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Excellent post, Michael.

One of my current interests is the relationphip between the existence of an Etheric Body (or Astral or Spiritual Body or something like that) and the mind-body problem, from a philosophical perspective.

As expected, the etheric/astral body is not mentioned at all in the mind-body philosophical literature or discussions.

But I happen to believe that omitting it lead us to many misguided conclusions about the mind-body connection.

Even dualists (and I'm a dualist) could have a very misleading or shallow notion of the interaction of consciousness with the body, if the etheric body exist and it's relevant to that interaction.

Also, the idea that the etheric body is "solid" is contrary to the simplistic and traditional Cartesian view of a purely immaterial soul interacting with a material body/brain ----this problem of interaction is the preferred objection to dualism used by many materialists.

But if the etheric body exists, then it's false that a purely immaterial substance is acting (at least, directly) on the physical brain/body.

I've been thinking hard about it, but I have to admit I don't have clear answers yet. In some weeks, I'll post some provisional reflections and conclusions about it.

For now, I only have clear that a purely Cartesian classic view of dualism is simplistic and, possible, false in the light of some mediumship evidence.

However, in my opinion, it's argueable that some version of mind-body dualism is probably true, even if, metaphysically in a broader sense, some version of monism is finally correct.

Really great post. I agree with the internal logic to all of it, plus the consistency. All of it makes sense to describe the inconsistencies in the world of the supernatural.

Comparably we're not that far from a 'spiritual world' post WWII. Today we have mass communication across the world, and this has brought information and people together from all walks of life. Atrocities can no longer be hidden from the world.

But, I'm not entirely defending that 'prediction'. It still sounds very questionable.

In fact, I'd say that spirit communicators, if they are legitimate ones, should stop making predictions because they are most frequently wrong and will make them (and spiritual communication in general) look stupid.

I'm also curious about the conditions of his plane, if only 'undeveloped' souls outside of the "third plane" have astral bodies.

Am I really undeveloped if I want to hang out in my astral body for a weekend? Maybe it's just preference. This almost feels arrogant to me.

“This explains certain things; for instance, visions of Christ to the dying. Hundreds on the battlefields may see Him individually and spontaneously”

This may help to explain why so many people that have NDE’s are able to see what they believe is Christ. But I have noticed that many NDE’s either feel an overwhelming love or an entity that they cannot focus clearly on but projects out to them love and compassion so they believe it was Christ.

This may also help explain something I read many years ago where a great battle was fought I think in England and for years on that very same day and hour people would return and sit on a hillside and watch that battle played out again. Even those that were in the battle and lived through the battle got to watch themselves doing the same battle years later. Armed conflict where humans are trying to kill one another would be very emotional and do they leave thought forms and play out that battle over and over?

In the spirits book Kardec talks about a perispirit that allows a physical body to become animated. Could these thought forms have something to do with this perispirit? Also because Claude said it does not make it so but it is certainty something to think about.

“We might write a novel together too, and call it "The Growth of a
Soul," and trace its evolution through various incarnations. You and I
have been through many together (in different connections,
relationships, and sexes); that's why we are so particularly in affinity
with one another.”

If we give Claude credit for understanding the difference between an astral body and a thought form do we also give Claude credit for the accuracy of the above statement?

In the Estelle Roberts book her spiritual guide also missed the prediction for World War II and predicted there would be no war.

“I am told by friends here, that souls are sometimes reborn,
reincarnated, in order to gain further experience, learn more lifelessons,
or work out past sins and failings. Each earth life leaves its
mark on character, and its lessons are for ever imprinted on the
subconscious mind, which registers everything that has ever
happened to the soul from the beginning. This, they say, explains
much of the pain and trouble you see on earth. The sufferers are
learning lessons Which are necessary for their souls' growth,”

This is close to what Art is saying with the exception of the reincarnation part.

“When you begin to think seriously about the subject and look and
study the people about you, you will be able to recognize that some
people are old souls and others new.”

This appears to be so but as yet I have not met a person that claimed to be a new soul. It appears that the human ego loves to think it is an old soul. I.e. status thing.

I personally have found Claude’s book an interesting read. Maybe it was interesting for me because his book does support many of my beliefs at this time with the exception of thought forms and astral bodies which I know little about.

"In the Estelle Roberts book her spiritual guide also missed the prediction for World War II and predicted there would be no war."

Since spirit guides often preach extreme positive thinking, I fear they often fall into the excess of wishful thinking.

