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Evidence of Psychic Phenomena vs. Enlightenment

Posted on 03 November 2014, 8:44

Many people complain that we get nothing but trivialities from mediums.  They ask why the purported spirits don’t tell us what life is like on their side of the veil, why we are here, what life is all about, something really meaningful. 

William James, one of the pioneers of psychology and psychical research, questioned the “extreme triviality” of most of the communication coming through Leonora Piper, the renowned Boston medium studied by the Society for Psychical Research for more than two decades.  “What real spirit, at last able to revisit his wife on this earth, but would find something better to say than that she had changed the place of his photograph?” James asked, stating that most communication was confined to such remarks. 

The fact is that there were considerable “teachings” coming through Mrs. Piper, the best example being that detailed in Chapter 8 of my book, Resurrecting Leonora Piper – communication coming from Augustus P. Martin, a former mayor of Boston, Mass., to Anne Manning Robbins.  James makes no mention of those messages in any of his writings. Nor does he even allude to the volumes of spirit teachings that were recorded and published by Judge John Edmonds and Dr. George Dexter in their 1853 book, Spiritualism, French educator Allan Kardec in his 1857 book, The Spirits’ Book, or by William Stainton Moses in his 1883 book, Spirit Teachings.  Those three books provide answers for just about any questions a person might have relative to the meaning of life and the nature of the afterlife.

Certainly, James realized that the teachings set forth in these books were not evidential in the same way that the “trivialities” coming through Mrs. Piper were.  So, what was his problem?  Is it possible he didn’t even know about the works of Edmonds, Dexter, Kardec, and Moses?  My guess is that they were too “unscientific” for him to mention in public writings?  His “know-nothing” peers would have scoffed at him.

Since James’s day, we have received the wisdom of Silver Birch, the Greber messages, the Seth material, A Course in Miracles, the Martha Barham books, Afterlife Teaching from Stephen the Martyr, and a number of other channeled books.  And now, just released, we have a book, Spiritual Light,  by Michael Flagg and John Finnemore possibly outdoing all the others in addressing questions and concerns we might have relative to this life and the afterlife.  It has more than 600 pages of wisdom, enlightenment, higher truths – whatever it might be called – purportedly coming from advanced spirits. 

Born in 1903, Michael Flagg was a composer, writer, and editor.  Soon after he started exploring spiritualism, mediumship, and spiritual philosophy taught by spirit guides, he began receiving much spiritual philosophy through various trance mediums.  “Michael would enter each sitting with dozens of questions, which the spirit visitors usually answered before he could ask them,” John Finnemore, who completed the book for Flagg, states. “They explained that their visiting from such high realms was extremely difficult due to the great difference in the levels of vibrations. This has made such high-level communication extremely rare. But once in a long while, as in this case, they set up the special conditions that enable them to directly communicate their teachings to someone on earth.”

The spirit visitors told Flagg that their mission together was to promote on earth a higher consciousness, which would lead to a better way of life, where people live united in love, peace, and harmony, in universal spiritual brother-and-sisterhood. “They were very concerned about present life on earth: its lagging spiritual development, the widespread chaos and suffering caused by greed and hunger for power, and the threats that occur from time to time to all or most life on earth,” Finnemore adds.  “As one distinguished guide told him, ‘You have been chosen to help humanity out of this darkened state.’”

Here are some random teachings from the book:

Justice: “The Law of Cause and Effect and The Law of Compensation together form the Law of Justice.  Because of this Law there is not, and cannot be, any injustice in the long run.”

Attraction: “The greater our spirituality, the nobler our character, ideals, aspirations and efforts, the higher is the caliber of those spirits people who come to us for one reason or another, often as guides and teachers.  Like attracts like.  That is the law of attraction.”

Affinity: “The Law of Affinity is a closer, more delicate, more soul-satisfying Law than the Law of Attraction.  For while we may attract or be attracted to many, we have only one affinity – our twin soul, whom few of us meet on earth.”

Consciousness: “Consciousness of an individual is the sum total of what one is, what one has become.  Each of us is in a continuous state of becoming.  The more evolved one is, the greater is our consciousness, and the higher the level of our consciousness.”

