« Proof of life | Main | Mrs. Piper »

Comments

Michael,

Your thoughts are downright riveting on this theme. I am aware that I am lifting the following passage from your text rather crudely, such that I might even be pulling it out of context. This is the passage:

'But suppose that our Self actually cuts across all the planes simultaneously, and what "travels" is only our awareness (or at least our primary awareness, in the sense of our principal focus). Moreover, suppose that time either has no meaning in this scheme or operates very differently from the way it does in our spacetime universe. The end result is that the Self could operate on various levels at once, and the story told by the Self when focusing on its experience in one plane would differ from the story it tells when focusing on a different level of experience.'

I have recently had two experiences of time operating 'differently from the way it does in our spacetime universe'. This is what happened:

First experience: I glimpsed a person in a crowded street who died recently and is still the central figure in my life. He beckoned impatiently to me, and I hurried towards him. A woman cut across my path and blocked it. That woman was me ... 20 years ago! (I immediately recognised the hairstyle and coat I wore at the time and 'she' was wearing now.)

The shock was enormous. I fainted, and was transported to hospital by an ambulance. My doctor asked me to confirm that this had happened. I went to both hospitals to which the ambulance could have taken me, but neither had a record of my admittance. I am tempted to think that this was a lucid dream, although I have never had one before.

The second experience was yesterday: I was looking out of the window in my flat that overlooks a promenade, and saw my loved one walking along beside a woman, chatting animatedly to her. His hairstyle was the longish, floppy one he wore twenty years ago. The woman he was talking to was me 20 years ago, in the same coat and with the same hairstyle as 'she' was wearing when 'she' cut across my path a week or so ago (i.e., in the first experience I reported). 'I' waved to 'them', but though 'they' had stopped and were looking up at 'my' window, obviously talking about it, 'they' did not offer any response. Eventually, the sauntered off, and a building blocked my view of them. This time, I was not at all disturbed. (This cannot have been a dream: I had just returned to my flat after a long walk, and the stuff I had bought was still in the bags beside me, where I had dropped them.)

So I experienced myself in two time slots simultaneously: in the present slot, and in a slot 20 years ago. Are these experiences somehow significant, or just droll?

Amazing stuff here Michael, and Sophie, these are amazing experiences!

In line with this, I trawled through some channeled information and one popular channel, 'Elias', communicating through Mary Ennis - a successor to Jane Robert’s Seth, has provided some information on the apparent divide between NDEs and ADCs.

For Elias, the ADC accounts are closer to the 'everyday' immediate afterlife experience of most people. What we call the afterlife, is what he terms the 'transition area', where individual 'focuses' (us) slowly transition to full awareness and incorporate their past experience into their consciousness. Your full unrestricted awareness is known as your 'essence', similar to the diamond metaphor used by Silver Birch and alluded to by Michael earlier.

The transition area can involve many earth-like environments and in fact will be highly variable depending on the projections of individuals engaged in this area of consciousness. As such, information coming from there to here may be mixed and of variable quality.

On the other hand, direct communications with essences who have completed transition are likely to be far more powerful and direct. However, for ease of communication, many essences may well choose to communicate via the guise of the focus (individual personality) that the participants on this side are most familiar with, such as friends and family etc, so many of those personalities that we communicate with may in fact be much more than they appear, but they are purposefully narrowing their awareness into a familiar focus personality to ease communication with us.

With regards to NDEs, Elias is adamant that while NDEs are very real and powerful life altering experiences, they are actually NOT typical of what happens to most people immediately upon death.

Instead, his interpretation is that the NDE experience is a specific experience undertaken by the individual essence when it wishes to dramatically alter the direction of its focus in a radical manner. We know about NDEs precisely because people return from them. It is no accident that they are never the same again after the experience – this is precisely the aim of the NDE. It appears to us to be an accidental brush with death, but according to this source at least, the experience is far from accidental; it is designed to open the perception of the focus, the individual, to a wider vistas of reality in a mind blowing way, a way that is designed to radically realign the life direction of that individual. Whether you fully agree with Elias’s interpretation or not, we can certainly agree on the end result.

Re: the cone

It's interesting that Scott, one of Jane Sherwood's channeled entities (who was later revealed as T.E. Lawrence) described a similar cone of existence with respect to space and time, but in an inverted fashion:

"It is like a cone divided into planes which contract as cone goes up so that a larger plane beneath can be surveyed. Of course, height is merely symbolical; the contraction is an inverse way of showing the expansion of the area open to observation in the planes below. Do you follow? Also-and see how beautiful-from the higher places of the spirit observation of the whole of the lower ranges of being must become possible as time and space draw together into a vertex of the absolute. Here we have an instantaneous survey of all time and space; the view-point of Omniscience."

The Country Beyond, Jane Sherwood p 95

MP, I'd liked your cone then and I still like it a year later.

Using your model, here is what I think happens during NDEs where the experiencer enjoys very expansive cosmic perceptions; upon flatlining, awareness instantly rockets to the the widest levels of the cone.

If the person had actually died and not been revived, awareness would then move back down to narower bands of the cone.

Karma, thought habits, desires, etc are responsible for the postmortem narrowing shift; acting like gravity (what goes up must come down).

Thus the model helps us understand a) what the Tibetan Book of the Dead is talking about and b) why ADCs describe something different than some cosmic NDEs.

I also think that as the focus of awareness narrows there is something akin to a slowing of vibrational level of the etheric being. It's like a compressing of photons - just a metaphor, but maybe not too far off base.

It seems to me the Buddhists have the answer: the ego is an artificially created entity, created by our life experiences and memories. It is not the "real you." The soul is the real you. Perhaps mediums are simply calling forth earthly egos, as the souls that possess these egos know that they are most familiar to those left behind on earth. The soul can wear the ego like a suit of clothes in order to manifest and make it self recognized by those left on earth.

Michael's "Flatlander" metaphor makes sense, in fact, it looks like a given IMO. Near-death experiencers and medium communicators both express frustration with the limits of language when they try to portray the mechanics of life on the Other Side.

By definition, NDEr's have not passed over the Barrier of No Return, so they wouldn't be privy to any perspective beyond that point. Many of them have said that they were given "tours" of what to expect, but they never really experienced life without an earthly body in its permanent state.

I'm about ready to accept my Flatlander limitations, and take what I hear in credible sounding reports from both perspectives at face value. Of course, I'm always open to any insightful explanation.

