The Force, Ghosts, and Psychic Phenomena

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27 Dec 2014 22:03 #174931 by ParCandroon
I would like to know everyone's opinion on the Living Force as an explanation for the psychic phenomena, and the Unifying Force for ghosts and spirits. I realize we try to leave the fiction in the fiction, but the fact is that these things are, on some level, real happenings.

We know from the fiction that the Living Force essentially deals with Force abilities such as pushing and pulling objects, reading and implanting thoughts, pushing the body past its limits, and others, and that the Unifying Force is what ultimately allows life to continue after death as a manifestation, a soul manifesting through the Force itself into the physical realm for example.

Who is to say that this cannot and is not the case in the real world? These phenomena have been reported for many, many years, and the people who have actually experienced them themselves can't be told it didn't happen, so would it be so hard or bad to attribute these things to the Force? And if we can, wouldn't we be able to learn these things, just as the Jedi of the fiction or the real people who practice until they can do it?

People usually say that ghosts are restless or evil or mischievous spirits, but there are plenty of apparitions who show to be either helpful or neutral towards people. Most of the reportedly bad spirits that hurt people or scare people are also reported to have suffered immensely or acted with extreme hatred or evil in life. Darksiders, we could call them.

I would like to hear everyone's thoughts on the Force having a hand in these phenomena. I personally believe it. If the Force is what we understand and believe it to be, then there is no reason it couldn't play a part, if not be entirely responsible, for these things, nor would we be unable to actively utilize these phenomena through devotion to the Force. I see it as no different in concept to those who work with Qi, Ki, or Psi, or any other energy to accomplish superhuman or otherwise divine feats.

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28 Dec 2014 00:03 #174933 by Goken
Without going into extreme detail here are my thoughts.

I don't believe in telekinesis or telepathy of any kind really. I believe that people can have the ability to feel another persons energy to an extent. I believe in people being able to subtly manipulate these energies in such practices as Reiki.

As for super-human feats, well a lot can be done with pure adrenaline. Also there is some truth to mind over matter when it comes to your own body but I believe that it's subtle. I don't believe it's likely to develop a Force Jump or super strength by meditation. Not that I'd say no to getting telepathy or super strength. LOL

Precognition and ghosts I actually attribute to the same aspect of the Force. The Force is an energy field and that energy transcends time in a way. Ghosts could be remnants of a person's energy that if felt by those who are more sensitive to the Force can appear as if they are still there. Precognition comes from a similar idea but working the other way. Since the Force exits outside the construct of time energy can come back from the future and those that are sensitive to it can interpret it.

I'm not a big believer in doing these sorts of things on command. More like psychic visions than the kind of psychic you pay to give you a reading.

These are just some of my thoughts. If you'd like more detail about a specific part let me know. B)

Per fraternitate consurgamus
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28 Dec 2014 00:22 #174935 by ParCandroon
As I've said in previous posts, of course I don't believe people are going to be able to do everything in the fiction. I know about the amazing things adrenaline can do, but that doesn't necessarily explain how chi healers can perform their art in a totally calm state of mind.

Nobody can call themselves a master in these ways because even the people who have devoted a lifetime to practicing these abilities can only do so much and are usually very humble about it. No real adept claims to perform miracles, nor can they back that up and they admit that.

My own experiences have been limited, but I feel that if I were to keep practicing I would grow in skill just as any athlete practicing their sport. I know that I can will myself to run just a bit faster when I focus my energies into my body, but I don't claim to be able to run a marathon in record time using it.

I feel that everyone can do these things if they work hard at it, like Yoda training Skywalker. Do or do not, there is no try. We can only grow by doing these things, not by trying to, because simply trying implies to yourself that there is at least a hint of doubt. You don't believe it, and that is why you fail. That is the underlying message of every teacher of these arts.

It is something that needs to be experienced to be believed, but only by believing it will you experience it.

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28 Dec 2014 00:24 - 28 Dec 2014 00:33 #174936 by Gisteron

ParCandroon wrote: I would like to know everyone's opinion...

