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Quoting Distinguished Scientists and Scholars on Survival

Posted on 03 August 2020, 17:04

It wasn’t long after the birth of modern Spiritualism in 1848 that scientists and scholars began investigating the phenomena.  Many of them started out with the intent of showing that all mediums were charlatans, but one by one they came to believe in the reality of mediumship and related psychic phenomena.  A few of them sat on the fence when it came to professing a belief in the spirit world, but others were more courageous.

Here are testimonials from the earliest researchers.  More recent researchers will be quoted in future posts:

Judge John W. Edmonds (1816-1874) – After serving in both houses of the New York legislature, including president of the Senate, Edmonds was elevated to the New York State Supreme Court and became its Chief Justice.  He began his investigation of mediums in 1851, assuming that he would expose them as frauds.

But all this, and much, very much more of a cognate nature went to show me that there was a high order of intelligence involved in this new phenomenon – an intelligence outside of, and beyond, mere mortal agency; for there was no other hypothesis which I could devise or hear of that could at all explain that, whose reality is established by the testimony of tens of thousands, and can easily be ascertained by anyone who take the trouble to inquire …

Governor Nathaniel P. Tallmadge (1795-1864) – Educated as a lawyer, Tallmadge served as a United States Senator from New York and as Governor of the Territory of Wisconsin. He initially considered mediumship a “delusion,” but was prompted to investigate by the testimony of Judge John W. Edmonds. He soon began communicating with the spirit of his old friend, John C. Calhoun, former vice-president of the United States.  On one occasion, Calhoun asked him to bring a guitar.

I have received numerous communications from [Calhoun] from the time of my commencing this investigation.  They have been received through rapping, writing, and speaking mediums, and are of the most extraordinary character…I have heard the guitar played by the most skillful and scientific hands, but I never could have conceived of that instrument being able to produce sounds of such marvelous and fascinating beauty, power, and even grandeur as this invisible performer that night executed. 

Professor Augustus De Morgan (1806-1871) – Considered one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the 19th Century, De Morgan became chairman of the mathematics department at University College in London at age 21.  He introduced “De Morgan’s Laws” and was a reformer in mathematical logic.  He began sitting with mediums in 1853.

…I have seen in my house frequently, various persons presenting themselves [as mediums].  The answers are given mostly by the table, on which a hand or two is gently placed, tilting up at the letters…I have no theory about it, but in a year or two something may turn up.  I am, however, satisfied of the reality of the phenomenon.  A great many other persons are as cognizant of these phenomena in their own houses as myself.  Make what you can of it if you are a philosopher. 

Professor Robert Hare, M.D.  (1751-1858) – An emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania and world-renowned inventor, Hare denounced the “madness” being called “Spiritualism” and set out in 1853 to prove that the raps, taps, and table tilting purportedly bringing messages from the dead were either hallucinations or unconscious muscular actions on the part of those present.

I sincerely believe that I have communicated with the spirits of my parents, sister, brother, and dearest friends, and likewise with the spirits of the illustrious Washington and other worthies of the spirit world; that I am by them commissioned, under their auspices, to teach truth and to expose error.

Professor Johann K. F. Zöllner (1834-1882) – A professor of astronomy at Leipzig University, he contributed to measuring the brightness of the moon and of stars that could be seen.  His book, titled Transcendental Physics, was published in 1880.

We have acquired proof of the existence of an invisible world which can enter into relation with humanity.

Professor James J. Mapes (1806-1866) – A professor of chemistry and natural philosophy at the National Academy of Design in New York and later at the American Institute, Mapes is best remembered for his inventions in sugar refining and artificial fertilizers. He set out around 1854 to rescue his friends who were “running to mental seed and imbecility” over the mediumship epidemic. After investigating many mediums, Mapes changed his views. Moreover, both his wife and daughter became mediums.

The manifestations which are pertinent to the ends required are so conclusive in their character as to establish in my mind certain cardinal points.  These are:  First, there is a future state of existence, which is but a continuation of our present state of being…Second, that the great aim of nature, as shown through a great variety of spiritual existences is progression, extending beyond the limits of this mundane sphere…Third, that spirits can and do communicate with mortals, and in all cases evince a desire to elevate and advance those they commune with.


Biologist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) – Co-originator with Charles Darwin of the natural selection theory of evolution, Wallace, a naturalist who provided Darwin with his parallel theory before Darwin went public with their two theories, was a hard-core materialist until he began investigating mediums in 1865.  He soon became one of Spiritualism’s greatest missionaries. 

My position is that the phenomena of Spiritualism in their entirety do not require further confirmation.  They are proved quite as well as facts are proved in other sciences.

Sir William Crookes (1832-1919) – A physicist and chemist, he discovered the element thallium and was a pioneer in radioactivity.  He invented the radiometer, the spinthariscope, and a high-vacuum tube that contributed to the discovery of the x-ray. He was knighted in 1897 and served as president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.  He set out in 1870 to drive “the worthless residuum of spiritualism” into the “unknown limbo of magic and necromancy.”  However, after thorough investigations of Daniel D. Home and Florence Cook, he changed his views. 

[The phenomena] point to the existence of another order of human life continuous with this, and demonstrate the possibility in certain circumstances of communication between this world and the next.

Sir William Barrett, FRS (1844-1925) – Professor of physics at the Royal College of Science in Dublin for 37 years, he developed a silicon-iron alloy important to the development of the telephone and in construction of transformers.  His research on entoptic vision contributed to the invention of the entoptiscope and a new optometer.  He was knighted in 1912 for his contributions to science.
I am personally convinced that the evidence we have published decidedly demonstrates (1) the existence of a spiritual world, (2) survival after death, and (3) of occasional communication from those who have passed over.

Professor Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) – A world renowned astronomer, Flammarion founded the French Astronomical Society and was known for his study of Mars. He was a pioneer in the use of balloon to study the stars. He investigated psychic phenomena, including mediumship, for more than 50 years.
I do not hesitate to affirm my conviction, based on personal examination of the subject, that any man who declares the phenomena to be impossible is one who speaks without knowing what he is talking about; and, also that any man accustomed to scientific observation – provided that his mind is not biased by preconceived opinions – may acquire a radical and absolute certainty of the reality of the facts alluded to. 

Frederic W. H. Myers, M.A.  (1843-1901) – After graduating from Cambridge in 1864, he became a lecturer in classical literature there while also serving as inspector of schools at Cambridge.  Although not educated as a psychologist, he developed, independent of Freud, a theory of the subliminal self. University of Geneva psychology professor Theordor Flournoy opined that Myers name should be joined to those of Copernicus and Darwin, completing “the triad of geniuses” who most profoundly revolutionized scientific thought.  He was one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research.

I will here briefly state what facts they are which our recorded apparitions, intimations, messages of the departing and the departed, have, to my mind actually proved:  a) In the first place, they prove survival pure and simple; the persistence of the spirit’s life as a structural law of the universe; the inalienable heritage of each several soul; b) …they prove that between the spiritual and the material worlds an avenue of communication does in fact exist; that which we call the dispatch and the receipt of telepathic messages, or the utterance and the answer of prayer and supplication; c)…they prove that the surviving spirit retains, at least in some measure, the memories and the loves of earth…”

Sir Oliver Lodge, D. Sc., FRS  (1851-1940) – Professor of physics at University College in Liverpool, England and later principal at the University of Birmingham, Lodge achieved world fame for his pioneering work in electricity, including the radio and spark plug.  Lodge was knighted in 1902 for his contributions to science. He became interested in psychical research in 1884 and sat extensively with Leonora Piper and Gladys Osborne Leonard.

I tell you with all my strength of the conviction which I can muster that we do persist, that people still continue to take an interest in what is going on, that they know far more about things on this earth than we do, and are able from time to time to communicate with us…I do not say it is easy, but it is possible, and I have conversed with my friends just as I can converse with anyone in this audience now.

Professor Charles Richet, M.D., Ph.D. (1850-1909) – Professor of physiology at the University of Paris Medical School, Richet was considered a world authority on nutrition in health and in disease. He won the Nobel Prize in 1913 for his work on allergic reactions. While convinced of the reality of mediumship, he remained publicly agnostic toward survival. 

