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Michael, can I be forgiven a little tease? If your last post set the record for most double entendres in a given space, this one may do the same for hedge words.

I know you're still working it out, though, and we (your loyal readers) can be fearsome critics. Hence the completely understandable caution. :o)

Not sure I'm following you all the way, but as I think about this, phenomena that most clearly seem to me to fall into the "border" category are dying, falling asleep, and being born. (You mentioned the first two.)

Each of those three involves a transition from one clearly defined state to another. And yes--each is highly conducive to psi. (Women often describe powerful spiritual events they experienced while giving birth. And therapy patients who are regressed to their own births--Grof talks about this--do too. )

And I guess psychedelic and meditative trances can also be considered as occupying the borderland between the personal and transpersonal (or spiritual). And they're obviously fertile grounds for anomalous phenomena.

So yes--I'd have to agree with you, even if I'm not getting all the details implied by your chart.

Interesting about those twins. Skeptiko just had an interview with Guy Playfair, who talked (among other things) about his book on telepathy as observed in twins.


Very interesting. I would think that NDEs would be higher up on the scale, since, presumably contact with the spirit world in them is real. The chart implies that NDEs rely on the subliminal self only and are not "real."

They may be "real" to those who experience them but they are only NEAR-death experiences.

The real experiences are actual "Death experiences" as related by those who have been there and done that.

Interesting about the Franciscan friars aged 92 passing within a few hours of each other.

I visited my father-in-law in hospital today who is also aged 92. In spite of having pneumonia, a heart attack, a broken hip and a hairline fracture of the other one and suffering from dementia as well is still clinging to his physical body.

Not sure I follow you, Zerdini. A person having an NDE "really" goes to the spirit world, no?

Never took you for a psychologist,and now we see I was wrong with some sprinkles of parapsychology thrown in.Hmm let's check it out.


Michael, thinking about this some more, I'm wondering if there's a bit of circular reasoning going on here.

Here's what I mean. You're suggesting that (for example) the border states you describe as hallucinogenic or meditative are conducive to psi.

But here's the thing: why is it we consider them to be border states in the first place? Well . . . . because we observe psychic phenomena surrounding them.

See what I mean? We observe psychic phenomena, then by definition, classify the states that give rise to them as "border".

That's why, in my first comment, I focused on falling asleep, being born, and dying. Because even without referring to psi, those simply HAVE to be looked at as border or transitional events.

But as to the main gist of your post, yes--it's always struck me as profoundly significant that birth and death, the extreme edges of our virtual reality, are fraught with psychic phenomena. I suppose that having an NDE is like looking through a hole in the scenery and seeing, for the first time, what's really going on backstage.

Anyway, the circular reasoning argument may not apply to all of your chart, but it did seem worth mentioning. What do you think?

Hilarious video.

"why is it we consider them to be border states in the first place? Well . . . . because we observe psychic phenomena surrounding them."

I don't think so. The passage from sleep to wakefulness is clearly a transitional state. It's ephemeral and hard to define, whereas both sleep and wakefulness are longer-lasting and relatively easy to define. This would be true even if no paranormal phenomena were associated with the transition.

Similarly, meditative states or hypnotic states are unusual, artificially induced (typically), and (at least in the case of meditation) difficult to maintain.

Even the dying process is clearly transitional, as evidenced by the fact that it's very difficult to delineate exactly when it begins and ends.

Michael, we're basically in agreement, but for one thing. Let me see if I can explain this clearly.

As we both agree, when we die, we make the transition between two ultimately clear-cut states: life and death. In the process of dying, we're momentarily in a third state, a borderland, so to speak, (which as you say, is difficult to precisely delineate).

Likewise, there's a borderland that's plainly situated between sleep and wakefulness: the hypnogogic state.

And, as we both also agree, the above is all unquestionably true whether or not there's paranormal activity.

Now contrast that to an altered state induced by psychedelics, hypnosis, or meditation. If we're truly in a borderland, than what's on both sides of the border? On one side, we have ordinary consciousness. But on the other side . . . .what?

So in that sense, the situation seems different than the earlier scenarios, right?

And it seems to me that the MAIN reason you would have for taking the trouble to classify these last three states as "border", is their unusual nature--their tendency to promote psi.

So that's the point I was trying to make.

Jeez--writing that out took a lot more thinking than I normally care to do. :o) I need some sleep.

