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Thanks for the recognition, Michael, although it is true that you are going the other direction.

On the issues raised, it should be noted that the evidence shows that people to die continue more or less the same beliefs and knowledge that they were embodied, so it is normal for many mediumistic communications is not about reincarnation, because death does not mark the unveiling of the secrets of the universe, causing the majority of deceased people do not know if reincarnation occurs.

On the question of time, I think this is a process in chronological order, not out of time, because everything seems to suggest that accounts of NDEs and low level mediumship are early stages in the post-mortem state, in while the accounts of hypnotized and high level mediumship are advanced stages of the post-mortem state.

Yesterday I read this post in Subversive Thinking may be interesting to compare with this post:

http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com/2012/01/spiritualism-and-reincarnation-bad-bed.html

This is really fascinating. No problem with the hand drawn drawing, it conveys the idea very effectively :)

Question: with "Earth plane" do you mean planet Earth? Or is it a way to describe the physical universe?

Also the drawing might suggest some sort of fractal-like structure? If we zoom the portion of the earth plane we could obtain a more detailed view of the "cone slices" where we could put the various species of conscious beings... insects, fishes, mammals, I guess even plants! Of course we would expect human beings as the ones with the larger slice of awareness in this plane ... but maybe this is valid only for our tiny blue planet. How about the possibility that all sorts of more evolved beings are present in this enormous universe?

And what about zooming further into one species only, for example us humans, and showing a diagram of different levels of awareness? I wouldn't even know where to start from... but we had people like Jesus, Buddha, S.Francis, Ghandi, Mother Teresa... and many many more... And who to put on the opposite end of the graph? Maybe the bad ones? Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini...? Probably not. Does our definition of "evil" equals to "not aware"?

Also are we sure that the level of awareness must be so limited on this plane?
Of course, consciousness seems to be limited by the five physical senses. But the above mentioned people (the good ones) seemed to have well developed additional senses (6th, 7th,..)

Btw, a very similar topic was posted on the"Subversive Thinking" blog: http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com/2012/01/spiritualism-and-reincarnation-bad-bed.html

Cheers from Italy!
p.s. = Great website Michael, I love the way you talk about these topics and the great comments you get from your readers. I am long time reader and first time poster :)

Great post, Michael!

This resonates with some things I've seen elsewhere. First, are you aware of Mark Macy's thoughts on the matter?

http://www.spiritfaces.com/02a-spiritworlds.htm

The second thing would be the Monroe Institute's ideas of "foci."

I think it is absolutely right that we exist in several different dimensions simultaneously.

Here's an experience I had that was really simple but quite profound. It was back in 1997 or 1998 in Japan, and I was laid out with a really nasty virus and staying home from work. I wasn't taking any meds, and I didn't have a fever (at least not a big one), so this was not a case of delirium or anything like that.

I fell into a deep sleep. *Really* deep. When I woke up, I had no memories of where I had been. No dreams, nothing. But I was absolutely SHOCKED to find myself in a human body. It was as though I had been gone a 1,000 years. I looked at my hands in bewilderment and thought, "Oh yeah, this *life* here."

Now, while there were no specific memories, I *did* have this feeling of having been *somewhere.* But it was a somewhere so far beyond our ordinary experience that perhaps there was nothing I could "translate" back into ordinary human thought so as to form a memory.

Perhaps, while I was asleep, I detuned completely from the Earth Plane and nearby realms (i.e., did not do a standard dreaming/astral OB) and somehow retuned to this other existence I have elsewhere. For it wasn't as though I had gone to a place I had never been before. Rather, it was as though I had simply tuned in or been in a place I always was. If that makes sense.

Despite how simple this all was, I consider it one of the major spiritual experiences of my life.

Cheers,

Matt

The trouble is that the first set of reports (often found in NDEs and mediumship) typically has little to say abut reincarnation and suggests that the earthly persona continues after death. But the second set (obtained through hypnotic regression and the channeling of allegedly advanced spirits) insists on reincarnation and regards the earthly persona as a temporary role that is quickly discarded.

Sorry for linking to another blog, but there is an interesting discussion today about recincarnation in medium communications at http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com. It elaborates on this inconsistency.

Excellent post and diagram Michael!

Now may be the time to take another look ar that pdf I sent you regarding OBE experiencer/researcher Frank Kepple's 'phasing' approach to what he refers to as the 'wider reality'.

I seem to remember that you werent sure what to make of it at the time.

It also features a theoretical framework similar to what you have arrived at, with four main focus levels, and our awareness cutting across all of them. Our awareness is like a lens operating across these 'zones'.

Kepple builds upon Robert Monroe and Seth, but is also based on Kepple's own OBE experiences.

