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Reply To: Science and the Horizon


Hello Sunbug

I just scrolled up and read your beautiful, poignant and thought provoking post on “Science and Horizon”. So, I have the answer to the question I asked above, that is, “You are a dancer, and honor scientists around the world, Jane Goodall, your mother, and many others, including the great Albert Einstein.

You wrote, “To Jane’s credit…I never felt she put herself on a scientific pedestal and I love that about her!  I would hate to think of science just being a wise, “fact collecting factory,” which stores all its information and new found ore in the equivalent of a sacred dusty tome or bank under digital lock and lab key. And waits for the right time to reveal.”  I hope so too Sunbug, and the data collection on topics that were found to be just amusing are actually being done in earnest, so as to understand that which science had shunned so long ago.

So I was sharing the data collection and  factory part with Stephen on another thread. There are so many branches of science. Medicine, they say is not an exact science, it’s a trial and error, not so much the microbiology and virology part, but the getting to the root cause of illness, and the pharmacological element because ‘one size does not fit all’ whereas, a scientific experiment has to demonstrate the universality of the findings.

That said, in Medicine, there is  immense interest in ‘life after death’ and is no longer that spooky world of ghosts and goblins. But to remove the stigma of spookiness, data has to be collected, sampled and verified. Your life was around an astronomer-mom, so you must know much more than what I am going to present here, nevertheless here I am.

From another post:

(Science presents us with a picture of a much more mechanical universe in which there is no absolute morality and man has no purpose and no personal responsibility except to his culture and his biology, wrote, Peter Brooke Fenwick a Neuropsychiatrist and Neurophysiologist who is also known for his studies of epilepsy and end-of-life phenomena.

His patients came to him with cases of  NDE…. “How should I believe them when just a few years ago, my peers and I had put aside Dr. Raymond Moody’s ‘Life after Life’,  as mere fiction?”

It’s a very difficult concept to believe in,  you either have it or not, or you meet someone whose stories, although beyond-belief, draw you in. So faced by enough NDE cases, he filed for a grant to research core experiences of people with NDE .  What he wanted to do was collect data, because faith is no longer sufficient in this day and age. Data on what causes NDEs.  “We no longer live in an age when faith is sufficient; we demand data, and we are driven by data. And it is data that apparently throws some light on our current concepts of Heaven and Hell – that the near-death experience seems to offer.”  (The Truth  in the Light) Grant awarded, his research took a serious turn.  He observed that NDE is caused by many types of serious illnesses, but what was common in those experiences was the brain-factor — the brain had stopped functioning, so he chose heart patients, who are kept alive while their brains are on a semi break.

The data collection began in an atmosphere of doubt. The Doctors termed it  ‘mere hallucinations ’ because of drugs, but the nurses said, “NO, we believe the stories, there are so many now.”  Power in numbers is what propelled this project. The outcome of his research, among other things is a book, “The Art of Dying”.  His book looks at how other cultures have dealt with death and the dying process (The Tibetan “death system”, Swedenborg, etc.) and compares this with phenomena reported through his own recent scientific research. It explores the experiences of health care workers who are involved with EOL-care  and who feel that they need a better understanding of the dying process.

A Nurse/Director of a Health Care Center in Canada, BC is reported to have said, “No one dies alone in my hospital.”  Why, she was asked. Her response: On her first meeting with her hospice patients, she asks, “Who do you think will come to collect you?”  “Just dwell on that. Sooner or later they give a name, say, “Meghan” or “Mary” or Fatima”.  Then each morning she (the Nurse) asks them, “Did Meghan or Mary or Fatima visit you?” And if the answer is “No”, she says to keep on waiting. And one day, the answer is “Yes”, so she then says, “Next time Mary or Meghan come for you, go!” So, it’s generally a matter of a day or two when the patient passes peacefully.)

Before the pandemic, I planned to hike the Komanu-Kodo trails in Japan,  and that was put to rest after the COVID restrictions. One Indian-American and part Japanese writer that I enjoy reading is Pico Iyer. Pico writes:

In the wake of the tsunami in 2011, there was a rush on exorcisms as “hungry ghosts”—those abruptly taken from the earth without time to prepare for another world—were said to cluster around northern Japan, often speaking through the living, and unprepared priests were obliged to expel demons.”

My old friend Bill Powers, from MIT’s Media Lab, was conducting a seminar near Kyoto in 2017 when the conversation turned to artificial intelligence. One of the high-level Japanese executives present—from a celebrated international communications company—said that the great blessing of artificial intelligence would be that it might allow us to converse more easily with the dead. “I’d never thought of it like that,” Bill said to me next day. “Which of us would? That cutting-edge technology might be not so much about surging into the future as more freely accessing the wise ghosts of the past?” Iyer, Pico. A Beginner’s Guide to Japan (p. 142). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Joe Campbell said something very similar,  many many years ago, (though I do not recall where) that is, science and religion will come closer instead of moving apart?

Loved your prolific post to Craig Deninger