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Jane Sherwood's ideas align very closely with material from the Seth series (written by Jane Roberts) especially the descriptions of how life originated on earth. According to Seth, primitive man was not stable in his early form and often left his body and let his consciouness "intermingle" with other life forms.

Long time reader, rarely comment. Lovely, thought provoking site, Michael. Thank you. Particularly enjoyed the Binary Soul essay.

Thanks for the kind words, Richard!

Just wondering
What was the response when Hyman suggested Experimenter cueing in Ray Hyman's Article "Ganzfeld Anomaly or Artifact"

I think that article was written before Hyman and Honorton teamed up to develop the autoganzfeld procedure, wasn't it? The autoganzfeld tests were designed to be double blind; the experimenters did not know the targets.


As always, an informative and insightful post. Here are some responses. Your words are in bold, and words you quoted are in italics.

First, one observation. Janes tend to be good channelers.

Then we have two aspects of truth to connect... First, there are the four interpenetrating substances [physical, etheric, astral, and spiritual] in a man's body all geared in together to work as a harmonious whole.

This lines up very neatly with, for example, Mark Macy's map of spiritual/vibrational levels. Of course who is influencing whom in these various visions is hard to say, but there seems to be agreement among various sources, at least some of which have different origins.

Secondly, each of these substances is related to and continuous with its own special universal field of force.

This is very close to what I channeled recently from the Council (a group of nine ascended masters from nine different intelligent species, including one human). There are spheres of vibrational levels, somewhat like the spheres envisioned by the ancients. The outermost sphere, representing the highest dimension and vibration goes all the way down to the center. The next-highest sphere does not cross up into the highest sphere but also goes all the way down to the center, and so on. It must be kept in mind, however, that the spheres are of increasingly higher dimensions, and so describing them in this 3D way is ultimately an analogy.

Recently I was in a channeling class, and the teacher described the Astral Plane as the fourth dimension. The "spiritual" dimensions are the 5th and higher. She encouraged us not to channel from the Astral Plane but instead from the 5th dimension and higher. Here we have another correspondence with the material you quoted.

As for the etheric, I think it is essentially the immaterial content of the physical world. I.e., if you are ghost, you are a spiritual being stuck in the physical environment. Thus, the etheric is not a dimension in its own right but an aspect of the 3rd-dimensional world. The Astral Plane is characterized by thought forms that seem "real," though not as strongly physical. For example, dreams. The higher dimensions do not have this duality as an "issue."

Thus, when New Agers talk about ascension, the typically stated goal is to reach the 5th dimension and not stop at the 4th. As an aside, I feel that my psi ability (as limited as it is) comes mainly from seeing into the Astral Plane, although with recent ascension work it is becoming more 5th-dimensional in nature.

Antidotes to evil emotions come to be known and used as experience increases.

Note the previously common practice of wearing amulets and carrying charms to ward off the "evil eye." This was not completely out of superstition.

I have a mixed reaction to such claims. On the one hand, I can see how they could be true, if consciousness is as powerful as psi phenomena suggest. On the other hand, I worry that excessive concern with monitoring one's own emotions could lead to emotional repression. If you're authentically angry, isn't it better to feel angry than to pretend you're perfectly calm?

I have a mixed reaction for similar reasons, and also because I think the issue is more complex than the author states. The way she writes, being influenced by other people's "vibes" is mostly a matter of physical proximity. Now, I doubt that her true position was so simple, I suspect she would recognize emotional proximity, etc., as well. As for physical proximity, I think we all have a barrier we put up of some sort. Some people have less of one and can be very sensitive: empaths, although the term "sympath" would probably be more correct. Personally, I can read people's vibes OK, but I don't find that they "hurt" me very much, and again I use 4th- and 5th-dimensional vibrations to "see," so I don't need to get into people's etheric "stuff" to read them. Notwithstanding, I *am* rather greatly affected by people's vibes when I have a close emotional and/or sexual relationship with someone (e.g., a girlfriend). That seems to open up the gates, and I can get very sensitive to negative vibes in the person's presence.

