Blog powered by Typepad

« Stranger things | Main | Guest post: Why Skeptics will never accept the existence of psi »


"But maybe the explanation is simpler. Maybe, as far as Summerland is concerned, there is simply nothing more to convey."

Provocative post, Michael, and it gets me thinking.

Here's what I believe. There's plenty more to convey. But it *cannot be described.*

Now we all know that. But none of us accepts it. Not fully and unconditionally. If something exists, we feel certain that somehow, somewhere, there are words to explain it.

But the fact is, no one can explain to a Flatlander what Spaceland is like. Even having visited it, a Flatlander can't remember its true nature, as A. Square's story shows. All he could do, while tryihg to recall the splendor he had experienced, was to reflect on certain aspects.

And that's how it is for those of us who live in bodies. We can bring into our awareness bits and pieces of the spiritual realm—hints, suggestions, faint whiffs.

But that's all.

And that's how it should be. That's what makes reality so cool. Surprise is standard. It comes built in.

Yes! Michael, you are approaching my perspective, with your own twist, of course.

IMO, most people here in what we call the material world spend most of their time *seeking* "summerland". Being in my early 50s, I have had friends and acquaintances ask that question...."Where did all the time go?" and make the statement "Wow, the years just kinda got away from me".

Well, those I know well, I know exactly where the years went. They were spent getting up and going to work and then spacing out to TV/sports, taking the kids to after-school activities, but mostly spacing out to the little things that make them relatively happy; or at least ease anxiety. Some wasted years being drunk or stoned (or both).

Now we've got the internet, virtual reality.....pleasure inducing drugs have always been a big hit.

Then there's retirement with shuffle board at the senior living center, maybe a pleasant cruise once or twice a year....then the big D.

Most people seek to hide from their inner selves, their energies and from reality itself. They're escapists. Not casting aspersions here, just stating the facts.

So no surprise to me that they would continue in the same vein in the afterlife.

Once we get past and retire the notion that NDEs are what actual death is like, the point you (and I) make becomes reasonable and most probable.

Also, I do think that ADCs about big houses with many rooms are, somewhat, metaphoric. We know that people on their deathbeds will allude to knowing they're going to die that night in very mundane cryptic ways (e.g. "My bags are all packed and the train is getting close to the station. Should arrive tonight so I'll be out of town for Bob's birthday"). IMO, that is just plain stupid. Why not call it what it is, own it, and have a real convo with your loved ones? But they very often don't (BTW, I see some of this, personally, which has also been extensively written about, because I volunteer at a hospice home in my town). So, again, no surprise that their ADCs are equally vague, metaphoric and, well, dull.

In fact, I am still surprised, even after seeing it for years, that people in hospice will spend their last weeks, days, hours, watching the stupidest crap on TV. I have seen people expire in their arm chair with the TV blaring an idiotic game show.

People are, mostly, fearful dullards and their incuriosity causes them to gravitate to a banal summerland.

That said, I do think the collection of mentalities in afterlife operates like a morphic field that influences thinking, invention, etc here on material earth. Influences, but doesn't control. Because the "living" are just as dull as the "departed". Sometimes otherworld influences are from more powerful minds - or a more powerful collection of minds - and then things happen here on earth that we are hard pressed to explain adequately with social science, economics and anthropology. A conflux of events causes something new to emerge. The flowering of the renaissance period, might be one such example. IMO, the spirit world in exerting an influence as much as the known factors.

Anyhow, I have been wanting to get back with Georgia O'Connor over this very question. The two sittings my wife and I had with her were so shocking to us both given that they were actual conversations with deceased family members; so much so that we got caught up in the whole thing and were not on our toes, even though we wanted to be the second time to ask of these things. Sadly, I think something has happened to Georgia. I know she had brain surgery a couple or three years ago. Now she seems to have dropped off the map. She is one medium I trust.

I want to ask my father's spirit what he does all day. He alluded to "learning" to kindly take care of people (something he needed to do, IMO). I asked him a question about learning about spirituality, but he was off on a tangent giving me a lecture about some things I had been up to that he didn't approve of (he was right, btw) and he kind of blew off the question; saying something like, "I do all of those things too, but right now I am keeping an eye on you!"

I for one plan on being an active spirit; avoiding summerland and exploring every aspect of everything that I am permitted to. I also intend, if possible and permitted, to find a worthy person to communicate to. If I don't know an answer, I will not just say some dumb crap to appease the audience. I'll tell them I don't know for sure, but that I'll get back to them when I have learned more about it. Which is something else that pisses me off about people on earth and that I'm sure continues in the afterlife. They mistake, lazily, their opinions for objective facts and they really don't care about increasing knowledge.

