Seriously Strange, 3



Realist Idealism

Edward F. Kelly


p. 50 systematic agreements of materialism with mysticism

According to the tenets of materialism, "Mental causation, free will and 'the self' do not really exist; they are instead mere illusions ... . ...

{Similarly, in the metaphysics of mystics, mortal minds are divinely controlled, on account of which divine control there can be no more than an illusion of free will on the part of mortals; nor can there be a self apart from hegemony of the divine reality. [written Feb 20 2015]}

Views of this sort unquestionably hold sway over the vast majority of contemporary scientists".

{Such views are unquaestionably similar to (and even almost indistinguishable from) those of traditional mystics.}

{Materialism and mysticism are each a holistic, systematic effort at explaining the universe -- but whereas materialism so brittley intractable that it cannot explain results of parapsychology, mysticism is flexible enough that it can. [written Feb 20 2015]}

p. 51 "forbidden"

"there already existed a large literature of experimental and field investigations of psychic or 'psi' phenomena ... . It was immediately evident, moreover, that these reported phenomena ... were of great theoretical importance, precisely because

they were so unexpected ...

{entirely expected, however, by every mystic}

indeed forbidden in the context of physicalist science."

{but indeed required in the context of mysticalist science}

pp. 51-2 discovery of a psychic

p. 51

In 1972, to "J. B. Rhine's Institute for Parapsychology in Durham,

p. 52

North Carolina, ... an unusually gifted psychic named Bill Delmore (BD) came for a ... visit, having been discovered at Yale Law School by ... Irvin Child [1973]".

Child 1973 = Irvin Child : Humanistic Psychology and the Research Tradition. John Wiley, NY.

p. 54 psi phainomena & states of consciousness

"there exists a deep connection, cross-culturally and historically, between unusually strong outcroppings of psi phenomena and a small family of interrelated altered states of consciousness (ASC) associated with circumstances such as deep hypnosis, trance mediumship, meditation and shamanic practices of various sorts."

p. 55 the author (E.F.K.)'s 2nd marriage

"In 1992, while serving as a trustee of the American Society for Psychical Research in News York, I made the acquaintance of fellow trustee Emily Williams Cook who had long been working in psychical research with Ian Stevenson at the University of Virginia, and who had just obtained her PhD from the University of Edinburgh with a dissertation on F. W. H. Myers ... . Emily and I ... married in June of 1998."

pp. 55-6 Survival Seminar

p. 55

"Mike Murphy, co-founder of the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, ... was organizing under the auspices of his Centre for Theory and Research on the topic of empirical evidence for post-mortem survival. This group ... quickly became known as 'Sursem' (for SURvival SEMinar) ... .

p. 56

... Sursem's members ... shared from the beginning a strong conviction that conventional physicalists cannot possibly be correct."

"I agreed to serve as lead author for the book -- to be titled Irreducible Mind ... (henceforth IM) ... . ... I therefore retired early from UNC ... so that I could ... work full-time on the book. The next four-and-a-half years were largely consumed by the actual writing and editing".

Edward F. Kelly, Emily W. Kelly, Adam Crabtree, Alan Gauld, Michael Grosso, & Bruce Greyson : Irreducible Mind : Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham (MD), 2007.

p. 58 "only living persons"?

"threat to the survivalist interpretation arises ... from the difficulty of excluding alternative explanations based upon psi interactions involving only living persons."

{Even when living persons are involved, how-be-it, they must employ a supernatural agent (generally a spirit-guide) to perform the conveying of the information.}

