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Michael,
You write so well and bring such a balanced perspective that, IMO, any topic that interests you and that you elect to write about, would become interesting to your readers. With expanded subject matter you would, no doubt, attract new readers. Fresh blood is often a good thing.

As for the paranormal, I am as played out as you are. I imagine that if any new important evidence surfaced, you'd write about it and the discussion would be more interesting due to the contributions of your new readers. The hard core here have batted about ideas and theories regarding the paranormal for so many years now, that exchanges are repetitious.

As for politics, that's everywhere now. I recommend that you simply ban coverage of it in the comments *unless you really want to have at it*.

Thanks for all of your fine posts and your patience with your fans; especially me.

If you decide to shut down please don't delete everything. The paranormal posts here really help with my anxiety and I'm sure they help other people too.

On that topic, anyone have recs for anywhere with similar stuff? It's hard to filter out good stuff from angry sceptics and the really-woo-woo everything-is-paranormal ones.

Your blog has been a good source for paranormal sites and books that I otherwise might not have known about had I not seen them on your blog? Other posters have shared links to sites that I have found interesting and I have actually bought books from Amazon because I read about them on your blog.

The truth is I don't really surf the web near as much as I used to, and there are a few sites that I find interesting and check every day, or at least every few days. I would really miss your blog if you shut it down.

Perhaps you can invite some of your readers to "share" some of their ideas on your blog, if for no other reason than to keep it active so we have a place to come and look for stuff we might be interested in? New books and new links about life after death especially!

And as far as knowing who Shakespeare might have been? I must admit that I know more about him now - since reading some of your blogs - than I ever knew before. I had no idea that William Shakespeare was anyone other than William Shakespeare? So your blog is very educational!

I have followed your blog for many years (since 2007) and would be very sad to see it stop/go away. I'm obviously mainly here for the paranormal stuff but I have also read your posts about the Shakespeare authorship with interest and find some of the other topics you mention interesting as well (but not american politics :)). So I hope very much you opt for the elastic approach and keep the blog alive.

I don't personally believe that the spirals towards politics are indicative of the fact that this is what people really want to talk about, or that the original subject of the thread was not of interest. What you have to understand is that feelings are running very high at the moment. Trump has sharply polarised people both over here in the UK and obviously in America as well. We have the dichotomy that on the one hand Trump's presidency is so significant that it seems important to discuss, but on the other hand seems pointless to debate because virtually everyone has deeply entrenched positions which are very unlikely to change no matter what. A classic case of an impasse. The problem is it only takes one initial comment to veer slightly towards the subject of Trump and off we go.

Speaking personally I am interested in spirituality/metaphysics. But that is just me, and I have missed most of the discussions on this blog about that subject. Others who have been engaged in such discussions for some time might want to talk about something else, I don' t know. But the bottom line is that no matter what the initial topic is about, with emotions running as high as they are (on both sides of the debate) there will always be a danger of veering towards the subject of Trump. I'm not sure there is much you can do about that unless you want to get into some serious censorship (which personally I don't think is the way to handle it).

As an addendum to my previous post I think interesting discussions could be generated based on topics such as psychology, sociology, cosmology, theoretical physics (a lot of recent discoveries and their implications to talk about), biology (particularly evolution), technology, medical science, space travel, law and order, ethics, significant legal cases. (I would include climate change but we will just get onto the subject of Trump again).

Personally, I wouldn't mind another whole discussion on Nanci Danison again. She has written a whole load of new books since the previous threads on her. She brings up MANY interesting points of contention. Would make a great debate, and I don't see how it could easily veer towards the subject of Trump.

As an addendum to my addendum, I missed out philosophy! Wittgenstein for instance would make a phenomenally good talking point! Language and logic, syntax and semantics, etc. are all fascinating talking points. Education is another one. Should education be focused on subjects which potentially help the economy or should it be more broad-based and focus on things which might not be critically relevant but enrich human life. (I don't know whether such a debate is as pertinent in America as Britain however).

Hi Michael

I understand fully why you now feel as you do. This has been/still is a wonderful forum for discussing the paranormal both seriously and undogmatically. Everything evolves, however, and I appreciate you may feel this has reached the point where you are now just repeating yourself – or, worse, feeling obliged to keep regularly repeating yourself for the sake of those who follow this blog. This is your blog, and if your inclinations are to develop it into something more eclectic then that is what you should do.

