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"So, for a moment, you see. Relax. Don't take yourself so seriously! All is well. We are forever one."

excerpt from Riding the Dragon, Transcendental Experiences of Scientists,
http://www.issc-taste.org/arc/dbo.cgi?set=expom&id=00070&ss=1

This reminds me of certain Evangelical Christian "thinkers," who, finding that NDE phenomena do not fit well into their worldview, posit that the Being of Light is actually Satan attempting to trick these poor souls!

Such a notion is pretty easy to counter: What kind of God would allow the Devil special access to transitioning souls and allow him to give people a profound feeling of peace and lead them through a seemingly edifying life review, and so on? If the transitioning soul can't trust such a profound and seemingly profound experience, at what point will it "know" that it is in the presence of the real God and can--whew!--finally trust in the light?

My counter to the loosh-feeding hypothesis is similar. If even the best and most profound experiences can just be a veneer for evil and destruction, then what could possibly serve as a signpost for the good? We have an example of something that is perfectly unfalsifiable.

As most of us know, clinging to the ego is one of the explanations of distressing / hellish near death experiences. Upon the surrender of the ego ("giving up"), the Light appears.

Fear of the Light is often given as an explanation for ghosts. The deceased, for various reasons, can't let go of unresolved issues in this life so they wander aimlessly in a netherworld in between.

My understanding is that the Light does consume us in a sense, much in the same way we get "lost" in another person when we fall in love or develop a deep friendship. Of course, with the Light, it's like a surrender to Love on steroids.
Some of the Big Questions concern whether or not we retain any part of our individuality, and if so, to what extent.

I just found this on DD Homes I wonder if Michael or someone will comment on this. Found this on Wikipedia.

"Skeptic James Randi stated that Home was caught cheating on a few occasions, but the episodes were never made public, and that the accordion Home is supposed to have played was a one-octave mouth organ that Home concealed under his large moustache. Randi writes that one-octave mouth organs were found in Home's belongings after his death.[83] According to Randi 'around 1960' William Lindsay Gresham told Randi he had seen these mouth organs in the Home collection at the Society for Psychical Research.[84] Eric Dingwall,[85] who catalogued Home's collection on its arrival at the SPR does not record the presence of the mouth organs, and Lamont speculates that it is unlikely Dingwall would have missed these or did not make them public.[84] The accordion in the SPR collection is not the actual one Home used. They display a duplicate".

By the way the link to this is here its at the very bottom of the page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Dunglas_Home

Also, the ego and the Witness pay us a visit in Michael's book Dangerous Games, which I just finished reading and highly recommend.

By the way, Michael. There are two lines in particular in the book that made me laugh out loud:

"A man should have a taste for hard liquor."

"Maybe I believe in the right to bear arms."

Though, you have to read the book to get the jokes. :)

@Leo

Don't you find it rather amusing that this accusation shows up nowhere else on the web? He cheated because Randi speculates that he did a few times with absolutely no citation to link. Did you notice too the references on the wiki page are from Randi's own sources for his accusation? One of which is his Encyclopedia that is so riddled with errors that even fellow sceptic Susan Blackmore cannot endorse it. Note also the man who discovered these alleged organs had psychological problems and an agenda, he wrote a book with randi critical of the paranormal! How was this never brought up before by all the books that discussed DD Home? I'm not endorsing him I don't know if he was geniune or not but to spuriously make up an allegation like that with no proof is academically irresponsible. Dont you also think that the SPR would have released a publication on this? They have no problems exposing frauds. I get pretty angry with wiki type sites were skeptic trolls act as historical revisionist. We know hear not to look at such sites for objective info but the general public is lazy and when they stumble upon these people out of curiousity they get a distorted view of the topic. Grrrrrr

Ray,

Yes, the editors of Wikipedia have a strong skeptic/atheist bias.

Matt

Leo, in 1999 I wrote a blog post on Randi's claims about Home:

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2009/11/under-the-table.html

Oops, I meant 2009.

Speaking of time, Daylight Savings Time begins tomorrow (Sunday).

Oops sorry Michael you articulated that much better than I ever could. I didnt see that before nice dismantal

Thanks Michael, ya its amusing that a skeptic can make a accusation without any supporting evidence. But of course they are allowed to get away with it.

Nice post, Michael.

We don't necessarily have to interpret feeding on loosh as parasitical or vampiristic. Life is energy and as far as we know, all higher life-forms must renew their energy somehow -if not from something living, then from something that used to be living.

The only thing, Ben, is that NDErs report more than just the light, but also seeing deceased loves, including their pets, and even ancestors who they've never met (and then afterwards identified in photos). Some have even longer experiences, visiting cities and acquiring knowledge. I just don't see how this theory could work with the existing data.