Thought: “Thought is vibration – that is, energy in motion – either within our own mentality, or directed from one mentality to another…Whether or not a thought reaches its destination in the precise form in which it is projected, or whether it reaches its destination at all, depends on several things: the intensity of the thought; the conscious or unconscious receptivity of the person to whom it is directed; the degree of attunement of the two mentalities; and whether the thought is relayed, in which case there is always the risk of distortion, however unintentional.”

Wisdom: “The wiser people are, the humbler they are; for the more they know, the more they realize the immensity of what is still a closed book to them.”

Contentment: “There are a number of reasons for the widespread discontent in the world today. One is the common confusion of desires and needs, as we have pointed out, and seeking to acquire more and more of material things, not heeding the truth that to have simple wants is the secret of contentment.”

Spirit Population: “There are several reasons for the immense growth in the world population; but to catch any glimpse of the picture, we must first realize that even the thousands of millions of souls on earth today are only a very small percentage of the souls that exist – for there are many, many times as many souls in the spirit world as there are on earth.”

Ectoplasm: “Ectoplasm plays a vital role in many.  It usually emanates from the physical body in waves.  At sittings or circles (séances) held in the dark or in subdued light, the semi-fluidic substance, which is then more visible, may be molded by skilled spirit chemists into rigid rods, often with finger-like endings With these rods, which they can easily manipulate, they can move objects about, or suspend objects, notably the ‘voice box’ – the artificial larynx they construct for spirit communicators to use in speaking instead of the medium’s vocal cords.”

Time: “Those who on earth are always conscious of the time, will remain conscious of it when they pass on (return) to spirit life – until they realize that time (as they have known it) is useless to them, and discard that conception, just as they will discard some other conceptions.  Some spirit people use a calendar or clock, or both, to help them adjust their activities to those of loved ones on earth, to remind them to be with them on special occasions…”

Travel: “A too common and surprising misteaching by many, on both sides of life, is that those living in the spirit world need only to think of being in another place to be instantly and automatically there.  This is just not so. Thought alone is not enough. One must know the mechanics of such incredibly speedy movement. Just as almost all infants on earth need help in their first attempts to walk, so do almost all new arrivals in spirit life need help in learning how to transport themselves in a trice from one place to another.”

Various Bodies: “In the long journey of progression, we occupy more than five bodies – physical, astral, psychic, spiritual, and celestial, and after these, still others. We possess all these bodies while on earth.  All of them are dwelling places for the real self, with the habitations becoming increasingly fine – that is of a more rapid rate of vibration.  At all times, our outermost body is the one in which we are most comfortable, most at home in, and which, as a rule, is the only one we are of aware of then.”

Aura: “Our auras record the sum total of what we have been and what we are – our character, our personality, our mental (which includes our spiritual) levels, our present state of consciousness, in fact everything about us.”

Transitioning: “When we pass on, we gravitate to the precise spot in the precise plane that we have prepared for ourselves by all we have done or not done while on earth – so perfect is Justice, as is every thing else that is of God, of course.”

Suicides: “Suicides may be completely earthbound.  They may be tied to earth to a certain degree only Or they may not be tied to earth at all.  Much depends on their motive, on their sanity, and on the sum total of their entire life – not on just the final act alone.”

Lost animals:  “Many theories have been advanced [for lost animals finding their way back to their owners], but we have yet to note the most common reason – that the animals were successfully impressed and directed by spirit people aware of the grief caused by the separation…”

Other subjects addressed include reincarnation, alien life, dowsing, capital punishment, fate of animals, acupuncture, prayer, birth control, healing, glossolalia, identical twins, karma, levitations, materializations, miracles, precognition, sleepwalking, possession, spirit guides, malevolent spirits, clothing in the afterlife, telepathy, you-name-it. 
Of course there is no way to scientifically test, measure, or validate such teachings, but to the extent that they appeal to reason and can be reconciled with a fair, just, and loving Creator, they are certainly worth considering.  Moreover, such teachings seem to be consistent in the various references mentioned above, the difference being minor and apparently due, as suggested, to distortion in the communication. 

It amazes me that that such books are not better known and appreciated by the public.  The only answer I can come up with to explain this indifference is that the light emanating from these books is so dazzling that most people are blinded by it or simply not ready for it.  The Harry Potter series seems like more than enough enlightenment for most.  How sad! 

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die is published by White Crow Books. His latest book, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife is now available on Amazon and other online book stores.
His latest book Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I is published by White Crow Books.

