Spiritual Science Research Foundation

(Via both Pharyngula and Friendly Atheist)

Oh boy, this is fun.

The Spiritual Science Research Foundation appears to be a bunch of nits who attempt to put a scientific face on spirituality and the like. Now sure, the website looks slick and well presented, but don’t let that fool you. Dig just slightly under the surface and you’ll unearth a veritable cornucopia of pseudoscience quackery.

There are certainly some interesting ideas at hand. Take the page on Life After Death for instance. I never realised that I had not just a physical body (the remains here, and turns to lovely worm food) but also Vital Energy, and something called the Subtle Body. Reading some other pages suggests that in this instance the meaning of ‘Subtle’ is actually more like ‘Undetectable’. So, if it’s undetectable, how do they know about it?

So anyway, when we die the physical body remains here on earth, the Vital Energy get released back to the universe, but our Subtle body goes on to one of the other 13 ‘Planes of Existence’ of which there are 14 in total (including this one). Apparently there are 7 good and 7 bad planes. We are currently in a good one – lucky us huh! So, there are seven layers of hell, but only 6 layers of heaven. I wonder why there is this imbalance, seems odd really. I have to admit that I didn’t get much further than this as my brain was beginning to melt.

I did however get far enough to follow a link to the page about Ghosts. According to SRF all ghosts are from the nether regions (hell). Every last one of them. They apparently have to power to travel to Earth at will – which is nice for them, they can come for a picnic if the eternal tortures get too much. Ghosts exist when a being has unfulfilled desires (examples cited are sex, alcohol, and revenge). So, all those ghost children and pets you read about must have been evil (they ended up in hell don’t forget) and must want to have drunken sex. Another interesting tid-bit from the page, apparently the type of funeral you have can affect whether you end up in heaven or hell. So even when you die your ultimate destination isn’t set in stone – better make sure your funeral arrangements are explicit.

Anyway, go and delve through the topics yourself. You’re bound to find something to raise a giggle at least. Someone should point out to them however that just because you make it look authoritative, doesn’t make it so. If you want to be taken seriously on a scientific level, cite your sources, don’t just make shit up!

23 comments to Spiritual Science Research Foundation

  • James

    The SSRF is comprised of a bunch of crackheads. They claim that some of their staff receive “divine revelation”. Hmm, now where have I heard that unique claim before? Isn’t it funny that all of this new-age pseudo-science comes from a cultural background that is known to espouse on superstitions and has largely contributed to the Western New Age Movement? I mean, it has absolutely no evidence or credibility behind it.

    Virtually all spiritual masters or what not, make claims of equal foolishness. I wonder what kind of drugs they utilize? Maybe these revelations are really them being high? It’s possible ain’t it?

  • gles7

    Apart from name calling and predictable diatribes, one should look at SSRF as an organization dedicated for improving spiritual awareness. It is laughable to suggest that they use any drugs or any mind bending techniques to convey their message. Evidence of spirituality exists everywhere, one needs to rise up above the ignorance and hate, and you’ll see the age old truth. One more thing, they have cited resources for their research, which is based on ancient Sanskrit vedic texts. I am sure, that won’t be be adequate for a scientific mind. Considering most human beings are at a low spiritual level and seeing every life aspect through materialistic point-of-view, it is obvious my response would fall on deaf ears and probably ridiculed. Nonetheless, I hope readers bear open mind and try to browse content without prejudice. God bless.

    • Slugsie

      Spirituality is just wishy-washy religion.

      These ancient Sanskrit Vedic texts, how old exactly? When you start delving back hundreds, or even thousands of years I will start putting less and less store in what they might have believed.

      • gles7

        Well, you will probably ignore me then. Wishy washy is not how I would describe Sanskrit Vedas. Sanskrit is more than tens of thousands of years old. It exists and therefore it is. If we go by your logic, Pyramid research, geo-science research, and archeology are waste of time as they are about really old stuff (earth, Solar system, stars, Galaxies) and its forensic analysis.

