Blog powered by Typepad

« | Main | Backwards and forwards »


MP wrote:
If I had to jettison one batch of afterlife accounts, I would choose the material obtained through hypnosis. Hypnotized subjects are notorious for their tendency to confabulate–in other words to invent fictional accounts–in order to satisfy the explicit or implicit demands of the hypnotist.

I agree that it would indeed be wise to do so.

Your caveat in your last sentence sums it all up very neatly.

You may be completely wrong but on the other hand you could be right in certain aspects.

I think you're on to something important here, Michael. Seth says something like: "There are no closed systems."

In other words, as I talk about my personal destiny, it's impossible to define what I or my soul is, without referring to the larger entities from which I emerge: my oversoul, and then perhaps whatever larger group oversouls belong to . . . all the way back to God.

And I think your insight is a good one: different sources (NDErs, afterlife communicators, etc.) emphasize different aspects or levels. And what seem like contradictions really aren't when we consider the perspective from which they're speaking.

But that's true about life in general, isn't it? Thinking about political or religious differences, for example, how can I possibly comprehend what someone is trying to tell me without understanding their background or environment--in other words, without knowing what ASPECT of life or the universe they represent?

To round out my last comment, I say that because I was thinking yesterday about how it always seems to me that my views as a Democrat are obviously right, and how can Republicans not understand how misguided their beliefs are?

On the one hand, that feels amazingly right to me. (And who knows, maybe it is.) :o) But at the same time, I think--does it really make sense that half of us Americans are simply right, and half wrong? Can it be as simple as that?

So maybe the way out is to think about the two viewpoints in much the same light as you're describing the discrepancy between spiritual commentators. When you take into consideration what part of the cosmic scheme Democrats and Republicans represent, maybe they're both equally right.

Does that make any sense?

And if so, can we use this to head off the debt limit crisis? :o)

"In my hypothesis, the Being of Light–which is sometimes characterized as Jesus or Buddha or some other religious figure–is actually the oversoul or higher self."

In my opinion I think people see beings of light but fail to correctly interpret their identity when they are back on earth.

This is where different cultural upbringing comes into play.Also for the spirit world it doesn't matter who they interpret them as (unless their identity is of evidential value) as long as the message is understood and passed on,i.e. love and survival.

Also the light I don't directly see it as the oversoul.I mean in you and me we all have a small part of the oversoul,having a soul.

I see the light as a manifestion of the collective aura of inhabitors of that realm,both in consious ways,as unconsious.

Also to wrap my opinion and perhaps bring a 3rd viewpoint into your views would be to consider there being sphere's of light,sphere's of darkness and a special one almost never read about for good reason,a sphere of Unconsious where one gets drawn to before incarnation.

Now let's imagine you're unconsious before incarnation,pure soul with a subdued arua, how would the other inhabitors of the afterlife know such a thing?

I'll tell you how,many if not most will not know of its existence simply because it takes a deep study of afterlife physics to understand this.A study of the cosmos if you like.

And who is to say that you spend a period in a sphere of light/darkness instead of directly for a period in a realm of unconsiouss followed by an incarnation?

I think NDE"ers see only the tip of the iceberg and THAT under directly influence of spirit of the light,being their life review(shown by them) by higher spirits,they might as well go to spheres of darkness after they die,for instance if dannion brinkely killed during his years of service he can be assured a sphere of darkness for a time.A higher spirit can simply raise his vibrations temporarily to allow him to see visions of the future(of his which I think are wrong) or guide them through the spheres of light.

Who's to say all spheres of light entail direct knowledge to all conditions of the afterlife.I say the lower spheres are only title to a relatively limited amount of knowledge and a NDE'er to even less due to them basically being a puppet by higher spirits.

In short there's much to consider if we are to understand afterlife conditions and the modus operandi of reincarnation,how the afterlife spheres are build and kept into place and other variables.

And here's another question: what about those who experience a hellish NDE? How would that fit in? Or are hellish NDEs (the person reports going to a hell-like place) created by the person who feels they deserve hell? Or perhaps the oversoul is trying to "teach" the undersoul something important?

I think Anita Moorjani ( who had a very exceptional and fascinating NDE ) offers a very good theory for the mechanics of existence.

I too am distrustful of hypnosis.

Like Bryan.A I think that NDEs are mostly just looking through the door and have not entered the other side completely enough to have a complete understanding.

That said, I am not sure you are correct, MP, the NDEs don't talk about witnessing the process of reincarnation. I have some foggy recollections of individuals who had NDEs and spoke about witnessing souls preparing to reincarnate. One - or more - of these, I think, involved children's accounts.

Again, my memory is a little foggy and, as I am off to train horses while the light is still good, I will have to see if i can find those accounts later.

Basically, this is a case of residents of Kansas talking about Africa. Some had a layover at the airport, some lived among the natives (but different tribes), some passed off shore on a ship, others may be recalling what they read in travel books (hypnosis), others still may be talking to residents of Africa on the phone or internet, but which country? What time of year? What year (i.e. political situation, famines or god harvest years, etc).

Which can provide an accurate picture of Africa?

Two things that, in my opinion, support the validity of past life hypnotic regression are that 1) it has been accidentally discovered independantly by multiple trained psychologists who had no intention of exploring spirituality and 2) it has remarkable healing effects that cannot be matched by other therapies.

It is hard to assess what to believe or not to believe about the over soul. I don't mean the following to imply anything about the liklyhood of its existence ... but the idea of an over sould creates a problem relating to karma.

If one incarnation does something bad then the over soul takes a bit of itself and creates a new entity for the purpose of expiating its own guilt - or merely learning what it's like to be on the other side of the issue. Either way it is like having a child and condemning it to a horrible life because of the sins of its parents.

Spirit ethics differs from incarnate ethics.

Many people experiencing difficult lives might decide not to cooperate with such a seemingly unfair system in this life or when they got to the next life.