Just a couple more points....

...what Myers communicated sounds a lot like a Victorian description of what psychedelics often show people; that the world/reality we think we know is very much more plastic and malleable and that what we perceive is very much a product of our own inner energies combined with external energies. If the energies are strong enough, the world can be stopped and changed via intent. People using psychedelics responsibly and in a spiritual manner frequently report verifiable synchronicities, psi, telekinesis and positive changes in their lives post use. Not promoting psychedelics here; just saying that there is a known state of mind that somewhat corresponds to what Myers says. Maybe I'm reading too much into Myers, though.

Finally, I do think that life is but a dream. In this dream we're sharing, there are rules and boundaries that we call "physics". Other dreams may have other rules of a different nature. I think Myers might have been trying to say that too. I think it's something along the lines of what you are getting at. The Buddhists say the same thing (e.g. Bardo Thordol/Book of the Dead). From dream to dream to dream. Until we mentally break free......but making breaking free is yet another dream of its own kind.

I've always had some trouble with the concept of the afterlife as somehow just being a better version of this life. If that is true, what is the joy in this one? If it's just a crappier version of what's to come, why put up with it? Cyanide kool-aid all around!

I think that the disembodied spirits of the dearly departed aren't occupied with the same stuff as on earth (i.e. work a job, go on vacation, raise a family, fight a war, etc.). If that's what is desired (or needed?) then maybe reincarnation is called for. I think that if we are truly spiritual beings and can transform and become something more, we then won't care about those things that seem so important in this life.

"Among spiritualists, it is generally understood that the lower planes are illusions experienced by people in a state of something like self-hypnosis or unhealthy self-absorption."

This reminded me also of Roger Ebert's words about this life being an elaborate hoax. Maybe he meant illusion. Why do we think that we instantly are illusion free once out of this body? I think it's only the beginning.

I had meant to include another quote from the "Myers" communicator, also found in Chris Carter's book:

"He [i.e., a typical Summerland resident] wanted to play golf, so he plays golf. But he is merely living within the fantasy created by his strongest desires on earth."

I think it is difficult to imagine or explain what a reality would be like where time and space do not exist. There would be no sequence of things to experience; no before and after; no here or there. It would all be just 'being.' I like to think that there would be a lot of feeling, that is, emotion in an afterlife. Positive emotions in the higher spheres like ecstasy joy, happiness, love, concern, caring, and usually not considered an emotion, but creativity. And, in the lower spheres negative emotions like hate, anger, lust, fear, grief, etc. and destruction. Perhaps we will create the illusions, however extended or brief that will allow us to experience in the afterlife those emotions much in the same way that we choose a physical life in time and space that allows us to experience those same emotions. The quote from Myers is apt here, "In Illusion-land you do not consciously create your surroundings through an act of thought. Your emotional desires, your deeper mind manufacture these without your being aware of the process."

It's all an individual thing. It may seem selfish but probably no spirit is trying to benefit humankind in any way. A spiritual life is a way to experience the self, unfettered by physical constraints although perhaps in some advanced spheres for some few, it is a way to participate in creating new realities. - AOD

"For the most part, our afterlife communicators seem unable to describe what they do to pass the time."

But there's no time to pass.

"In Illusion-land you do not consciously create your surroundings through an act of thought. Your emotional desires, your deeper mind manufacture these without your being aware of the process."

Just as we do here on Earth.

Good thoughts!

For me, this post highlights why I think that religions, as often interpreted, get it wrong. There is too much emphasis on the next world and not on this one. It's often as if this world doesn't count. It's an illusion, it's a bitch, etc. When the truth is that doing things and developing yourself in this life sets a pattern for the next. Here is where the momentum starts.

Just sitting around waiting for pie in the sky results in a summerland trap.

Bruce wrote: Here's what I believe. There's plenty more to convey. But it *cannot be described.*

I think this is it. I have a feeling the immediate afterlife regions may be more earth-like and involve individuals carrying out the same activities as they do here, but it is a dreamlike state, where they act out their desires and preferences.

This process is some form of transition, and from there individuals enter modes of consciousness that are not describable in language. NDErs I feel get a 'taster' of this experience, and are a good indicator of this. They frequently state that their experiences cannot be described.

I suspect the transitional zone involves working out unfulfilled desires, and then a gradual opening of awareness allowing individual minds to become aware of their wider existence as gestalt entities/higher selves, all of whom are part of the Whole. Subsequent experiences are off the chart and no embodied human being can ever comprehend them.