        Sanskrit Vedas are roughly 4.5 million years old based on the archeological evidence of references to documents, which were created 5 thousand years ago. Vedas depict universal concepts (nature of atom, matter, energy) written in poetic forms. Sanskrit language is spoken by roughly 10,000 people in its complete grammatical fluency in the world. Besides, from being a complete language in terms of grammar, it also has words that carry multiple meanings (overloaded). There’s lot of misinformation and vagueness on vedic topics that could be attributed to Sanskrit fluency. I am a computer scientist and have worked on regular expressions (teaching Artificial Intelligence and human language to machines) on Super Computers. We have found out modern day multi-core architectures understand and process Sanskrit grammar much more easily than LISP or prolog. Anyway, SSRF documents derive from these texts, which portray different spiritual perspective. Please give it an unbiased read and I will be more than happy to discuss any specific topic with you.

        • gles7

          One more thing, I don’t have evidence to prove that vedic texts are indeed 4.5 mil or more years old as they were on parchments and have been passed on from generation to generation. Verses within vedas are only evidence that I could put forth. I know that won’t be sufficient. Techniques such as carbon dating won’t work as there’s no physical evidence of original books. Interestingly, Verses within these vedas mention about concept of Yugas or large eras of universe times. These eras have been believed to be from 1.7mil to 430K durations. Concept of big bang and comic origin melds well with vedic concepts of cyclical nature of time. I believe vedic texts were referred to by later texts (such as Mahabharata, ancient cave writings in Indonesia, India, Iran etc.), which have been proven to be 4-5 thousand years old. Point is, yes there’s a leap of faith to certain extent, but we should not discount writings as bogus if there’s no way to prove their authenticity either-way. Spirituality is a science as it has life concepts, evidence of distresses that overshadow human life, and remedies that look inward than outside. Remember, by same attributes, psychology was not recognized as science till very recently, although it was practiced for thousands of years by Greeks, Romans, Persians, Egyptians. Please be open to new ideas.

          • Slugsie

            Firstly, I need to clear one thing up. I am not discounting something simply because it is old.

            The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all believed in their own pantheons of gods. Modern studies of these ancient cultures tell us about those beliefs, the gods, and the people. There is nothing in that that disproves (or proves) the existences of those gods.

            Yet virtually no-one nowadays believes in their existence. Go figure.

            Now, on to these Sanskrit Vedas. I freely admit that I know nothing about them. I have just had a quick scan through the Wikipedia article about them and I’m not really that much wiser. Best I can tell they seem to date up to 4000 years old, and are purported to be ‘not of human agency’. Now, I obviously can’t comment directly on the scientific value of anything written in the texts, but I have my suspicions. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the texts were as accurate and predictive as Nostradamus – i.e. not at all, just very woolly and open to huge amounts of interpretation.

            I believe that if such ancient texts – and it seems to me that there are not just these Vedas that are claimed to be scientifically predictive but the likes of the books of the Bible have similar claims – did truly have valid and predictive scientific knowledge contained within them then they would be cited an awful lot in scientific literature, and their scientific validity would not be up for debate. Whilst study of the texts themselves is a very valid branch of archaeological research, it will be purely to better understand the peoples and culture of the time.

          • Slugsie

            Oh, and I am open to new ideas. But I am the sort of person who values evidence. Tell me about something, and demonstrate that it is true and I’ll consider your point valid. But as Carl Sagan said ‘Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’.

            I’d also like to say that I really do appreciate you visiting my blog, and taking the time to comment. It is always good to discuss ideas with someone who doesn’t necessarily hold the same viewpoint as yourself. Hopefully each side can come away better educated even if neither changes their position. I don’t think you can have too much knowledge. :)

          • gles7

            Thank you, spoken like a true gentleman.
            For your point, <>
            As explained in my earlier response, due to complexity of Sanskrit language (overloaded word meanings) and lack of Sanskrit experts in modern times, it has been difficult to decipher Vedas correctly. More focus was on ritualistic aspects than scientific concepts. I am going through them as I write this blog response and hopefully be able to contribute more in the future. Meantime, I will also invite you to read SSRF documents and let me know if any points need specific clarity and would adding citations from Vedas help?

  • Decae

    Atheism is pseudoscience, the rest bother to hypothesize. No offense intended.

    • Slugsie

      No offence taken. Mind you I don’t know what you’re talking about, so it’s hard to be offended.