This seems to be saying that what are technically called qualia are made possible by the ego-principle, and that without the ego-principle the nervous system would still function in a mechanical way, much as physicalists or materialists believe, but without the all important dimension of self-awareness and meaning.

Building on this, I would say there is dimensionality of thought. We all know those people who seem to think and react on almost an animal level. They seem to have no "buffer" in which they are actually reviewing their thoughts before acting on them. I would call this 2D thinking. It is basically pre-conscious. Such people may have flashes of 3D thinking. Your average person who can really think is in 3D. Geniuses are in the 4D zone (real geniuses of thought, not just people with high IQs who are quick to perceive mathematical truths). Hence, ascension is about getting people up to 4D and 5D thinking.

You get into primitive man in a bit, and I think this relates also relates to Jaynes's Bicameral Mind. I think there was an ascension that took place across humanity from 2D to 3D thinking, and it was around the time that Jaynes says we left bicameral thinking behind. In the 2D era, a human was basically a high-IQ animal. I think around the time of the Roman Republic, the 3D thinkers were the elite, still far from being in the majority. 4D thinking was extremely rare (someone like an Archimedes, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Lao Zi), and occasionally you had a Buddha or Jesus who was 5D or higher and engaging in truly revolutionary thought.

Finally, here is part of a discussion of humankind's spiritual evolution. Some may object to this scenario, inasmuch as it suggests that “primitive” peoples were less spiritually advanced than us more modern types. In many circles today, the opposite assumption reigns.

I would adjust this by saying I think that people with the opposite assumption are not talking about cavemen but American Indians: people who were closer to the land, nature, and authentic spirituality (as opposed to the rapacious, attacking, self-righteous, and dogmatic Europeans).

Very early religions in the historical era tend to picture the afterlife as a misty realm of bloodless and confused shadow figures–the Greeks' Hades, the Israelites' Sheol. There is also a disproportionate emphasis on devils and demons, for instance in the religions of ancient Sumeria and Babylon. It does indeed appear as if conceptions of the afterlife have progressed toward more vivid, inspiring, and uplifting imagery over the course of time.

I think you are right.

Primitive man had an astral being but barely the dawning of an ego-principle. After death his being would hover between the etheric and lower astral and would quickly descend again into a physical body. His highest experiences, then, would be those of the lower astral planes and in many cases no doubt the after-death experience must have been dominated by the animal plane from which he had only just emerged. When such a being went back to earth his vague yearnings for spiritual truth would bring back to him visions of animal forms, of elemental beings of earth, air and water and of the unformed primitive man-soul itself. Fleeting visions of these things would haunt his dreams and he would carve them into his images, symbolize them in his legends and sing them in his songs.

This makes a heck of a lot of sense!

Thanks again, this post added to my understanding.

What is your opinion of Alfred Jay theory presented in this book?

Because I believe that channeling require empirical support to be credible, and how and as they are, the channeling could be simply ideas created by the unconscious of the medium.


Because I believe that channeling require empirical support to be credible.

Not sure if I can agree on a philosophical level, although empirical support is nice.

Just because a channeler can come up with an empirically verifiable detail doesn't mean everything s/he says is true.

The best way for anyone with paranormal ability to trick someone would be to earn that person's trust with verifiable details and then lie like heck.

"First, there are the four interpenetrating substances [physical, etheric, astral, and spiritual]"

Theosphists said:

Etheric body (vehicle of prana)
Astral body (vehicle of desires and emotions)
Mental body (vehicle of the concrete mind)
Causal body (vehicle of the abstract mind)

I wonder why Jane Sherwood misses out the mental body.

No it was written in response to the autoganzfeld data. Hyman also noticed that as the clip appeared more and more, the more likely it was to get a higher hit rate. He also noticed that Static targets didn't replicate their orignial results.

