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Makes perfect sense to me.

Excellent post, excellent point.

Now, I can imagine another version of the objection: that the spirit *only* talks about trivialities, and only a few of them. I.e., instead of getting into a nice, suitably complex conversation about the "old days," or whatever, the spirit only mentions a few things. IOW, not a robust conversation, but merely a few details. Does such an objection land at all? Or are the conversations typically robust enough to sound like "real" conversations? I haven't studied her mediumship in any detail and thus don't know.

One thing I noticed about my recent medium readings is how they got so incredibly personal. Some of the details were so personal that I'm reluctant to talk about them to friends. Not out of embarrassment, it's just that so much of it would seem inane to an outside observer, yet have a profound meaning to me.
For instance, the spirit of a friend bid me farewell at the end of a session by using the word "compadre", another deceased friend makes a joking dig at my being a "crazy-ass driver" (I had a recent bizarre car wreck and emerged unscathed, although it was a miracle I even walked away at all), or my Guide comments on me being hunched over my computer at 3:00 in the morning.
Lots of little stuff that starts to build an avalanche of a case for the survival of consciousness.

But...
There's an itty bitty skeptic bone inside of me twitching around on life support, wondering why ADC's don't quite seem to square with NDE's. Reports of NDE's often mention access to an overwhelming amount of knowledge, love and understanding, but in the psychic medium world, the spirit you had when you left will be the spirit you have when you land on the Other Side. People that were slow learners in this life are slow learners in the next. Folks that are sarcastic while they were here will be sarcastic over There. In other words, not much of a transformation of the personality despite being exposed to, and infused with Heavenly splendor. Go figure.

Strongest ADC for me...my father's spirit, in a session with a talented local medium, gave a detail from my wife and my personal romantic life which could not have possibly been known to anyone but me and my wife, which in fact was not known to him before he passed.

The medium seemed to think this was a bit unusual...in her experience the spirits aren't particularly interested in such matters, but of all the possible pieces of information that my father could have chosen to give me to prove that he was communicating from beyond death, that was the perfect one.

I suppose it could have been unconscious telepathy between my mind and that of the medium. However, in the same session my father also told me to ask my mother about why she had not told me about her cataracts.

Of course it turned out that my mom was about to have cataract surgery and had not told me.

John Edward and Cher Margolis will be on "Katie" (NBC) this afternoon talking about legitimacy of Mediumship. For those of you who are interested in that sort of thing. I live near Nashville which is Central time so it will be on TV here at 3:00 pm.

Rabbitdawg shares, "There's an itty bitty skeptic bone inside of me twitching around on life support, wondering why ADC's don't quite seem to square with NDE's. Reports of NDE's often mention access to an overwhelming amount of knowledge, love and understanding, but in the psychic medium world, the spirit you had when you left will be the spirit you have when you land on the Other Side."
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Maybe there is a filter in the physical universe which only allows certain information to come through or be shared? Sort of along the same lines as time flowing only one way when in Physics there is nothing to prevent time from going both ways? And sometimes the filter doesn't work perfectly such as when people have precognitive dreams or bring back information from the other side about their future.

"In other words, not much of a transformation of the personality despite being exposed to, and infused with Heavenly splendor. Go figure." -RabbitDawg

Yes, extremely fishy, isn't it? An obvious question to a departed "spirit" would be: "Do you have access to higher wisdom?" I suspect the answer would be: "What are you talking about?"

Perhaps the boring portion of the earth ego personality (an astral ghost or shell) remains unassimilated by whatever is up there (this seems more likely, I'd suggest, than that the spirit is a faker -an astral entity with access to the deceased's memories, simulating the deceased's personality).

Another possibility is that there is in fact no readily available higher wisdom, and NDEs are induced visions by predator entities which feed off our emotional states, or enjoy confusing us.

"Or are the conversations typically robust enough to sound like "real" conversations?"

A lot depended on the communicator. If the communicator had to work through Phinuit, the conversational possibilities were somewhat limited. But when a communicator could get through directly, as was the case with Pellew and Hodgson, conversations went much more smoothly. Interestingly, this is what we would expect from actual communications, and not what we would expect from super-ESP.

"Reports of NDE's often mention access to an overwhelming amount of knowledge, love and understanding, but in the psychic medium world, the spirit you had when you left will be the spirit you have when you land on the Other Side."

This is the big unresolved issue for me. There seem to be two internally consistent but mutually exclusive storylines: 1) the spirit undergoes only a slight change (or no change) and keeps living much as it did on earth, unaware of any past lives or larger meaning; and 2) the spirit remembers all its past lives, sees its earthly incarnations as personas or roles played, and prepares for its next incarnation with the help of other, equally enlightened members of its Group Soul.

This may correspond in some way to the gnostic distinction between the psyche (soul) and the pneuma (spirit). The psyche is the ego-mind; the pneuma is the higher self or oversoul.

Possibly one way of thinking about it is that the pneuma infuses the physical body, and the psyche is an emergent property of this combination. That is, the psyche comes about as a result of the intermingling of matter and spirit, but it is a property distinct from either. (By analogy, neither hydrogen nor oxygen has the property of wetness, but in the right combination - H2O, water - the property of wetness emerges.)