Douglas: With regards to NDEs, Elias is adamant that while NDEs are very real and powerful life altering experiences, they are actually NOT typical of what happens to most people immediately upon death.

Instead, his interpretation is that the NDE experience is a specific experience undertaken by the individual essence when it wishes to dramatically alter the direction of its focus in a radical manner.

Elias's channelled answer makes the most sense to me, among concepts that involve the real existence of the soul and an afterlife.

However, it is quite possible that the whole panorama of afterlife evidence including NDEs and mediumship consists of elaborate deceptions created by some agent, perhaps a collective unconscious mind having psychic abilities. Ultimately Us, in other words. This type of explanation eliminates a pile of miscellaneous problems with psychical evidence for the afterlife. For instance, the one starting this thread, the inconsistency between afterlife reports via NDEs and via mediumistic communications. And the problem that most mediumistic communications don't mention reincarnation, despite the existence of ample evidence for it from veridical testimony of children. Or the puzzle of why NDEs don't seem to happen much with blacks, as opposed to caucasians. And even the old problem of suffering - why would souls permit or even create human suffering? Simple answer: productions of the unconscious mind (as opposed to real souls and spirits) do not have to make logical sense, be consistent with each other, be consistent between races and cultures, or have moral validity. They are arbitrary, created by inner processes influenced by collective and individual fears and desires.

Such an explanatory frame has the advantage of simplicity versus the various complicated schemes to explain inconsistencies discussed in this forum. But of course it has big problems of its own. I am merely suggesting that there are radically different potential explanations for the phenomena discussed in this forum.

"And even the old problem of suffering - why would souls permit or even create human suffering? Simple answer: productions of the unconscious mind (as opposed to real souls and spirits) do not have to make logical sense, be consistent with each other, be consistent between races and cultures, or have moral validity." - doubter
---------------------

Or the suffering teaches the soul something important it needs to learn, something it can only learn here and can't be learned in heaven? And when the soul gets to the other side it realizes that this side is only a holographic projection, Maya, an illusion, and happened in the blink of an eye compared to eternity? And that the education of the soul is too important to leave up to chance?

[i]Or the puzzle of why NDEs don't seem to happen much with blacks, as opposed to caucasians. - doubter [/i]

Um, sorry, where did you get this statistic? From all I've read, NDE's do not occur more or less frequently in people based on race, religion, sex, age, etc. Keep in mind that the majority of NDE studies have been conducted in countries where the population is mostly Caucasian, but that doesn't mean that only Caucasians have them or that they have them any more frequently than any other race.

And what would race have to do with a "collective unconscious mind" anyway? If its a collective unconsciousness, then it stands to reason that it would include information from all races - white, black, asian, hispanic, or any other race.

And what would race have to do with a "collective unconscious mind" anyway? If its a collective unconsciousness, then it stands to reason that it would include information from all races - white, black, asian, hispanic, or any other race.

Good point A Reader. Doubter, I have seen a few of your post and I appreciate your level headed analysis on this topic but this comment raises some questions. If it was a collective consciousness that was inventing for example mediumistic communication how come we don't see more drop in communications from African Americans, Hispanics, Asians etc when combined far outweigh the total number of Caucasians in this planet. If this was simply a collective mental game we are playing on ourselves, I would expect more involvement from these groups in the psi literature.

While we are on this topic there is something I have been thinking about. Why don't we read about too many noncaucasians being mediums or having psi phenomena? I know spiritualism is still huge in Brazil and mediums are plenty but other than Brazil and some tribes which have Shamans you don't hear about too many (as an example) African American mediums. I would be interested if anyone has any further info on this.

Ray, I think it is strictly a matter of cultural and researcher bias going both ways - caucasion to non-caucasion and vice versa.

I have read everything I could find on the Haitian voodoo religion. Communication with spirits is fundemental to it. Its roots are in Africa where, apparently there is also a tradition of communication with spirits. I know from personal relationships that communication is a feature in at least some Native American practices.

Asian cultures are very much concerned with spirits and there is a long tradition of mediumship in China and S.E Asia.

Obviously, the Tibetan Book of the Dead indicates an ancient understanding of spirits (developed in part through mediumship?) as we move west.

Agreed though that you have to dig a bit to find this material.

I think the language barrier plays a role.

Lack of trust on the part of non-caucasions is also a barrier. I think that sometimes caucasions don't appreciate how screwed over (by them) non-caucasion feel and how much trust has been violated.

Also, I think there is racism on the caucasion side. If some exotic tribesman says he can talk to spirits we dismiss the claim as the foolish childlike beliefs of an ignorant primitive. If someone modernized like ourselves makes the claim, we are more apt to listen and take it seriously.

Down in new Orleans - and generally in the deep South of this Country - there are ample numbers of Blacks practicing all sorts of mediumistic traditions. Some with Voodoo religion influence and some more with a christian basis.

We learn about these things largely because a) someone got a grant to study them and published results or (mostly) b) because someone is selling a book or services. Sadly, in this country, caucasion is more marketable for reasons I already mentioned.

No one,

Excellent points and you made me think about some other cultures that I have been blinded to maybe by my own subconscious bias. It would be a massively difficult undertaking but a cross cultural book on spirit communication from across the world would be an utterly fascinating book. To present it in detail and accuracy would most likely require a lifetime of travel and research though.

Ray, I thought about that too. If I ever hit the big jackpot I would travel the world doing that research. I'd even set up a foundation to continue the work after I'm gone. Maybe start a journal too (International Journal of Mediumship).

"Or the puzzle of why NDEs don't seem to happen much with blacks, as opposed to caucasians." - doubter
---------------------------------------
"Um, sorry, where did you get this statistic? From all I've read, NDE's do not occur more or less frequently in people based on race, religion, sex, age, etc. Keep in mind that the majority of NDE studies have been conducted in countries where the population is mostly Caucasian, but that doesn't mean that only Caucasians have them or that they have them any more frequently than any other race." - A Reader

-----------------------------------------

When I first read that I figured it's probably because blacks might have statistically less access to high quality health care?

I do remember watching a couple of African American NDE's on the Biography Channel show about NDE's. One black guy got shot while waiting for his wife and the other one I think was a bus driver that had a heart attack? I've seen a few black NDE's on television. There may be less of them but they do happen. I think like ~ 12% of the United States population is black? So that would automatically reduce the number of NDE's and then blacks may have less access to health care, it may take longer to get to the hospital, they may die quicker because their health related problems are more serious, like getting shot by gun shots, high blood pressure - etc.