Oh, I love how this starts. Well, here goes nothing!

... on the Living Force as an explanation for the psychic phenomena, and the Unifying Force for ghosts and spirits. I realize we try to leave the fiction in the fiction, but the fact is that these things are, on some level, real happenings.

First: What level is that exactly on which these things are real happenings? Second: How is labeling something providing anything like an explanation? Let me illustrate:
Let Shmaguffle be a thing and Shmabuffle be a related other thing. Shmaguffle shall now serve as an explanation for the psychic phenomena and Shmabuffle for ghosts and spirits. Have I explained them? What do you now understand better than you did before you were given my explanation?

Who is to say that this cannot and is not the case in the real world?

Just the same people who are to say that dragons, unicorns, fairies and reptilian jewish infiltrators aren't the case in the real world: Nobody. The time to believe a claim isn't there until the claim has been disproven. Instead it only comes after considerable evidence has been provided in it's favour. That's what we mean by 'positive' evidence.

These phenomena have been reported for many, many years, and the people who have actually experienced them themselves can't be told it didn't happen, so would it be so hard or bad to attribute these things to the Force?

People are extremely prone to a number of cognitive biases a large subset of which have been studied and documented at length. The fact that people report things is next to irrelevant - eye witness testimony is among the weakest kinds of evidence. The fact that these same people won't be told that they didn't see what they think they saw should also raise a flag. Why would we trust anybody who will not consider his own error a possibility? Is this not the definition of an unreasonable person? - Somebody who will not be reasoned with?

But let's say that we do consider their reports. Let's say we find other, more solid evidence for the truth of their claims. Sure, we can attribute it to the Living and Unifying Force. We can also attribute it to Shmaguffle and Shmabuffle. What would any of it accomplish? I'd say that trying to do so is time wasted that could be spent on trying to find an actual explanation of how and why these things happen, how they work and what we can do with them.

And if we can, wouldn't we be able to learn these things, just as the Jedi of the fiction or the real people who practice until they can do it?

Precisely my point. No, we couldn't. Assigning a name to a phenomenon does little to nothing to help us understand or utilize it. That's why we should instead try and examine the phenomenon itself - which unfortunately we cannot do because there is no evidence of it even occurring once, let alone being repeatable.

And, finally...

If the Force is what we understand and believe it to be, then there is no reason it couldn't play a part, if not be entirely responsible, for these things, nor would we be unable to actively utilize these phenomena through devotion to the Force. I see it as no different in concept to those who work with Qi, Ki, or Psi, or any other energy to accomplish superhuman or otherwise divine feats.

First: I know not of this 'we' you speak of, sir. If you are as lucky as to find any two Jedi to agree on one thing they think about the Force, chances are it is one of a very select few things. There is no 'we' that understand and believe the Force to be, most of who I talked to don't even know what they understand or believe individually and neither did I. But regardless. There is more.
Second: Let's say, unlike Shmaguffle, the Force actually has something to do with these 'phenomena' (notice how much I am granting just to show on how many levels the entire idea is flawed - even granting most premises it still gets nowhere) and let's say that we come to see this connection. How do you reckon would it follow that we would not be unable to utilize them through devotion to the Force? How do you know that devotion to the Force is a necessary or sufficient condition to utilize them? How do you know that they even can be utilized in the first place, let alone through devotion? None of it follows from their connection to the Force, which, in itself follows from nothing.
Third: How do you know that people who 'work' with Ki, Qi or Psi or Omega (lol) or whatever other Shmatuffle they think has anything to do with energy achieve what they achieve because of that work? How do you know they achieve anything (other than lots of precious gold from people credulous enough to - literally - buy into it) and where is the one who came to collect James Randi's million dollar prize rather than the humiliation all the others suffered?