Many Near Death Experiencer's that rate high on the Greyson NDE scale report approaching a river, wall, person, force, etc... that becomes a point of no return. A border, if you will, that if crossed, completes the transition from one clear cut state (life as we know it here) into another clear cut state (whose details we don't really know).

@Matt

Not sure I follow you, Zerdini. A person having an NDE "really" goes to the spirit world, no?

Hmmm - I am not sure that is correct. Where they find themselves can only be speculation.

I have never come across an instance where a spirit person (i.e. someone who has vacated their physical body permanently) has stated that they have met someone who is having a NDE.

Many have stated that they have been visited by people during their sleep state who often retain some memory of that visit on waking in the morning.

@Rabbit Dawg

A border, if you will, that if crossed, completes the transition from one clear cut state (life as we know it here) into another clear cut state (whose details we don't really know).

There are no borders as we understand borders. There are simply different states of consciousness.

We can get glimpses of the next state although trying to describe the fourth dimension is difficult as Professor William Barrett explained to his wife in a private sitting:

"The fourth dimension is an extension - that is not the right way of saying it, but the only way I can say it. It is like measuring a third dimension by its square feet instead of by its cubic feet- that is very much the difference between third and fourth dimension; and there is no doubt about it. I have left something of myself outside which rejoins me directly I put myself into the condition in which I readjust myself."

Also," "When I withdraw from this condition one’s whole mind becomes again both subconscious and conscious; my subconscious mind encloses my conscious one and I become whole again mentally.................. I cannot come with and as my whole self, I cannot."

Zerdini, your post above reminds me a little bit of Victor Zamitt. I follow his blog/website, and I like his evangelical-like eagerness, but I wince and sort of have to 'look away' sometimes when I'm reading his posts. Victor has it all figured out, down to virtually every level of the afterlife existence.

At least you're nowhere close to being as Authoritative sounding and bellicose like he is, but in my view, nobody really knows anything specific about the continuation of consciousness. As countless near death experiencers have explained, "it's ineffable". All we can do is uncover evidence that there is something going on, and it ain't materialism as we know it.

RabbitDawg

You couldn't have written anything more insulting comparing me to Zammit.

He has had no real experience of mediumship as I've told him many times.

His experiences with Thompson cut no ice with me whatsoever.

Copying stuff from other people's works doesn't give him any authority at all.

I strongly object to his abusive comments to anyone who disagrees with him.

The difference is that I have, over many years, spoken to people who live in the spirit world and accept what they tell me about life there.

I have never said that I know everything about the continuation of consciousness.

In fact, I simply pointed out that we can get glimpses of the next state.

I agree it is not materialism as we know it.

I've always been fascinated by the number of married couples who die close together in time like Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash and Christopher Reeves and Dana Reeves. Soul mates? I don't know but it's not that uncommon. Christopher Reeves and Dana Reeves died within just a few months of each other. One of my wife's uncles died at age 71 in car wreck (hitting black ice) and then 18 months later his wife, who was ten years younger than he was, died of a heart attack.

Another interesting phenomena are people who are connected in some way, family, etc. who end up meeting in extraordinary circumstances like the two half brothers from Rhode Island who ended up meeting each other in Hawaii and discovered they had the same father. I saw a program on TV one time about this guy who had been adopted while a baby and then later in life he moved 70 miles from where he had been living and he got a job at a Car dealership. Everyday at lunch he would go eat lunch next door at the Wal-mart. The same woman would serve him every day. So, he got the urge to find his birth mother and after he found out turned out it was this same woman that had been serving him lunch every day at the Wal-mart!

Great chart! There is a lot I would disagree with here (maybe almost all of it), but that is not the point.

Organizing some set of information like this (creating a model) creates a spur to creative thinking. It provides a framework that allows us to ask questions. Are there unfilled boxes that we can either fill in, or identify why they are empty? Should there be additional rows in the table (either because we have grouped too much together or because there is phenomena that belong that we have left out)? Should there be additional columns (characteristics for the states)? Is there something systematic happening at each transition (in this case, either between "states" and between "states" and "borders" and vice versa)? Can we apply conceptual transformations to gain insight (e.g., complementarity, turning "states" into "borders" between what is now called "borders" which would become "states"; or "fractalization" similarly treating the contents of a single row, as something occurring on a different level)? Since all models simplify (which is what makes them more tractable and therefore useful) what have we left out? Can we create a orthogonal schema out of some of what was excluded? Could the schema be enriched by a higher dimensional organization (nothing occult meant here -- this is a linear arrangements of ideas, but might two dimensions be better? Multiple different "borders" implies that perhaps so)? Or perhaps a richer linear topology is called for, e.g., a helix)? What assumption are we making or rejecting in organizing the concepts like this?

