Droll Implications of the Supernatural

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Mike Strand
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Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by Mike Strand » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:59 am

I don't have a specific story of a supernatural event, but I want to preserve the spirit of another thread, "The Supernatural", started by QuantumT, that welcomes comments from folks who entertain the possibility of the supernatural.

Therefore, I welcome comments regarding the "logic" -- definitions and axiom -- I've used below. In the light of the thread "The Supernatural" and the drug-related experiences posted there, does anyone see a limitation in my definition of "the supernatural"?

Following is my logic-based treatment of the supernatural.

Do miracles happen? The notion of “miracle” suggests an event without a natural explanation, or a phenomenon with a cause beyond human understanding. This familiar concept of the miraculous has droll implications more readily obtained and appreciated if explored systematically.

At the end of this post is a "nutshell" summary of said implications. The derivation of those implications follows.

Definition 1 -- Reality: Everything that exists.

I leave it to philosophers to define the verb, “to exist”.

Definition 2 -- Nature: That part of reality having causes and corresponding effects or events that human beings are able to witness and understand and explain. This is the so-called physical world -- the domain of scientific study.

There could be events in nature that we have witnessed but not yet understood or explained.

Definition 3 -- The supernatural: That part of reality containing events, the causes of which humans are incapable of understanding or explaining due to the inherent limitations of Homo sapiens.

Definition 4 -- Miracle: A supernatural event that tends to amaze and puzzle a human being.

There could be events in nature that amaze and puzzle us, and supernatural events that seem natural, or to which we give little notice.

Axiom -- If the supernatural exists, human beings are able to witness some supernatural events.

Without this axiom, human beings could never witness a miracle, and any reported miracle would be a hoax. The hoax may never be exposed, however.

One implication pops up immediately: A miracle has causes that human beings are incapable of explaining. This doesn’t rule out human beings inventing bogus natural explanations, however.

Note: Even natural events get false explanations. An example: Presents under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. ("How did they get there, Mommy?")

Now let's assume that the supernatural exists, and see where it leads!

By definition 3, the causes of a miracle can’t ever be known to mere human beings. The problem is, this human inability can’t be proved in any particular case. The hapless witness of an actual miracle can’t ever know or prove it’s a miracle, due to the impossibility of proving, for the particular miracle witnessed, that human beings are incapable of explaining its causes and never will be able to explain them. Thus, believers in the supernatural, while correct in this case, are at a big disadvantage regarding miracle testimonies. Any person who witnesses a true miracle and believes correctly that it is a miracle can only hope that there are other sympathetic witnesses, so they can all go out for drinks and enjoy sharing the experience, ambiguous as it is.

On the other side, grouches who don’t believe in the supernatural, mistaken under our assumption of the supernatural's existence, will say that the event reported as a miracle is actually a natural event not yet understood or explained. The unlucky folks who do believe in the supernatural, while correct under our assumption, can only say that the event was possibly a miracle.

Those who deny the supernatural aren’t entirely out of the woods, though. They can’t really prove the reported event is not an actual miracle, until such time as somebody gives a correct natural explanation of the event, which, under the assumption that the supernatural exists, will never happen. So in the meantime, the anti-supernatural people might as well join the pro-supernatural crowd for drinks and honestly admit their own ignorance.

Unfortunately, there might be deceitful, anti-supernatural people who will invent a natural explanation. Therefore, the pro-supernatural folks need to be on their guard against such fakers, in order to defend the mystery and charm of the amazing event.

“Those who understand only what can be explained understand but little”. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

In a Nutshell

Whether the supernatural exists or not, people will witness unusual, beautiful, or amazing events and report them as miracles, and many of these events will never be explained in our lifetimes.

Life itself may well be a miracle: Scientists seem to have difficulty explaining its actual origin, and who can say that life will ever get a correct “natural” explanation?

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by Nick_A » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:22 pm

Hello Mike

Several quick observations.

First of all consciousness and altered states of consciousness are not the same. Those seeking a conscious experience will not find it by means of drug induced altered states of consciousness.
I leave it to philosophers to define the verb, “to exist”.
Existence for me means material participation in universal laws.