Now, at this point I'm sure somebody will come up to call me out on what they think is an inappropriate tone of voice or perhaps on being what they call by the newly popular term that is 'confrontational' as if that had any bearing on the topic at hand. Lest I need to defend myself, this time, instead, I shall try and in advance live up to that accusation with the following note, adressed at a hypothetical you for there are lots of those out here, and which I kindly ask to take for what it says, rather than for what it makes you feel for it is meant in a constructive way, hard-edged as though it may seem: If your wagons have no joints, your train cannot be constructed. It will not make a line and nobody will be able to track it unless any one given part follows from the previous and implies the following. Such a train will not roll either and sabotage will not be the cause of it falling apart. Fill in the gaps. Replace the broken parts. And if all is well, we shall give our horses a rest and join you on it instead and enjoy a most inspiring journey to whatever farlands we didn't see before - perhaps with that Force of yours guiding us after all.

Last edit: 28 Dec 2014 00:33 by Gisteron.
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28 Dec 2014 01:23 #174937 by ParCandroon
Gisteron,

This is your opinion and this is what I was asking for, so I won't tell you you're wrong or call you out on anything you've said. I will attempt to clarify, however.

By saying "we" I mean the collective believers of the Force. I realize that everyone has their own meaning of the Force, but I think we can all generally agree on the most basic definition of the Force: a ubiquitous and metaphysical power that a Jedi (a follower of Jediism) believes to be the underlying, fundamental nature of the universe. This taken straight from the doctrine.

On the Living and Unifying Force, two points. First, I take the names and definitions or ideas from the fiction, just as the names Jedi and Force take theirs. The Living Force is an aspect of the greater Force that affects the moment of a situation. It is what presents itself as instinct, intuition, and the primary driving force of transpiring events as they happen. The Unifying Force is an aspect of the greater Force that ties the universe together on a much grander scale. It is through the Unifying Force that we can perceive time and space and how everything is intertwined with each other. The second point, keeping in mind the first, these are just names, as you said, but by giving it a name we attempt to familiarize and understand it. By giving these things names they are no longer quite so intangible, but that by no means defines it perfectly or means that we fully understand it. It is just a tool to aid our understanding of that which transcends understanding. The word "enlightenment" in itself is a great example of this. True enlightenment cannot be put into words, so we as people came up with a name to symbolize that so we can know what we're talking about even if we don't understand it (or can't as the case may be). It is in naming these things that we can also make them seem a bit easier to accept as an attainable thing, similarly to how some Jedi like to wear the costumes of the Jedi in the fiction to help them reach a more "Jedi" state of mind for meditation or ceremonies or what have you.

The level on which these phenomena are real happenings is purely subjective, as is all of reality as we know it. The level itself somewhat depends on who experiences it and who witnesses it and how they perceive it and believe in it. I'm sure if someone were to cause you to fall over at their will using only their mind, you would definitely believe you fell over at the least. What you believe the person did, if anything, is your subjective opinion based on what you experienced and witnessed and how you perceive and believe it.

There are many people, whether they have experienced these things themselves, witnessed it, or neither, who do believe in it, and vice versa. My goal was not to make anybody believe by explaining these things, but to simply see what everyone thinks, and providing names symbolic of these forces to help familiarize and describe them so that they can be discussed more easily.

And finally, yes I believe the time picking this apart could be better spent learning and testing and experiencing these phenomena. As I've said, even the people who devoted lifetimes to these arts can only do so much, and generally claim their journey down this path is nowhere near complete.

I thank you for your opinion, as that is exactly what I asked for.

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28 Dec 2014 04:57 #174948 by Adder
It's a great topic to discuss, too big to cover in one post :lol:

I tend to assess everything as being of the same base energetic nature, so a view of the Force is tied a lot into the how I see it so I can work with it. I split up Unifying as the approach to the Force in simple systems (non-living matter) and Living Force as anything complex enough to exhibit behavior outside of comprehensible structure (lifeforms).

I think I agree on your use of enlightenment, where its about the synergy of contextual patterns rather then the accuracy of individual relationships, as the contextual patterns create depth of meaning above and beyond popular understanding into new meanings of equal or greater 'sense'.