I.e. they're so busy focusing on a positive thought that they fail to see the possibility that it won't come true.

Since spirit guides often preach extreme positive thinking, I fear they often fall into the excess of wishful thinking. - dagezhu
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Or it didn't come from spirit guide Claude at all but instead straight from the mind of Gladys Osborne Leonard. It doesn't have to be "it's either all true or it's all lies." Like everything else in life, some of it's true and some of it's pure and utter made up balogna. People interpret this spiritual stuff in light of the culture in which they were raised and it gets embellished with our own personal ideas. The same thing is true for near death experiences and death bed visions. People who sit around the bedside of hospice patients watch what is going on and then go away and try and make sense out of what they just witnessed. They interpret it in light of what they all ready believe. We probably all do that.

I found the intense Christian imagery and references to the Bible most irritating. Prejudice I know. It is an interesting read though.

“I found the intense Christian imagery and references to the Bible most irritating. Prejudice I know. It is an interesting read though.”

Me to. All kinds of red flags came up as I read these Christian references. But I think we take our cherished beliefs with us and they stay with us for a very long time. I suspect that much variation exists in how long these beliefs stay as our cherished beliefs.

Although not all the communications from Claude agreed with traditional Christian beliefs. Like reincarnation, thought forms, astral planes, soul evolution, etc.

Or Gladys Osborne Leonard lived in a Christian culture and was thusly influenced in her thinking and was trying to make sense of it all. Perhaps it was part Gladys Osborne Leonard mixed together with information from the other side. Like when a tuna fishing boat goes out in the ocean and casts a giant net it scoops up some tuna and some dolphins and some sea turtles and then when the guys on the deck of the boat pull it in they have to sort out what they can keep from what they can't. Everything but the tuna are cast overboard. It doesn't have to be "it's either all true or it's all lies!" Some of it can be true and some of it can be made up hooey.

Interesting analogy Art - what have you been smoking? :)

When I was about 19 years old I heard a preacher say, while he was holding up a copy of the Bible, "it's either all true or it's all lies!" I didn't think much about it then but the quote stuck with me - and after thinking about I asked myself "why?" Why does it have to be either all truth or all lies? Why can't it be some of both? When I was teaching 9th grade Physical Science I found three mistakes in the Physical Science textbook that were just wrong. I have a feeling that the New Testament is an out of sequence, highly embellished, culturally influenced, near death experience book. Some little Jewish rabbi in the first century had a near death experience and came back and talked and taught about what he had seen and experienced and as the story grew the sequence of events were changed around and other stories were added to it and by the time it got to us it's barely recognizable for what it is, a typical near death experience story. Some of it's true and some of it's made up hooey.

“Some little Jewish rabbi in the first century had a near death experience and came back and talked and taught about what he had seen and experienced and as the story grew the sequence of events were changed around and other stories were added to it and by the time it got to us it's barely recognizable for what it is, a typical near death experience story”

Art the story grows even to the point of the New Testament being a NDE of a Jewish rabbi. The human mind (mine included) is a fascinating phenomena; it can convince itself of some pretty interesting “facts” that it knows for sure are facts in spite of the evidence.

As I have stated on this blog before probably many times when I started my research and wondering deeply what might be the most troublesome aspect my own human mind that would bias the data coming from my research into life after death, the meaning of life, and the purpose of life. After all I had come to see even as a child that religious beliefs could be loaded with dogma for many purposes. I.e. fear, control, wishful thinking, absence of logic, conditioned beliefs, need for power, misguided desires, etc.

I actually came up with two possible aspects that may altar and lead me down a long lonely road. One was “wishful thinking” in trying to find and accept only that information that appealed to me. That happened when I bought into Newton’s approach to hypnosis and his life between lives books. I really liked what his patients had to say during their hypnosis sessions about life after death, which I believe, is one of our biggest fears as a human that most will not admit to.

It was personally mentality painful to come to realize Newton’s work was not the compete truth. I had spent many years in my research looking for that complete truth. My research has revealed to me good luck on that part of my wishful thinking. The journey into life after death, meaning of life, and purpose of life is not for the faint of heart but oh so challenging and often rewarding.

Also my having an advanced degree I felt would be troublesome as I had taught many PhD’s and had experienced that tunnel vision from most first hand. The business of paradigm video viewed many times and conducting many seminars that challenged the accepted paradigm of how to manage an organization (which the big three auto’s never got; i.e. still results only oriented) had brought it home to me how paradigms can have a profound effect on our view of the world, which of course will influence our research greatly.