      Oh, and how exactly is Atheism pseudo-science? That’s a ludicrous statement. Not because I disagree exactly, more because I wasn’t aware that atheism presents itself as a scientific discipline. It’s a statement of world view, of religious disbelief, and (yes) personal opinion (backed up by evidence). I won’t deny that in general atheists tend to put a lot of stead in the scientific method, and that we might use scientific arguments to debunk religion and religious doctrine, but I don’t believe that that it’s ever presented as a science. At least not in the same vein as other pseudo-sciences like Creationism, Intelligent Design, Chiropractic, Homoeopathy, oh, and Spiritual Science.

  • Knowledge Seeker

    I’ve actually just started looking into SSRF and found it very intriguing. I see that I’m three years late into this blog and found it looking for opinions regarding SSRF. As I read through the above, I see to intelligent minds with opposite opinions and now I’m curious where it’s led too? Although I’m new to the SSRF Community and don’t fully understand it, I have always been interested in Spirituality and yes, it’s what I believe so far. Anything from either of you would be great 

  • truth seeker

    I think SSRF telling truth but with cultural background, that’s why their methods of healing based on mostly local like cow’s urine and some others which based on Hindu’s philosophy. But the fact is with 6th sense a person can see the problems but how to solve it, it is depend in which area or religions or background born and I personally think every one must follow their own spiritual comfort and pray, the objects in this world like rock and water and stuff like that are only for our inner satisfaction and it only boost our inner soul to fight evil forces from inner and outer side. Modern science and its followers ask evidence, but their problem is with 5 senses they asked. Once a person acquires 6th sense than they experience it, without it we only see people who cure from problems in their lives after spiritual practices. So spiritual concept is fact, to gain that level through spiritual practices vary from culture to culture.

  • Peace for world

    Feels shame on you when reading this. Without even knowing the basics of spirituality you are giving worst comments over the divine website who’s only aim is spiritual growth of the society. You will never find such a website in this whole world that untags the hidden knowledge of veda’s for the benefit of society. I was an atheist but truth lies hidden. Believe if you want to. I’m no one in front of god. But it is my duty to express the facts that you people even without tasting the food is judging its taste. Shame on you. Shame on you.

  • Peace for world

    Dear friends, please dont get misleaded by these. The website delivers true knowledge. Accept what is required for you but dont criticise the one who shows you the true path. May peace be with you all. Amen

    • Don’t waste time putting forth valuable arguments to the unbelievers. They think that human brain is superior one not realising its lackings and that it is incapable of perceiving higher things. We believers of this nonprofit organisation have found it to be a god’s present. I am a man benefitted by observing the guidance of SSRF. Let us keep it to ourselves instead of selling it to others who are least interested in or ignorant of spiritual matters.

  • Blissful Day

    Hi Slugsie

    Why dont you believe the articles from SSRF ? When thousands have accepted and benefitted from practising why od you criticize it. IS it becuase you feel you are more knowledgeable ?

    You talked about a subtle body being undetectable. Now A subtle body contains physical body, mind,intellect etc… Can you see your own mind. Can you see other’s mind. Obviously you cant. Yet everyone accepts that we have a mind. Even a doctor will accept that certain illnesses are caused by stresses of the mind. but where is the mind ? Doctors have no proof of mind. The point is the term ” subtle ” refers to that which cannot be perceived by our human 5 senses , mind and intellect but has to be perceived with our subtle senses subtle mind and subtle intellect. This is developed through adequate spiritual practice.

    There are so many case studies from people all over the world for example ancestral problems, where people after chanting a simple chant have been relieved of problems that haven’t gone away from many years despite modern science treatment . These people have been from all cultures,religons,genders etc…

    These people have been diagnosed by those with sixth sense or subtle perception ability. You commented about life after death. Since you clearly dont have sixth sense how can you ridicule the article. Is it because you feel you know more then anyone else. is it because you know about the afterlife or that you know that there is nothing there. How do you know ?

    Please stop your criticism and riducling of this website, it has helepd so many. I understand your hate and mockery of this but please keep it to yourself.

    kind regards

    • Slugsie

      This is MY website. I will express my opinions as I see fit. You have zero right to try and tell me what I can and can’t say here.

  • thomas

    Slugsie you fool, if you don’t know abc of spiritual life why are you commenting on it. First have some personal experience on it, have some knowledge and understanding about it then you can trully know the real value of the website of SSRF. You are committing a sin by giving wrong information to people about things you have zero knowledge and understanding. you are blabbering like a fool. you cannot understand the value of gold. because you are ignorant and full of false knowledge.