It seems to me the facts are undeniable.  I am convinced that I have been present at realities.  Certainly I cannot say in what materialization consists.  I am ready to maintain that there is something profoundly mysterious in it which will change from top to bottom our ideas on nature and on life.

Dr. Richard Hodgson (1855-1905) – After earning his M.A. and LL.D at the University of Melbourne, Hodgson moved to England and entered the University of Cambridge as a scholar studying moral sciences.  Upon graduation, he taught poetry and philosophy at University Extension, then the philosophy of Herbert Spenser at Cambridge before becoming a full-time psychical researcher in 1887.  He had hundreds of sittings with Leonora Piper over 18 years.

I had but one object, to discover fraud and trickery. Frankly, I went to Mrs. Piper with Professor James of Harvard University about twelve years ago with the object of unmasking her…I entered the house profoundly materialistic, not believing in the continuance of life after death; today I say I believe.  The truth has been given to me in such a way as to remove from me the possibility of a doubt.

James H. Hyslop, Ph.D., LL.D. (1854-1920) – After receiving his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1887 and his LL.D. from University of Wooster, Hyslop taught philosophy at Lake Forest University, Smith College, and Bucknell University before joining the faculty of Columbia in 1895.  He authored three textbooks, Elements of Logic (1892), Elements of Ethics (1895), and Problems of Philosophy (1905) before becoming a full-time psychical researcher.

Personally, I regard the fact of survival after death as scientifically proved.  I agree that this opinion is not upheld in scientific quarters.  But this is neither our fault nor the fault of the facts.  Evolution was not believed until long after it was proved.  The fault lay with those who were too ignorant or too stubborn to accept the facts.  History shows that every intelligent man who has gone into this investigation, if he gave it adequate examination at all, has come out believing in spirits; this circumstance places the burden of proof on the shoulders of the skeptic.

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 forthcoming book, No One Really Dies: 25 Reasons to Believe in an Afterlife is due later in 2020.


Comments

Don,

Thanks for sharing your UFO experience.  I witnessed one about 1952, when I was 15, not too high above my home in Alameda, California. I can still picture it - a silvery platter-like object hovering not too high over my home, then zipping off.  I ran into tell my mother, but all she could do was shrug.  A naval air station was only two miles away and I more or less assumed that it had something to do with it, but I never again witnessed such an object.

Michael Tymn, Fri 14 Aug, 03:58

I too have a strong suspicion that Amos is spot on with his assessment of the estimable Mr. Frank G. Marshall. The petulant and almost whiny nature of the writing hardly screams out “seasoned and accomplished physicist.”

In a completely non-related vein—-since Paul brought up the topic of UFO’s, I’d like to briefly relate a personal experience which I had many years ago. Although like others here, my interests since then have taken a turn toward larger and more spiritual questions, that early experience still largely colors my attitudes in the UFO arena.
    In the fall/winter of 1959-1960 (it was around the Holidays, I don’t recall whether it was December or January) a group of classmates and I had just exited the Haverford College dining hall, when one of the group called out “Look, a shooting star” and pointed toward the sky in the east (where Philadelphia would be). As we watched, a bright object came streaking downward at more or less a 45-degree angle—-and then suddenly stopped and stood still in mid-sky. It then started tracing a large circular movement, parallel to the ground—-stopped and stood still again—-and then retraced the circle in the opposite direction. After standing still again for a few seconds, it then began a series of rapid zigzag movements, up, down, sideways, all over the place. I think it may have then done the circle thing again, not sure, but ultimately,after one last moment of standing motionless, it suddenly took off straight up into the sky at a seemingly impossible rate of speed and quickly disappeared.
    This was witnessed a group of perhaps 15 to 20 of us—-and I hadn’t (yet!) had anything to drink!

Don Porteous, Thu 13 Aug, 22:14

A general comment.  I think Amos is on to something with the observations he makes in his comment below regarding Frank.  In any case, whoever Frank may be, he is a ‘seeking soul’ who has come to this blog with questions, however ill-posed they have been at times.  Michael and commentators have been very generous (and patient) in providing answers.  It’s really on Frank as to what he chooses to do with them.  Again, I wish him well.

Paul, Thu 13 Aug, 13:44

AOD
I am done with this despite many friendly suggestions.
Look in Who’s Who.

Last comment.

Consider these numbers.
7.594 billion people in the world.
If 1 in a million believe like you then
7.594 million people can buy your books and fill You Tube.
Not a bad market.
If 1 in a thousand embellish the stories (tell lies for “want to believers”?)
7594 people to write books for your world.

Lots of ifs - but a factor of ten either way would still be interesting.

Frank G Marshall, Thu 13 Aug, 11:55

Dear Frank,

I had a good chuckle over the rationalwiki page on Piero Calvi-Parisetti that you linked to.  All I can say is that a) casting aspersions and ad hominem attacks are rationalwiki’s stock in trade, and b) I know Calvi-Parisetti’s writings very well and also feel I have a good sense of the man from his interviews and I simply don’t recognize him in the description given.  The description of Michael Prescott as another ‘spiritualist crank’ was particularly amusing, given the frequently critical eye he brings to questions of discarnate reality.  [You might enjoy his perspective: ]https://michaelprescott.typepad.com/]  But really, the question is far simpler than this:  You are perfectly capable of intelligent, objective consideration.  Does the page in question adhere even remotely to basic standards of depth, rigor or objectivity?  To ask the question is, I trust, to answer it.  Again, I encourage you to read the man’s book if you really want to know what he has to say – but after you look into NDEs.

As for UFOs as a phenomenal category, they are, as it were, their ‘own thing’, with very little content or literature overlap with the phenomenal category of discarnate reality.  The topical engagements are, I think, quite distinct from one another.  I expect it is rare to find someone with expert depth of knowledge in both fields.  Further, the ‘truth’ or ‘falsity’ of one topic need have no necessary bearing on the other; each question must be resolved separately and quite independently on the strength of the distinct evidence attending each.  For myself, I have a great depth of knowledge of discarnate reality from many years of study and have drawn certain relatively firm conclusions in consequence of this, but I know comparatively little about UFOs, and have very uncertain opinions regarding the topic, which amount to a) there is probably something to it, b) it’s almost certainly not strictly physicalist in nature (e.g. little green/gray men traveling in spaceships), c) if you are looking for an authority in the subject, you probably won’t do better than Jacques Vallée.

As to your last, throwaway question, two answers in brief are: a) dying doesn’t make you omniscient, rather you are, at least initially, essentially unchanged, in knowledge as well as character; b) those most likely to communicate back are those least likely to have that kind of knowledge, typically being among the recently arrived.  With that said, the question is a bit of a non-sequitur.  Why not: “Why don’t the dearly departed know the 2047th digit of Pi?” or “Why don’t the dearly departed know Rosey Grier’s waistline measurement during his final season with the Rams?”  Why not indeed?  Why don’t I?

Paul, Thu 13 Aug, 04:43

Jon,
Thanks for the links to the interviews with Bernard Carr.  I think they might appeal to any physicist.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 13 Aug, 02:10

I don’t know Frank.  I followed your advice to Google “multistrip coupler” and found three or four papers With F.G. Marshall or Graham Marshal listed as one of three authors.  The paper was submitted in 1972 and published in 1973 not in 1977 as you surmised.  I see a patent was issued to “Marshall et al” in 1974. You say your boss did the theory but you were the “experimental type”, Now just exactly what does that mean?  Did you write the paper and present it at a conference or was your name added as courtesy to those who are part of the preparation discussion as is often done with papers presented at a conference? And what was your PhD dissertation about?


Something does not ring true about all of this to me.  You apparently are a 70 + year old man with a PhD but your comments on this blog are not congruent with the writing style of someone who has a doctorate in physics and who wrote the multi-page paper you referenced and I read. I have not seen any 70 year olds using the term “flame war” in their blog comments but more likely that term is used by young people who routinely visit blog sites and like to participate in arguments or ‘flame wars’  just for the sake of arguing.
 

Your link to “RationalWiki” is not a respected reference site used by a PhD but I have seen it used many times by young people who want to argue about and debunk any topic related to the paranormal or spiritualism and your interest and link to UFOs and flat-earthers just doesn’t seem congruent with an educated and disciplined mind of a physicist with 40 years experience.