And of course, there are the negatives? Are some of the "facts" incorporated into this schema just wrong? Does the organization imply things that are demonstrably false? What does the model not only leave out but obscure? Why do we disagree with something in it?

Most importantly, remember Korzybski's dictum: The map is not the territory. Every model leaves things out, and in that way, even if in no other, distorts reality. A schema like this aids creative thought, but the point of studying a model is to learn about the thing modeled. At some point (maybe after a day, maybe after a millennium), you will have gotten out of it all it can give, and it will be time to abandon it.

FYI -- A purely terminological point: Charles Tart, who is generally credited with coining the phrase "altered states of consciousness" also had a term for what you call "conscious ordinary self". He called it the "Consensus Reality State."

oooh you've done it now Rabbit - comparing Zerdini to Victor LMAO.

I would say this; Zerdini speaks from direct personal experience. In that sense, he knows what he has experienced. I suppose to some extent he is reliant on what purported communicators have told him about what happens in the afterlife however what says does resonate with the descriptions provided by a wide range of communicators through lots of different mediums using many different methods.

I used to subscribe to Victor's website but I found the rants too much.

Zerdini,
Please, no insult intended. I believe I expressly pointed out that the comparison of you to Zammit was slight, hence the words "reminds me a little bit of Victor Zammit". According to him, he has tons of experience with mediumship as well. Taking both of your words of experience at face value, there is a big difference between the two of you. It seems to me that he falls for everything, from charlatan to legit, and then tries to compose a Big Picture. You have you own personal experiences, without having to run all around the world to compile enough experiences in order to compose your understanding.

Let me rephrase my point, without using you as a specific example. To me, in my opinion, there seems to be a huge difference between what is experienced by NDE'ers and encounters using mediums. For instance, what near death experiencer's experience seems to be for the experiencer's benefit, and what mediumship sitter's experience is for the "spirits" benefit. That point gets made repeatedly in the literature.

The transcendent nature described by the two is completely different. Full-blown NDE's are nuclear explosions compared to mediumships firecrackers.

Also, from Prehistoric Animism, the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Early Christians, Medieval Christians, Modern Protestants, Modern Roman Catholics, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, to the various New Age cults, each age has its myths. By myth, I don't mean "lie", so much as a way of deconstructing, and then reconstructing the unknowable into a coherent picture. It all works for each party involved.
A lot of truth is involved in the mythmaking process, but so is a lot of conjecture and symbolism. I try not to take too much of what I read and hear about the afterlife literally. The evidence that it exists is overwhelming to me, but as far as the specific details are concerned, I figure that we'll find out when we get there, and not before. The lesson learned from it all for this world is that Love is all that matters, and that's a lesson that can take a lifetime to understand and practice.

Zerdini,

I guess I do not yet know what your view of NDEs is.

Extrapolating from your comments, would you say that, when NDErs meet their deceased relatives, they are NOT actually meeting their deceased relatives?

That would seem to be a pretty skeptical position, saying, in effect, that the experiences NDErs claim is real is, in fact, false.

Or do I misinterpret?

Thanks!

Matt

I might add that a few examples of modern day myth makers are Stephen Hawking and his mathematics, William Lane Craig's Christian apologetics, Richard Dawkins militant Atheism, J.Z. Knight's Ramtha Warrior, and P.M.H. Atwater' Runes of the Goddess. The list could go on and on.

Personally, I'm thinking of printing out Michael's chart and building a Shrine around it. Can't be any worse than some of stuff spouted by the folks I just listed :-)

"I try not to take too much of what I read and hear about the afterlife literally. The evidence that it exists is overwhelming to me, but as far as the specific details are concerned, I figure that we'll find out when we get there, and not before. The lesson learned from it all for this world is that Love is all that matters"

My thoughts exactly, RabbitDawg!

It IS nice, though, having little fantasies about what'll happen after I "die". Sort of like when I was in high school, dreaming about college and the great world beyond.

It IS nice, though, having little fantasies about what'll happen after I "die". Sort of like when I was in high school, dreaming about college and the great world beyond.

When I was in high school I didn't dream about "college and the great world beyond."

I had friends who were there and told me what it was like which was later confirmed by personal experience.

