Loving Oneness Now

INTRODUCTION TO THIS SECTION ON 

BOOKS, SITES, FILMS, MUSIC, ETC.

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Over several decades of study and reading I have found many insightful resources which have helped me to understand spirituality, metaphysics, philosophy, psychology, as well as physical science and the social sciences.

My purpose in the Pages that follow is not to provide the reader with any resources and materials for a systematic study of these topics, but rather to reveal some of the sources of many of the pieces of my multidimensional jig-saw puzzle of Truth which I have been piecing together for over fifty years.

One predicament facing many seekers of unified, integrated knowledge is the narrow, high-level specialization of the top "authorities" in their fields of discipline. For example, few psychologists have studied mathematics and physics in depth, while it is rare for cosmologists to have an extensive knowledge of psychology or philosophy (and if they do have that knowledge they do not "let on.") How many neurologists or physicists meditate every day, even though there is copious research evidence for its stress-relieving efficacy? Very few academics of any stripe have made a deep comparative study of the common philosophies embedded within the religions of Buddhism, Christianity, the Vedas, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Huna, and Shamanism -- what Aldous Huxley called the "Perennial Philosophy." Most of them do not get past religious history, rituals and miracles-as-magic. Even if we exclude the materialist skeptics who unequivocally deny the existence of non-material mind, very few open-minded experts in the various disciplines of human academic knowledge have seriously investigated "anomalous" spiritual and parapsychological phenomena because of a preconceived dismissal of the validity of all the research studies that exist. 

Most genuine experts quote Carl Sagan who said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." However, this statement in no way states who the self-appointed people are, who, in consensus, have the power or right to decide what claims (or hypotheses) are to be considered "extraordinary." For example, does everyone in the world have to defer to one man's philosophical ideas of proof, namely the Logical Positivist philosopher A. J. Ayers, who decreed that Truth is only valid when the hypothesis in question is not only able to be phrased in a practically "scientific" testable way, but is also affirmatively confirmed by the hypothetico-deductive experimental method--not to mention a series of subsequent, independent, successful, experimental  replications. Also who decides the valid criteria for "extraordinary proof?" Please note here that I am only referring to those expert individuals who hold doctorates in their field -- not out of prejudice, but to try to narrow the definition of "expert" for the purposes of this discussion. Sometimes I think it would be a wise procedure to train all scientists (and all other professionals involved in research) on the entire history, evolution and philosophy of all science, including past blunders, erroneous prognostications, common pitfalls and logical fallacies. At the moment scientific research is not only riddled with double standards, but also permeated with biased belief systems, emotional embarrassments and preconceived suppositions. Many scientists are embarrassed by any parapsychological research taking place in their universities and may lobby to shut it down, labeling it "pseudoscience." Yet we hardly ever hear of anyone calling string theory, or multiple universe theories "pseudoscience" or an "extraordinary claim" even though, to date, there is not a single research study that has tested these hypotheses, or even suggested a research design for doing so. Thus I am suggesting the word "pseudoscience" be abolished from academia and everyday discussions because it is a prejudicially loaded logical fallacy; a label is just a label and has no scientific validity. 

Open-mindedness is the key to knowledge. I echo Hamlet here, with: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." 

 

Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD

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