bittah.com!~ View topic - VIEWS ON REALITY THREAD

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Post » Wed May 30, 2012 11:32 am

ImPaLoR Wrote:With our population growing like a cancer and urban areas like toxic waste lands scarring the earth, where will the future take us? Maybe chemical warfare will be used to bring our population down (probably already secretly being used right now by some of our fellow "wise men")

Overpopulation used to freak me out, but when I heard some research done recently on the subject I was thrilled and elated.

Why?

The human population will cap out at around 10 billion by 2100. This figure, backed up by the UN and census date around around the globe, indicates that number will likely remain the constant so long as four factors are met by the vast majority (ideally around 99%) of the population. They are:
-Low infant mortality
-More educated women
-More of those educated women in the workfoce
-Access to family planning

Today in most countries of the world where more children are reach adulthood as their educated mothers work and use contraception, the average number of children per woman on earth today is two.

Essentially these four factors are already present in the majority of the population, only the poorest and/or most violent nations on earth have a child per woman rate of 6+,this is because biological factors drive us to have more children when times are tough, while when things are good the average women will have one or two children. This was not planned, it just happened. Yes there are 'breeders' who will have giant families, but there are also mothers with just one child or women that just don't have kids. Basically in the end it evens out and the only thing that could possibly increase our population in this day and age is a generation killing war that endues our biological need to replace those faces lost where we might overdo it; look at the baby booms after huge wars and do the math; for example today Afghanistan has one of the highest birthrates on Earth.

So where is this huge growth that saw our number grow form 6 billion in the 90s to 7 billion today if our population is not growing due to childbirths? Well, the number of people on earth today rising is not due to a high birthrate, it is due to the fact that people who where born after 1900 are living much longer.

So long as we ensure that the poorest parts of the world join the rest of the world with low mortality rates, long lifestyles and educated working women, population growth will not be a point of major concern. If it gets bad, a generation might be urged to have only one child and will likely oblige if they are educated working people.

The only thing we have to worry about at this stage is providing and planning for that 10 billion.
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Post » Thu May 31, 2012 7:38 am

Just finished Part 3 of Nassim Haramein. :shock: 4.4 hours all up. Still another 5.5 hours to go :shock: . I'm enjoying so far.

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Post » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:23 pm

punk Wrote:Your reading list should be long enough already, and I'm surprised you haven't heard of it.


Not all of us have the time or opportunity to be exposed to the same things as you, hence why I come here. Nothing wrong with a long reading list...what are you trying to say? :roll:

Would it lend credibility to my story if I reveal that before all the responsible mature things I've done, I used to sell acid by the sheet, and during meditation have completely silenced my internal dialogue? Or would it adversely impact credibility? Does this in your mind qualify me to state authoritatively that internal-revelatory epiphanies do not a coherent reality describe?


Credibility isn't the word I'd choose, but it would certainly afford you another perspective by virtue of experience rather than conjecture based on booksmartz. Albert Hoffman experimented on himself. For example can you truly know extreme synesthesia until you have experienced it for yourself? And I promise any attempt to explain it will be a poor shadow at best.

You're not labelled a new-age nut because you explore alternate avenues, it's because you unreasonably ascribe equal validity to unverifiable conjecture (not even hypotheses) as to provable facts and theories. And it's because you have in past faithfully parroted statements which the minimum of investigation would expose as false - a classic trait of the credulous and desperate. The spiritual yearning exploration thing you're doing is natural and healthy for an intelligent mind, just bear in mind the parable distilled from Foucault's Pendulum.


This is as much a flaw in my argument style as a healthy dose of underexposure in many cases. It is hard to be an expert on anything when you are interested in everything. Again, that is why I come here (prefer it when people provide links & recommended reading as I do read them!). Glad you know Foucault's - it's one of my favourite books of all time and firmly cemented Eco as one of my favourite authors. And yet I remain hopelessly romantic :lol:

*microtubule links*

See now THAT's some interesting consciousness stuff - f**k your subjective drug induced spiritual transcendental guided magic combi ride horseshit.
This is spartaNEUROSCIENCE.