Without in any way cutting across that spirit I would, if I may however, make the following suggestions:

1. The paranormal (for me at least) is something that sits within a (much?) larger spiritual/philosophical/religious picture. By posting on other subjects that fit within that broader picture (e.g. the history of Christianity as you flag up), then this will help the blog maintain, at least to a degree, a unifying theme.

2. I agree that politics – or at least conflating political with spiritual/religious issues – is to be avoided (perhaps by some House Rules?). Those who might share at least a broadly similar common outlook on spiritual/religious issues are simply not necessarily so similarly united when it comes to politics. All you get, therefore, are people posting past one another – or worse!

I hope this is helpful.

Simon

"New books and new links about life after death especially!" - Art

Speaking of books, has anyone here looked at Leslie Kean's new book, 'Surviving Death; a Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife'?

I managed to find a copy at discount price on ebay, but, so far, have only glanced at it. Going to take a break from left-handed typing and read some of it this afternoon. :)

Michael,
I have enjoyed reading your blog over several years and appreciate the time and effort you have put into it. I think you might want to keep doing what you have been doing which is to write about different topics but from a somewhat 'paranormal' or spiritual perspective when possible. I have enjoyed your discussions about reality as a hologram, quantum mechanics, Flatland, reality as information and many other esoteric topics about which I knew little or nothing. Because of your efforts I have expanded my knowledge base. Your interest in Shakespeare has piqued my interest in Shakespeare too---and in writing. By commenting on your blog I like to think that the writing effort helps to keep my mental faculties from deteriorating into senility. I also appreciate your book reviews and recommendations. I enjoy opening up your blog in the morning and reading something which is not available on the mainstream news outlets. And the comments, for the most part are, to say the least, stimulating. Generally I think that you have a very even-handed approach to whatever the topic may be. - AOD

Hi Michael
I've really appreciated this blog and have learned from the posts. Your own posts are invariably well thought-out and useful. Although I read most of the posts, I try not to commen unless I have something to add. I'd be sorry if it disappeared even if it isn't busy but I realise these things aren't cost free.

You might want to consider encouraging more guest posts or guest-raised topics or questions?
Whatever you decide- thank you.

Insofar as your own writing goes, I think you should take Joseph Campbell’s advice and “follow your bliss.” The tagline of your blog “Occasional thoughts on matters of life and death” grants you the lattitude to write about whatever strikes your fancy.

It’s kind of you to cater to the interest of your readers, but you should give voice to whatever speaks to you now. At the same time, you have hosted the thoughts of guest contributors from time to time on topics that are of presumed interest to the bulk of your readership. So, those themes can be pursued here without your need to constantly “poke the beast” so to speak.

I hope you’re not too discouraged by the downturn in the current comment thread. As a witness outside the ferment, it has been an instructive passion play manifesting the themes of evil and suffering explored in your posting. It’s not necessarily a bad thing when a conversation goes off the rails, if you can learn something from it. It is only when we fail and founder in our foibles, that the old terrorizing spirit, that turns good people wayward, wins.

Your blog is one of the few (four-five) that I check into regularly, basically every day, and this has been the case since 2012, I think. I originally came here for the paranormal issues - I agree with chel and others, it shows very well that one can be knowledgeable and discuss the field without either ridiculing or being ridiculous. I would miss it very much if you were to stop. It's understandable that you would want to consider new topics as some "wear out" for different reasons, so please do. But please stay away from political topics, the ensuing discussions have been so disheartening.

Thanks very much for all the comments so far. I'm definitely open to guest posts and have asked for them more than once, but so far I've gotten few takers. I appreciate any opportunity to update the blog without having to write the post myself!

As I have often said, quoting Krusty the Klown on The Simpsons, "I am a lazy, lazy man." This is not a joke.

Oh, BTW, whatever happens, I will continue to keep all archived posts and comments threads online, as long as TypePad allows it.

I agree with David. Follow your own bliss where ever that takes you. The subjects you mention of interest, I would find interesting too, and its your blog after all. Lyn x.

Okay, I can't buy them all! I went to amazon and read about Leslie Keane's book Surviving Death and it looked like something I would read? However I still haven't bought Lauren Bellg's book Near Death in the ICU and read it. I did buy The Self Does Not Die by Titas Rivas and kept and read it and enjoyed it and was thinking that my next purchase was going to be Lauren Bellg's book?

There has to be limits. I can't spend all my money on life after death books. To be honest I don't seem to ever get tired of reading stories about death bed visions and find them endlessly comforting and uplifting. Even more than NDEs. Death Bed Visions just sound like something that loving Creator might allow or something that might really happen if life after death were real?

