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I suspect that the reason most people do not return for additional after having evidential (survival of death) mental mediumship sessions is...

...money :)

If we knew absolutely for certain that our Universe was a hoax or illusion and that life after death was real nothing in this life would evoke near as much emotion because we'd know that our loved ones were waiting for us on the other side. Death would no longer be death.

The death of someone we love would cease to be the powerful lesson in what it means and how it feels to be separate. Because there is a close connection between emotion and memory the lessons we learn have to cause enough emotion to overcome those feelings of oneness and connectedness and lack of time and space on the other side.

I remember reading an NDE where one woman said that we here in this life can't begin to comprehend the overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness in heaven. Perhaps it is impossible to know or become a separate unique individual in heaven so it has to be accomplished here and the way we do that is by experiencing separation in every way, shape, or form possible.

Michael,
I think there is a typo. Richard 'Hodgson' was the one who investigated Leonora Piper, not 'Hodgkins'. - AOD

Joel, Sitting with a medium doesn't cost that much; so little that if one were to imagine obtaining any utility from doing so, that the amount of utility would outweigh the cost.

Michael, I think you've covered all the bases.

Art, if people knew how good it is on the other side, they'd be checking out in droves, so there's I think the main reason why the veil must remain intact. I just read according to the World Health Organization that the global suicide rate is strongly increasing. Those who are caught up in the rat race and enjoy the dog-eat-dog battle would probably stay, but most would leave.

Georgia is certainly not hurting for business. I follow her on FB, but I'm too scared to try a reading myself... Truthfully, I don't know who I would connect with. My grandfathers maybe. Friends from years ago who passed far too early. I assume that they have better stuff to do than talk to me - but it would certainly give me the satisfaction of finally 'knowing'... I think my fear is more related to my ego in not wanting to "look like a fool" if it doesn't turn out the way I expected.

Thanks, AOD! I fixed it.

I don't think friends would have better stuff to do 'Sleeper'. I can imagine that if I passed it would be the most important thing to me i.e. show I am alive and connect. Being ignored would make me make me feel rather sad I think. Thats just what I think anyway, ha ha.

With regard to the medium, being tested over and over would hardly be the most relaxing atmosphere to channel. Being tired as well, as you need to go into your head and concentrate. Although I have not done sittings as such, I have done readings of murders for example, then connected with my guides at one stage for about 3/4 hour, to see if I could solve them- and I got a good rate of success. But I found it too tiring to continue for longer than that.

I have had spirits come and not talk to me too, and I assume its because they have no emotional attachment, thus see no need too.

I'm sure people retain their personality as well. I was watching a video recently of a lawyer, and he stipulated "it was me, all of me". I did have my aunt come after she passed, and I could feel all of her personality, she was such a vivacious person, and she spoke quickly.

So I guess if you were a somewhat reticent person on earth, getting your message across once a spirit, may be difficult too.

Lyn x.

I've long been interested in the 'simulation hypothesis' of reality as proposed by Edward Fredkin, Nick Bostrom, Brian Whitworth and others.

It has occurred to me that if reality is indeed a gigantic 'learning game' programmed by the Great Mind of which we are all a part, then there MUST, of necessity, be ambiguities built into the 'mindware'.

In other words, it would defeat the whole object of the Game of Life if we began to gather sufficient evidence to suspect that it IS a game, and not the "real reality".

So any phenomena that brought us too close to the truth would need to be difficult to reproduce and possible to debunk. (Maybe the emergence of Organised Skepticism is programmed into the Game to ensure that nobody gets too deeply into studying stuff that would make us take our roleplay less seriously!)

I kinda lean in that direction, too, Fred Bloggs. (BTW, you should have your own blog. Then it would be the Bloggs Blog.)

What you're saying ties in with the trickster idea developed by George Hansen ("The Trickster and the Paranormal"). Hansen's well researched book clearly documents the long history of ambiguity and marginalization in parapsychology.