Indeed, and I'll be sure to read it. In the meantime I wonder if you will afford the same respect to the Rick Strassman links I posted earlier? It's not as if it's some op-ed piece from a blog...rather a retelling of a clinical trial and the interesting implications that came out of his research. I would be interested to hear how some of this may - or may not - dovetail with microtubule research into the birthing of consciousness (really have to read the book).
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Post » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:43 pm

Albert Hoffman Wrote:"Of greatest significance to me has been the insight that I attained as a fundamental understanding from all of my LSD experiments: what one commonly takes as 'the reality,' including the reality of one's own individual person, by no means signifies something fixed, but rather something that is ambiguous—that there is not only one, but that there are many realities, each comprising also a different consciousness of the ego. One can also arrive at this insight through scientific reflections. The problem of reality is and has been from time immemorial a central concern of philosophy. It is, however, a fundamental distinction, whether one approaches the problem of reality rationally, with the logical methods of philosophy, or if one obtrudes upon this problem emotionally, through an existential experience. The first planned LSD experiment was therefore so deeply moving and alarming, because everyday reality and the ego experiencing it, which I had until then considered to be the only reality, dissolved, and an unfamiliar ego experienced another, unfamiliar reality. The problem concerning the innermost self also appeared, which, itself unmoved, was able to record these external and internal transformations. Reality is inconceivable without an experiencing subject, without an ego. It is the product of the exterior world, of the sender and of a receiver, an ego in whose deepest self the emanations of the exterior world, registered by the antennae of the sense organs, become conscious. If one of the two is lacking, no reality happens, no radio music plays, the picture screen remains blank."
—LSD: My Problem Child, 1980


Some great quotes here, including an excellent contrary one by Hunter S Thompson of all people.
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Post » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:18 pm



And I wasn't speaking hypothetically Iscy. Purple Ohms, Microdots, Red Dragons galore. Once, we all died and everything was green and the only way we could come back to life was by leaving via the second story window - for a bit of coincidence with the Minchin
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Post » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:44 pm

Iscariot Wrote:
Albert Hoffman Wrote:"Of greatest significance to me has been the insight that I attained as a fundamental understanding from all of my LSD experiments: what one commonly takes as 'the reality,' including the reality of one's own individual person, by no means signifies something fixed, but rather something that is ambiguous—that there is not only one, but that there are many realities, each comprising also a different consciousness of the ego. One can also arrive at this insight through scientific reflections. The problem of reality is and has been from time immemorial a central concern of philosophy. It is, however, a fundamental distinction, whether one approaches the problem of reality rationally, with the logical methods of philosophy, or if one obtrudes upon this problem emotionally, through an existential experience. The first planned LSD experiment was therefore so deeply moving and alarming, because everyday reality and the ego experiencing it, which I had until then considered to be the only reality, dissolved, and an unfamiliar ego experienced another, unfamiliar reality. The problem concerning the innermost self also appeared, which, itself unmoved, was able to record these external and internal transformations. Reality is inconceivable without an experiencing subject, without an ego. It is the product of the exterior world, of the sender and of a receiver, an ego in whose deepest self the emanations of the exterior world, registered by the antennae of the sense organs, become conscious. If one of the two is lacking, no reality happens, no radio music plays, the picture screen remains blank."
—LSD: My Problem Child, 1980


Some great quotes here, including an excellent contrary one by Hunter S Thompson of all people.


he has a different definition for the word 'reality' to everyone else
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Post » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:19 am

It occurred to me while watching that Minchin clip that I have completely different definitions of words such as faith, belief, spirituality, and even love. Which makes it hard to have a dialogue. In fact, I realise I am on a completely different page to this faith vs. science debate, hence a slight frustration of not being able to debate.