It's your blog Michael and you should take it wherever you please. I'm sure you will never lose readership volume, but the composition of it will change depending on the material engaged.

Myself, I've always enjoyed reading what you had to say on things paranormal. It was a nice respite from everyday news when I peered with you into the unknown.

Whatever you decide to do, I'm grateful for the time and effort you have put into your blog. I'll always be looking in on what you have to say,especially when you write on the paranormal.

I would go on treating the empirical evidence about an afterlife and its interpretations. I do not understand how you can bore that, if it is something transcendental for every living being. In films that do not deal with afterlife, for example, if death is mentioned, it is usually taken as fact that it is the definitive destruction, but I can not stand that with the phenomena that there are like NDEs and apparitions. And I still think that most skeptics do not accept the evidence about afterlife because the evidence does not meet the scientific standards.

About politics, I'm not interested and you also have to think about readers who are not from the USA or England.

Another thing: I would also put more emphasis on answering skeptical arguments, the evidence- interpretation duality and arguing in favor of the afterlife hypothesis of the phenomena.

I would be more than happy to make guest posts from time to time. I have some excellent ideas for topics to talk about. However, before investing time in this I would need to be certain this blog is actually going to continue.

Just to reiterate, my personal preference is a blog with an emphasis on spirituality/ metaphysics, but which also covers other topics from time to time.

I'd like an in-depth discussion and group evaluation of the direct voice medium, Leslie Flint. Up until recently, I wasn't very impressed with the few recordings I heard from his sittings.

But having had the time to listen to more of them recently on YouTube, I can now say that I'm very impressed indeed.

Anyone up for this? :)

Hey Michael! I haven't been posting much recently, but I'm still here daily. Though I don't care much for the political back-and-forth (it tends to devolve into the mean-spirited), I continue to enjoy your musings on spirituality and the paranormal, and I hope you keep on doing what you do so well!

In general from what I've seen there seems to be a slowing across not just paranormal sites/blogs but also those philosophy sites examining the nature of consciousness.

The last big scientific discovery was probably the predicted quantum level activity in microtubules, validating (but not proving) the controversial (according to materialist fundies) Orch-OR theory.

That said having enjoyed your work in the past about spirits interacting with our civilizations across time I'd be curious to see what you think about the work of someone like Gordon White, author of Star.Ships, who runs the Rune Soup blog. He's got some ideas on how the spirits we share this world with have influenced history.

Mark Green said:

"I would be more than happy to make guest posts from time to time."

And here I thought you've already been doing that!

Sorry. :)

Actually, I've been enjoying much of what you have to say, Mark. Though you do tend to get a bit professorial. But that only bothers me because I do the same.

Anyway, I would indeed enjoying reading your guest post. As long as it's not on relativity, or some such technical subject.

Mark, I meant to add this to your report card: anyone who gets Eric as mad as you do, can't be all bad.

"I'd like an in-depth discussion and group evaluation of the direct voice medium, Leslie Flint. Up until recently, I wasn't very impressed with the few recordings I heard from his sittings. But having had the time to listen to more of them recently on YouTube, I can now say that I'm very impressed indeed."

Interesting. I know very little about Flint; I've heard one or two of his recordings, but couldn't make much of them. Maybe I'll mosey over to YouTube and listen more seriously.

At the very least, it would give me the chance to write a post with the title "In Like Flint."

"I do not understand how you can bore that, if it is something transcendental for every living being."

I think if you read and write about something on a regular basis for 20 years, it will almost inevitably get boring. Sometimes taking a break can revive your interest, though.

I know this sounds absurd, but the recordings of Chopin and Dickens I found quite fascinating. There are, of course, many others and I'm trying to get through the them all before the plaster comes off my arm (because after that I've no excuse for sitting around listening to them).

There are others in which the male voices sound rather alike. It's said that this is because of the primitive ectoplasmic voice box. Then there's the little boy who keeps sniffing loudly. That one makes my antennae twitch a bit. Even so, I get the distinct feeling that there's something genuine here and that to dismiss it because of peripheral details would be to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Just as in the Scole experiments there's mention of intelligently directed spirit lights, In one of his recordings, Chopin, talks about being enveloped in bright colours after he died, but that the colours then merged into a remarkable and indescribable blue colour. I have experienced both those phenomena and therefore know they are objective. Here, below, is the link to the relevant sitting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeykBkcmWKY

Ps. Mickey puts my teeth on edge a bit. But every now and then he says something interesting that suggests there's a brain lurking somewhere within him.