Or the suffering teaches the soul something important it needs to learn, something it can only learn here and can't be learned in heaven? - Art

The usual "spiritual" rationalization for innocent suffering. A possibility I suppose. I would just ask if any of us have signed up for our lesson plan? By Us I refer to our human selves including egos and memories as opposed to our (hypothesized) souls. Of course the answer is no, leaving this explanation uninspiring and a great injustice. Of course that doesn't mean it isn't true. The collective unconscious theory is at least simpler, not invoking additional entities or moral/spiritual principles.

doubter, another explanation, one that I prefer, for suffering is that we have free will and some us decide to use that free will to create suffering for others, as well as ourselves.

A scientific genius can create weapons of mass destruction or he can create vaccines. A great leader can enslave his people and start wars or he can create just societies with peace and prosperity for all. These are choices of free will.

Simply by focussing our awareness on the earthly plane such that we entered as an incarnate, we have chosen to suffer the afflictions of being a carbon based life form.

Now we may not have consciously desired the bad things that can happen down here, but, all the same, they are a consequence of the desires and impulses that attracted us to this plane of existance.

Now, some people say that's a no good perspective because it's like saying that anyone who is suffering is getting what they deserve, even if obliquely. However, I think that is an immature criticism of the perspective.

Yes, maybe in some sense we are getting what we asked for, but that doesn't make the suffering "ok", nor does it give us permission to become callous to those who are suffering. To the contrary, it provides us with an opportunity to better ourselves and better others by helping out, by making a difference.

Without moral or spiritual principles the injust you say you despise would flourish well beyond current levels.

Free will is a hard thing for some people to accept. You have to take responsibility and you really can't get angry at others when the choices you make get you hurt.

My son once got too serious about a certain girl. i told him, "stay away from her. She's nothing but trouble. You're going to get burned". Did he listen? No. Did he get burned? Oh yeah. real bad. Did he sign up to get burned? No. He signed up for a good time. Was he responsible for his own fate? yes. Was he happy about his fate? No. Should, I, as his wiser older elder have stopped him from seeing the girl before it was to late? I don't think so. He had to go out in the world and live and learn as a free spirit. Did I kick him around afterwards when he was suffering? No. I welcomed him back and talked it over with him and provided support..

That's how it is.

The jury is still out for me on this one. Over in this corner we have Art who believes that we are meant to go through a little shared pain here on earth and there have been some channeled material which supports this. I think Silver Birch being one of them. I can see that but I am also attracted to the free will notion which has also been peppered throughout supposedly channeled material (cant remember any specific sources off the top of my head).

Random question but I think it warrants being thrown into this Suffering vs. Free Will Debate....where do random asks of nature fit into all this? Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornado, volcanic eruptions, etc why would a loving source for this entire universe (call it God or whatever floats your boat)create such random and chaotic occurrences in nature? Obviously we don't have "free will" to decide to have a steaming flow of lava do us in simply because we happened to live a nearby active volcanic site. Nature throws a wrench into this entire debate for me and makes me a little nervous that the "naturalist" who believe that we are nothing more than accidental mutations might be right. It's hard to believe that a source for all this would create something so deliberately destructive against it's own creation.

This might be a good one for Keith Augustine to chime in for but he probably doesn't read the blog much anymore.

Ray - And what would race have to do with a "collective unconscious mind" anyway? If its a collective unconsciousness, then it stands to reason that it would include information from all races - white, black, asian, hispanic, or any other race.

...... If it was a collective consciousness that was inventing for example mediumistic communication how come we don't see more drop in communications from African Americans, Hispanics, Asians etc when combined far outweigh the total number of Caucasians in this planet. If this was simply a collective mental game we are playing on ourselves, I would expect more involvement from these groups in the psi literature.

The collective unconscious I am suggesting would be mostly generated by the local culture, society and race, and manifested through the individual unconscious minds of the humans involved. With this source you would expect the frequency, form and content of supposed spirit communications, NDE reports, past incarnation memories, etc. to vary greatly between these groups. They do. For instance, between America, Africa, Brazil and India. Explaining this requires great contortions and complications to a single unified spirit/soul/afterlife/reincarnation paradigm.

The collective unconscious theory would also explain the fact that these phenomena not only seem to be mainly peculiar to certain cultures but also have developed historically over time. For example the rise of spiritualism and seance phenomena in the mid 19th century in mainly in America and Europe, followed by its being mostly forgotten by the 1950s (except in Brazil). And the rise of NDEs as a phenomenon in the 1970s. And (to bring in something outside the usual topics here) the rise of the UFO phenomenon starting during WW2 with its heyday in the 1950s through the 1980s, followed by its mostly going away by today. Close encounters and observation of physical vehicles just aren't happening any more. It is almost as if a hidden collective decision is made "Oh, the old stuff has become boring or irrelevant or overcome by changes like the Internet, so let's generate a new paranormal wave." What's next?

One more clue that the source of psychical phenomena may not be actual souls and spirits, but manifiestations of a collective unconscious, is the curious fact that there doesn't seem to be any new information about the physical world sent by spiritual channels. I mean information not already existing in human minds. We would expect that, in just one of numberless examples, benevolent spirits and souls would have transmitted some basic information about the germ theory of disease and the real nature of bubonic plague, at least how it is transmitted. Just this small amount of new information could have spared humanity from much of the incredible, untold innocent suffering of the Black Death. Instead, humanity has had to learn these facts of the natural world painfully slowly through the historical accidents of European history leading to the scientific revolution.

It seems to me that all of these observations are significant clues to the real source of psychical phenomena. I actually hope this is a wrong interpretation, however. It is so much more reassuring to go with the spirit/soul paradigm.

ah, whither Keith Augustine.......as far as natural disaster go, I lump these in with the consequences of free will. You have desires, foci, karma that draw you to the earth plane? Well, earthquakes, volcanoes, viruses all happen here. It's all part of the package.

Denying that the spirit exists because these things happen pretty much assumes that the spirit is headed up by a "god" that controls each and every aspect of everything that happens in the universe no matter how miniscule and, moreover, arranges each and every miniscule aspect of everything for your personal pleasure and satisfaction.

I think this assumption is wrong on several levels.