However, isn't this all wonderfully comforting? Imagine if we could understand and comprehend everything - reality would becoming boring. The fact that we are probably on the thin end of the wedge as far as reality is concerned is a source of joy!

'Summerland' is just a primer.

Some stuff I wrote yesterday on a Facebook thread. So far, responses have mainly consisted of dissing Buddhism.


My impression is that, while the "Summerland" environment seems real to its inhabitants, it is actually a "plane of illusion," as the communicator calling himself FWH Myers said through Geraldine Cummins. ("Myers" also called it the "lotus flower paradise" - meaning a blissful state of forgetfulness and daydreams.)

All the things we hear about - buildings, flowers, clothing, food and drink, even the physical bodies of the spirits - are merely illusory projections of the (individual and collective) subconscious mind. Summerland is essentially a dreamworld, but it is a shared dream that has a certain persistence and which serves as a setting for rest and recuperation after the struggles of earthly life.

People are not meant to stay there for long; they are expected to move on to new, and more challenging, experiences. In Buddhism (if I understand it correctly), adepts are advised to bypass this plane of illusion entirely, if they can. To get caught up in it is merely to become entangled in hallucinations. Wikipedia:

"Chönyi bardo (chos nyid bar do) is the fifth bardo ... which commences after the final 'inner breath.' It is within this Bardo that visions and auditory phenomena occur. In the Dzogchen teachings, these are known as the spontaneously manifesting Thödgal visions. Concomitant to these visions, there is a welling of profound peace and pristine awareness. Sentient beings who have not practiced during their lived experience and/or who do not recognize the clear light at the moment of death are usually deluded throughout the fifth bardo of luminosity."

The Summerland inhabitants, according to the Myers-communicator and others, are presumably among those who are "deluded throughout the fifth bardo." In short, what happens there - whether having sex or noshing on chocolate - is not very important; it's all a collective daydream serving the purpose of preparing the soul for further growth.

More of my Facebook comments, for what they may be worth:

I gather that Buddhism is not held in high esteem by some commenters here, which is fine. I have no particular opinion about it, except to say that the people who wrote the Tibetan Book of the Dead seem to have delved deeply into the subject, and their findings are probably worth considering.

But I'm really more interested in the idea that the Summerland environment is not dreamlike but quite "real." This doesn't jibe too well with the reading I've done. I brought up the issue of houses and the rooms inside them. It may seem like a trivial point, but communicators seem oddly reticent about most of those rooms. They typically evade direct questions on the subject. And with a little thought, we can perhaps see why.

If I were asked to describe my house here on earth, I could name all the rooms: kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom, den, bedroom, closets, garage, attic. Our friends on the other side seem to be able to name only the living room/parlor and a den/study. Why no mention of the other rooms that allegedly exist? Well, because specifying them would raise a whole lot of other questions. Who needs a kitchen or dining room if you don't consume food? Who needs a bathroom if you don't perform bathroom functions? Who needs a bedroom if you don't sleep? Who needs storage space if you don't need to store things? Who needs a garage if you don't have a car? Who needs a home office if you have no job?

These multi-room houses don't seem to consist of more than one or two rooms that can actually be identified. Identifying any of the other rooms is problematic. This is the logic we find in dreams, where inconsistencies are simply made to disappear. And I think that most of the logic exhibited by purported communicators is dream logic. It is the kind of logic we associate with the subconscious mind, a logic that has a certain internal consistency but is deficient in critical analysis.

This, in turn, may be because the survival of consciousness mainly involves the survival of the subconscious mind, with the conscious ego relegated to relative insignificance. The subconscious mind, as any hypnotist will tell you, is extremely naïve and suggestible, childlike and trusting, with a tendency to take things at face value. This is the kind of consciousness that I think comes through in most communications, leaving aside those from more advanced communicators (like "Myers") who have already left Summerland and who look back on it as a plane of illusion.

My guess is that the "afterlife" is not a singular experience but various, different regions.

If you fed on psychic energy, why not disguise yourself as Jesus/Krsna/Allah/etc and present 99 virgins, angels, whatever, to keep the soul producing the emotions you need.

When you think of the afterlife as an ecosystem subject to the same diversity/confusion/chaos of this reality but with greater malleability wrt consciousness the "conflicting" reports make sense. Also resolves, to an extent, the reports of shamanic journeys & astral projection which talk about places like out of a D&D setting book.

We could all be from various different subtle planes, incarnating on Earth for varied reasons - vacations, schooling, tests, unknown strategic/political reasons, etc.


Great post! You are open to a range of interpretations of the data and are rather fearlessly exploring some difficult and troubling possibilities.