But how we can reconcile the two storylines remains perplexing to me. This may be a "Flatland" situation where the solution would be obvious if seen from the correct perspective, but the perspective isn't available to us in this dimension. Maybe the psyche and pneuma are one and not-one at the same time, in a way that makes sense only in terms of some higher-dimensional logic. Maybe not.

As Yul Brynner might say, "Is a puzzlement."

Maybe there is a filter in the physical universe which only allows certain information to come through or be shared... - Art

Perhaps the boring portion of the earth ego personality (an astral ghost or shell) remains unassimilated...Another possibility is that there is in fact no readily available higher wisdom... - Barbara

This may be a "Flatland" situation where the solution would be obvious if seen from the correct perspective, but the perspective isn't available to us in this dimension.- Michael

At the end of the day, pretty much all we can do is speculate isn't it? I know one thing for sure - something very real is going on out there, and we'll continue to call it "paranormal" until we understand it.
Then it will be normal.

I think RabbitDawg is right.

My basic position: "paranormal" events are very real, and strongly, STRONGLY hint that conciousness of some form survives bodily death. The hard-core materialist no-survival position is simply incompatable with the evidence.

That said, I don't think we are ready, as a species, to have any more than "hints". The materialist model is wrong, but the various spiritual models we have to explain the evidence are, at best, incomplete and fragmentary.

Michael,

Thanks for this, your usual set of brilliant insights. I'm now looking forward to what Zerdini will say, should he decide to speak. I'm particularly glad that you made a point of mentioning that, unlike James, you are not disturbed by triviality in a spirit communication. I also cannot see why this should be worrying.

Interesting, too, are Piper's 'bad' sessions, when she got things too grossly wrong to remain credible. That would suggest that there is no point in judging a medium on one sitting. But, given that to most of us mediums are available only on a commercial basis, giving a medium chance after chance is often not a practical proposition.

But to my mind, the worst worry is the ESP thing. The one medium I have ever been to a private sitting with did come up with several things that were certainly true (amid a lot of spouting of names that I did not recognise). But none of these things was anything I did not know. So ESP is not discountable here. This makes me wonder whether a 'clean' point of trust in a medium is reasonably thought established if that medium comes up with something the sitter does not know, and could not have known, that can be verified afterwards. (So, if the medium is not able to come up with such an item of information, or at least a circumstantial something, that medium is dismissible as a genuine one.)

"Reports of NDE's often mention access to an overwhelming amount of knowledge, love and understanding, but in the psychic medium world, the spirit you had when you left will be the spirit you have when you land on the Other Side."

My own opinion on this that NDEs are only **NEAR** DEs and thus an incomplete picture. The gulf between NDE reports and ADCs is EXACTLY what the Tibetan Book of the Dead says it should be. That is, that at the moment of death we experience the pure white light of undifferentiated consciousness, but then almost as suddenly, we begin to fall back into our personal thought forms, desires, karma, etc. The book explains the hows and whys in detail.

It's like right now it's New Years and millions of people have "seen the light", they, very correctly recognize a bigger picture. They see personal failings and resolves that starting today they will overcome and realize a better self. With a few exceptions, by May the enlightened resolutions will have largely fallen by the wayside and old habits will be in full force once again.

The quasi-religion based on NDE accounts is utopian and doesn't make sense from a human nature standpoint. In order for it to work one must put faith is magical instant salvation. It's a lot like the older traditional religions with a modern evidence add-on and minus the bad stuff, faith, personal responsibility and hard work. Laws of cause and effect would have to cease at death. Energy connected with thoughts and action would have to dissipate when the soul leaves the body. Too neat and easy a package for this crusty curmudgeon to accept.

"Yes, extremely fishy, isn't it? An obvious question to a departed "spirit" would be: "Do you have access to higher wisdom?" I suspect the answer would be: "What are you talking about?"

I basically asked this (of my father's spirit) during my session with Georgia. The answer, in a nut shell, was that yes, he was off doing other things like learning, but that he could only learn what he was ready to learn. The ability to learn (my interpretation of his answer) was based on his willingness to let go of past ways/thoughts, working off "debts" and deficits and being open, at each new stage, to accepting what was being taught. In the few months (earth time) that he been in spirit he had learned to say "thank you" and "I love you" - the latter still being particularly difficult. In fact, he said, through Georgia, "You understand how difficult it is for me to say that".

I am never sure what you are driving at, Barbara. It seems like something very dark and sinsister - and something I'm pretty sure I disagree with in large part. I be interested in having you just lay it out clearly and concisely one of these days. Thanks.

@RabbitDawg."There's an itty bitty bone inside me twitching around on life support,wondering why ADE's don't quite seem to square with NDE's.Reports of NDE's often mention access to an overwhelming amount of knowledge,loveand understanding, but in the psychic medium world, the spirit you had when you left will be the spirit you have when you land on the other side etc."

As a relative newcomer to paranormal research, who has had no personal 'experiences' , your concerns above, plus quite a few other inconsistencies and contradictions are what keep that Itty Bitty bone in me very much alive.
As an analogy, I liken the paranormal hypothesis to a rusty bucket. I no sooner plug one hole than another one appears,and then the plugged hole starts leaking again also, so the bucket requires a lot of work before it will hold water.

