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Why were you bummed out by the results of the election?

The real ride begins now that the election has decided our next direction hang on! especially with only two months to shake states up for a new health care system front and center.

Good to get a new post!

I agree that the discovery of such a diary would be a huge event. I agree that if a scholar says s/he is fine without substantial information about Shakespeare, s/he is full of it. (To what degree scholars are fine with that, however, is something not clearly delineated in your post. Also as to what degree Shakespeare scholars resort to deconstructionism.)

But ultimately I think your argument comes down to this:

Who would you rather have be the author of the Shakespeare canon: some guy we know nothing about, or this guy we know a lot about?

I think you also weave in the "sour grapes" argument, which is a different argument, creating a kind of equivocation. As if to say:

"If you hold that the Stratford man is the real author, then you are saying you're fine with not knowing anything about the author of the Shakespeare canon, which is absurd. Of course you want to know more. But if you want to know more, then you ought to be an Oxfordian, since we know a lot about Oxford."

You don't say this directly; it's implied, subtly, with plausible deniability! :)

But this is a category mistake. Wanting to know more about the author of the Shakespeare canon should not lead us to attribute the works to someone we know more about. And I think this *is* a big motivation among Oxfordians for their position. They will openly say, "I love this! It just brings the works to life so much more for me." Etc. Of course, they asset that they believe based on solid evidence.

Thanks for providing the Shakespeare authorship link. I think that site amply shows why the evidence for the Oxfordian position is poor.

Oh,problem easily solved. Just find a Medium to contact the true author in the Afterlife, and ask him to tell us all a bit about himself.

Yeh, Zerdini will do that no problem.

"Yeh, Zerdini will do that no problem."

If only it was that simple.

I don't contact anyone in the next dimension - they contact me!

@Snorkler assuming a) you could find a decent medium, and b) you could believe what a communicator was telling you :)

"But if you want to know more, then you ought to be an Oxfordian, since we know a lot about Oxford."

Matt, it's interesting that you read that into Michael's post. Could be he's just pointing out that the anti-Oxfordians are, at least in this one respect, quite clearly wrong.

Ag any rate, it's a bit like this metaphysical argument, in reverse: "If psi were discovered to be genuine, everything we know about science would have to be scrapped." That's not really true, is it? A great deal (if not most) of what we know would still be accurate and extremely relevant to how we live our lives.

And while the fact that skeptics often make this petulant claim doesn't prove that they're wrong about everything, it doesn't exactly reflect well on their impartiality, either.

So maybe Michael's just making that sort of argument, while at the same time telling us why he's so passionate about this particular mystery.

Strange business, this 'Shakespeare's works' problem. The study of literature just is not an academic discipline, and literary scholars are the most fashion-prone, swayable, light-headed of thinkers. Their probing this issue is unlikely to get us anywhere.

But it is true that right up until modern times, literary works were the output of the educated gentry. It is also true that, as a prolific dramatist and poet who rose from the common folk, Shakespeare would have been a curiosity, and a court chronicler would certainly have noticed him and spoken of him, given that Shakespeare plays were regularly performed at court. And, of course, this commoner genius would have kindled the interest of the monarch, who would surely have asked for him to be presented at court. But absolutely none of this happened. So: everyone who was anyone knew Shakespeare's plays, but no-one at all was interested in Shakespeare himself? This is very unlikely indeed. More likely is that it was common knowledge at court that persons of rank (or at least one) are putting out literary works anonymously, under the cover name 'Shakespeare'.

The scholarship that has gone into investigating the authorship of Shakespeare plays is pretty weak. There is not a single medieval history specialist among them. The prattle of the literati that you disparage, Michael, well deserves disparaging. I hope some decent scholarship will be trained on this issue at some time. I agree with you that the 17th Earl of Oxford is a very likely 'Shakespeare'. But Marlowe and Bacon are also not unlikely. I rather like the view that Shakespeare was a brand name fuelled by these gents, and probably by quite a few others.