{The author (E.F.K.) would seem to be theatening spiritualist explanations by refusing to consider the quaestion of what (and how) divine intermediaries must be performing, for mortals (who most certainly cannot be performing it themselves, for they are entirely unaware of its technical mechanisms of process) the actual procedure (which must be at least as intricately technical as is the process of intercommunication via radio [walkie-talkie], all of which must require considerable erudition and skills in electronics-manufacture) [written Mar 15 2016]. Furthermore, if the spirit-guide can be expected to rendre a faithful reproduction of thoughts in telepathy, then that spirit-guide might well be reliable on rendring accounts of the Antara-bhava (between-lives transition for each soul of the dead) [written Feb 20 2015].}

pp. 61, 63 incompatibility of the mind with the brain

p. 61

"A number of well-documented psychological phenomena involve levels of detail, precision or logical depth that

are difficult to reconcile

{cannot at all be reconciled}

with what can be achieved by a brain that operates in a statistical way with neural components of low intrinsic precisionand reliability. There are many examples, including eidetic imagery and various forms of prodigious memory".

p. 63

"Most challenging of all to

{Entirely defeasive of}

mainstream views is the large body of evidence suggesting that autobiographical, semantic and procedural (skill) memories sometimes {usually} survive bodily death.

If this is {be} the case, memory in living persons presumably exists at least in part

outside the brain and body as conventionally understood."

{quite external to the material brain-and-body, but not entirely outside the subtle (the immaterial, whereof the material is a mere replica) brain-and-body}

p. 64 an additional entity may co-occupy, and co-controll, a human body

"a large body of credible evidence demonstrates that additional 'cognitive systems', psychological entities indistinguishable from conscious minds or personalities as we normally understand these terms, can sometimes occupy the same organism -- ...

not in alternation, moreover, but

{Sometimes, however, this may transpire in alternation, such as when (for some advanced shamans) the person is absent from the material body, undertaking functions in another world, while a "walk-in" entity is in occupation, and controll, of the material body.}

concurrently -- carrying on their varied existences as it were in parallel and largely outside the awareness of the primary, everyday consciousness. ...


{Emerging out of a transcendent Otherworld (their homeland, whereinto they may eventually return) into contact with the material universe}

'multiple' or 'alter' personalities can also differ widely, not only in demeanour and knowledge but also even in regard to deep physiological characteristics ... . More challenging still, it sometimes happens that one of these personalities has direct access to the conscious experience of one or more others, but not vice versa."

p. 65 instance of automatic writeress (James 1986)

"Anna, at a certain point lost voluntary control of her right arm, which was taken over by a distinct secondary personality. This personality ... was ... often protecting Anna from her pronounced tendencies towards self-injury.

{Similarly, the daimon of Sokrates often protected him from injury, by directing him to walk elsewhere. This is commonplace; even I have experienced such protection.}

Stump {the name of this possessing-spirit} typically

{evidently a limb of the hero STUMPHalos, who suffred "dismembering and scattering his body" (DCM, s.v. "Aeacus", p. 14b, citing A:B 3:12:6).}

wrote or drew while Anna was occupied with other matters, but

{"automatic writing", which I also have experienced}

he {why not "she"? -- one of the daughters of Stumphalos, the STUMPhalides (DCM, s.v. "Stymphalus", p. 428a)} also continued writing and drawing even when Anna

{This ability on the part of a possessing-spirit while its occupied mortal is asleep is comparable to the speaking of possessing-spirits through mouth of the sleeping Edgar Cayce by sleep-talking.}

was asleep, and

{The dismembring of Stumphalos was expiated by Aiakos, who was renowned for his dream about a tree being climbed by emmets, which emmets became transformed (O:M VII:614-660).}

sometimes in total darkness."

{"During the first long night, ... the creator's wife began throwing [as if they were meteors] "poisonous ants" (tocandira) in the direction of the tree"; but those emmets became "transformed" (MJSh, p. 17), namely into moths (MJSh, p. 160); Aztec butterfly-goddess Itz-papalotl praesiding over meteors.}

James 1986 = William James (ed. by F. H. Burchardt) : Essays in Psychical Research. Harvard Univ Pr, Cambridge (MA).

DCM = Pierre Grimal (transl. by Maxwell-Hyslop) : The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Blackwell Publ, Oxford, 1986.

A:B = Apollodoros : Bibliotheka.

O:M = Ovidius : Metamorphoses.