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Next blog:  November 17


I appreciate very much the idea that, while we can use minor factual transmissions to establish the reality of a given person’s survival, what we all really want to know is the full picture of the world in which our spirits continue to exist. In other words, some sort of consensus view of descriptive communications from the most reliable mediums. If I may add a couple of candidates to your list, I have found the books of Jane Sherwood very enlightening, and then you have the monumental “Urantia Book” (take it or leave it, 2000 pages!) which purports to describe the whole organisational structure of the spiritual universe

Peter Wadhams, Mon 12 Jan, 12:55

Yes, there has indeed been some degree of confusion where Earthly understanding of spirit communications from the different levels in spirit is concerned. And as regards teaching, one can of course only teach to the ability of the pupil. It can therefore help enormously if the mediums are with an established seance group with visits organized by a guide from high level in spirit. I have two decades experience of the Kingsclere Group guided by ‘Salumet’ from Angelic Realms. This arrangement has led to highly intelligent links to historic figures, scientists now in spirit, extraterrestrials, ETs now in spirit who have built pyramids on Earth for very important reasons and using own methodology etc. None of this is trivia and all has been published in books, the latest ‘Earth’s Cosmic Ascendancy’ by White Crow 2014; also all is published on our website:

George E Moss, Mon 10 Nov, 18:14

I agree about “trivial things” and here is an example. A couple of weeks ago I’ve asked to an internet friend of mine if she was able to contact my dead son and ask him if he would have come with me during a long trip. She had an NDE many years ago and, since then, she has “the gift”. Hours later, she told me that my son was “in Jerusalem for important tasks”. No way to validate this statement, OK?
BUT…. the day after I was in the city of L’Aquila for a speech and the first words of greetings spoken by the chairman were:
He explained us that the map of the city is the reverse copy of the holy one. This sounds like a validated message, because saying “your son will come along with you” would have been too generic and not verifiable. More, the forecasting of the word “Jerusalem”  excludes also the Super-PSI hypotesis.

CLAUDIO, Sun 9 Nov, 13:17


As indicated in some earlier blogs, the more elevated spirits, i.e., the more advanced ones, are said to have a more difficult time communicating with us than the lower ones because of the vibration frequency.  It is necessary for them to establish a relay system, sending their messages to us through spirits in lower realms.  This often results in distortion of the messages and even gibberish or meaningless messages. That is, the spirits in the lower realms distort the communication. Also, much depends on the medium.  If the medium is not especially advanced, then the more profound messages will likely not get through him or her. However, some of the more advanced spirits do manage to get through now and then, as the books mentioned in this blog suggest.  At least that is my interpretation of it all.

Michael Tymn, Sun 9 Nov, 02:51


According to the teachings in this book as well as in many others, animals do not lose their identity and individuality, and they continue their existence in the spirit world. There seems to be much more to it than that, but it gets a bit complicated and difficult to explain in a few words here. However, pets with which we have had a close affinity are usually there for us, as I understand it.

Michael Tymn, Sun 9 Nov, 02:40

Pam: Regarding pets, our Spiritual Light (not Life) book only mentions their psychic abilities on earth.  But in the large afterlife literature there are abundant reports of meeting loved pets in the afterlife; nothing can separate the bond of love. 
    I have often seen and heard my sister, an accredited medium, give messages describing visits by loved spirit pets.  (These can also be very good “evidence,” like moving photographs.)

John Finnemore, Sat 8 Nov, 23:46

Having passed from this sphere of existence to another sphere of existence does not automatically convey omniscience upon the person who has passed on.  If I want evidence of their continued existence I really don’t want to hear about the workings of the universe or what their state of existence is like (at least until I am convinced that they really are who they say they are).  If they told me about the workings of the universe, what God was like, or their state of existence, I probably would see it as a fabrication and it would provide no assurance for me that their consciousness continued to exist.  I probably would think that the medium or book-writer was making it all up. 

It is the little ‘trivial’ things of my everyday life or theirs, if they acknowledged them that would convince me that they survived.  That is the problem with explanations of the after life such as may be found in Chico Xavier’s book ‘Nosso Lar’ or in Dr. Michael Newton’s descriptions of the interim period between lives.  I just have a difficult time believing it.  There is no way to validate any of it.  It could just be made up by Xavier and Newton (or the patients he hypnotizes).  It is the little trivial things what can be validated that convince me.