If my interpretation of some of Zerdini's beliefs are correct, in that we retain the same personality traits when we cross over. Example, a nasty piece of work here is still a nasty piece of work there etc etc,Then very little has changed, so what is the point to it all? Given the choice, I would opt for extinction in that case, particularly if a Dufus like me would not have access to an overwhelming amount of knowledge, love and understanding.
How many other contributors here, based on what they believe, view the afterlife as a desirable destination?

Snorkler,

'... we retain the same personality traits when we cross over ... a nasty piece of work here is still a nasty piece of work there ...'

I wonder whether 'personality' and moral properties (e.g., 'nasty') can be aligned? I do wish Zerdini would pop up with his answer! Please ...

"How many other contributors here, based on what they believe, view the afterlife as a desirable destination?"

IMO, Neither good nor bad. Actually, beyond value judgement. It just is and, like most things, how agreeable or disagreeable it is to you, personally, depends on your attitude toward it.

And that points to something I feel resonating in the NDE religions/philosophies (based on my understanding, not like or dislike). I think what you do here does matter in the next world. I think that if you don't prepare by living right and living true, you won't be prepared to take the next step in the spirit world.

if you seek knowledge and peace, love and freedom and this world, you will continue that quest - and will attain at higher levels - in the next. If you are selfish and cruel in this world, the next world will be of limited options. So on and so forth.

I hope to do well enough in my focus here that the next world will be mostly an interesting and liberating continuance. So I guess, in balance, I view the next world as a desirable destination when the time is right.

uggg....something I ***don't*** feel resonating in the NDE religions.

The idea that sinner and saint, hitler and florence nightingale all reach and enjoy the same destination upon death - perhaps even each death, life after life - drains the vital raison d'etre from the whole thing.

To be merely an experiencer with no other purpose other than to simply exist and experience sounds empty and cold. If that is true, then I would prefer immediate extinction because this world, the next, etc, etc, ad nauseum, ad infinitum would be a mad wearying nihilistic roller coaster ride of which I would grow weary.

||This may be a "Flatland" situation where the solution would be obvious if seen from the correct perspective, but the perspective isn't available to us in this dimension.- Michael||

I think this is the correct direction, and I'd like to build on what no one said, as I think he's basically right. Here's my belief system re this point based on what I've experienced and learned thus far:

1. The NDE is a *different* experience than just *being* in spirit, but I don't think it's all that incompatible with it, and I don't perceive all that great a contradiction. The Afterlife is in the 5th dimension (or higher), and people there definitely experience things in a different way than we do. I think this comes through adequately in ADCs. When people have an NDE, they go to 5D and back, and that is going to be a mind-blowing experience.

I know from my experience in dreaming (4D or higher) that it is *very* tough to translate the experience back into our 3D heads. For example, I had been thinking recently that in dreams I am just waist up--I have not much experience of my legs. Yet soon after that I had a dream in which I was riding around on a scooter, the kind you glide on and have to use your legs, and I was able to remember the *fact* that I had used my legs a lot, but it was still hard to remember and translate all of it back into 3D.

Likewise, a lot that people experience in NDEs is hard to "cram" back into their heads and to describe. I think ADCs are going to be the same kind of thing: a lot is going to be hard to communicate.

2. All of our incarnations live forever in the Afterlife. They don't "disappear" when they reincarnate. This *is* a case in which the Flatland explanation applies. People both reincarnate to advance *and* continue to advance in the Afterlife. The reason why this is true is that time here is *contained* within the higher-dimensionality "time" they experience. Further, the entire soul family is *contained* within the higher-dimensionality of the Higher Self.

3. At the same time, from our perspective here, this is the *only* world and the *only* time. It is only through this "trick" that we are able to use 3D to advance.

It's interesting to look back on the past. We can see ourself in the past, but s/he can't see us (barring precognition). It takes no "work" for me now to be 41 instead of 21--it just is. Likewise, I am also 61 (if I make it that far!) looking back on 41, yet I can't see that yet. We are used to the arrow of time, but it is really weird when you think about it. Similarly, higher dimensions allow beings to *be* in different states at the same "time."

Hope this helps!

Barbara,

It seems the beliefs you are describing are fear-based. I think we are in fear, we have a hard time being accurate. Perhaps you can do a rethink of that.

Barbara,

You said: Another possibility is that there is in fact no readily available higher wisdom, and NDEs are induced visions by predator entities which feed off our emotional states, or enjoy confusing us.

I've noticed people entertaining notions like this here in the comments section now and then. Where is this idea coming from? I never bumped into it until recently, and I'm trying to get a source for it. There are any number of terrible possibilities and paranoid situations that we could entertain about our existence (e.g., perhaps our human species was planted here on Earth and told to 'go forth and multiply' so that aliens could come back many years later and use us as slaves or eat us like we eat cows) however, must we not insist on some sort of evidence for such ideas?

Anyway, if you could give me some sources for this idea, I'd love to hear about it. I'm very interested in tracing it back to its roots.