MJSh = Robin M. Wright : Mysteries of the Jaguar Shamans of the Northwest Amazon. Univ of NE Pr, Lincoln, 2013.

p. 68 instance of a mathematician-adept

"A particularly dramatic case in point is that of the Indian {Hindu} mathematical genius Ramanujan ... .

Replete with demonstrations of prodigious memory, psychological {i.e., deity-controlled} automatisms, mathematical discoveries presented in the form of dreams, and profound ... intuitions of hidden but ultimately verifiable properties of the physical world,

{Surely he (who was religiously devout -- he could not have achieved these results otherwise) was being assisted by deities of (or adept in) mathematics, who were, by throught-transference, assisting (even in dreams) his abilities.}

this astonishing case fairly beggars the theoretic apparatus currently available to cognitive science".

{It may beggar the delusion of materialism, but certainly not the reality of the divine worlds in which he put his faith.}

{"Ramanujan believed that 17 new functions he discovered were “mock modular forms” that looked like theta functions ..., but weren’t super-symmetric. Ramanujan, a devout Hindu, thought {disclosed that} these patterns were revealed to him by the goddess Namagiri." ("RV", quoting HP"RMMF")} {Nama-giri ('Name-Mountain') is apparently the wife of Nara-simha ('Man-Lion'); in s`aligrama-guise he was transported to her by the flying monkey Hanu-mant ('Jaw-possessing') ("SSN") : much as a conch was threaded by flying hero Daidalos.} {"Goddess Sri Namagiri Lakshmi blesses lot of devotees by appearing in their dreams. Goddess Sri Namagiri Lakshmi will give advices and solutions for the problems of her devotees and will tell lot of things in dreams. ... The great mathematician RAMANUJAM is one of such devotee who got ... of Goddess S`ri Namagiri Lakshmi ... mathematics techniques and gave solutions for critical problems in dream. ... Goddess S`ri Namagiri Lakshmi, recovers lot of persons from mental disorder and devils. Goddess has a silver stick in her hands." ("GS`NL") With this "silver stick", cf. the silvern bow held by goddess Artemis.}

"RV" = "Ramanujan Visions".

HP"RMMF" = "Ramanujan's Mock Modular Forms". HUFFINGTON POST Dec. 27 2012.

"SSN" = "Serene Scenic Namakkal".

"GS`NL" = "Goddess S`ri Namagiri Mahalakshmi".

pp. 71-2 idealist intentionality vs. physicalist homunculus

p. 71

"Intentionality is inherently a three-way relation involving users, symbols and things symbolized ... . ... .

... Brentano's thesis ... is that intentionality cannot be obtained from any kind of physical system, including brains. ...

p. 72

Cognitive modellers seeking to provide strictly physicalist accounts of mental functions must therefore do so without invoking a homunculus, but they routinely fail. Often the homunculus aspect is hidden, slipped into a model by its designers or builders by covertly enlisting the semantic and intentional capacities of its users or observers. Much contemporary work on computational modelling of memory, metaphor and semantics harbours subtle problems of this sort. ... [Physicalist] Cognitive models cannot function without a homunculus ..., precisely because they [i.e., the models] lack what we have -- minds, with their capacities for semantics, intentionality and all the rest built in."

pp. 72-3 holistic nature of mind/consciousness

p. 72

"[Rene'] Descartes, [William] James, and [John] Searle, among others, all have this right : Conscious experience comes to us

whole and undivided, with the qualitative feels, phenomenological content, unity and subjective point of view all built-in, intrinsic features. ...

{The fact that this is true despite the fact of its internal organization into skandha-s (which must be understood as a praeliminary step toward achieving nirvan.a), must strongly suggest that the various deities who respectively praeside (in the Vajra-yana expositions of psychology) over the various skandha-s, must be co-operating with utmost co-operation (i.e., in a harmony of absolute communism). Therefore only a devout communist can be a genuine psychologist. [written Mar 15 2016]}

p. 73

Volition too has an intentionality aspect, for as Nietzsche somewhere remarked, one cannot just will, one must will something."