I view the above as ways to think about thinking and think about perception, to both inform other types of thought and action. The supernatural things though, like ghosts and Qi, seem harder to pin down as objective reality for me.... so I think its important to understand that exploration in that might be facilitating working on the edge of delusion. Delusion, by its nature of being unhinged from the external objective reality, is something I'd only entertain under strict conditions as its otherwise quite limited in its applicability. For me that means slow progress as I like to think my Jedi path remains anchored in improving my capacity to operate with in the objective world. Thus I tend to focus more on those mental and physical techniques but I am also open to trying to use my mind to experience a richer subjective view, and I think there is some value that this richer experience can facilitate a belief in the supernatural. I just like to exert some scientific type of approach to it, for the above stated reasons - but I don't deny the existence of that which I cannot measure, only that I cannot understand why it might exist or why it might not.

Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu

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28 Dec 2014 09:12 - 28 Dec 2014 09:12 #174958 by Edan
I think really there are two subjects here, supernatural phenomena relating to ghosts or spirits, and separately, psychic phenomena. One I believe possible but unproven, the other I don't really believe.

Ghosts I believe could be the remaining energy after a person has died, how our sticks around in a form I have no idea, but I believe it possible.

You and I have discussed this ParCandroon but I'm not convinced by psychic phenomena; in this instance it will be a 'see to be believed' situation. I don't believe the force 'has a hand' (as you put it) in these situations because it is not capable of thought or action by itself. We may as well just talk about energy without the force.

My opinions fall between Goken's and Gisteron's.

Understanding in the place of indifference
Compassion in the place of cruelty
Action in the place of apathy
Peace in the place of violence
Mercy in the place of vengeance

Contact me if you like: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Last edit: 28 Dec 2014 09:12 by Edan.
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28 Dec 2014 11:11 #174969 by Gisteron

ParCandroon wrote: Gisteron,

This is your opinion and this is what I was asking for, so I won't tell you you're wrong or call you out on anything you've said.

Gee, thanks! I guess this was not about an exchange after all; you just wanted to collect our thoughts to help you on your path. Well I'm glad I could be of service. :angry:

By saying "we" I mean the collective believers of the Force. I realize that everyone has their own meaning of the Force, but I think we can all generally agree on the most basic definition of the Force: a ubiquitous and metaphysical power that a Jedi (a follower of Jediism) believes to be the underlying, fundamental nature of the universe. This taken straight from the doctrine.

I'm rather confident I could find more than one reasonably high-ranking member who does not share this view. You will soon discover that this place is much unlike what the front page would have you think of it.

On the following paragraph I shall merely rephrase what I said before: Our attribution of one mystery to another mystery or to a word, even if that word be more familiar than the initial mystery, still doesn't help us in any way to understand. To understand something means to be aware of its nature. We understand complicated things by being aware of how simpler parts of them function and interact. If those are too complex themselves, simpler parts yet are to be discussed thusly down to a level simple enough. There is no 'understanding' by just calling the mysterious thing Shmavuffle. That would just be replacing one unknown with another. Symbols are not things in themselves. Rather, they represent things. We use symbols so that we don't have to draw entire things out all the time, not because they aid our understanding in any way.

The level on which these phenomena are real happenings is purely subjective, as is all of reality as we know it.

By that standard why would you need our thoughts on this? If reality isn't real, why bother trying to learn about it? Is it even possible to learn anything about it if it is purely subjective anyway? And yes, this is basically what you are saying. The one characteristic that reality as a thing must have to be reality is the one you say it doesn't have.

The level itself somewhat depends on who experiences it and who witnesses it and how they perceive it and believe in it. I'm sure if someone were to cause you to fall over at their will using only their mind, you would definitely believe you fell over at the least. What you believe the person did, if anything, is your subjective opinion based on what you experienced and witnessed and how you perceive and believe it.

No, it isn't based on what I experienced or witnessed or how I perceive or believe it. It is based on evidence, proportional in significance and amount to the remarkableness of the claim. Anything less would be both foolish and futile.