Plato describes the relationship between natural and supernatural in his divided line analogy

http://www.john-uebersax.com/plato/plato1.htm

Basically what is under the sun is natural. Reality above the line is supernatural for us
Definition 4 -- Miracle: A supernatural event that tends to amaze and puzzle a human being.
A miracle for me is phenomena normal for a higher level of reality accidentally or intentionally manifesting onto a lower level of reality. A telepathic revelation for example may be normal for a higher level of reality but experienced by us as a miracle

Can human consciousness we experience as animal consciousness evolve to a higher level of reality in which human meaning and purpose we can only define subjectively as we are, becomes consciously experienced as an objective reality?

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by Mike Strand » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:09 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:22 pm
Hello Mike

Several quick observations.

First of all consciousness and altered states of consciousness are not the same. Those seeking a conscious experience will not find it by means of drug induced altered states of consciousness.
I leave it to philosophers to define the verb, “to exist”.
Existence for me means material participation in universal laws.

Plato describes the relationship between natural and supernatural in his divided line analogy

http://www.john-uebersax.com/plato/plato1.htm

Basically what is under the sun is natural. Reality above the line is supernatural for us
Definition 4 -- Miracle: A supernatural event that tends to amaze and puzzle a human being.
A miracle for me is phenomena normal for a higher level of reality accidentally or intentionally manifesting onto a lower level of reality. A telepathic revelation for example may be normal for a higher level of reality but experienced by us as a miracle

Can human consciousness we experience as animal consciousness evolve to a higher level of reality in which human meaning and purpose we can only define subjectively as we are, becomes consciously experienced as an objective reality?
Thanks, Nick_A, really interesting thoughts and questions. The idea of a "miracle" projecting itself from a larger reality into our human understanding of nature or reality (or the part we live in) is intriguing. We can witness the event (at least some of its effects in our world), but have no way of seeing or understanding its actual underpinnings.

As I understand it, even human physicists are postulating other dimensions and theories (e.g., string theory) in an attempt to explain quantum phenomena, such as "spooky action at a distance".

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QuantumT
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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by QuantumT » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:21 pm

Cool...! I got my own spin-off thread! 8)

As to drug induced experiences there is one logic explanation and one unlikely (but not impossible):

The logic: The drugs messes with your senses. It's all in your head.

The unlikely: Drugs can be some sort of portal to the paranormal world.

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by attofishpi » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:00 pm

QuantumT wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:21 pm
Cool...! I got my own spin-off thread! 8)
Yes, a tosspot that couldn't nail it in the uva.

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by QuantumT » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:51 pm

attofishpi wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:00 pm
Yes, a tosspot that couldn't nail it in the uva.
I see where you're heading with your posts tonight.
You are a bit moody, and you thought it'd be a shame to keep it to yourself.
Spread the misery, regret, pessimism and dread. What more can a man do? :mrgreen:

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by attofishpi » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:02 am

QuantumT wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:51 pm
attofishpi wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:00 pm
Yes, a tosspot that couldn't nail it in the uva.
I see where you're heading with your posts tonight.
You are a bit moody, and you thought it'd be a shame to keep it to yourself.
Spread the misery, regret, pessimism and dread. What more can a man do? :mrgreen:
Mmm maybe apart from any regret, pessimism and dread.

You want PC out of me? Just telling it how i see it, with all my free will to do so intact.

The hypocrisy in such matters from one side of the Atlantic that apparently is inhabited by the 'worlds leading democracy' - by which I must contemplate still includes the freedom to talk freely...but appear appalled to in reflection, be offended. Grow some bollocks Amerrycans.

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by Nick_A » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:30 am

Mike
Thanks, Nick_A, really interesting thoughts and questions. The idea of a "miracle" projecting itself from a larger reality into our human understanding of nature or reality (or the part we live in) is intriguing. We can witness the event (at least some of its effects in our world), but have no way of seeing or understanding its actual underpinnings.