A lot of great comments already, too.

My personal bias is this: I want the Afterlife to be a certain way. I don't think what I prefer is any kind of outlier. Namely:

1. I want to, you know, survive. I don't want to dissolve into Source upon arrival. That's not an issue in the type of Afterlife you explore here, but this is (from your comment): "This, in turn, may be because the survival of consciousness mainly involves the survival of the subconscious mind, with the conscious ego relegated to relative insignificance."

2. I want to have some sort of control. Being lost in a dream isn't that. In a dream, we are not able to think, "OK, here I am, what's going on. I exist, OK, that's good." We can sometimes have thoughts like this in a dream, but our cognition is quite poor from the perspective of self-aware consciousness (dream consciousness can be amazing in other ways, but we get that benefit by eventually waking up. Lucid dreams are a partial but not complete exception to this and are arguably a different state of consciousness anyway.

3. I want it to be good. Surviving and being self-aware in hell isn't much use. The type of Afterlife described and/or implied by your post content really doesn't sound all that pleasant to me, i.e., being adrift in a world of illusion.

My actual fear that I live with with respect to death and the Afterlife is twofold: one, that the Afterlife is an illusion of psi (not quite super-psi, probably something much more complex); two, that the Afterlife exists but isn't a good thing. So I found the implications of the post on the whole rather unpleasant.

Now, I'm aware also of the implication that what you describe is one stage we pass though. I'm also aware that you're not saying it's definitely so but could be a partial truth, etc.

With all that said, I'm going to argue a bit from my bias against the overall thrust of the post:

1. NDEs don't imply this type of Afterlife. People don't describe this type of dream state lying ahead. Further, the common NDE feature of relatives welcoming the newly deceased would seem to imply a type of autonomous behavior *by* embodied beings that doesn't line up with the dream state. I.e., "Hi, I just popped out of my dreamy illusion to welcome you," doesn't make a lot of sense. Of course, it could be that these departed humans are stepping down into an embodied form just to welcome the newly departed, and they will soon return.

2. Crisis apparitions do not seem to imply this type of Afterlife, as they too point toward the retention of a kind of clear-headed autonomy by the departed.

3. Per McLuhan, the medium is the message (pun intended): the mere fact that the departed can engage in such conversations implies that they have the aforementioned clear-headed autonomy (CHA?). Also, while you aptly call attention to the odd lacunae in their descriptions, the departed participating in ADCs don't seem particularly muddled, do they? We don't typically hear from spirits that seem to be in "bad shape."

4. In my experiences as a medium, I don't get the impression of beings being in a dreamlike, illusory state. Rather, they are often quite intent on contacting their loved ones to tell that they are OK, etc. Is such an intention compatible with being in an illusion or having the ego diminished so that only the subconscious remains? Possibly, but the opposites of these things seem more likely. (I certainly think the ego plays a different role, as you have talked about in your posts about the Witness, etc.)

So, then, how do we explain the lacunae, if that's what they are? Here are my thoughts:

1. Yes, it's an illusion *in some macro sense.* I think in the higher dimensions it's much easier to see through and beyond the "interface," as it were. People can more easily enter into very advanced states of consciousness than we can, so some of the departed in ADCs will be able to convey this, and will choose this kind of descriptor. Further, there are going to be those among the departed who have this ability more than others, and many who get there will take awhile to advance to that level.

2. Yes, it's an illusion in some micro senses as well. With reality there being much more fluid, it is bound to seem more arbitrary and less real. It's a world that is, ultimately, evolved from information in our physical realm but not bound by it.

3. Per Bruce and Douglas: our language doesn't convey well what they are experiencing. Douglas writes "This process is some form of transition, and from there individuals enter modes of consciousness that are not describable in language."

Yes, and it can be little things too. I have visited the Afterlife a few times via my dreams. I have seen Summerland or something quite close to it dimensionally. One thing that is commonly cited is the difference in how color works. One time I saw a puppy swimming in a small koi pond. Now this image was dreamlike and might not have been "real" in the Afterlife, but looking at the puppy, there was an entirely different dimension of color that is hard to describe: it was as if there were another layer of color floating above things, and this other layer has colors in it that we don't normally see. Interestingly, I read a description from an NDE recently that reflected this experience of mine perfectly. Art or Bruce posted this NDE in the comments:

||There were colors that I cannot define because they don’t fit in the palette of colors that we have on earth. There were tones that created layers like transparent, superimposed plaques.||

This is exactly what I saw, so I take this as validation that was really "there" in some sense. In any case, multiply differences like this by about 1,000, and even something as similar to our world as Summerland becomes quite hard to describe. And the cognitive difference are bound to be very, very hard to convey.