The loosh is some what like carlos casteneda's idea that at death our awareness is devoured by "the eagle"; unless, of course, one had been trained as a "man of knowledge" - otherwise, food for the eagle. That is about where Casteneda finally totally lost me as a fan.

no one,

Hahahaha. Follow me--or you get the eagle, man!

Conspiracy-minded and/or self-serving people twist any fact to fit their worldview.

"This reminds me of certain Evangelical Christian "thinkers," who, finding that NDE phenomena do not fit well into their worldview, . . "

That's right: in their world view, their God is a vindictive, malevolent and impetuous child. They distain a loving God. I think we're pretty safe if we go in the opposite direction of their world view.

hi No One,

re carlos casteneda, I too thought he lost it with that totally negative stuff about humans being food for higher energies.

It seems like a scare story to get people hooked into his training program!

I DO think Castenede has some really great ideas, but at some point he lost it, and towards the end of his life there was all that weird stuff with him living in seclusion at home surounded by his 'witches', odd female groupies that appeared to control all access to him.

It all went a bit strange. As a result he is now discredited to a degree, which is a shame, because some of his material definitely hits the mark.

I have no idea whether 'Don Juan' ever existed. It could be that the man (or entity purporting to be this man), was operating under a guise, because research into actual Yaqqi shamen indicates that they do not share any of Don Juan's ideas. in fact, their main concerns are far more prosaic, eg predicting the weather to aid harvests etc.

There is certainly no evidence that they hold any of the beliefs or follow the practises of the individual claiming to be 'Don Juan'.

We'll probably never get the whole story.

Kathleen,
Not really a theory, just considering a possibility based on the way life is down here on Earth! I presume 'The Light' would be easily capable of reproducing memories and imaginary scenes for us. Something to consider: why would we (in our discarnate state, where thoughts are supposed to create reality) assume the same appearance as when we were down here? Are we really that unimaginative?

Douglas, I had two Indian friends - well one still is a very good frined and has been for 30+ years. He is of Yaqui descent. The other was an official Apache medicin man. They both hold world views containing many elements similar to what Casteneda presented in his first two or three books (e.g. the use of power plants, art of hunting/stalking, loss of self importance, etc) and they both demonstrated some abilities that we would call psi - once even a stunning example of psychokenesis. Yet none of Don Juan's and company's more outlandish feats was ever produced. And there are some noteworthy differences in philosophy as well. Furthermore, and more germane to our descussion, both believe in an afterlife that looks pretty much the same as that which we (here) do; including the potential for reincarnation. No awareness devouring eagles :-)

Early on I think Casteneda may have spent time interviewing - even learning from - some folks like those I know and he created a composite character, Don Juan as a literary method. Then later, he just went full blown cult leader nuts; making up Don Juan stories out of thin air and bits from scifi and philosophy he read at the library.

"including the potential for reincarnation. No awareness devouring eagles :-)"

I do wonder about reincarnation though. Why come back if it's so great up there?

Michael said "It's the ego that gets us all worked up, no matter how safe and comfortable we may be. The ego just loves to torment us with hellish and nightmarish scenarios."

Is this so? Couldn't it just as easily be the ego that says, "I'm far too important to be food for an eagle"?

"It's the ego that gets us all worked up, no matter how safe and comfortable we may be. The ego just loves to torment us with hellish and nightmarish scenarios." I completely agree with Michael on this. One of my favorite lines is from Edith Wharton who wrote extensively about the very wealthy. To paraphrase, no matter how rich they were, they still worked damned hard to find something to make themselves miserable over. That, it seems is the human condition - unless one becomes enlightened of course.

"Is this so? Couldn't it just as easily be the ego that says, "I'm far too important to be food for an eagle"?"

Well....hmmmm......that is something an ego would say, isn't it.
It might even add that it is so important that it deserves to be forgiven of all transgressions and basked in love in heaven for ever.

I don't quite share the same view of the ego as this monstrous thing. I think it is an ordinary part of the human psyche. It can be troublesome, to be sure.

But I think the real truth here is that we do not understand how all the parts of the psyche work or fit together. For all we know, what we label "ego" may be a composite of many other individual functions.

Someone once told me the ego is like a horse. Let it go untrained and feral and it is nothing but trouble; an expensive pet at best. But train it right and then you can ride it as a trusted companion.

no one,

Haha, yeah.

It could be that the ego is creamed off by the "eagle" (or whatever) which is why we have to be reborn to make a new one.

