Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DOSSEY Tells You the Final Thing You Need to Know: SSE 2013

This might be the last entry on the 2013 SSE convention; I'll listen [sooner or later] to the other talks and decide then. But Larry Dossey is one of my friends that I feel privileged to have met at SSE, and his scholarly interests and writings are, I believe, beyond mere entertaining diversions on our paths to discovery. What Larry has done and is pursuing is important.

Larry has spent a few decades of his life attempting to get academic medicine to pay attention to the alternatives to the classic "meat-&-juices" models of attacking illness and facilitating "health", or at least repairs. Meat-&-Juices works reasonably well much of the time, and Larry is not on a Crusade to halt that. Rather he is trying to get academia to at least consider a wider view of Wellness. It must be of great comfort to him to have seen the slow general acceptance of "mind-to-body wellness" [the idea expressed too simplistically as "we have within us much ability to heal ourselves"] penetrate the medical schools of the world. But other significant concepts, mainly involving distant, non-contact, or group healing, find themselves still far on the outside of the Ivy-covered walls.

This talk was a step in Larry's personal understanding of part of what may be going on, though in my opinion it will gain him no friends in academe. "Telesomatic Events". How one body/ object/ mind may PHYSICALLY affect another distant entity.

Larry has a scholar's mind, so he has searched for the published origin of this concept. He finds it early in Berthold Schwarz' writings, and then in SSE co-founder Ian Stevenson's. Stevenson was more convincing and inspirational... and knowing of both men, I'll chime in with an agreement that I'd pay more attention to Ian, too.

In Stevenson's book Telepathic Impressions, Ian deviated from him primary research interest [trying to find data supporting the concept of reincarnation --- which never quite convinced me, but which was honest and noteworthy] and concentrated on cases seeming to occur due to mind-to-mind influence. He chose 35 particularly strong cases. Beginning on page 108 of that book, Stevenson began mentioning the sorts of cases that particularly interested Larry --- incidents wherein a person has a physical impact or reaction at the same moment that another distant person had a similar experience. Ian himself had only a few such cases in his 35, but remarked that Louisa Rhine, who had been collecting spontaneous anecdotes [apparently containing "transfers" of thoughts or physical impacts or both], estimated from her collection that about 1.7% of all "telepathy" cases had a physical component. Because such physical effects are difficult [and sometimes unethical] to test for in the laboratory, parapsychological research went after the telepathy information-transfers with gusto, and let these other claims to sink into the dustier corners of our awareness.

A happy accident caused in Larry the drive to explore a certain aspect of these claims. He is an identical twin. Twins are said to experience such "impossible" incidents all the time; and our intuition would be that two people so closely made perhaps SHOULD be the prime candidates to do so.

Larry said that when he and his brother were growing up, they knew nothing of Ian Stevenson, telepathic impressions, or telesomatic events, they just called such occurrences "Twin Stuff". For many twins, impossible "exchanges" and "coincidences" are just part of life.

Larry reminded us that one does not have to be an identical twin to have such experiences, it's just that the odds are greater if you are. One key to this seems to be emotional closeness.

A spectacular case of a telesomatic event was recorded in Spain in 1976. Two four-year-old twins were  briefly apart while one parent took one on a visit to a relative several miles away, while the other stayed home [i.e. each child with one parent]. When at home, one twin accidentally burnt her hand and a large blister sprouted between the thumb and the index finger. At that moment [as near as one could figure it, and with no conventional knowledge of what had happened back home] the "distant twin" sprouted a similar blister in the same place, but from no known cause.

If such extraordinary experiences were easy to strongly document, it would not take many like this to make one decide that the reductionist model of reality was just wrong. And there, of course, lies the rub. As Larry stated: such experiences do not fit; such an idea cannot be tolerated; and the establishment of thought will have none of it.

Well, here's my old "buddy", Carl Sagan, acting as the establishment truth-sayer, and, as usual when he made these sorts of very large absolutist statements, losing his scientific mind and blowing noxious gas out of his non-intellectual orifice.

This always dismayed and puzzled me. When you were around Carl Sagan, it took you very little time to assess that, although he had a colossal ego, he was one of the sharpest knives in the drawer. Yet, when it came to these grand statements, he completely lost either his conscious objectivity or his intellectual honesty. Whether consciously or subconsciously, he turned into the anti-Truth monster that he was trying to slay. No one with a "straight" scientific face could say the sentence above and be proud of himself. ...... yet this he, and many others, have done.

The intellectually honest answer is quite different. These guys are at least holding onto their science cards.

So, OK .... I'm halfway through. Let's take a breath and come back for Larry's climax. Will we solve The Mystery of Consciousness once and for all??

......... I have a really nice Bridge I'd like to sell you cheap...........


  1. Perhaps a quote from Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, the 29th comment between him and his disciples, might indicate that consciousness is a true wonder.

    Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders."

    1. ........... yes, my friend. Probably one more instance where we "moderns" take forever to come to the same truths that the old people knew all along.

      I like The Gospel of Thomas, plus a few of the other rejected ancient books, by the way. I'd trade them for a few which "made the cut".

  2. about mr sagan , was he said that for public and his peer's consumption , while keeping his personal opinions private ?

    1. Sagan is complex, and his commentary changed over time. To begin with, he said pretty much what he thought. After getting his butt kicked by his elder science cronies, he became much more "political".

    2. .... I should add, however, that he was consistently an atheist/ materialist-reductionist, a fact stimulated by a non-religious/ spiritual upbringing and a historical hatred for things like the Alexandrian Burning of the Library and the Trials of Galileo --- things having nothing to do with Spirituality, but often mistakenly convoluted with that. His subsequent restricted worldview thereby became tragic for a guy who otherwise could "sail" the Universe.



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