'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperbole?

Penelope

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Can a person have a genuine religious experience from a place thought to be Sacred ... ?

1.
I've seen special photographs, of hands with missing fingers, showing auras or ghost-electromagnetic images of the amputated finger - as if still attached.
Tested, reliable psychics report sensing intense negative energy ("something very traumatic happened here" with odors and images) from what later proves to be the actual site of a vicious murder.

Do physical places on this planet (like with a human body) retain a similar memory of powerfully positive or religiously significant events which happened long ago at this specific spot?
(Do such events retain an aura or ghost-electromagnetic memory of some kind?)

Say ...
Can the same place where the Angel of God interrupted Abraham from slitting the throat of and barbequing this only son, Isaac ... provide some residual vibrations of what Abraham or Isaac was feeling at this particular moment in time 3700 years ago? (Genesis 22.)
Can we gain a religious experience just from this geologic location alone?

2.
Or is a "religious experience" from a so-called "sacred place" just a form of hysteria?
Or (more kindly) are "sacred places" merely emotionally "valued" places to one culture but meaningless to another culture? Places of traditional devotion, but places which - in themselves - contain absolutely nil mysterious energy, nil residual memory, of past events which happened there?

3.
And ...
What if this "sacred place" is actually the wrong place?
(The sacred event actually happened on that mountain, or in that cave. Not on this mountain, not in this cave?)
Is the religious experience which is "experienced" in the wrong place still a valid religious experience? How?
(Or, is it - by definition - a deluded experience?)

4.
Or does "place" have nothing to do with religious experience?
It's only the pilgrimage to this place which matters?
(A location which may or may not have hosted a significant ancient event, but entirely a matter of ... how the idea of this "sacred place" has inspired the pilgrim's spiritual exertion to arrive at this set of GPS coordinates?)

5.
What is the relationship of a genuine religious experience to a specific place upon this planet?

 

Dream

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

May I just say my opinion? Personally, I think that actions have memories in them, but not places except to the extent that they are actions too. It has to do with imagery. Time is something we imagine. What you do today is a singular event, like a fingerprint; and also though you have limited time your actions are part of eternity. The place where a murder happened is neutral, but in a sense the murder is still happening just as the life is. I just think that time is a religion that helps us appreciate reality. Those police psychics are thinking about murder, looking for dark images already or they wouldn't connect with the crime scene at all. If they were thinking about flowers they would have gone, "Ooh something pretty was growing here!"
 

citizenzen

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

Those police psychics are thinking about murder, looking for dark images already or they wouldn't connect with the crime scene at all.

Exactly. Somebody takes a psychic to a spot and asks what they feel. It's not likely the answer sought is "Somebody bought a pint of half-and-half here."

You don't have to be psychic to know that.

BTW, what is a tested and reliable psychic? If they are testable and reliable, why haven't they been scientifically confirmed as the first proven psychic in the history of mankind? Maybe they're just not testable or reliable when observed by people in white coats. People in white coats are always throwing off the psychic's vibe. :rolleyes:
 

Dondi

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

We had a similiar discussion of this in another thread, Entangled Atoms, starting with Brian's post #9.
 

GlorytoGod

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

yes of course, in fact you dont even need to know its sacred to get it :eek:
 

17th Angel

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

I think anyone can have a "religious experience" anywhere, especially if that is in their mindset, to look for miracles, ghosties, uber beings and whatnot..... You can also easily, place/suggest to that kind of mindset to have a "religious experience" But yeah, I think there can quite possibly be an increased chance of this "experience" in "sacred/hallowed" grounds lol..... Not as much as a situation where there is fear and chance of death, that is still the highest rate I reckon! But it's up there...
 

path_of_one

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

BTW, what is a tested and reliable psychic? If they are testable and reliable, why haven't they been scientifically confirmed as the first proven psychic in the history of mankind? Maybe they're just not testable or reliable when observed by people in white coats. People in white coats are always throwing off the psychic's vibe. :rolleyes:

There are police departments that use psychics to solve crimes. Their success rate would make them reliable. I knew one police detective that worked in crimes against children until he retired; he solved crimes (in part) through having visions of what had happened at crime scenes, which indicated to him where the evidence was.

