home books e-books audio books recent titles with blogs
Psychologist Matthew McKay Discusses Spirit Communication

Posted on 25 July 2016, 8:25

In his recently released book, Seeking Jordan, Matthew McKay, Ph.D., (below) details his efforts to connect with and communicate with his son Jordan, who had been murdered six years earlier, at age 23.  A clinical psychologist and professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, Calif., McKay began his journey of discovery with an introduction to induced after-death communication and moved on to channeled (automatic) writing and past-life and between-life regressions. 


McKay states that he had more than a hundred conversations with Jordan, (below) who told him of his initial awakening in his new realm of existence, reunions with deceased loved ones, and the life review, while also providing various other insights about life and life after death.


I recently put some questions to McKay by email for an interview featured in The Searchlight, a publication for the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies.

Dr. McKay, what were your views on life after death prior to beginning your search?

“My search to understand death and the afterlife began a half dozen years before Jordan’s death.  I read Journey of Souls by Michael Newton and learned about his hypnotic method for exploring the “life between lives.”  While I had been a dyed-in-the-wool agnostic, everything Newton described about the afterlife, and why we incarnate, resonated with me.  It felt like the truth I had waited all my life to hear.  I learned Newton’s past life and life between lives regression protocol, and used it with people I loved who wanted the experience.  After Jordan died, my search intensified because I was determined to find and make contact with my son on the other side.”

Were you familiar with various forms of post-death communication prior to Jordan’s death?  What was you attitude toward them?

“I knew – prior to Jordan’s death – about Alan Botkin’s “Induced After Death Communication” (IADC) because a friend had given me his book.  I do EMDR with my trauma patients (which Botkin’s IADC is based on) so his discovery that a small variation in the EMDR protocol could help us contact the dead fascinated me. In general, before Jordan died, I assumed psychics and mediums were charlatans.  And I thought most of the “after death communication industry” was bogus, feeding off people’s grief and need for reassurance.”

How long did it take you to master channeled writing?  Did it require much patience?  Were you familiar with it before?

“I had no knowledge of channeled writing before Ralph Metzner showed me how to do it.  He taught me the basic elements of channeled writing in a few minutes: Be in a place where you feel centered and connected to your core self. Have something to focus your attention (like a candle or a bright object). Have an object to connect you to the dead (something that belonged to the person or that they gave you). Use a meditative or hypnotic process to get into a receptive state (for me this is a simple breath focused meditation). Write down your first question (physically writing the question is a necessity for channeled writing). Make room for the answer.  Wait for a word or sentence fragment to show up.  Write it down and await the download of sentences to start.  Accept doubt, accept the thought that your brain can be making things up.  Keep listening for the answer to form in your mind; keep writing down what you ‘hear.’ When nothing more comes, write your next question.”

To what extent were the messages coming from Jordan new or in conflict with previous beliefs or ideas?  If not in conflict, how can you be sure you were not subconsciously providing the answers?  If new or in conflict, can you give an example or two?

“Many of Jordan’s messages have seemed new to me, ideas and concepts that had never before entered my mind.  While they didn’t seem in any way to dismantle the cosmology I’d gotten from Michael Newton and others, they seemed to greatly expand it.  They appeared to burst open these ideas of life purpose and what happens in the afterlife, and take them to a new level.  I knew, for example, that the purpose of life was learning.  But I had no idea that the wisdom each individual soul acquires contributes to the wisdom/ knowledge of collective consciousness (the divine/god).  I had no idea that each lesson in our lives allows – ultimately – collective consciousness (god) to make the next, more perfect universe.”

How do your peers in the psychology field react to your interest in psychic matters and your book?  How about students?

“I’ve shared Jordan’s lessons with very few of my colleagues in psychology.  These are people of science who revere randomized controlled trials and the measurement of human experience.  But many human experiences can only be described, not measured.  They can be given words, but never known in the form of metrics or quantitative analysis.  And for these experiences, we must rely on many, independent observations.  If Michael Newton hypnotized 7,000 naive subjects, and they all described a similar version of the afterlife, that means something.  If thousands of dying people report visits from dead loved ones to help them with the transition, that means something.  If Ian Stevenson, interviewing thousands of children who remembered past lives, discovered evidence of those past lives, that means something.  If Jordan tells me things about the purpose of life and the structure of the spirit world, and this single observation fits with others who report knowledge of the afterlife, this, too, means something.