1. It's very much a primitive childlike concept of god. Quite frankly it's absolutely Fruedian in that it sees god as a parent figure whose purpose is to control the environment and protect the child and maintain the child in a perpetual womb-like state. Who said god is like that? It's been years since I've read the bible, but once I did read it Genesis to Revelations looking for references to this type of god and I didn't find any. I've read the Upanishads too and it's not in there either. So I don't know where this notion of god that the Keith Augustines argue can't exist even comes from. It's a straw man.

2. It assumes that suffering is of no value; or at least a net negative value.

2a. It assumes that human life on earth trumps infinite life as a spirit. Suffering here and now on earth is not compensated for by long term spiritual progress. It negates the "no pain, no gain" maxim that is obvious to those who seek to achieve bigger things here on earth.

3. It assumes that being a victim of a natural disaster is not, to some extent, a matter of personal choice. For example, I know people that live in CA and joke about the "Big One". If such an earthquake strikes and they suffer are they victims of a godless universe or are they responsible for living in a fault zone? Who lives in a trailer park in tornado alley? Who builds and inhabits beach front property in a tsunami or hurricane zone? Are these not choices with consequences? Was the great plague/black death not a consequence of the choice of people to live in filthy crowded cities? Not blaming the victim here, but there are human decisions, made of free will, in the chain of causation.

4. This will sound weird and wrong, but it assumes a huge amount of suffering has actually been quantified and that it is great in scope and scale to the point of being overwhelming. In a lot of societies death is not as strange and unfamiliar as it is in ours. Nor is brutally hard work. People are resilient and take things in stride. One reason that people in the third world have a lot of children is that children die. It's an accepted fact of life and life goes on when it happens. The keith Augustine crowd would have us see such events as the end of happiness and joy or at least catastrophically crushing events. The truth is, they are not. People mourn and then move forward.

But mostly #1.

"Instead, humanity has had to learn these facts of the natural world painfully slowly through the historical accidents of European history leading to the scientific revolution."

doubter, these are interesting points.

First, how do you know that the discoveries were "accidents"?

More importantly, you are completely ignoring human societal organization and politics. Look what the establishment did to renaisance figures who proposed radical ideas, using science, like the earth revolving around the sun instead of vice versa. Yet you think that a mediumistic communication concerning the source of plague would have gained traction?

This is bogus argumentation.

Through free will human societies chose to be ignorant and, as a result, members of the societies suffered.

"With this source you would expect the frequency, form and content of supposed spirit communications, NDE reports, past incarnation memories, etc. to vary greatly between these groups. They do."

I think they do not. Some of the details are varied by local and language, but the core elements remain consistent across cultures.

Your other objections are mostly due to gaps in available literature due to the issues I outlined up thread.

Doubter,

I see your point and there is certainly a case to made for this. Maybe I'm being obtruse but it almost seems like you see the psi evidence as super psi amongst living agents. I can certainly see how a reasonable person could come to that conclusion based on the evidence but there are certain phenomena that do not so easily explain your observations of collective consciousness being responsible

1) Harry Stockbridge Case
2) Direct Voice mediumship
3) Ian Stevenson reincarnation research
4) Runki Leg case
5) Veridical NDEs and Obes

there are obviously many more cases than this but just to name a few. how would your theory explain Veridical info that was not known to any living person and then later verified ? I had a reading with medium Georgia Oconnor and my grandmother came through and said she was concerned about my moms thyroid issue which I didn't know she had until after the reading ended and had to verify. additionally my mother didn't know I was going to speak with a medium and the medium never spoke to my mother. It is these types of psi events that seem to put holes in the collective unconscious theory because none of the players knew each other or the information that came across. If it were that easy to obtain information that is supposedly just hanging out in the collective unconscious why don't militaries just train their soldiers to get together in seances to conjur up pretend dead ghost to tell them information on the enemy?

If we had no Veridical cases of information not known to anyone I would most likely side with your observation. Now what would really make this question an enigma was if Veridical information was provided by made up Philip ghost ? Was the conjured Philip ghost able to give details like you see with the better mediumidtic case studies? I don't know the case well enough to answer this but would add weight to your theory.

There probably is something like a collective consciousness (see Rupert Sheldrake, Carl Jung), but it doesn't stop there.

no one, you bring up some interesting points about suffering, particularly child mortality. I read something recently that not too long ago in the West, 100 years or so ago, it was pretty much expected that at least one, if not several, of your children, would die. Childbirth was also risky for women (it still is to some extent). People were still expected to carry on. Suffering is also always in the mind of the beholder anyway: what is "suffering" for one person is a minor annoyance for another.

Random question but I think it warrants being thrown into this Suffering vs. Free Will Debate....where do random asks of nature fit into all this? Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornado, volcanic eruptions, etc why would a loving source for this entire universe (call it God or whatever floats your boat)create such random and chaotic occurrences in nature? Obviously we don't have "free will" to decide to have a steaming flow of lava do us in simply because we happened to live a nearby active volcanic site. Nature throws a wrench into this entire debate for me and makes me a little nervous that the "naturalist" who believe that we are nothing more than accidental mutations might be right. It's hard to believe that a source for all this would create something so deliberately destructive against it's own creation.

I agree. Of course the usual "spiritual" explanation for human-inflicted innocent suffering is the necessity for free will. Certainly this can't justify "natural evil" like disease and natural disasters. If I recall, one approach to this is the weak argument that independent natural forces and imperfect physical bodies which break down and die are somehow necessary conditions. In other words there are no other possible but less cruel worlds where something like humans could exist (perhaps not having gone through a long evolutionary process), have free will, and learn. This does not seem to be very reasonable.

At least the strict reductionist materialist view is invalidated, since there is a massive amount of evidence for psychical phenomena.

Regarding the cultural variations in reporting NDE's, we discussed this over a year ago in the comment section of this blog. There was one comment that hit home for me and I saved it.
Here's a copy 'n paste reproduction:

"Well, as a black person/African American (who is old enough to remember when I was colored and/or a Negro), I'll add my two cents: My paternal grandfather was preacher and he could tell the most convincing ghost stories -- among southern black folk ghosts were often referred to as "haints" (don't know the origin of the word nor if there is an official spelling, but it sounds just like it reads). And it wasn't just the man-of-the-cloth who talked about haints; many claimed to have seen them and spoke about them with the deepest belief. A haint might appear out of nowhere and appear almost as anything: a fiery red head woman whom you just ran over with your car ... or a man as tall as a telephone pole -- without a head -- running across a field ... or some kind of animal with the biggest eyes in the world. I'm sure that similar "haints" exist the stories of many around the world.
So, as has been noted, there may be a bias against seeking out or giving credence to accounts from black people particularly if that black person isn't as, so to speak, pure as Caesar's wife (i.e., if a particular black person in any visible way conforms to any of the pernicious stereotypes then his/her account is likely be dismissed and/or seen as the result of a superstitious and unscientific mind). I would not be surprised at all that more NDE experiences of black folks would be found if someone made a concerted effort to find them. Now, I don't really care whether anyone does conduct a study and not saying that anyone should; but it might be interesting."