And I think the idea was, the more a clip appeared, the more it was likely to be prompted by the experimentor as, they would guess it would be more likely to appear as a hit.

What Sherwood is describing in the quoted passages is precisely one of the realizations that are experienced by users of psychedelics. And I do mean experienced - it's not a theoretical thing. Once one has experienced that level of sensitivity one does tend to change in becoming more aware of the impact of one's emotions on others as well as oneself and to make an effort to act more out of peace and love than anger, hate, etc.

This is just one aspect of psychedelics that I think makes the benefit derived from their use - by serious and responsible adult spiritual seekers - outweigh any risks.

So whether channeled from a departed soul or from other source, I think Sherwood has hit a very important spiritual nail right on the head. I understand what she describes to be absolutely true.

"And I think the idea was, the more a clip appeared, the more it was likely to be prompted by the experimentor as, they would guess it would be more likely to appear as a hit."

I thought part of the autoganzfeld protocol was that the clips were selected randomly by a computer. So (barring precognition) there would be no way to predict which clip would be picked.

"What is your opinion of Alfred Jay theory presented in this book?"

I downloaded that book a while back and have read some of it. It's an interesting attempt to reconcile physics and "metaphysics." But I think he may be trying too hard. For instance, he claims that "dark matter" radiates from the sun and passes through physical barriers. But then he claims that these dark matter rays are less evident on overcast days when sunlight is blocked. Well, hold on - if dark matter can pass through physical barriers, then surely it can pass through clouds in the sky? This kind of mistake suggests to me that he is overreaching, though some of his speculations may be valid.

It's not clear to me if the author, Jay Alfred, has any scientific credentials or is simply relying on popular explanations of physics. I suspect the latter. I would have more interest in the views of an actual physicist like Nobel Prize-winner Brian Josephson (who is sympathetic to parapsychology). Still, it looks like an interesting book and I do plan to read more of it -- but with a skeptical eye.

Also, I wonder if that passage regarding primitive man's spiritual development could explain some of the crosscultural differences in NDEs and other afterlife reports. I mean different cultures - even today - fall along different points on the primitive to developed scale (relatively speaking).

Well in the Article Hyman found that the more a target appeared, the higher the rate of hits was. The article is called "Ganzfeld Anomaly or Artifact" by Ray Hyman. I have looked, but I cannot find a response to it.

Michael, dark matter only interacts with ordinary matter through gravity, so it is a very weak interaction, so that dark matter from the Sun can pass through the Earth with little interaction, but at times the interaction can be greater. But you're right it is a cloudy sky or not matters little to the rays of dark matter from the Sun.

On the credentials of Alfred Jay, you're right in that he seems more a amateur scientist than a professional scientific, but this does not necessarily invalidate their position. I think Jay Alfred has to be recognized by joining various ideas they had to join but no one dared to do, for example, relate the material forming the astral body with string theories of modern physics. It seems pseudoscience, but it was time for someone noticing that modern physics can be directed to the basics of what we call spirituality.

You people are nothing more than woo doctors. Go get a read degree

"Woo doctors" usually have an extrinsic motivation (i.e. financial, attention seeking), I fail to see a motive of that nature from the people on this blog.

Matt Rouge, as an example, could give a damn whether you think he's correct or not. He hasn't asked me for money for his endeavors (though, I'm sure he'd appreciate it), he simply seeks a greater understanding of the world based on his quest for spiritual knowledge and simply shares it on this blog for anyone who cares to read it. I enjoy, and think there is a tremendous amount to be gained, spiritually and personally, from the views people share on this blog, based on their own experience and education. I've never seen a commercial advertisment on here, other than a simple link to new books that Michael will post every now and again. I assume these "links" hardly generate even a modest living for even the most frugal among us. Its 10 bucks max for the most expensive Kindle book.