4. The room issue. Interestingly, one of my recurring dreams is being in vast houses and other types of buildings in the Afterlife or something dimensionally related. In my experience, they have been peaceful, restful, and quite wide and open. There is furniture in the rooms. They are indeed like sitting rooms or bedrooms in feel. I have not seen bathrooms, kitchens, and other such rooms with specific functions. And there is this kind of feel of unboundedness: I could see walls, but the normal types of limits didn't seem to be there. There were usually multiple floors in the houses, but they are arranged more like split-levels than those with really distinct stories connected by staircases. My experience, admittedly in a dream, seems to match the description from ADCs.

5. The activity issue. I think here we run into a very significant cognitive different between the departed and us, and dreams do provide a clue. There is no entropy in the higher dimensions, and time itself has a higher dimensionality in which any given event or activity is constantly present.

Think for a second about some dreams you've had. If you're like me, it seems as though any given dream you've had, no matter how old, could have been from last night. Further, the content of the dream always seems "now."

Thus, in the Afterlife, one can always *be* in any part of one's timeline. I also suspect that memory doesn't fade either, so any event, if one focuses on it, can seem hyper-present. Or one can chose not to be present in it.

You had a post recently in which you described an experience of eternity that didn't seem burdensome but instead pleasant. I think that experience is the same as what the departed experience on a "daily" basis. Thus, a single experience could count for many. E.g., someone could have a conversation with another spirit and not need to talk to that person again and again, since the spirit could always be in that *same* conversation and ask or talk about "new" things. A scientist in his lab Over There could do one experiment and keep revisiting it and "changing" it without having to do another.


So that's my take for now. I think some points can be reasonably answered, but some are bound to remain mysteries until we get further information.

I am totally with you regarding your likening summerland to Buddhist concepts of bardos. IMO, they are the same thing.

"These multi-room houses don't seem to consist of more than one or two rooms that can actually be identified. Identifying any of the other rooms is problematic. This is the logic we find in dreams, where inconsistencies are simply made to disappear. And I think that most of the logic exhibited by purported communicators is dream logic. It is the kind of logic we associate with the subconscious mind, a logic that has a certain internal consistency but is deficient in critical analysis. "

I understand your thinking and questions here. However, I still see what's bugging you about all of this is pretty much how people go about their lives in this world, i.e. death changes nothing.

People hold onto, often quite dearly, all kinds of beliefs, opinions and perceptions that just don't stand up to even minimum objective rational scrutiny. Often these beliefs and perceptions contain obvious contradictions even as expressed by the person that holds them. When you ask people why they believe things they will often end up answering, basically, "Just because!" if pressed even a little. If you point out the stated contradictions they just get angry or change the subject. It's rare to have someone say, "Wow! You're right1 Thanks for pointing out the error of my thinking. How did I not see that all these years?".

Yet they live their lives by these mental constructs.

I have mentioned before that I worked my way through grad school as a guy on the floor of a locked down mental health facility. Delusional people fascinated me. I'm talking about delusional disorder only - not the psychotics and manics that also suffer from delusions and hallucinations.

So these people *appeared* normal enough and their thinking seemed reasonably well ordered and rational. You could talk to them about a variety of topics and they could form and offer opinions that made as much sense as what you'd get from the average Joe on the street. EXCEPT when the subject was the matter that was the focus of their delusion. These people were not in a dreamlike state at all.

Good comments!

Agree that the spirits seem to express way too much volition,intent, sense of self and purpose (at times) to be merely floating around in a dream; or at least not in a dream as we normally think of dreams. That is what impressed me regarding the three spirits I am convinced I communicated with in my two sessions with Georgia O'Connor.

Regarding colors in the afterlife, etc. , this link to an Aldous Huxley essay about his first psychedelic experience may be relevant.

Fascinating post, Michael, and quite thought-provoking. I'm of the opinion that this Summerland dimension is mean to be a stage where spirits can work to fulfill all their earthly desires. A spirit that loved cooking, for example, could indulge in cooking as much as he or she wanted to, and enjoy being able to eat truckloads of donuts and not gain any belly fat! Another that loved fishing or horse racing could indulge in both, while yet others could, say, have all the kinky sex they wanted, but never got the chance to enjoy while on earth.

The big factor with the Summerland, from what I've read, is that spirits enjoy their earthly pasttimes until they have fulfilled them, and then naturally let go and move on to another stage of existence where there are no buildings, landscapes, or anything that we're familiar with.