Apart from that, if it's ok for us to farm cattle for food, why shouldn't the eagle farm us for loosh. I see no logic in saying it's ok for us to eat but eagles can starve.

Graeme, your point is reinforced by the old Kabbalistic aphorism: “As above, so below”, which, like all equations, can be reversed: “As below, so above”. If there’s a food chain down here, there must be a food chain in heaven.

Let us also not forget that the greatest Christian virtue is loving self-sacrifice.
“Greater love has no man than this: that he gives up his ego for his eagle”.

This whole loosh thing is a road I never thought I'd go down - nor wanted to - but, just for argument's sake, maybe it is related to all of those alien abduction reports. Maybe the aliens are some kind of loosh farm hands - migrant employees of the eagle - doing work on the crops.

"Maybe the aliens are some kind of loosh farm hands - migrant employees of the eagle -doing work on the crops."

Makes sense to me. Two things I am sure about:
1.We're not the highest life-form in the universe
2.We've got an overinflated opinion of ourselves.

You realize, graeme, despite my agreement with your points 1 & 2, that this is all rather depressing and nihilistic. It could be called a paranoid fantasy because there is no evidence for it. In fact, to the contrary, afterlife communications would indicate that personalities survive.

There may well be beings of a differnt order that feed off human emotions and other energies. That does not necessarily mean that the human soul is harmed. Think of it as the excitement, etc generated at a rock concert or a powerful speach.

I just today had to make the call to have my Dad moved to hospice. He probably has 5 days left at best. The thought of him being food for some weirdo predatory 4th dimension beings is making me uneasy.

Very sorry to hear about your father, no one. A hard time for you. My personal belief is that our free will is real and continues after bodily death.

Blessings to you and your family.

Yes my sympathies to you as well no one. I hope your father is comforted by your perspective that he will continue on.

no one,

Sorry to hear about that. Love and Light to your family.

As far as a heavenly food chain is concerned, energy seems to work much differently in the Afterlife. It is invariably reported that no one there needs to eat at all.

It seems to be only lower spirits below the level of the Astral plane that have a need to "feed" off of negative energies.

Thanks everyone.

He is 89 and had a massive stroke last week. He has lost the ability to swallow as well as suffered general paralysis of his left side (arm, leg, etc). Because he cannot swallow the only way to obtain food and fluid would be through a feeding tube. Fortunately he is aware enough to refuse the tube himself. Otherwise I would have to make that call, and I would because I know its what he wants. We had that discussion a couple years ago and I have a medical power of attorney. Still, it would be a tough call to make.

Also fortunately he too is a devout believer in the afterlife. He served as a Marine in combat in the pacific in WW2. I once asked him when i was a young man how he and his mates did what they did. Even understanding USMC training and discipline and esprit I wondered how the hell they could jump out of those amtracks and run straight at murderous fire from a fanatical enemy and still be combat effective on top of it all.

His response was that knew beyond the shadow of doubt that if he was hit and killed he would go to a better world. So he had nothing to worry about. It was win win. Apparently a lot of the other Marines he knew felt the same way.

My son, a 1st Lt in the Army is off to Afghanistan no later than June this year. He will be attached to a special forces unit operating somewhere out in the middle of the mountains and among the tribesmen.

This is a year that will most certainly test my belief. Rubber meet road.........

Good luck, no one!

This idea of us human being energetic food for other creatures is also part of the Gnostic doctrine with the Archonts representing the 'eagles' in Don Juan's view... it's a very doom-and-gloom view.

As someone pointed out the thousands and thousands of pages of spirit communication transcripts don't seem to point in that direction. For example, if we take some of the best studied mediums of the golden era such as Leonor Piper or even today with the mediums studied by dr. G.Schwartz it doesn't seem that people from the other side is screaming for help because they are trapped in an horrible place and deprived of their life-force...

Are we saying the summerland is a gigantic astral coverup for a soul-farming facility? :D :D The would be a start for a twiseted sci-fi movie...
Also I have read a good deal of books from theosophist such as C.W.Leadbeater, Blavatsky and antrophosophist R.Steiner and didn't find anything so horrible as well.
Of course the lower astral is described as an hellish place and it seems to be inhabited by malovelent creatures who do feed on all sorts of negative emotions. So... yes there is, there seem to be evidence for a interaction of this type between lower-astral beings and humans.

If you think about it not all animals live segregated in farms to be killed and fed upon. So it could be the same for us, maybe depending on our evolution, karma etc...

Hope my english doesn't suck too much :)
Cheers from Italy
Marco

Your English is great!

Marco said "If you think about it not all animals live segregated in farms to be killed and fed upon. So it could be the same for us, maybe depending on our evolution, karma etc..."