    I advise you to change your life and make it a better one through spiritual practice by the advice on SSRF website. Practice atleast for six months and try to understand what they are doing and if you think it is wrong or misguiding then come back and comment on it.

    May God forgive you for your ignorance and foolishness.

    • Hunter

      First of all, you don’t call someone a fool if you wish to convert them. Even though I am an extremely spiritual person, I feel that the SSRF has been decieved, for some unknown purpose thus far. Why do they call a man holy? As well, assuming that all ghosts are malicious is quite drastic. The evil appearance of demons is also incorrect. Remember, even God thought Lucifer beautiful in heaven.

  • Joel

    Most of the people that believe some of the more ridiculous claims denying death from Spirit Science likely have religious backgrounds that they can’t quite completely give up because they have been so conditioned to the idea that the soul goes on after the body dies. Even though they no longer believe the religious ideas they haven’t acknowledged the truth about death yet because it is uncomfortable so this becomes their new religion to allow them the eternity they have always believed in and stay in denial about death. And its conveniently called Spirit Science, so they can claim its backed up with scientific evidence!

    For honest people looking for more authentic spiritualIty without religion, I would recommend Sam Harris’ s new book titled Waking Up.

  • Charli

    When reading any article in a piece of media, especially one that may be tied to religion or state, it is important to acknowledge the hidden ideology that the author or organization is trying to filter onto those who read their work. The SSRF is not excluded from this and any article on their website must be read with a deep critical eye and should not just be blindly accepted. For instance, there are articles on their website telling WOMEN how to dress to attract positive energies! Not men, but women! Women should wear sari’s and not skirts…and women should never wear their hair down, only in a tight bun. Oh, and a woman should never wear any jewelry. The organization is run by men! It’s one thing to teach people about spiritual ideas, but its another to filter cultural standards through words of “spirituality” to inform a way to dress, act, and think. This is how nationalism works! State and religion have always been intimately entangled and this must not be forgotten. Now, I am not saying that this organization are merely trying to brainwash readers. I am sure that there are some noteworthy points on their website that could really help people, same as there are really beautiful elements of all religions that often get lost because of the valorization of the negative components or instillation of fear among followers. I am just saying that it is important to consider how and why this organization began, including playing with the idea that it could be a response to counter the effects of globalization and used as a way to maintain older cultural values, those pertaining to the way people dress, act, interact and live. Spirituality is a realm of the unknown, and because we are all so curious, we quickly believe what is told to us without even question. We also fear the afterlife or death and someone claiming to “know” all about it can easily persuade us into believing anything…Jim Jones! Even the most intelligent people are susceptible. And do not think that their “scientific” studies or the fact that the SSRF are “inspired” by individuals who have PhD’s legitimizes their practice. “Science” is also used to justify and maintain older belief systems. John Philippe Rushton is a prime example of this. He used science to filter his biased ideas about “dominant” races. As well, creating fear is the complete opposite moving towards spiritual enlightenment, no matter what religious or spiritual practices one follows. Much of the SSRF does this, including their articles on Halloween, ghosts, and how to Bathe. If you do not live by the standards expressed by this organization, you won’t be punished by the state or society, no, you will be attacked by negative energies and with psychologically suffer! Now personally, if somebody told me this and I wasn’t very critical, I would be pretty scared. This is a very easy way to propogate messages and create standards of living that everyone should abide by. The SSRF should not be exoticized because they are from the “East” and are just of so ancient, otherwordly, and “untouched”. I don’t want to get into an anthropological debate about exoticism, I just want to express that the SSRF has the air of any organized religion and should just be taken with a grain of salt, that’s all!

  • ab

    to the non-believers:
    you need not criticize any one without knowing them, or at least practicing their suggestions for some time. If you call them irrational, then your blatant criticizing itself is not rational.

    to the believers:
    please do not use harsh and unwanted words for others. If you believe, simply follow and tell others that you have benefited by following something.

    we need not accept everything about everyone, so with SSRF. There could be points which need discussion, opinions – given in a constructive manner. Neither do we need to reject it in totality because if SSRF talks about spirituality, there must be something in it, since every religion in this world too talks about God. And the website which talks about spreading spirituality and God need not be completely fake.

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