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No One Really Dies:  A Preview

Posted on 01 February 2021, 10:34

noone

When my very skeptical friend Jim found out that I had authored another book, No One Really Dies, we had our usual discussion.  I didn’t record the conversation, but it went something like this:

Jim: Another one, Mike?  How much more can you say on the subject of life after death?

Mike: Yeah, Jim, it’s my seventh book on the subject.  The evidence is so overwhelming that I could write another seven books, but the primary purpose of this book is an attempt to better explain the anomalies connected with the phenomena providing the evidence. So much is misunderstood and misinterpreted because nearly everyone insists upon applying terrestrial standards to celestial matters.

Jim:  What are you talking about?  Give me an example. 

Mike: The name thing for one.  People wonder why so many mediums struggle to get the name of the communicating spirit. Some of them might get the first letter of the first name; some might get a first name, but only a few come up with a full name.  The debunkers see all those failures as clear evidence that the medium is a charlatan.  They don’t understand why, if spirits really exist and if mediums are genuine, why they can’t get a simple name.  The first chapter of the book begins with my own experience while sitting with a medium in London and being told that George was coming through for me.  I could think of two friends named George and I was pretty sure that both were still alive.  It took me a while to figure who George was and when I later told my London experience to a friend who knew George, he wondered why George just didn’t give his last name.  Why so much mystery?

Jim: Well, why didn’t he simply give his last name?

Mike: It’s explained in Chapter 3, Jim. I’d give you a copy of the book, but I know your mind is made up and you’ll never read it.  That chapter also deals with other communication problems. You and other skeptics seem to think that inter-dimensional communication should be as simple as talking on a phone, but there are obstacles you haven’t imagined.  Add to that the fact that the medium’s subconscious can distort the message.  There is much discernment required. 

Jim: You said some mediums get the full name and others don’t?  If some can get it, why can’t the others?

Mike: It’s apparently like every other talent or ability.  Some are more advanced than others.  The same question is asked about the need for darkness in physical mediumship.  There have been a few mediums who didn’t require darkness, some who could produce under red light and others who required complete darkness.  Some are stronger than others.  You’re a big baseball fan, Jim. Why can just a few players hit 40 home runs in a seasons, some only 20 and still others not even 10?   

Jim: I’ve heard that some of these so-called mediums have been exposed as frauds when the “dead” person turned out to be alive.

Mike:  I discuss that in Chapter 20.  Do you want a copy of the book?

Jim: It doesn’t go into communication with the ghosts of Cleopatra, Elvis, and Princess Diana, does it?

Mike: No, but it does have chapters devoted to communication with Confucius and St. Stephen, the early Christian martyr.

Jim:  Confucius?  Give me a break, Mike.  I’m open-minded enough to give a little consideration to the whole idea of life after death, but I’m not gullible enough to believe that someone has been in touch with Confucius through some medium. 

Mike: That was my thinking before I read Professor Neville Whymant’s report.  Keep in mind that Whymant was a distinguished Oxford professor of linguistics, including several dialects of Chinese. He was also skeptical of mediums.  Yet, a voice came through a medium speaking to him in an ancient Chinese dialect, claiming to be Confucius, or rather the name Confucius was actually known by.  To test him, Whymant asked him about two of his poems.  The spirit claiming to be Confucius then recited the poems line by line, about 15 lines total for one of them. If we are to consider fraud, what are the chances that the medium, an American from New York, knew an ancient dialect of Chinese and had memorized the poems of Confucius?  Keep in mind that the medium had no way of knowing that Whymant would ask about the poems.  Whymant, who is said to have been conversant in 30 languages, heard 14 other languages spoken through the same medium. One who came through in English claimed to be his deceased father-in-law and Whymant noted that he had the same characteristic drawl reminiscent of the West County of England that his father-in-law had.

Jim:  Maybe the good professor made up the whole story.

Mike: Actually, with a little research you can find that some people claim that the medium cheated on several occasions, but indications are that it was what was called “unconscious fraud,” that he did certain things while in a trance state, possibly influenced by lower-level spirits, that made it appear he was consciously cheating. It had nothing to do with voices or other languages, though.  The debunkers will always find allegations of fraud by people who don’t understand the intricacies of the phenomenon.  As for the professor making it up, he had little to gain and much to lose by reporting the story. Also, he would have had to have the New York judge in whose home it all allegedly took place and others present in on the scam.  To what end? I lean more toward the group soul theory.  That is, a group soul representing Confucius communicated.

Jim:  A group soul?  What’s that?

Mike:  You’ll have to read Chapter 16 for an answer on that one.  You didn’t tell me if you want a copy of the book.

Jim: Not if you are going to get into all that ectoplasm baloney we’ve talked about before. I’ll never believe that BS. I’ve seen some of the photos of those “materialized spirits.”  They look like comic book characters and nobody in his right mind would believe they are real.

Mike: Yes, there are two chapters dealing with ectoplasm and materializations. I could write a whole book on that subject.  I believe ectoplasm, teleplasm, od, psychic force, whatever name be given to it, is the key to understanding so much of this subject and has been woefully neglected by science.  I suspect it is the same thing called “soul mist,” the vaporish substance witnessed by many leaving the body at the time of death. What you don’t get about those weird materializations looking like comic book characters is that they were likely incomplete, faulty, or failed materializations, resulting either from lack of power on the part of the medium or the inability of the spirit to show him- or herself.  I’m not saying there were no fakes among them, but I feel certain that many of those now seen as fraudulent were incomplete or failed attempts.

Jim: I believe in science.

Mike: So do I, but I recognize that there is much beyond the grasp of modern mainstream science. Consider Chapter 9 of my book, which deals with the research carried out by Drs. Charles Richet, a professor of medicine and a Nobel-Prize winner, and Gustave Geley, a laureate of the French medical academy. They observed many of these weird materializations under highly controlled conditions.  Some of them were even flat. Some looked like puppets or dolls. But there was no doubt in the minds of both Richet and Geley that they were genuine materializations.  They concluded that they were incomplete or fragmentary materializations. Either the medium lacked the necessary power for the spirit entity to complete it, or the spirit entity itself lacked in the ability to complete it.  Other credible researchers, such as Dr. Albert Schrenck-Notzing of Germany and Dr. T. Glenn Hamilton of Canada carried out similar research.  I’m not talking about a few experiments, but hundreds of experiments among them. I should add that both Richet and Schrenck-Notzing, while certain the materializations were genuine, resisted the spirit hypothesis, even though they couldn’t come up with a better explanation.  It would not have been “scientific.” However, both Geley and Hamilton had the courage to subscribe to spirits after much investigation. 

Jim: You’re talking about a hundred years ago.  What about current research?

Mike: Unfortunately, this whole area of mediumship has been taboo for scientists from the get-go, around 1850. Some esteemed scientists, like biologist Alfred Russel Wallace, co-originator with Darwin of the natural selection theory of evolution, Sir Oliver Lodge, a physics professor who was a pioneer in electricity and radio, French astronomer Camille Flammarion, and many others were courageous enough to investigate and publish their findings and opinions supporting the survival hypothesis, but sometime during the 1930s the research reached a point of diminishing returns and those interested in continuing with such research were discouraged from doing so by the closed-minds of their peers in materialistic science. 

Jim:  So your book is just all about the old research?

Mike:  No, the old research is the most convincing for those who have really studied it, but recent research in near-death experiences, induced after-death communication, past-life studies, and Instrumental Transcommunication has all added to the old research and I have chapters on those subjects.

Jim: Past-life studies?  You believe in reincarnation, Mike?

Mike: I think there is something to it, but I don’t think it plays out like most people who believe in it think it does. Here again, I prefer the group soul approach to reincarnation. That’s discussed in Chapter 23.

Jim: I don’t know, Mike.  This whole “God thing” is just too far-fetched for me. I don’t think anyone will ever prove God.

Mike:  Who said anything about God or proof? I’m talking about evidence for consciousness surviving death.  You don’t have to believe in God, at least an anthropomorphic one, to consider and weigh the evidence for survival. Anyone who seriously studies it has got to admit that there is at the very least “a preponderance of evidence” in favor of it, although I believe it reaches the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.

Jim: Even if you’re right, Mike, it’s one life at a time for me.  I’ve got more important things to concern myself with.

Mike: Like what?

Jim: I’ve got a football game to watch later today and then I’ve got to polish my clubs for some golf tomorrow. 

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.
His latest book, No One Really Dies: 25 Reasons to Believe in an Afterlife is published by White Crow Books.