The existence of haints aside, the point of this anecdote is simply that, from my experience of having lived around and known quite-well many black and white folks (up and down the socioeconomic ladder), I would say that black people are GENERALLY more likely to discuss NDEs/psychic experiences/etc. amongst each other and employ conventional Christian religious terminology in describing such experiences. If you describe certain things using conventional Christian religious terminology it seems that such descriptions will, generally, be glossed over and/or dismissed. I, too, have noted that among all the NDE-related videos I've seen I can only recount seeing one black person (a woman). I don't have any data but I'm pretty sure plenty of "black folks" have these experiences ... but just as many black people will note that they've never been contacted by Nielsen for tv/radio ratings or interviewed by a pollster perhaps there are, as noted by someone else, cultural factors at play ... and culture is always at play, it seems, usually in very subtle ways. For example, it's been noted often that white doctors often interact differently with their black patients (see, for example, http://mirroronamerica.blogspot.com/200 ... among.html). I don't raise this point to say that doctors are actively racist, but to say that doctors are human and may employ behavior that's so much a part of our cultural air that the doctor doesn't believe it applies to him/her. That's human nature".

Works for me.

"In other words there are no other possible but less cruel worlds where something like humans could exist (perhaps not having gone through a long evolutionary process), have free will, and learn. This does not seem to be very reasonable."

But there are other less cruel worlds; the spirit world.

You want a carbon based based world that doesn't obey entropy? You'd have to re-write physical laws. Is that what you want god to do to satisfy you?

That's the point of Michael's diagram. This physical experience we're having is just the tip of the iceberg.

Rabbitdawg, "Works for me."

Yep. Me2.

Excellent find Rabbitdawg and I'm also glad to see I'm not the only one that copies and pastes posts I find very interesting :)

Oh, it might be nice to include a verifying link to the thread that I referred to in my above comment. Try (34th comment down from the top):
http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2011/06/goin-home.html

no one youre on fire today. I loved your counterpoints to the nature argument. I think bottom line it's a bias I probably have from my Catholic upbringing and I'm subconsciously bringing the baggage to my psi revelations as I am fully aware and we discussed many times on here that there can be an afterlife with no creator. I guess where I get hung up on with what the source of it all is is with the channeled material in which you see references to "the great white spirit" the "source" or something along those lines. The Rectur and Imperator group that has come through some mediums like Piper and William Stanton Moses mention the source as God. Either way what you said makes perfect sense about natural disasters occuring on our plane

Ray, ha ha..on fire....it's nothing a little pepto won't cure. Long day running meaningless reports, waiting for the data to come back, drinking too much coffee......

I don't know. IMO, there *is* a source. I'm just saying that it doesn't have to be a source that micro manages everything and everyone.

I even think the source is all about love and harmony, just maybe at a different level than we can relate to because it is beyond persoanl ego.

....there are obviously many more cases than this but just to name a few. how would your theory explain Veridical info that was not known to any living person and then later verified ? - Ray

I'm familiar with the examples you listed. Another would be the Maroczy versus Korchnoi chess match carried out through medium Rollans. There are strong arguments against "super-psi" as the explanation for afterlife evidence in the best mediumistic communication and reincarnation cases, for instance. A collective unconscious producing these phenomena through super-esp would have to have incredible powers. I mentioned at the beginning of this that there are many problems with the collective unconscious theory.

However, there are also a lot of problems with the soul/spirit theory that could be more simply resolved with some concept involving an internally generated phenomenon, than by elaborations and rationalizations of the soul/spirit theory. We also don't know how to reconcile the facts of human physical and psychological evolution with the soul/spirit theory. To me this is intriguing and only emphasizes that we just don't know what is really behind psychical phenomena seemingly indicative of souls, spirits and an afterlife.

"And (to bring in something outside the usual topics here) the rise of the UFO phenomenon starting during WW2 with its heyday in the 1950s through the 1980s, followed by its mostly going away by today. Close encounters and observation of physical vehicles just aren't happening any more."

That's an interesting point. I had read something similar recently. Since I've never been too interested in UFOs, I was unaware of this development, but apparently the number of reports has dropped off dramatically. And if you think about it, this is exactly the opposite of what you would expect if the phenomena were real - because nowadays people carry cell phones with built-in cameras everywhere they go. If flying saucers were an objectively real phenomenon, we would expect many more photos and videos of them now that digital cameras have become ubiquitous.

Perhaps this dovetails with the longstanding prohibition of bright light - or even passive infrared viewing equipment - in materialization seances. Clearly in many cases we are dealing with outright fraud, but could it be that, even in genuine cases, the group unconscious knows that these thought forms will not photograph well? The prohibition of infrared photography, etc., could be attempt to protect the phenomena from too close a scrutiny.

Similarly, maybe the disappearance of flying saucers is attributable to the collective unconscious realizing that they are now too easy to photograph!

But having said this, I'd add that a thought form presumably has its own kind and degree of reality. So it's not that flying saucers and materializations are necessarily "unreal," but rather that they occupy a sort of borderland between real and unreal. And while materializations may indeed be thought forms generated by the group consciousness of the sitters and medium, it is still possible that these thought forms serve as vessels or vehicles for the consciousness of discarnate spirits. In fact, the mediums themselves have long claimed that the sitters contribute to the materialization by supplying some of their own "ectoplasm." Who knows if there is any such thing as ectoplasm? This could be just a rationalization or crude interpretation of a process involving contributions from the unconsciousnesses of the various sitters.

"there are also a lot of problems with the soul/spirit theor"

which soul/spirit theory are you against?

it would be helpful to know that.

no one - First, how do you know that the discoveries were "accidents"?