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 8 Nov, 17:38

From time to time, animals of various kinds are recognized by mediums as accompanying communicating spirits.  Whether or not these are truly animal spirits or just thought patterns is not clear but it is my belief that it is consciousness that survives death and whether it is human or animal consciousness is of no consequence.  All consciousness survives.

I just happened to be reading Gertrude Tubby’s, attempt to document cross correspondences providing evidence that James Hyslop survived his physical death and could communicate with her through various mediums providing a kind of cross-correspondence test.  Tubby was Hyslop’s secretary and worked with him during his lifetime to document his investigations of mediums and contacts with spirits.  She documents a séance on November 13, 1924 with American psychic Louise M. Chamberlaine in which a communicator ‘Bell’ appears with a dog perhaps thought to have belonged to Dr. Hyslop before he died after which some description of the dog was given.  Tubby notes that another medium Laura Ainslee tells her that “Bell often mentions a dog as being present at the sittings with Annie Brittain, another London psychic.

I empathize with you as it is my greatest wish also that I may see again my beloved dog ‘Woody’, the only true love of my life. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 8 Nov, 17:15

“Many people complain that we get nothing but trivialities from mediums.  They ask why the purported spirits don’t tell us what life is like on their side of the veil, why we are here, what life is all about, something really meaningful.”

Boy, isn’t that the truth. Take Victor Zammit and his beloved David Thompson and his control, William.  They say nothing of any value. You can’t even understand William with his heavy ponderous accent with his horrible cadence. Then take Montague Keen. He reportedly came back in a séance and most of what he said was trivial small talk with his friends—the kind of meaningless chatter you would encounter in a pub. You would think that someone of his stature and scholarship would address the conditions and characteristics of the afterlife since that was his goal on earth. Makes you wonder about fraud.

Bob Royston, Sat 8 Nov, 01:03

What does the Spiritual Life book say about our pets?  I am mourning the loss of my dog, and I would be devastated if I learned that we will not meet again.

Pam, Thu 6 Nov, 05:34

John, according to many sources of information, I know that each earthly thing can exist There if only we need it, the higher the level, the less we feel this need.

CLAUDIO, Wed 5 Nov, 19:38

Elene, tnx for your agreement. Usually I explain this idea to doubtful people showing my fist and then spreading my fingers. The fist is the Ethernal Spirit, fingers are the single souls. The hand is one, but fingers are five and so our multidimensional existences might be!

CLAUDIO, Wed 5 Nov, 19:34

So many people are at the level of requiring evidence of the spirit world only.
If they are exposed to spiritual truths and understand them, many shy away because they
are not ready for the “personal responsibility” all these spiritual teachings point out
as tantamount to our moral and spiritual progress.

Yvonne Limoges, Wed 5 Nov, 05:22

I’ll add my voice to those who have mentioned that the “trivial” messages may be the most evidential.  If the spirit says specifically that his wife has moved his photograph, and that is the case, then he has both identified himself and proven that he can perceive what’s going on in his former house.  That seems very non-trivial to me.

Claudio: Yes, since linear time is illusory, it also makes no sense to think that reincarnation happens linearly, and more sense to realize that everything happens “all at once.”

Elene Gusch, Tue 4 Nov, 23:48

This is indeed a wonderful review of an apparently fascinating book.  Thanks, Mike.

Stafford, Tue 4 Nov, 22:10

QUOTE>but that we should only teach it to those who are spiritually progressed>
Also my Spiritual Guides say the same, in effect I see people who totally disagree on this topic, so I usually avoid of speaking of it. My theory of Co-incarnation tries to conciliate two opposite ideas. In a nutshell, we have only one life but scattered in many incarnations inside the Multiverse. Thanks for your reply.

Claudio, Tue 4 Nov, 18:40

Mike has asked me to respond to comments about reincarnation; I will only mention what is in “Spiritual Light.”
  Wayne:  Michael Flagg told me that reincarnation is a great spiritual truth, that his wonderful spirit inspirers accepted it, but that we should only teach it to those who are spiritually progressed.  I assume readers of this blog fall into that category.
  Michael said that rather than discussing issues that divide us we should concentrate on harmony and that which unites us (reincarnation is notably divisive).  While his inspirers had approved of what is in the body of the book, I was later unable to obtain their approval for what I had written (upon Michael’s request) about reincarnation, so I placed that in a separate appendix.
  Michael’s inspirers discussed a number of incarnations with him; they mentioned reincarnation a number of other times without ever saying it was not true.  In a 1958 newspaper article about their teachings Michael said that reincarnation is often invested with “trappings and nonsense.”  I gathered from Michael those trappings include (1) that people reincarnate immediately or very soon after physical death, (2) that they can reincarnate as animals, and (3) that there is a set time that the spirit enters the unborn baby’s body.
  Claudio:  To add to what Mike has quoted above, the spirit inspirers stated that time as measured by clocks DOES exist, but most people in spirit life are not conscious of it; there they mostly relate to events.