You talk of “book writers’ instead of authors and you state that the “deep knowledge science [?] has brought 300 years? What about 3000? 30000? - and millions more after that.”  What kind of a nonsensical statement is that? Certainly not worthy of someone with a doctorate in physics.

You say you have “read all of Dawkins” “much of Darwin, DNA etc. etc.” and at least 100 science books of all areas”. “Much of PSI on the internet”  Now, to my mind those generalizations do not sound like a PhD talking.  You seem to have some concerns about people who have some criticisms about people who are against 5G, vaccinations, global warming and Donald Trump, all religions, and mediums which you call “party-trick’ mediums, all topics which require a thorough discussion and not just a flippant implied negative reference and put down.
 

This blog site routinely calls for more complete discussion that just an off-hand put down.  I just don’t think that an intelligent PhD in physics of all science specialties would blown things off the way you have done.  In contrast this is the way most or many young psychic debunkers comment.

You use the royal ‘we’ and make reference to ‘you’ all the time when who know who ‘you’ is that you are talking to.  This is not the kind of writing that anyone who has written a PhD dissertation would sloppily use, even in an internet blog.


I could go on.  There is so much about your writing style and approach that is not congruent with someone who has the credentials you say you have. With all respect I am not convinced that you are who you say you are. F.G. Marshall, Graham Marshal and F. Graham Marshal are common names on the internet.  Which one are you?
 

If you want to have a serious discussion about alternate realities I would be happy to accommodate you as I am sure others would also but this blog site has a reputation for intelligent and erudite discourse.  Please help to keep it that way.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 12 Aug, 23:47

Frank,

If you are still with us, I would ask why you accept the information at Rational Wiki as truth. Based on my experience with Rational Wiki, I can tell you that their bios are filled with blatant errors and disparaging bias.

As to your question concerning why spirits can’t tell us more about the origins of the earth back millions of years, you seem to begin with an a priori assumption that spirits become all-knowing upon entering the spirit world.  This sounds like something you might have picked up in your church days.

This has been discussed in past blogs, but I’ll briefly summarize here.  We are told that spirits don’t know any more after they transition than they did when they were here.  They slowly gain in knowledge as they awaken on the Other Side, but as they awaken and evolve they lose vibrational contact with those of us on earth, making it more difficult to communicate. Herein is one of the paradoxes I mentioned, i.e., the more advanced the spirit, the more difficult for that spirit to communicate with us.  Rational thinking would suggest just the opposite. 

The only spirits who can somewhat effectively communicate with us are those at lower vibrations, i.e., spirits not too evolved or advanced.  Some advanced spirits have been able to relay messages to us through spirits at lower vibration, but they are limited in that respect in that most of what they have to say is beyond the comprehension of the lower level spirits and humans. Also, the communication is often distorted or misinterpreted in the process.  It is the idea that is communicated, not the actual verbiage.  They are further limited by the intelligence, including the vocabulary, of the medium.  That is, a medium of average intelligence would not be able to grasp a message from an Einstein and pass it on any more than he or she could if engaged in a normal conversation with Einstein when he was alive.   

It should be further kept in mind that most spirits can’t communicate with us in the first place. It has been reported that the number of spirits able to communicate is not much more than the number of mediums in this world and there are many degrees of ability in this regard.  Some spirits might be able to get a thought or two through a medium, while others might get more complete thoughts through.  Abilities come in various degrees there as they do here.  They have to learn to lower their vibrations and most of them are not any more interested in learning that than the number of people on earth interested in learning transcendental meditation. They have other pursuits and lose interest in earthly endeavors.

If it were possible for advanced spirits to tell us all about life in their world and in our world, it would seemingly defeat the purpose for our being here in the first place—that is to learn from our experiences.  If we knew it all from the beginning, what would be the point of it?  As it is now, science and technology have run well ahead of our ability to deal with it and the result has been the chaos we are witnessing today.

Your

Michael Tymn, Wed 12 Aug, 22:49

If anyone is interested, Bernard Carr is doing a series of interviews with Jeff Mishlove on New Thinking Allowed.

Bernard J. Carr is a British professor of mathematics and astronomy at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). He’s been interested in psychical research since his teens and has the advantage of having had psychic experiences, has read the a lot of the psychical research literature and he has an in depth knowledge of cosmology and physics.

His research interests include the early universe, dark matter, general relativity, primordial black holes, and the anthropic principle.

He completed his BA in mathematics in 1972 at Trinity College, Cambridge. For his doctorate, obtained in 1976, he studied relativity and cosmology under Stephen Hawking at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. He was the president of the Cambridge University Buddhist Society and was friends with Ajahn Brahm.[1]

He has done two interviews so far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkic9q1YI10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MYo74u97GM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Carr.

Jon, Wed 12 Aug, 21:37

Paul,
Final final.

Many thanks -I will.

I was getting interested then saw
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Piero_Calvi-Parisetti
etc etc etc

This all started when a contact who is a UFO believer moved me sideways to your world.
I have looked around his world for some time believing very little but found this guy hard to debunk.
https://vimeo.com/339437787

There were billions of years before we came - we might well be of interest to “others” (who evolved and had a million years of physics beyond ours) now that our (mainstream) science is giving us nuclear devices etc.
Or just tourists . . .

Why do the dear departed not know about the early billions of years of the cosmos?

Frank G Marshall, Wed 12 Aug, 18:29

I don’t think taking an interest in the nature of consciousness is a fringe belief. There are plenty of scientists, philosophers and interested parties who going into the twenty-first century consider it one of life’s big unanswered questions.

Jon, Wed 12 Aug, 14:50

Dear Frank,

A final piece of advice, offered in a spirit of compassion and fellow seeking.  I would recommend, given where you are at, to forget – at least for the time being – about this blog, about the various forms of presumptive evidence pointing to discarnate survival, and certainly about the ‘circus tricks’ of physical mediumship.  Instead, assuming that you haven’t decided to chuck the whole business and get back to your science books, I would recommend you turn your attention to NDEs and focus wholly upon them for a time.  In addition to Chris Carter’s aforementioned “Science and the Near-Death Experience”, which would be a fine place to begin, there is an extensive literature on the topic, authored largely by physicians and scientists, including Raymond Moody, Bruce Greyson, Kenneth Ring, Peter Fenwick, Sam Parnia, Jeffrey Long, Pim van Lommel and Penny Sartori.  Further, there are numerous written and video accounts, which bear their own impactful testimony, of those who have undergone NDEs.  The International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS), [https://iands.org/] has a great many such accounts [look under NDES/NDE Accounts in the site dropdown menu].  Feel free also to read critics such as Susan Blackmore.  In all this, try to weigh the evidence objectively – as a scientist would – and work toward tentatively secure conclusions for yourself.  As a teaser, you might enjoy the IANDS talk by Laurin Bellg, an intensive-care physician and author of “Near Death in the ICU” [www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWN9zNcoRKY], which I had occasion to discuss in an earlier post to this blog.  I would also suggest, fairly early in your engagement with the topic, to look at the Pam Reynolds case – Carter has an extensive presentation and discussion of it – as it presents such a tough, sticking challenge to a closed materialist framework.  If you decide at the end of this that NDEs are so much bunk and hokum, that all the aforementioned authors are misguided fools, and that scientistic materialism really is the way the world is, then so be it.  You may, however, find yourself coming to different conclusions.  Once again, and in all sincerity, I wish you well.

Paul, Wed 12 Aug, 14:47

Thanks Michael.  I have ordered my copy of Dirty Science. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 12 Aug, 13:12

I do have a Phd, patents, and awards.
I do live in the UK.

I have read New Scientist since I was 18.
All of Dawkins, much of Darwin. DNA etc etc.
At least 100 science books of all areas.
Much of Psi on the internet.

I am fascinated by groups of people with minority beliefs who herd together and write books for each other.
Youtube now adds to that - anti 5G (!) - AntiVAX - anti global warming etc. This is a worrying trend since that feedback makes the groups grow - even helping elect a Trump.