{Its etymology would imply that VOLition would be a function (in the Taoist sense of internal alchemy) of the VALa-khilya (in the Puran.a-s; VAL-ho,l in the Edda), organized into a sort of tribe (Latin VOLsci, Norse VOLsung).}

p. 73 countre-intuitive materialists' denials : in denial of the existence of their own minds!

"I find it astonishing, and predict that it will be found so as well by our intellectual descendants, that so much of contemporary science and philosophy has sought -- consciously! --

to slight or ignore these first-person realities of the mind, and sometimes even to deny that they exist. {In this way, however, occidental "contemporary science and philosophy" is accord with traditional oriental dars`an.a-s ('philosophies').}

{The Buddha likewise preached against the delusive notion of an atman ('self'), and likewise the notion of ahamkara ('egoity') is denounced in the Agama-s. In these philosophies, the illusion of a self is cautiously explained in terms of an ultimate reality of the divine.}

There is perhaps no better example of the power of pre-existing theoretical commitments to blind us {us! including the author?} to countervailing facts."

{More actually, there is perhaps no better example of the power of satya daivata ('divine truth') to enlighten the working-class, and the working-class's natural communist-theist allies, to metaphysical realities of an-atman ('no-self').}

{However, the an-atman dars`ana would not exclude vijn~ana ('consciousness'), so long as the consciousness be understood as that of devata-s ('deities') exclusively -- any supposed "self-consciousness" being real when understood as divinely-originating, though requiring to be categorized as an illusion to the extent [merely!] not so-understood.}

pp. 74-5 quantum mechanics' refutation of the materialist dogma that materialist principles are able logically to "close" (i.e., fully to describe) physics

p. 74

"The founders of quantum mechanics ... were driven to ... quantum theory, ... a more fundamental and better theory ... .

No prediction made by it has ever been falsified. ...

{How-be-it, further refinements (introduced since the original introduction of quantum mechanics, and necessitated by further experimental evidence) have led to the discarding of some assumptions assumed by its original founders -- e.g., the notion of an electron's "orbital", which hath proved to be instead a resonanance among particles vibrating to-and-fro along a axes toward and from the nucleus (fixed axes, at fixed relative angles, established as an innovation of stereochemistry).}

Mathematical physicist Henry Stapp [2007] has even shown that ... quantum

p. 75

mechanics ... naturally gives rise to a picture in which the human mind with its powers of attention and decision-making plays a critical role in ... the quantum dynamics.

{In daivika ('theistic') Vais`es.ika ('atomic') dars`an.a, however, the an.u ('quark') is able to exhibit quasi-mental qualities because it is robotically controlled by divine mentality.}

As a corollary, the ... doctrine of 'causal closure of the physical', which underwrites contemporary physicalist denials of free will, collapses.

{The daivika Vais`es.ika version of this corollary, however, is a causal closure of the ('subtle', i.e. immaterial/nonphysical), which underwriteth theistic (e.g., Vajra-yana) denials of the illusion of a self, collapsing the egotistic illusion of "free will" into a universal divine control of all matter and of all mind.}

It also appears likely that many of the 'rogue' empirical phenomena, from stigmata ...

{If the Christed stigmata be roguish, then Jesus Christ must be quite a regular rogue.}

to psi phenomena and even post-mortem survival, are potentially understandable within this broader framework."

{Actually, psi phainomena require praeternatural intelligences and praeternatural agents to explain them; a broader framework manifest as universal mentality, the cosmic mind (of Neo-Platonism, of Yoga-acara, etc. etc.).}

Stapp 2007 = Henry P. Stapp : Mindful Universe : Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer. Springer Verlag, Berlin.

pp. 75-6 approaches, through metaphysics and mysticism, to accomodating psi-phainomena

p. 75

At "Sursem, ... commonalities across a wide range of theoretical approaches have begun to emerge more clearly, with ...

p. 76

Whiteheadian metaphysics on one side and mysticism-based religious philosophies on the other.