Why are folks like him not tested as psychics? Because they aren't necessarily billing themselves as psychics, first of all. He realized that retrocognition was not a "normal" way of solving crimes, but he didn't bother to inform the public at large about why his "hunches" were so consistently accurate. Many people don't want that kind of publicity or to spend time being tested by other people. I know I wouldn't.

Second, there is little incentive (and by incentive, I mean grant funding) to test psychics. It's not currently considered a topic that is scientific enough, so most won't touch it.

Third, from what I understand, the Army has dabbled in research on this sort of thing, but I don't think they widely publish their results.

Fourth, the large array of stuff classified as psychic phenomena are (in part) difficult to test because they are (largely) interactive. What that means is that one isn't just testing the psychic but rather the interaction between the psychic and something else. Just like any other kind of information, if extra-sensory (of some sort) information is out there, humans will be subconsciously selective about how they gather, sort and process it. Just as you can't dump a person off somewhere and have them notice or remember every inconsequential detail, if psychics exist they would not notice or "remember" (through retrocognition) that someone bought a pint of half-and-half. That would get washed out just like how ordinary people don't notice all the myriad of bits of irrelevant information that bombards them every day. Crimes, war, and so on is more salient because it stands out from the noise of ordinary activity.
 

Eudaimonist

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

Can a person have a genuine religious experience from a place thought to be Sacred ... ?

Ever been to Cape Canaveral? It was a religious experience for me.


eudaimonia,

Mark
 

citizenzen

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

There are police departments that use psychics to solve crimes. Their success rate would make them reliable. I knew one police detective that worked in crimes against children until he retired; he solved crimes (in part) through having visions of what had happened at crime scenes, which indicated to him where the evidence was.

Perhaps we could test their success rate to determine whether they are truly reliable. I'll bet police are just as prone as anybody to fall prey to superstition when it comes to solving crime.

Crimes are a daily occurrence. And who wouldn't want to improve police and crime solving tactics? There would be (it would seem to me) a demand to verify whether psychics can solve crimes. My position isn't that these thing don't or can't exist. My position is that until it is proved, it is unproven. One thing that is proven is the gullibility of humans... even those that wear a badge and uniform. So I'll remain a skeptic.

That you "knew one police officer" who in part solved crimes by "having visions" is anecdotal and does not constitute proof, no more than knowing one person who smoked cigarettes and lived to be 100 proves that cigarettes are safe.
 

path_of_one

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

I am not saying that psychic phenomena are actually supernatural phenomena. I'm saying that the way we gather and process information can be more complicated than consciously, logically, and methodically looking for evidence at something like a crime scene. Processes by which subconsciously picked up information is translated into visions that are then understood as gestalts by the conscious mind have been discussed in cognitive anthropology, most notably among hunters who dream or have visions of where the prey will be.

I am not suggesting that we all use psychics to solve crimes. What I am suggesting is that what people *call* psychic phenomena may, in fact, be a legitimate way that the human brain assembles diverse and scattered information in the subconscious and then presents this to the conscious mind in some total picture that allows someone to intuit where the evidence is and what happened. This is not superstition, but rather suggesting valuation of the intuitive capabilities of human beings. I am suggesting that what people classify as "psychic" may not be superstition but rather a different way to obtain and/or process information.