I am stunned by religious debates in the US. I guess any fringe believer gets upset when they are presented with facts that make them question the foundations of their beliefs since childhood. But how come we have flat earth-ers and party trick mediums?

What a nice flame war!

Over and out again

Frank G Marshall, Wed 12 Aug, 12:36

I hope we are done indulging the troll and can get on with the subject at hand.  Although I now have some great references for future reading material, thank you grin

SK, Wed 12 Aug, 08:56

Bob Gebelein offered a comment below and called my attention to his book, “Dirty Science.”  I just finished reading the book and started writing a review.  I will copy and paste the first three paragraphs of that review here:

As I read this book, I nodded in agreement – agreement based on both experience and extensive study – with nearly everything the author had to say; at the same time, I read with a certain awe at the author’s observations and experiences that went beyond my own but which offered support to the ideas and conclusions I had formed or come to from more than 30 years of serious study. I also read with sadness and frustration, knowing that the author is “preaching to the choir” and will not be heard by the offenders, those practicing “dirty science.”  The few that might hear them will simply snicker, scoff, and snort in antagonistic self-righteousness.  The subject matter is too complex, too convoluted, too abstract, too paradoxical, too vast, and too mind-boggling for anyone without personal experience combined with years of dedicated study to properly grasp and appreciate. 

What this book boils down to is that research into psychical matters – whether called psychical research, parapsychology, or consciousness studies – has offered a preponderance of evidence in support of the idea that there is a reality beyond the physical that is detected by our five senses and that this reality involves consciousness surviving beyond physical death.  The evidence actually goes well beyond the preponderance threshold of our civil courts, reaching the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of our criminal court system for those who have seriously delved into the subject. But both mainstream science and academia have ignored it or rejected it as “unscientific” and unworthy of consideration.

“The first sign of an extreme bias is that establishment scientists simply refuse to look at the evidence,” author Gebelein, a 1956 Harvard graduate in mathematics and career computer software designer, writes. “They just assume, since they believe that psychic abilities and spirit entities do not exist, that the evidence is flawed – that there were methodological errors, ‘dirty test tubes,’ or actual cheating.  And where scientists refuse to look at the evidence, they aren’t doing science.”  These established scientists, he adds, parade their credentials, exploiting their status as ‘authorities’ by making authoritarian pronouncements in matter that go well beyond their field of expertise.  They use smear tactics, including the classical ‘straw man,’ ‘ad hominem’ and ‘red herring’ arguments.

Michael Tymn, Wed 12 Aug, 03:49

Thanks Frank,
I apologize since you certainly are not an adolescent.  I see that the paper you referenced was written in the early 1970s so probably you are at least pushing 70 years old if not older. Since I am a biologist and not a physicist I do not understand anything in the paper of which you are listed as an author. Do you still live in the UK?  Did you get your PhD?- AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 11 Aug, 22:42

AOD
Please Google “multistrip coupler” which I invented and earned the best paper IEEE - 1977 I think.
My invention and used in most of the worlds pre-digital TVs.
My boss shared that - he did the theory.
I was an experimental type.

Frank G Marshall, Tue 11 Aug, 21:08

Frank,
Will you direct me to any research you have published in the last 40 years.  I would be interested in reading it.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 11 Aug, 18:34

Just a general note.  Tricia, who is no doubt too modest to make mention of the fact, is the author of two excellent books that might well be added to Frank’s ‘non-reading’ reading list – as well that of many others who would find them of interest: “Things You Can do When You’re Dead!: True Accounts of After Death Communication” and “More Things you Can do When You’re Dead: What Can You Truly Believe?”  Both courtesy of White Crow Press.  Worth checking out(!)  Just by way of context, she was a colleague of the late Scottish professor of astrophysics and psychical researcher Archie Roy.

On another note, and as a last fillip to Frank, I might recommend – as a taster to the serious material he seems unwilling to grapple with – Piero Calvi-Parisetti’s “21 Days into the Afterlife,” which is comprehensive, well-presented, objective and mercifully brief.  This book makes an excellent first introduction to the subject of discarnate survival for anyone completely fresh to the topic.  An excerpt is available here: https://antimatters2.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/2-3-16-21days.pdf.  There are also a number of interviews with Piero at the Forever Family foundation [search their radio archives on his name].

Paul, Mon 10 Aug, 22:57

I thank you all for your replies!

I have 40 years research experience and more mainstream science books than I can count. I am fascinated by minds that are closed. Look at the UFO believers and flat earth believers on Youtube.
Or any religion.

You are unable or unwilling to address the questions I seek to debate. (If death becomes optional, get them to tell us more etc)

If an infinity of years of bliss awaits so very few have the courage to “just go”. Why not?

Please enjoy reinforcing your beliefs with like minded friends. Accept it as a religion - it is not science.

But do read science! It is moving so rapidly!
- just as I have read enough of your literature to satisfy the curiosity that I, as a scientist, do not close off.

Over and out.

(AOD are you in Who’s Who?)

Frank G Marshall, Mon 10 Aug, 20:04

Hi Frank,
I guess I am one of the “et al” that you addressed your last comment to.  During the course of the many comments in response to your inquiries people have kindly given you a lot of very good resources to peruse.  Have you read any of them?  You may not know it but you are coming across as a very young, adolescent, naive uninformed person with very little experience in anything.  My guess is that you will not be satisfied with anything anyone writes here since apparently you will not follow up on anything they recommend.  Until you do, I think it would be wise to ignore your comments as from a “soul bereft of reasoning” as Patience Worth would say.- AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 10 Aug, 17:17

That put the cat among the pigeons. Good to see Michael Roll back again. It is always the case that those with the least experience ‘know’ better that those of us who have researched and been involved for over 30 years.

Tricia Robertson, Mon 10 Aug, 17:16

Frank, I’m not sure why you came to this blog in the first place. Clearly, in your mind you have all figured out. There is no need to mock people or assume you know better.  Why don’t we just agree to disagree and move on? I’m sure you have better things to do than approach strangers and dismiss their beliefs/knowledge/experiences without knowing anything about them.

Life’s too short; we will all be dead soon enough and maybe then we’ll know a little more than we know now (or not). grin

Jon, Mon 10 Aug, 16:24

Michael et al,

There is belief from repeatable evidence and there is “want to believe” for comfort. So much of your world is full of mediums with party tricks - even if there is more to it than that.

Just as for UFOs there is such a huge hunger to believe in lies from book writers, photoshop images etc that it may obscure a stupendous truth.

It seems to me you all take a too narrow view of human progress. See what deep knowledge science has brought 300 years? What about 3000? 30000? - and millions more after that.

I suspect death will become optional well before then if not for us then for “silicon life” that we create and which moves ahead of us by improving itself
- (at last by “intelligent design” rather than evolution!)

Suppose it or we can live for ever? Would it or we then need to invent an after life for our comfort?

You all know so little about the details of the eternal life you believe in - how it works in reality. (You do not even seem to ask!) 

There will be little to offer comfort by going there if we can engineer this world to be “bliss on earth for ever”.

Frank G Marshall, Mon 10 Aug, 15:00

Paul,

I agree with you 100 percent and it is to that end that this blog is intended.  Two simple questions I have set forth before sum up the efforts of the nihilist, including space exploration:  To what end the progeny?  To which generation full fruition?

Michael Tymn, Sun 9 Aug, 22:03

Dear Michael and Jon,

The following is sparked by both of your recent comments.  People come to an engagement with the question of discarnate survival for many reasons.  Very often, it is a personal loss, such as the death of a spouse, child or other close family member, but of course it can simply arise out of an impulse of general seeking.  In this latter regard, it may be engaged with as a more or less standalone subject of interest or – as was the case for myself – as part of a broader spiritual search.  At root, though, as Jon pointed out, the question of death – a question which, if unaddressed, naturally looms with greater urgency as one ages – quite naturally leads one to the subject of discarnate survival.

Arguably, death is the single most compelling existential issue that confronts us, of far greater importance than any ‘life issue’ that might command our attention.  Given this, if there were the possibility of gaining secure knowledge regarding the fundamental character of death, would this not be worth a very great deal?  Would it not be worth striving for, even at the cost of great exertion, trial and sacrifice?  Would it not be worth putting a final stake in the foundational question as to whether one’s fate is one of annihilation or continuance?  For most people, apparently not.  Is this not strange?