Next blog post:  February 15

 

 


Comments

I know, I know MichaeLIt happens to me all the time. My ols wywa EW NOT WHAT THEY USED TO BE/  =aOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 19 Feb, 13:28

Amos,

My last email is an example of what happens when you can’t sleep at 2 a.m. and are waiting for a zolpidem (sleeping pill) to take effect. The fingers and brain are not in synch. I have to cut out the afternoon naps so I can sleep earlier.

Michael Tymn, Fri 19 Feb, 02:20

Amos,

Thanks for the early report on the Schneider book. As I have three other books in front of it, I’ll wait until your final report.  Trying to finish my Bigelow contest paper now so that I can continue to live here with cost of living going up 5% every week it often seems.The stress of moving will kill me.

You’ve gpt me beat on beers.  I have only one in my life.  That in the jungles of Vietnam during the war there. I went for my daily run int junngles an reached an out post with two in a foxhole gauarding the border.  It was about 105 degrees and they apprently felt sorry for me as the sweat dripped off They had a cooler for beer and took one out, popped the cap and gave it to me. I felt solmwhat obligated to drink it and did manage to finish it.  It was a challenge. Have not tried it since.  Yes, I am a choclate freak —Hershey bar and Oh Henrywere my favorities.
o ]lges

Michael Tymn, Thu 18 Feb, 12:59

Michael,
My guess is that you are addicted to sugar as I am.  Those of our generation were raised on sugary cereals, candy bars, ice cream, cake and soda pop.  I know I was and I still have a difficult time resisting the sugar addiction.
 

I guess I generally don’t like the taste of beer and hard liquor but sweet grape wine—-I like the taste but not in large quantities.  I don’t like dry white wines.  My mother required my father to put 25 pounds of sugar in each batch of wine he made so a little taste of Mogan David grape wine or Manischewitz blackberry wine is good at the end of the day.  I don’t care for beer except with pizza or other junk food but I probably have less than two or three beers a year.

With hard liquor I could become an alcoholic if it weren’t so expensive.  The taste leaves much to be desired but if its mixed with a Coke or something sweet it’s OK.  I admit I do like the buzz I get from it.  But then I like Xanax too and alcohol and benzodiazapines affect the same receptors in the brain and both are addicting. Luckily I don’t become a mean drunk.  Instead I think I become a very talkative, totally wonderful relaxed guy. 

So far, I am highly impressed by the writing of Anita Gregory.  Her research into the life of Rudy Schneider is comprehensive, filled with minute details.  It looks like nothing is left out but I will wait until I get further along in the book before I recommend it.  My guess is that it is the quintessential book on the Schneider family. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 17 Feb, 23:31

Amos,

Please let me know what you think of the Schneider book. I just checked bookfinder.com and considering the cost of those used books, I think I’ll wait until I hear from you.

I should clarify my comments on fishing.  I know someone who fishes regularly and catches many fish but he unhooks them and throws them back in.  Fishing for necessary food is one thing, but fishing for sport or meditation, whatever that is, is what I don’t get. As for alcohol, I understand the “calming” effect or whatever it is called, it is just that I have always been puzzled by how people could enjoy the taste.  I would rather drink citrus of magnesia than beer or wine for refreshment purposes. Not being able to share a beer with friends has been something of a handicap throughout life. It is not a moral or religious objection. I simply don’t like the taste. I have often thought I’d like to enjoy a beer, just as I enjoy root beer, but I can’t force myself to like something that the taste buds resist. I may have mentioned this before, but I was once told by a psychic that I owned a vineyard in France in a past life and drank all my profits.  I’m skeptical, but it could be the reason I can’t tolerate the taste of alcoholic beverages now.  It remains a mystery.

Michael Tymn, Tue 16 Feb, 19:59

I just received a copy of “The Strange Case of Rudi Schneider” by Anita Gregory published in 1985.  It was listed on Amazon as a used copy but what I received was a brand-spankin-new hard-cover book.  It has 444 pages of small font print including the index.  The book has a multitude of black and white photographs and many diagrams.  I am looking forward to reading it if my eyes hold up.  (I too am not comfortable reading books and other treatises on the computer screen but small font anywhere really tests the accuracy of my eyeglass prescription.) - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 16 Feb, 17:30

Michael…

Echoing Amos, I love your five mysteries.I’ve personally only experienced three of them—-missed tattoos and the Rosary. Only one remains, as I do enjoy the brewer’s arts.

As a young lad, I did a lot of fishing. That came to a stop when I was out in your waters (literally). Having moved to the Islands fresh out of college to marry my fiancee (an Island girl), I recall the first time I was invited to join my future father-in-law on a weekend fishing trip for mahi-mahi. When each fish was caught, as it was put in the ice chest,it underwent a stunning and almost surreal change in colors, running through almost the entire rainbow. For me, it was an almost spiritual experience—-one that quickly put an end to any desire to take any more fish out of the water…

Don Porteous, Tue 16 Feb, 16:39

Michael,
You are revealing yourself recently and I have to smile when you list your five mysteries. I have experienced four of the five you list.  I went fishing with my father but could not bring myself to clean the fish we caught.  I wanted to be macho when I was in the Army Combat Engineers in 1962- 1964 and tried to smoke cigarillos for a while but I haven’t smoked since then.  And yes I have tried alcoholic beverages as my father made wine each year and while in college I did experience having a bad hangover once after a party but I rarely drink alcohol now as I think I could become addicted to it if it didn’t cost so much money.  As far as the rosary goes, I was somewhat forced to say the rosary when my father received last rites in the hospital before he died.  The priest who performed the ritual nodded at me with an intimidating look I couldn’t resist so I repeated the Hail Mary response. Tattoos?  Well, we have discussed this before on this site and I pontificated about them.  I am not adverse to them but I do not have a tattoo.  I think that if I were younger man,  I would get at least one but if I were a woman—-probably not! - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 16 Feb, 14:00

Dear Mike (Tymn),

Words being such clumsy things, vague, their meanings difficult to define with any precision, allowing overlaps, I conclude, on the basis of the very poor dictionary that is part of my computer’s system, that I am both a pantheist and a panentheist. I think THE WHOLE is the only TOTALLY conscious being, and it is their lessening degrees of consciousness that both constitute and define all the lesser beings (such as ourselves, near the bottom of the scale) as one descends to ‘rock bottom’.

Kind regards to all

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 16 Feb, 12:21

I agree with Newton on both Patience Worth and the attitude of the Church.

An additional thought relative to meditation.  As with the rosary, I’ve never understood the joy of fishing, but a friend who goes fishing regularly tells me that it also induces a meditative state. The five biggest mysteries in life for me are: 1) fishing; 2) smoking; 3) tattoos; 4) alcoholic beverages; 5) rosary.  I know there must be something to all of them, but it escapes me in each case.

Michael Tymn, Mon 15 Feb, 21:39

Dear Mike (Tymn),

The point about my sending you the chapter from Don’s book about the Marian apparitions is that you can change the type size to one that suits you, and print the text out on paper. You could also put in your own notes, perhaps using a different typeface to keep your notes separate from Don’s words.

You could print the PDF too, but you could not change the format to suit your eyesight, for example, and you probably can’t type in your own notes, unless you have a very new version of Adobe Acrobat. In Word, you could make notes even if your version of Word is very old.

That’s only a small advantage, probably, but it might help. Hence what I sent to your personal email address.

Eric

Eric Franklin, Mon 15 Feb, 20:19

Dear Newton, and Amos,

Your latest remarks are very interesting, and pertinent.

Amos, you need not fear when meditating seems to let the body drop away. That’s good, I think. Remember Avicenna’s ‘Floating Man’, who remains conscious of him(her)self and also of what is not the self. It’s the non-physical Being-there, the Conscious Self, that matters. I am not a good meditator, I think, but I have experienced the disappearance of parts of the body during meditation attempts. I also once had what I think is a clear demonstration of our spirit/body duality when I experienced a moment of clear out-of-body experience. I observed both my body-self and my spirit-self, one above the other. Both were ‘me’ in some sense. That helped me immensely. I now have little doubt, and can rival Mike Tymn’s 98.8% certainty of the good news of our continuance after physical death.