With regards to buildings, your post led me to try an experiment, Michael: For the past several years, I occasionally meditate on the idea that in the spiritual world, we can create our own dwellings to be anything we wish, and I've practiced imagining my own dwelling: an enormous, beautiful, cathedral-like tower (think Barad-Dur from the Lord of the Rings films, but beautiful and not at all ugly). I've visualized various rooms within it over the years, but after reading your post, I decided to try and imagine what rooms would be in it that didn't involve meeting necessary earthly needs (toilets, kitchens, etc.). What I found was that the rooms I mentally created were more about invoking a mood than a functional purpose: One room was meditation-related, with a heavy green color (I adore green), while another was a dreamy blue with a giant pool for relaxing in, while another was a towering, circular library that rose thousands of feet, containing untold numbers of books about things I was interested in, all lit by millions of candles (with no risk of burning anything, of course!).

It was a fascinating thought experiment, and made me think that perhaps dwellings on the other side progress like we do, if that makes sense. The dwellings of the newly arrived just might have bathrooms and kitchens and attics, because being in an exact replica of your beloved home would help make you feel at ease. Then, as you grow and leave some desires behind, your dwelling would shift to reflect that. The attic would disappear, as would your closets and basements, leaving only rooms that brought you happiness, such as libraries, jacuzzis, arcade rooms, etc. Then, when you have had your fill of those, your dwelling changes again, and so on and so forth until you have satisfied everything related to being human, and move on to whatever is next.

Whatever the answer, I look forward to seeing if I can create my tower and whatever may lie within.

Matt said:

" I want to, you know, survive. I don't want to dissolve into Source upon arrival. "

Matt, some interesting thoughts and observations in your comment. But as I see it, your insistence on either/or is exactly the sort of misunderstanding we're prone to when we expect to be able to describe—or even grasp—the afterlife, while in human form.

How about this: since time will no longer offer the same sort of barrier in the spiritual realm that it offers here, you can have BOTH. Literally BOTH. "You" can survive, and "you" can be dissolved into Source. One does not negate the other.

Are you open to the possibility that when we move beyond time as we know it, either/or is no longer applicable?

Remember: if I can dream about what will take place 5 minutes from now (as I often do) then "now" and "then" are not truly separate. Likewise, oneness and division (which might seem to occur at different points in time) are not mutually exclusive.

Is this frustrating, mind-boggling, outrageous? Yes. Welcome to physicality and its limitations.

As a response to Matt (great comment, BTW) I'd like to say that virtually every vivid dream I have had includes being in some kind of building. These are typically houses, hotels etc. with no kitchens or bathrooms encountered. Many times there is a transition to an outdoor environment without consciously going through an actual door. Don't know what this means, except it does seem to be simultaneously both material and immaterial.


Thanks for you comments. I agree that we can have both. In fact, I think we agree that we already *are* both.

As a human, however, I have an attachment to what I have, and I don't want to lose it. Some portrays of the Afterlife do imply that kind of loss happening right away.

Steven Smith from ABQ,

Thanks for your kind words. Right, the building dreams--they are awesome! And when I'm in these places, I feel that I am in a very good spiritual zone.

We are taught that dreams are not "real." It's true that they are non-entropic and we don't have to deal with their consequences in our waking lives, but I would say that they are real in their own way *at least*, and I think they can in fact connect to realities shared with others. I.e., we can visit the Afterlife and other higher dimensions and encounter real beings that will also experience and remember our presence.

" I like to think that there would be a lot of feeling, that is, emotion in an afterlife. Positive emotions in the higher spheres like ecstasy joy, happiness, love,"

Amos, you son of a gun, you hit my sweet spot. :) You're exactly right. And in discussing the spiritual realm, few points are more important, or more likely to be downplayed by those who haven't quite caught on.

What about a room where we can collect all things we loved here and/or another room to look at old movies, pictures?
And (in my case) one for building the model railroad I hadn't time to build here?
What if we can travel across the universe to explore new planets and different forms of life?
I see there are infinite possibilities...

"Yet they live their lives by these mental constructs."

If idealism is true, everything is a mental construct, including this biological life and the various phases of the afterlife. It seems to me that the difference is where we dwell in the collective subconscious, that is, God: biological life seems the place where the ego is more separated from the subconscious. Summerland seems a place where the ego lives a world created by the id, the part of the subconscious about repressed and unsatisfied desires, also our shadow side according to Jung, while later the ego would live closer to the superconscious, where id and superego, that is, that part about responsibility, work, challenge, etc., are no longer in conflict.

Matt wrote, "NDEs don't imply this type of Afterlife. People don't describe this type of dream state lying ahead."

