What happens when the lines between reality, fantasy, the Bible, and Hollywood all blend together? On his radio show, Bryan Fischer of the conservative Christian non-profit American Family Association reveals that he helped exorcise children being held hostage by demons…which in turn provoked supernatural retaliation by a cabal of witches:
Tag Archives | Spirituality
Watching the ongoing retardo dialogue between materialist science and religion continues to amuse me to no end as an Occultist. I mean, both camps should be giving each other high fucking fives. You both hate altered states of consciousness. You are each other’s greatest allies in stunting logical inquiry into the topic. Before any of us can remember, the church got inside science’s head and told them not to tread on their turf by studying experiential inner phenomenon like near death experiences and psychedelic drugs. Science folded like a bitch and has now completely sold itself on its own nonsensical spiritual ignorance.
In the other corner, there’s the most belittled fringe minority in the universe going, errr, why’d we reject all that shamanism stuff? I took mushrooms and stared into a transcendent cognitive eternity. I did it a bunch of times. Isn’t that the sort of thing shamanism was based on? Maybe those folks who didn’t give a shit about killing the planet were onto something after all.… Read the rest
(If you happen to be a nonbeliever, that is.) Via CNN, researchers Christopher Silver and Thomas Coleman interviewed atheists and formed a Cosmo-quiz-style typology of six distinct groups:
- Intellectual atheist/agnostic – This type of nonbeliever seeks information and intellectual stimulation about atheism. They like debating and arguing.
- Activist – These kinds of atheists and agnostics are not content with just disbelieving in God; they want to tell others why they reject religion and why society would be better off if we all did likewise.
- Seeker-agnostic – People who are unsure about the existence of a God but keep an open mind and recognize the limits of human knowledge and experience. That doesn’t mean this group is confused, the researchers say. They just embrace uncertainty.
- Anti-theist – This group regularly speaks out against religion and religious beliefs, usually by positioning themselves as “diametrically opposed to religious ideology,” Silver and Coleman wrote.
Disinfonauts! If you’re broke and can’t afford my book, Born Again To Rebirth, or just don’t like reading books, this excellent interview with myself and Maja D’Aoust (The White Witch of Los Angeles) will give you a good idea of where I’ve come from and how I’ve come to embrace Magick in this world. Love it or hate it, it’s my story.
By now, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Oculus Rift reaction videos floating around the Internet. In case you haven’t— Oculus Rift is essentially the first accessible, high quality set of stereoscopic virtual reality goggles. Typical reactions to trying the goggles include awe, disbelief and mild confusion about voices in the room, due to the user’s brain being tricked into thinking they’re actually in the virtual space they’re perceiving. If our brains are so easily tricked into accepting a new reality within minutes, it seems plausible that we aren’t too far from a virtual world so real, seductive and full of sensory stimulation that we might actually forget we’re in it, or just not want to leave it.
Admittedly, adorning a nice VR headset is not enough to seamlessly integrate us into an electronic world, but coupled with a technology known as a BCI (brain-computer interface), it might be. The idea of a brain-computer interface may sound like straight up Science Fiction, but scientists have actually been experimenting with, and researching BCIs thoroughly since the 1970’s. Animal and human subjects fitted with BCIs have been able to manipulate cursors, games, implants, objects and yes, three-dimensional VR environments in a shockingly wide variety of ways just by thinking about it. How is this possible? As it turns out, the human brain has quite a knack for changing and figuring things out on the fly, often with basically no learning curve. Scientists call this phenomenon “neuroplasticity.” Take, for example the case of 14-year-old teenage boy fitted with a subdural (beneath his skull) BCI.… Read the rest
This information page gives an overview of Kenneth Smith, links to many resources, and posts scans of his classic run of TCJ columns. The scans contain his most essential writing, but there is a Tumblr blog and a Gaim library that provide quotes from longer pieces. Here are some choice fragments.
via Integral Life:
Some type of reincarnation doctrine is found in virtually every mystical religious tradition the world over. Even Christianity accepted it until around the fourth century CE, when, for largely political reasons, it was made anathema. Many Christian mystics today now accept the idea. As the Christian theologian John Hick pointed out in his important work Death and Eternal Life, the consensus of the world religions, including Christianity, is that some sort of reincarnation occurs.
Of course, the fact that many people believe something does not rank it true.
Well I am certainly impressed. The Telegraph reports:
The Vatican has secretly attributed a mystery miracle to the late John Paul II, clearing the way for him to be declared a saint.
The Holy See has yet to reveal what the miracle was or where and when it took place but Vatican sources said it would “amaze the world”. It concerns the “extraordinary healing” of a Costa Rican woman who was cured of a severe brain injury after her family began praying to the memory of the late Polish pope.
John Paul II was beatified — the first step towards sainthood — in a lavish outdoor ceremony in St Peter’s Square in May 2011.
John Paul’s first attributed miracle was the apparent healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre. Her recovery from Parkinson’s disease after praying for the late pope’s “intercession” had no medical explanation, the Catholic Church maintains.
Epiphenom suggests that positive moods and an inclination towards hallucinatory episodes may be the ingredients that produce the spiritual mindset:
Hallucinations and such like are actually a rather common part of the human experience – probably 70% of people experience some form of ‘unusual experiences’ at some time in their lives. You might think that hallucinations would be distressing, but people often report them to be quite pleasant. What’s more, spiritual people often report being happier than average.
James Schuurmans-Stekhoven, at the Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, Australia, speculated that that the two might be causally related. In other words, he thinks that when basically happy people have ‘unusual experiences’ like auditory hallucinations, it inclines them to a spirtual worldview.
To test this, he surveyed Australians about their spirituality, their unusual experiences, and their positive affectivity (mood). As happiness and unusual experiences increase, so to does spirituality.
But [for] people with the lowest levels of unusual experiences, changing levels of positive affect has basically no effect on their spirituality.
Broken Saints is an award-winning, partially Flash-animated film series by Brooke Burgess, Ian Kirby, and Andrew West. First published in 2001, it is one of the earliest examples of a motion comic.
Centered on philosophical, religious, political and spiritual themes, it tells the story of four strangers from “the quiet corners of the globe” connected by a vision they all receive of a coming evil. Their search for the truth behind the vision leads them to each other and to far larger and more disturbing truths than they could have expected.… Read the rest
Belief doesn’t have to be superstitious or irrational to give us comfort. e! Science News reports:
A faith in the explanatory and revealing power of science increases in the face of stress or anxiety, a study by Oxford University psychologists suggests. The researchers argue that a ‘belief in science’ may help non-religious people deal with adversity by offering comfort and reassurance, as has been reported previously for religious belief.
‘It’s not just believing in God that is important for gaining these psychological benefits, it is belief in general,’ says Dr. Farias. ‘It may be that we as humans are just prone to have belief, and even atheists will hold non-supernatural beliefs that are reassuring and comforting.’
The researchers say their findings are consistent with the idea that belief in science increases when secular individuals are placed in threatening situations. They go on to suggest that a belief in science may help non-religious people deal with adverse conditions.