I have no problem with science explaining the natural world, and disproving bunkum. I also realise that our science will seem primitive to future generations, and our morality will seem barbaric (not that morality 'progresses' like knowledge... it kind of folds back in on itself). The true scientific mindset is not having rigid ideas and beliefs. For instance, in another thread I brought up that the "one consciousness' idea is as empirically valid as the external world idea, and contemplating this breaks up some unnecessarily rigid concepts.

Anywho, what prompted this rambling off topic post is this idea of us gaining experience or revelation, or coming to a rational epiphany, or something like it, to help us enjoy life more (that's what this is all about right?). Personally, I think stuff such as synesthesia, or quietening your internal dialogue, or acid trips, or meditation, or understanding the latest science, or watching smug comedy, etc etc, just gives you a superfluous experience, which might be interesting in itself, but it doesn't actually add anything essential, and one shouldn't worry if one hasn't had these revelations.

There's a Meister Eckhart quote that sums up another way of looking at this:

"God is not found in the soul by adding anything but by a process of subtraction."

Now, secular types, you can replace the word 'God' for love, happiness, or whatever, and 'soul' for self. Subtract what? Beliefs and conditioning for starters. It's all well and good to challenge religious beliefs, or political beliefs, or whatever, but it doesn't mean much unless you have turned the spotlight on yourself first: "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" There are plenty of snazzy quotes from the past, which I think constitutes the religious baby, while superstition, rituals, and supernatural events constitute the religious bath water.

Taking the Minchin clip as representative of a certain worldview, what is the point of living twice as long if we don't see the metaphorical kingdom of God? ("the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it"). All it means is that we suffer twice as much. We are just as enslaved and distracted by ourselves and our society as we were two thousand years ago, maybe even more so, even if we know homeopathy is bullshit. Make sense? No? Ok, as you were...

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Post » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:28 am

what is the point of living twice as long if we don't see the metaphorical kingdom of God? ("the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it"). All it means is that we suffer twice as much


I'm honestly sorry you feel that way.

You can presume that those who accept the best descriptions of the premiere specialists in contemporary science are somehow deficient, duller or more miserable by not accepting the word of mystics or not focusing on the unprovable, but unless someone nearby is spouting unadulterated bullshit I personally am pretty happy with stuff in general. Why don't you turn that quote above around: de-metaphor it? Why not take it at face value: the splendour of the natural world is enough, but you don't see it? Forest for the trees. Equally valid interpretation, don't you think?

Since you acknowledge you've invented a new language for certain words, I hope you're aware that you're also redefining empirical. And yes, it's unnecessarily difficult to have a dialogue under those circumstances. Perhaps you could condescend to parlay in the prevailing patois, as I'm unaware of the dictionary of Dumbo.

I intentionally didn't respond to the 'empirical one consciousness' Akashic record thing when you mentioned it last time, because hotdamn that's some essence of insane right there and my natural reaction to such concentrated crazy is to make calm, soothing noises while backing away slowly. Unless of course you are in fact sitting on a goldmine of hypotheses, experiments and data that will change humanity forever? I strongly doubt you really mean empirical, and think you just threw that in because it sounds like it adds weight to the idea. Did you mean you have a persistent intuition?

To be fair, I don't claim that your notion of shared consciousness is patently false - it's possible, and no wierder than some concepts in physics - but claiming it to be empirically valid is frankly wrong. It is potentially valid, but as it's currently unverified conjecture then you are wrong to state it as empirical.

'religious baby bathwater thing'

Urgh, you're erratic. It's hard to respond to any one coherent line of thought. By religious I presume you mean spiritual? What more should I subtract from my rapturous enjoyment of staring at the stars and thinking of the distances, the time, the magnitudes? I call it a spiritual experience to be contrary and yet collegial with those here who claim that anyone with a rational bent has perforce excluded themselves from experiences more 'essential' than others. Perhaps you think I'm therefore guilty of redefining terms. Meh. Anyway, it seems to me that my limited knowledge of astrophsyics only adds to that experience, and to subtract that deeper understanding would impoverish the wonder. Wild invention of gods and fairies in the night sky may be amusing but inherently less meaningful, if not utterly denigrating, so it's nice to read that you believe the supernatural is the bathwater while the supernova is the baby.