For those in the "read degree" realm, if you look at the recent news on the "student loan crisis" and the lack of "practicality" in the "real world" with those 10s of 1000s of dollars they've spent to build up quite a debt, you start to see where the real motives of those with "read degrees" come from. No wonder why SOME "real read degree" scientists have such a problem with what they call "pseudoscience" - other ideas start to take on their own old ideas - and, in a nutshell, their bottom line.

Materialistic Scientific thinking has a profit motivation, whether in pharmaceuticals, research grants, or many other areas. You plug up the oil well when alternative methods actually work, especially ones that are costless. If you label a science "superstition" - MIT, Harvard, Columbia would be hard-pressed to fund it. You just ain't getting money to research "who ha ghost stories", whether they exist or not, what the hell profit is that going to generate? Heck, if its sounds "sciency" and doesn't involve anything even broaching on the paranormal (even if its a study on how to have a better erection), then fund it. Kuebler - Ross, however, recognized the tremendous benefits that come from paranormal studies when dealing with dying patients, which is why many of us feel the area is of importance.

So, lets get a "read degree", lets think like we've been told to think, lets act like we've been told to act. As the movie "Good Will Hunting" espoused, let's spend $150,000 on an education we can get for a buck 50 in late charges at the public library (or, in modern times, 40 dollars a month for internet service to get on wikipedia). At least we'll have a "read degree". Then we'll be "real" scientists, who contribute such a tremendous benefit to the world. After all, worrying about the hereafter contributes nothing to the quality of life to the living. Right?

DISCLAIMER: I am making generalities, Paul. Of course materialistic science has profound benefits, but the above is in response to your "woo doctor" generalized comment about the people on this blog. Some of whom, I assume, have "read" degrees as well.

Well, I have a Master of Science in Management. But did someone say something about giving me money?!

"Master of Science in Management"

Matt just curious, what is a master of science in management? That's a first for me.

Matt, I'm sure will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it is like an MBA, but more academic as opposed to practical. I think you have to do a dissertation or a master's thesis or whatever that's called. Its actually a common degree, and theorically more of a "read degree" than an MBA. I wouldn't have guessed Matt had that kind of degree, but I wouldve guessed he had something with a "research/analysis" bend to it.

And I'm not trying to denigrate or diminish or say anyone else's comments are less than worthy of recognition. Lately, Matt has just been on the forefront of the detailed comments. I figured he would be a good example to make my point, especially given his side hobbies.

It's basically what Purdue used to call their MBA until 2001. We were the last of the MSMs in 2000. I think it had something to do with Purdue not being able to call it an MBA because Indiana University called it that. But that rule went away, and then they could. Could be apocryphal.

In any case Purdue was and still is renowned for the amount and quality of quantitative analysis in the program, which has helped me understand statistics over the years.

I appreciate the favorable comments, but when it comes to erudition and experience on the topic of this blog, I bow to Michael, Jason, Bruce, no one, and many others. I'm happy that I am perceived as adding something, however.

Science and knowledge requires the experience of many, minority and majority. Having one consistent drone voice is boring.

That's why I stay away from the skeptic's forum or the physics forum

I have a masters in economics and I have passed, oh, the first few actuarial exams and worked in that field.

I think that qualifies me as "read" or at least I'm in the ballbark, but I don't think "read" means a damn where understanding life and oneself are concerned.

I do think that I am more qualified to do analysis, especially analysis based on probabilities than say, Keith Augustine, who is a philospher of some sorts. Yet all the sciencey types sure like to reference Keith.

Keith Augustine is nothing more than an anti-woo doctor. He needs to get a deal degree.

Words, words, words! Label juggling! Relax and just BE. "Illumination" is a goal for many folk but it's really just the next Beginning.

Where's Romulus when you need him?

Oh come on guys. I mean why should we trust medical doctors who are experts in their field?

It's like how we should trust a philosopher to interpret statistics or how we should trust a magician to explain neuroscience.

I find it funny that skeptics call religious people "indoctrinated" or "ignorant" but they will gladly accept lay persons to explain complex scientific experiences...

that's just my opinion

People got a little worked up about Paul's jibe. I thought it was funny, myself.