By "accidental" I meant that observation of the historical record indicates that a long complicated series of unique never to be repeated events, trends, communication of ideas from abroad, insights based on previously accumulated data, etc. etc. resulted in the scientific revolution. A long contingent historical process that looks accidental though certainly that isn't absolutely certain. We can always postulate some unknowable outside influence with no evidence.

....Yet you think that a mediumistic communication concerning the source of plague would have gained traction?

Surely the spirits could have found some way of transmitting the information, especially if they could influence the leaders of the scientific revolution as you suggested. Like Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake.

This is bogus argumentation.Through free will human societies chose to be ignorant and, as a result, members of the societies suffered.

Sure, humans chose through free will not to innately know the bacterial origin of much disease, not to innately understand the true nature of the solar system, not to innately know the nature of the elements and chemistry. Society hardly chose to be ignorant - people were ignorant of scientific truth because these truths are profoundly nonintuitive and people looked at the world in an entirely different way. It required an unlikely series of historical trends and events for certain Europeans to throw off the bonds of superstition and ecclesiastical bondage.

The fact remains that it seems that no really new (not already existing in human minds) information about how the natural world works has come through from spiritual sources. Even with an amazing clairvoyant and psychic like Swedenborg, his channelled information about the planets and their inhabitants looks like fantasy.

no one - "there are also a lot of problems with the soul/spirit theor"

which soul/spirit theory are you against?

I am not really against all variations generally of the notion of the existence of human souls, spirits and an afterlife. I just have doubts, based on certain kinds of evidence, that still incorporate the real existence of psychical phenomena.


"That's an interesting point. I had read something similar recently. Since I've never been too interested in UFOs, I was unaware of this development, but apparently the number of reports has dropped off dramatically. And if you think about it, this is exactly the opposite of what you would expect if the phenomena were real - because nowadays people carry cell phones with built-in cameras everywhere they go. If flying saucers were an objectively real phenomenon, we would expect many more photos and videos of them now that digital cameras have become ubiquitous."

I feel the same way about alleged hauntings especially ones that reoccur in homes for years. My sceptical side wonders if there is objectivity to this and it keeps reoccurring why not try to film it to back up your story?

"Society hardly chose to be ignorant - people were ignorant of scientific truth because these truths are profoundly nonintuitive and people looked at the world in an entirely different way. It required an unlikely series of historical trends and events for certain Europeans to throw off the bonds of superstition and ecclesiastical bondage."

Sorry doubter, you are re-writing history to fit your paradigm. For example, long before the plague hit Europe circa 1300 there were organized societies across the globe that understood the public health benefits of bathing and other personal hygiene, public sanition, etc and these societies did NOT experience plague. The Europeans ignored knowledge that had existed for centuries and lived in filthy, garbage strewn, over crowded, stinking cities. They got hit hard by plague.

Generally, the boom in scientific knowledge circa 1450 in Europe was so remarkable because it followed a period of knowledge surpression that was the dark ages. 1450 just picked up where society had left off a thousand year's prior with the greeks, Romans,Chinese and Arabs and even the Egytians. That was human choice to organize society in such a way that it would go backwards for a thousand years.

I think the truths you celebrate were highly intuitive and the fundementals had been hit upon long before the dark ages. Humans were on a scientific discovery roll before political forces stopped it.

"Surely the spirits could have found some way of transmitting the information, especially if they could influence the leaders of the scientific revolution as you suggested."

Maybe they did. They reincarnated enlightened humanitarian minds in a great enough number to turn the tide.

"Like Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake."

Exactly, this is the material realm. Ultimately ideas have to be transformed into actions and have to be carried out physically and they can be opposed physically. That's how we do things here.

I am kind of curious as to why you think it is the disincarnate spirits' job to influence the course of events moreso than it is the incarnate spirits' job. The spiritual concept is that we incarnate to play out a role here on earth. What would be the point in incarnating if we could do it all from the other side?

no one - you seem to be putting everyone in the same boat - as if the majority (ie the poor and averagely intelligent) actually have a choice in how they organise their lives or how they get educated. And exploitative materialism is (apparently) the chosen truth - it's winning all over the world. Spirituality may be winning on this blog, but sadly it's not winning in most places.

However, it is quite possible that the whole panorama of afterlife evidence including NDEs and mediumship consists of elaborate deceptions created by some agent, perhaps a collective unconscious mind having psychic abilities. Ultimately Us, in other words. This type of explanation eliminates a pile of miscellaneous problems with psychical evidence for the afterlife. For instance, the one starting this thread, the inconsistency between afterlife reports via NDEs and via mediumistic communications. And the problem that most mediumistic communications don't mention reincarnation, despite the existence of ample evidence for it from veridical testimony of children. Or the puzzle of why NDEs don't seem to happen much with blacks, as opposed to caucasians. And even the old problem of suffering - why would souls permit or even create human suffering?

You say that the collective unconscious with ESP hypothesis is simpler than the afterlife hypothesis, but it is really so? In a sense the collective unconscious hypothesis is simpler because it only makes use of living beings and super-psychic powers, but in another sense the afterlife hypothesis is simpler, because it is the most direct and less convoluted.

The problems facing the afterlife interpretation on psychic phenomena are not severe enough to reject this interpretation. Let's see why. The apparent inconsistency between reports of NDE and mediumship is not just because the NDE reports deal with a afterlife plane other than the plane deal in mediumship. Is this an ad hoc response? No, it would be an ad hoc response if not follow from what we know, but it follows from what we know as certain mediumistic communications and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The fact that most mediumistic communicators not talk about reincarnation despite evidence of reincarnation, only confirms what we knew for certain mediumistic communicators, such as Frederic Myers, death is not complete enlightenment: people on death remain more or less the same beliefs as when they were alive. Is this ad hoc? Again no, because it follows from what we knew about certain mediumistic communications. On why NDEs seem to be less in blacks than in caucasians, and replied that this assumption is false because NDEs seem to occur equally in all races. And the problem of suffering, I will not be like everyone else in this blog: I just do not know why there is suffering or if reality is good and meaningful in the end, what I know is that these issues are totally independent of empirical research about the afterlife and that the most likely is that certain empirical phenomena are evidence of an afterlife.

Gip, no I understand your point and I considered it myself. My point is that depsite your point, the man made problems of this world are still the result of human's exercising free will.

An evil king choses to oppress his subjects. It's not god doing it, it's man.

As for the subjects, true that not all are equal in terms of abilities, however, together they are a mightier force than any king. So I would say that, ultimately, if they are oppressed, it is because they chose to be.