Newton, the established church’s rejection of and violent opposition to spiritualist discoveries of truth is no surprise. The church that is visible around us is far from the Yahshuan original. Paul warned very early on that the true spirituality was already in decline, and it very quickly became a political organisation masquerading as a religious organisation. By the time Constantine dealt the death-blow to the primitive christianity it had already ceased to be spiritual. Human-made religions are dead husks, cardboard imitations, arenas of human ambition and pride - spirituallyuseless. We need to have the courage to reject churchianity absolutely, and to enter real simple spirituality fully and enthusiastically, meditating if we find we are able to, and not worrying if we aren’t.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Mon 15 Feb, 20:09

Thanks, Eric, Don, and Amos for the comments. I’m really computer challenged and so the PDF vs Word thing doesn’t make sense to me.  I think I have Word.  Not sure about PDF. I didn’t even realize they are competing programs.  But I can’t read a book sitting at my desk top. A leg problem limits my time at the desk top, and most of that time is spent with email or typing something.  And I wouldn’t even attempt to print it out, as that would be an all-day project and my printer would rebel. I apparently need a new tablet to replace the one I have now, as it seven years old, but it still works OK except for ebooks, with the problem I mentioned, i.e., it keeps jumping back to the first page every few pages.
It doesn’t do that with Kindle books, however.

I don’t recall the origin of the “Hail Mary” prayer.  I thought it originated at Lourdes, but probably not.  I don’t know if when she wants us to say “blessed are thou among women” if she is saying she is lucky to be looked up to by women or she is special among women. 

After leaving the Catholic Church, I tried several denominations of Protestantism for a few years and I found them less appealing.  If I had to go back to one, I’d go back to the Catholic Church, as it stresses “works” more than “faith.”  The Protestant Churches I attended were too stuck on the atonement doctrine and the belief that you need to accept Christ as your savior; otherwise you are headed for hell.  Also, the Catholics at least believe in a middle ground between heaven and hell.  The dichotomous afterlife of the Protestants makes absolutely no sense. That said,  I do not reject Christ.  As I’ve often said, I look to him as “Chairman of the Board” on the Other Side, not necessarily God, per se. I think I am a panentheist (not a pantheist) in that regard.

Michael Tymn, Mon 15 Feb, 19:15

In this discussion of rote/meditative prayer, a kind of Christian version of Eastern mindfulness practice, I’m surprised that no one (unless I missed it due to dementia) has mentioned the Jesus Prayer. It’s a mere twelve words to be repeated constantly in one’s mind, more in one’s heart, in faithfulness to Jesus’ command that we pray without ceasing. For many centuries, the Jesus Prayer has been at the core of various Orthodox traditions, and it goes like this: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” By the way, as someone who has long been interested in theology and biblical scholarship, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much solid and edifying spirituality is expressed in the literature of Patience Worth, in the Spirit Teachings of Stainton Moses, and in much other spiritualist material. While Myers and other psychic researchers tended to give short shrift to substantive content and focus almost exclusively on proof of individual survival, I’m finding a treasure trove of theological insight and clarity in this “baggage,” congruent with what I and many others consider the most profound teachings of the Christian tradition. The church’s lack of receptivity to this new expression of what is essentially old revelation—in many cases, the church’s outright hostility to it—is a vivid demonstration of how far Christianity had fallen, remains fallen, from the power and purity of its original message.

Newton E. Finn, Mon 15 Feb, 17:50

Dear Mike and Don,

I don’t have any special software that converts a PDF to a WP document, but with some hard work I probably could put together a doc in WORD, for example, which, if I can do that without expiring (not ready for that yet - too much to do) would give you, Mike at least a proof-read and corrected copy of the chapter on the Marian events. I would start with that chapter.

The whole book would take a while longer, and it’s true I am busy on other jobs. Let me look up my computer files and see what I have. I certainly have not put any of Don’s book in the trash - it’s far too good (others please note) for that.

Kind regards to all who read Mike’s blogs with appreciation.

Eric Franklin

PS I’d still like to send my intended book chapter/paper on the relevance of relativity theory to Amos and Stafford, but I shall only do so if interest is expressed.

Eric Franklin, Mon 15 Feb, 15:33

I think achieving a meditative state is desirable because it stops racing thoughts thereby calming the mind.  Meditation like many beneficial experiences takes practice to fully achieve. It is a kind of self-hypnosis which some people are able to do and others cannot; both take practice.  The more one practices the easier it becomes but it cannot be forced; it just has to be an easy letting go of thoughts. TRYING to meditate is not conducive to achieving it.


I have attempted to meditate and have a few times entered into what I experienced as a distracted mental state but I must admit that it scared me as I felt I was—-I don’t know—-dying I guess.  I felt as if I were losing contact with my body so I stopped doing it.

 
Instead, I have a relaxation exercise which includes ‘locomotive breathing’ coupled with progressive relaxation of each arm and leg and including abdominal tensing and relaxing, finishing up with a few neck rolls.  After at least three repetitions of this routine I experience a complete relaxed state and often drift off into a light sleep. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 15 Feb, 14:43

I may be wrong but I thought that “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,  blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus” was the annunciation of the angel to Mary, not something Mary said about herself. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 15 Feb, 14:04

Good morning Mike…

I meant to tell you that you wouldn’t find it on Amazon…as I’ve already mentioned,it hasn’t yet been published (too many pages, first-time author without a PHD, yada yada yada.)

If you’d like, I’ll be happy to send again…or…

(ERIC…)

If Eric has some special software that would make it easier for you to print a copy, by all means he has my permission to send it to you (he’s had and read a copy some time ago).

Let us know either way…

On another topic…one final thought on the practice of the Rosary. For those who get MOST deeply involved in the spiritual aspects of worship (Theresa of Avila or Padre Pio would be prime examples)it’s not unusual for those mystically-oriented individuals to develop any of a range of “psychic” abilities. Eric, if you’re reading, I’m sure that Dr.Lockhart could also tell you that the same holds true in some of the Eastern religions (where they’re called siddhis). In either case, these special abilities are not to be sought for their own sake, but rather to be accepted as natural aspects of the practice of mysticism.
    With regard to the Rosary, while certainly not its primary purpose, it seems that for some few among us,it could also serve as an early step on this path to mystical development.

Don Porteous, Mon 15 Feb, 13:43

Dear Mike (Tymn),

A hasty note to try to reassure you: you (all of us) have, in my view, nothing to fear regarding inability to meditate in any prescribed way. I can’t either. The meditative state of the brain waves (eg alpha rhythms) is not of itself in any way either necessary or holy. It can even allow one’s own mind to mislead one away from the simplicity of the heart in trusting the Great Being Who is the absolutely ALL within whom we live and move and have our very being. I suggest we all just trust, and I hope to do just that in sending these words, ie to trust that you will not find these words in any way the irksome, sickly-pious and arrogant utterances of some self-appointed condescending priest. That’s an animal I despise and abhor, and hope never to seem like.

Related to the same subject, I have browsed over the documents AOD provided links for. My thanks to him for giving these background sources so that we can each make our own personal assessment of what Establishment Catholicism is all about. The stench of established Catholicism’s arrogated authority in these documents is overpowering. There is not an evidenced fact in the documents. They are all assertion without proof of the claim to be right because IT is right made by the great apostasy itself. Being itself the great dog-in-the-manger deviance from original christianity the Catholic church points the finger at the personal experience of each of us (not just the Medjugorje seers) and claims to be warning against exactly that danger of apostatising error that it has itself shown since the apostle Paul’s day. The pot denounces the kettle for being black. Just like Trump, just like Hitler, just like every lying tyrant it has itself ever denounced, the RC Church is the biggest lying tyrant of them all. It is “right” because, and only because, it says itself that it is right. Every logical mind knows what to think of the Catholic Church and we need to think it without fear.

None of us need fear when all we need to do is trust.

I will not spout on. This is a hasty note and does not express well the reassurances I want to share. Please forgive that.

Eric Franklin

PS   With Don Porteous’s permission, I think I can (I mean am technically able to) send you a copy of his book, and perhaps convert it from PDF to a WP program you can comfortably read from your screen, or can print from. But if intending to print it out, bear in mind it’s about 535 pages, if my memory serves. Every page worth reading, if I may say so.

In haste, so errors and omissions excepted!

Eric Franklin, Mon 15 Feb, 11:16

Don,

I just searched for your book on Amazon, using both Don and Donald and was unable to find it. From where can it be purchased?  What is the title?  Again, I can’t do e-books.  Every few minutes, they jump from where I am reading back to page one.  Also, no highlighting.

One additional thought about the rosary. The “Hail Mary” is, of course, the key prayers and invites some self praise.  Would the Blessed Virgin Mary say she is “full of grace” and “blessed among women.”  Those can be interpreted in different ways so as not to suggest self-praise, so I don’t know. 