Who would want to merge back with the entity who was ultimately to blame for all their suffering and who didn't just benefit from their suffering but deliberately and carefully planned that suffering for its own benefit, for its own advancement?

This may be one of the reasons the spirit realm doesn't provide more information about or more convincing evidence of its existence - if it did, we incarnates would have good reasons to rebel.

someone mentioned Anita Moorjani...

I found her web site at:

I have no reason to doubt her statements, but they raise a lot of questions in my mind.

"I realized what a gift life was, and that I was surrounded by loving spiritual beings, who were always around me even when I did not know it."

I'd like to know how to reconcile that with something like this example:

"Laying the pus-covered pad on the desk in front of him, he gave up his secret. During his escape from the civil war in neighbouring Congo, he had been separated from his wife and taken by rebels. His captors raped him, three times a day, every day for three years. And he wasn't the only one. He watched as man after man was taken and raped. The wounds of one were so grievous that he died in the cell in front of him."

I'm not saying Anita is wrong just that I can't comprehend how it can be true. She also wrote:

"I realized if I went back, it would be with a very healthy energy. Then the physical body would catch up to the energetic conditions very quickly and permanently. I seemed to become aware that this applies to anything, not only illnesses – physical conditions, psychological conditions, etc. I became aware that everything going on in our lives was dependant on this energy around us, created by us. Nothing was real – we created our surroundings, our conditions, etc. depending where this “energy” was at. "

She makes it sound easy, like if you have any problem it's your own fault and you are defective because have a problem. This is not helpful to people with problems. What would be helpful is for her to explain how she changed her energy. From what she wrote I don't see how she did it deliberately. How can someone with a birth defect, missing a limb or defective eyes become whole? How can someone with schizophrenia cure themselves?

"After what I have seen, I realize that absolutely anything is possible, and that we did not come here to suffer. Life is supposed to be great, and we are very, very loved."

I would like to hear her explanation of this to someone with clinical depression.

Anita wrote:

"I did not see my whole life flash before my eyes"

But she also wrote this:

"I also experienced extreme clarity of why I had the cancer, why I had come into this life in the first place, what role everyone in my family played in my life in the grand scheme of things, and generally how life works. "

and this:

"There was one where I saw how my life had touched all the people in it – it was sort of like a tapestry and I saw how I affected everyone’s lives around me."

The following reminds me of things I've read about quantum mechanics...

"Time seems to have a completely different meaning on that side. What I felt was that all possibilities exist simultaneously – it just depends which one you choose. Sort of like being in an elevator, where all the floors of a building exist, but you can choose which floor to get off on. So if all the future possibilities exist for me to choose from, then I assume all the past scenarios exist too. So depending which future possibility I choose, that will also determine which past automatically comes with it (I chose life, so it affected the past, choosing the appropriate test result for the organ function). "

"I only had to live in the moment, enjoy every moment of life, and use each moment to elevate the next moment (which then elevates my future). "

My impression is that she has been given a gift. What I'd like to know is how the rest of us can achieve her level of happiness. Otherwise I think it is hurtful to tell people who are suffering that it is very easy to be happy without telling them how to achieve it.

"Otherwise I think it is hurtful to tell people who are suffering that it is very easy to be happy without telling them how to achieve it."

She gives advice on how to do it here:

I'll have to study it - but my first impression is that she is saying that you can create your own reality with postitive thinking.

She ties it in with what she wrote about all things existing in the past and future and your choice determines which becomes real.

My experience with positive thinking is that it works a little until I get tired of living a lie and have to be honest with myself - at which point I am back where I started.

Positive thinking might be true in theory, but for me it has not been a practical solution. Maybe I'll study what she wrote and see if I can figure how to do it.

"Otherwise I think it is hurtful to tell people who are suffering that it is very easy to be happy without telling them how to achieve it."

She gives advice on how to do it here:

I'll have to study it - but my first impression is that she is saying that you can create your own reality with postitive thinking.

She ties it in with what she wrote about all things existing in the past and future and your choice determines which becomes real.

My experience with positive thinking is that it works a little until I get tired of living a lie and have to be honest with myself - at which point I am back where I started.

Positive thinking might be true in theory, but for me it has not been a practical solution. Maybe I'll study what she wrote and see if I can figure how to do it.


Sorry about the duplicate comment again, my finger twitched and I double clicked the post button.

Feel free to delete the duplicate comment and this one too.

according to this 70% of NDErs believe in reincarnation-

Reincarnation looks highly likely if you look into the case collections of the late Ian Stevenson and his colleagues. More recently, Jim Tucker at the University of Virginia, has been extending this research to US cases and is finding some amazing data. The James Leininger case is a good example.

Does Reincarnation Exist? Yes and no .... both at once! :)

It seems a contradiction but not if something like the below occurs ....

Imagine ..... Michael Prescott was another human before he was born in this life. Upon physical birth into this material world the brain filter blocks out past (long term) memory of previous life. His consciousness splits from his prior life memories that shaped his prior personality and new individuality and personality emerges.

Upon brain death, the now individualized Michael Prescott can eventually meet his former selves who continued to evolve, with separate new memories too. These are like two separate branches of a tree, once the same branch .... all the way back to the trunk.....the collective unconscious of the human species.

So the blocking of prior memories, naturally by birth into a physical brain, causes a new individuality / personality to emerge ..... a bit like in cases of multiple personality disorder where memory becomes suppressed another personality can develop (although some cases involve possession, conscious telepathy being a potential risk in most humans, except those with mastery over their thoughts and emotions, as a result telepathy is commonly weak, to protect the emerging individuality)

The question to ask evidential mediums would be 'do people go missing from an afterlife when they reincarnate?' The answer I suspect, from what I've read seems ... no.

The famous old spiritualist guide 'Red Cloud' (medium Estelle Roberts) claimed he had never come across a case of reincarnation in his long time in an afterlife .... in contrast Silver Birch (medium Maurice Barbanell who first developed in the Red Cloud circle) said reincarnation was a fact .... but if one reads closely, he also said the same facet did not return.