RabbitDawg

Thank you for explaining and amplifying your earlier remarks.

Regarding taking reports of the Afterlife literally I would add that it depends on who you are talking to!

Having conversations who those who are living there and experiencing it first hand is, to me, much more satisfactory than reading and hearing about it.

Matt,

Thank you for your comments. I accept that those who claim to have met deceased relatives may well be right but not all NDErs make this claim.

If every NDEr made this claim that would be a very different kettle of fish but they don't.

I understand the skeptical point of view in that if you haven't had the experience it is very difficult to understand it.

For example those who have never experienced full form materialisation and independent direct voice have great difficulty in coming to terms with it. That is also understandable.

Zerdini,

I am not a skeptic. My interpretation of what I have read and heard directly from an NDEr (my father) and second-hand (my grandmother) is that NDErs are out of body and visiting a different world.

I also have no problem believing in the mediumistic phenomena you mention.

I have had my own OBEs and spiritual experiences, and I also do a small amount of medium work myself.

Cheers,

Matt

RabbitDawg, I agree with you about modern day myth makers. I could also add to your list and I do appreciate your comments.

However please do not compare me to Zammit in any way - we are completely opposite - I am not a 'trained killer'.

From his website: "VICTOR ZAMMIT– ONCE A PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED KILLER? YES! This may come as a surprise to most people that I was trained by the Australian Army to be a most efficient killer. This was when I was in the Army in Australia for less than a couple of years. I handled many weapons – some of the most brutally efficient SLR’s, machine guns; I had efficient professional training in hand to hand combat and bayonet killings. Of course, these days, as you all know, my life has taken a very different path."


Thanks Matt - it appears we are both singing from the same hymn sheet! lol

I, too, have had OBE's including visits to the spirit world where I met my grandmother so can relate to what you say.

Cheers

Zerdini

I was in Mark Macy's Resonance Working Group around 2003, and so was Victor, so I have interacted with him on a few occasions. Nothing was ever negative.

He has put together some great info on his website, but I do not understand the anger he expresses, which seems to have increased substantially since 2003. It all just seem quite unfortunate, as he is clearly a smart, talented guy.

I said: "It IS nice, though, having little fantasies about what'll happen after I 'die'. Sort of like when I was in high school, dreaming about college and the great world beyond."

Zerdini said: "When I was in high school I didn't dream about 'college and the great world beyond'. I had friends who were there and told me what it was like which was later confirmed by personal experience."

Come on, Zerdini. You're telling me that as a young man you didn't try to imagine what your life would be like in the years to come? I find that hard to believe.

In any case, there's no way your friends or anyone else could ever have told you what college would be like for you. All they could possibly know is what it was like for them.

And are you also trying to say, by implication, that you never try to imagine what will happen to you after you leave your body? (Because it's hard to interpret your comment any other way.) You just rely on the wisdom you receive from the other side and leave it at that?

It's really difficult for me to believe that someone who's as interested in these matters as you, could fail to let your imagination play around a bit with the specifics of your own life to come in the spirit world.

Because one thing's for sure: your experience will be different from anyone else's.

I took Zerdini's comment to mean that in high school he was thinking about T&A. :)

Matt,

You clearly haven't been on the receiving end of Zammit's abuse as I and many others have including Michael Prescott.

He may be 'smart and talented' as you say but I have yet to see evidence of it.

In my view Michael Tyman and Michael Prescott are far more talented and smart without having to be abusive to those who disagree with them.

"The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty and Truth." ...............(Albert Einstein, 1954)

I took Zerdini's comment to mean that in high school he was thinking about T&A. :)

Lol.

Come on, Zerdini. You're telling me that as a young man you didn't try to imagine what your life would be like in the years to come? I find that hard to believe.

You may find it hard to believe, bruce, but I've been in direct contact with the spirit world from an early age (well teenage years) and my life has been guided by them ever since. I don't mean they told me what to do - that would be patently ridiculous - but guidance has always been there if I needed it.

In any case, there's no way your friends or anyone else could ever have told you what college would be like for you. All they could possibly know is what it was like for them.

True, but it was similar.

And are you also trying to say, by implication, that you never try to imagine what will happen to you after you leave your body? (Because it's hard to interpret your comment any other way.) You just rely on the wisdom you receive from the other side and leave it at that?

That isn't what I'm saying at all. I've been out-of-the-body enough times to get a reasonable idea of what awaits me on the other side.