“A few colleagues in the world of psychology, and particularly those who embrace mindfulness and Buddhist thought, have been very open to what I’ve learned from Jordan.  While committed to science, they can see beyond the limits of our material universe.”

Do you accept or reject the idea that spirits of the dead can influence us in a positive or negative way and even be the cause of extremely deviant or criminal behavior?  If you accept the idea, would you dare to suggest it to your peers, a patient, or to a student?

“I believe that spirits of the dead can only influence us in positive ways.  Once souls leave the physical plain and go through the re-entry process to the spirit world, they have access to knowledge gleaned from all their previous lives.  They know the purpose of life – to learn and gather wisdom – and they are bathed in love.  It is not possible for those souls to harm or damage the living.  These are myths perpetrated by people who do evil and wish to explain it via the supernatural.

“We can be influenced and affected by lessons we haven’t learned from past lives, but never by lost or evil spirits.  Some souls, after death linger because they are not yet aware that they have died.  And their presence may be experienced as a mood, a shadow, a hushed sense of distress.  But these souls have not direct power to hurt the living.”

How are we so influenced?

“Guides from the spirit world, as well as deceased loved ones, exert influence on our choices.  They whisper to us through random and strange thoughts, through sudden feelings or urges, to help us make wise choices.  Their messages are frequent visitors to our unconscious mind.  The ones we love on the other side, as well as masters and guides, are in constant communication.  And much of our work on this planet is to tune into our wise mind, or spiritual short wave radio, so we can hear them.

“Mainstream psychology is already studying the positive impact of meditation and prayer.  Now we need to examine how spiritual practices – and the connection to spirit – impacts human well-being:  When people receive messages from the other side? How does it impact them emotionally and behaviorally?  Do they make better choices?  Do they experience more love?  Do they experience loss differently, and with less pain?  We can actually measure these things, and it would advance scientific and human knowledge.”

Jordan mentioned that certainty is not a healthy state.  Is there a point between the blind faith of most religions and absolute certainty that you feel we should strive for relative to a belief that consciousness survives death?

“We live in a place where certainty is impossible.  Certainty about truth, about right and wrong, often results in holocausts – emotional and societal.  We need to hold every belief lightly – as a tentative truth that may later be modified or disproved.  The belief that there is an afterlife, that souls are immortal and come here between lives to learn, is not absolute truth.  It has been reported by many observers and there is much data to suggest that consciousness can exist outside the body.  None-the-less, nothing is certain about what the afterlife looks like or the eternal life of souls. Those of us who have sought to connect, and who have experienced the flooding sense of love from those on the other side have experiences to support the belief that the relationship between the living and the dead is never broken.

“It’s important to separate religious/moral beliefs that tell you how to act, from cosmologies –a picture of what the universe is and why we are in it.  Moral/religious beliefs dictate ‘right’ behavior – which often turns out to be damaging and hurtful.  Cosmologies (such as what Jordan tells me) describe our place and role in the cosmos.  We can evaluate the usefulness of cosmological beliefs by watching how they affect people – whether they become more loving, more at peace, more connected to all.”

So many people are turned off to the idea of a higher power and an afterlife when they suffer pain of one kind or another.  They claim it is not consistent with a just and loving Creator.  What do you say to them?

“Jordan has been very clear that pain is a necessary environment for souls to grow.  There are lessons we cannot learn without pain.  In fact, we come here to learn how to love in the face of pain.  This planet is a school that teaches us how to make wise choices when we hurt, and everything around us is threatening us with pain and loss.

“Pain is not a sign we are bad or have done wrong.  Our work here is not to seek pleasure and avoid suffering.  Our work here is to ask the question: ‘What can I learn from this pain?  What wisdom, what truth lies at the root of this pain?’  Every choice we make in the face of pain teaches us, and what we learn is uploaded to collective consciousness, to the all, to god.