{These two "sides" need not artificially be held asunder, insofar as they can quite naturally be merged.}

To expedite its emergence we have reinforced our membership, adding ... a Whiteheadian philosopher, and several scholars representing ... Neo-Platonism, Tibetan Buddhism and tantric outgrowths of Hinduism ... .

... to find or construct a theory capable of accommodating psi, post-mortem survival and all of the other 'rogue' phenomena ..., ... we are ... bringing together the diverse and normally non-interactive perspectives of ...

metaphysical philosophy and the great mystical traditions with their broadly similar ... views."

{The metaphysics of Neo-Platonism (in common with Neo-Pythagoreanism) is heavily theistic (with, e.g., Morai/Fatae = Eddic Weird Sisters), not merely "broadly", but even in detail through their matching devotions and rites.}

pp. 78-80 essential validity of traditional religions for understanding of the universe

p. 78

"Now it takes astonishing hubris ... for critics of religion to dismiss en masse the collective experience and wisdom of ... our forbears, including persons widely recognized as pillars of all human civilization.

More importantly, such blanket dismissals systematically overlook inconvenient facts of the sorts assembled in I[rreducible] M[ind] and related works, which demonstrate ... the inadequacy of conventional physicalism".

p. 79

"The scientific and philosophical critics of religion are certainly justified in pointing out that profound doctrinal differences separate the world's major faiths ... . ... .

{The minor religions (African, Siberian, AmerIndian), however, are in most respects more reliable (because they are not so intensively infected with ruling-class propaganda) than the major ones (Christianity, >islam, etc.). The minor religions are more alike, less separated by doctrinal differences.}

... what we need to do is ... to get at whatever truth or truths may underlie them, and ...

{This is more easily performed with the shamanic-style (shamanry-based) religions, i.e., those reliant on dreams.}

the most effective way to accomplish this is to focus more narrowly on mystical experience".

{The most adept and versatile of mystics are the shamans, known in Gnostic terms as psukhikoi-kai-pneumatikoi.}

p. 80

"More insidiously, all of the relevant disciplines seem ... preoccupied with the sorts of minor ... textual differences that feed academic specialization and territorialism but obscure the experiential realities we're after.

{Anthropologists, who tend to study from living personal informants such as shamans, tend to succumb to this attitude far less than do mere perusers of written manuscripts.}

Many religious scholars seem terrified of being perceived as having lost scholarly objectivity ... if they express support for any truth claims of the traditions they study."

{Even anthropologists used to be seemingly somewhat guilty of this, but they have become less so in recent decades (due to their universities' liberalizing policies allowing them increasing leeway).}

p. 81 traditionalist perennialists

"I've recently become aware of the need to distance ourselves from one particular source of perennialist views, namely, a group commonly identified as 'the traditionalists', including R. Guenon, A. K. Coomaraswamy, F. Schuon and their followers (Oldmeadow [2000] provides a sympathetic overview)."

{The main defect of these writers' procedure is that they tend to rely only on the religions of litterate cultures (Levant, India, China, etc.), while largely ignoring the religions of illiterate cultures (Africans, Siberians, AmerIndians, etc.).}

Oldmeadow 2000 = Kenneth Oldmeadow : Traditionalism : Religion in the Light of Perennial Philosophy. S`ri Lanka Institute of Traditional Studies, Colombo.

{Overall, the illitterate cultures are more reliable in their religious outlooks (trusting in dream-experiences, etc.) than are the litterate cultures, simply because the latter tend to be dominated by oppressive ruling-classes who have severely distorted any records detailing the nature of the religions in the nations which they (those ruling-classes) control and manipulate.}

p. 83 extrovertive mysticism

"Another development post-IM is that I have become convinced, thanks mainly to the excellent book [2005] by Paul Marshall, that Michael Grosso and I -- like Stace -- seriously underestimated the importance and value of

mystical experiences of the extrovertive type.