It reminded me of a scene in the sitcom "Frasier" when a parapsychologist visits the house to test Daphne's supposed psychic powers.

Frasier asks the visitor if he has a degree.

"Yes, a PhD."

"In what field?"


Then he laughs at Frasier's discomfort and reveals that it's actually a PhD in psychology.

He misspelled "real," Michael. That ruined the joke.

hey i have a read degree. I got mine at Coney island

Maybe he means a degree in cold reading!

Actually I knew a Doctor Wu. Very fine cardiologist. Of course his name was formally listed as Wu, Dr.___.

I wonder if there was ever a skeptic that missed out on some top notch cardiac care because they couldn't abide by the name.

And what's wrong with Dr Woo any how (at Woo Love; )?. It's hard to imagine a little coco love oil throwing us back into the dark ages.

Much skeptical to do over nothing.

Paging Dr Woo..............

I remember Mel Brooks talking about the "woo woo" in High Anxiety. Any connection?

"I remember Mel Brooks talking about the "woo woo" in High Anxiety. Any connection?"

Hmmmm.......skeptics really hate woo woo.........classic Fruedian tranference within a Fruedian slip (I belive Mel Books use of term pre-dates the skeptic's).......or in other words their Freudian slip is showing.

And Dr Woo's coco love oil is touted as being beneficial (and tasty!) for the entire body, emphasis on 'entire'.

So, yeah, connections abound.


For the record; it was a different Paul previously :)

You Paul Wu, he Paul Nowu.

Lol, I was actually wondering about that Paul Wu.

Paul Nowu needs to pick a "code" name, since Paul Wu was first commenter, it avoids confusion. But then again, maybe Paul Nowu is trying to frame Paul Wu as an "anti-woo doctor."

Who the F is "Paul"? He is just some troll. He found what people are sensitive about, and then performed a master troll stunt. Giving him this much attention can't be a good thing.

Lol I like 'Paul Wu'. I may change my name by deed poll.

I'm not much of a target if the intention is to frame me. Maybe Paul Nowu should try a more challenging adversary :)

Agreed, Cyrus. I think it's better just to smile and move on,

But we have a paradox to deal with here. We can't call him "Paul Nowu," since "Nowu" is a mix of English and Chinese. Now the Chinese word for "nothing" or "without" in this case is... wu! So in order to call him "Paul without Wu," we will have to call him "Paul Wuwu." So either you're Wu or Wuwu with double the wu. Either way, there's no escape from wu!

To think we could be exploring the moons and stars by now. No, let's no do that. Let's believe in superstition and fairy tales.

Science is the study of the natural world. What we can smell, see, or hear. God does not meet any one of these. Believing in god is nothing more than believing in a spaghetti monster.

Stop being an indoctrinated ignorant religious child. Think for yourselves.


You need to sign your name "Paul Wuwu" to avoid confusion. Thanks!

BTW, I'm more of a capellini man myself. But since that's "angel hair," I guess we are still in the world of superstition. No escape!

You people are so indoctrinated that you don't even understand.

"Science is the study of the natural world. What we can smell, see, or hear"

I think that's largely true, but the question is: Does science encompass everything in reality, or are there things we can't smell, see, hear, touch, taste, etc? This isn't a scientific issue; it's a philosophical one. Science is closely tied to materialism, but it doesn't follow that materialism is a complete explanation of reality.

Personally I think materialism is true within certain limits, but I don't think it's the whole truth. It can give us the means to fly to the moon, build an iPad, or cure polio - and those are hardly small things! But it comes up short when dealing with consciousness and personhood, issues of values and meaning, and a large amount of laboratory and field data supporting psi phenomena (including evidence of postmortem survival).

A good scholarly book on all this is Irreducible Mind, by Kelly et al.

P.S. Please modify your username to distinguish yourself from another user named Paul, who was here first. Thanks!

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