@Zerdini, It can't be that difficult. Just ask the entitys that contact you to put out an APB in the spiritworld to inform Ol Bill that Michael down here has a few questions to put to him.
@Paul, Surely entities from the supposedly woundrous,idylic afterlife have got more enjoyable stuff to occupy them than to play deceptive tricks on us mere mortals?

@snorkler - do a detect a note of sarcasm? :)

As far as I can see from my reading, people are no different a moment after death from a minute before. If they were unpleasant before, then they are unpleasant after, at least for quite a while.

As an aside, did you get to read any of the recommendations made to you in other threads? I'd be interested to know what you thought.

@snorkler - it seems you have a lot to learn about mediumship - it can be that difficult!

Bruce,

Sorry, I didn't understand your point. What are the anti-Oxfordians wrong about?

Thanks for the further explanation!

Hi Matt,

In speaking of some mainstream scholars, Michael says:

"The whole authorship question, they say, is a waste of time, because it simply doesn't matter who wrote the plays."

His argument is that's crazy.

Here's a 75-minute documentary on the authorship question from the Oxfordian side, although there is some balance. It makes some good points. It's on Amazon--I think there's a fee of $3 or so:

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Will-Testament/dp/B009VB7XM2

Here's a link to a survey article on the afterlife, on the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/afterlife/

@snorkler
I'm not sure why you would think something like that would be trivial. In a perfectly mundane world you couldn't pull something like that off, even with people I know and are willing to talk to me they don't always respond just because I ask them to. And that's with people I know are alive!

Sarcasm? not at all.@Paul, yes followed those recommendations and a lot more besides.Unfortunately still remain unconvinced.Too many contradictory statements and interpretations of what the afterlife is about from those who claim to be in contact.Your assertion that if one is a nasty piece of work in the material dimension, they continue to be so in spirit is just one example where self appointed authorities on the subject are singing from different song sheets.Feeble excuses why the recently deceased can or can't communicate with extremely distressed loved ones is IMO another copout from those who don't have the knowledge or abilities they claim to have.I have more reasons for my sceptism and would give up my life to be proved wrong, but irrefutable evidence seems to be extremely difficult to find.
Zerdini, Maybe i have a lot to learn, or maybe there is nothing to learn.If the Afterlife is a reality, then why is it all such a damn mystery to all but a select few?
And if those select few can really make contact, then why would it be that difficult to track down the entity formerly known as the famous Will Shakespear? Some Mediums seem to name drop the famous quite a lot, which also tends to get my BS meter needle hovering in the red zone.

Sorry Joshua, I missed you. I'm not discussing a perfectly mundane physical world here.Depending on who you read, the afterlife is supposed to be a place of enlightenment where pride, prejudice and disagreeable personalities don't exist.
I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect honest straight forward answers to any questions from spirit entities if definate contact is made.Anything less takes on the appearance of fraud.

Bruce,

||In speaking of some mainstream scholars, Michael says:

"The whole authorship question, they say, is a waste of time, because it simply doesn't matter who wrote the plays."

His argument is that's crazy.||

I totally agree with that.

@snorkler
"the afterlife is supposed to be a place of enlightenment where pride, prejudice and disagreeable personalities don't exist."

You will be in for a shock then ... the same people exist there as here!

This is the reason I suggested you study mediumship. The Afterlife won't be such a mystery then.

Edward.c.Randall, in his book :
"The dead have never died" (p.81-82.pdf) quotes a communication from R.C. Ingersoll to the effect that shakespeare received his masterpieces from the afterlife.

Given the extent of "direct voice" and automatic writing that is detailed in many books this would seem to be a reasonable conjecture.

@snorkler, the most you can do is look at the range of evidence and form your own view. I have no direct experience myself to share, but some on here do.

Are you suggesting I am a self-appointed expert? I am not sure what you mean by that. I mention the comment about people not changing immediately after death because is seems to me to be a very common theme by those who claim to be communicating. i am not really interested in the personal opinion of mediums. Where did you read anything different - ie that people are transformed to pillars of light and that the personal idiosyncrasies and personality traits disappear immediately?