As I understand it, even human physicists are postulating other dimensions and theories (e.g., string theory) in an attempt to explain quantum phenomena, such as "spooky action at a distance".
My own understanding of levels of reality suggests a reasonable solution to the question of spooky action at a distance.

Imagine a sheet of glass with someone standing above it. They place their fingers on the glass and their finger tips move along the glass. If you are standing beneath the glass it looks like these five objects look unconnected and if they start doing the same thing it appears as spooky action from a distance. Actually the action of the finger tips is the result of the wrist. The actions of a higher level of reality appear as spooky for us. Can photons exist as one? Science may eventually answer this.

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by Mike Strand » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:13 am

Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:30 am
Mike
Thanks, Nick_A, really interesting thoughts and questions. The idea of a "miracle" projecting itself from a larger reality into our human understanding of nature or reality (or the part we live in) is intriguing. We can witness the event (at least some of its effects in our world), but have no way of seeing or understanding its actual underpinnings.

As I understand it, even human physicists are postulating other dimensions and theories (e.g., string theory) in an attempt to explain quantum phenomena, such as "spooky action at a distance".
My own understanding of levels of reality suggests a reasonable solution to the question of spooky action at a distance.

Imagine a sheet of glass with someone standing above it. They place their fingers on the glass and their finger tips move along the glass. If you are standing beneath the glass it looks like these five objects look unconnected and if they start doing the same thing it appears as spooky action from a distance. Actually the action of the finger tips is the result of the wrist. The actions of a higher level of reality appear as spooky for us. Can photons exist as one? Science may eventually answer this.
Nice example, Nick_A! Awhile ago, I developed a similar example, trying to add humor:

Here’s an analogy that suggests the possibility of “hidden” dimensions: Suppose we live in the two-dimensional world of the surface of water in a swimming pool. Suppose a woman in the familiar 3-D world is sitting at the side of the pool, dangling both her feet in the water up to the ankles or lower calves, which she fetchingly separates and moves from side-to-side at the same time, for the benefit of the lifeguard. The intersection of her sexy stems with the water’s surface would appear to us 2-D folk as two mysterious strips of matter, separated in our world but acting in concert.

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by Lacewing » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:48 am

attofishpi wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:02 am
QuantumT wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:51 pm
I see where you're heading with your posts tonight.
You are a bit moody, and you thought it'd be a shame to keep it to yourself.
You want PC out of me? Just telling it how i see it, with all my free will to do so intact.
CRABBY-ASS people who congratulate themselves for "not being PC" are dishonestly characterizing themselves. It has nothing to do with rising above PC -- and "just telling it how they see it" -- as if they're so bold and brave and uniquely truthful. They're simply being CRABBY-ASS pissy people who aren't clever or kind enough to do anything more creative and cooperative with their energy.

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Greta
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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by Greta » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:16 am

Mike Strand wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:59 am
The derivation of those implications follows.

Definition 1 -- Reality: Everything that exists.

I leave it to philosophers to define the verb, “to exist”.

Definition 2 -- Nature: That part of reality having causes and corresponding effects or events that human beings are able to witness and understand and explain. This is the so-called physical world -- the domain of scientific study.

There could be events in nature that we have witnessed but not yet understood or explained.

Definition 3 -- The supernatural: That part of reality containing events, the causes of which humans are incapable of understanding or explaining due to the inherent limitations of Homo sapiens.

Definition 4 -- Miracle: A supernatural event that tends to amaze and puzzle a human being.
I like it, although "supernatural" also describes things that humans or their successors will be able to understand and explain in the future.