Thanks to Eric for his additional comments. I never considered the meditative state in my Catholic years, and have never tried it since then.  Maybe I should try it now. I have a feeling, however, that I will just drift off to thinking about some menial concern, one which would not be considered meditative.  Negative thinking will not help, I know.  Shouldn’t think at all if meditating is to be successful.

Michael Tymn, Sun 14 Feb, 19:45

Dear all,

In response to Don’s (Porteous) latest illuminating details on the Marian phenomena, on which he is an indubitable expert (see his as-yet unpublished book), I suggest he must be right to regard the use (and perhaps it was the genuine original use - see below) of the rosary as a means of attaining a meditative state of consciousness. The apostle Paul warned against VAIN repetitions of prayers, but certainly was aware of valid meditation and its results, so he, too, seems to have practised repetitive verbalisations to bring about a change of consciousness, not a shallow human boredom that would also be an insult to God.

In relation to the above AND to my own query (a few days ago) as to whether, and why, “religious” traditions other than the Constantinian-debased-Christian (ie Churchianity) showed or did not show instances of similar practices, I am now able to provide some illumination myself, though only by forwarding confirmation from Dr Maureen Lockhart, who lived/taught/practised in India for twenty years and with whom I wrote a book published in the USA a decade ago. She confirms that the Indic traditions and the Buddhist, though perhaps not the Daoist, do indeed use mantras in a similar way to the catholic, counting repetitions of a form of words in order to produce a new consciousness. Perhaps counting sheep to get to sleep is a very debased form of the same practice. Be that as it may, she tells me that the device used to “count” the repetitions in the Indic traditions is called a ‘Mala’, and the murmuring sound accompanying the verbalisations of the mantra is called ‘Japa-japa’. I suggest myself that just as bungalow and many other words came into English from Indian origins, so the similar word ‘jibberish’ may have resulted from misrepresentative British-Raj mockery of those repetitive verbalisations.

*

The book Dr Lockhart and I wrote (though my name is NOT on the cover because I, an autodidact, do not have the human accolade of PhD) is ‘The Subtle Energy Body’, Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont, 2010. This comment is not intended to promote the book, which is, apparently, still selling world-wide.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sun 14 Feb, 12:04

Don,

Thank you for the response. I had heard that the rosary induced a meditative state, but it never did with me. I was raised a Catholic and attended Catholic school.  We were often urged to say the rosary, but it never worked with me. I still don’t get it, but there are many things I don’t get.

Thanks for the reference on the Rudi Schneider book and my apologies if you sent me a copy of your book by email. I am somewhat disorganized in my old age, especially when it comes to the computer.  Although I read Kindle on my tablet these days, I have problems with e-books in general and rarely attempt to read an e-book.  However, I will look for your book on Amazon in the morning and order a copy.  Right now, it’s bed time in Hawaii.

Michael Tymn, Sun 14 Feb, 11:35

Michael…

Regarding Mary’s focus on the Rosary, “rote prayer” and other more formalized aspects of Church worship, we have to remember that in her apparitions (other than some in the Middle East) she was generally addressing a largely Catholic audience. Consequently, it’s hardly surprising that she normally didn’t stray too far from the official “party line.” Although there were exceptions…

Particularly with regard to the question of “rote” prayer…Mary was actually quite insistent that there was absolutely no need for prayer to adhere to any particular form. The most important thing is that it come from the “heart.” Sincerity counts.

The same could be said for other forms of ritual…she lamented the “insincerity in ritual” in “those who do not desire to come to know the love of God, even though they are in the Church.”
That was said at Medjugorje.

Regarding the Rosary…yes, she does emphasize its importance…but I suspect the reason behind it is very much along the lines which Amos suggested a few posts back, as an almost hypnotic vehicle for focusing the mind in a desired direction. As a non-Catholic myself, I have no experience of it, but this would seem to make sense without breaking any basic religious sincerity.

Switching gears…you asked someone, I don’t recall who, for more information on Rudy Schneider…far and away the most comprehensive work on Schneider is “The Strange Case of Rudi Schneider” (1985) by Anita Gregory. I go into his phenomena in some depth in my own book (which you already have an e-mailed copy of, from last June, unless it perhaps got discarded…)

Don Porteous, Sat 13 Feb, 18:45

More of the back story related to the Medjugorje apparitions. - AOD

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/catholicteaching/privaterevelation/medja.htm

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 13 Feb, 16:26

Max,

I have read about Rudi Schneder here and there, but I don’t recall a comprehensive reference on him. Do you know of one?  Thanks for the idea.

Michaell Tymn, Fri 12 Feb, 23:28

For some ‘back story’ related to the Medjugorje apparitions one might want to take a look at a 11/03/20 article by Jane Stannus as published in “Crisis Magazine: A Voice for the Faithful Catholic Laity”.  Additional information is suggested in the article by following the links. - AOD

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2020/medjugorje-a-cult-exposed

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 12 Feb, 21:56

Don,

Thanks for your further comments.  I look forward to your book.  Coincidentally, I just happened to watch the new Netflix movie, “Fatima,” last night.  I thought it was pretty well done with the skeptical side offered by an author who was interviewing the primary visionary in her old age. As I previously stated, I still don’t get the rosary or any rote prayer for that matter.  I hope your book gets into that. Fasting, as well.

Michael Tymn, Fri 12 Feb, 21:40

Good morning all…

Apologies for this delayed response, but have been exceptionally busy getting our home ready for sale, and am just now beginning to catch up here. Several specific points…

For Newton Finn (and AOD)...your discussion about Myers’ communications through Geraldine Cummins reminded me that one of the more authoritative spirit-commentators—it was either Imperator (reputed to have been the prophet Malachi in earth-life) or the electronically-communicating entity “Technician” (reputedly a never-humanly-incarnated entity—in essence, an “angel”),I don’t recall which—-regarded Myers’ post-mortem viewpoints, whatever their literary merits, as being “while not totally accurate, still the closest approximation to the reality of the afterlife” (paraphrased from memory). If true, I suspect we can forgive the somewhat prosaic presentation…

To Leopold, and others (with many thanks to Eric Franklin for his kind thoughts)...with regard to the large and (to my mind, unfortunately) controversial topic of Marian apparitions…my many years of study in this area were directed along two specific lines of thought (both with an eye towards dealing with the inevitable sceptical viewpoints one encounters):  firstly, did they actually occur? Michael touched on some of the evidence related to the seers at Medjugorje, which indicated most strongly that there was nothing artificial or contrived about those particular apparitions. There is a large corpus of additional evidence, from numerous other apparition sites around the world besides Medjugorje—-relating to the nature of the various phenomena that attended some of the apparitions—-to the nature of the apparition (Mary) itself—-and to the actions of various witnesses to the apparitions—-which in their entirety make the case for their “reality” almost too compelling to doubt.
    The second line of thought related to the question of what exactly did Mary have to SAY in these apparitions—-and how did her opinions stack up against comments on the same questions given by other spirit communicators? In my book (still unpublished), I look at the comments from 144 separate spirits (besides Mary)—-in general, there is a remarkable degree of agreement between those from the “religious” source and those from the “not-necessarily-religious” sources. Where there is disagreement, an argument could be made for the “mind of the medium” (the seers) possibly coming into play. Naturally, we won’t be able to say with any certainty until we make our own journey to the other side!

Don Porteous, Fri 12 Feb, 17:44

Michael,

Can you please do a blog post on Rudi Schneider? He was an interesting medium

Regards,

Max templeman, Wed 10 Feb, 02:36

Dear Newton,

Thank you for your contributions to the all-inclusive discussion we enjoy around Michael Tymn’s blogs. Your own stance is one that I appreciate and admire. So is that of Don Porteous, Michael Roll . . . . And there are others, of course. Every reader of Michael Tymn ls, surely, welcome to join in and express their own thoughts to us all.

On the present occasion you wonder what else there might be to say. Perhaps just that, as always, there are very few readers who really listen to what writers provide for them to read. Many of us who write, whether in published books/articles/pamphlets or in discussion responses such as those we now enjoy, have discovered this, with feelings of pain and insult that we are not heeded by ALMOST all those to whom we offer our thinking. Even most seeming allies ignore us.

We realise at the same time that those who ignore our writing, omit to respond, or simply fail to understand what we are trying to share, are letting the gold dust run through their fingers as if it were just more sand. It is very sad when we have to conclude that ignorance of new knowledge on free offer is their own loss, we cannot remedy that lack for them, and that the forfeiture is their own responsibility.

The moral of the tale? - If one is interested in the higher life of the spirit why choose statis when the opportunity for growth is freely offered by one’s fellow seekers?