Two quotes that I have long carried close in this regard are as follows. The first, involving Frederic Myers:

The normal attitude of men towards death seems to be one of inattention or evasion. They do not trouble about it; they do not want to trouble about it; and they resent its being called to their notice. And this, I believe, is as true of those who nominally accept Christianity as of those who reject any form of religion. On this point the late Frederic Myers used to tell a story which I have always thought very illuminating. In conversation after dinner he was pressing on his host the unwelcome question, what he thought would happen after death. After many evasions and much recalcitrancy the reluctant admission was extorted: “Of course, if you press me, I believe that we shall all enter into eternal bliss; but I wish you wouldn’t talk about such disagreeable subjects.” This, I believe, is typical of the normal mood of most men. (G. Lowes Dickinson, “Is Immortality Desirable?,” pp.9-10)

The second, from David Fontana:

I am sometimes asked what prompted my interest in survival and in psychical research. My answer is that I cannot remember a time in my life when I was not interested in these things, or a time when I wasn’t surprised that not everyone shared this interest.
…Death remains in many ways the most neglected of topics. We most of us live our lives as if it will never happen to us or to those we love, and the reality of it only strikes home when we are bereaved or if our own lives are threatened in some way. We rarely even wonder what has become of the great men and women of the past, the towering geniuses, the brilliant scientists and scholars, the explorers, the saints, the founders of the world’s great religions.
(David Fontana, “Is There an Afterlife: A Comprehensive Overview of the Evidence,” pp.7,11)

We are at a very different stage than that which confronted the founding members of the Society for Psychical Research.  We know considerably more, as we ‘stand on the shoulders’ of their labors and the labors of those who have followed them.  All that is really required of us is reading and reflection.  We can, for the most part, skip the fieldwork and laboratory studies, as these have been so ably done by others.  The path for us has, to a large degree, been smoothed and straightened.  For most individuals, the question of death – which is by nature a deeply existential one that will touch them multiple times and with the greatest immediacy – is an unknown about which, at best, they may have hopeful opinions.  It need not be this way, and yet it is.

Regardless of the motivation for engagement, a consequence of the serious study of the topic of discarnate survival is that it resolves the fear of death.  I can attest to this personally.  In this, I do not mean to suggest that there is a kind of ‘proof’ available – such is not even available in the sciences, but really only applies to disciplines such as mathematics and logic – but rather that there is a preponderance of evidence and that ongoing and deepening exposure to this over time quite naturally and gradually leads from initial skepticism to eventual certainty.  This has been the experience of many individuals.

As a final nod to Frank G Marshall, who by now, I suspect, has exited this exchange, the ‘problem’ with much of science (physics very much included) – and this point could also be applied to many other subjects – is that, for all of its brilliant achievements, the answers it provides are often ‘ersatz answers’ when measured against our real concerns.  David Berlinski, to whom a gave a brief nod in an earlier post, has quite aptly described physical theories such as quantum electrodynamics as ‘cathedrals of the human intellect’.  And yet, of what relevance is it to me to know, say, the charge-to-mass ratio of an electron?  How does such knowledge touch my life and most basic concerns?

I am reminded of the story, often attributed to the medieval Persian ‘wise-fool’ Mullah Nasreddin Hodja.  One version: A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he lost them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, “this is where the light is.”

Is this not the story of much of science vis-à-vis discarnate survival or broader questions engaging directly upon human meaning?

Paul, Sun 9 Aug, 15:47

Sorry - I thought your titls from White Crow Books was a book, not a blog. I am very interested in contemporary people of status who have declared the psychic and the spiritual to be a fact. Are there any who aren’t actually in the field of parapsychology?

Bob Gebelein, Sun 9 Aug, 10:38

Frank,

Before you completely depart and return to focusing on more mundane matters smile consider the words of these two wise men:

    “A man should be able to say he has done his best to form a conception of life after death, or to create some image of it – even if he must confess his failure. Not to have done so is a vital loss.”
      – Carl Gustav Jung

    “Neither a person nor a nation can exist without some higher idea. And there is only one higher idea on earth, and it is the idea of the immortality of the human soul, for all other “higher” ideas of life by which humans might live derive from that idea alone.”
  – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Michael Tymn, Sun 9 Aug, 02:07

Dear Don,

I appreciate your appreciation.  You are perfectly correct regarding the unequal distribution of atheists to be found among the sciences, with mathematicians (many of whom are ‘third realm’ Platonists when it comes to the reality of mathematics) and physicists among the least atheistic –  comparatively speaking – and biologists (the vast majority of whom have been thoroughly indoctrinated in Darwinism) among the most.  None of this is terribly surprising.

I should note, as a coda to my earlier mention of Alex Rosenberg that Ed Feser did a ten-part (!) blog series on Rosenberg’s aforementioned book, which is summarized here along with the links: https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/05/rosenberg-roundup.html.  For my money, the combination of Rosenberg and Feser is a kind of decisive ‘one-two punch’ for unpacking and exposing the inherent nihilist and absurdist assumptions underlying scientistic materialism.  Feser is a bit of an acquired taste: brilliant, incisive, funny, but also definitely not snark-free.  He’s also unapologetically Catholic, which will rub some the wrong way, but one can, for the most part, separate his Catholicism from his philosophizing, as indeed one can here.  As he summarizes:

“As I have said, Rosenberg’s book is worthy of attention because he sees more clearly than most other contemporary atheist writers do the true implications of the scientism on which their position is founded.  And interestingly enough, the implications he says it has are more or less the very implications I argued scientism has in my own book “The Last Superstition”.  The difference between us is this: Rosenberg acknowledges that the implications in question are utterly bizarre, but maintains that they must be accepted because the case for the scientism that entails them is ironclad.  I maintain that Rosenberg’s case for scientism is completely worthless, and that the implications of scientism are not merely bizarre but utterly incoherent and constitute a reductio ad absurdum of the premises that lead to them.”

One issue when individuals of a scientific temperament look at discarnate-related phenomena – or non-physicalist phenomena generally, including psi – is the assumption that they are proceeding from the ‘secure ground’ of scientific knowledge and taking that as their benchmark in their taking the measure of such other phenomena.  The point of the above is that this assumption of ‘secure ground’ is largely an illusion, one fostered by an insufficient examination of the underlying entailments of materialism itself.  Rosenberg and Feser, taken in combination, strip these bare and expose them to plain view.

Paul, Fri 7 Aug, 20:31

Paul…

Bravo!!! I hope that Mr. Frank G. Marshall appreciates the time and effort that you (and ALL in this thread) have expended in addressing his (to my personal eye) rather sophomoric concerns.

Several additional points…

Regarding the “beliefs of scientists” question…it’s noteworthy that the “willingness to believe” appears to be far higher among PHYSICISTS than among other scientific specialties. I don’t recall offhand where I last saw that—-it may have been in a Society for Scientific Exploration publication—-but it pops up now and again.

In a different vein—-if Mr. Marshall, as a physicist, would like something a bit more tangible to pursue in this area, he might find it worthwhile to look into those instances where the inhibiting effect of “infra-red” on paranormal effects comes into play. I’m sure there are more in the literature, but the cases of Leslie Flint (with his “direct-voice” mediumship—see Flint’s autobiography for the infra-red statements)—and the 1930’s experiments of Paris doctor Eugene Osty with the Austrian medium Rudi Schneider (a variety of physical mediumship effects—see Anita Gregory’s book on Schneider for in-depth coverage of the IR aspect) come immediately to mind…

Don Porteous, Fri 7 Aug, 16:59

Dear Frank G Marshall,

Against both my better judgment and press of time, let me offer a few final observations on your further comments.

As for your repeated comments regarding “tricks in the dark”, the other commenters here have addressed this well, but let me add that you seem focused on physical mediumship, despite the fact this is a small subset of discarnate phenomena generally.  As for the ‘tricks’ part, I have a real sympathy for the deceased Maurice Barbanell’s ostensible comment that physical mediumship is “a circus act”.  This is not to argue against its legitimacy, but simply to say that if, say, rotating trumpets in the dark isn’t for you, I can only sympathize.