For instance, the posited existence of destructive inhabiting spirits diminished once bacterial and viral causes of disease were discovered. The knowledge and understanding was not beyond human comprehension at the time, but was rather simply not knowable before microscopy. It's easy to see how aggressive microbial colonies in the body could be thought of as evil spirits - even when knowing the cause of illness, the little buggers can seem like some nasty inhabitation requiring exorcism :D
Mike Strand wrote:There could be events in nature that amaze and puzzle us, and supernatural events that seem natural, or to which we give little notice.
Consider that billions of neutrinos are passing through your body as we speak. Dark matter too, if it's real. We notice so little of the natural that, if we REALLY noticed the natural we would be overwhelmed. Since wandering around in a perpetual state of wonderment is a poor survival strategy, we have to filter out distractions and the baby is easily tipped out with the bathwater, especially for those who are under pressure and forced in haste rather with savouring a luxury they feel they cannot afford. Having said that, meditators (with some merit) will tell you that just taking out just short periods each day to stop being productive and try perceive and savour more of reality refreshes a person, providing holistic benefits that include improving relationships and productivity).
Mike Strand wrote:Axiom -- If the supernatural exists, human beings are able to witness some supernatural events.

Without this axiom, human beings could never witness a miracle, and any reported miracle would be a hoax. The hoax may never be exposed, however.

One implication pops up immediately: A miracle has causes that human beings are incapable of explaining. This doesn’t rule out human beings inventing bogus natural explanations, however.
At this point I have to admit that I don't want to parse the terms. That is, we simply observe events and whether they are natural, supernatural or Sun Ra's Arkestra (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arh3rRYyBL8) doesn't much matter.
Mike Strand wrote:Now let's assume that the supernatural exists, and see where it leads!

By definition 3, the causes of a miracle can’t ever be known to mere human beings. The problem is, this human inability can’t be proved in any particular case. The hapless witness of an actual miracle can’t ever know or prove it’s a miracle, due to the impossibility of proving, for the particular miracle witnessed, that human beings are incapable of explaining its causes and never will be able to explain them. Thus, believers in the supernatural, while correct in this case, are at a big disadvantage regarding miracle testimonies. Any person who witnesses a true miracle and believes correctly that it is a miracle can only hope that there are other sympathetic witnesses, so they can all go out for drinks and enjoy sharing the experience, ambiguous as it is.
I hear this happens a great deal with alien sightings and abductions. Rule of thumb is, if you see a flying saucer's air traffic control lights in the sky, run for your life!

To be fair, I suspect just about everyone has experienced weird things (or thought they experienced weird things) that they keep to themselves because others would be cynical and maybe think less of their reliability and credibility. It's a conspiracy of silence! :lol:

Mike Strand wrote:On the other side, grouches who don’t believe in the supernatural, mistaken under our assumption of the supernatural's existence, will say that the event reported as a miracle is actually a natural event not yet understood or explained. The unlucky folks who do believe in the supernatural, while correct under our assumption, can only say that the event was possibly a miracle.

Those who deny the supernatural aren’t entirely out of the woods, though. They can’t really prove the reported event is not an actual miracle, until such time as somebody gives a correct natural explanation of the event, which, under the assumption that the supernatural exists, will never happen. So in the meantime, the anti-supernatural people might as well join the pro-supernatural crowd for drinks and honestly admit their own ignorance.
It's intellectual conservatism and the desire to preserve credibility. The fact is that science must present the very most conservative and basic model of reality possible, free of as many assumptions as possible. Its job is to provide a reliable baseline of seemingly established - certainly well tested - concepts that present models akin to a slow moving "stick figure sketch" representation of a vastly rich, multifaceted, multicoloured, multi-dimensional, exceedingly complex, all-encompassing reality.

The sketch is largely thought to be more reliable than the attempts at sketching reality made in antiquity - with some wrong parts of their "sketches" erased, and extensions and refinements made over the decades. Some would claim that some good parts were also rubbed out during the refinements, which is probably right too. After all, most of us surrender some degree of our intuition we enjoyed as children so as to focus on fulfilling adult responsibilities.

Some think of it as a tradeoff, as if a person is selling one's soul by participating in "mammon". However, it's more just a phase of life - the time of labour - and not a final judgement of a person's character; we are allowed to change our minds as our lives enter different phases. Certainly with age people often have more opportunity to relax, and that allows intuitions more opportunity to arise.