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 9 Feb, 08:38

Newton,

I enjoyed your essay and agree completely.  I prefer the Lone Ranger’s way of doing things, although shooting the gun out of the guy’s hand is not as easy as Hollywood makes it out to be. Nor is subduing a guy without a chokehold, as police forces are now required to do.  I recall my last fight, about 50 years ago. I managed to get a chokehold on him and had to wait for 10 minutes for the police to arrive. I don’t know how else I could have held him as my arms would not have fit around his chest and arms.

Thanks for the comment about my book

Michael Tymn, Sun 7 Feb, 20:44

Michael, with regard to the cultural shifts that have occurred in American society during the past 50 years (and I’ve noted them as well), I tried to capture one small aspect of it in the little essay linked below, which focuses more on what’s on TV than on TV itself.
https://newtonfinn.com/2011/12/15/would-paladin-have-shot-bin-laden/

PS: Just finished “No One Really Dies” and liked it very much, especially the exhaustive list of reasons at the end for the widespread and persistent rejection of the ample and cogent afterlife evidence clearly described in the rest of the book. Not sure what else there is to say.

Newton E. Finn, Sun 7 Feb, 19:22

Dear Mike (Tymn),

No, you are not the brain-washed one. You are the thinking one, the one who discovers truths for himself when most others allow themselves to be numbed by the sound of platitudinous parrot-words, the one who sees what others do not even bother to look for, etc etc etc. Do accept thanks and our compliments.

Yahshua said his disciples were worth many sparrows. You are worth many American teenagers.

Until they learn. The planet and the virus are ruthless teachers.

Meanwhile, as I say, you have our thanks and our compliment.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sun 7 Feb, 12:55

Newton,

I agree that it is difficult to generalize and that there are many exceptions to Selleck’s view of it all.  I also agree that earlier generations let it happen. As I have said, I believe Academia (reductionist thinking), Madison Ave. (advertising) and Hollywood (celebrity worship) are primarily responsible. These two quotes are a little outdated now, but I think they explain the path we were on then and where we are now further down that same path.

In his 1988 commencement address to Cornell University graduates, Frank Rhodes, then president of Cornell, addressed the problem relative to science, pointing out that its reductionist thinking has been adopted by academia and has resulted in abstraction, detachment, and moral abstention and depersonalization.  Consequently, he told graduating seniors, setting meaningful goals will be difficult.

In a 2003 keynote address at a University of Buffalo conference on “Fostering Ultimate Meaning,” Dr. Alexander Astin, director of the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, said that developing a meaningful philosophy of life was the top value for college students in the 1970s, but that students today are more focused on material gain. He attributed the value shift to the growing influence of television.

I must confess that I don’t associate with many young people these days, but before the pandemic started, I would go to a local coffee shop and read for 45 minutes or so about the same time high school students were getting out of school and also coming to the coffee shop. As a group, they seemed to have no discipline, talking loud enough for everyone in the shop to hear their conversations about sex, their foul language, the F word in every sentence, no concern for other customers in the shop. They’d pull four or five tables together for their meetings and then when they left there was no effort to put them back where they were. They’d leave their cups on the table when they left.  This was not limited to one particular group, but many over time. From what I have seen in other places, it is somewhat representative of the whole. I can’t imagine any of my schoolmates from the 1940s and ‘50s carrying on
like they did.  I used to travel quite a bit, but haven’t left Hawaii in five years, so I realize that my little test group may not be representative of others, but the “snowflake” mentality I’ve seen on television supports my views. 

I believe TV has been the biggest influence, brainwashing kids into thinking it’s all about having fun and leading to a hedonistic lifestyle. The brainwashing by TV is now worse than ever, as I see it. I don’t want to get into the politics underlying it. At the same time, I realize that I could be the brainwashed one.

Michael Tymn, Sat 6 Feb, 20:23

Yes, Michael. When I talked about Jesus’ concept of the Kingdom of God/Heaven infusing believers with ethical passion to improve the world through acts of love and courage, I neglected to add “sacrifice.” Glaring omission. But I don’t think that today’s young are anywhere near as selfish and materialistic as our generation was and still is. It was on our watch, during our working lives, that American society devolved to the point where viable futures for many of the working class young have become foreclosed in a way unimaginable fifty years ago. WE let that happen.

Newton E. Finn, Sat 6 Feb, 15:27

Dear all,

The current discussion on Marian phenomena is moving into that vague space where philosophers dwell, perpetually trying to decide what REALITY is, and which realities are real, (eg Marian mind-realities or Buddhist emptiness or . . . or . . . or) and how bewitching words can be, destroying logical thought even as they are uttered, ie Wittgenstein and all that expansive waste of words that make the still-current philosophical-discussion-post-Wittgenstein industry.

Eric Franklin

Perhaps the greatest truth is that whatever we can even think is real in the consciousness of The Great Consciousness Who contains all that is. That’s a truism, but worth reminding ourselves of its truth, that the All contains us, timelessly, so we are secure, timelessly secure, and that the Great All must be eternal because it would have self-destroyed by “now” if it had not been (timelessly) what it is now (timelessly), flawless, harmonious, and THEREFORE non-self-destructive-through-inhering-imperfection. . . . words, damn words, . . . and more words . . . and still more . . . but you surely GET what I mean???

Reality for me is NOW to get my partner’s breakfast and complete the installation of a circuit for the fridge, and build the cottage extension, and get said partner to her medical appointment in about three hours time and . . .

All this pressured chaos is static peace in the Conscious All.

Eric Franklin, Sat 6 Feb, 10:32

Thanks to all for the comments so far.  This is not exactly on topic and I generally ignore things movie actors have to say, but I thought actor Tom Selleck recently hit the nail on the head with this comment:

“We’re a culture that’s so centered on the individual. The culture says that basically nothing is more important than the way you feel.

“We’re living in an age that celebrates unchecked impulses. I work with exceptional kids, gang kids, deprived kids, enriched kids and they all have an astounding sense of entitlement. They don’t celebrate earning the privilege of driving at 16. They expect a car. There’s a big difference.”

As I have opined before, Hollywood and Madison Ave. are primarily responsible for the materialistic mindset that replaces the spiritual one. Our young people have bought into it and I believe that goes to the root of many of our moral and spiritual concerns today.

Michael Tymn, Fri 5 Feb, 21:10

Michael,
I too was exposed to a Catholic atmosphere at an early age.  I remember kneeling on the kneeling board in St Patrick’s Church next to my grandmother who was praying the rosary.  She was dressed in her ‘Sunday Blacks’ ; a black dress with a black coat, black shoes and black straw hat. The rosary was a quality one, made of black onyx beads linked with brass wire and terminating in an ornate gold cross with the crucified Jesus. (I still have pieces of that rosary.) She took praying the rosary seriously—-no pink glass beads for her. I felt a great sense of peace during those times in the 1940s going to church with my grandmother, watching her pray the Rosary.

My grandmother had many things to cause anxiety and discomfiture with God but I could sense an aura of peace about her as she counted her beads. She had left her home in Austria as a 20 year-old married woman with three children, alone without her husband who was working in America in the coal mines of Illinois.  She knew that she would never see her mother or father or brothers ever again. She eventually gave birth to 10 children two of which died at childbirth and two more died as teenagers one of polio and the other during an epilepsy seizure.  Her husband had been killed tragically after falling from an upper story window of the office of a doctor he went to for treatment of his ‘Black Lung Disease’ contracted from working in the coal mines. She was alone with eight children to take care of.


And here I was, a child kneeling next to her who had taken her oldest son away from her leaving her with no outside support for her family.


For my grandmother the rosary was an instrument of acceptance of Gods’ plan for her and communication with another woman who shared her burdens.  She did not meditate during those times when she prayed the rosary but in an atmosphere of the quiet formality of St Patrick’s church she found strength to endure.


I believe that praying the rosary is an effective way of calming the mind which has psychological backing.  It stops racing thoughts. It is similar to chanting ‘om’ or any other word without meaning.  Sometimes humming is recommended to clear the mind of dire thoughts; kind of like whistling in the dark when one is afraid.  Perhaps some people slip into a meditative state while repeating ‘Hail Mary’ or ‘Our Father’  and others may enter a light hypnotic trance.  It is all a way to settle the mind; to find peace for a while in a hectic unfair world, seemingly a world without meaning . - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 5 Feb, 18:26

Let me jump in here with an observation, not so much about Marian apparitions but about distinctions between Christianity and other great world religions. As Albert Schweitzer pointed out, genuine Christianity flowing from the spirit of Jesus, as opposed to its innumerable distortions and perversions, is uniquely premised upon the concept of “The Kingdom of God/Heaven,” a sublime vision which infuses believers with inexhaustible ethical passion to make the world better and more beautiful through acts of love and courage. As an ordained minister in a very liberal denomination, I was continually struck in my reading of afterlife literature by the largely Christian invocations and teachings coming from allegedly higher spirits. Yet, as Frederic Myers made clear, Buddhism has always had a fuller, more accurate view of the afterlife, at least as opposed to the common Christian caricature of a humdrum heaven, where, as Michael describes it, we sit around playing harps and praising God.

