This was by far the best assortment of comments I have read, particulary from Les.I only hope that he will continue.Great stuff Michael .
David,, Wed 25 Nov, 03:08
I like to think of what is known about the ‘afterlife’ as a giant impressionistic painting with dabs of different colors of paint applied with different size brushes,maybe by several artists with different levels of expertise taking part in the final painting. Since the painting is impressionistic, nothing is defined in great detail and up close it appears to be just a mish-mash of paint blobs but if one steps back a little, shapes begin to come into focus and at a distance from which one can observe the entire painting, organization, structure and beauty are perceived.
Perhaps that is the way one should look at the multitude of data currently available about the ‘afterlife’.- AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 11 Nov, 00:16
This is a useful post, Mike. I’m sorry that you had the unfortunate experience with those “Christians”—but sorrier that they have lost touch with their own deeper traditions.
Roberta Grimes words remind me of the famous quote from Gandhi: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”
Elene Gusch, Wed 4 Nov, 08:33
~ Where to start? I am getting more and more frustrated but let’s start from your closing sentences in the pers com email. “Forget about all the research today. It does not equal the research of old.”
~ My point of entry to these matters came when I happened on Friedrich Jürgenson and his accounts of finding voices on his tapes of nocturnal bird calls. This led me to the Pye experiments and it all escalated from there.
~ Initially, I made the unfounded assumption that early experiences were probably less than rigorously examined. It was several years before I realized that the reverse was true. Your books played no small part in this.
~Yes, I accept that a preponderance of evidence is very useful, particularly when there is an absence of objective evidence to contradict it, but I will still look for higher proof of at least the beyond reasonable doubt level if possible.
~ (My reasoning parameters come from a long time as a senior engineer in the automotive and aviation design and manufacturing industries, in areas in which accepting flimsy evidence or hearsay WILL cost the lives of innocent people. In these areas, there is a common dictum – when in doubt, don’t!)
~ The most difficult aspect of trying to find useful objective information in the afterlife field is that it is buried under mountains of total crap. I am very ready to accept that the preponderance of evidence is a valid approach; in fact, it is probably essential to the accumulation of useful information. But the opposite also applies. Repeating claims over and over and over does not confer any validity whatsoever even if it appears to satisfy many people!
~ That said, a series of messages were conveyed to me some years ago via an EVP group, said to be from a discarnate entity. The EVP group was puzzled by the content to the point that they mentioned the receipt of the messages only in passing and without conveying the actual content. I had to really push them hard to be given the actual content! (Investigative rigor was not one of their strengths!!)
~ The contents referred to events unknown to them and contained words which they did not recognize. (The transmission was in Morse code so there was no question of word confusion.) Since the messages had come through a chain and on the other side of the world, my assessment of validity can rest only on a balance of probabilities, which I would put at 95%+.
~ This is the only personal experience that I have had in afterlife matters and it is indirect in any event; everything else has to be treated on the basis of credibility of those making reports and this where early investigators like Lodge stand out. They were of very high standing in the fields of science and engineering and their accomplishments were never questioned; their credibility was therefore of the highest standing.
~ Sadly, this cannot be said of the vast majority of accounts in this field. Even when they might contain interesting snippets of information, the inclusion of truck-loads of unsupported statements, speculation and not a little wishful thinking just blows any credibility away. People are ever ready to rush into print on the basis of scant knowledge; it appears to be a human trait!
~ Latterly, I have realized that many communicating entities claim to be in possession of total knowledge when in fact they are simply iterating their extremely limited experience. The worst aspect is that they appear to be utterly unaware of the extreme paucity of their knowledge.
~ However, you are right. This is a bit like Victor Zammit’s book. He doesn’t go into endless detail of proof of every single report – he doesn’t need to. By the end of the book, the reader has been presented by with a huge amount of information which, in the absence of credible contradiction, amounts to a preponderance of evidence.
~ It is probable that, as you say, there is no absolute proof.
Leslie Harris, Wed 4 Nov, 02:13
I firmly believe more people will continue to choose the thoughtful Spirituality Way versus blind acceptance of Religious Dogma…as more and more as people will not be able to reconcile an All Loving and Merciful Creator with One that chooses some humans over others.
Yvonne Limoges, Tue 3 Nov, 20:05
The Creator is Unconditional Love…humans are imperfect and the ones who judge themselves and not others.
Great blog, Mike. In fact it blends in nicely with the new book I’m writing about the same subject, viz. dealing with fundamentalism in this age of greater spiritual revelation. Thanks for introducing me to Roberta—I’m getting her books pronto. As an aside to comments by Les, it’s interesting to note that archaeologists fail to find evidence of any community named Nazareth until long after Jesus’ time frame. Interesting!