Even a materialist thinker like Dawkins is open to being surprised:
So perhaps the last word should go to J.B.S. Haldane, a British scientific polymath of the early 20th century, who once said: “My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”
Even the most hard-headed of intellectual gatekeepers know that their knowledge is still ultimately wrong and that, barring total catastrophe, future generations will undoubtedly be correcting their mistakes and assumptions as they did with theories and hypotheses of the past.

I'm with you - reality is miraculous anyway. If we aren't already capable of being blown away by existence, nature, humanity, the Earth, the cosmos etc etc etc in our more rhapsodic moments then we aren't paying attention IMO. Hence meditations will be on one thing - to pay real attention to at least something in the hope that the capacity to focus on one thing can extrapolate to other things.

A woman I met at a health retreat told me of an interesting exercise where participants meditated on an apple. They weren't to eat it for one hour but to feel it, look at it, smell and think about it. At the end of the hour she said the taste of the apple was amazingly good. But one needs more patience than I can generally muster for that level of focus!

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by Nick_A » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:52 am

Mike Strand wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:13 am
Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:30 am
Mike
Thanks, Nick_A, really interesting thoughts and questions. The idea of a "miracle" projecting itself from a larger reality into our human understanding of nature or reality (or the part we live in) is intriguing. We can witness the event (at least some of its effects in our world), but have no way of seeing or understanding its actual underpinnings.

As I understand it, even human physicists are postulating other dimensions and theories (e.g., string theory) in an attempt to explain quantum phenomena, such as "spooky action at a distance".
My own understanding of levels of reality suggests a reasonable solution to the question of spooky action at a distance.

Imagine a sheet of glass with someone standing above it. They place their fingers on the glass and their finger tips move along the glass. If you are standing beneath the glass it looks like these five objects look unconnected and if they start doing the same thing it appears as spooky action from a distance. Actually the action of the finger tips is the result of the wrist. The actions of a higher level of reality appear as spooky for us. Can photons exist as one? Science may eventually answer this.
Nice example, Nick_A! Awhile ago, I developed a similar example, trying to add humor:

Here’s an analogy that suggests the possibility of “hidden” dimensions: Suppose we live in the two-dimensional world of the surface of water in a swimming pool. Suppose a woman in the familiar 3-D world is sitting at the side of the pool, dangling both her feet in the water up to the ankles or lower calves, which she fetchingly separates and moves from side-to-side at the same time, for the benefit of the lifeguard. The intersection of her sexy stems with the water’s surface would appear to us 2-D folk as two mysterious strips of matter, separated in our world but acting in concert.
It is good to see you haven’t lost your sense of humor

Recently science has been opening to the Law of the Included Middle. It became necessary due to the limitations of the Law of the Excluded Middle introduced by Aristotle. The Law of the Included Middle connects levels of reality while the law of the Excluded Middle refers to one level of reality. Who knows: in the future it may explain the reality of miracles and the process by which the reality above Plato’s divided line connects with reality below the line.

Above all, don’t lose your sense of humor and allow it to devolve into mockery as has become the norm. I see myself locked in a room with four progressive feminist psychologists paid by the government to understand me and make me normal. There is a large wall window which is becoming increasingly inviting. How long will it take before I jump? :)

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Greta
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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by Greta » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:59 am

Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:52 am
There is a large wall window which is becoming increasingly inviting. How long will it take before I jump? :)
My advice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwYN7mTi6HM!

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by Lacewing » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:19 am

Greta wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:59 am
Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:52 am
There is a large wall window which is becoming increasingly inviting. How long will it take before I jump? :)
My advice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwYN7mTi6HM!
Oh yeh, baby! :D

And here's my advice, Nick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3HemKGDavw

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Re: Droll Implications of the Supernatural

Post by attofishpi » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:59 am

QuantumT wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:51 pm
attofishpi wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:00 pm
Yes, a tosspot that couldn't nail it in the uva.
I see where you're heading with your posts tonight.
You are a bit moody, and you thought it'd be a shame to keep it to yourself.
Spread the misery, regret, pessimism and dread. What more can a man do? :mrgreen:
Actually, I must say sorry for me being a tosspot last night!! Sawy everyone!

I was rather legless after watching the footy. :oops:

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