Matt:

Great experience! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks to several people for the link to Subversive Thinking. Jime makes the case for a "tension" between spiritualism and reincarnation very well. But contrary to August Goforth (quoted in the ST post), some very notable mediums* do talk about reincarnation, though in general they are the more recent ones, not the 19th century and early 20th century figures. This may reflect changing social assumptions (reincarnation being more popular in the West than it used to be) or perhaps an increasing ability to contact/interpret higher levels of awareness.

*Maurice Barbanell and Edgar Cayce, for instance.

Greetings, Marco! Thank you for joining the conversation. Yes, by "Earth plane" I mean the space-time universe, not just this planet.

Matt, although I haven't experienced anything as dramatic as what you describe, I have occasionally woken up from a sound sleep and found myself briefly disoriented - who am I? what is this? - before an awareness of my circumstances snaps into place. As you say, the feeling is like, "Oh, yeah, right ... this is who I am now."

"But suppose that our Self actually cuts across all the planes simultaneously, and what "travels" is only our awareness (or at least our primary awareness, in the sense of of our principal focus)."

This is exactly described by Robert Bruce in his book Astral Dynamics. It is in a section named something like "The Incredible Mind Split." It is the best description of this that I've ever read by someone who has experienced it.

According to Bruce, awareness simultaneously functions on all of these levels, but typically the "denser" levels like waking consciousness tend to overwrite and replace memories of the other levels.

It sounds a little simplistic to say "Never heard a medium say, "Sorry, you can't make contact with him/her as they have gone back to Earth."
Typically people reach mediums in order to get in touch with a relative (wife, husband, son, daughter...) that passed "recently". It's more unlikely that someone attempts contact with a relative that lived 500 years ago.
Maybe the soul of a recently dead person is still "near" and usually reachable by a medium. Have there been attempts to get in touch with, say, Cleopatra? Alexander the Great?, Saint Paul? Maybe these souls have either moved to a higher plane or re-incarnated several other times and are no longer reachable.

This question also carries and intrinsic problem, it involves linear time which in turn opens another can of worms :)
Our brains require at least an idea of "before" and "after" to have any progression... maybe "before" and "after" can be applied to a multidimensional time?


In “Seth speaks”, both reincarnation and survival of personality are stated to be true:

“You are not fated to dissolve into All That Is. The aspects of your personality as you presently understand them will be retained. All That Is is the creator of individuality, not the means of its destruction. My own “previous” personalities are not dissolved into me any more than your “past” personalities. All are living and vital. All go their own way. Your “future” personalities are as real as your “past” ones. Out of the reincarnational framework, there is no death as you think of it.”

Marco said: “Maybe before and after can be applied to multidimensional time”:

Seth indicates that time is simply another dimension of multidimensional reality.

“What separates events is not time, but your perception. You perceive events one at a time. Time as it appears to you is, instead, a psychic organisation of experience.”

From “Bridging Science and Spirit” by Norman Friedman:

“Time is created in the three dimensional world merely by the creation of the universe through projection. The wave function, which is time-symmetrical, is immune to the flow of time since, in essence, it is outside our universe. As soon as it becomes manifest as matter, time is created. By its projection space in between is defined, and its succession leads to the concept of time.”

Mental events according to Bohm appear in his superimplicate order (2 levels above spacetime). The probabilities arise in the implicate order (Bohm) or Framework 2 (Seth). Then the special case following choice from among the probabilities occurs in our spacetime universe (Seth Framework 1 and Bohm the explicated order).

However, “My Big Toe” by Thomas Campbell indicates that realities are separated by different clock speeds. A way out of this is to understand that if we access the implicate order of Bohm, everything available to be chosen for our universe would presumably occur within a single instant (tick of the clock) of the higher version of time. Hence the idea arises that there is “no time” in higher realities. But in fact there is, according to Cambell, since time, he says, is what separates all the different realities.

Great post Michael. I like the diagram. It reminds of how shamans, voodoo priests and such frequently have a central pole or tree type prop that figures importantly in their ceremonies. The pole is used to travel up and down to the other layers of reality, to contact the dead, etc.

Michael,

Yes, it was as you describe, although there was not a big amnesia effect (though I've experienced that too in milder cases, although not very often). It was more of a shock of being "back here"--as though I'd been freed of the burden for a long, long time and suddenly--what?! I've got to deal with this again! I'd totally left all this behind!

On another note...

One thing I find interesting about this whole topic is that, as a self-described New Ager who hangs out with with a lot of other New Agers, I'd always just accepted reincarnation as a given. I hadn't really known that there was any controversy at all.

So, live and learn, I guess!

Cheers,

Matt

Matt, I have had that same (or very similar experience) several times. Always feel very refreshed and ready to tackle challenges afterwards.