Martin Luther King (a personal hero) is an example of someone rising up against an oppressive establishment and bring along the oppressed masses, even though it was a fatal decision. There are many examples throughout history.

Generally, that choice is to fight for freedom or live relatively safely, though oppressed.

The only way for evil men to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

I'm not saying it's easy or fair, but there is a choice for free will to make. Always.

"Martin Luther King (a personal hero) is an example of someone rising up against an oppressive establishment and bring along the oppressed masses, even though it was a fatal decision."

He was a man of high intelligence. Apart from that,you seem to have a Wild West mentality. What about women with babies. Should they rise up and sacrifice their young ones? My main point is that if people are "culture bound" and of limited intelligence and education, they aren't even *aware* of the choices an educated person like you has. That's the No 1, top-dog problem, and I think it's the essential point that Doubter was making.

The collective unconscious theory would also explain the fact that these phenomena not only seem to be mainly peculiar to certain cultures but also have developed historically over time. For example the rise of spiritualism and seance phenomena in the mid 19th century in mainly in America and Europe, followed by its being mostly forgotten by the 1950s (except in Brazil). And the rise of NDEs as a phenomenon in the 1970s. And (to bring in something outside the usual topics here) the rise of the UFO phenomenon starting during WW2 with its heyday in the 1950s through the 1980s, followed by its mostly going away by today. Close encounters and observation of physical vehicles just aren't happening any more. It is almost as if a hidden collective decision is made "Oh, the old stuff has become boring or irrelevant or overcome by changes like the Internet, so let's generate a new paranormal wave." What's next?

I think your doubt is that psychic phenomena, including UFOs, let us see some intelligences, but we do not know what intelligences are, if they are the spirits of deceased human beings, aliens, sliders, the collective unconscious or other things, as if all these hypotheses about what those intelligences were equal. They are not, but the hypothesis that some of these phenomena are caused by spirits of deceased human beings is much more plausible than other hypotheses. Consider these with some examples.

In past certain apparitions could be interpreted as angels, fairies, succubi or spirits of deceased human beings. Why this latter interpretation is superior to the other? Because apparitions often have human aspect, sometimes have the appearance of a deceased human being, sometimes they appear to loved ones at the time of his death and sometimes they transmit messages to witnesses that they did not know. Hence, the most natural interpretation is that some of these apparitions are spirits of deceased human beings.

Another example is Eileen Garrett, who said that during her childhood she saw auras around plants and animals. She also saw light beings with human aspect that only she could see. Once she saw how the aura is separated from the body of an animal that had died and was still making his living. When she was an adult she discovered her talent for trance mediumship. So the most likely hypothesis is that these auras that Garrett saw are the vehicle of the mind that continues after death and that can control a medium during one of their sessions.

Then there is the fact that the belief in spirits of deceased human beings is universal and not specific to certain cultures and eras. It is true that there has been an evolution throughout history, as the rise and fall of modern spiritualism, but this does not imply that there is no afterlife, but cultures can be more or less receptive to the manifestations on the other side. Besides modern spiritualism was not merely a cultural fashion, it must be placed within a spiritualism as old as mankind. On the rise of NDE in recent years, this is easily explained: most people was near death was dying, but lately with the technological advances we can revive many people near death, which gives a rise of NDE reports.

About UFOS, not true that currently are not UFOs, currently flying objects are still seen no one knows what they are and come to be filmed, just that society seems to have lost interest in these phenomena, but I think it can not compare with psychic phenomena we address in this blog: most UFOs can be airplanes or balloons or little known weather phenomena and that a minority be something really extraordinary, which has had different interpretations along of history: in the past, angels, fairies or devils, and now, aliens, chrononauts or sliders, but nothing in the same UFO phenomenon more inclined us of these hypotheses or otherwise. Only the fashion of the time leads to a hypothesis or to another. This fickle character and associated with cultural interpretations of the phenomenon can be made in favor of the hypothesis that UFOs are creations of the collective unconscious, although this hypothesis seems almost contradictory because it attempts to shape, interpret, which by hypothesis itself has no shape but takes various shapes throughout history. However, psychic phenomena such as NDEs, shared-death experiences, mediumship and possible memories of past lives are traits themselves that lead us to the afterlife hypothesis. It is not something external or cultural phenomenon, but internal to the phenomenon. Hence, psychic phenomena are best evidence of the afterlife that UFOs are evidence of the entity we choose.

The collective unconscious theory would explain the fact That Also These phenomena seem to be not only unique to Mainly But Also Certain cultures have historically Developed over time. For example the rise of spiritualism and seance phenomena in the mid 19th century in America and in Europe Mainly, Followed by its being mostly forgotten by the 1950s (except in Brazil). And the rise of NDEs as a phenomenon in the 1970s.

I think your doubt is that psychic phenomena, including UFOs, let us see some intelligences, but we do not know what intelligences are, if they are the spirits of deceased human beings, aliens, sliders, the collective unconscious or other things, as if all these hypotheses about what those intelligences were equal. They are not, but the hypothesis that some of these phenomena are caused by spirits of deceased human beings is much more plausible than other hypotheses. Consider these with some examples.

In past certain apparitions could be interpreted as angels, fairies, succubi or spirits of deceased human beings. Why this latter interpretation is superior to the other? Because apparitions often have human aspect, sometimes have the appearance of a deceased human being, sometimes they appear to loved ones at the time of his death and sometimes they transmit messages to witnesses that they did not know. Hence, the most natural interpretation is that some of these apparitions are spirits of deceased human beings.

Another example is Eileen Garrett, who said that during her childhood she saw auras around plants and animals. She also saw light beings with human aspect that only she could see. Once she saw how the aura is separated from the body of an animal that had died and was still making his living. When she was an adult she discovered her talent for trance mediumship. So the most likely hypothesis is that these auras that Garrett saw are the vehicle of the mind that continues after death and that can control a medium during one of their sessions.

Then there is the fact that the belief in spirits of deceased human beings is universal and not specific to certain cultures and eras. It really has been an evolution over history as the rise and fall of modern spiritualism, but this does not imply that there is no afterlife, but cultures can be more or less receptive to the manifestations on the other side. Besides modern spiritualism was not merely a cultural fashion, it must be placed within a spiritualism as old as mankind. On the rise of NDE in recent years, this is easily explained: most people near death was dying, but lately with the technological advances we can revive many people near death, which gives rise a rise of NDE reports.