As for your comment, “And I see no reply that says, ‘Yes, they want to communicate and they have told us many details of what it is like in their world’,” to the contrary, there is a great deal of such material – although one could always wish for more – derived from a variety of ‘channels’ of communication.  This goes back to the earliest days of the Spiritualist/Spiritist movement – as one may find in Edmonds and Dexter’s “Spiritualism, Vol.1-2”, Kardec’s “The Spirits’ Book” and Stainton-Moses’s “Spirit Teachings” – and runs through to the present day.  The issue is not an absence of such communications but rather the need to validate the many communications we do in fact have.  With that said, you seem to think that such ‘communicating back’ is easy.  To the contrary, it seems to be possible only under special conditions and with considerable difficulty.

As for ‘mainstream acceptance’, why should this be anyone’s particular goal?  It’s certainly not mine. As for why this isn’t really worth pursuing as a goal, you might read Neal Grossman’s paper “Who’s Afraid of Life After Death?” [https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799144/]

As for Dawkins and Krauss, yes. I know their writings.  In brief, the problem with Dawkins is that even if one grants macro-evolution (I don’t, on mathematical grounds – see David Berlinski), it doesn’t do the work of providing a closed materialist ‘creation story’ or cosmogony.  I could point out several reasons what this is so, but suffice it to note that it does nothing to address the origin of life, which is necessarily prior to any Darwinian ‘process’ and for which science has no successful theory.  The problem with Krauss is that he’s confusing something (the zero-point vacuum field energy, not to mention the laws of physics) with nothing, which it isn’t.  This has been done to death by his critics and doesn’t require further comment here [see, for instance, Edward Feser’s review: ]https://web.archive.org/web/20130118073756/http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/05/not-understanding-nothing]

The ‘real problem’ with Dawkins, Krauss and those like them is none of the above, but rather that they are, at root, self-deceiving nihilists who simply haven’t thought through to the ‘bottom line’ implications of the worldview they so aggressively profess.  A useful corrective is Alex Rosenberg’s “The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions.” The author, a self-professing materialist nihilist, has stared into the abyss until the abyss stared back and, strangely, seems to be alright with that.  Following Rosenberg, I would also suggest you take a look at Edward Feser’s review of the book [www.firstthings.com/article/2011/11/scientia-ad-absurdum], which spells out the problems, should they not be evident from a reading of the book itself.

As for there being “more mystery and wonder in ‘mainstream’ that you may be aware of,” I would note that under a materialist / physicalist conception – and I say this with no little irony – the world is fundamentally ‘miraculous’.  Most foundationally, there is the miracle of Being itself.  Then the presence of universal ordering principles—physical laws—mysteriously embedded in, but also outside the manifest world, which render this world a cosmos, rather than a chaos.  Following this are the manifold characteristics of this cosmos, in absence of which our physical existence would be impossible.  Such include the universal fine-tuning of cosmological constants governing physical laws and the more particular life-supporting characteristics of our galaxy, sun, solar system, moon and earth, as well as those of our natural environment, including the presence of crucial elements and the crucial terrestrial cycles that regulate them.  Then comes the miraculous ordering of life itself, including the irreducible and immensely complex and elegant structures and mechanisms of the cell, the formation of functional organs through cellular organization and specialization, and the comprehensive interrelation of the systems of the body that render possible the existence and continuance of our own particular biological life.  Beyond this lies the profound mystery of consciousness, the organization of this consciousness in the form of unitive identity and rational competence, and the innate capacity for language.  Finally, there is the reach of our intellectual capacities to types of absolute certainty and truth—such as in mathematics—and the subsequent coordination of these perceived truths with the experienced world.

As for your “lighthearted afterthought”, raps as a primary means of discarnate communication went out of fashion after the Fox sisters.  In automatic writing, the ‘transfer rate’ can be as high as a hundred to few hundred words per minute, which is about as fast as a human hand can ‘go’.  In ‘vocal’ communication, whether trance voice, direct voice or EVP, communication is that of the normal rate of speech, but of course the ‘transfer rate’ is much higher than this, as it includes the tonality, pitch, volume, etc of the voice.  In certain ITC phenomena, such as that in the Luxembourg ITC group, there has been transfer of multiple still images, which of course have a high ‘bit content’ implying a likely high ‘transfer rate’.

As for your comment regarding present day top scientists being atheists, I’m afraid you have the wrong end of the stick, as this is rather a demonstration of ‘déformation professionnelle’.  As I commented in an earlier post of this blog: “Although the percentage of professing atheists among ‘ordinary’ scientists is no higher than that among the population at large, the same percentage in leading scientific academies such as the American National Academy of Sciences or British Royal Society is vastly higher than among the general population (a statement no doubt truer in the US than in the UK, where atheism is generally more prevalent). Two answers for why this should be suggest themselves: a) such leading scientists are so much smarter than the rest of us sheep that they simply hold more correct views on basic philosophical questions; b) such leading scientists have so immersed themselves to such a degree in a completely materialist and naturalist framework that to think in any other way seems absurd to them.  Given that when scientists such as Hawking or Dawkins try to wax philosophically, they invariably tend to show up their ignorance and embarrass themselves, my money is on b).  This is not to say that scientists can’t do philosophy, but an earlier generation – Bohr or Schrödinger, for instance – tended to do it so much better.”

That is all I have to say to you, as I expect from your comments that your mind is already ‘made up.’  I wish you well.

Paul, Fri 7 Aug, 14:25

Frank
No one has mentioned Chico Xavier, a Brazilian medium and automatist who wrote many books while in a light trance.  Many of them, in particular “Nosso Lor: Life in the Spirit World” describe what the afterlife is like.  There is a movie or video based on that book sometimes available on the internet. In addition to Chico Xavier there are many reports of what the afterlife may be like from many sources.  For something recent take a look at the videos of people who report their near death experiences.  They provide a limited account of what the afterlife may be like.  - AOD


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPdlJXRUhJo

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 7 Aug, 14:11

Yvonne,

In those days almost every one of those scientists was programmed as a child that there was an afterlife.

Some 95% of the members of top science groups (Royal Society and the US equivalent {yes, even in the US}) are now atheists.

Childhood programming by the tribe elders had obvious advantages in Africa (hide if you see a lion etc) and is part of our genetic heritage.
Children are genetically programmed to believe.  Just as our genes carry programs to make us fear snakes, cliff edges and spiders etc.

We are only just learning to shake free.

Frank G Marshall, Fri 7 Aug, 11:28

Please note that darkness is no longer a problem when carrying out experiments with materialisation mediums where all five senses are working.John Logie Baird’s infra-red camera has now been perfected. I have a letter on my website from the head of astronomy at Glasgow University, Professor Archie Roy, saying that he has now managed to get hold of an infra-red camera to capture on film the Rita Goold experiment. At every experiment with Rita, Helen Duncan materialised. I asked Helen why her etheric team did not warn her that she could be killed in 1956 if she went ahead. Helen replied that she was warned but like a fool I went ahead because I did not want to let my paying customers down. This is the reason why Rita Goold never took a penny from anybody, not even for the food she provided. Ever since Helen Duncan was killed by a police raid in 1956 the etheric scientists have been refining the ectoplasm that killed Helen. Now that we have the infra-red camera it does not matter how dark it is.

Michael Roll, Fri 7 Aug, 11:03

I’ve read Dawkins.  I’m not sure why you’re focused on the dark, Frank, but as I said before, people believe what they want to believe.

Good luck.

Jon, Fri 7 Aug, 11:02

You are very kind and well meaning in your comments.

I still wonder about -
“If communication is possible is it not beneath the dignity of the spirits to need to perform tricks in the dark?”

And I see no reply that says -
“Yes, they want to communicate and they have told us many details of what it is like in their world”

It is more “We have proof from the phenomena they create that they exist”. But if you accept that that proves they are there and have world of their own why not go on and ask them about it?

If we had communication with aliens we would ask them about their state of knowledge and their world.

I guess I am saying move to this “stage 2” and publish your findings.

Otherwise the mainstream will still see mediumship as party tricks to comfort the bereaved and those scared of death.