Dave Howard, Tue 3 Nov, 17:43
Thanks for your many comments. I know that you are older and wiser than I am, so I hesitate to offer any advice. I do get the impression, however, that you are trying too hard, that you are looking for absolute proof when “beyond a reasonable doubt” is the best you can hope for. When I was a competitive distance runner, I tried running 110 miles a week in my training, but I broke down. After recovering, I settled in at 80 miles a week and had my best times. Doing too much seems to apply to most every endeavor. Even a preponderance of evidence, which doesn’t come close to beyond a reasonable doubt,should give you some peace of mind. Try focusing on the best cases in the annals of psychical research. Will send an email to you with one of those cases.
Michael Tymn, Tue 3 Nov, 10:59
~ Ah yes, the Christian religion. I was brought up amongst clergy and got into a lot of trouble for asking questions. For a long time, I believed that I was mentally deficient because all these wonderful people could understand things that I could not. This persisted until I began reading and thinking.
~ Now, when I think about religions, I see fear, superstition, a sharp propensity to criticise and persecute, brainwashing, an absolute terror of thinking for oneself, no logic and no objectivity.
~ The reactions that Michael was subjected to at this conference are stock-in-trade for the sanctimonious religious zealot. I have been subjected to precisely the same thing. These poor little people are utterly unable to distinguish between belief (and/or wishful thinking) and evidence. Ask them to prove anything and they wave a Bible in your face and tell you ‘It’s all in there!’
~ The core problem with the Christian religion is their over-reliance on their core document, their Bible, a massive work of subjective opinion that is totally devoid of proof.
~ Let’s start with the oceans of verbatim quotations of Jesus. (Let’s also bear in mind that there was never anyone called Jesus in Nazareth or anywhere else. ‘Jesus’ is a clumsy interpretation of Yeshua, a common name in that place and at that time.)
~ In any town of that size at that time, there would have been less than a handful of literate people. Literacy would have been confined to a few merchants, a rabbi or two and perhaps a scribe plying his trade in a marketplace. To accurately record the words attributed to Yeshua/Jesus, it would have needed a small army of scribes with cartloads of papyrus and ink blocks to accompany him 24/7. There wasn’t!! Not dissimilarly, acres or words from the Apostles came from – where?
~ OK, so that’s a blind alley. Let us then refer to the original documentation. What’s that? There is no original documentation? Oh dear!! This book is composed of copies of copies of copies of copies – how many times copied is impossible to tell. And that doesn’t even take into account many cross-language translations, all with a high potential for error. No-one can ever know what Yeshua/Jesus said with any certainty.
~ Now, two thousand years down the track, theologians argue ever finer points of what amounts to ancient hearsay. They have absolutely nothing on which to base objective argument but that never stops them! What was actually said and what we think might have been said could be polar opposites and we have absolutely no way of ever knowing.
~ There is a body of opinion that says that Yeshua/Jesus was a higher level entity who reincarnated to try to establish some rationality in our thinking. He failed! He not only failed, he got nailed up and died. It is hard to regard this as a success story of the afterlife!!
~ And this brings me to an increasing concern. It is not possible to find objective substantiation of many claims made of afterlife entities. One painful example is the matter of ‘guides’ and ‘helpers’ who are said to protect the living. I am forced to wonder where these guides and helpers were when Hitler murdered many millions of people in a very short time during WW11. Where were they when Stalin murdered uncountable millions of his own people? Or when Pol Pot murdered another couple of million? Guides? Helpers? Protectors? Utter rubbish!!
~ When I learned of Grimes’ book ‘Flying High in Spirit’, I was elated. At last, information direct from a Sixth Level entity! At last, there would be objective explanations of many things never or rarely mentioned. I bought the book and read it eagerly. What a crashing disappointment! The only objective knowledge I acquired was how to blow up vacuum cleaners in childish pique or deeply embarrass a sincere person at a funeral.
~ In the acres of words written about the afterlife and its several levels, it is very hard to learn anything that is objective. This closely parallels the Christian Bible – endless claims and no objective evidence of anything! If ‘Mikey’ is an example of Sixth Level enlightenment, it is hard to see why it exists at all. It can be found in any pre-school care centre! Increasingly, I am alarmed at the prospect of dying and still not being able to find objective evidence of anything.
~ The more I learn, the less I understand!
Leslie Harris, Tue 3 Nov, 01:30
Love your review Michael. I could not agree more with everything you wrote.
Wendy Zammit, Mon 2 Nov, 23:46
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