"That's the No 1, top-dog problem, and I think it's the essential point that Doubter was making."

I read doubter's point as being there can't be spirits or god because people are oppressed and suffer. In doubter's thinking spirits and/or god would remedy the suffering if they existed; remedy perhaps by giving humans information and making them aware of truth.

However, I say that humans have free will and make the choices that cause them to suffer. It does seem that when suffering goes on too long and/or reaches some level of critical mass, a great leader arrives on the scene and leads the people out of it (e.g. a Jefferson an MLK, a Ghandi, a Newton or a Galileo).

Here's a question for you and doubter. Given your poor opinion of the average Joe's intelligence and ability to discern truth and make good choices, where do these highly gifted leaders come from? How is it that they are so superior and driven? Could it be that spirit *does* intervene occasionally by sending an advanced soul to incarnate an advance humanity?

Because despite all of the doom and gloom and suffering that doubter seems to perceive as man's lot, as a species we have made remarkable progress.

Again, though, mostly I object to doubter's objection because it assumes a) a top down god that control everything b) given a, we would be automatons lacking free will c) it is predicated on a world that would not allow for spiritual advancement (i.e. we wouldn't make any choices, we'd just be blissed out all of the time).

Wild West mentality? Guilty as charged, to a degree. The way I see it you can be free to ride the open range (live free or die) or you can play it safe and follow leaders and societal trends. The latter, according to you and doubter results in suffering and ignorance. Why surrender one's freedom to capricious power hungry leaders leaders? Yes, of course for the good of the women and children. Then the child lives to inherit an oppressed existance?

The choice is yours.

You sort of acknowledged my point with the wild west statement.

Good point Juan. Why lump mediumship and survival in with UFOs and bigfoot?

And (to bring in something outside the usual topics here) the rise of the UFO phenomenon starting during WW2 with its heyday in the 1950s through the 1980s, followed by its mostly going away by today. Close encounters and observation of physical vehicles just aren't happening any more. It is almost as if a hidden collective decision is made "Oh, the old stuff has become boring or irrelevant or overcome by changes like the Internet, so let's generate a new paranormal wave." What's next?

It is not true that at present do not see UFOS, currently flying objects are still seen no one knows what they are and come to be filmed, just that society seems to have lost interest in these phenomena, but I think the UFOs not comparable with psychic phenomena we address in this blog: the mayority of UFOs likely are balloons or airplanes or unfamiliar weather phenomena and a minority be something really extraordinary, which has had different interpretations throughout history: in the past, angels, fairies or devils, and now, aliens, chrononauts or sliders, but nothing in the same UFO phenomenon more inclined us of these hypotheses or otherwise. Only the fashion of the time leads to a hypothesis or to another. This fickle character associated with cultural interpretations of the phenomenon can be made in favor of the hypothesis that UFOs are creations of the collective unconscious, although this hypothesis seems almost contradictory because it attempts to shape, interpret, which by hypothesis itself has no shape but it takes different shapes along history. However, psychic phenomena such as NDEs, shared-death experiences, mediumship and possible memories of past lives are traits themselves that lead us to the afterlife hypothesis. It is not something external or cultural phenomenon, but internal to the phenomenon. Hence, psychic phenomena are best evidence of the afterlife that UFOs are evidence of entity we choose.

It's conceivable that the reason the number of UFO  sightings appears to have declined from its heyday (really like to see the numbers here) is because the number of *bogus* sightings has declined. I think only something like 5% or so were originally considered truly "unexplained" by Project Blue Book.  I think the French gov't still has a monitoring agency going. They might have more up-to-date numbers for backwards comparison.

An exceedingly good recent book on UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, a better term for sightings these days, to exclude contacts, etc) is "UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and  Government  Officials Go on  the Record", by Leslie Kean. Authoritative, exhaustive documentation of sightings by extremely reliable sources. No contact stuff. No cell phone video stuff.

no one - I am kind of curious as to why you think it is the disincarnate spirits' job to influence the course of events moreso than it is the incarnate spirits' job. The spiritual concept is that we incarnate to play out a role here on earth. What would be the point in incarnating if we could do it all from the other side?

I notice that you don't argue with my observation that there has been no new information about the world received from the spirits. Not even once. You would think at least a few individual souls would interfere in the struggle and send a little help through once in a while, like how about the use of chloroform or ether for anesthesia a few decades before they were accidentally discovered? Want to undergo an amputation without it? After all, apparently high level beings (supposedly with access to such information) have repeatedly come through, like the Jane Roberts Seth readings.

The human condition is such that spirits and souls if they exist appear to remain dispassionate, merely observers of human experience. It doesn't matter what kind, pleasure, joy, suffering - it's all grist for the souls' mill. Maybe so, but humans have free will and don't have to like it. I just point out that a logical alternate explanation for absolutely no information from souls and spirits is that there just aren't any, except for deep levels of the human psyche.

no one - I read doubter's point as being there can't be spirits or god because people are oppressed and suffer. In doubter's thinking spirits and/or god would remedy the suffering if they existed; remedy perhaps by giving humans information and making them aware of truth.

My point is that such beings if they exist appear to have the benefit of souls in mind rather than the benefit of human beings.

However, I say that humans have free will and make the choices that cause them to suffer.

This is beyond ridiculous. Tell that to the African children born with AIDS, or born into starvation and disease. Tell that to someone agonizingly dying of bone cancer. Tell that to someone paralyzed from the neck down by a criminal's bullet. Examples are endless. Much suffering is completely innocent and not brought on by personal choices. Deal with it and don't deny it.

Could it be that spirit *does* intervene occasionally by sending an advanced soul to incarnate an advance humanity?

It could be. But it is curious that, as I keep pointing out, no really new information ever comes through. This denies many kinds of practical help that would advance human knowledge, and denies ever having any sort of proof of the existence of such advanced beings.

Again, though, mostly I object to doubter's objection because it assumes a) a top down god that control everything b) given a, we would be automatons lacking free will c) it is predicated on a world that would not allow for spiritual advancement (i.e. we wouldn't make any choices, we'd just be blissed out all of the time).

I do not assume "a top down God that controls everything". Humans have free will, but their human selves don't choose to be born. God doesn't control everything, but God has the power to change anything. Spiritual advancement is obviously allowed because it happens sometime. We obviously can make choices though they are greatly limited in scope.

The comments to this entry are closed.