible for the rising quality of life around the world. I also recognize the limits of science. Every child learns an enormous amount of information and knowledge long before learning the scientific method. Every day, you and I and everyone relies on knowledge that we learned without applying the scientific method. Science will never produce anything similar to the works of Shakespeare.
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    Jan 11 2013: Hi Tom,
    There are loads of stories out there, but little empirical evidence. One of the best I have encountered was the story of a 4 year old who reckons he went to heaven during an operation. It's strength lies in the age of the boy & the fact that he shouldn't have known what he knew. Vid & free e-book at. http://heavenisforreal.net/

    :-)
    • Jan 11 2013: Thanks Peter, I know about and have read sections of the book, and it's worth me finishing. However, it is hardly of the scientific sort of publication, merely supplemental material.
  • Jan 11 2013: Hi Kate, Thank you for this note. What book would you recommend by them, or on the topic in general?
  • Jan 11 2013: Thank you Faisel.

    "If you want to use prayer as evidence for a spritual world, you must conduct experiments with a large group of test subjects and control groups." This is not a bad idea entirely. Do you know of any experiments of this nature that have been conducted already?

    Yes, I agree, data needs to be used. How to define the data content would be difficult, and hard to prove credible.
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    Jan 11 2013: Nothing comes to mind for me other than the fact that when you die, I have heard that a lot of DMT (which is often called the spirit molecule) is released in your brain. Maybe we go on a DMT trip that feels like forever when we die! Or maybe we just die, so there is no DMT trip. But hey, I don't know. I have no evidence of this. I don't know how science could prove or disprove an afterlife.
    • Jan 11 2013: Okay, thanks for your response. I have heard of, and read very little about, the DMT molecule. I wasn't hoping to have any discussions about the after life on this particular thread.
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        Jan 11 2013: Misread a part of your question , oops
    • Jan 11 2013: It is entirely possible that scientific methods could enlighten us to some extent. as an example, consider the possible assumption that "Consciousness" is a Field of energy, analogous to electricity. In that case, the afterlife question could be seen to be a pseudo-Problem, with no need to answer it. (No distinction between "Life and Afterlife"). It like talking about an electric motor : what happens to it's "Sprit" after it goes up in smoke from an overload.? Answer, Nothing. the "Electricity" goes back to Ground, and is constantly recycled.
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    Jan 10 2013: Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. That is not easy to observe in laboratory conditions. Nor is it easy to conduct experiments, formulate theories, and predict results. So, I say the answer to your question is "NONE". No research has produced meaningful, conclusive results about the relationship between the physical and the spiritual.After all, the existence of both has been argued since Man learned to argue.
    • Jan 11 2013: Thank you. Yes, indeed men argue, and will continue to do so.
  • Jan 10 2013: I don't think it's possible to prove the existence of a spirit by science. The two just don't overlap. It will never be science's realm to prove or disprove the existence of a God. Can anyone here actually propose a conclusive experiment that proves or disproves spiritual things and doesn't rely on circumstantial evidence?
    However, I do believe in God and the spiritual. I also believe in science. The two are not mutually exclusive. There are simply two ways of knowing things: one is by the scientific method, the other is by revelation. The scientific method is rational, methodical, and highly effective, but is limited solely to things you can objectively measure. That's just fine, we need that. Without science there is no way we could have come so far as we have.
    However, I have had too many experiences feeling God's presence and receiving His guidance and help for me to deny the existence of the spiritual. Describing these to an atheist is like trying to explain the taste of salt. If you've had these kinds of experiences, (and I know personally hundreds who have) you know what I'm talking about. It's something undeniably not a product of your own mind or just of circumstance. I can talk about what it feels like, and the different miracles I've been part of, but if you don't want to believe in the spiritual, you never will regardless of what I say. Talking about it proves nothing to anyone, only personal experience of your own will convince you. Anybody can know what I say is true, but it's entirely up to them.
    • Jan 11 2013: Thank you for your response. It was interesting to read your definitive criteria for categorizing and organizing what is scientific and spiritual, and was insightful on what they are, and whether they can or cannot overlap.
    • Jan 11 2013: Scot: you are describing the classic Western belief in "God", and assuming without question that there are 2 :"realms", one earthly and the other spiritual. That is a very large, and confusing assumption. Suppose we just assume that there is ONE realm, the one we are in.?
      • Jan 14 2013: I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you talking about assuming there is no such thing as a spirit? Or are you saying that spiritual things exist in the the "earthly realm"? Well, of course spiritual things exist in this realm if they exist at all. Otherwise there would be no way of knowing about them. Are you talking about what viewpoint you're coming from? Yes, I come from the "God exists until proven otherwise" standpoint. I take you it you come from the "There is no God until proven otherwise" camp. Could you explain further please?
        • Jan 14 2013: Scot: All I am assuming is that we live in the here and now. And I am aware that anyone who says things about "God" is usually talking about something that cannot be "shown". unless you identify "God" with everything that we experience.( AKA "Deism" ,or , possibly Zen Buddhism). But it is a fact of our culture that people who talk about "God" usually have a quite detailed list of unspoken assumptions about what constitutes "God", usually derived from 2000 documented years of History. It is a problem I have with people who insist that they are "Atheists". They so often adopt all these unspoken assumptions about "God", and then announce that no such being exists. Fine, but they provide no alternative theoretical structure to make sense of our existence. To answer your question more directly, I see no reason why all the folk wisdom, anecdotes, feelings, etc. about "Spirit" cannot be seen as natural outcomes of actual events. Consider how Cosmic Radiation, etc, were there all along in human history, but only recently were recognized as "real". "Spirit" could well be just such an entity. In fact, I would bet on its being something like the Electric Field, which I see as a "real" thing. But it has not much relationship to "God", unless God is merely everything,.
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    Jan 10 2013: There is no evidential support that the spiritual even exists. All research over multiple decades has concluded that.