“Pain is a sacred path through which we grow, and because of us, it is how god grows.”

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.

Next blog post: August 8


I LOVE THIS. It is so revealing and informative

MICHAEL BASDEO, Fri 12 Aug, 17:12


That may very well be the case as far as an individual approach to it goes, but it does not mean that those who are unable to maintain that positive state of mind are not subject to low-level influences.

Take a look at Dr. Carl Wickland’s research, as suggested by Jon.

Your comment is appreciated.

Michael Tymn, Fri 12 Aug, 07:40

“Believing Is Seeing.”  -B. Lowther

  I thought his answer about evil spirits was a matter of personal choice, essentially between taking a positive view or a negative one. Where or with which idea (since no one knows for sure anyway and this type of experience being extremely subjective) would you rather place your awareness, your belief? I assume one with a higher awareness, a positive state of mind, focused with belief in the “good”, and regardless of their circumstances or what is true or not, will be in superior position NOT to attract malevolent beings or forces. Excellent answer! And one that we need to talk about more often. Leave the rest and the lesser as far from your consciousness as possible. They/It will disappear fairly quickly… If it even bothers to come around someone like the author of this book at all!

Brigitte Lowther, Fri 12 Aug, 06:14

I found Dr. McKay’s account of his son’s afterlife both fascinating and persuasive (and encouraging).  He should be thanked for relating this.

Yet I was troubled by one remark, that there is no evil “out there”.  I fear that this belief is a little naïve and even dangerous.

There seems to be evidence of malevolence from entities.  The current Fortean Times has an article by Alan Murdie, “House of Suicides” in which he relates having been influenced, at age 17, to almost jump from a roof, committing suicide.

He regards this influence as supernatural, and from one or more malevolent entities.  At 17, he may have been more susceptible to influence.  This might more easily happen also when someone is sleepy, tired and otherwise nonattentive.  Not to mention alcohol and drugs.  (342, August 2016)

And I think that Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts by Joe Fisher should be read.  (Joe Fisher later committed suicide.)

Not all malevolence results in suicide, it seems.  I suspect that revenge, envy and plain mischief occurs more than we realize.  And, I suspect that I and probably many others have been victimized.  Bad luck can happen, and even careers hampered or ruined.

We live in a society in which interpersonal connections are frail.  Industrial societies are mobile, and relationships are temporary.  People are regarded as means to an end rather than as ends in themselves.  (Kant’s Categorical Imperative.)  The result is that there is little help in these matters available when needed.  Even psychics seem to convey a “do it yourself” recommendation.  Others are needed for support and that is a basic human need, not a sign of weakness.  The frequent recommendation is “envelop yourself in the white light”.  What is one supposed to do, stand under a strong LED fixture?  Churches and “the helping professions” offer scant help, and are not substitutes for human caritas and connection.

David Moncreif, Thu 28 Jul, 04:58

Gary Mannion like Helen Duncan was probably influenced by demonic forces when he cheated.

Waller Joel, Wed 27 Jul, 20:49

I have often thought that perhaps past-life personalities have some influence on peoples’ behavior and obviously not every past life personality was of a sterling character.  Perhaps these past lives are what is seen in multiple personalities, recognizing of course that not every diagnosis of multiple personality is a true multiple personality.  I also think that past life personalities play out in mental illnesses even those seeming relatively non-exotic illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

I am aware of at least one person I know who I believe from childhood has housed a spirit who was determined in a vindictive way to dominate another person creating unrelenting dependency and control.  She doesn’t seem to be possessed by an evil spirit but that her spirit is just selfish and demanding with a sense of entitlement in a passive-aggressive kind of way, perhaps a carry-over from a past life.- AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 26 Jul, 16:19

Michael & Amos,

Have you ever looked at Channeling Erik? I can’t remember if we have communicated about that, Michael. It’s an ongoing dialogue between a mother and her son, Erik, who took his own life in October 2009. They communicate via one or more mediums. Here is a short conversation they had about possession. “Me: is Erik’s mother, Elisa Medhus M.D.  Jamie is the medium.