On the controversy, I don't identify myself with the new age movement, but I, too, always assumed that reincarnation was an accepted spiritual fact, worldwide, outside of the christian church establishment. Now it looks like a slight addendum to that understanding is needed. Thus, my understanding is corrected to; reincarnation is - and has always been - an establshed spiritual fact, worldwide, except for the christian church AND a few spiritualists active during a brief period (maybe 20 years) in history (the spiritualist movement soon incorporated the doctrine of reincarnation - or at least it certainly is strongly present after 1900 +/-).

Here is a thought that just occurred to me. If reincarnation is not a fact - or at least potentially a spiritual option - then spirituality is most likely false and hard core materialism is probably accurate.

Or in other words, reincarnation and spiritual beliefs (e.g. survival) must go hand in hand.

I am thinking this because, as I see it, the spiritual position is we are first and foremost a soul (spirit, consciousness, whatever you want to call it...). That soul had to come from somewhere. It had to adopt a body (by whatever mechanism), live a physical life and then return to whence it came.

The only other alternative is that some how, through meeting of sperm and egg, a soul is created - and I can't buy that. Matter would be primary. Matter would then give rise to consciousness and an immortal soul. I don't see that happening anymore than I can see my computer (now on its least legs) dying and having a soul that goes to an afterlife.

If you agree so far, you could counter by saying that we do exist as souls before we are born, BUT enter a body ONCE and only ONCE and then go to an afterlife.

However, this makes no sense at all as a hard and fast rule. If there is a mechanism by which a soul can enter a body once, then why not twice or thrice or a thousand times. What would prevent multiple incarnations? The one life time rule would be extremely arbitrary. Who or what would enforce it or cause it to operate? Why would it be enforced? Basically, from a purely mechanical perspective, the one life time rule makes no sense at all and therefore I rule it out as being a solid law.

From a spiritual perspective, possibly one life time is how things tend to work out for a lot of souls, but it is way too arbitrary, unusual and, quite frankly, judgemental or slack - depending on a belief in hell or a belief in total forgiveness and enlightment respectively - to think that one short, often confused, life time here on earth would be sufficient to conclude all that some souls need to conclude.

no one,

Here is a thought that just occurred to me. If reincarnation is not a fact - or at least potentially a spiritual option - then spirituality is most likely false and hard core materialism is probably accurate.

Since we have significant information that says that materialism is not correct, I don't think we can believe that, even if it turns out that reincarnation is not correct.

I am thinking this because, as I see it, the spiritual position is we are first and foremost a soul (spirit, consciousness, whatever you want to call it...). That soul had to come from somewhere. It had to adopt a body (by whatever mechanism), live a physical life and then return to whence it came.

The arguments you raise are apt, but I think the conclusion you derive is incorrect. The key question, I believe, is, "Are souls created, destroyable 'objects'?" Also, "Is the soul an object that goes 'into' the body and later 'leaves' the body?"

I don't think so. I've been harping on this lately, but I think that the soul is the "form" or "information content" of the entire person, body and mind and whatever else. Since information is indestructible, the soul is immortal.

That doesn't mean that matter is primary. Indeed, I think animals were able to evolve precisely because of the latent and/or manifest presence of Spirit. And I don't think Spirit is like *a* thing floating around. I think it's an emergent property of the Universe. Averroes posited a group mind for all of mankind, which I interpret as the original Spirit that animal life here on Earth (among many other things) uses to effect sentience and consciousness.

The only other alternative is that some how, through meeting of sperm and egg, a soul is created - and I can't buy that. Matter would be primary. Matter would then give rise to consciousness and an immortal soul. I don't see that happening anymore than I can see my computer (now on its least legs) dying and having a soul that goes to an afterlife.

Oh I agree. But if we pose *any* kind of mechanical relationship between soul and body, then we run into problems. By mechanical I mean that some kind of contingent process is required to connect soul and body. Entering, then indwelling, then leaving--all of that.

If such were true, then that would imply that failures are possible. People being born without souls. Souls accidentally leaving the body. Souls popping out of the body--then going into another body! That kind of thing. But we don't see any such thing. If someone has a functioning body with a functioning brain, then we see that they are alive and conscious.

The other main hypothesis is that the brain is simply "transmitting" the soul or spirit, but that has another set of problems that I talked about in a recent thread.


If you agree so far, you could counter by saying that we do exist as souls before we are born, BUT enter a body ONCE and only ONCE and then go to an afterlife.

However, this makes no sense at all as a hard and fast rule. If there is a mechanism by which a soul can enter a body once, then why not twice or thrice or a thousand times. What would prevent multiple incarnations? The one life time rule would be extremely arbitrary. Who or what would enforce it or cause it to operate? Why would it be enforced? Basically, from a purely mechanical perspective, the one life time rule makes no sense at all and therefore I rule it out as being a solid law.