As for the funding issue, there is always a bias in what is considered worthy, and it is not driven purely by usefulness. I don't think DOJ, who funds most of the work applying sciences to criminal justice, would consider "psychic" research seriously fundable. In my opinion, so long as we mystify it and then either reject intuitive capacities or act like it's some sort of supernatural ooglie-booglie thing that happens, it will remain in that unfundable category. More promise exists when we consider that "psychic" phenomena are probably just other ways people's brains might work to process information- which is a standpoint that goes beyond accuracy (lots of our other ways of processing information are also inaccurate, but still useful in some way). It's more interesting to me to ask why people might be processing information this way, and whether or not it is useful, than a simple "test" of some self-proclaimed psychics. I am far more interested in a representative sample of all people and their inherent diversity in how they obtain, store, and process information- and the results in their actions and decisions.
 

earl

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

Diane Powell, former Harvard psychiatrist with undergrad training in neuroscience published a recent book re psychic phenomena which she thinks are legit. Here's a short interview with her re it.:
Parapsychology Information Portal

earl
 

Faithfulservant

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

I am open to believing anything. I think there is a reason we arent supposed to talk to the dead and why mediums and witches are to be avoided according to scripture. I think that there are places that are sacred because that is in the scriptures also. Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.. the wailing wall are all sacred places. Mt Sinai would definitely be one.. As far as a haunting goes... I admit I watch ghosthunters and cynic though I may be I believe some of these places that this crew goes are actually haunted and one of the theories is that its like a record playing over and over again.. Is it some form of energy? I dont know but its interesting to think on.
 

lunamoth

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

Anyplace/everyplace is sacred when we open ourselves to the divine. Knowing of previous religious experiences in a place can help with that opening up. Pilgrimages enhance that opening because of the intention, attention and discipline they require, the setting aside of our usual worldly ways to be separate and (more) focused on God. Being set apart is part of holiness, maybe the main aspect of it.

Any and everything we do can be an act of worship, although not everything that is done is.

As to the idea of psychic experience tied to a place, perhaps it is somehow possible. A little while ago I read a bit about Whitehead's Philospohy of Organism, which (if I am getting it right) looks at existence not on a material basis, but an experiential basis. What 'exists' is not a material organism, but a moment of experience. Behind the experience is the accumulated 'weight' (my word, not Whitehead's) of all previous experience, connected to and thus capable of influencing the present moment. Likewise, all present moments are connected. So, if there is anything to this philosophy (and I think there is), then it is theortically possible for some concresence (Whitehead's word for an entity, including any human) to sense any other concresence in the present fleeting moment or in the past.

2c
 

Penelope

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

20 years ago, Les and I are driving south on I-17 out of Flagstaff, down out of the scrub forests and onto the high desert, heading for Phoenix. Third of the way there, we see a sign for Montezuma's Castle National Monument. We exit. The "Castle" is a few Anasazi cliff dwellings, set in the escarpment. A nice sandwich break from the road, but the place does not begin to approach the scale of Mesa Verde.

Les is ready to hit the highway, but I want to check out this mound a few miles down a backroad called Montezuma's Well. Aside from mesquite and scattered short deciduous trees, this is open gray desert. A dry, unattractive landscape. We walk up the trail, under a hot sun, to the top of the mound.

Then ... one of those 'pull the rug out from under your feet' moments.

A sudden cool breeze. A cacophony of bird songs. Rich mix of floral fragrances. Small animals scurrying for cover. A green bowl with blue water at its center.

The mound is actually a sinkhole in the limestone rock, with a round pool of water at its center, 100 meters across and 50 meters deep. The rim of the mound drops down several meters before it reaches the water, hosting on its flanks in excess of two dozen varieties of plants and trees (some, I learn, are found nowhere else on earth but at this one spot).

Not only is this natural Well a unique ecosystem, but the water is warm, high in carbon-dioxide, and not linked to any known aquifer. Feed by mysterious springs, a million gallons of water flow up into the Well and flow out of a crack in the limestone side of the Well, regularly, every single day. Lime in the water naturally cements the sides and bottom of this out-flowing stream, so that this precious desert water does not seep into the sandy soil nor continuously erode it own bank and fan into the desert - so that the stream turns itself into a natural irrigation canal.