Another rarely spoken question with ADC's is: How do we know the *people* we're talking to are who they say they are? Paranormal folks of different stripes warn about malevolent spirits giving accurate information.
The standard response is that true manifestations will chasten, encourage and give advice, whereas bogus spirits will flatter, demand and try to gain control.
Although most followers of this blog may have read this, a good summary of the issue can be found @
http://michaelprescott.freeservers.com/the-dark-side-of-the-parano.html

Next up: What is truth? :-)

It doesn't have to be it's either all true or it's all lies. Some of it can be true and some of it can be made up. It only takes one white crow to prove that not all crows are black. If only just one ADC is real, or if only one NDE is real, or only one Medium reading is real, or only one death bed visions is real that is proof that there is life after death.

There probably are many thousands of us who have read the accounts of others NDE's. Most of these i'd assume were just verbal recollections of what the patient thought they were seeing and experiencing WHILE their brains were switched off.IMO it would be less of a stretch to think that these NDE's were actually copycat dreams and experiences whilst in RECOVERY mode once their brains had been reactivated and just prior to regaining conciousness.The exception would be those Out of body NDE's where the patient accurately recalledtechnical details of the hospital staff working on his body, and/or was able to spot pictures placed above cabinets out of normal sight etc.
I may have missed it in the accounts I've read of Eben Alexandra's NDE, but I don't think he mentioned anything other than what he thought he saw and experienced.These are the type of NDE's that I take very much with a grain of salt, even more so from him as he would have heard hundreds of patients claiming NDE's, the details of which could have fuelled his dreams during his recovery phase.

@snorkler
Fwiw I am in agreement regarding reported non-veridical NDEs or OOBs. I can't determine what they are since I have never experienced one(that I recall). I don't think that necessarily means they are not what the person experiencing them claims them to be, I simply have no way of knowing if there is no veridical element.

@No One."A mad nihilistic wearying roller coaster ride of which I would grow weary."
But No One, very few of us are born into this world weary and psychologically exhausted from experiences of past lives.
Who knows,in your next incarnation you may have a privledged, happy, safe and long life. Not everyones life here is Purgatory, mine certainly wasn't until a few months ago. Up until then I lived life with great optimism and enthusiasm,and I'm reasonable certain if I was reincarnated without memory of this present life I would attack the new life with equal enthusiasm.

@no one: To be merely an experiencer with no other purpose other than to simply exist and experience sounds empty and cold. If that is true, then I would prefer immediate extinction because this world, the next, etc, etc, ad nauseum, ad infinitum would be a mad wearying nihilistic roller coaster ride of which I would grow weary.

I'm wondering again (like I'm asking Barbara about one of her ideas) what sources are preaching this idea? What evidence do we have for this? I've read a pretty broad survey of spiritually-related material, and I can't think of encountering this idea in very many places.

My own predilection is to keep my focus on the material within a standard deviation or two of the bell curve and let the fringe stuff be the concern of people with more time on their hands.

It looks to me that the lead horse in the race is the one that states that how we live matters and what we do matters and that we grow and learn. My money is on that horse. If I'm wrong, what do I lose?


Kevin, I was vague referencing the likes of Nanci Danison, but there are others. The Carlos Casteneda crowd could be lumped in there too. I am also drawing inference from the NDE as religion. We live, we die and go into the light, perfected, regardless of who we were and what we did. What was the freakin' point then? Why did I bother trying? There are dozens of books with attractive covers espousing this view, based on NDEs, in any new age bookstore - any booksellers, not just new age.

There is no evidence, really, other than what some alleged NDErs selling books (like Danison) say. And what some no doubt real NDErs say about what they experienced (i.e. they knew everything, they were forgiven of everything, they merged with the perfect loving light, etc).

I don't know where Barbara is coming from. It seems to me she has randomly chosen a paranoid fantasy to explain these things. I'm all ears if there is more to it.

"It looks to me that the lead horse in the race is the one that states that how we live matters and what we do matters and that we grow and learn. My money is on that horse. If I'm wrong, what do I lose?"

I'm with you, bro. Old school all the way for me.

"All of our incarnations live forever in the Afterlife. They don't "disappear" when they reincarnate. This *is* a case in which the Flatland explanation applies. People both reincarnate to advance *and* continue to advance in the Afterlife."

Right, Matt.

This is why I like Michael's diamond vision. There is no reason why each facet cannot live out experiences that inform the diamond core (and thus, at least indirectly, the whole). Some part of the core incarnates while others return from the phsyical realm. Perhaps even two or more parts are incarnated, physically, at the same time.

The key is that the core of the diamond is the "real" being. The facets are, well, just facets.

Just as in this life each of us has different facets, our work self, our play self, our family self, why would the oversoul (aka the deeper truest "us") not have different facets informing it?

Just as our physical bodies have two hands and feet why would the oversoul not have multiple personalities with which it can act in the various worlds.

The NDE religions pose a subtle, yet powerful, ideological barrier to understanding the above. If we believe that we live on earth, die, and then instantly merge, perfected, with the loving light for ever - all of us each and every one - then it is not possible for facets of the diamond to go on living lives. Well, maybe possible, theoretically, but without purpose. lacking purpose, the idea of multiple facets living multiple lives on multiple planes fails to makes sense.