What would the parallel be for all the species we've made extinct? (Presumably you're aware that biologists say a mass extinction is currently underway).

graeme said: "What would the parallel be for all the species we've made extinct? (Presumably you're aware that biologists say a mass extinction is currently underway)."

Hmmm... interesting question. I didn't think about it because I don't see a direct parallel between farming and making a species extinct. Those that went extinct, or are very close to that ending, (because of us) were killed in mass without too much thought and once they are gone we loose our precious "resources" and we won't be able to exploit them anymore.

So... if archons/eagles/aliens are harvesting our life energy and the earth is some sort of farming place, they should pay good attention to avoid make us extinct, or they will loose their source of precious energy.

Quite frankly I find this view very pessimistic when it's expanded in this way, as if it was the one and only reality. I think this it is very well possible that this is happening on a relatively small scale but it is just one of the many things going on in this incredibly complex and multidimensional universe ( or universes? )

cheers

to Alexander1304:
Micheal Newton is fascinating... I've read his book a couple of times and to this day I don't know what to make of it. I wonder how much of those "memories" can be really taken as "facts".

I also wonder, what if the same subject was regressed several times? Would he report the same things? I think there would be surprises. Personally I have experimented a bit with past lives and, for fun, I had several psychic readings. It is intriguing how certain aspect of my current life came out from those readings while there was no way the psychic could now about it. The only thing I provided was my name and location of birth, not even the birthdate. Additionally the sensitives I chose were all living in other countries.
In particular I had a karmic astrology reading which literally blew me away with the number of aspects that was able to bring out: lots of very detailed elements, no Nostradamus-like stuff :)

As regards spirits reporting their perspective on reincarnation from the other side, all I can say is that even if they are in spirit form they still retain their inclinations, beliefs and they just see a part of the picture, not all of it. So it's very difficult to judge on the opinion of a few of them. It would be much better to run a large over-the-veil survey and see what they say on average :D
I guess that from the literature of spirit communication, the world spiritual traditions, the recent XXth century studies etc... they all seem to suggest that reincarnation is an essential part of the spiritual evolution.

To me... it simply makes a lot of sense, although I have no ultimate proof and I might very well be caught in a belief that satisfies my personal view... I try to be sceptic until the amount of evidence I can find seems enough to suggest that there's something to it. In the case of reincarnation I think there is.

Cheers

@Leo

Here is another one for you Leo. It is on Jsck Webber:
http://www.answers.com/topic/jack-webber

The last paragraph basically states, "well he was never caught cheating but a lot of people like him were so he is therefore a fraud." The cherry on top of that sunday is that it comes with no citations or references. By that logic I will dismiss every scientist who does research in a lab because scientist in the past have manipulated data to get the rearch results they wanted. It is absolutely infuriating to see the misinformation out there. Again, I have no final opinion on Mr. Webber but I am open to his abilities based on the evidence and pressumptions.

One way of looking at Wickland's claim is that his wife, who was the medium, seemed to have a knack for attracting low-level entities. This came in handy when treating Wickland's patients, whose schizophrenia and psychosis were purportedly caused by spirit obsession. But it may mean that any information channeled by Mrs. Wickland is suspect, since it could have come from unevolved trickster or imposter spirits. In other words, even assuming Mrs. Wickland was a legitimate medium and not simply fooling herself or using "ordinary" psi, how do we know it was really Blavatsky who came through?

As I sit here and contemplate all the evidence that has accumulated for the paranormal, specifically spirit communication, it almost seems irrational not to dismiss it all as skeptics do. All these thousands upon thousands of reports, sightings, tests, etc into spirit communication cannot possibly be dismissed as mere hallucinations, wishful thinking etc. Even if only one case were real that is all it takes. If one really takes the time to read the evidence, study the primary documents, look at it from a bundle of sticks perspective it really does jump out at you that there is something to this. Yet for me personally the doubt still lingers which is why I continue to gobble up cases I never have come across or new evidence. However as Michael noted in his brilliant essay, "The Side of the Paranormal" it can consume you.