I guess I will stay with Richard Dawkins (how we got here) and Lawrence Krauss (a universe can arise from nothing) and the meaning of quantum mechanics.

I wonder how many of you have read their books?
There is more mystery and wonder in “mainstream” that you may be aware of.

Thank you.

A lighthearted after thought.

If the communication data rate is only 1 or 2 bits per second (knock once for yes etc). Contact a recently dead data engineer with a sense of humour on their side and play a sort of 20 question game.
He might even suggest equipment to up the bandwidth.

Frank G Marshall, Fri 7 Aug, 10:45

Mike,

Thank you!

Always an excellent reminder that prestigious establishment scientists, after study and analysis, came to the conclusion that there was evidence of the existence of the survival of consciousness and an afterlife.

Respectfully,
Yvonne

Yvonne Limoges, Fri 7 Aug, 07:30

Michael Roll,

Thank you for the link to Sir William Crookes’ additional words.  Given Jon’s comment below about darkness, I thought it appropriate to bring Crookes’s comment up here. At the same time, I think it is important to understand that Home was apparently a very strong medium and able to withstand light to some degree.  This does not suggest that mediums who require complete darkness are frauds, as the debunkers would have us believe.  As I understand it, it means simply that the mediums requiring complete darkness are not as strong.  I know you know this, but I am just mentioning it for the benefit of those who wonder why most mediums require complete darkness or no more than red light.  Home was to mediumship what Babe Ruth was to American baseball. 

“I have said that darkness is not essential. It is however, well-ascertained fact that when the force is weak a bright light exerts an interfering action on some of the phenomena. The power possessed by Mr. Home is sufficiently strong to withstand this antagonistic influence; consequently, he always objects to darkness at his séances. Indeed, except on two occasions, when, for some particular experiments of my own, light was excluded, everything which I have witnessed with him has taken place in the light. I have had many opportunities of testing the action of light of different sources and colours, such as sunlight, diffused daylight, moonlight, gas, lamp, and candle light electric light from a vacuum tube, homogeneous yellow light, etc. The interfering rays appear to be those at the extreme end of the spectrum.”

Michael Tymn, Fri 7 Aug, 07:12

Frank,

Let me add to the comments by Jon, Paul, and whoever else might pitch in before this is posted by suggesting you look at my 30 reasons why the evidence for survival has been ignored or rejected at my two blog posts during January 2020.  See archives at the left or go to
http://whitecrowbooks.com/michaeltymn/month/2020/01/ 

Too many people give up on the subject before they get started because of one of those 30 reasons.  I believe that knowing what the hurdles are beforehand helps one clear those hurdles when he/she comes to them.

I’d also refer you to Bob Gebelein’s book, “Dirty Science,” as mentioned in his comment at this post. I just started reading it, but I can tell from the first chapter that it explains much relative to the problem with science.

Michael Tymn, Fri 7 Aug, 07:01

Frank,
I appreciate your interest in learning about “the paranormal” or whatever one wants to call it.  Each person has various reasons for their interest but for many I suppose it is a need to ameliorate a fear of death.  That fear is probably universal, except for those people who have had a near death experience and who in many cases have lost that fear and can’t wait to go back to where they have been lucky enough to have had a glimpse.


I know it must be overwhelming when people throw a lot of reading material at you to answer your questions and I understand that.  But trying to satisfy your questions and concerns in a short comment on this blog is like trying to explain the seven branches of physics in a paragraph or two. It just can’t be done.

 
I of course have my favorite paranormal topics and resources, which by the way do not include most mediums, but I am trying to think of where I would want to start if I know nothing about this very big topic.  I have two recommendations for you both of which require a lot of time to read.  These books provide a broad overview of the subject of survival after death but should only pique your interest and direct you to other resources more specific to your focused interest and liking, e.g., near death experiences, past life recall.


First, I would recommend “Immortal Remains: The Evidence of Life After Death” by Stephen Braude.  This is not my favorite book but it might appeal to someone with an analytical mind.  It is written by a respected philosopher and professor who devoted most of his professional time to his interest in paranormal things.


https://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Remains-Evidence-After-Death-ebook/dp/B00E1CYFJK/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Immortal+Remains&qid=1596747342&s=books&sr=1-2


Next,  I recommend “Is There an Afterlife: A comprehensive Overview of the Evidence”.  By David Fontana.


https://www.amazon.com/There-Afterlife-Comprehensive-Overview-Evidence/dp/1903816904/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Is+there+an+afterlife&qid=1596747399&s=books&sr=1-2


For me, I began more than 60 years ago reading about “The Search for Bridey Murphy” when it first was published.  It was a tale about a woman living in America who under hypnosis recalled a past life as Bridey Murphy, living in Ireland.  Since then I have read many things related to alternate realities, that is, spiritual life.  I can’t say that I am convinced yet after all of that time and research but I have found it to be an interesting topic that has kept my attention for many years. It may hold your attention for a while too.  I have my favorites which I mentioned in a comment below of which the story of Pearl Curran and Patience Worth has remained for me perhaps the most unexplainable of the lot.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 6 Aug, 22:44

Frank,

I’m reluctantly writing this because in my limited experience people believe what they want to believe.  However, many people who look into this subject were and are skeptics but experienced things they couldn’t explain and went from there.  Of course, many are just curious, or have rejected orthodox religion or whatever.  Ask you friend what made him look into it.

Personally, for me it’s not about belief, it’s about having had personal experiences that my atheist/materialist worldview couldn’t account for. That was 20 years ago.

What specifically are you looking for evidence of? Most people are pondering what (if anything) happens after we die. That seems to be the big question.

PSI (the umbrella term) is a broad subject. Telepathy, remote viewing, mental mediumship, travelling clairvoyance, lucid dreaming, precognition, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, physical mediumship, psychic healing, the list goes on.

Not all of them demonstrate life after death but what they all have in common is the idea that we are more than our physical bodies which materialist philosophy rejects.

There are serious academic researchers spending their lives looking at this stuff but not many do unless they are independently wealthy or tenured.  Try getting funding from a university, government institution or drug company and see how you get on.

In case you are unaware, none of above requires darkness with the exception of physical mediumship, where for hundreds of years people have reported physical manifestations occurring in darkness, the darker the better. Who knows why? Light seems to be a problem. Of course, as in any endevour in life, people have participated in fraud, but many haven’t and don’t.

I’m not an expert on physical mediumship although I have experienced it a dozen or so times in two different countries.
If you are interested in any of the above, I wouldn’t start or end with physical mediumship. A, it’s very rare and b, if it involves macro physical manifestations, it’s generally in darkness. Over the past 150 years magicians and scientists have done everything to eliminate fraud and still the phenomena persists. Magicians have tried to replicate it, but for some of it they can’t under the same conditions.

Personally, I’ve had much more evidence of survival from mental mediumship, but good evidence of any kind often requires a lot of searching. 

Remote viewing is popular with the military. There is an association; the international Remote Viewing Association (see below) that sprang up after freedom of information act declassified psychic programs that were funded by the CIA/DOD in the 70s and 80s. Some of those studies were peer reviewed. Look up Russell Targ /Hal Puthoff and go from there. 

https://www.irva.org

For near-death experiences look at cardiologists such as Pim Van Lomel; his early research was published in the Lancet. 

For out-of-body experiences check out The Monroe Institute.

There are academics doing studies with mediums. Look up the Windbridge Institute.

As for peer review, scientists are still claiming there is not sufficient “scientific studies” that have been peer reviewed in major journals to demonstrate the benefits of face masks 9very topical right now) and cannabis oil, so why would there be for any of this stuff?

The Institute of Noetic Science was founded by the NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell. They list some papers but whether any or all of them will satisfy your criteria is for you to decide.

https://library.noetic.org/library/publication-articles/selected-peer-reviewed-journal-publications-psi-research

I’m with you, if you’re two minds why bother? If you had asked me 21 years ago I wouldn’t have.

Whatever you decide I wish you well.

PS: don’t rely on Wikipedia for factual information on any of these subjects.

Jon, Thu 6 Aug, 21:49

Dear Frank G Marshall,

Present press of time prevents me from replying more fully, but I expect your reply will receive a number of comments in any case.