    Before you ask if theres a connection between the two, you should first ask if one of those things is even real, otherwise you're just looking for the gold at the end of the rainbow.
    • Jan 10 2013: Xavier,
      Can you please sight at least five authoritative, scientific, and credible studies that prove your point. It should be easy if there have generations of support backing your claim. Thank you.

      I have my own personal opinions and biases from personal experience, we all do. I chose to leave those out of the question to emphasis the desire for provable or disprovable thoughts based on scientific and standardized research. I understand your 'rainbow' comment, and I suppose my hand (belief and bias) has been shown by me skipping that step in the preliminary question. I skipped it intentionally, thats is not what I wanted this thread to be about.
  • Jan 10 2013: "What research has been done to inspect whether there are connections between the spiritual and the physical?"

    If you can measure it (even indirectly) it's physical by definition, if it can't be measured then why the hell are you wasting your time talking about it as a researcher, because it probably doesn't even exist?

    People who believe in spirituality conveniently keep moving the goalposts (like in Carl Sagan's dragon in the garage parabel) so science can't debunk their beliefs through cold hard measuring. Scientists don't believe the spiritual exists, yes there are things that we can't measure yet and there are things that we understand now but appeared miraculous centuries ago, but everything in the universe is physical: if telepathy exists it exists because the laws of physics allow it and the mechanism behind it can eventually be explained through scientific concepts.
    • Jan 10 2013: Hold on a minute before you make a blanket statement like "Scientists don't believe the spiritual exists." My own father has a doctorate in microbiology and runs a DNA sequencing center. My sister has a doctorate in atmospheric science from the University of Colorado. My brother is working on his doctorate in physics at Michigan State. I'm not a scientist, just a mechanical engineering student. We are all very religious people that believe in spirituality and science both. You might be correct in saying "the majority of scientists don't believe in spirituality" but I don't even know if that's true or not. The atheists are just more vocal.
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        Jan 10 2013: Here is some research on the matter. 2009 research by the Pew Research Center for the American Association for the Advancement of Science showed that of the scientists surveyed 33% said they believed in God and 18% said they believed in a universal spirit or higher power.

        In 2007 research out of Rice University, a sociology professor surveys almost 2000 academic scientists at major universities in the US. 68% of natural scientists considered themselves spiritual and 69% of social scientists.

        These beliefs were not reached through science. Science, according to professional scientists, can neither prove not disprove the spiritual.
      • Jan 11 2013: What I described was the philosophy behind science (which, no offense to you, most engineers severely lack understanding, that's why there are so many crackpot engineers chasing ufos, building perpetual motion machines, blaming the Jews for 9/11, spreading the gospel of anarcho-capitalism, saying the world is only 6000 years old, etc...), it doesn't mean that every scientist is an atheist (though most are, especially outside the United States, which is a religious outlyer in the developed world), it does mean that good scientists keep religion out of their work and tend not to believe in an intervenionist god. No scientist worth his salt, even on who believes in god would recommend researching the spiritual.
    • Jan 11 2013: First, I never said anything about measuring it. Second, I disagree with your definition of physical being only tied to what is measurable and immeasurable. Thirdly, I'll humor you for a moment and propose a fictional circumstance - a substance that is so potent that it can have effects, while at the same time is immeasurable. I'll admit that to ponder this takes some imagination and creativity.

      I just read the "Dragon in the garage" excerpt from Carl Sagan's book "The Demon-Haunted World." Interesting indeed. However, the neither the dragon keeper or the dragon keeper's friend can prove or disprove that the dragon doesn't exist, since the knowledge about the dragon's characteristics continues to expand as the questions do. Related to your example on telepathy, physical experiments have not always been the standardized method of testing to define reality, who says they always will be. And, if they haven't always been, therefore they perhaps won't always will be. If they won't always will be, whose to say that it isn't worth pursuing other methods and standards of discovering reality.

      Scot, thank you for weighing in. Agreed, that blanket statement regarding scientists and believers in spirituality was outlandish.

      Fritzie, thank you for those comments. I would like to follow up on those researches. Could you post those sources. And, that might be great supplemental material, but its not as specific as I was looking for.
      • Jan 11 2013: "First, I never said anything about measuring it."