What constitutes an 'essential' experience as opposed to a superfluous one? Why do you categorise certain experiences as more essential than others? Why do you think that study of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empirical universe is drudgery, but unfounded thought experiments are somehow more worthy of our time? FWIW, Huxley, Leary, Kesey, R.A Wilson, to some extent myself et al were using psychotropics for precisely the purpose of turning the spotlight on oneself.

While I'm at it, I suspect you'd enjoy Robert Anton Wilson's Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy, if you fnord haven't read it yet. Praise Bob.

Iscy: if I'm to act as your librarian, try Cosmic Trigger (JBTlols) as a distraction for when you're stuck plowing through the extremely heavy GEB.

Blah.
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Post » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:32 am

punk Wrote:You can presume that those who accept the best descriptions of the premiere specialists in contemporary science are somehow deficient, duller or more miserable by not accepting the word of mystics or not focusing on the unprovable, but unless someone nearby is spouting unadulterated bullshit I personally am pretty happy with stuff in general. Why don't you turn that quote above around: de-metaphor it? Why not take it at face value: the splendour of the natural world is enough, but you don't see it? Forest for the trees. Equally valid interpretation, don't you think?

Since you acknowledge you've invented a new language for certain words, I hope you're aware that you're also redefining empirical. And yes, it's unnecessarily difficult to have a dialogue under those circumstances. Perhaps you could condescend to parlay in the prevailing patois, as I'm unaware of the dictionary of Dumbo.


I said "as empirically valid" which I meant as "not empirically valid" because you can't prove empirically, at least according to my little Schrodinger book, that there is an external reality. If there is an argument that refutes his, I haven't seen it yet. Now I don't mean to say that you chose to be in the "external reality" camp or the Vedantic camp. But if we are to be good little rational humanists who only believe in fact based stuff, then on this point, perhaps the only proper response is to shrug our shoulders and say "f**k, who knows?", which is a liberating attitude I think.

As for the Kingdom of God is spread on the earth but we do not see it, do you know we are LITERALLY illuminated by creation but we cannot see it? The Big Bang maaaan! The light, like, is still raining down on us! But because it's travelled so far, 13.7 billion years, which is, like, a really long time, it's red-shifted so that we cannot see it with our eyes. And the primordial sound of the universe being created, it's still reaching us, but we cannot hear it!##@!@

Yep, I know all about the ol' 'using cosmological facts to imitate awe' ploy. In fact, I used this very example on a card-carrying new atheist Minchin fan as a chat up line. But seriously, these scientific facts are cool, and help us see things in completely different lights, because in the end, the time, distances, energies, and forces involved are so completely incomprehensible to us that they sort of short circuit the mind and take us back to the state of unknowing. I don't think I ever said this was drudgery. I actually get a semi over cosmology.

But it's interesting you use the forest and the trees image in terms of the splendour of nature, because you could counter argue that by looking at nature through a scientific lens, you are seeing everything as separate trees and not getting the coherent forest. If you classify something as a "tree", then you don't really see the tree anymore, but your concept of the tree. I don't wanna sound gay or nuffin', but you don't see it as a child would see it anymore. And, as we both know, our concepts are incomplete and/or inaccurate. It seems plausible that our cosmological ideas will be just as laughable to people four thousand years from now as the bible's cosmology is to us. But if you see the forest without concepts, then you are really seeing the double rainbow, plus we can see it through our conceptual lens as well.