Interestingly Silver Birch said individuality did not ever die in an afterlife – which seems different from some eastern philosophies ....he did not mean personality (which changes through life) but individuality, yet also within a collective mind too.

A simile might be like individual computer systems on an internet, if one lost the separate computers, the whole Internet is lost, it is a collective system greater than individual systems but dependent upon individual systems sharing information.

In conclusion, it could look like reincarnation when looking backwards in time but looking forwards in time more the emergence of parallel enduring individualities within a collective consciousness.

Of course, I could be misinterpreting words and I do not know ...but the above is what I would speculate might be occurring.

Open Mind wrote:
The famous old spiritualist guide 'Red Cloud' (medium Estelle Roberts) claimed he had never come across a case of reincarnation in his long time in an afterlife .... in contrast Silver Birch (medium Maurice Barbanell who first developed in the Red Cloud circle) said reincarnation was a fact .... but if one reads closely, he also said the same facet did not return.

Maurice Barbanell did not develop his mediumship in the Red Cloud Circle although he sat in it from time to time.

The story of his introduction to Spiritualism is a fascinating one which is briefly summarised below:

As a young man Barbanell was anti-fascist. He was so against fascism that he went out to Spain and spent some time with comrades in the International Brigade who were fighting against Franco’s anti-democratic government.

He became unpaid secretary of a social and literary club in London's East End.

One evening, there was a talk by a young man on the subject of Spiritualism.

Although antagonistic to the subject, Barbanell said that this was a subject on which only those with personal experience could venture any worthwhile opinions.

When challenged as to whether he was prepared to back this position by undertaking a six-month period of personal investigation of Spiritualism, he said 'yes'.

He joined a home circle with the medium Mrs. Blaustein, who was controlled by various entities who spoke through her while she was in a state of trance.

Barbanell was not very impressed by this phenomenon and at one sitting he "fell asleep." When he awoke he learned to his surprise that he had been in a mediumistic trance himself and that an Indian spirit guide had spoken through him.

Barbanell subsequently joined Swaffer's Home Circle at which the Indian guide, "Silver Birch," gave regular teachings through Barbanell's mediumship and "White Shadow", the guide of the other medium (an opera singer) was responsible for the phenomena part of the circle.

These included Independent Direct Voice and materialiation which had been encouraged by Frank Decker who had visited the circle.

Unfortunately the circle broke up and Barbanell formed his own circle.

Later, the famous journalist, Socialist and Spiritualist, Hannen Swaffer, became a member of this home circle and an enthusiastic proponent of the teachings of "Silver Birch."

"if dannion brinkely killed during his years of service"

If I recall correctly, Brinkley's claim that he was a sniper in combat has been disputed. If he did misrepresent his military service, it would of course cast doubt on his NDE claims as well. It's also worth noting that Brinkley's NDE-based predictions have not come to fruition, and some of them are downright bizarre. Overall, I have my doubts about Brinkley's statements.

Over the years, Silver Birch, in response to questions made many comments about reincarnation – here is a summary of some of them:

"You have risen and ascended through all forms of evolution.

"There is within each one of you a trace of your animal ancestry, which is part of your heredity. The soul has the awareness imprinted within it. If that awareness does not dawn, then it will have to reincarnate again. If the awareness does come, then it will begin to fulfill the purpose of its incarnation.

"What incarnates is another aspect of the same individuality, and I do not mean personality. If you visualise man as an individual, who in his earthly life is like an iceberg in which you have one small portion manifesting and the larger portion not manifesting, then that is the end of one incarnation. In a successive incarnation, a portion of the submerged self will come into the world of matter, two different personalities, but one individual. And in spirit life, as progression takes place, it is part of the submerged self that comes to the surface all the time.

"I maintain reincarnation is a fact. I have not said that it is so for everybody. What I have said is that the human individuality is not always a single entity but a facet of a larger diamond.

"These facets incarnate into your world for experience that will enable them to return to the diamond and add to its lustre and radiance. It is part of the law of cause and effect in operation because there are karmic debts to be paid. There are also opportunities for evolved souls to return at a time when they can perform a service to groups, and even to countries, where there is a need for their qualities and gifts to be expressed.

"Another facet of the diamond can incarnate at the same time. But it is all regulated by law and order."

A sitter commented: I know some people who genuinely do not wish to survive death. What would you say to them?

"I know some people who genuinely do not wish to be born into your world. They can do nothing about it."

The sitter replied: Are we then forced to come into this world if we do not wish to do so? I always thought it is our choice.

"This is not always the case. There is a choice in our world as there is a choice in yours. When the soul knows it has work to do, it will incarnate into your world.

"There are some who have no desire to do so, but they come because they have work to do, or they have a karmic condition to fulfil.

"You must make a difference between personality and individuality. Personality is merely the life as exhibited by the physical body on earth. Individuality is the totality of the soul. You cannot express the whole of that individuality in a span of 70, 80, or 90 years in your world.

"Reincarnation is a complex subject. It involves an understanding of the extent to which individuality can be appreciated because it is far more than the personality in one earthly incarnation.

"There is a confusion between personality and individuality. An individual can reincarnate and have many personalities.

"These are the physical expressions, manifestations of the individuality, but the individuality is unchanged.

"Personality, from persona, the mask, belongs to the physical body. It is the way that the individuality is able to express itself through the five material senses and that is the tip of the iceberg.

"Personality is the mask that you wear on earth; individuality, the real self, seldom expresses itself, through the inability to do so. At best it is only a very poor manifestation of what can be shown when it is finally divorced from the physical body.

"The individuality is far greater than the personality. It is not personality that exists after physical death. Personality is only a shadow cast by the sun which is the individuality.

"Individuality survives, and gradually manifests its latent potential that cannot be expressed on earth. In the case of service that is to be rendered to your world there is a large individuality, a diamond which has many facets. These facets incarnate so as to have expression that will add to the diamond’s lustre.