OTOH, in some societies life after death is uncontroversial and taken for granted. I've read anthropological accounts of cultures where everyone believes in an afterlife as a matter of common sense. This tends to go against the idea that we are programmed to resist breaking the spell of physical reality. In other words ... it's yet another ambiguity!

Michael Shermer bent the bowl of a spoon at one of Jack Houk's spoon bending parties. There's a YouTube video with him holding up the spoon with a wry smile. He later explained it away as being due to elevated levels of that emergency blood chemical whose name escapes me now. That's a good case of fear of psi.
(Plus, it would undermine his schtick and career to accept a paranormal explanation.)


Fred,
I like to think---and some spirits have reported---that there is a hierarchy of 'heavens' from the lowest populated by lost souls to the highest where enlightened souls merge with God. If that be the case then why couldn't the earth reality be one of those 'heavens? That is, some spirits have suggested that there are multiple realities all nestled within one reality like spheres, each enclosing the other from lowest to the highest. The reality I am currently in is no more or less real than any other of those concentric realities; this life, this reality, is no more of a 'game' than any other life in some other reality. In effect I am all ready in 'a heaven'.

Lyn x said that the most important thing to her when she passed away would be "to show I am alive and connect" through a medium or otherwise. Perhaps some might want to do this if as spirits they retain a connection with the earth reality but from what is reported by spirits that is usually not the case. Many spirits enter into a new reality that is completely fulfilling for them and experience great camaraderie and love with many others, either from their immediate past life or from less recent lives. They have a sense of knowing what the universe and reality are all about and take it all for granted, knowing that those who remain in the earth reality will quickly move on to join them perhaps in an instant, in another reality and understand too. And depending what the true metaphysical relationship was/is with those who remain in the earth reality---which would now be revealed to the spirit perhaps, those spirits who have moved on to another reality may not be inclined to return to provide reassurance to someone who may have (unknowingly) played only a minor role in their development. although in the moment seemed to play a significant role.

There are those who may regress to a lower reality or become trapped in the earth plain for one reason or another. They are probably the spirits who are most likely to communicate with those left on earth. My wish for you, Lyn x is that you do not become one of those trapped spirits but move on leaving the earth and your attachments to it behind. - AOD

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Ha ha Amos, I doubt that, I'm not very attached to material things.

I agree with you though in that I think earth could be described as just another level, albeit a lower vibrational one.

I think there are many reason why we have problems connecting i.e. all the above. And I also think it's not in our best interests to 'have all the answers'- e.g. solving a crime.

I don't adhere to the- when we are more evolved on that side that we can't or don't connect with earth. I think the whole point of our human journey, like Art suggests, is to be an individual and that you take that personality and life experience with you.

So to me I will remember that yummy cheesecake for ever, as if I ate it yesterday. Its embedded in my soul print so to speak, and I can always tap into that.

Although the longer you are there, perhaps those you knew have all past, and therefore there is no one with a close emotional connection. But I would think there would always be reasons to connect with earth e.g. help mankind in some way.

Lyn x.

I agree Kathleen. IF people knew how good the afterlife is they'd be checking out in droves, so the veil must remain intact. But why is it that some claim to have this information directly available to them, and then are permitted by the powers that be in the afterlife to pass that information on to anyone that can arrange a sitting with these select few ?

@Roger-

Speaking of Shermer...

Rupert Sheldrake and him are doing a dialogue over the next few months that seems interesting thus far.

http://www.thebestschools.org/sheldrake-shermer-materialism-in-science-opening-statements/

Michael, it is either all of those things or.... demons. :)

The lessons in the not knowing. If we knew then there would be no lesson. It is the emotion that life emotes that causes us to remember what we learned. The more emotion the more we remember. If we knew this life would evoke little if any emotion. When people die we'd say "so what? They didn't really die and the are alive on the other side. We'll see them again."

Emotions Make the Memory Last:
http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20050131/emotions-make-memory-last

Although emotional events are more likely remembered here on earth, I tend to think the all encompassing consciousness that people experience when they die, is all of our memories.