I have to say I am impressed that you have read all the recommended books and more besides. It took me much longer.

My understanding is that earthbound spirits, who are generally not very advanced to begin with, remain much as they were during life. These spirits can easily disrupt mediumistic communications and also play havoc with Ouija boards, etc. They do not inhabit a heavenly paradise, but are temporarily stuck in a twilight zone of darkness, confusion, and frustration. They are the ones who play tricks on spiritual seekers.

More advanced spirits would not play tricks, but they may be harder to contact, having progressed further from the earth plane. Some lose interest in the earth. Others would like to communicate but find it very hard. Some spirits seem to be better at communicating than others, just as some humans are better at receiving psychic messages than others.

Eventually spirits progress to higher planes where it is all but impossible to make contact with the earth. I would like to think that the spirit of "Shakespeare," whoever he was, has long since reached this state.

"Why were you bummed out by the results of the election?"

My side lost. :-(

Not only earthbound spirits, Michael.

Thousands pass over every moment of every day totally unaware of where they are going.

All human life is there in the next dimension.

Most don't realise that it may be possible to contact the earth while others deny any such possibility.

Michael,

'These spirits can easily disrupt mediumistic communications and also play havoc with Ouija boards, etc... More advanced spirits ... Some lose interest in the earth... Eventually spirits progress to higher planes where it is all but impossible to make contact with the earth.'

I have come across these kinds of remarks before, but I find it downright impossible to understand them. How do you know this? Who talks about this authoritatively? (I've read the Wicklands' stories, but they are pretty unimpressive, to my mind.)

Hi Sophie

For the avoidance of doubt: Are you saying the only book you have read on the subject is Wickland?

What did you find unconvincing about Wickland?
I don't understand what it is about Michael's comment that you find impossible to understand - please expand :)

Also what do you mean by 'authoritative'? What kind of source would you consider to be authoritative on this matter?

For those interested, "The Afterlife Experiment" is a documentary about mediums who did some remarkable work in the 1990s in Scopes, U.K. It was just added as an Instant movie by Netflix. The reviews are interesting, there are a lot of four-star reviews, and then some one-star reviews. The funny thing is that a lot of the one-star reviews begin with, "This is hogwash, I turned it off after 10 minutes..." If they turned it off after 10 minutes, they never got to see some of the impressive efforts by the Society for Physical Research to investigate the mediums. These reviewers' minds were already made up and seemed intent on dismissing it all out of hand. Another reviewer wrote about how it was all just "parlor tricks." So why doesn't he or she tell us what these "parlor tricks" actually were? Anyway, I thought it pretty impressive. The documentary's production quality wasn't the greatest, but I found much of it very persuasive.

@Paul, When I wrote about self appointed experts/authorities I was talking about Mediums. Are you a Medium? No, then I wasn't referring to you as a self appointed expert.
@ Zerdini,As you are aware,our gracious host Michaels blog isn't the only show in town discussing Survival.As I wrote earlier, interpretations/opinions on what the afterlife is about vary and are often contradictory. Which Mediums are telling the truth as they understand it? and who is telling porkies? The latter are probably frauds and the former don't seem too sure either from my research.

Paul, Sorry I misunderstood your question about reading books. living in the Boonies as I do it is difficult to get to a book store likely to have this type of material.
I have done all my research online, and because I have had over 6 months berievment leave, I have had more time than most to do that research.

@snorkler thanks for replying. A polite 'yes' or 'no' would have sufficed regarding whether the remarks were addressed to me or not. If I had known who you were referring to I wouldn't have asked.

As far as having read the books that were recommended by others then I take your answer as 'no'. It is not a surprise therefore that simply confining your research to the Internet hasn't been entirely satisfactory. Many of the recommended books can be purchased online and downloaded, perhaps you even have access to a post office to take deliveries. Many of the older publications can be downloaded free.

Gaining a reasonable overview of the material takes time and effort, and probably a certain amount of expenditure on books and the like. Personally, I'd reserve judgement until you have been able to do that. It is of course a matter for your own judgement.