I think NDEs are pretty similar to mediumistic/channeled communications, which is one reason for assigning credibility to both sources of info (they tend to reinforce each other). Beautiful gardens, glorious music, wonderful colors, etc. are featured in both. These could be seen as dreamlike elements.

"Of course, it could be that these departed humans are stepping down into an embodied form just to welcome the newly departed, and they will soon return."

I'm not saying people in Summerland aren't embodied. They would have to be, in order to live in houses, play golf, enjoy their gardens, and so forth. When you dream, don't you experience yourself as having a body?

Then there's the issue of autonomy. I think there is a degree of autonomy in the dream state. I have had dreams where I was quite vocal in my refusal to do something, for instance. "Clear-headed" autonomy? Not so much. But that brings us to ...

"... the departed participating in ADCs don't seem particularly muddled, do they?"

Hard to say. The early SPR researchers noted the large percentage of "bosh" (nonsense) in the communications of even the best mediums, like Mrs. Piper. These problems could be the result of transmission errors. But maybe not. Then there were cases where a tested, authenticated medium like Piper would go completely off track. And there have always been doubts about the control personalities like Piper's Phinuit and, later, Rector, Imperator, and others.

We also get communications insisting that the deceased has encountered Jesus (this happens in NDEs too). Unless we believe that Jesus was the uniquely divine son of God, these encounters are hard to explain except as illusions.

Finally, we receive rather bizarre reports of conflicts in the afterlife. The Scole experiments ended after the spirits reported that a rogue band of malicious spirits had attempted to gain access to the (unspecified) transmission device or portal used on the other side to facilitate the seances. An ITC team received detailed reports of an afterlife that was startlingly similar to Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld novels, including the same kinds of battles (and told from the point of view of the same narrator, 19th century adventurer Richard Burton).

"Is such an intention compatible with being in an illusion or having the ego diminished so that only the subconscious remains? Possibly, but the opposites of these things seem more likely. (I certainly think the ego plays a different role, as you have talked about in your posts about the Witness, etc.)"

I meant more that the ego plays a different roley. Saying it's reduced to relative insignificance was not the best way to put it. What I mean is more like a state somewhere between a regular dream and a lucid dream. It's lucid in the sense that there is self-awareness and a feeling of autonomy (maybe not truly unhampered autonomy, though, because people do seem to perform repetitive tasks without being quite aware of it), but non-lucid in that there is (at least initially) no recognition of the illusory nature of the environment. As this realization dawns, the person may be said to "wake up" into full lucidity.

Note that this waking-up process is consistent with what the apparently more advanced communicators (e.g., "Myers") tell us, though even with them, there are passages that seem disconnected and dreamily delusional, as when they talk about life on Mars or a community of flame beings who live inside stars.

Regarding houses, I agree that it's possible to come up with other rooms, but I still find it odd that communicators tend to evade this question. Maybe most of them haven't filled in the details yet? And they aren't quite aware of this fact?

Regarding apparitions, some display autonomy and some don't. The familiar "haunted house" type of apparition usually performs the same repetitive action over and over - climbing the stairs, say. We are told that these apparitions are not really spirits but only thought forms or residual energy or some such thing. But maybe they *are* spirits at the lowest level of postmortem existence, having not yet graduated to the somewhat higher awareness of higher planes.

If there is a continuum of dream states, it might run from total non-awareness (the typical "ghost") to very limited awareness (denizens of the lower dimensions, the "hells," in Swedenborg's phrase, and the subjects of rescue circles, and perhaps the confused souls behind poltergeist and Ouija board phenomena), to somewhat wider awareness (Summerland), and then to significantly expanded awareness (higher dimensions, from which Summerland is seen as "Illusion-land").

Each level may represent a different kind of interaction between the subconscious mind and the conscious mind, with gradually improving cooperation and unification as the spirit advances.

Or maybe not. 😶

My own impression, actually, is that the spirits flip flop between a dream state and periods of lucidity, strong ego and volition.

Maybe life there is somewhat like life here, where a part of the time is spent sleeping and dreaming and part is spent more awake. It might be a bit different in the mechanics and details of how it works, yet be the same in effect.

I was hoping for it to be timeless and definitely not lotus land. I only tend to remember bad dreams so that doesn't sound appealing, either.

I'd rather it be more like Jacob's ladder than Homer's hades.

Good replies, Michael!

I don't have any easy comebacks, as I can only speculate and infer from my own experiences.