"You can have a soul which is the diamond of many facets. These facets, at differing eras, can incarnate into your world as personalities. But when they pass from your world and return to ours they are still facets of the one individuality.

"I would prefer to use the word individuality rather than personality. I draw distinctions between the personality, which is physical, and the individuality which is the soul or spiritual make-up, the reality behind the mask, so to speak.

"Persons are persons so far as your world is concerned, but you cannot separate spiritual individuality in the same way.

"There are, for example, affinities, two kindred halves of the one soul, and sometimes they incarnate at the same time.

"There are also what I call facets of the one diamond. This is the over-soul, the greater individuality, and the facets are aspects of it which incarnate into your world for experiences that will add lustre to the diamond when they return to it.

"Also there are people who, although separate persons, are aspects of the one individuality.

"For instance, my medium, his wife and myself are parts of one individual. So you can have facets of the one guide. You can call these extensions if you like, but it comes to the same thing. Only an infinitesimal part of the whole individuality can be manifested in physical form on earth."

A little more on Brinkley. Someone on a Wen forum provides excerpts from a 1995 LA Times article:

"[Brinkley said] he was a Marine Corps sniper during the Vietnam War, dispatched to Cambodia and Laos to assassinate enemy officers and politicians. But military records show that Pfc. Brinkley was never a sniper, never saw combat, indeed never left the United States during his 18 months in the service.

"He was a truck driver stationed in Atlanta.

"Brinkley declines to offer any evidence of overseas duty, saying the government is covering up his record because it is classified. But several sources inside and outside the military (including ex-Marines involved in the same covert operations Brinkley claims a role in) say his tale is full of holes and that the so-called secret files are all public....

"His 1994 book claims that the beings of light in his near-death journey correctly foretold dozens of world events, including the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the 1986 radiation leak at Chernobyl. Unfortunately, as noted by the Sunday Times of London, visions of the future are 'traditionally revealed before they happen rather than afterwards, thereby making them more convincing.'

"Still to come, says Brinkley: a 1995 nuclear disaster in Norway and a U.S. economic collapse by 2000."

Obviously the Norway disaster and economic collapse did not happen on schedule, though one might argue that the 2008-2009 financial crisis constituted an economic collapse - eight years too late.

"Someone on a Wen forum"

Web forum, that is.

"I'll have to study it - but my first impression is that she is saying that you can create your own reality with postitive thinking.

She ties it in with what she wrote about all things existing in the past and future and your choice determines which becomes real."

I took a closer look at what she wrote and I would say it is really not what most people mean by the term positive thinking.

I think what she is saying is that you should develop self-love by controlling your internal dialog. When you have self love you automatically love others. Then your view of the universe is also positive and your expectations become positive, and those positive expectations have a way of creating a positive reality for you.

I think this is can true in a purely materialistic psychology based interpretation and also in a more psychic spiritual way.

I too have profound skepticism about the hypnotic regressions. Ian Stevenson, who pioneered investigation of children's spontaneous past life memories, ultimately issued a public statement about hypnotically-acquired past life memories:

I have also been struck by just how often reincarnation does crop up in NDEs. It seems to me like a remarkably prevalent theme.

As a minor point, I've found in my reading that the Being of light is usually God. I've read NDErs state that countless times, sometimes even making a definite distinction, for instance, between Jesus and the Being of light/God. One researcher, Rene Jorgensen, found that something like 70% of those reporting said that "God" was the "core" of their experience.

I have also read the LA Times article on Dannion Brinkley, and have heard from an NDE researcher about another famous NDEr whose veracity there is cause to question. What a shame.

Zerdini, thanks for correcting me ... I will take your word for it that the incident where Maurice Barbanell fell into a no memory recall trance at the very first seance he attended took place at a Mrs. Blaustein seance, not Roberts seance.

Zerdini, these are interesting quotes by Silver Birch .. if one accepts these as factual, it seems there is some difference between individualities, facets and personalities ...

How does the individuality first emerge? It has to emerge from something previous? How does the an individual consciousness become the many 'facets'? It is an old question in philosophy 'how did the one consciousness become the many'

My suggestion - which could be completely wrong - is that the process of being born into a material system reality (not just our one) blocks past memory and new individuality (or facet) emerges in addition to the original individual consciousness (or facet)?

Zerdini, I keep coming across your name when searching the internet! :) Would you mind if I e-mailed you? I am curious about odd events in psychical research that occurred around 1930s and also a 1980s mystery, I can probably can refind your e-mail address, no need to post it here.

Re; Brinkley or anyone else who claims to have been a USMC sniper, Navy SEAL, etc.........always be skeptical of the claim. Very very few men have the qualifications for these jobs and of those, very few are actually selected to serve in those capacities. Yet is amazing how many surface on the internet, posting on various sites.

As for the oversoul concept in reincarnation; it may be the case sometimes. However, the research I have done - which includes a heavy skew towards Stevenson's work - indicates that sometimes reincarnation is pretty much a continuation of the same old personality from the previous life and not a branch or a facet of a larger, more complex, entity. This especially seems to occur where the previous life was cut short by accident or sudden illness.

It makes sense to me that this would be the case. An unfinished life/personality returns to complete what it started. A completed life may function differently in the process of soul evolution; perhaps being filed away by the larger entity and the entity releasing another facet/branch to the material world for further growth/experience opportunity.

@open mind.

By all means contact me - if I can help I will.


I share Robert Perry's "profound skepticism" over the usefulness of hypnotic regression to recover memories, in any context. The way I understand the situation as it applies to mundane present-life regression, some real memories can actually be recovered, but they tend to be outnumbered by believable confabulations, and it's impossible to separate the two.

The confabulation problem makes hypnotic regression so unreliable that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2007 that hypnosis-based testimony be excluded from criminal cases. Similarly, more than half of American states exclude or limit testimony based on hypnosis.