{Typical of "mystical experiences of the extrovertive type" would be public performances by Siberian shamans.}

Marshall first reviews in unusual detail the rich and variegated phenomenology of such experiences and then traces the ... history of attempts to explain them. In this context he clearly demonstrates the superiority ... of a Myers-James-IM filter-type psychological theory, which views

the brain not as the generator of mind and consciousness, but as ... limiting the operations of a mind and consciousness inherently far greater in capacities and scope."

{The "far greater in capacities and scope" is entirely due to deities' communicating (superconsciously) with the souls of mortals. But, when mortals' souls become ensconced in material bodies, then, because the material bodies feel degrading to deities, those deities are less eagre telepathically to illuminate (with supernal understanding) the consciousness of mortals than when (e.g., during dreams, during trances) the mortals' minds are located in some other, immaterial, body. [written Feb 27 2015]}

Marshall 2005 = Paul Marshall : Mystical Encounters with the Natural World. Oxford Univ Pr.

p. 83 "ineffable"?

"mystical experience ... is universally characterized, moreover, as both ineffable {'unspeakable'} ... and yet profoundly noetic {i.e., 'mindful', especially on matters of public ethics}".

{This term "ineffable" in insiders' jargon, intending secretly to denote their disapproval (which they dare not express, lest they be severely poinalized) of the materialistic greed-maddened capitalist regime of government, which illegimately hegemonic government is persistently intent on degrading public ethics and on demoting mystical experience.}

{So-called "ineffable" experience is generally of encountring (such as, in dreams, as recorded in Carl G. Jung's Red Book) self-proclaimed deities, who urge the experiencing mortal to establish a "new religion" (in the waking-world) in opposition to the political-state-promoted degeneracy going by the false name of "religion" (Calvinism, in the Swiss C. G. Jung's case).}

p. 84 idealistic tendency of mysticism

"As noted already by William James, the mystical traditions tend philosophically towads the sorts of idealism that dominated Western metaphysical thinking from Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich W. J. Schelling and Georg Hegel up through the early twentieth century, and it is important to recognize that such views were never actually refuted ... . ... perhaps this kind of metaphysics can be also rehabilitated, especially in light of the phenomena of mysticism. Its central philosphical ... relations ... -- the main focus of James -- ... has been revisited in an important modern defence of idealism by Sprigge (1983)".

Sprigge 1983 = Timothy L. S. Sprigge : The Vindication of Absolute Idealism. Edinburgh Univ Pr.

p. 85 "all that existing evidence warrants"??

"After decades ... Myers had arrived at a few basic conclusions ... :

that survival of bodily death is a fact,

{metempsychosis, a Pythagorean, Platonic, and Neo-Druidic doctrine}

that the universe somehow preserves a complete record of its own past history,

{akas`ik record}

that there is a kind of telepathically mediated universal gravitation of like-minded souls, and

{that like-minded mortals are caused by their guardian-angels to be born (and by their spirit-guides to travel during life) in mutual proximity when in the material plane}

that some sort of evolutionary impulse governs both earthly and post-mortem life.

{as guided by various interested deities}

'This short creed', he says in his autobioigraphy [quoted from Myers 1893, p. 37 :] is all that existing evidence warrants; and is enough for the needs of life."

{A vast multiple of these few conclusions is warranted by the existing evidence : for, the "existing evidence" must include the subtle-body travels by astral-projectors, by shamans, and as guests of flying-saucer crews, etc., to numerous worlds and to diverse planes-of-existence; and much, much more (such as, descriptions of auras by seers, practitioners' mechanisms of spirit-possession, etc. etc.). But not even all this is really sufficient for the needs of life.}

Myers 1893 = Frederic W.H. Myers : Fragments of an Inner Life. privately printed. (reprinted 1961 London : Soc for Psychical Research)

{The "needs of life" must include finding an efficient method (involving powers from various transcendent planes-of-existence) for replacing capitalism with a socially more aequitable form of oikonomic system -- and, indeed, must entertain many other non-oikonomic enterprises, worldly and otherworldly.}


Sudhir Kakar & Jeffrey J. Kripal (edd.) : Seriously Strange : Thinking Anew about Psychical Experiences. Penguin Bks India, New Delhi, 2012.