In my experience, limited as it is, it is very difficult to get a reasonable feel for the extent and quality of the evidence for survival simply by using search tools and participating in forum discussions. It is also very difficult to discuss the evidence presented in books with people who haven't read them.


@snorkler

Yes, I am aware that Michael's blog isn't the only one discussing Survival.

My remarks are based on personal experience and long conversatins with those resident in th spirit world rather than mediums' views.

With respect your online research doesn't seem to have achieved very much.

Following Paul's advice would be a very good idea.

@sophie

There is a wealth of information available - for example - the works of Edward Randall who sat with direct voice medium Emily French for more than twenty years and had a stenographer transcribe the conversations he had with those who had passed on.

My apologiesto Paul, Zerdini and Joshua for coming over a bit testy these past couple of days.It was my late wifes birthday on Friday and I am having a rougher time of it than I thought I would.That's no excuse for rudeness though.

@snorkler - understood. I hope you have some support from friends. You weren't too rough by any means compared to so of the remarks I have seen online from others (and my own on occasion) :)

It can be a long journey reaching any kind of conclusion on the evidence. I haven't reached a firm conclusion myself as yet and I have been researching the subject for a number of years now.

I hope you have some support around you during this particularly difficult time.

Paul,

'Are you saying the only book you have read on the subject is Wickland?'

I've read some Swedenborg too. And I'm sorry, but I have no idea why his observations should command respect. I wish someone would tell me. :)

'What did you find unconvincing about Wickland?'

This: All those stories were indistinguishable from fiction (pretty monotonous, repetitive, sanctimonious fiction at that). And the recanting Madame Blavatsky ... spot of cheek there, no?

'I don't understand what it is about Michael's comment that you find impossible to understand - please expand :)'

I understand these comments no better than if someone were to outline the daily diet and sporting preferences of unicorns. (I am aware that Michael referred to things in an in-passing, 'this is common knowledge' sort of way. But that is not what I am complaining about. Rather, I am at a loss to know what the reliable source/s of information about spirits is.)

More: I have often read Matthew's Messages: http://www.matthewbooks.com/mattsmessage.htm . It is a really rather well written site, and decidedly entertaining. I have also ordered that site's Matthew, Tell me About Heaven book. But am I supposed to take these writings seriously? Does anyone on this blog take them seriously?

Zerdini,

Thanks. I shall immediately set about getting some Edward Randall literature.

You said to snorkler: 'My remarks are based on personal experience and long conversations with those resident in the spirit world.' I almost dropped my laptop. Have you written about these conversations? If so, please tell me where I can get at them. (Now I'm a mite stunned.)

@sophie

Suggested reading by Edward Randall:

"The Dead Have Never Died" and "Frontiers of the Afterlife" -
also "The French Revelation" by N. Riley Heagerty.

Have a look at my website which is constantly being updated as time permits.

Hi Sophie

I've read some Swedenborg too. And I'm sorry, but I have no idea why his observations should command respect. I wish someone would tell me. :)

I have only read a little Swedenborg and frankly found it tedious.

All those stories were indistinguishable from fiction (pretty monotonous, repetitive, sanctimonious fiction at that). And the recanting Madame Blavatsky ... spot of cheek there, no?

Hard to know what to make of Wickland – I wouldn’t like to dismiss it out of hand. I can’t really see why such a prominent psychiatrist would waste 30 years on something he knew to be fraudulent. It isn’t impossible though I suppose. If one is recording cases, then it is bound to be repetitive. If it was a construction he could have made it more entertaining. Determining how much credence to give it is difficult without knowing the people involved personally I suppose.

Rather, I am at a loss to know what the reliable source/s of information about spirits is.)

I would be interested to know what would constitute a reliable source in your opinion. What is your personal view of survival?

Zerdini,

Thank you for the specific titles. I have just ordered Frontiers of the Afterlife. Will carry on from there. And I am a frequent visitor to your site! (The beautiful pics are a bonus.)

Paul,

'I can’t really see why such a prominent psychiatrist would waste 30 years on something he knew to be fraudulent.'