Now, some past-life hypnotherapists claim they've discovered a method to overcome or greatly minimize the confabulation problem. For example, Michael Newton induces deep, long-lasting trances in his clients. This and decades of experience appears to be all that's necessary for him to provide his readers with book loads of highly-detailed and guaranteed-credible accounts about the afterlife, not to mention past lives. Never mind that if there was any truth whatsoever to Newton's claim, he'd have published one or more journal papers about his method by now and won the Nobel Prize in medicine for a truly outstanding achievement.

I mean, it should be obvious to thinking people that if anyone could really pull off the kind of memory feats Newton (and others) claim to have done with respect to past lives and such, their techniques would be a godsend for enhancing present-life memories.

This is not to say that all hypnotically-recovered past-life memories are complete nonsense. There do seem to be a very few cases for which the best explanation might be super psi or even reincarnation. But I think these cases are so few in number, and not without other difficulties, that for the time being, they're simply not worth much as evidence.

a few snips from NDE experiencers that speak to reincarnation being revealed as a fact during the NDE experience

I think it is interesting that the channeled material of Jane Robert's 'Seth' books and also the more recent channeled info from Mary Ennis's 'Elias' material both suggest the same as Silver Birch: Silver Birch's 'diamond' analogy is termed as ‘Essence’ by Seth and Elias. Each individual physical life is a 'Focus of Essence' (facet of the diamond).

Also, as space-time is a feature of our physical universe, it should come as no surprise Seth states that in the greater reality there is only the eternal now - everything is simultaneous.

From this we can infer that reincarnation can be said to be true in one sense, but also not true in another.

We do, as essence (the multi faceted diamond of Silver Birch) experience many physical lives, but these are, from a great perspective outside space-time, occurring simultaneously, not in a linear fashion. We only think of these lives strung out in a linear fashion because we cannot really conceive of simultaneous time while in the physical.

This means also that we, as essence, do not reincarnate again as the same personality (or 'Focus'), but we do as other focuses (facets of the diamond).

It would also follow that the individual facet, or focus, would need some transitional time in the point immediately after physical death in order to adjust to our greater reality – it would be likely then that we would continue as an individual focus for a continuing time period, or some kind of approximation of time, until we fully integrate with our whole selves - our essence. This transitional period is possibly what we refer to as ‘the afterlife’.

A lot of what Seth says seems to make a lot of sense, and nobody has ever been able to lay claims of fraud or deceit at the feet of Jane Roberts. Of course, maybe ‘Seth’ was just an outpouring of her own unconscious, but even so, I think she connected with much that is true about the greater reality.

oh, just wanted to follow up for Michael's benefit regarding the being of light:

I don't know how much stock you put in channeled material, but Elias confirms your suggestion that in most instances the being of light is actually an encounter between the individual 'Focus' (the earthbound personality) and its 'Essence', the whole self or multi-faceted diamond of Silver Birch.

According to Elias, the individual personality tends to objectify this widening of awareness in a literal fashion - the whole self is objectified as some kind of external being of light. Sometimes this objectification is taken even further and labeled god, or an angel or whatever.

Douglas, some of us commenting on this blog (myself included) have proposed that when NDE experiencers say that they "understood everything" or "met God", that they are resorting to hyperbole due to a lack of familiarity with expanded consciousness and the shock and awe of experiencing it for the first time.

A question I have for you, Elias, Seth, et al - and I suppose it is a portion of MP's original question - is, if what you propose is true, then how come afterlife communications, such as those via mediums, are still talking to an individual personality; replete, on occassion, with old habits, vices and mannerisms? How is that there are descriptions of those who have died but are not yet aware of the fact?

I recognize that you address this problem in your explanation that the after life = a transitional state in which the individual facet does not yet recognize that it is part of the larger diamond, but why would that happen? Assuming it does happen, why couldn't/wouldn't the still fragmented facets reincarnate? they did it once (at least) already. Why, desiring those things of the physical world (a la Buddhism) would the individual facet not return again and again? Seth, Silver Birch et al say it doesn't. Why not? It seems highly reasonable that it would. Ian Stevenson, some NDEs and Buddhism say it does.

no one posted about:

"She was told that she could remain in the light, provided she later reincarnate to re-experience and overcome all that brought her to the point of suicide. Or, she could be revived to live out the rest of her life and overcome her problems here and now."

I guess that is what they mean by "free will" - your car can be any color you want as long as it's black.

I'd like to know if souls have any "rights" in the spirit world or are we slaves or serfs or something.

They say free will is so important that we have to put up with all sorts of horrors to preserve it on the earth plane, but when it comes to incarnation it's not really that important after all.

Your proposal is interesting, but this problem can be solved in many different ways.
First, we accept the evidence of hypnosis on past lives and we believe that many spirits of the dead communicating through mediums just do not know if there is reincarnation, because they still have the same beliefs they had before his death, because death does not would full enlightenment.
Second, we accept that reincarnation does not happen according to some mediums, and that hypnosis is not reliable because the hypnotized confabulate under hypnosis.
Third, the proposal by Michael Prescott.
And fourth, we accept that there is reincarnation, but only in children who spontaneously remember their past lives, while people under hypnosis tales of past lives and broadcasted by retrocognition the past life of any individual without that individual being.
I would go for the latter option, because
- Children who spontaneously remember past lives seem not only give information of their past lives, but also show the personality, skills and even some birthmarks that appear to come from his past life;
-Most of the communities through mediums seem to ignore if there is reincarnation or not or if there is reincarnation, but not universal;
- Although there have been cases of people under hypnosis who have obtained accurate information about the past that have not been told by ordinary means, we have the alternative hypothesis retrocognition. So if two people go under hypnosis to remember the life of one person in the past, giving information not accessible by ordinary means, or a person under hypnosis remembers the lives of two people who roamed the same time, then the hypothesis reincarnation will be false in hypnosis and have to bend down for the hypothesis retrocognition. I do not know if there have been experiments in this direction but could distinguish retrocognition reincarnation and in hypnosis, and then this problem memories assumptions between lives, but these memories could be seen as collusion and that do not fit the hypothesis retrocognition.
So I think there is reincarnation, but not universal, but only some people reincarnate, which remember spontaneously their past lives, because under hypnosis seems to have cases of retrocognition.

no one quoted:

"She was told that she could remain in the light, provided she later reincarnate to re-experience and overcome all that brought her to the point of suicide. "

jshgfcre98ijyds said:

"I guess that is what they mean by "free will" - your car can be any color you want as long as it's black."