On the other hand, if physical death does not result in a permanent merging with the perfect light, then there is a reason for each personality to continue to exist and to evolve in other planes and for new facets/personalities of the diamond to be sent to the earth plane.

no one,

||The NDE religions pose a subtle, yet powerful, ideological barrier to understanding the above. If we believe that we live on earth, die, and then instantly merge, perfected, with the loving light for ever - all of us each and every one - then it is not possible for facets of the diamond to go on living lives. Well, maybe possible, theoretically, but without purpose. lacking purpose, the idea of multiple facets living multiple lives on multiple planes fails to makes sense.||

I agree with your points but am not sure how many NDEs actually claim the "wrong version." Danison, yes, but I have not read too many more than that. I also don't think there is really an "NDE religion." Even those people who believed in the "wrong version" would mostly be generic New Age/SBNR and not have NDEs as the focus of their belief system.

@no one: The NDE religions pose a subtle, yet powerful, ideological barrier to understanding the above. If we believe that we live on earth, die, and then instantly merge, perfected, with the loving light for ever - all of us each and every one - then it is not possible for facets of the diamond to go on living lives. Well, maybe possible, theoretically, but without purpose. lacking purpose, the idea of multiple facets living multiple lives on multiple planes fails to makes sense.

I hope you don't mind me chiming in on this speculation-fest, but my own sense is that this idea of an oversoul, or multi-faceted diamond, is fairly metaphorical - it struggles to capture in words the truth of a fleeting experience - a momentary bit of gnosis. They're already flimsy - and then we take the metaphors people were working with at face value and try to build on them further, making things even worse. When we get into that, we're using a sort of mechanistic paradigm to bear on something organic, or perhaps formistic. We muddle things up even worse.

I get the sense that things are both somehow simpler and more complex than we can comprehend at the same time. For instance, (I usually post as Philemon - forgot to put that in the last couple posts) I had that mystical OBE as a drunken frat guy where I suddenly "knew" that life was perfect and amazing (despite its obvious flaws) because I somehow also simultaneously "knew" that all things were reaching out, stretching toward this ultimate fulfillment where all would be perfected.

It was a great experience while it lasted! - and it sure felt real and true! If my experience has any metaphysical validity to it, then I'd figure that future culminating point where everything and everyone is perfected is essentially the same thing as the oversoul. It's real wonderful to know it's out there, outside of time and space, vouchsafed for us. All the same, we're here in the trenches duking it out with our mortality and doubts and fears and pervasive sense of vulnerability that goes along with being alive. This is the ego-mind.

Anyway, most of the NDEs that I've read really stress the importance of what we do and how we live. Human intuition itself screams out the importance of this - even literary NDEs like Scrooge's encounter with Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future - as well as George Bailey's guardian angel Clarence in "It's a Wonderful Life" - all stress the importance of this singular life experience and how we use it. I'm fond of Henry Corbin's idea of the imaginal - and I have a feeling there is a lot of spiritual truth coming through in just those two examples of purely "fictional" NDEs - Dickens and Capra were likely accessing something very real, despite being very subtle when they wrote those works. I end up bawling like a little girl every Christmas when I watch "It's a Wonderful Life". There is something real behind it - something living and true!

Yes this book is a really good look into Mrs. Piper's career, however why doesn't anybody who talks about Piper talk about the Munves critisisms. Still good look into this facinating chapter of physchical research. Also since the AWARE results are coming out soon, I would send word to y'all not to be so pessimistic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KaPGnRJZfg He does still seem to be a bit intriuged by the phenomena and thinks it may point to a dualistic theory of mind.

Matt, I think your summary at 4:49 PM (Jan. 1) is the most succinct and lucid I've seen. I may use it, or part of it, in an upcoming post (with appropriate credit given, of course). I think it's basically the correct answer - a little unsatisfying, because it amounts to saying that we really can't understand it while we're here in the space-time universe - but unsatisfying or not, it's probably right.

It reminds me of a case that's been discussed in detail by Michael Tymn, about a medium who channeled a monk who provided details about a long-vanished monastery. Using this info, an archaeologist was able to dig up the foundation and cellars and make other finds. As I recall, the monk said that he was so attached to the monastery during his lifetime that he remained connected to it. But he also implied that he was doing other things to advance himself spiritually in the higher planes, even while he remained, in a sense, earthbound. Asked to explain how he could be in two places at once, he said he could not, because we "blind gropers" could not grasp it.

I've read an awful lot of literature pertaining to afterlife phenomena over the last couple of years, and mediumistic evidentiality seems to me to offer the very weakest case. Correspondingly, super-ESP seems to be vastly underrated as an explanation. The recurring argument against super-ESP is that it "can't possibly explain...X" or "has to be extended unreasonably to explain...Y". Proxy sitters, absolutely convincing personality displays, precognitive insights, etc are all offered as evidence against super-ESP and in favor of the supposedly simpler explanation that a deceased person is trying to communicate.