I think it's plausible if you believe in a "God" who's controlling everything and making rules. Universe as amusement park, as it were. But I don't believe this.

Similarly, the whole body and soul problem isn't a problem if you believe in a God managing and controlling everything. That's how I believed when I was a Catholic kid. At conception, God creates your soul! When you die, your soul goes to heaven! There's no issue of a soul wearing out its gasket or whatever and popping out of the body, since God just doesn't let that kind of thing happen!

From a spiritual perspective, possibly one life time is how things tend to work out for a lot of souls, but it is way too arbitrary, unusual and, quite frankly, judgemental or slack - depending on a belief in hell or a belief in total forgiveness and enlightment respectively - to think that one short, often confused, life time here on earth would be sufficient to conclude all that some souls need to conclude.

I totally agree with this. BTW, your comments above on reincarnation being *widely* accepted for the longest time are quite apt. As you say, even in spiritualism, it was only a short window in which it was not acknowledged, mostly from lack of exploration and not explicit denial (though there was some of that too, it appears).

Cheers,

Matt

Matt,

"I don't think so. I've been harping on this lately, but I think that the soul is the "form" or "information content" of the entire person, body and mind and whatever else. Since information is indestructible, the soul is immortal."

Then how come my computer, when its hard drive physically breaks, does not have a soul that goes onto the afterlife? It is, afterall, information content. This is a fundemental rift in our understanding of things.

To nit pick a bit......

"If such were true, then that would imply that failures are possible. People being born without souls."

Yes. That happens. It's still birth. Born dead.

"Souls accidentally leaving the body. Souls popping out of the body--then going into another body! "

This happens too. Most common form is an OBE. These happen spontaneously to many people. Dr Jeff Long has an entire web page dedicated to these experiences. I have had them myself and I can assure you that the very first time was terrifying. It felt just like I always imagined death to be complete with the soul floating away from the physical body.

Which, combined with some other topics likes auras, chakras, energies, etc, leads me, personally, to conclude that the following is not completely correct;

"The key question, I believe, is, "Are souls created, destroyable 'objects'?" Also, "Is the soul an object that goes 'into' the body and later 'leaves' the body?"

I don't think so. I've been harping on this lately, but I think that the soul is the "form" or "information content" of the entire person, body and mind and whatever else. Since information is indestructible, the soul is immortal."

I actually do think the soul/energy body/aura/astral body, etc is something that attaches to a body and detaches from a body with some form of mechanics involved; albeit extremely subtle mechanics. And by extremely subtle I mean that any attempt to comprehend these mechanics from the perspective of our normal physical experience is an obtuse analogy that misses the truth. Yes. informational content is there as well as emotional content, but these are encased or glued together into a unit - an individual entity - by energies or forces that are like a substance and yet not like a substance because they are so much more refined. Maybe substance is the wrong word. It's something more akin to gravity or photons in a beam of light. It is this entity that can return to the earth plane by attaching to a new body; complete with birth marks scars and memories of the past life.

Interesting to learn your view. I have never really thought about it that way. I do not think I will be changing mind any time soon, but it is still good to think these things over with you.

cheers!

no one,

Then how come my computer, when its hard drive physically breaks, does not have a soul that goes onto the afterlife? It is, afterall, information content. This is a fundemental rift in our understanding of things.

The information content of your computer *does* continue to exist no matter what happens. You are familiar with the concept of the Akashic Records? I think that's just a fancy name for "information is never destroyed."

Note that this is unmediated information. It does not need to be written down anywhere. It has no medium and cannot be destroyed. Also note that "information" here is merely metaphorical. "Form" per Plato or Aristotle also works (as metaphor). These terms merely point you in the right direction, but you have to "get" what it's all about.

I think we continue to live after death because of the nature of our information while we were alive: it's not static. Thus, the information that does and must survive is itself alive.

Your computer also "survives" but only within the scope of what it was. Just like a rock.

Yes. That happens. It's still birth. Born dead.

Anything that could kill a fetus could produce a stillbirth. What I *don't* think you see is everything functioning biologically correctly but... whoops! the soul slipped out, born dead!

Do you see what I mean? If the body-soul connection where a prerequisite for ongoing life like any other, then we would see specific *problems* involving it. For example, if you have kidney failure, you're going to die unless you get dialysis. If your coronary arteries get clogged up, you're going to need an angioplasty or a bypass. But there is no such thing as the body-soul connection getting worn out and the person dying thereby. It's not a biological state or process that needs to be maintained.

This happens too. Most common form is an OBE. These happen spontaneously to many people. Dr Jeff Long has an entire web page dedicated to these experiences. I have had them myself and I can assure you that the very first time was terrifying. It felt just like I always imagined death to be complete with the soul floating away from the physical body.