One person in particular who I think provides amazing evidence for survival is Marcello Bacci. I am surprised he is rarely mentioned. Especially the test that was conducted in front of fellow researchers and radio technicians. All the valves were removed from his radio to make sure stray radio communication was not coming in and he was receiving intelligent responses. The other itc work is sort of beyond my boggle threshold (like the "postcards" of afterlife travelers seen on the worlditc.org site) but direct radio voice displayed by Bacci and others is pretty impressive considering that the researchers took every measure to eliminate fraud. Despite Bacci's success one of the alleged spirits came through and basically called him an unhappy and bitter man at times because he cannot seem to get over his own skepticism despite the continuous evidence provided to him. I guess my contemplative question to this is why? Why can most of us not fully accept survival (including myself) Is it because the claim is so extraordinary and conflicts with our western rationality? If we truly are spiritual beings stuck in these bags of meat for a temporary time, why is doubt so engraved in us of our own spirituality? You would think there would be some type of self awareness for this like instead of the selfish gene as Richard Dawkins coined there is a spirit gene of you will. I do think doubt is a good tool to have while looking into afterlife matters so we all dont run off to marry a ghost that was a former lover but I think there can also be physiologically problems for being convinced one day followed by the roller coaster of despair that almost always comes with morning after skepticism. Sorry for the long post just something I've been thinking about on a macro level during my adventures into this field that I am sure many can relate to

I meant "The Dark Side of the Paranornal" sorry

Reference to Bacci experiment and quote can be found on worlditc.org under researcher results Bacci, Marcello

"why is doubt so engraved in us of our own spirituality?"

This presumably varies from individual to individual. I am in no doubt of the spiritual nature of reality.

Personally, I find some of the experiences recounted in Barrett's short "Death-Bed Visions" book to be pretty convincing, and thus inspirational:

http://astrovault.com/azseamonkey/ebooks/%28eBook%29%20Death-Bed%20Vi%236084AE.pdf

Ray -

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: His eyes are closed." Albert Einstein

I struggle with doubt more often than I am convinced of continuous existence. At times, its a tough struggle, notwithstanding that I am fully aware of the mountains of evidence that should convince anyone that there is something more.

Its like being a juror on a murder case, having 5 priests and 6 rabbis as witnesses, the defendant's DNA at the scene, a video tape of the defendant actually committing the murder, but still having doubts about his guilt. It would be ridiculous to have doubts, just as it is when we consider the evidence for existance after death. But at times, I find myself being that one "hold - out" that says, "but what if...?"

When it comes comes to survival evidence, I become the conspiratorial kook in the mountains that devises all these wild eyed alternative theories to the evidence. Maybe the NDE is the brain just trying to make people feel good about death? Maybe the death bed visions of so many people are just wishful thinking, I mean, nobody wants to die, right? Those and so many other thoughts race through my mind. I find myself combing through skeptic magezines or articles, looking for alternative explanations for a supernatural experience...secretly hoping they're wrong, but trying not to let my hope that there is survival influence the way I read about alternate explanations. In the end, concluding, abruptly after reading 2 or 3 short skeptic articles, that "yeah, its probably just in my head, I probably just want there to be something more..." the wishful thinking bias that skeptics say clouds our thinking as effectively as THC to the brain.

But back to my point, to me, it is that bewilderment at the continuous questions that keeps us going, because, after all, if we knew for certain about what happens, I agree with Einstein, we probably would have little, if any, incentive to stay here...

Here's the thing sleepers, since I was a teenager - actually since I was a child when my favorite indoor hobby was reading stories about ghosts and hauntings and poltergiests, etc - I have had an intense interest in trascendental and spiritual experiences. And I have always balanced the scholarly approach with ample direct experience (or at least attempts at it).

I find the dying brain theory to be full of holes. Why would the dying brain create such beautiful experiences?

I have used a lot of different drugs to attempt to induce something similar to the NDE experience (not daily, but at most a few times a year). While the psychedelics are amazing and have, IMO, a lot to offer, they do not replicate the NDE. Not for me or anyone else I know. The opiates can produce happy visions in high enough doses, but these do not contain the NDE features either. Ditto hashish and a few other exotics.

So not only is there not only no good explanation for WHY the dying brain would produce the full spectrum of NDE qualities, but it seems that chemicals that either exist in the brain (like DMT) or bind with natural receptors also fail to produce the NDE experience. In short the brain chemical explanation doesn't look good.

Lack of oxygen, another medical explantion also fails to explain as its effects are well documented and they do not cover the full spectrum of the NDE experience.

The only experiences I have had that come close to the NDE are OBEs initiated via certain techniques and in stone cold sobriety. Some of these experiences had veridical content, e.g. I left my body and went to such and such a location and saw so and so doing something; later, upon inquirying, learning that so and so was exactly where i saw him, when I saw him there and doing exactly what I saw him doing.

Now I could be anyone making up stories to fool people on a blog. However, there are many other sources where people recount the same sort of experience.

So, if you accept what I and many other OBE experiencers are saying, then you have to further question the dying brain hypothesis because with the OBE the brain is not dying. There is no medical crisis requiring medical intervention to re-start biological life.

Hopefully, something to think about any how.

Cheers.

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