You have to remember--besides being the one who's instructed to reincarnate, you're also the one who's doing the instructing! As Michael points out in his post, it's a question of which part of "yourself" you're identifying with. The more Earthly your perspective, the less free will you'll see.

That's where faith enters the picture. (Faith, not religion.) And I'll speak personally here: based on my glimpses of a larger reality, on the testimony of others, and yes, even on the most cutting-edge insights from science, I'm convinced of the rightness of it all.

I guess being 64 has its rewards.

"Will ya still need me,
Will ya still feed me,
When I'm 64?"

Oh, great. Now I won't be able to get that song out of my head.

"Oh, great. Now I won't be able to get that song out of my head."

That's funny, Michael. Honest truth: I never once associated my current age with that song--which I know so well--til I wrote that comment! (I almost added my own joke, in fact.)

Eternity is one heck of a long time....

I have no problem believing in reincarnation I can see the voice in my head remaining "Me" whether I am a 1940's British soldier or a 1917 Russian Laborer or a 1800's Chinese Opiate addict what I have a hard time with is that out of the eons and eons of infinite time for all eternity the dude I am now, is the one and only me there will ever be!, or that has always been... so much for the baby with the "Old soul" eyes

yeah IMHO it is much harder to grasp the one and only, this is it, verses the many many times before

though with all the suffering that goes on and that we inflict on each other...(being raped 3 times a day for three God...) I wonder if any NDE'rs have suggested this may be a "Penal" planet of some kind....I wouldn't doubt it :)

"I wonder if any NDE'rs have suggested this may be a "Penal" planet of some kind."

Nope! I don't think NDErs talk about punishment at all. They understand well that it's a human rather than spiritual concept.

What's more, though NDErs may find it very difficult to return to the body--even, admittedly, a bit like returning to a prison--the larger trend is that they see their lives as being more meaningful and rewarding than ever.

Clearly noone knows for sure, I for one and placing my bets that it is our own decision if we want to reincarnate or not. I could be very wrong maybe its forced on us?. Or maybe reincarnation isn't real at all and we don't have to come back here again and go through the same trials and tribulations that we do go through on this earthly plane of existence.

Reincarnation being a choice messes up the justice of life.

Cause and effect and karma, the keyword to reincarnation could not be a personal choice in this case.

It's like having a debt with the bank of let's say $500.000 and saying nah i'll have a pass,thank you.

You make right,whether you want it or not.That's a just system the way everything about the afterlife seems to me.

Reincarnation being a choice messes up the justice of life.

I dont know I dont think so...Imagine your one did it, you made it through life and now you're in the afterlife...its been 3 billion yrs, 3wks & 7days, & there you are....for ever and ever another 10 trillion yrs, 55 million years 19 thousand months & another 77 billion years , 47 mo's ,15 days, 52 min. & 13 seconds only to go another 33 thousand billion triollion years 97 mo's & 14 weeks and on and on and on

wouldn't maybe that get suicidally boring?
even with 72 virgins that would get old as hell in no time.

I think I would prefer to go through eternity with vast periods of not remembering and not knowing for sure... all so that living forever wouldn't suck so bad I guess :) seriously I cant imagine anyone not going insane after a while....

"only to go another 33 thousand billion triollion years 97 mo's & 14 weeks and on and on and on . . . . wouldn't maybe that get suicidally boring?"

Nicely said, Marty. Putting those numbers up really drives home the point.

We think of "boredom" as a human problem. But maybe it's more fundamental than that. Maybe it's God's problem.

Maybe the need to stay interested is what makes All That Is subject Itself to the "vast periods of not remembering and not knowing for sure" that you refer to.

All for the sake of how thrilling it is to once again remember!

I have to say, from my standpoint, this is more than speculation. This is what I knew and felt in the deepest part of myself during my own peak episodes of altered consciousness.

And I know people who are going through enormous grief will say, "What sense can there possibly be in experiencing the level of pain that the loss of a child (for example) can cause?"

NDErs don't ask that question, though. Because they know the flip side. Can you imagine how good that experience is?

I got a muscle spasm in my back last Thursday. I was bent over in excruciating pain. Lasts 14 days. It's like being tortured. It has happened several times a year to since I was in high school. It's like someone smacked me in the back with a baseball bat and then stuck a hot knife in my back. I've been to the ortho doctor several times with it. There's really nothing they can do. It just takes time to heal.

Reincarnation? No one in their right mind would want to come back here. Losing loved ones, divorce, pain, being poor? No thanks. This life is HELL.

Art, do you do back exercises of any kind? I used to get spasms so bad I could barely move for days. But for years now, I've been doing a stretching and strengthening routine twice a day, and very rarely have problems.

Everybody's situation is different, but did you ever try exercises?

"Reincarnation being a choice messes up the justice of life."

It seems like a strange kind of justice to me. Two wrongs don't make a right. People don't incarnate to be evil, they are evil because of the interaction of their innate spiritual and genetic qualitites and their social and physical environments. Someone comes up with a stupid life plan and it leads to mayhem and karma and can start a chain reaction of future lives full of increasing mayhem and karma until you have hitler, stalin, pol pot, charles manson, the inquisition. It's a problem not just for one individual but for many who become evil and many who become victims.

I think the rationale has more to do with learning than justice, but I don't see why there has to be so much suffering. Some souls go through their lives with less suffering than others - so I think the amount of suffering required is a lot less than some people experience.

"wouldn't maybe that get suicidally boring?"