And thats the 'wow' factor people talk of- present life, past lives, and that we are creatures of god, all part of a single consciousness that split into conscious subsets so to speak.

And that, that's the point, as time is 'all there' and 'always there', you take that with you to eternity, as you carry on evolving, to merge as a companion to the source.

I'm past thinking its a nirvana of sorts too, I don't see that god has ever made the journey easy. Sure 'heaven' does away with the dirt and grime for the most part, and you don't have to expend any energy and theres a pervading feeling of being loved.

I think its your experience, your self evolvement- albeit the species, that is the reason for our existence. So you've only got that to work with and build on as you evolve through the universe, to become a worthy adversary of god.

So thats why experience- the good the bad matters- and it makes me want to get off the couch and get out there, so I will have at least worthwhile to work with.

Thats how I'm thinking anyway :). Cheers Lyn.

And that should read 'something worthwhile to work with'. Ahh computers. Lyn x.

Great post, followed by great comments!

There is one issue I have with the post, and it also applies to Hanson's book. Mediums are just "those people"--they're right here! I'm one of them. A high percentage of my psychic friends have mediumistic abilities as well.

So, Micheal, you were talking about going to mediums, maybe going back, maybe not. Well, I know it's all real because I do it myself, and I don't have to go out of my way to talk to a medium, since I know them personally.

This is just a bit of soft "othering," and it's understandable when one is not psychic and the conventional narrative is constantly saying it's all bunkum.

But this othering is *very* strong in Hanson's book, and I think it is the No. 1 problem with it. Those who get close to the Trickster in the book, such as shamans, medicine (wo)men, mediums, and so on, are definitely these rare people you never meet, and not your friends and family. They are mysterious, alien, and in a precarious position.

I beg to differ. I'm a classic Gemini and have a very Hermetic personality. I embody the Trickster in many ways, especially in that I have both a very joking and very serious side. Just as Hermes did, who played tricks but was also a god of communication and knowledge (Hermes Trismegistus, etc.). The Trickster does not merely hide and obfuscate. He also reveals and elucidates.

I don't think there is anything we are not *meant* to know. I think the Universe itself is engaged in knowing itself, which involves recursion (a topic Hanson treats of well) and paradox. A lot of psi is directly involved in recursion and paradox as well, since seeing the future can influence the present and negate the future so seen.

Most of Hanson's observations about the Trickster are excellent, but Hanson himself is very far from the Trickster in personality and mindset, so there are inevitable gaps.

I've spent a lot of time pondering the possibility of replicating spiritual things via investigations, and I think you nailed a lot of it in your post, Michael (the baseball analogy is one of the best I've ever read), especially with the fear of PSI. As a former christian, I find the spiritual to be an endlessly fascinating topic, but there's always this tiny, nagging fear that I might find out something that proves I made the wrong choice leaving the faith and am on a one-way-ticket downwards, so to speak. That's why some people, when finding an article or book that's particularly reassuring, will cling to it like a shipwreck survivor with a life preserver, as they don't want their newfound hope and reassurane to be false.

With regards to science investigating the spiritual, I think scientists and the scientific-minded might not get is that our sciences all deal with the physical, while the spiritual is of the mind. while we can replicate many things in laboratory tests, and know that certain effects are essentially set in stone (mathematical models, for instance), the world of the mind is an untamable landscape. We can understand how the brain works, but we cannot catalogue, store, or record thoughts and dreams, nor can they ever be exactly duplicated in a lab. We can record and observe the physical effects of love, but how do you measure love itself? You can't weigh it, measure its dimensions, or take photographs of it.