John Finnemore, Tue 4 Nov, 03:21

Thank you for making the point that the most trivial can also be the most evidential; this is something that I had not connected in my own mind.  Occasionally, I need to remind myself that there is a considerable body of evidential material.  One of the best reminders is Victor Zammit’s book, which is a very-wide based compendium of matters for which there is no other logical explanation. 
The screaming sceptics used to bother me a lot but now I just feel sorry for them – sorry that their set-in-concrete ideology prevents them from truly scientific examination.  They loudly declare their scepticism whilst at the same time either ignoring or being totally unaware that they are publicly branding themselves as totally unscientific.
Whilst I can see, from their limited point of view, why a moved photo would be too trivial to be considered, I have a deep hope that such people are required to give an account of themselves in the next life, at which I would dearly like to be a spectator!!

Leslie Harris, Tue 4 Nov, 00:07

I am excited to find there is a book along the same lines as the wonderful Silver Birch books!I have all thirteen books in the series and they are my ‘go to’ books for comfort and wisdom.Now after reading these passages from your book I will be ordering my copy today.As for ‘triviality’coming through mediums,well if we had all the answers then there would be no need for us to be here.We would have no need to learn our lessons,to evolve.

Sheree Fenwick, Mon 3 Nov, 20:37

Mike I just thought of another message I’ve always gotten from spirit -  the importance lies in the simple things in life maybe that’s why the answers seem trivial to us who a re not connected to the loved ones sending them through…just a thought.

Karen Herrick PhD, Mon 3 Nov, 16:55

Also after William James’s time lived Chico Xavier, a prominent, highly revered South American medium of Brasil who wrote 400-500 books with the help of spirit controls or guides.  Some of the books described the after life in great detail.  ‘Nosso Lar’ is perhaps the most well known one. Xavier is not as well known to the North American and European public as he is in South America where his many books are distributed and films are made about him. His image also appeared on a postage stamp of Brasil.  (That’ll be the day when Leonora Piper’s image appears on a U.S. postage stamp.) - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 3 Nov, 16:36

Hello, Michael, thank you for bringing this book to our attention. It does sound good. Would you please comment on what their views are regarding reincarnation? Thanks, Wayne

wayne becker, Mon 3 Nov, 16:24

Mike thanks for your most recent blog on Evidence of Psychic Phenomena vs Enlightenment

I, too, like Wm James have always wondered about the triviality of some of the info that comes through to people from mediums and this trivial info is usually meaningful to them.  I’m going to order the Spiritual Light book and see what new stuff is in there.  Thanks again for all the info you give us Blessings Karen

Karen Herrick PhD, Mon 3 Nov, 15:58

Hi, Mike.
I’ve developed a simple theory on reincarnation that I’ve called of “CO-Incarnations”. If time does not exist in the Afterlife, it’s a non-sense to be reincarnated along the time, so I’ve thought that we’re incarnated at the same “time” in many universes where different lives will run. At the end of each life as separated “Souls” we converge into our unified Spirit to share and match all our single lives. what do you think? Please note that some Scientists agree on the Multiverse theory as a possible explanation of quantum uncertainty:

CLAUDIO, Mon 3 Nov, 12:52

Michael what a splendid review. Thank you for highlighting the merits of this wonderful book and setting it in the context that you have. As you say these wonderful books have the potential to change the world.

Wendy and Victor, Mon 3 Nov, 09:57

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“Life After Death – The Communicator” by Paul Beard – If the telephone rings, naturally the caller is expected to identify himself. In post-mortem communication, necessitating something far more complex than a telephone, it is not enough to seek the speakers identity. One needs to estimate also as far as is possible his present status and stature. This involves a number of factors, overlapping and hard to keep separate, each bringing its own kind of difficulty. Four such factors can readily be named. Read here
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