Maybe so, but that would certainly contradict all the arugments we hear from the nde'rs and other sources about how wonderful the afterlife is. Something doesn't make sense

However, I've never heard the boring argument from any source of information from the afterlife itself. What I have heard is that the afterlife is similar to the earth life but in many ways better. There is music, art, science, gardening, architecture, animal life, natural places, lectures, libraries, etc etc.

Some incarnated people have pleasant existences and have the physical characteristics of their body and the local conditions in their environment to enjoy life.

Because of this, I don't find the boredom argument convincing. Spirit life can be interesting, incarnated life doesn't have to be hell to relieve bordom.

My view is that the earth life is an education to prepare us for our future in the afterlife, but I don't really understand why the teaching method has to be so harsh.

One of the interesting things about our education on the earth plane as preparation for the afterlife - there is no faking qualification. On earth you can have people unsuited in temperment or competence for their jobs in positions of responsibility. They shouldn't have that problem that in the afterlife.

Also the education we get from incarnation is not just to teach us knowledge and skills, it changes our temperment to give us the the personality traits required to enter the higher planes and for our future jobs in the afterlife.

To shape character you have to have some level of suffering. What I don't understand is why some people have to have so much of it.

I used to get painful, almost crippling tightness in the muscles of my lower back. Eventually, like Bruce, I started to do stretching exercises, specifically to stretch the hamstring muscles. This solved the problem. Not saying it will work for you, Art, but it could be worth looking into.

"specifically to stretch the hamstring muscles"

Yes! The hamstrings! Of all the exercises I do, that's the single most important.
Arching backwards is helpful, too.

Here's my favorite book on the subject:

Wow, I just noticed: 67 reviews and 5 full stars. It's the best-reviewed book I've ever seen on Amazon.

Another great post by Michael, another great discussion.

I am going to go over Michael's first two paragraphs (the core of his argument), give my opinions on the pieces (which will echo many already given), throw a few new pieces in, and then try to sum up where we are at.

In most near-death experiences and in a great deal of channeled communications, reincarnation does not come up. Some alleged communicators have even gone so far as to state with certainty that reincarnation is a myth. Other communications received by mediums, however, say just the opposite.

As others have said, the vast majority of NDEs do not contradict reincarnation, some explicitly support it, and a few explicitly reject it ("I went up to heaven and saw that everything in the Bible was true." :|)

Major channelers support reincarnation, and they seem to paint a pretty consistent picture: Edgar Cayce, Silver Birch, Seth, etc.

Plus, you have the actual evidence for reincarnation, which I think is compelling. There are several cases that I think demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that at least some people reincarnate or in some way or fashion carry on the memories of others.

Thus, so far so good. But then...

Moreover, past-life researchers who have hypnotized their subjects not only obtain detailed accounts of previous lives, but in some cases obtain descriptions of a life between lives in which the soul plans its next incarnation.

People here have been quick to dismiss this evidence. I am a person who believes he remembers his past lives. Some of these memories are very strong. But I could be making them up all or in part. The deeper--and scarier--question is whether we are making up our current lives in whole or in part.

That may sound kooky, but think about it. The reason why our current lives seem more or less orderly is that we wake with the same memories every day, and we don't (for the most part) find contradictions in our memories. (But take a look at Whitley Streiber, who in Communion looks back into his childhood memories and begins to find them full of greys. Problems can arise.)

Yet our memories do become full of holes and fog and, I don't know about you, I find my disappearing "being" quite disconcerting at times. What can be even more disconcerting, however, is meditating and finding a whole flood of past memories coming back to me--more "being" than I can handle at the moment, often.

So we reach the Afterlife, perhaps have our life review, and then the question remains: Are we making this up? I don't mean to ask whether survival is real or not. I mean to ask, Who or what *makes* this life consistent and "real"-seeming for us, and who or what *makes* the Afterlife consistent and "real"-seeming for us? I'll come back to this all-important question in a moment.

The inconsistency is most apparent in accounts of the soul's transition to the afterlife. If we listen to near-death experiencers and many purported spirit communicators, we hear that the soul arrives in the afterlife with no memory of any physical incarnation other than the most recent one. The afterlife environment, at least initially, is a place for rest and the casual enjoyment of arts, leisure, and learning. But if we listen to patients placed into deep hypnosis, we hear that the soul arrives in the afterlife with an immediate recall of many past lives. The soul is reunited with other souls that it knows from various earthly incarnations and from many interludes in the spirit world. Moreover, the soul almost immediately embarks on a training program to prepare itself for its next incarnation. Though there are some parallels between the two accounts, the differences are substantial and seemingly irreconcilable.

Very good point. One way of explaining it is to speculate that perhaps the "immediate" recall of past lives happens just a bit later--that NDErs of necessity are dealing with their current lives and, by definition, since they come back, continue to deal exclusively with their current life throughout their experience.

Now here are the pieces of the puzzle as I see them, including those by Michael and some of my own:

1. NDE accounts are our strongest and primary evidence for survival. They mostly don't contradict reincarnation, but they also don't focus on it. The vast majority of NDErs do not deal with their other past lives.

2. The evidence for reincarnation by itself is compelling (e.g., children's cases).

3. Many people do remember past lives, thus supporting reincarnation.

4. At the same time, people do NOT tend to have Afterlife memories. But they do exist to some extent. (My daughter, unprompted, has talked about coming down from heaven and being reincarnated.) Perhaps these memories are especially difficult to retain over time, even more so than past life memories, which are more likely to be recalled.

5. Edgar Cayce, Silver Birch, Seth, and what we may term New Age channelers in general mostly seem to support reincarnation, and their accounts line up fairly neatly.