Newton E. Finn, Fri 5 Feb, 16:00

Dear Mike (Tymn),

A quick response to your own comment about the Marian apparitions:

First, thank you for taking the time to respond. I know very little on the subject, and defer to Don Porteous and others, including yourself. I know even less than you profess yourself, not least because the christians who brought me up loathed the catholic church yet imposed a similar oppression upon their offspring. Enemies are often alike, and I am thankful to be decades-long free from both oppressions now, at age 80.

However, it worries me somewhat that, if I understand Don correctly, there are not phenomena parallel to the Marian apparitions arising amongst the adherents of other religions than the Constantinian version of Christianity, (which I regard as very debased from the simplicity of the primitive version we glimpse in the New Testament of the Bible). Apparently, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc do not provide similar experiences to the Marian visions. Hence my query as to whether christianity does have some at least of the uniqueness christians claim, often with an unwarranted and obnoxious subtly superior air. There’s not much in the world like the subtly superior tone of a self-righteous evangelical’s ?christian? scorn. Perhaps the godless narrow-minded disdain of the pub-crawling yob is similar. What seem extremes are often near neighbours, as Alaska and the old Soviet Union were, except in our minds, where they were poles apart.

Not a very substantial comment -sorry! - just journalese from me this time, but I am curious about the Marian visions, and would welcome more substantial response from anyone who feels s/he can offer it.

And I offer again my paper on the relevance of Relativity to Amos if he would like to show genuine interest in a matter that ought to interest him, whether or not I show him first my penny. I do now have his email address and can send the paper direct if he will say the word. I remind him that a number of people including Newton have now expressed their approving view of what I have to say. On that matter I am something more than the word-spinning ignorant journalist.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Fri 5 Feb, 10:20

Eric,

I don’t know what to make of the Marian apparitions, especially the Medjugorje phenomena, which have been going on for 37-plus years. A number of studies by scientists – neurological and psychological, including polygraph tests and hypnosis – have ruled out deception by the visionaries.  They have undergone electro-encephalographs, electro-oculographs, eye reflex, and auditory tests while they are in a state of “ecstasy” communicating with the apparition.

According to a 1984 report by two researchers with five of the visionaries, their gaze becomes fixed on the location of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and their faces become almost imperceptibly brighter. They kneel down very naturally, all at the same time. Their lips can be seen moving, but no voices are heard, just as it was with Bernadette at Lourdes.

The researchers say there is no indication of play-acting or any attempt to follow a leader in the group or otherwise coordinate their movements. The visionaries seem to lose contact with the surroundings and remain insensitive to stimulation, even pinching and prodding. After coming out of the trance or state of ecstasy, they are unaware of what took place. 

What I struggle with is the Blessed Virgin Mary asking for rote prayers and fasting, while also mentioning something about a devil with horns and a tail. Perhaps the visionaries are misinterpreting some of the messages or they are being colored by their beliefs. But why would they go on for 37-plus years? I haven’t carefully followed the messages, but it seems that they are primarily all petitions for love.

As a Catholic for the first few decades of my life, I could never make sense of the rosary, saying the same prayer over and over again.  Some say it induces a meditative state, but it didn’t with me.  Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Then again, you are not supposed to “try.” It should just come about.  The small percentage of cures at Lourdes never impressed me and I was always puzzled by the twirling sun at Fatima, as supposedly witnessed by hundreds of people.  Was it a mass hallucination?

Here again, as with Patience Worth, I lean toward a group soul, some well-meaning but not overly advanced Catholics.  There have been a number of “spirit communications” suggesting that many people continue with their religious beliefs for some time, whatever time means there. But what do I know?

Michael Tymn, Fri 5 Feb, 07:04

Newton,
I believe that Casper Yost was a deeply religious Christian and perhaps he selected passages as examples from Patience Worth’s poems that supported his Christian beliefs.  As I acknowledged before, I don’t deny that Patience Worth accepted the divinity of Jesus and the quote you selected is a good example of how she poetically expressed her view.


I read into the first part of the quote her recognition of the primacy of someone other than Jesus who sent the earth “aspin”  a “wonder -god” who “springeth up where’er he doth wish”.  She has in other writing drawn a poetic analogy of God kissing the earth from which spots the flowers of the field spring. Patience says He [God] “breathes [lives] within flesh” providing the breath of life and then specifically she applies that concept, without mentioning a name, to Jesus. Patience continues by suggesting that what she writes, what she calls her singing or her ‘songs’  (“from off the lute o’me”) contain perhaps the essence of the life and teachings of Jesus in “the blood o’Him that [he] shed for thee and me”,  Obviously Patience Worth was a Christian—-a Puritan—-who was imbued from childhood with the Bible and the teachings of Jesus and she expressed a companionship with Him in many of her poems.

( Puritan girls were educated only up to the age of about 5 years old by reading and memorizing the Bible and then they were taught child rearing and a little arithmetic.  Boys on the other hand were allowed to go on to higher education.)

As a spiritist I see the ability of God to breathe within flesh as supporting the view that each person has the breath of God within him or her.  Actually I see God in every living thing as a consciousness that exists for a while in physical form and then returns to its Source.

I am getting a little too deep here and as I have said I am not a religious person nor do I have anything other than superficial knowledge of the ‘Christology’ of the Bible. I don’t intend to espouse my philosophy here in detail.  Just know that I am very interested in your response to and views of the writing of Patience Worth/Pearl Curran. Perhaps we might have a good time discussing them by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 4 Feb, 18:24

AOD, I’m still working my way through Prince’s detailed book, so I may change my mind, but Yost’s book seems pretty clear about Patience’s rather orthodox Christology and, I might add, her affirmation of a strong/personal God in distinction from the hands-off/impersonal Deist supreme being. In Yost’s and Patience’s words: “Nor does she hesitate to assert His (Christ’s) divinity with definiteness. ‘Think ye,’ she cries, ‘that He who doth send the earth aspin athrough the blue depth o’ Heaven, be not a wonder-god who springeth up where’er He doth set a wish! Yea, then doth He to spring from out the dust a lily; so also doth He to breathe athin (within) the flesh, and come unto the earth, born from out the flesh athout the touch of man. ‘Tis so, and from off the lute o’ me hath song aflowed that be asweeted o’ the blood o’ Him that shed for thee and me.’” There’s more relevant material, some of which concerns Patience’s Mariology, but this should suffice to make my point…until, perhaps, Prince alters my current interpretation.

Newton E. Finn, Thu 4 Feb, 16:51

Amos,

I liked your simulation of the medium getting JoAnn’s name. I could have used that in Chapter 3 of my book.

Concerning “fishing” for information, I believe Professor Hyslop summed that up in the following statement:

“Fishing and guessing do take place, and yet the phenomena are still genuine.  The fishing and guessing are on the other side.  That is, the psychic is not fishing and guessing to try the sitter’s response, but to try that of the communicator who labors under difficulties analogous to our communication over a telephone or whenever there are obstacles to communication with each other in normal life.  Either the psychic or the control does not receive the messages or impressions clearly and has to guess at what they mean until the communicator assents to the right name or impression.”

Michael Tymn, Wed 3 Feb, 23:34

Newton,
One thing that confuses me in the Patient Worth literature—-especially her poems—-is her implied reference to Jesus.  I get confused sometimes because she seems to be referring to ‘God’ rather than Jesus.  Yes, there are poems that are specifically about Jesus but I think that many of her poems reference ‘God’ and her love for ‘him’.  And yes, I think Patience Worth makes it perfectly clear that she doesn’t think much of organized religion.


It is true that Patience Worth wrote “The Sorry Tale” which is often described as a novel about Jesus but only the last of three parts is specifically about Jesus.  I have thought that “The Sorry Tale” is more about the Greek slave concubine Theia and her bastard son Hatte rather than Jesus and that both good and evil lead to the same end.  Both Theia and Hatte are present in all three books of “The Sorry Tale” and Theia is portrayed at the end of the book dancing around the cross on which is her crucified son Hatte; a very emotional and powerful scene as is the described crucifixion of Jesus.