It's really difficult for me to believe that someone who's as interested in these matters as you, could fail to let your imagination play around a bit with the specifics of your own life to come in the spirit world.

It may be difficult for you but it isn't for me. I'm quite prepared to wait till the time comes (which is not that far away) and enjoy the experience then.

Because one thing's for sure: your experience will be different from anyone else's.

That may be so but initially I'll be with friends and loved ones.


Zerdini, if i was a little snippety in my last comment, it's because you sometimes come across (to me, at least) as sitting on a horse that's just a bit higher than the rest of us get to ride.

But maybe I seem that way myself at times.

I will say that when confronted, you do have a respectful way of explaining yourself. And I appreciate that.

Something else: I was a bit annoyed that you seemed to make light of the pleasure I take in fantasizing about the afterlife. In a society that's quick to poke fun at such pursuits, it bothered me to hear that from you, even though your comment was coming from an entirely different perspective.

Finally, you've apparently had some pretty cool experiences in your life, and are reasonably skeptical (in a good way) in how you approach them. So I do enjoy your presence here.

Especially when we're not pushing each other's buttons (as we folks in therapy like to say). :o)

Thank you, Bruce, for your fair comments.

By the way, your piano blog is excellent.

Thanks, Zerdini!

Zerdini,

I totally hear you on VZ. He is wayyy off the charts in what he says about the skeptics, let alone "our side." I get riled at the skeptics, too, but, at the end of the day, they are human beings worthy of love and respect. But how VZ hammers fellow researchers, etc., is totally out of control.

He has put together that website, though. Although I would tone down the rhetoric and do a little editing here and there, it's a pretty awesome collection of evidence for the Afterlife. I do tip my hat to him for that.

If he could rein it in a bit, he would be a great ally.

Cheers,

Matt

By the way, Zerdini, are you from the US? Your English is impeccable, but something in your style leads me to believe you are from Europe?

Cheers,

Matt

Hi Matt

I am resident in the UK but as Thomas Paine wrote:

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."

Zerdini, I see! :)

    Hereby, Let It Officially Be Known:

      There is absolutely no relationship whatsoever between Zerdini and Victor Zammit.

      There. I said it. I feel better now :-)

So do I! :-)

OK rabbit - what are you really trying to say?

:)

(Victor Zammit as William Munny)

 'Who's the owner of this sh#thole ? You, Rabbit, speak up, bunny man...? 

All you bloggers better clear on out of here if you don't wanna get killed !

Michael, I just noticed that your chart answers a question I asked:

"Now contrast that to an altered state induced by psychedelics, hypnosis, or meditation. If we're truly in a borderland, than what's on both sides of the border?"

I see now that the chart depicts these altered states as lying between the (small) self and the spiritual realm. I agree! I didn't see that before.

I wasn't expecting that from you because you sometimes have seemed to give less than a ringing endorsement for the power of psychedelics to trigger profound spiritual experiences.

And you listed psychedelics first, too. I guess your thinking about them is more nuanced than I had thought. I'm glad to see that.

" Who's the owner of this sh#thole ? You, Rabbit, speak up, bunny man...?"

No fear, no missed sleep around here. By the time my sweet, demure, innocent looking wife (BunnyCat) is finished gnawing off ol' Zambo's hindquarters, he'll be happy to go running to the nearest Roman Catholic Mass ;-)

Hi Michael, I thought you might want to know about Gerald Woerlee's critique of Chris Carter's new book:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2C2V8J3JMO8Q1/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1594773564&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=

Bruce, have you read this book? It seems like something you might enjoy reading.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159179420X?ie=UTF8&tag=nikkherbert-20

Thanks, Sandy. Not only is it something I might enjoy--I already HAVE enjoyed it. :o) Read it about five years ago, as I see from my notes. I think I'll read it again.

It's funny--I'm in the middle of re-reading a book that made me think of you. It's called Mental Radio. Do you know it? Delightful book. Unpretentious, yet quite simply one of the most solid pieces of evidence for psi I know. Virtual proof, as I see it, with a preface by Albert Einstein, to boot.

But the reason I thought you might like it is because it's about someone (the 20th century author Upton Sinclair) who investigated his wife's psychic abilities. They had what seems like lots of fun conducting telepathy experiments over the years.

I know you don't always get that kind of support at home, and I thought maybe the book would give you a taste of what you're missing. Though it just occurred to me that it might depress you for the same reason. Hope I haven't put my foot in my mouth!

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