6. BUT mediums do not (that I have seen) say, "Sorry, I could not reach so-and-so in the Afterlife--s/he's been reincarnated!" (I do a bit of medium work, and I personally have never gotten such an impression.) Further, NDErs often encounter dead relatives when they reach the Other Side, and the relatives seem usually to be close ones. If reincarnation is common and usually happens within a few "years" of being in the Afterlife (accounts seem consistent that it is after a "short break" and not eons of time), then how is it that NDErs, especially older people, usually have a good supply of close relatives waiting for them on the Other Side. They should all have been reincarnated by then, correct?

7. If we take NDE testimony seriously, then we have to conclude that the individual personality does not disappear after death. I.e., we do not dissolve like foam into the Sea of Reality. Dead relatives appear looking young, and people describe retaining their basic mentality. No doubt, they also describe tremendous transformations. But the Self remains to a considerable extent.

My preliminary conclusions:

• Accounts from NDErs are true, and the picture of the Afterlife they paint are also true.

• Reincarnation is real and proven.

• The Self does not leave the Afterlife when it reincarnates--in SOME sense or another. My guess is that the non-linearity of time Over There supports this. Thus, a spirit can both reincarnate AND be available to greet dead relatives when they cross over.

Now, back to my deeper point. Who or what creates, maintains, or otherwise sponsors or controls the above system? And to ask this is also to ask who or what creates and controls the current life in which we find ourselves and makes it "real"?

I don't have the answer. And I have never read a compelling answer. This is what makes me feel that the Afterlife, while certainly a much better thing than annihilation, is not all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. Further, the more you read, the more contradictions you see, the more weird, disconcerting things you see. E.g., spirit controls with false histories. Alien abduction memories. Contradictory accounts from channels.

My ultimate conclusion is that there is a "core reality" that is co-created by all of Existence, but beyond that it is somewhat of a Wild West situation. There is no "God" making everything nice and neat.

Yet, lest I sound pessimistic, I do believe that goodness, truth, and spirit win in the end, as they are the true power behind all of Existence. They are the driving force behind the co-creation of a Universe in which Being discovers itself in the realm of infinity and eternity. Things, in the end, do turn out "OK."

As a matter of interest, Matt, what is your objection either to annihilation or dissolving like foam into the Sea of Reality (nice phrase!)?

Matt. I think you are correct. I think the afterlife is not a static well planned retirement community situation. I am sure this will be a highly disconcerting notion to many, but I do think - beyond a few basic laws - it is indeed the Wild West. Maybe the spiritual world, like the physical world, is constantly evolving, changing. There are experiments and mistakes as well as positive developments. Groups of spirits can go off and colonize new realms of the imagination and these come to function in accordance to the ideas of the colonists. If the ideas are good (meaning functional in harmony with the larger forces), the realm flourishes, if not so good, the realm fades out.

There are probably different systems for achieving personal growth; one being reincarnation. Souls can probably also choose to not grow and just hang out as they are/where they are. Souls can elect to be earth bound and even cause mischieve among the physically incarnate.

What if the spiritual world offers the potential for total freedom?

But who could handle that? At bottom, most people want to be told what to do and subordinate themselves to a leader. So we ease our anxiety by creating the belief that there is a god who micromanages our souls. Then we go looking for evidence of him in everything that happens. But we don't always find it. We become afraid that we are alone. As a result, just as in the physical world, in the spiritual world it appears that we gravitate toward organized societies that share beliefs and sentiments with us. So, in the afterlife we get involved with layers of organization around pretty much everything; including what we recognize as god. It is rather arbitrary once you meet those requirements of the fundemental laws (kind of like the equivalent of gravity in the physical world). This may be one reason that it is difficult to get a firm handle on what it's all about based on the available evidence.

Been reading and contemplating on this post a bit tonight. Had a realization at about 2:30 AM Pacific time.

It's that I don't think anyone has really started to even touch on the reality of an afterlife and to differentiate it from the misconceptions we're creating trying to figure it out. This is a very hard task to do because it's a bit like trying to imagine a color that you've never seen.

But I do think there's one misconception worth pointing out. I believe we look at the afterlife like some type of linear plot. Makes sense, most things we do is about getting from point A to point B. ie: high school - college - career - family - retire - die.

So we look at the afterlife, or the existence spectrum, as..

retire - die - afterlife (summerland, rest / play), higher planes, join god, reincarnate...

Or something like that.

Well, I think this is both limited and wrong.

I don't think one section of an afterlife is more advanced, truly, then another plane or realm.

I think planes and dimensions is just about going from micro to macro perspectives. I think anyone can do it and they're not exclusive of each other.

To understand this, look no further than expert, perhaps Tibetan, meditators. They can expand their brain and probably completely transcend physical space and boundaries. Some people can probably even join their 'oversoul', or even merge with universal consciousness completely. And, they can do all of this and still go to afternoon tea by 12:00 PM.

I don't think the afterlife is any different. I think people can transcend and move up and down planes to their hearts content. Do they feel like being part of the 'bigger picture'? Then perhaps someone will expand outward, like a meditation expert does here, and experience cosmic consciousness.

When this same person feels like hanging out 'on the ground', they will zoom out to the individual persona level of existence to interact 1 on 1 with people.

Why do you think Silver Birch can be supremely advanced, yet also be an individual personality talking out of Maurice Barbanell?

What do you think it looks like to a person on a 'ground level' plane in the afterlife, watching another person expand into the cosmic reaches? Same here as when someone meditates, or falls asleep, or dies. Maybe they go into a trance, or maybe their body becomes translucent and vanishes for a while, while their vibration is in a different realm. And then, when it's over, they're back to their other existence.

Or maybe the really advanced types can be in multiple planar spaces at once.

The point I'm making here is that I don't think one 'plane' is 'advanced' whereas another mode of existence (like, for instance, ours) is 'not advanced'. It's just different ways of zooming in, and out, of an environment. I don't think any meditation guru on this planet will tell you one state of existence is superior over another, they're just different, with unique experiences from each vantage point.

So, maybe think less of this whole process as a linear system with some end-game goal point (re-merging with God, whatever that means), and think of it more as consciousness states that we move in, and out of, whenever we want.


The comments to this entry are closed.