True to my spiritualist bent, I guess that I am more inclined to be one of those people who have the concept of an impersonal God. (I don’t think I would append the adjective ‘weak’ to it.) While I tend to think that there may be a creative consciousness which is a normal constituent of the universe, I don’t see that consciousness embodied in an anthropomorphic being.  How could that be?  That is not to say that I don’t think there is a directing power in the universe but I just don’t think that power or consciousness is knowable by humans.

I am not a religious person nor am I widely read in religions of the world so I probably just skimmed over that part where Myers links psychic research to the world’s great religions.  I will go back and read the last part of “Human Personality” with that in mind. 

Thanks Newton!  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 3 Feb, 19:15

AOD, thanks so much for the fuller explanation, most of which I either agree with or don’t know enough to agree or disagree. What most impresses me about the Patience Worth literature I’ve so far read, apart from its extraordinary quality, is the reticence to get into specifics about the afterlife other than to indicate its sublimity and that it incorporates into its transcendent beauty all the failure and suffering of this world. I am also struck by her devotion to Jesus and his essential teachings, while making short shrift of many traditional Christian doctrines. As for Myers, I guess it comes down to personal preferences and inclinations. For me, there is nothing in the afterlife literature I’ve yet read, the Patience Worth literature excepted, which grips my mind and heart quite like Myers’ genius-level attempt, at the end of “Human Personality,”  to link the results of psychic research to the streams underlying the world’s great religions. Perhaps this has to do with my “strong/personal God” orientation, which differs from the “weak/impersonal God” orientation (akin to Deism) which I see running through much of spiritualist thought. Maybe I’ll try to amplify that point another time on this blog, which would seem appropriate given Michael’s indication that our focus should be on the afterlife, with our concept of God, to the extent we can form one, secondary to that. Again, AOD, and, of course, Michael too and all the others who contribute here, I greatly appreciate the dialogue.

Newton E. Finn, Wed 3 Feb, 17:56

Steve,
Let’s say I am a medium who gets messages by way of images or symbols.  I have a sitter, a lady, in front of me and I discern that there is a female spirit that is trying to tell me who she is using images. I get an image of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus so I say that the communicator’s name is Mary.  But the sitter says no, she doesn’t know anyone named Mary who has died but that it might be her mother who has recently died.  So I am incorrect as far as the name goes.  Oh shucks! Why didn’t I think this was her mother; it was obvious!

 
The next thing that comes to my mind is an image of Joseph Stalin.  I begin to think of the name Joseph or Russian or any number of other things related to Stalin, Russia or World World II.  It is unlikely that a female’s name would be Joseph but immediately overlaid with the image of Joseph Stalin I see an image of a portly red-haired man in clothing of several hundred years ago with a crown on his head.  He looks English and appears like pictures of Henry the VIII and I see him pointing to a female corpse with its head chopped off.  OK!  Now I have got to put this all together, Joseph Stalin, Henry the 8th pointing to a woman with her head chopped off.  These images are telling me the name of the female who is trying to communicate.  I don’t think it can be ‘Joseph’ or ‘Henry’ so I have to focus on the dead female that Henry is pointing to for the name.  Maybe this is one of Henry’s wives.  I am going to guess Ann Bolin.  So maybe my communicator is Ann.  Should I offer that name?


I say the name Ann (fishing) and my sitter says I am close but not correct. Her mother’s name was JoAnn.


Does anyone think that getting ‘JoAnn’ from those images was easy? Or, was it obvious?  How would you do in figuring this out?  It would have been easy if the medium was able to hear voices but most mediums are not able to do this.  They depend on images and symbols to provide information across the veil.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 3 Feb, 00:58

Newton,
I take Geraldine Cummins for what she is; an inspired writer.  I think she had an innate ability to perceive images and verbal communications perhaps from some other reality.  My interest in her is because she had a similar way of perceiving those things as Pearl Curran did.  In fact Cummins described her experience perceiving images in an almost word for word identical way as Pearl Curran described her experience receiving mental images.  Cummins also wrote a book called “The Scripts of Cleophas” which seemed to be a continuation of Worth’s “The Sorry Tale” following the disciples after the death of Jesus.

I particularly liked Cummins’ communications with Mrs. Winifred Coombe Tennant (Mrs. Willet) which she documented in “Swan on a Black Sea”, an after death communication with Mrs. Coombe Tennant apparently initiated by the late Mrs. Coombe Tennant to convince her sons that she still existed somewhere.  I am not as impressed with Cummins’ communications purportedly coming from Frederic Myers.  I have an innate impression that there is more of Ms Cummins (or some other entity) in “Road to Immortality” than there is of Mr. Myers.

I see little or no comparison between Patience Worth and Frederic Myers communication styles.  Patience Worth was not one to describe the afterlife in great detail.  Her descriptions were more poetic, describing it as a return to yesteryear or a trip to the marketplace where one would meet those who have gone on before.  Going on to new fields to harvest etc. and only very weakly intimating that one might return or be reincarnated. Although initially Worth disclaimed anything like reincarnation, she later suggested that that might be the case.  She never suggested that there were several spheres or levels of existence as Myers did.  Her meager descriptions of the afterlife sound to me more like the “Summerland’ of Myers.


She specifically said that she would not presume to mar God’s plan by attempting to describe it.

I don’t recall that Patience Worth ever complained of any difficulties she had in communicating “across the veil” other than finding the right person through whom she could communicate.  That person of course turned out to be Pearl Curran although James Hyslop and Emily Grant Hutchings claimed that they had contacted Patience Worth also.  A claim which I find somewhat dubious.  And as you might know, Emily Hutchings claimed she had contacted ‘Mark Twain’ who dictated a story called “Jap Herron” through Lola Viola Hays a psychic/medium Emily became friends with after she broke-up with Pearl Curran.  Emily got credit for the book although it was Ms. Hays who received the dictation.  (That is another story.)

I have an original copy of a condensed version of “Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death”  as published by Myers’ son Leopold shortly after Frederic Myers’ death at the beginning of the 20th century.  I have a difficult time sticking with it and tend to go to the appendices in which are examples of paranormal reports by various and sundry people I find Myers very erudite but wordy and difficult to follow sometimes.  Cummins’ ‘Myers’ is easier for me to read than the embodied Myers and for that reason I think there is more of Cummins in what is attributed in her books to Myers than Frederic Myers. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 2 Feb, 22:52

Steve,

I think Amos answered your question about names as well as I could have, if not better. Bottom line: Much depends on the the type of mediumship and the power of the medium.  I think one of the chapters in the book notes that Frederic Myers couldn’t even remember his name or his mother’s name in the immediate stage after death.  The complete name comes through more often in the direct voice type of mediumship as the medium’s brain apparently does not have to interpret the messages, but aspect is not quite clear. It also comes through better in table turning than trance voice, but that method is so much slower and rarely used these days.

Michael Tymn, Tue 2 Feb, 21:03

AOD, as a bona fide Patience Worth expert (whether you accept the accolade or not) do you see no essential difference between the 25 years or so of literature of the first rank apparently dictated somehow by Patience Worth to Pearl Curran, AND the general metaphysical observations, allegedly of Frederic Myers, expressed via Geraldine Cummins in a couple of rather prosaic books? Doesn’t it strike you as odd that Myers would repeatedly indicate the inherent limitations—especially HIS OWN limitations—in communicating across the veil, and then suddenly become able to orate in this general philosophical manner? Further, do you sense anything of the verve of Myer’s “Human Personality” in this later literature attributed to him? Please don’t take this as a knock on Mrs. Cummins, whom I hold in the highest regard as a medium. Indeed, she might well have caught some of the meaning and wisdom Myers wished to impart, but certainly not IMHO the spirit, fire, and power of his mind.

Newton E. Finn, Tue 2 Feb, 20:03

Steve Snead
If I may I would like to provide a comment in response to your 2/2/21 post about mediums who may or may not be able to discern names of communicators.  I think it was Michael who mentioned in passing that there are different types of mediums and that perception from the ‘other side’ may be by way of clairaudience, clairvoyance, clairsentience or other means.


I understand that the mediums who perceive symbols have the most difficult time receiving names simply because it is difficult to provide a symbol that represents many names e.g, Ted, Alice, Leroy, Gertrude, Jennifer, Leticia etc. and surnames are almost impossible to provide by a symbol unless the last name is broken down into parts which are easily symbolized. And foreign names are almost impossible for an English-speaking medium.  The name ‘George’ might be represented by a visual of George Washington, whose picture is widely distributed and known and even the surname Washington could be gotten by an image of George Washington. Other names might be easy such as Rose, Violet, Daisy, Hyacinth or other flower names but in all cases where the medium relies on visual imagery, it is the medium who has to interpret the image from his or her own experiences and many names are especially difficult to get because symbols of the name are not easy to discern.