To clarify this further, it seems that materialist science, when it does try to investigate the spiritual, seems to think that it should respond the same way we investigate the physical. But that won't happen, as they are dealing with a realm almost entirely removed from ours that has its own laws, rules, and ways that are different from ours. Furthermore, the entities and individuals who inhabit that realm - the majority of whom are far more benevolent and understanding than us - are under no obligation to do anything we ask or command. They may even not be allowed to respond if doing so would impede our growth on an individual and collective level. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen, however. One book I recently read (can't remember the title, but I'll try to find out) reported an experiment where a scientist sealed a box air-tight and placed recording instruments around it. I'm paraphrasing here, but he then recorded the energy levels in the box when nobody did anything to it, when he asked volunteers to focus on the energy with their thoughts, and when he invited any nearby spirits to do as they pleased with the energy levels when nobody else was around. The resulting readings on the third experiment were almost triple that of the first two, which suggests that scientific experiments between the two worlds can indeed happen, but are rare and seem to be only for individual growth, rather than enlightening the masses.

In the end, it seems that the world of spirit is only to be glimpsed and never seen in full, so as to keep it a mystery. The best we can hope for is the occasional glimpse or tease that encourages us to keep searching and growing.

Thanks for the excellent comments.

Just for the record, the baseball analogy isn't original with me. I adapted it from Gary Schwartz, who, as I recall, used basketball in his analogy.

Matt wrote, "I know it's all real because I do it myself." That's an interesting point. I would say, though, that if you are communicating with the spirits of people you knew personally, you can't be sure the information isn't' coming from your own subconscious. This is the advantage of going to a medium, who has no non-paranormal way of knowing about your loved ones (except for fraud, of course - always the big question mark).

I've done a lot of meditating where I visualize myself talking to a spirit guide, and I've gotten useful insights from these sessions. But I can't be sure who I'm really talking to - a spirit guide or a manifestation of a subpersonality in my own mind.

So while I recognize the value in such experiments, which are useful for personal growth, I wouldn't say they constitute scientific evidence.

Michael Tymn also did a good job using a Babe Ruth baseball analogy in his blog about Leonora Piper.

http://whitecrowbooks.com/michaeltymn/entry/debunking_babe_ruth_leonora_piper/

I am glad that you had a successful reading with Ms. O'Connor, Michael.

I tried her last year (in person), and she came off to me as a cold reader, and a rather poor one at that. I had come in needing to find out what Entity has so blessed my life, and what It wanted from me. I was wearing a tee-shirt that said "Raven Lunatic" on it; she, naturally, told me that my prime spirit guide was a Native American man whom I had known in a past life.

I have had numerous (and numinous!) wildlife encounters, many of them birds, over these past 3 years. If she was genuine, you'd think that she could have correctly named at least one of them, but I instead got a species which had figured in none of said encounters.

In the end the real issue was she couldn't properly read even the essence of how my life is now, the bare bones essentials, even if it was to disconfirm Who I strongly suspect is behind it all.

Yeah, as you intimate, I could go back and find out if she was just having a bad day, but I have better things to do with my time (as in trip to yet another round of daily miracles). I'll will say one good thing-when I told her that things weren't working, she refunded me her fee...

Michael wrote,

||I would say, though, that if you are communicating with the spirits of people you knew personally, you can't be sure the information isn't' coming from your own subconscious.||

Almost always it's been concerning people I didn't know at all. I have even had spirits want me to communicate on their behalf when I didn't even intend to serve as a medium in that case, and recently I had a spirit want to talk to a complete stranger (I did not have the nerve to go up to the shop clerk and tell her her deceased grandmother wanted to say she was OK; I probably should have...).

@Fred Bloggs: If you're interested in ideas akin to the simulation hypothesis, check out the Peer to Peer Theory by Arvan:

http://philosopherscocoon.typepad.com/blog/2014/03/a-new-theory-of-free-will-and-the-peer-to-peer-simulation-hypothesis.html

Michael it has some ideas in common with your information-universe take.

I've also come across a free copy on Eric Weiss's site for his book Long Trajectory:

http://www.ericweiss.com/papers/pdf/thelongtrajectory/eric_weiss_the_long_trajectory_pre_publication_version.pdf

I wonder if there's reconciliation with these two ways of looking at reality. I'd rather have Weiss' Transphysical worlds as I feel the Multiverse Interpretation is what Weiss' role model Whitehead would consider taking abstraction of equations and assuming realities.