I certainly believe in OBEs; I've experienced them. I also think there is a spirit body, which is the same thing as I've described above: the "form" or "information content" of the whole person. I think if the mind "detunes" from the body, then what's "left" is the spirit body, and that's when you have an OBE. The detuning is probably not 100% however, as then you'd be dead.

The thing is, OBEs do *not* seem to happen from a goofed up biological or mechanical situation such as could possibly occur if the soul and body were in some type of mechanical/biological relationship. For example, if start having blood vessel problems in my brain, I could have strokes that affect my consciousness. Yet, there is no such thing as a messed up soul-body connection that results in a similar diseased state.

That is why I don't believe in such a soul/body relationship. Any type of contingent/physical relationship in this universe is prone to problems. By modus tollens, if we don't ever see any problems, then we don't have that type of relationship.

I actually do think the soul/energy body/aura/astral body, etc is something that attaches to a body and detaches from a body with some form of mechanics involved; albeit extremely subtle mechanics. And by extremely subtle I mean that any attempt to comprehend these mechanics from the perspective of our normal physical experience is an obtuse analogy that misses the truth. Yes. informational content is there as well as emotional content, but these are encased or glued together into a unit - an individual entity - by energies or forces that are like a substance and yet not like a substance because they are so much more refined. Maybe substance is the wrong word. It's something more akin to gravity or photons in a beam of light. It is this entity that can return to the earth plane by attaching to a new body; complete with birth marks scars and memories of the past life.

If we go with what you're saying, then we would have to conclude that the soul is like an organism in its own right. Is that so? Because there is a whole mess of problems if it's so.

The biggest problem is that it implies that the soul could malfunction and be destroyed. And we know that, given enough time, anything that can happen *will* happen. The only way around this is to posit some sort of controlling authority that prevents such undesirable events from happening--like "God."

This is a kind of prejudice that runs deep in Western thought, so it's tough to slough it off completely. As I said, as a kid raised Catholic, I had no issues with this. God just made sure everything worked OK. Your immortal soul was immortals because God made it that way and would never let anything bad happen to it. Souls could be made of chocolate for all I know--God just wasn't going to let 'em melt.

I think, however, looking at how the world actually is, that that's not the world we live in. We're here because of celestial mechanics and evolution and natural processes. We are beautiful but odd animals with all kinds of rough edges and contradictions. I find it hard to imagine that God is so sloppy and/or hands off when it comes to how our bodies and minds function, yet, when it comes to how the soul works, He dips each lovingly in the chocolate of the body upon conception/birth and makes sure nothing *ever* goes awry!

Indeed, to see the physical world as this wild and organic thing formed by nature but then see souls as somehow being neatly ordered and regulated by God or some other intelligent force is like wearing a tuxedo jacket with plaid pants. It just doesn't match.

Interesting to learn your view. I have never really thought about it that way. I do not think I will be changing mind any time soon, but it is still good to think these things over with you.

I think the assumptions we have about the spiritual world are similar to the ones we had about the physical world pre-Darwin. People had no conception of the kind of physical process that could create all of the variety of life on the planet, so they filled in the blank with a demiurge who consciously took care of every detail. So if a frog had a stripe on its back, it was because *created* the frog so as to have a stripe on its back!

And so it is with the issue of a "soul." We haven't had a concept of the processes that could create the spiritual phenomenon for which we have good reasons to believe in, so we return to this default position of thinking that some intelligent force made everything "just so."

I say... no! The spiritual world arose from forces just as "organic" as the ones that created the physical world we experience. The idea of soul as being related to the mind/body as "form" or "information content" does away with the necessity of positing a demiurge or other intentional entities to take care of all the "details" and establishes a causal relationship that makes practical and intuitive sense.

Cheers,

Matt

"The information content of your computer *does* continue to exist no matter what happens. You are familiar with the concept of the Akashic Records? I think that's just a fancy name for "information is never destroyed.""

I hope you are right Matt. I haven't backed up a lot that is on my hard drive. if the computer goes kaplooey all I need is to locate a psychic admin to access the akashic records and retrieve my data!

In fact, that would be a position that HR should be interested in. Gotta pay six figures at least.

I joke...I joke...

"But there is no such thing as the body-soul connection getting worn out and the person dying thereby. It's not a biological state or process that needs to be maintained."

and

"Yet, there is no such thing as a messed up soul-body connection that results in a similar diseased state."

I disagree. I think that a "messed up" soul-body relationship is precisely the cause of much illness. This is a belief almost - perhaps completely - universal to traditional people every where. Also, I do think that when the connection wears out, death occurs. The wearing out can be gradual and it physically manifests as disease. The soul, IMO, and its energies direct the health of the body. On the babies think CIDS; if not still born.