I don't see this at all. If everything that has ever happened is still on record somewhere as part of a vast store of knowledge (Akashic or the like), or better yet, if everything is really happening concurrently (no-time), then all one has to postulate is that a medium somehow can gain paranormal access to that knowledge base. This is certainly not so hard to imagine. Everything, including the ability to dramatize it convincingly, could readily be derived from this knowledge. Only two other things would be required: 1) motivation, and 2) the ability to assemble a personality for presentation. Motivation would of course be telepathically derived from the sitter (even a proxy sitter), and it is clear that convincing personality representations can be induced where there is nothing to suggest discarnate involvment (eg hypnotism or dissociative identity disorder).
The scheme would work something like this:

1) medium telepathically picks up on sitter's desire for contact (or proxy sitter's previous arrangement)

2) medium's ability to access the universal knowledge base is invoked subconsciously based on the sitter's desire trigger

3) medium translates universal information using a preformed personality (control) or in more direct cases, actually assembles a representation of the supposed communicator personality

4) it then *seems* in every way possible that a discarnate personality is present and possessed of convincing evidential information

I certainly do not mean to say by this argument that the weight of all evidence is against an afterlife existence, only that it's conceivable mediums might be inadvertently fooling themselves and their clients by not realizing the powers that incarnate humans are capable of exercising.

It's worth keeping in mind what Eileen Garrett once wrote about her own abilities: "Speaking as one who has had close contact with all mental phenomena for a great many years, and who regards the field of psychic research as a vaster territory than is even suspected, I feel the right to question the meaning of the messages, appearances of the alleged dead, and all the symbolism relating to this particular field. Although I have seen apparitions of thousands of alleged dead, and have received what appeared to be communications from them, I do not yet truly know whence these communications come."

That seems a fair enough statement.

I decided to check the story about the monks that I mentioned in my previous comment. I got the gist of it right, but made a couple of mistakes about the details. First, the communications (which were done via automatic writing) came from several different monks. Second, the remark about "blind gropers" actually came in response to a question about reincarnation. Here is how Michael Tymn describes it in Chapter 19 of his book The Articulate Dead:

----

On January 26, 1912, Johannes [the chief communicator] seems to been on the defensive after other monks pointed out his errors and commented that he had an idealized recollection of the abbey because of his strong attachment to it. They explained that he was earthbound by his love and that his spirit clung in his dreams to a vanished vision which is spirit eyes still saw. Seemingly suggesting a group soul or higher-self nature, Johannes, in his defense, responded: "Why cling I to that which is not? It is I, and it is not I, but part of me which dwells in the past and is bound to that which my carnal soul loved and called home these many years. Yet I, Johannes, am of many parts, and the better part does other things – praise, praise be to God! – only that part which remembers clings like memory to what it sees yet." [Spelling and vocabulary modernized; Latin expression translated - MP]

Rarely did [the archaeologist] ask about matters other than the abbey, but on one occasion he, directly or indirectly, questioned something relating to reincarnation. A more fluent English-speaking spirit responded: "The facts live, and the emotions and events. The puppets die and are not. The leaf is reproduced; the ears grow; but the old time is dead. You understand not reincarnation, nor can we explain. What in you reincarnates, do you think? How can you find words? Blind gropers after immutable facts, which are not of your sphere of experience."

[Tymn, The Articulate Dead - citations omitted]

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The key words are: "It is I, and it is not I, but part of me which dwells in the past ... Yet I, Johannes, am of many parts, and the better part does other things."

And: "What in you reincarnates, do you think? How can you find words? Blind gropers after immutable facts, which are not of your sphere of experience."

Although these statements were made on separate occasions by different communicators, together they dovetail pretty neatly with Matt's hypothesis.

Michael,

Thanks! I don't know if it is really my hypothesis or not, but we all try to put the pieces together the best we can.

Tsavo,

You make good points! I think the solution is this (and it *also* fits with the reincarnation explanation): we *are* the information the medium can acquire through super-psi. Thus, there is no essential difference between "mediumship" and "super-psi."

Spirit *is* living information. Thus, when the medium accesses something about me, s/he is actually accessing me.

Voila, problem solved.

Kevin, the idea that NDEs are induced visions by predators that feed on energy appears in this post:

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2012/03/-smile.html

Apparently this idea originated by certain OBEs of Robert Monroe, but how are experiences have not been independently confirmed by other sources, I agree with you on keeping the doubt and accept the framework within the standard deviation.

Tsavo, I agree with you that theoretically all informational aspects of mediumship can be explained by the super-psi hypothesis, but we also have drop-in communications that can not be explained by the super-psi hypothesis even in theory. You say that motivation is necessary for the super-psi hypothesis to work, which is correct, but the motivation is just what is lacking in the case of drop-in communications. Proponents of the super-psi hypothesis may state that the motivation in cases of drop-in communications is, only that it is unconscious, but in most of these cases there is no evidence that this is so, what makes it very unlikely the super-psi hypothesis in favor of the afterlife hypothesis.

Matt, re-reading your highly recommended 4:49 comment I see that we are on the same page.

"When people have an NDE, they go to 5D and back, and that is going to be a mind-blowing experience."

Right. They had a brief mind blowing experience and they're trying to communicate it in terms that are not suitable for 4D+ reality. That's one reason why I don't take NDEs too seriously beyond providing some substantial evidence that the consciouness can, and does, exist separte from the brain.