One may be saying that real things aren't real and get away with it. Everybody is free to choose to not share reality with the rest of us. Everybody is also free to say that therefore whatever they wish to be real might as well be or indeed is due to the inherent unrealness of reality - one is free to say this - but they will not get away with it. Some of us aren't quite so enlightened and aren't quite on that high a ground to not dare to disagree when it is due.
Don't engage. Don't debate. Most here don't need it. But spare me this Lebowskianistic "I don't give a poop about your opinion, but thanks for kindly sharing it". You have no idea how utterly superfluous this makes the discussion look, to say nothing of how condescending that attitude is in itself.

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28 Dec 2014 11:22 #174970 by ParCandroon
In a sense, there are two subjects. However, if one were to assume that the Force is the "ubiquitous and metaphysical power that a Jedi (a follower of Jediism) believes to be the underlying, fundamental nature of the universe" that our doctrine tells us it is, then the one, true topic is the Force in relation to these things.

As I learned it when I was a member of the Psion Guild, psi is an energy similar to electromagnetic energy produced by the human nervous system which is utilized and manipulated to perform feats such as telepathy, telekinesis, and other works commonly known as psychic phenomena. It is through these energies that we influence the world around us. Qi healers, Reiki healers, and other energy workers, including Christian Faith Healers will, more likely than not, assert that the energy they utilize is the same or similar to psi, but their name for it is what's right. This is very similar in nature to lesson 1 of the IP telling us about how all of the different religions of the world with their different names and myths are generally telling all the same story.

Going back to the doctrine's definition of the Force, it is easy to see how one can come to the conclusion that the Force is another name for this transcendent energy that allows these things, or at least the possibility of these things. Yes, Edan, it is a "see it to believe it" kind of thing to many people, but therein lies the problem. If you don't believe it, you won't be able to achieve it. Again I say that by giving a name to this transcendent energy, in my case the Force (both as I know it from the fiction and our doctrine), we attempt to give description to the indescribable. It must be experienced, not witnessed or told of, to be understood.

There is no denying that if you believe in ghosts, you believe in some form of life energy, if not a soul. The Force is an energy of the universe and all that is and was and ever will be which we act according to the will of. If we feel a certain way, have a certain instinctual reaction to a situation, that we can rule out as primal, we attribute that unexplainable impulse to a higher power, in the case of the Jedi, the Force.

In the fiction, Qui-Gon Jinn devoted himself fully to the Force, going so far as to say that he is merely a tool of the Living Force, and it was through this he was able to eventually preserve his consciousness after death and appear in the physical world afterwards essentially as a ghost through his oneness with the Force. It is my belief that such a thing could be accomplished if one were to devote themselves to the Living Force as he did.

These are all good points and opinions, and I thank everyone for responding. Aside from getting people's opinions, as I wanted, it is also helping me to understand how others see the Force and how they believe it could relate to various, unexplainable, possibly spiritual events.

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28 Dec 2014 11:34 #174971 by ParCandroon

Gisteron wrote:

ParCandroon wrote: Gisteron,

This is your opinion and this is what I was asking for, so I won't tell you you're wrong or call you out on anything you've said.

Gee, thanks! I guess this was not about an exchange after all; you just wanted to collect our thoughts to help you on your path. Well I'm glad I could be of service. :angry:

...

But spare me this Lebowskianistic "I don't give a poop about your opinion, but thanks for kindly sharing it". You have no idea how utterly superfluous this makes the discussion look, to say nothing of how condescending that attitude is in itself.


It is not my intention to seem condescending or as if I am merely using everyone for my own benefit. I wouldn't have asked for people's opinions if I truly didn't care to hear them. Yes, it may be helping me on my path, but that isn't the only reason I'm asking these questions and stating my point of view. Just because I'm telling you I'm not going to be the one to jump on you for disagreeing doesn't mean I have any ill intent behind my actions, as you seem to think.

And yes, the exchange does matter. It is through the exchange that we all can get a little insight on other people's opinions on a specific matter, not just me. This isn't some call to arms for everyone to start defending one aspect of of a larger issue, this is just a friendly conversation that can help get some things out in the open and gives us all an opportunity to learn something about each other.

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