Prominent? The Jung-Freud crowd pretty much occupied the controversial early 20th century psychiatry platform, and Wickland did not get even a look-in there. Whether he was a genuine researcher, a fraud or a nutter is, I suppose, anyone's guess. But neither he nor his research (whatever it was) made any impact on the field of psychiatry.

'I would be interested to know what would constitute a reliable source in your opinion.'

Not easy, in this case! But, if someone like Crookes or Myers or Findlay or William James had made some remarks about what the afterlife is like, I would consider them reliable sources, given the body of their work in the area. There's Michael too, of course, if he was being serious in this post. And I gather that Zerdini is serious. I certainly defer to him.

'What is your personal view of survival?'

I am convinced of the survival of consciousness. But, as I think I made very clear, I have little to no orientation on what is true of the afterlife state.

By the way, have you ever looked at the Matthew Books site (link above)? If you have, what do you think of it ... is there a genuine case of spirit channelling there?

I thought we were talking about friggin' Shakespeare here!

"I thought we were talking about friggin' Shakespeare here!"

I'm afraid the afterlife is like gravity, Matt--it keeps tugging at us. :o)

Sophie, one of my favorite books on the subject of afterlife communication is called "Voices From the Afterlife" by Lily Fairchilde. She's a psychic and counselor who suddenly found herself channeling an assortment of people who had died, and who wished to share their stories of passing over.

The book is beautifully written, insightful, credible, and at times, quite moving. It discusses spiritual evolution in a way that makes perfect sense (to me at least!), and I'm surprised it's not more well known.

Thanks Sophie - as for Wickland, I meant prominent in terms of his medical appointment. I will have a look at the site you mention, thanks.

I agree it is difficult to me certain of the exact nature of any afterlife. Interesting you should mention Findlay, most of the communicators he reports don't sound very different from us, which is the point I was making regarding changes in personal character.

Sophie - as an afterthought, though I probably mention him a bit too often on here, the ostensible communicators through Leslie Flint often describe their lives. I believe Zerdini knew Flint quite well.

"I thought we were talking about friggin Shakespeare here"
Keep up with the program Matt.
Just like 97% of 2 unqualified scientists reached a consenses that Global Warming er Climate Change er Climate Disruption er Global Cooling er Whatever is due to Mans emissions, we here have also reached a consenses that it matters not who wrote the works that have been attributed to Shakespeare.It's all a bloody good read regardless.
See how easy it is to veer off topic?

Crookes has been mentioned in despatches, which gives me an opportunity to ask a question that I have re Katie King and Ectoplasm. The way understood it, ectoplasm is a white substance that gives some visible shape to an otherwise invisible spirit form, similar to how smoke made the Invisible Man visible in the old TV series of the 1960's.
Was the white clothing that Katie wore during her materializations said to be ectoplasm? All the folds, creases etc appeared to be too natural for a substance that just envelopes a mere physical form.

Good question, snorkler.

Ectoplasm may be white, grey or black.

It is not only drawn from the medium and sitters but often from the clothes and furnishings in the seance room where colour is required for the materialisation.

I have handled ectoplasm which can be as soft as cotton wool or as hard as steel.

The draperies which envelop the spirit form often have their own luminosity and do not reflect light.

They are as solid and real as the clothes we wear yet can dematerialise instantly.

Hope that answers your question.

Thanks Zerdini. I think it was mentioned in one of william Crookes accounts that sample pieces of katies clothing were given to guest sitters, but vanished after a short time. Yet one sample survived long enough to be analyzed and found to consist of human protein.I can't remember, but was this protein found to have been sourced from the body of Cook the Medium ? and was Cook weighed before and after the seance?

Bruce,

Thanks for your recommendation of the Fairchilde book. I have ordered it.

Paul,

'I believe Zerdini knew Flint quite well.'

Wow! I mean, WOW! :)

Zerdini,

Fascinating info. re ectoplasm! Thank you.

Sophie

"Thanks for your recommendation of the Fairchilde book. I have ordered it."

You're welcome! Let me know what you think of it.

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