That being said, I am somewhat surprised that you and Kevin/Philemon don't know what I am talking about when I mention the NDE "religion" and its beliefs. We have had pages of discussions right here on this blog wherein some argue that death must mean an instant melding with the light/being of light because some NDErs report that. The wages of ignorance, cruelty and sin (call it what you want) are merely, at worst, an unpleasant life review, to be followed by an eternity of bliss in the light. That is what they take awy from reading NDE accounts. Again, an internet search reveals many NDE based websites and book reviews that take the most positive and happy elements of NDE reports and, basically, propose that those NDEs are what awaits everyone and what the afterlife will be like.

I'm not on a religious crusade or trying to establish a modern paranormal council of nicea or anything like that. I don't really care what people believe other than if they believe differently than I do, I want to know why so that I might learn something new and maybe advance my own understanding.

I was only attempting to call out what I see as the reason that some researchers have difficulty reconciling the NDE with the ADC.

Spending a night or two in Las Vagas, if you've never been there before, can be quite dazzling. However, you really don't know what the city is all about. I lived there for six months and the city had lost its luster for me long before I left it. That's how see the NDE compared to the ADC in 3D terms.

no one your extinction comment is close to where I'm coming from. Kevin, the ideas are gnostic - the demiurge that created the world is deemed evil as The Gipper said in a previous post.

Matt, it is not fear-based, but based on observation of the world without rose-tinted spectacles. Look around. We eat things. We kill things. We do very bad things, and the worst of it is, we justify ourselves all the time - hell, we even think we're good. Even though the people on this blog live on some of the easiest places on the planet, we all still suffer. And it's a lot worse in most places.

"The facts live, and the emotions and events. The puppets die and are not"

correlates very nicely with

"Spirit *is* living information"

, assuming the puppet reference is to something akin to Shakespear's actors full of sound and fury with their brief struts across the stage.

"The leaf is reproduced; the ears grow; but the old time is dead. " Indicates that some essence of a higher organizational level reincarnates, but that the individual personality of the "puppet" does not. This suggests an oversoul/group soul/multi-faceted diamond.

I guess i don't see where this concept is so difficult to grasp.

There are oversouls that are, themselves organic and evolving and they send (project?) aspects of themselves into the physical world (probably other worlds too in other forms) as actors on this earthly stage.

Once the actor has played his part he is gone from the stage for good, but certain strong characteristics/affinities/desires of the actor continue on incorporated within the oversoul. The oversoul may send out a new actor that is built, at least in part, on the surviving characteristics/affinities/desires of a previous actor. It may even *have* to do this if, say, the surviving desires are strong enough that they need to be resolved. Need, being in the sense of an urge or demi-urge, not necessarily in the judgment from a top down god sense.

So Johannes'

"Why cling I to that which is not? It is I, and it is not I, but part of me which dwells in the past and is bound to that which my carnal soul loved and called home these many years. Yet I, Johannes, am of many parts"

now makes sense. It is the oversoul talking and yet it is also the actor, "Johannes" talking.

OK. enough from me. I need to stop procrastinating. Vacation is over and it's back to work!!!

no one,

||They had a brief mind blowing experience and they're trying to communicate it in terms that are not suitable for 4D+ reality. That's one reason why I don't take NDEs too seriously beyond providing some substantial evidence that the consciouness can, and does, exist separte from the brain.||

I think the common features of NDEs also teach us about Afterlife mechanics, as it were. What about NDEs is really *not* to be taken seriously? I would agree that having an NDE does not make one omniscient.

||That being said, I am somewhat surprised that you and Kevin/Philemon don't know what I am talking about when I mention the NDE "religion" and its beliefs.||

I do know what you *mean,* and I share your opposition to various cheesy, facile, and erroneous takeaways from NDEs. I was just saying that I don't know if there is really a large *group* of people all believing the same *wrong* thing, which is what the use of the word "religion" would imply.

||Spending a night or two in Las Vagas, if you've never been there before, can be quite dazzling. However, you really don't know what the city is all about. I lived there for six months and the city had lost its luster for me long before I left it. That's how see the NDE compared to the ADC in 3D terms.||

I like your stories, so tell why LV didn't work for you. I do think the metaphor is a good one!

We're not really disagreeing. Just some semantic stuff.

"I like your stories, so tell why LV didn't work for you. I do think the metaphor is a good one!"

oh ok. Vegas, like the NDE place, is full of bright light, there is a strong sense of timelessness (e.g. you can party ceaselessly), there is a strong sense of being welcomed and cared about (it is a tourist destination with top notch hospitality staff, afterall). Whatever you think of, you can get - thoughts can become reality!