I think you are getting too hung up on my use of the term "mechanical" - and that is partly my own fault. It's hard to talk about things for which there are no words. I tried to ward off the direction you went by saying that the mechanics are so subtle that they aren't really mechanics as we would we think of them.

I am way old school. My understanding is in line with the upanishads/vedas. I don't see a god directing the minutia of the universe, yet, at the same time I do see a single spirit pervading all aspects. I do see an SOP by which a soul attaches to and departs from a human body. I suppose I could see that as a "form". I would label that form as the "subtle body". The subtle body contains various components (pranas, jivas, vasanas, etc). It is a thing, but not in terms of things as we know them in the physical realm. Hence my use, with much reticence, of a mechanical description.

But then here, "The spiritual world arose from forces just as "organic" as the ones that created the physical world we experience.", you are sort of agreeing with me. Organic implies a process and mechanics does it not? It seems that you would also be leaving the door open for screw ups. Organic processes on earth mess up so why your spiritual organics not be prone to the same issues? So both our outlooks contain the possibility of process failures. I'm ok with that.

We are probably not as far a part as it may seem. It's just that damn insufficient language thing.

P.S. Matt, in your objections/counter arguments I think you are underestimating, IMHO, the ability of soul to influence physical reality. So, yes, a lot of things could kill a fetus/neonate. Had the soul not slipped out those things might not have happened.

P.P.S some people just die of "old age". If autopsied it's a "heart attack". What's a heart attack? the heart stopped beating correctly and then totally stopped. When the life supporting force of the soul leaves, the body - and the heart - stops functioning. happens all the time.

Apologies up front that I have not had a chance to read all of the above but, in the meantime, I think Jurgen Ziewe has had some interesting OBE experience on the higher planes.

http://www.multidimensionalman.com

I meant to say that soul qua object does NOT appear in the Bible.

In traditional Western thought, the spirits of the departed seem to have been thought of as ghosts or "shades"--which seems very accurate from what we know of, well, ghosts and also NDEs. Which is to say, they saw the spirits in the Afterlife as full-body copies of the living--not glowing spheres of light or disembodied soul objects.

I'm no expert, and there is *always* opposing information of some type or another, but that seems to be the general trend. Like many things in Christianity, the notion of soul qua created object animating the person is not in the Bible (the mechanics of body/spirit are just not dealt with at all), and so who knows when it was thought up.

Oh beautiful, I had a long response to no one but made the mistake of posting another comment before doing the CAPTCHA.

Arrrgh.

Anyhow, here is the TL;DR version:

1. The body/mind/spirit relationship is no doubt *very* complex. I agree that the spiritual health of the person is crucial to physical wellness.

2. BUT what I'm talking about is very simple. For example, it's not as though a manganese deficiency will harm your soul-body connection, or doing aerobic exercise will help it. IOW, the relationship between soul and body is not mechanical/physical/geometric.

3. I don't see soul qua object in modern New Age thought. I don't see psychics saying, "I can see your soul." If anything, the perception of the aura and chakras seems to weigh against the view of the soul as a unitary object or thing. I also don't see soul qua created object appearing in mediumistic or channeled communications.

4. "Spirit" is probably the better word. "Soul" has a lot of Christian baggage. It basically comes from the non-Biblical idea of God fashioning these objects that animate people or go into people. In fact, I think one of the reasons we're having this debate comes from the simple linguistic error of equivocating "soul" and "spirit" without processing the cultural and historical baggage that comes with the term "soul."

5. Soul qua object is specifically denied by Buddhism, the other tradition I know more about. Of course, so is an immortal spirit. But I would say it is not much supported in the Eastern tradition. Jiva seems close to my concept of spirit as the unmediated, living "content" of the whole person.

Still TL;DR, but much shorter. :)

Matt, ouch! I hate it when I lose some masterpiece due to forgetting to copy or save ;-)

The eastern traditions do have long detailed explanations of the processes and components involved in spirit, soul, personality, body relationships.

Getting back to Michael's diagram, which I really like*, The spirit, according to the detailed explanations is an individual piece of the ONE being. It would be the aspect of the individual closest to god, source, etc and it would be the part that has access to Michael's two lowest levels. It is of the highest "vibration".

The soul is of a lower vibration and is an interface package that allows the spirit to take a human (in the instance of incarnation in on the earth) form. So with the soul we are already filtering the range of perceptual possibilities to a narrower human band within that range. The soul would be associated with Michael's summerland and limbo.

The crudest vibrational level and narrowest perceptual band pertains to the personality. Personality is the interface package for an individual human.

Ideally, consciousness - or perceptual capability - could ride freely, directed by intent, up and down the cone that runs through Michael's layers. This would be possible when physically embodied or as post mortem awareness.