Peaceful farmers - 2000 years ago the Hohokam people and 1000 years ago the Sinagua people - used this steady source of water to irrigate corn and other crops. If any place in this vast desert landscape had religious meaning to these inventive and industrious early peoples, this Well was certainly a sacred place.
The sacred place.
It provided a stable, perhaps even prosperous, life for several hundred individuals, extending over many centuries. And it did so in the middle of an, otherwise, very harsh desert.

(This agrarian oasis ended 600 years ago for reasons unknown ...
Perhaps due to the coming of slave-hunting Aztec overlords from the south. Or due to the arrival of Navaho and Apache peoples from the north, grazers and hunters who had little use for farming. But even these cruder peoples must have found this Well a magical place, hidden as it is within the desert.)

I remember being amazed by this place! Utterly dumbfounded! Even, normally unflappable, Les is surprised, charmed, and delighted by this desert Well. There is just something so uncanny about it.

"If ever there is a sacred place upon this planet," I remember saying to Les, "This spot is that place!"

 

citizenzen

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

"If ever there is a sacred place upon this planet," I remember saying to Les, "This spot is that place!"

If ever there was a sacred place upon this planet, it's where my foot is falling this very moment.
 

Penelope

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

Faithfulservant said:
... I think that there are places that are sacred because that is in the scriptures also. Jerusalem and the Temple Mount ... the wailing wall are all sacred places. Mt Sinai would definitely be one ...
What makes the "Holy Land" so holy?

& & &

The Gettysburg Battlefield ...

A sacred place?
Some Americans consider this Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania, just that - a sacred place. President Abraham Lincoln, himself, said as much in his famous commemoration address - which was itself a prayer, a deeply-felt requiem, more than a speech. Lincoln called this place "hallowed ground."

Gettysburg ...
Sacred due to all the young soldiers, North and South, who died - bravely - there?

Gettysburg ...
Sacred because this battle was the strategic turning point in the War - a demonstrable victory which made continuing this War, to conclusion, suddenly palatable to a majority of the Northern public?

Gettysburg ...
Sacred because it ended Confederate General Robert E. Lee's strategy to take the fight north of the Mason-Dixon line - with the hope that Northerners (with their own homes threatened) would sue for peace and let the Secession of the South stand - the strategy's failure thus (ultimately) preserving the Union?

Gettysburg ...
Sacred because, politically in 1863, President Lincoln needed some kind of War victory, first, before he could move forward and sign the Emancipation Proclamation into law - freeing the slaves?

A person can understand how the Battle at Gettysburg is rightly perceived, by Americans, as a vital linchpin in the life-history of the American people.
This Battle is deeply valued by Americans.

But, this piece of ground which the Battle of Gettysburg was fought upon ...
Beyond the casual hyperbole of the word ...
Can a person rightly consider this particular 'piece of ground' in Pennsylvania ...
Sacred?

& & &

Sacred ground ...
Yes?
No?

What logically or emotionally or spiritually makes
"Jerusalem" ("Mecca") or the "Temple Mount" ("Dome of the Rock") or "the Wailing Wall" ("Kaaba") or "Mt Sinai" ("Medina")
any different?

Gettysburg ...
When a person talks about sacred ...
What makes (even) the Foundation Stone any different?

 

Penelope

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

Anyone have the guts to address this conundrum?

 

GlorytoGod

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

its entirely subjective
 

nativeastral

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

What makes the "Holy Land" so holy?


It has been 'valued' and been the intense focus in prayers for hundreds of years by diasporic jews exiled and shunted about various countries, and related about and passed on through countless generations, a symbol of hope.
 

Faithfulservant

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Re: 'This place is Sacred' - Genuine experience of hallowed ground? Devotional hyperb

I am speaking as a Christian that believes the bible is the inspired word of God.... Holy only applies to the God of the bible.. Not allah. and Holy means literally "set apart" So there really is no discussion for me. Now "sacred" I agree with GlorytoGod... that is subjective.
 
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