My point coming face to face with our cherished beliefs, wishful thinking, the paradigm effect, etc, is a mentality painful experience. Maybe that is why when they asked the Buddha what was different about him than others and he answered something to the effect I am awake.

I believe that GM, Chrysler, and Ford have not awaken to the reality of what it will take at an organizational level to compete with a Toyota, Honda, or Hyundai to remain competitive. But they don’t have to awaken as the taxpayers (ok the Chinese, kind of) just spent 65 billion to keep them asleep in their cherished paradigms. But I digress. I believe I may have the answer to facilitate that awaking but so far the Obama administration has not called.

Keep the analogies coming Art as one day with further research you might say to yourself how could I have believed that was fact and put all of my eggs in one basket. I put my eggs (not hard boiled) into one basket with Newton’s books and one day a giant hole developed in that basket and most of the eggs came tumbling down and broke. It was a big disappointment but one a person must take if serious about their research. Well not all the eggs broke as much of Newton’s work does cross validate well with other aspects of my research. The previous paragraph was My idea of an analogy.

Interesting point, Art. There is no real means of checking the historical veracity of the biblical texts.

In older times, we know that the many books written about the Bible as history were inspired from a fundamentalist motivation to confirm the religious "rightness" of Western Civilization. In the present time, there is less of this factor involved in Biblical Historical studies. Nevertheless, there is STILL a tendency to treat these sources at "face value" by folks who ought to know better.

The medieval Jewish commentator, Rashi, said, in effect, that the Genesis narrative was written to justify what we now call genocide! The God of Israel, who gave his people the "promised land," had to be unequivocally supreme so that no one, not even the dispossessed, could appeal against his decrees. [See Isserlin, B.S.J., The Israelites, Thames and Hudson, London, 1998]

In Umberto Eco's “The Search for The Perfect Language”, the idea is suggested, though subtly, that the development of the Hebrew Bible, even if there were some ancient texts involved, (though not nearly as ancient as most believers suppose) was primarily a "promotion" to validate Judaism. This validation was necessary in order to then "validate" Christianity as the "one true religion." In other words, the "rights" of the Jews, the unappealable decrees of Jehovah/Yahweh, could be "inherited" by the Christian Church as instituted for political reasons by Constantine.

And, again, during this period, we have the dark ages where very little secondary sources survived.

So, what we observe is a basically Draconian, monotheistic system in place over most of the globe. It is the well from which much in our society, our mores, ethics, judgments etc... is drawn. It has been the justification for some of the greatest series of bloodbaths in "recorded" history.

These days, Dan Brown etc perform amazing feats of cerebral gymnastics with this material focusing on: bloodlines.

This "history" was integral to "bloodline" from Jesus back to Adam, and Adam, of course, was created by God. So, a concomitant element of the bloodline is AUTHORITY. DOMINATION.

If you feed the biblical genealogies into a genealogy program, they break off just when they ought not, and continue only when it is "politic" to "create" a link. Not only that, but the numbers involved don't make sense in genealogical terms.

Maybe the "long history of the Jews" was not, in fact, a fact. In all the sources I have studied, there are virtually NO references to Israel, its founders or associates prior to the twelfth century B.C....from that point, and for 400 years, only a FEW allusions can be derived. Half a dozen or so. But, the Bible has this LONG history of doings and folks doing this and that.

When you study the Biblical references themselves, you find an absence of detail about the surrounding countries, including Egypt, that were dominant during the 2nd millennium - so dominant, in fact, that it would have been only a deliberate act at the time to NOT talk about it - or the result of somebody writing the stuff much later when Egypt was, in fact, essentially no longer a power to contend with.

Then, there are all the anomalies of the "scriptures" that reveal a real ignorance, not just silence. I'm sure all of you are familiar with these lists of contraditions, places "out of time," and all that. Then, there are the peculiar duplications of stories. You are probably also familiar with that... you know, Abram and Sarai with the "she's my sister, don't kill me" routine. Then, the same story is told with Isaac and Rebekah in the starring roles. Most peculiar. The dates that are claimed don't add up... the genealogies don't make sense, the ignorance of the milieu of the time, the lack of many things that ought to be there, and the presence of things that ought not to be there

What does this data tell us? It suggests a hypothesis that somebody made up a history out of various stories that were known and common to an amalgamated group, but MAY have all occurred within a much shorter period of time.