I think I can explain the "bosh" in ADCs a bit based on my own experiences as a medium. I think it's always a translation game (hey, I know about that too) in which "real" information mixes with internal and sometimes external thoughtforms. It's quite inescapable, as the departed is using images and thoughtforms to communicate in the first place (in the case of mental mediumship). Communications can range from a relatively small percentage of extraneous matter to 100% thoughtforms being transmitted.

Further complicating things is the presence of good old functional entities, who can also deal in "real" information and boshy thoughtforms.

I think the Riverworld situation was one in which thoughtforms ruled the day. People ended up confusing the medium with the message.

A couple additional pennies adding up to $0.02. :)

It might be because just like in this reality we aren't aware other realities (other rooms). The same may apply when we crossover as well. The problem I have with Summerland is that all everyone likes the summer. I am more of a fall and winter person myself. Of course, this leads to some more questions is their a ethereal sun and moon in the afterlife?. I am aware communications say very clearly that time and space doesn't exist. However, how is light itself provided to this area?.

Leo MacDonald wrote,

||I am more of a fall and winter person myself.||

Welcome to Winterland!!!

||Of course, this leads to some more questions is their a ethereal sun and moon in the afterlife?. I am aware communications say very clearly that time and space doesn't exist. However, how is light itself provided to this area?.||

Good Q. How far does the simulation go?

MP, you should change "in" to "been" in this sentence from near the end of your head post:

"The full implications of their statement have perhaps not in appreciated."

I remember being part of a yahoo group many years ago with Peter Novak while he was researching and writing his book "The Division of Consciousness" (He called this Division Theory) using ancient texts and religions to lead him to reincarnation. His wife had died and that's what prompted him to dig. I didn't agree with him about his resulting research leading to reincarnation. Seemed to be missing something. I forgot what because it's been many years since I read his book. (Some of the old members have written reviews on Amazon.) Your idea also fits well into some of the NDE stories I've heard (maybe meeting the souls in this illusionary state) and OBE's where they also meet souls of like minds of illusions. Novak's theory fits better into what you are proposing. Also, explains much of what Emanuel Swedenborg describes about our states when we first die, and after. Also fits what ES says how some souls do sleep and dream as well on the other side - sometimes joining the living in their dreams while they sleep. They do wake up to a world not in the reality of truth until they have worked through issues. Anyway, I could go on as I've researched and read numerous and varied materials for 30 years regarding the state of the soul after death. Still would like to sit with this a bit longer and think upon it. See how well it fits in my various readings.

It does lead me to consider is that it's best to be aware of ourselves, our thoughts, motives, consciousness of our inner world, and grounded in this world so we don't end up drifting in la la land after we pass. There's a reason why many religions have talked about these states here, finding the truth, doing inner work. Not to mention we are more effective for change if we are aware and grounded in reality and truth. I'd much rather know the truth than play around in illusions because it's soothing to the unconsciousness part of ourselves, or worse, our undeveloped expressions of emotions (emotional IQ?). I see many people walking around thinking they are aware but refuse to consider they lack enough knowledge to see past their own undeveloped worldviews. No wisdom (a result of knowledge and understanding). Willful ignorance. And there is so much we don't even know yet.

I think you're onto something. Thank you for sharing. Great insights.

\\"His wife had died and that's what prompted him to dig. I didn't agree with him about his resulting research leading to reincarnation."//

Reincarnation is one explanation for the evidence we have for reincarnation. There are others. The transmission theory of consciousness suggests another. Children and hypnotized adults may be "tuning into" the memories of others that have lived lives before them. When our own sense of "self" is strong enough it may tune out all the information in the universe from other "selfs" but when the sense of self is weak it may allow the chatter from others to bleed in and we may get confused as what is our own and what once belonged to someone else. As children grow older and develop a stronger sense of "self" those memories tend to fade.

We live in a Universe where the at the sub-atomic level things are much more connected and "one" than what we normally experience in this reality but consciousness seems to operate in both realities and our brain seems to be a conduit for all this information going back and forth and being stored in some kind of holistic collective consciousness. Randy Gehling who was age 10 when he had his near death experience said all of a sudden he knew what it was to be a man, a woman, a dog, cat, bird, fish, etc. His consciousness or soul was tuning into all that information which is much more easily retrieved on the other side.

And sometimes when people have mystical experiences they are able to tune into that information on this side which would account for how people have mystical and transcendental experiences and share such profound things. They know and say things they otherwise would have no way of knowing.

Excerpt from Carl Turner's "kundalini" experience, "I had the realization that I was everywhere at the same time...and I mean everywhere. I knew that everything is perfect and happening according to some divine plan, regardless of all the things we see as wrong with the world."

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)