Me: Okay, a lot of people have asked this one, Erik. It’s about possession. Can spirits possess the bodies of humans? I’m talking about demonic or non-demonic spirits.

Erik (chuckling): Is this the part of the book when you need to warn people whether they should read forward or not?

Jamie and I laugh.

Me: Maybe. I guess it all hangs on what you say, Sweetie!

Erik: Yes. Yes they can. Possessions do happen, demonic and non-demonic.


Me: Okay, but are there really evil spirits? I mean—

Erik: Sure. Just as there are evil people, there are evil spirits. After all, there’s still free will. A switch doesn’t get hit that’ll make you all knowing and great ad helpful just because you leave the body.

Me: Ah! Okay. Too bad.

Erik: You still have the free will to use that power to pull people away from Light.

Me: Um hm.

Erik: There are entities who thrive on that. They thrive on separation, on fear, on negative energy.

Me: So what about multiple personalities? Do these have something to do with possessions?

Erik: Yeah, it can and it usually is.

(Long pause as I wait for Erik to expound, but I guess that’s all he knows at the moment.)

Me: Well, what about benevolent possessions? Can spirits possess a human to help out?

Erik: Sure, especially healing spirits who will possess a body that’s in a coma state—

Me: Hm! Wow!

Erik: —or if something really traumatic happens, maybe right before they die. Those are two of the examples I can come up with now.

More on this topic through a different medium:

Me: Okay, let’s see. Next question. Is there any such thing as a demonic possession?

Erik: Yeah, there is. There is.

Me: Okay, can you expand on that a bit?

Erik: From what I understand—and I have my angel standing next to me to step in if I say something that’s not right.

I laugh.

Erik: But it’s my understanding that there’s light and there’s dark, and if someone concentrates or focuses on the dark too much, it can come in and take over. It causes a lot of mental illness. It can cause a lot of pain. I thought about it, you know, and I wondered about it for myself.

Me: Wow, so you thought you were possessed at one point?

Erik: Well, I didn’t really think I was possessed, but I wondered, because I was so… conflicted—all those emotions running around.

Continued at

Jon, Tue 26 Jul, 10:43


I agree with you 100%.  When I read Dr. McKay’s response to that question, I was quite surprised and wondered how he came to that conclusion and if his response was based solely on what Jordan had communicated to him.  I further wondered if he is aware of Wickland and all the other researchers who have come to a different conclusion. However, as a reporter, I was just relaying his answers to my email questions and wasn’t prepared to get into a lengthy email discussion on the matter with him, especially since I had already exceeded my desired word length.

Michael Tymn, Tue 26 Jul, 07:30

Yes I agree Michael; Nice interview.

I also agree with Jon though that perhaps spirits may influence us in a negative way.  I am not that familiar with possession by ‘evil’ spirits but I suppose there are some evidential accounts of such things. Certainly the Bible makes reference to demons and exorcising them. And even in life there are people who think they know what is better for us or may be jealous, envious, or just mean people so I would think that in the spirit those same people would continue to be mean or believe that they know that is best for me and influence or haunt me in a negative way. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 25 Jul, 20:12


Nice interview, very interesting.

What do you think about Matthew’s statement, “I believe that spirits of the dead can only influence us in positive ways.” Can that really be the case?

There is centuries of evidence and suggestion that certain people can and are influenced negatively by deceased people. Evidence for this has been demonstrated in Spirit Release Therapy, books such as Carl Wickland’s “Thirty Years among the Dead,” people with schizophrenia who are often seemingly influenced by negative influences, etc. The list goes on.

This is not to mention the hundreds of thousands of exorcisms carried out in places such as Italy every year. Is he saying not a single one of these is the result of a negative influence by a discarnate?

Then of course there are all the religious references, biblical and otherwise, that speak about casting out demons. They could of course all be bogus.

We also often read about people with addictions being influenced by low-level entities because their psychological immune system is depleted.

Can it be that there is no truth in any of this? What are your thoughts?

Maybe you could ask Matthew to comment.

Jon, Mon 25 Jul, 09:58

Add your comment



Your comment

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Please note that all comments are read and approved before they appear on the website

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