I was pretty excited when I went there to work on a project. I had me some fun, to be sure. But actually living there is different from being a good time seeking tourist on a short stop. It's pretty much a dusty hot town during the day. Everyone is from somewhere else, new people moving in to town, burned out people leaving, and many are working an angle or a scam. All struggling to make it, big and quick. Once the party lust was satiated and the party $s spent, the place was pretty much a hollow illusion, to me at least. There was no real heart or soul to the town or the people; least not one I could relate to.

sorry, no good stories in there. Just a general

@Matt
Yes, I would agree that works and find it a very attractive hypothesis indeed. You proposed essentially this in the not-too-distant past. I see no reason why our fundamental nature could not be information-based. Each of us is a letter or a word, but there are sentences, paragraphs, books, libraries, and of course, Google. ;)

@Juan
Drop in communicators in no way invalidate super-ESP. The many, sometimes conflicting, personalities of dissociative identity disorder (DID) indicate that the subconscious is quite capable of providing as many personalities as it finds necessary or desirable for any situation, for its own reasons. DID is still essentially unexplained as near as I can tell and is telling us something very important about our nature, though it's unclear exactly what at present. The elephant in the room continues to be the precise nature of the subconscious. There are also paranormal examples of thought forms being created and acquiring various degrees of independent functioning, eg Alexandra David-Neel and the Philip experiment, that bear on the idea of personality appearance and dramatization.

In the Tibetan Book of the Dead it says to the newly departed, "do not be afraid of the demons you encounter because they are only projections from your own mind."

NDE's are like roller coaster rides, some people love them and have a blast and some folks are terrified when they ride them. It's the perception that dictates what kind of ride you're going to have.

Matt Rouge,

'Thus, there is no essential difference between "mediumship" and "super-psi."

This is the essential (and very, very significant) difference:

1. Super-psi is mind reading: It retrieves information from the human sitter's conscious and/or unconscious mind. The information retrieved IS IN THIS WORLD.

2. The information that the genuine medium retrieves is from a spirit (discarnate person) in the afterlife.

I.e.: '1.' does not produce evidence of the afterlife, and '2.' does.

Enjoyed your revelations about the spirit represented as a diamond "Michael'. I love to hear the personal experiences of people, it tells us so much I think.

Tsavo - on dissociative disorder. Having studied about this during my training, I do feel that as with ADHD, things have got a bit our of hand i.e. its everywhere.

I learnt during my training in the 80's, that a dissociative personality occurs due to traumatic trauma occurring under the age of 9 months. And that we were unlikely to see it in a lifetime of nursing.

The reason being, that under 9 months, and particularly under 6 months, the personality is still forming and a child is still working out what is themselves and what is "other' i.e. children cannot fully differentiate between themselves and the outside world adequately.

So in a trauma such as rape of a baby, as they cant under stand what they are feeling, the trauma and means of coping etc, becomes fragmented and isolated in the brain. This experience, the feelings, trauma etc, then becomes a separate personality as the child slowly begins to form its understanding of self and 'other' (oneself, or personality).

I must admit, to me this still makes sense. And definitely not an everyday occurrence.

And as WIKI says "DID became a popular diagnosis in the 1970s, 80s and 90s but it is unclear if the actual incidence of the disorder increased, if it was more recognized by clinicians, or if sociocultural factors caused an increase in iatrogenic presentations. The unusual number of diagnoses after 1980, clustered around a small number of clinicians and the suggestibility characteristic of those with DID, support the hypothesis that DID is therapist-induced.[11] The unusual clustering of diagnoses has also been explained as due to a lack of awareness and training among clinicians to recognize cases of DID".

Immm, they also need to sort out ADHD too. Bugging me! Just my 2 cents.

In NZ on holiday, and its raining. Baah.

Happy New Year everyone. Lyn x.

If mental mediumship was the only evidence for survival vs. superpsi I would agree with you that there is a major hang up in trying to conclude which theory to accept. However, how would super psi explain the Kulski hand molds or well documented physical phenomena?

Tsavo, the drop-in communications invalidate the super-psi hypothesis, because according to the super-psi hypothesis, the mediumn's unconscious creates the personality of deceased motivated by the desires of the sitters or the same medium, but the drop-in communications there is no motivation to create the personality of that deceased because nobody knew who was the deceased in the session.

So defenders of the super-psi hypothesis have two options: either admit that there must not be some reason for the medium to do that, which is arbitrary and therefore absurd, or the medium has an unconscious motivation to do that, but in several cases of drop-in communications has not found any evidence of something similar, so the afterlife hypothesis is imposed as most plausible option.

On the other hand, I am not convinced with Matt Rouge maneuver to identify super-psi and afterlife, because although we are information, the difference between super-psi, Akashic Records, and the afterlife is the difference between dead information and living information.

"I am not convinced with Matt Rouge maneuver ..."

Juan, in fairness to Matt, he does imply some sort of life being involved with the information. At least I read him that way.

Your point, generally, though is well made. An Akashik record would NOT be able to keep tabs on friends and relatives and then report what they have been doing since he died.

Keeping up on the activities of friends and family means there is an intent, which, in turns, means there is life and not just information.

A dictionary is full of information, but it does not do anything on its own.

Even though super-psi can be accounted for in terms of the information presented, it almost never provides the simpler explanation that the survial hypothesis. Also survival has several lines of evidence supporting it, wheras super-psi has never appeared once in any other field of psi research.

If the afterlife is anything like the Las Vegas that initially dazzled you No One then they can keep it!,I'm staying here. A country lad, I never did like the bright lights, plastic people having plastic fun.

snorkler, I live on a thoroughbred farm. I'm happiest in my sh!t kickers smelling like saddle leather and horse sweat.

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