IIRC the physicist Fred Alan Wolf, after exploring the varied shamanic traditions, suggested the Multiverse was science hinting at what Weiss calls Transphysical Worlds rather than infinite generation of infinite copies of a single universe.

Admittedly a lot of conjecture but I'd say these are ideas worth exploring.

Elessar wrote,

||I am glad that you had a successful reading with Ms. O'Connor, Michael.

I tried her last year (in person), and she came off to me as a cold reader, and a rather poor one at that.||

I think the problem is with someone setting him/herself up as a professional medium (or just a psychic in general). The fact of the matter is that you can't be on all the time, so the temptation is too great to "slide by" when one is not in the zone.

I think this can be seen with Jonathan Edward, and he can be observed on YouTube clips. Sometimes he gets big hits, often he is left fishing with only minor or zero hits. I think he is pretty typical.

There is no question that Paladino channeled gross physical phenomena like tables rising, curtains billowing, and much more. Researchers had hold of her arms and legs in broad daylight and saw the table rise right in front of them. But she was also caught cheating as well. I think it's the same type of thing.

I give free readings to friends and try not to put too much pressure on myself to deliver big hits. Sometimes the hits are amazing. Often they are small. Sometimes I'm just wrong.

" I had come in needing to find out what Entity has so blessed my life, and what It wanted from me."

Maybe the entity is an idea you created in your own head. So there was no such objective being to contact Georgia?

"I have had numerous (and numinous!) wildlife encounters, many of them birds, over these past 3 years."

More or less ditto.

""Raven Lunatic" on it; she, naturally, told me that my prime spirit guide was a Native American man whom I had known in a past life."

Are you trying to say that you imagine your spirit guide to be a raven and that Georgia should have understood this?

"In the end the real issue was she couldn't properly read even the essence of how my life is now, the bare bones essentials, even if it was to disconfirm Who I strongly suspect is behind it all."

Honestly this sounds a little paranoid; like you are perceiving something going on your life - perhaps you even think birds are providing omens - and that someone (or something) is pulling the strings of your life. You think this is an objective truth and you think that Georgia should have picked up on it all. Have you considered that nothing came through Georgia to confirm what you are conceiving because what you are conceiving might be off the mark?

Just saying; it is a possibility that we all must consider from time to time.

Here's an experiment showing information transferred from person to person. Cool.

http://www.washington.edu/news/2014/11/05/uw-study-shows-direct-brain-interface-between-humans/

Lyn x.

@Sciborg:

Thanks for the info. Much appreciated!

@no one...

Oh, that there is and has been Something VERY weird going on in my life cannot be denied at all at this point. That It has utterly healed me and changed my life, all for the better, simply is not in dispute. 33 years ago I was wracked by severe depression; all of that has now been completely blown out of me, and my life is now a literal waking dream of wonders. I could be here all day listing them all out...

The issue was that she utterly failed to confirm even that-and that was 90% of what I was looking for from such a person, along with what It wants from me. That she also failed to ID the Entity responsible was thus beside the point by that juncture (the raven tee shirt thing was just an example of what a bad cold reader would do-my totem bird is a different species in any event).

Now, if you wish to delve into any of that All is One/One is All philosophy (as in there are no spirit guides or guardian angels or such, just One Consciousness that we all on this earth create together, and we thus have to claim full responsibility for everything that happens to us), then I would be fine with that too. But like I said she came up a big fat zero.

Sleepers,

Thanks for the Sheldrake/Shermer link! I read a bunch and will continue to follow it.

Shermer is such a terrific old bore, quite often arguing beside the point with his tendentious platitudes. Sheldrake, on the other hand, is a cool guy. His last post about the "modular Shermer mind" was hilarious and on point!

I enjoyed Charles Tart's writing about fear of psi, linked to in Michael's post. It delved into a subject I had not thought very deeply about.

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_psycho20.htm

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