However, often it cannot because it gets stuck - due to habits, attachments, willful ignorance, fear and karma and probably the pressure of consensual reality at the lowest vibrational levels - at the first three levels (corresponding to personality and soul). Specifically where, within those first three levels - meaning the nature of the conditions and knowledge available - it gets stuck is varied and dependent on intracies of the personality and soul.

Personality still colors the soul in Michael's second and third layer.

Soul still colors spirit, but personality has vanished, in Michael's fourth layer and by the time the bottom layer is attained, soul is a distant memory; if one at all. Again, soul is necessary for the spirit to take the form of a human. Other physical creatures on earth and in different physical realms also require a soul to mediate/interface between physical personality and spirit.

* I like it because it is unifying. In some of the earlier related posts I got the sense, perhaps mistakenly, that Michael was thinking that the individual fragmented and different aspects of an individual went off to various places to live out independent existances after death. Real schizophrenic. Here, however, we have a unfied individual - a single entity - with the ability to expand or contract awareness along a core axis. This is in line with traditions since the beginning of time and it makes sense (to me at least).

Equate this to Monroe and Seth/Elias's Focus levels: Focus 1 to Focus 4.

Focus 1 = narrow objective physical reality - including multiple universes

Focus 2 = area of individual reality and thought, your own personal area where thoughts and ideas form, also where we do most of our dreaming. Most of our ideas and inspirations are 'downloaded' to us in Focus 1 directly from Focus 2.

Focus 3 = Transitional Consensus area, the 'afterlife', where we go to transition back to full expanded awareness (at our own rate). Many environments or 'locales' created from consensual thought energy.

Focus 4 = Full expanded awareness - pure subjective awareness - beyond normal human experience

While we call them four 'areas', they are in fact all one, our awareness exists across all four of these'areas' which are designated numbers for ease of understanding. Actually they are not levels or areas as such, they are actually focuses of attention within consiousness. There are countless focus areas.

Also rather than thinking of Focus 1 to 4 layered on top of one another, it is more accurate to say they are intertwined. It is possible to perceive more than one of these areas overlapping each other.

e.g. you may perceive a resident of Focus 3 while observing a scene in Focus 1 (everyday reality), this may be how hauntings occur.

These 4 main areas of consciousness can be divided up indefinitely into as many planes or sub planes as you like, but really all these lables are largely down to individual choice. Grouping them all into four main focuses of consiousness serves to keep things as simple as possible.

I've often wondered about the discrepancy between reports of afterlife experience. My current thinking revolves around the idea that everyone is different and thus has a different experience according to their 'ways of seeing'.
Same as in life.

As always this is one of the most interesting blogs around.

Interesting how much attention "mediumsship and reincarnation" is getting this week. It's also the topic of the latest discussion at sceptiko. Is it what people call a synchronicity?

no one,

Very interesting ideas. I think we're talking about somewhat different things at this point, however.

Cheers,

Matt

Yes, Matt. I think we have diverged. I find some of the topics we were discussing interesting, but I did not want to be a source of derailment of Michael's post (not too much any how).

Douglas, I agree, generally, with the Monroe and Seth/Elias's Focus levels you shared. think that is helpful too and compares well with what i understand of Michael's diagram.

I think that what level you obtain has to do with issues of focus of awareness and stuckedness of awareness (as I already described up thread). Those afterlife communications describing no reincarnation were probably coming from limbo and summerland inhabitants. They simply were not up to speed yet and they were still bound to the lower vibrations due to the attachments to earthly values and identification. Hence they mostly experience and repeat what they had when alive. They would not have had a belief in reincarnation when alive.

Conversely, your highly advanced communicators like Silver Birch talk about reincarnation as a fact though in a different format than we would expect (e.g. group souls) because SB is not reporting from soul, but from the spirit. By obtaining spirit he has broken the soul/form of man. His perspective is the perspective of spirit where individuality is very much less emphasized and personality is nothing. So SB sees reincarnation operating from that perspective.

Then you get cases like Lienninger and what Ian Stevenson studied. Here we seem to have individuals who died and, due to some attachment (the love of flying? a life ended too young?) stayed at the soul level (limbo/summerland) and thus their reincarnations are very much strongly a continuation of of the previous life with memories of the personality and physical scars, etc that would have left there imprint of the soul (the subtle body).

But really, I am curious why we are allowing the spiritualists to create a reincarnation controversy. I thought we had decided that those guys were caught up in a mania and that most of them were vaudeville act frauds (as Houdini exposed them to be).

Michael Prescott:
While it may seem as if we are engaged in a long and tedious struggle to attain spiritual enlightenment, this model suggests that we have already attained it -- in fact, that we never had to attain it because it was part of us from the beginning. The various lower levels of awareness with their more restricted range (represented by smaller radii) are part of a continuum with the highest level of awareness, so whatever we are seeking on this plane has already been found (actually did not have to be "found") on the higher plane.