“The medieval Jewish commentator, Rashi, said, in effect, that the Genesis narrative was written to justify what we now call genocide! The God of Israel, who gave his people the "promised land," had to be unequivocally supreme so that no one, not even the dispossessed, could appeal against his decrees”

Very good point one would think that a population that lives on such promised land would have future problems and believing that you are God’s chosen people may have some karmic problems all their own. I am sure I will be accused of all kinds of things for making such statements but my point is all nations and individuals live under such karmic law. I suspect Jesus was on track when he may have stated “what we sow we reap”. How else could a soul evolve without such a spiritual or universal law?

It is now my belief that karmic law is based in spiritual love and compassion not punishment. It often looks and feels like punishment, as often there is much mental and maybe even physical suffering associated with it.

In other words, the "rights" of the Jews, the unappealable decrees of Jehovah/Yahweh, could be "inherited" by the Christian Church as instituted for political reasons by Constantine.”

Good point. Explains a lot why Christians believe in the Old Testament as fact the way they do. As Art as stated many time some preachers hold up the Christian bible and proclaim every word in this book is truth. I understand the need to make that statement as I found myself early in my research looking for absolutes and the one truth only to discover I must deal in probabilities like my consulting experience had taught me.

It always bothered me as a child that a God could give permission for one tribe of people to kill every man, woman, and child in another tribe for their land. I may have had too much spare time to think about such things as a child. To give my father credit he tried hard, very hard to keep my brother and I busy every minute on that dairy farm.

It took me a long time to realize what I had learned in my consulting experiences about probabilities and variation was applicable to my spiritual search. I now believe that universal truths or spirituals truths that we may have little knowledge of apply to all aspects of life even corporations, nations, and of course individuals.

Explains a lot why Christians believe in the Old Testament as fact the way they do. As Art as stated many time some preachers hold up the Christian bible and proclaim every word in this book is truth. - William
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**Disclaimer** I guess I should correct myself and state that not all Christians are literalist in interpreting the bible. In fact there are some enlightened groups of Christians that lean toward the somewhat liberal side and still claim to be christians such as Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc. I grew up in a Lutheran church that was actually quite liberal and enlightened.

"I grew up in a Lutheran church that was actually quite liberal and enlightened."

This seems to be a way of saying that they interpret the texts in any old way they see fit. Fair enough. But then -why bother with the texts at all?

This seems to be a way of saying that they interpret the texts in any old way they see fit. Fair enough. But then -why bother with the texts at all?
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You have to use your noggin! It's interesting to me because when I've read the New Testament I've been very surprised with the number of verses that seem to have a "holographic" flavor about them and how some verses seem to be very "near death experience" like. These are the verses that I find most intersting. Some of it is obvious colored or influenced by the culture of the time; and to me they seem almost contradictory to what I've read in some NDE's, like those verses that say a woman should be silent in the church, or the ones about sexual immorality. I've read a number of NDE's that seem to indicate that the Creator of the Universe could care less whether we are male or female or gay or straight. Our sexual preferences just don't seem to enter into what one might experience in the Spiritual Universe. So I ignore those verses entirely.

“**Disclaimer** I guess I should correct myself and state that not all Christians are literalist in interpreting the bible”

Communication with words and written symbols often leads to miscommunication. Here is an example of this phenomenon in action.

“As Art as stated many time some preachers hold up the Christian bible and proclaim every word in this book is truth. – William”

I purposely used the word “some” not all preachers as I myself have heard some but not all preachers hold up a bible and call it a book of truth; even the teachings to them that those that work on the Sabbath should be put to death. Or God giving one tribe permission to kill every man woman and child in another tribe.

We humans are an interesting species created in innocence for often if not most of the time we know not what we do. Cherry picking information is often part of that we know not what we do hidden from our conscious thoughts and subconsciously supports our cherished and most often comfortable beliefs.

Two extreme examples of this cherry picking information are the atheists who are also ultra skeptics and the fundamentalist religious folks but we all do it to some degree, as we were not created perfect but imperfect. I.e. the involution process.

My view at this time is that this infinite life force most call God expresses itself though our imperfections.

“with the number of verses that seem to have a "holographic" flavor about them and how some verses seem to be very "near death experience" like. These are the verses that I find most interesting”

Art why would you find these verses most interesting? How about the one that states something to the effect my father’s house has many mansions or the one about the camel walking through the eye of the needle and the rich man. Or the one about John the Baptist in a previous life?

We all cherry pick information Art that is the nature of an imperfect mind and who among us can claim a perfect mind.

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