I find the more sittings I listen to, the more curious it all seems. :/

I'm up for getting "In like Flint". Direct voice mediumship is a fascinating field. I very much enjoyed R. Nigel Heagerty's "The French Revelation" Which is a condensation of the writings of Edward C.Randall, who sat with direct voice medium Emily S. French for over 700 sittings, spanning two decades.

On another note related to the prior posting "A World of Hurt", I saw a minute and a half video on YouTube today from film recorded during the dark days of WWII. It shows how one daring band of Brits faced down Hitler and his henchmen. I'm sure it will Spike your interest.

@julie
Flint is a particular interest of mine. Zerdini (sadly passed away) who often posted here, knew him very well personally and attended probably more than two hundred sittings with him. I'd also recommend his biography "Voices in the Dark" if you haven't read it.

"On another note related to the prior posting "A World of Hurt", I saw a minute and a half video on YouTube today from film recorded during the dark days of WWII. It shows how one daring band of Brits faced down Hitler and his henchmen. I'm sure it will Spike your interest." - David

The Germans must have been quaking beneath their Stahlhelme when they saw that!

Michael, please don't go!

I, like others here, check in most days, even if I don't always post.

I agree with broadening the range of topics. You can always maintain a particular flavour in that should topics contain reference to spiritual matters you can highlight them in ways that would otherwise be ignored or minimised by other reviewers/writers - this would be a worthwhile service!

This blog has been a wealth of information and inspiration and a brick in the wall holding back the tide of materialism which swamps everything else. It would be a shame if it vanished.

Also, you never know what developments are around the corner. Physical mediumship, quantum research and consciousness studies are just three areas which I think are showing signs of recent movement if you dig around. It would be a shame if this blog was no longer around to cover these developments.

Regarding the Flint material, I know people can have a problem with the odd sounding voices, which it is assumed comes from the merging of flint's vocal characteristics with the spirit's in some kind of symbiotic, ectoplasm voicebox arrangement (yeah, I know how convoluted that sounds).

However, how the voices sound is really secondary to the quality of the evidential material produced for the benefit of sitters. The quality of the information is indisputable. In fact, Flint's sessions have provided some of the most evidential material for sitters that any medium has ever produced, and to date, no serious evidence of fraud has ever arisen.

Zerdini, who used to comment here, was a great proponent of Flint, and I would agree with him.

When people complain about the voices, they are missing the wood for the trees. It's the quality of the evidential information that matters, not the carrier.

Regards,

Douglas


I hate to start without you, Michael, but I think the following recording is of great significance in terms of understanding the relationship between this and the next level of consciousness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esCI52AxAGs

"Flint is a particular interest of mine. Zerdini (sadly passed away) who often posted here, knew him very well personally and attended probably more than two hundred sittings with him. I'd also recommend his biography "Voices in the Dark" if you haven't read it."

That's absolutely fantastic, Paul! I would love to hear everything you have to say on the subject. (And I'll get a copy of the book this very day.) Thank you. :)

Sorry mates. The comedic commandos that I previously referred to were Yanks, not Brits. I got me Jones's and Milligans mixed up.

I was not aware that Zerdini has passed away. His blog still exist (http://zerdinisworld.com/), the last post is dated 13 January 2016. Paul, when exactly he passed away?

Michael, I add my voice to the others about keeping the blog up and going; like them, I also check on it daily to see if there are new posts, as I find your perspective on everything paranormal to be one of the most level-headed and reasonable of all the sites I visit (you also have the honor of being the only politically conservative writer I follow).

With regards to content, I would recommend focusing on what you enjoy writing about. All too often, notable personalities on Youtube, blogs, and whathave you, end up being stuck doing what their viewers want, instead of what makes them happy, and feel trapped as a result. Readers will be able to tell when you're pouring your soul into something that moves you. Though, if I may, the occasional spirit-based post would be appreciated!

Hi Michael. I first encountered your blog ten years ago or so, and was struck by the clarity of thinking and nuanced approach to psi. It has informed my thinking (and countless others, dare I say) enormously, so thank you. My preference is to stick with the psi theme, but maybe entertain more experimental parapsychological postings? From my perspective, this is the area that is becoming hot again. If it's not your bag, then I completely understand.

@Julie you're most welcome :). I don't want to abuse Michael's hospitality so I'm more than happy for him to let you have my email if I can be of any help. Happy to chat about him here too if that's acceptable.

@vitor - George passed away on 22 November last year sadly. There is a note on the website. http://zerdinisworld.com/?page_id=2

@douglas - I agree re Flint.