I consider this insight vitally important. It suggests that the afterlife is not an adequate substitute for this life, no matter how much more wonderful it might be.

I would prefer that there is Reincarnation than no Reincarnation, I think I would get too bored being stuck in an Afterlife forever.

there are certain things I can do in this world that I believe I could not do in an Afterlife like I am very passionate about Dirtbike riding this is something I couldn't see existing in an Afterlife or playing Video Games for that matter, I'd like to believe if we do Reincarnate that we come back with similar interests also.

But then again I have no idea what is possible and not possible in the Afterlife so maybe you can manifest these sort of things, who really knows.

Marco quoted Michael Roll ""Never heard a medium say, "Sorry, you can't make contact with him/her as they have gone back to Earth."
I spent some time reading Michael's website(cfpf.org.uk) and watching some interviews with him.For him survival is simply "the branch of physics - natural forces of the Universe".He invovles concept of Ether and says that Big Bang theory and A.Einstein's relativity theory are wrong.Ironically he describes himself as atheist,but he bases his views on works of W.Crookes,O.Lodge,A.Findlay and R.Pearson.I don't know about W.Crookes,but what I've read of O.Lodge,A.Findlay and R.Pearson - they don't appear to be an atheists at all.So,Michael,are You familiar with Roll's view?If yes - what do You think of them?
Thank You

unreal, you should read Anthony Borgia's "Life in the World Unseen," as apparently in the Afterlife you get to work on many different things that interested you in life. In fact, he states that many of the things invented and created on earth are inspired by things created in the afterlife. And nobody ever gets bored working or has to work, it's all up to you.

Thanks Kathleen I will check it out, I'm glad what he says about not having to work over there, working for over 30 odd years now in this earthly life has really taken it's toll on me.

Thanks Kathleen I will check it out, I'm glad what he says about not having to work over there, working for over 30 odd years now in this earthly life has really taken it's toll on me.

Thanks Kathleen I will check it out, I'm glad what he says about not having to work over there, working for over 30 odd years now in this earthly life has really taken it's toll on me.

OT, but I thought people might like to know. Distinguished parapsychologist William G. Roll passed away on January 9 2012, the same day that his most recent paper was published.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13554794.2011.633532

Thanks for that information, Sandy.

"So,Michael,are You familiar with Roll's view?If yes - what do You think of them?"

I'm aware of Roll, but not well informed on his views. I'm skeptical of someone who claims to have determined that Relativity and the Big Bang theory are both wrong. Not saying it's impossible, but it's not the way to bet.

As I recall, Roll submitted a paper to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson, who is very sympathetic to paranormal claims. Josephson responded that Roll had made a basic error early in the paper, at which point he stopped reading. Roll says Josephson didn't give his work a fair chance, and that the error was irrelevant to his main thesis. My feeling is that if you're sending a physics paper to a Nobel laureate, you should probably make sure there are no errors.

Hi michael
This is off topic, but hopefully something you can help me with.
Marcel Cairo the medium used to comment on this blog and many others, But I see he has been inactive for a while and he has not responded to my e-mail requesting a phone reading. Do you have any idea of how to get in contact with him to arrange a phone reading?
Many thanks!

Quite off topic, yet wonderfully apropos to our discussions here and how we go about them, I can't resist quoting this observation from Brad Pitt--yes the handsome, talented actor--at the recent New York Film Critics Circle awards dinner.

“We are complex, we are mysteries to ourselves, we are difficult to each other, we live in continual flux and instability and conflict, Christians and Muslims, Democrats and Republicans . . . "

Robbie, I don't know if Marcel is still doing readings, but he is on Facebook, so perhaps you can get in touch with him that way.

Hi michael, I tried a facebook search but couldn't find him, maybe he goes by an alternate name on it I'm not sure.

Thanks for the help anyway, I figured because you two have done interviews together and that, you might have known how to contact him.

Great blog by the way!

Hmm, yeah, Marcel seems to have vanished from FB all of a sudden. He was on there until very recently. Not sure what's up.

Well I've tried e-mailing him, hopefully that'll work. Having a bit of an internal struggle with these issues, figured a reading would be useful and he seems honest and I've heard he's good!
You've had a reading with him haven't you? Would you recommend him?

I had a reading and I do think he's completely honest, but the reading was not the best I've had.

If I may be so bold........

What was the best reading you've had, Michael, and by whom?

Robbie you might be able to contact him from here

http://www.dowesurvive.com/afterlife/contact.html

Marcel from what I understand is still taking readings. I called his Texas number on the website a few weeks ago to set up a January reading. You will have to leave him a message and he will call you back

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