George Anderson, is a modern medium that comes to mind who provides all of his communications by interpreting symbols he receives from somewhere, that he admits he does not know who initiates the symbols. Often his symbols are from movies he is familiar with or from religions iconography but as I recall he is not sure that disembodied entities provided them or perhaps they come from his own subconscious being played upon by another entity.
 

Other mediums are clairaudient which I believe is rare.  They actually hear words spoken in their mind.  Pearl Curran and Geraldine Cummins were two mediums of this type.  Both of them also saw intricate pictures in their mind’s eye.  Both of these women were able to ‘hear’ spoken words from communicators.  Pearl Curran heard the words of Patience Worth and Geraldine Cummins heard the words of Frederic Myers, Mrs. ‘Willet’ and perhaps others. Neither of these women actually heard sound waves but their experience was one of a mental hearing in their mind.  Of course ‘direct voice’ mediums facilitate actual sound waves from discarnate entities who are able to carry on conversations with sitters through various means such as a voice box made of ectoplasm or a trumpet e.g., Leslie Flint, Etta Wriedt. Such direct voices were reportedly heard by some or all sitters in the room at the time and in the case of Leslie Flint many of the voices were recorded.
 

Both Pearl Curran and Geraldine Cummins seemed to take dictation from their communicating entities, whoever they might be, writing hundreds of poems and several novels as in the case of Pearl Curran and novels, plays and with Ms. Cummins direct back and forth conversation as from Frederic Myers and “Mrs. Willet”.  Names were for the most part easily heard and transcribed.  In Pearl Curran’s case however sometimes the foreign names were not understandable by those sitting around in the séance and had to be spelled-out or further explained by Patience Worth before the name could be recorded correctly, e.g., “Legia”.  Pearl Curran also relayed so-called “table talk” from Patience Worth which was just spontaneous conversation between the entity Patience Worth and various sitters attending the “séance”.  Pearl Curran did this using a Ouija Board as a “thought dispeller” which she described as a “piece of dead wood” allowing Pearl to be attuned to and relay letter-by-letter whatever conversation was coming from Patience Worth. Pearl placed no special power in the Ouija board other than it allowed her by going through the circling motions of the planchette on the Board to focus on the communication coming from Patience Worth.  While not actually in a trance, (at least not a deep trance) Pearl Curran was distracted somewhat allowing her to focus on receiving communications from Patience Worth.


The poetry and novels of Patience Worth simply poured out of Mrs. Curran with no effort in composing them.  It was as if Curran just took dictation from Patience Worth of something that was already composed by Patience Worth who relayed it letter by letter and then word by word to the mind of Pearl Curran who vocalized it to an amanuensis or in a few cases Pearl wrote it down or typed it out. Pearl Curran did no prior research for her writing which was acclaimed as historically correct by experts in history of the time periods Pearl wrote about. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 2 Feb, 19:20

A nice interview with Jim, Michael. I know people like him; they just want to get through this life instead of worrying about the next, even if the discoveries they might come across from looking at informed texts would help them to dissolve their anxiety about dying. I wish you success with the book. It looks like your blog readers are lining up to get their own copies. Your work is important for lots of people.

Keith P in England, Tue 2 Feb, 18:41

Looks like I have another read for my Fire tablet. On the subject of names and mediums having issues getting them. I do follow what you are saying. But, if a medium can get a whole stanza of poetry correctly. Then why would a name be so hard?
I really do appreciate your work and the hope and honesty in your writing Michael.

Steve Snead, Tue 2 Feb, 15:33

Dear Mike,

I have had the book some days now, and have read (and proof-read) about half. (Not many typos, which is praiseworthy today, with the current lax typographic standards, (I found 128 typos in a book by someone well-known whom I also know) but one or two that are important, eg misspelling of Blavatsky on page 18 of another of your books, ‘Resurrecting Piper’. Skeptics would crow about that, wouldn’t they, and we want to silence them, don’t we, not hear them shout.)

More importantly, a loud shout of “bravo!” for both books. You are filling in some gaps in my knowledge.

Just one other point: I think you will find that Don (Porteous) has some very interesting things to say about the Marian apparitions, and about the apparent lack of similar phenomena from other religions. I wonder and wander and wonder some more over that difference. What do others have to add? Is there, after all, something unique and valuable in primitive Christianity (not the Constantinian debased apostacy of course)?

Kind regards to all

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 2 Feb, 12:02

Hi Michael,
I will email you.

Regards.
Leopold

Leopold, Tue 2 Feb, 11:14

Amos,

No, I didn’t give Jim a copy of the book, as he said he likely would never read it. That was after we got further into the subject of the Group Soul. Although I didn’t get into the Patience Worth story in the book or in the above transcript, I told him about Patience and said I thought “she” was a group soul.  He said all that was much too deep for him and that he preferred to watch television.  He and his wife were watching the Harry Potter movies for the seventh or eighth time.

Michael Tymn, Tue 2 Feb, 04:47

Enjoyed reading this Mike.
I wd like a cy of the book. Can I stop by Thursday afternoon and pick it up?
Stan

H Stanley Jones, Mon 1 Feb, 21:40

I have had several experiences myself and I have also become aware of the reincarnation aspect, personally. I am 75, half Italian. My mother’s side have heart failure in their 50’s and often die from that; my brother has a heart transplant.  I’ve had heart-failure since 2003 and am in it now, EF 15-20%.  I know we don’t die; I’ve seen and my mother’s side often hear, too.  I hope you live long enough to be surrounded by people who also know this truth.

GINA MARIPOSA, Mon 1 Feb, 21:19

Leopold,

Yes, I would be interested in finding out more about your mother’s Virgin Mary apparitions.  You can email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  Please note my blog post of October 3, 2016, which is about the Medjugorje apparitions.

Aloha!

Mike

Michael Tymn, Mon 1 Feb, 21:19

Well done and clever, Mike.  I like your skeptic’s approach in addressing the subject of your new book.
I’m looking forward to reading it as soon as it arrives.

Dave Daughters, Mon 1 Feb, 15:25

I am waiting for a copy in the mail.  By the way Michael, did “Jim” ever say he wanted a copy of the book? - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 1 Feb, 13:55

Hi Michael,
I have been following your work for years and have read most of your books ( why is there no Afterlife Explorers vol 2? I loved vol. 1). I was not aware of this latest one so will buy a copy.

I was wondering if you have interest in Virgin Mary apparitions as my mom and her brother, as children living in the USSR (not long after ww2) witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary a few feet from them. A psychiatrist interested in the subject a few years ago interviewed my mom about her experience in his office at the Canadian hospital where he works. He told me about an NDE experience his close friend, who was the right-hand man to Pope Francis when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, had during his cardiac arrest. I also spoke to another psychiatrist at this hospital about my mom’s experience and he told me about meeting with a Nobel Prize winning MD who told him about his own Virgin Mary apparition experience.

I passed this info. to the Bigalow Consciousness group in event a few of their judges/others had interest in this information. I asked that the names of psychiatrists and the Nobel Prize winner remain confidential. It was not meant to be part of the essay contest as I am not a professional writer nor researcher and I do not know if Virgin Mary apparitions constitute “evidence” of survival of consciousness.

If you have interest i can email you in private the details, including names of the psychiatrists (you can look them up on the internet) as well as the name of the Nobel Prize winning MD. I cannot make these names public but have no problem sharing information in confidence. I can also share with Michael Prescott if you think this would be of interest to him.

My mom is 79 and recalls the experience as if it happened yesterday ( my mom and her brother did not come from a family practicing religion).

Let me know if you would like me to contact you by email in private and I would be more than happy to do so.

Regards,
Leopold

Leopold, Mon 1 Feb, 12:30

Mike this looks like the best one yet - and that is saying something. Really I love the whole premise of the book. It looks fabulous. And good news is that it’s available on kindle which is great for us who are not getting mail deliveries from the USA. Congratulations. We’ll be promoting it like crazy.

Wendy Zammit, Mon 1 Feb, 12:11


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Proof of Survival by Lord Dowding – I think that "Raymond" is a very important book because its main purpose appears to be to convey to the world proof of human survival after death. This proof is conveyed by the publication of a series of messages from Raymond Lodge, the son of Sir Oliver Lodge, the famous scientist and author of the book. Read here
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