Like Vitor, I'm surprised and saddened to learn that Zerdini passed on. He was highly knowledgeable and always had something interesting and important to contribute to the conversation.

It's fine with me, Paul, if you'd like to reminisce about him on this thread.

I too am sorry to hear that Zerdini has left this world. RIP.

...

This blog is great. Follow your passion, say I. Do you remember your last post, Michael, when you were feeling similar things about the blog? It was a year or two back.

It's totally understandable. Everything arcs up and plateaus--yang then yin. Talk about some other things, have some guest posts, and eventually you'll have more to talk about with respect to the Afterlife, psi, and related topics.

Personally I don't mind the political discussions here, even when they are tangents from other topics. This is a pretty civilized group of commenters, and the diversity of opinions is a good thing IMHO. Eric and I have been over this on Facebook as well, but I think it's a good thing to choose what kind of sand gets in one's oyster, so to speak. The pearl that comes from such conflict isn't just greater understanding; it's also a matter of curating what kind of conflict is in one's life, as there will always be some.

Heck, Michael, post about your stop-motion models and armatures and fun stuff too. Just let it all hang out!

I would say just write about whatever, your house and all. Maybe you could do that alien research project Keith Augustine recommended in 2010 so you can properly research NDEs ;)

"Do you remember your last post, Michael, when you were feeling similar things about the blog? It was a year or two back."

Yes. My feelings never actually changed. I've kept up with the blog because a lot of people seemed to want it to continue. At this point I feel I've learned enough about psi and the afterlife, and my remaining questions are unlikely to be answered in this lifetime.

I also feel that anything I post on the subject is likely to cover old ground, although I admit that direct voice mediumship is something I haven't looked into very much. (I did read that book about Emily French, "The French Revelation" - an interesting read, but it requires us to accept century-old eyewitness accounts of phenomena that took place under less than ideal conditions.)

"I haven't looked into very much. (I did read that book about Emily French, "The French Revelation" - an interesting read, but it requires us to accept century-old eyewitness accounts of phenomena that took place under less than ideal conditions.)"

So, what about Leslie Flint? Here, below, is the latest recorded sitting I've listened to. I don't tend to judge these matters by scientific protocols. Rather, I use my intuition. This last recording astonished me because many of the things 'Mickey' says had already occurred to me long ago. I find that endlessly reassuring, in exactly the same way as reading reports from others about psychic phenomena that I've personally experienced:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh_75sgQh2s&t=1078s

And in this sitting we are exposed to a great dollop of common sense. But since common sense isn't nearly as common as generally imagined:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WxoUikYFPI&t=895s

I won't post any more links, as I feel that anyone genuinely interested in this material will pursue it for them self. But I find it all fascinating in its down-to-earth simplicity. :)

Ps. And for those sceptics who claim the voice sounds nothing like Gandhi, I beg to differ:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46wWs2Yth0o

Hey Michael

Please do not stop your blog. Why? Because yours is, in my view at least, one of the very best. For one thing, knowledgeable people are posting here. So much better than the rubbish that one can find elsewhere, when it comes to matters of the paranormal and the afterlife.

So please, continue! Don't drop it. Okay, there is no need to come up with a new topic every week or so.

But, of course, it is up to you what you decide, and every one here will respect your decision..

Best regards
Smithy

Just to say hello, mainly.

I'd suggest the possibility of opening another blog that would be very closely linked to this one. Namely:
> also on typepad.com
> with the _same_ page design
> with a link to this blog somewhere at the top of the page, along with a short explanation somewhere

I think most of us are emotionally tied to this blog. To continue on it is basically harmless. And personally, I tend to be conservative, I avoid changes if I can help it. At the same time, to continue on the very same blog might be less than the most optimal choice. Visitors that come exclusively for the currently prevailing topics (and this blog is pretty much the par excellence online source on them) might feel dismayed by the new entries dominating the front page.

Take in account your intuition, Michael, and best wishes.

I would be most interested in discussing with you the issues surrounding Lesley Flint, Paul, if you so choose and would be more than happy for Michael to forward my email address. I'm also on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/julie.baxter.50

The following is one of several links where the Flint phenomenon is discussed. While I have great difficulty in accepting that all is as it seems, I also cannot deny what I feel intuitively about this phenomenon. Can all these people be fools and or liars? One can only imagine the prejudice Flint must have had to face. What a curse such an ability must have seemed at times. And how brave those distinguished people were who investigated and reported positively of their findings:

http://adcguides.com/validity2.htm

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