As for the other terms I apparently make up my own definitions for... well, if we group terms such as God, Love, Happiness, Truth, the Kingdom, Nirvana, etc, together, then the mystic's view is that these are beyond our terms and concepts, so we cannot directly describe them, but only point towards them (the finger and the moon etc).

Urgh, you're erratic. It's hard to respond to any one coherent line of thought. By religious I presume you mean spiritual? What more should I subtract from my rapturous enjoyment of staring at the stars and thinking of the distances, the time, the magnitudes? I call it a spiritual experience to be contrary and yet collegial with those here who claim that anyone with a rational bent has perforce excluded themselves from experiences more 'essential' than others. Perhaps you think I'm therefore guilty of redefining terms. Meh. Anyway, it seems to me that my limited knowledge of astrophsyics only adds to that experience, and to subtract that deeper understanding would impoverish the wonder. Wild invention of gods and fairies in the night sky may be amusing but inherently less meaningful, if not utterly denigrating, so it's nice to read that you believe the supernatural is the bathwater while the supernova is the baby.


If we define religion as an organised collection of philosophy, poetry, superstitions, morality, rituals and fantasy, then I see no reason why you cannot easily filter out the superstition, morality, ritual and fantasy side of it. And if you realise these myths ARE poetry, then there is no fantasy, just metaphor (why do we need metaphors? because we cannot directly describe the experience, only point towards it). What's left behind are some pretty powerful ideas and metaphors about how one can practise spirituality (again, my made up definition of spirituality may be different from yours). I find the whole religious debate here and elsewhere pretty asinine. Of course they are myths and not facts. Why waste time on it? Like that Hitchens book about how religion poisons everything. "Buddhism is bad because I've found evidence of Buddhist monks offending my morality, so the whole thing stinks blah blah". I'm sure he was smart, but he was blinded by whatever prejudices he had.

As for what is essential and superfluous, well, that's the whole thing isn't it? I think we have all the tools we need within us to reach ->insert term here<- , but most people are perpetually searching outside of themselves trying to find an answer, which is a shame, I think. Perhaps it's because of our culture that we always think we need to strive for something better. But I would say essential = eternal, which does not mean everlasting, but rather constant and outside of time. Our myths, scientific viewpoint, and drugs are all constantly changing, which means they are superfluous, although they can be a help, if used in the right way, and a hinderance if used the wrong way, which I think most of us are guilty of. But I think the 'Kingdom', or whatever, should be available to the very first human, and the very last human.

I actually have a whole bunch of R A Winston on my computer, but haven't looked at it yet. He was a big fan of Joyce and Finnegans Wake, dontchaknow? But the psychotropic thing about being needed to get to the 'next level' is fairly embedded. There's even that 'Stoned Ape' theory. But I think it's self serving bullshit trying to rationalise getting off your tits. Joyce was madder than the lot of them, and he was strictly a booze man. Although Jung did think he was a schizophrenic.
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Post » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:12 pm

Did you watch the TED talk linked under the word intuition? Does the field of cognitive behavioural research hinted at in that presentation have any meaning to you? I'm particularly curious if you have applied such analysis to your feeling/intuition/philosophy of God.

I rather thought we'd covered the uselessness of thought experiments which postulate no external reality. Have you ever read the rebuttals of the brain in the vat? Still brushing your teeth I assume? Not, of course, because of any Empirically Real teeth or steaks, purely to win 'the game'. /pat

I linked this a decade ago, but it's worth repeating: Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. Quite digestible little primer on this stuff.

No idea who this winston chap is, but yes I'm aware of RAW's appreciation of Joyce.

'counter argue that by looking at nature through a scientific lens, you are seeing everything as separate trees and not getting the coherent forest'

<Feynman video. Again. f*****g hate repeating myself.>

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Post » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:35 pm

punk Wrote:Did you watch the TED talk linked under the word intuition? Does the field of cognitive behavioural research hinted at in that presentation have any meaning to you? I'm particularly curious if you have applied such analysis to your feeling/intuition/philosophy of God.