        How do you research without measuring, sitting on the couch and making stuff up?

        "Thirdly, I'll humor you for a moment and propose a fictional circumstance - a substance that is so potent that it can have effects, while at the same time is immeasurable."

        If it has effects it is measurable.
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        Jan 11 2013: Tom, I cannot do more footwork on this for you, but you will find these references quickly from the info I posted.
    • Jan 11 2013: John: being able to measure something makes it "physical"? what is physical about ligjht , or radiation in general.? What about "energy "? Is that physical. ? For that matter, I understand there is a lot of measuring going on in these brain scan exercises. It looks as though "Physical" merely means everything, including even sensations of hot and cold, etc.
  • Jan 10 2013: I believe the Russians were studying these things for at least 100 years before those in the West (the U.S.) gave such things any credence at all.
    They studied, did research, tests, experiments, largely without the world knowing anything about it.
    They are really a brilliant people.

    Looking into death, as did Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and Steven Levine, revealed a lot but one has to study it and go on that journey themselves to learn, understand and experience.

    I myself, have very clear (what I call), pre-earth memories, just prior to coming to this planet and very clear pre-birth and birth memories. I also have several near-death experiences, where I left my body, as I was that close to complete death.

    I rarely mention any of this to anyone, but here, it's okay, I suppose. Now, I'm close to death once more and it is not so pleasant as my younger events were.

    I do find it interesting that all scientists who have ever lived and died, and who didn't believe in such things, if they were right, now know nothing about it at all and all those scientists alive today, who don't believe in such things, will more than likely die before humankind ever solves it, so they will never know the truth either - if they are right.

    Actually, I don't know if anything really exists.
    But, everything just is.
    • Jan 11 2013: Could you give some more specific sources? Thank you.
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    Jan 10 2013: There are MANY such experiments and studies going on. Explanations remain controversial - primarily between those looking for more answers to explain the unexplainable and those who believe that the explanation is clear and self-evident. But I expect that this controversy is not long-lived. There is already a STRONG shift to delcare the fundamentals of what you ask about as being as legitimate as relativity.

    Some experimental evidence? There really is a LOT!

    Take what is happening at Princeton. Random number generators are used. Volunteers call the center, announce that they are going to use mind power to produce more zeros or more ones. Very surprising results are coming out of this. They include the fact that individuals can change the probability of random numbers, and that men and women are different in that men are stronger in one direction and women in another.

    How about what's happening at Majarishi University? They were able to quantify a shift away from violence in a culture, and to duplicate the findings under the rigorous overview of many. In studies, it was discovered that if the square root of one percent of an area's population comes together to meditate (not pray - just meditate), that violence, crime, heart attacks, house fires, traffic accidents, war, war-funding & bomb dropping, emergency room visits, psychiatric admissions - and similar quantifiable data - all are reduced by at least 16%. Others have since studied this and have duplicated the results - even increasing the numbers in an advantageous way. (By the way, these experiments also quantify increases in quality of life improvements.

    Others have put groups of people in front of tanks with balls that fall on at center-point on a fulcrum, where the ball drops either left or right. They discovered that the more people trying to get the ball to drop one way or another significantly impacts which side.

    There are many more, but I only have 2,000 characters & I've used them up
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      Jan 10 2013: This is not true.

      The number generator experiment was conducted by "The Global Consciousness Project" - people who already believe in parapsychology and quantum mysticism. The experiment has been refuted as being subject to selection bias. Independent researchers found no anomalies in the data that couldn't be explained by already existing statistical models.

      Do you mean the Maharishi University of Management? Founded by Maharashi Yogi who in the 70's claimed to able to levitate people? The same guy who preached spirituality, while owning dozens of luxury cars? His claims of influencing crime statistics have been refuted thoroughly.

      It doesn't help your credibility that you are willing to use falsified research in order to promote this pseudo science. Where is your critical sense?
      • Jan 11 2013: Although your retort has a few biased holes also, I do appreciate your honesty is wanted to make sure credible sources are known, and incredible sources thwarted. Thank you.
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    Jan 10 2013: Prayers to the Most High is the research known to me; it makes tremedous power available, it enriches with grace.
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      Jan 10 2013: Hi Feyisayo

      I'm sure prayers enrichen your life, however it is not research in any scientific sense.
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        Jan 10 2013: Scientific sense is not the only sense in the world.
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          Jan 10 2013: I know, but if you read Tom's post, you'll see that he is asking for evidence.

          If you want to use prayer as evidence for a spritual world, you must conduct experiments with a large group of test subjects and control groups. It is well documented that when it comes to prayer, we have a selective memory and only remember the positive outcomes.

          My point being, that if you want to make the point that prayer is evidence of a spiritual world, you need to back it with data. Otherwise it is just a personal opinion - which is completely legit, but not of much use to the rest of us.

          And by the way, I used the word "sense" as in "meaning". Not as in "sensory apparatus".