Just watched it. What I garnered from it is that our decision making isn't as independent as we like to think, but is heavily influenced by factors such as conditioning, cognitive blind spots, etc. I find this interesting, because the type of spirituality I'm talking about (let's put it under the Gnostic banner for convenience) is partly about dropping these external factors, seeing reality for what it really is (I can foresee an argument against this statement), and acting rather than reacting. So it seems to support my position...

I rather thought we'd covered the uselessness of thought experiments which postulate no external reality. Have you ever read the rebuttals of the brain in the vat? Still brushing your teeth I assume? Not, of course, because of any Empirically Real teeth or steaks, purely to win 'the game'. /pat

Schrodinger's argument isn't the brain in the vat. I doubt I conveyed it very effectively, and would be silly to dismiss it based on my weak summary rather than reading the original. But I will say if contemplation of the Vedantic position loosens up your mind and breaks you out of an unnecessarily rigid viewpoint, then I would say it's one of the more practical things you can do, even more so than brushing your teeth.

I linked this a decade ago, but it's worth repeating: Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. Quite digestible little primer on this stuff.


Haven't read it, but noticed this on the first review posted. "The authors posit that our brain is neurologically capable of attaining a state where boundaries between self and other are no longer recognizable. They call this Absolute Unitary Being and say that this state has been attained by mystics and called "God."

So if the brain is neurologically capable of reaching this state (kingdom, nirvana, whatever), then I guess the question is whether attaining this state is desirable. I posit that it is. I would also posit that being guided by certain mystical teachings would be the best way to go about attaining this, as scientific study of this area would be problematic. Sort of how biomechanics analysis doesn't make a better batsman in cricket. Now the fact that this state can be scientifically explained doesn't weaken my 'faith' or whatever, but actually heartens me. I'm totally not into superstitious woo woo. It also seemingly answers your question about my intuition of God?

No idea who this winston chap is, but yes I'm aware of RAW's appreciation of Joyce.


Like I said, I have't read any of his stuff, but it's there on my hard drive. I doubt I will read any of it soon.

'counter argue that by looking at nature through a scientific lens, you are seeing everything as separate trees and not getting the coherent forest'

<Feynman video. Again. f*****g hate repeating myself.>


Do the motorboat baby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzg1CU8t9nw&t=20m30s

Like I said before, so I don't mind repeating myself, you can look at something through a scientific lens, or an artistic lens, or a 'self having no boundaries with the other' (child's) lens, or any lens you want. It's the restriction to one lens that is the drudgery, not any particular lens in itself.
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Post » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:15 pm

Bash
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Post » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:27 pm

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Bash
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Post » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:49 pm

so much derp

"it's hard to imagine any other way of getting around the energy problem - and we know it happened just once on earth because all eukaryotes decended from a common ancestor."

too many arguments from ignorance to count.

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Post » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:18 am

wow just watched the first 15 minutes of this. looks very interesting,

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0399877/

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Post » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:35 am

VIEWS ON REALITY THREAD

What The Bleep is pretty old and fairly erroneous, but still an interesting watch. They did like a mega anthology edition after the original with like 12 DVDs of additional content (lots of interviews that didn't make the cinematic cut)

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Post » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:45 am

bash seriously if you find what the bleep in any way plausible I am going to kick you from the clan and never speak to you again

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Post » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:03 pm

I take everything in with a grain of salt. Hence I simply said it was interesting. Shakey I am interested though in what concepts they portray that you find strongly implausible.

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Post » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:14 pm

its been years since I watched it, but I remember somebody saying that water could remember things and respond to emotions, and that there was a woman who claimed to be channeling a god from ancient atlantis or something like that

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Post » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:52 pm

basically iirc it takes the scientific principle in quantum physics that observing a particle affects its position (schroedingers cat) and completely unscientifically extrapolates this to IF YOU JUST BELIEVE YOU WILL WIN THE LOTTERY, IT WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN

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