With regard to the linked comments by Brian Dunning, it is unfortunate that these were offered up (in 2009) only after two of the three primary Scole researchers had already passed away and the third, David Fontana, was in his last year of life.  In other words, they did not have the opportunity to properly reply.  I think you would benefit by reading the actual report as well as the much(!) briefer 2004 article “The Scole Report Five Years Later” [www.thescoleexperiment.com/blog/the-scole-report-five-years-later].

As for your specific comment regarding “manifestations that professional magicians can perform with ease”, this article specifically mentions, under the section heading “Magicians’ verdict”, James Webster – Silver Medal Holder of the Inner Magic Circle – who was a direct participant in a number of Scole sittings, as well as Richard Wiseman and Arthur Hastings, professors who were both experienced amateur magicians.  The Solomons’ aforementioned book on Scole also includes testimony from Webster.  None of these magicians would have agreed with your assessment.

As for the remainder of your comments, no one here has a vested interest in convincing you of or selling you on anything.  I certainly don’t.  I replied to your first posting with the recommendations I gave out of courtesy and good grace.  If you decide the whole business isn’t worth your time, fair enough and fare you well.  I even have a real sympathy for your situation, having once occupied it myself and being all too aware of the power of “boggle thresholds”.  With that said, less snark would serve you better…

Paul, Thu 6 Aug, 21:21

Many thanks for the replies.

I was introduced to this world by a friend who would agree with all of your comments. I am starting from near zero but am now in two minds as to whether to spend more time on this.

I see comments like these -
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4179

There seems to be no attempt to apply the Scientific Method. And why do people expect to see manifestations that professional magicians can perform with ease?
Why does such a serious topic need party tricks?

If communication is possible is it not beneath the dignity of the spirits to need to perform tricks in the dark?
If they exist and communication is possible then surely serious questions would be asked and answered.

I wonder if skeptics have ever been allowed to conduct investigations?

Why always in the dark? Let me guess . . .

If you can point to peer reviewed papers on investigations by skeptics in leading universities do please post details. (Not in journals published by believers please)

Thanks for your time.

Frank G Marshall, Thu 6 Aug, 17:14

Dear Michael Roll,

Thanks for providing the link, which is very interesting indeed.  For a more recent reference demonstrating similar, as well as many other phenomena, the Scole Report – authored by psychical researchers Montague Keen, Arthur Ellison and David Fontana as Proceedings of the Society of Psychical Research, Vol. 58, Pt.220 (November 1999) – gives some 450 pgs. of detailed research evidence and findings. [www.amazon.com/Scole-Report-Montague-Keen/dp/1908421002; ]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scole-Report-Montague-Keen/dp/1908421002]  Grant & Jane Solomon’s “The Scole Experiment” and Robin Foy’s “Witnessing the Impossible” offer more reader-friendly points of entry into the same material.  Although I have little interest in physical mediumship, nevertheless, for evidentiary value, the Scole phenomenon is a good one for Frank G Marshall to look at as a ‘less dusty’ supplement to the early SPR research material (which should in no way be taken as a slight on this earlier material).  To requote a snippet from the passage from Colin Wilson that I earlier quoted from, “And anyone who is willing to spend a few hours browsing through volumes of the Proceedings of the SPR (or its American counterpart) is bound to end with a feeling that further skepticism is a waste of time.”

Paul, Thu 6 Aug, 14:02

Dear Michael,

Thank you for correcting my mixing up of the two titles in question.  They are so close to one another in wording that it’s very easy to do, I’m afraid.  I had meant to double-check that very point before posting, but neglected to do so.  Another title that might be also added along with yours and Stafford’s is David Fontana’s “Life Beyond Death”, which I always think of as a kind of “alright, so now that we’ve demonstrated the high likelihood of posthumous survival, what’s it like?” follow-on to “Is There an Afterlife?”  I’m also very fond of David Lorimer’s “Whole in One” and “Survival?”, although these are more NDE focused, as well as Colin Wilson’s “Afterlife”, but these should be taken as ancillary to the volumes already recommended.  There are many other volumes that could be recommended as well, needless to say.

Paul, Thu 6 Aug, 13:38

In 1870 Sir William Crookes, the great pioneer of television (he invented the cathode-ray tube), and the man who ended up as the president of The Royal Society, the most prestigious scientific body in the world, embarked on three years of repeatable experiments under laboratory conditions proving that it is a scientific fact that we all survive the death of our physical bodies. Here are the results of the experiments that Sir William published in the Quarterly Journal of Science in 1874:
https://www.survivalafterdeath.info/library/crookes/researches/notes.htm
James Randi and his huge army of professional wreckers know that they are done for if millions of people should ever click onto this. The name of the establishment scientific game is never to let people in large numbers find out about this.

Michael Roll, Thu 6 Aug, 03:33

Paul,

I must confess that I am not familiar with the “Einstein Returns” book by Robert L. Leichtman, but I have it on my list of books to consider for future reads.

Thanks for recommending my book, among others, to Frank Marshall. A slight correction in that you gave Stafford Betty’s title to my book and my title to his book.  Coincidentally, Stafford and I were collaborating on a book at that time, but because our writing styles were so different we decided to go our separate ways.

Michael Tymn, Wed 5 Aug, 23:38

Dear Frank G Marshall,

I too am a curious person trained in physics (PhD) and all I can say is that you are at the beginning of a long investigation, should you choose to embark on it.  I expect, given your opening sentence, that you first need to get your head around the possibility of discarnate reality before embarking on an investigation of its nature.  To this end, I would recommend to you David Fontana’s “Is There an Afterlife?”  This could be supplemented with any number of additional sources, but is such a ‘big book’ that it is likely sufficient unto itself.  Paul Beard’s “Survival of Death” could be recommended as a second volume.  You would, I suspect, also likely find of interest Chris Carter’s ‘trilogy’ – “Science and Psychic Phenomena”, “Science and the Near-Death Experience”, and “Science and the Afterlife Experience” – which is oriented toward a scientifically-minded, skeptical readership. You would, I expect, also find of interest the very scientifically-minded work of the early Society for Psychical Research, which included eminent scientists, including Nobelists, among its membership.

As to your list of questions, Michael is absolutely right: a great deal of material would have to be covered to address them adequately.  A reasonable recommendation to you would be, after sufficiently addressing the question of the possibility of survival, to read the following three books, which will carry you a fair way in terms of a balanced and thorough overview: Paul Beard’s “Living On”, Michael Tymn’s “The Afterlife Unveiled”, and Stafford Betty’s “The Afterlife Revealed”.  For somewhat more advanced reading, I highly recommend Robert Crookall’s “The Supreme Adventure”.  Not a gripping read, but one of the most valuable book in my library.  As someone trained in physics, you will also likely appreciate Raynor Johnson’s “The Imprisoned Splendour” and “Nurslings of Immortality”.  Johnson was professor of physics at the Univ. of Melbourne.  Finally, if you can wrap your head around the possibility of discarnate authorship, I would recommend Frederic Myers’ two posthumous volumes “The Road to Immortality” and “Beyond Human Personality”, communicated through Geraldine Cummins, who also ‘transmitted’ one of the most evidentiary discarnate communications we have, “Swan on a Black Sea”.

That will give you plenty to chew on and should, I trust, address most of your questions nicely – as well as a raft you likely haven’t yet considered.

Paul, Wed 5 Aug, 20:54

Dear Michael,

In brief reply to your brief reply to Frank G Marshall, there is the book “Einstein Returns” by Robert R. Leichtman, which is a volume in his Heaven to Earth series.  I confess to having resisted acquiring this series for many years, despite having built up an extensive personal library on discarnate reality.  I only acquired the set very recently and, so far, have not had the opportunity to spend much time perusing its volumes, including the one on Einstein.  I would be interested to know your general opinion regarding the series, as I have found few reviews of any significance.

Paul, Wed 5 Aug, 20:53

Frank,

To properly answer all your questions would take a book. Briefly, however, dead children continue to evolve in the spirit world; initially, spirits don’t know any more than they did when they left the material world; the more advanced the spirit, the more difficult it is to communicate with us, and the more difficult it is get information through the mind of a medium.  Einstein would require a medium with his IQ to communicate. They communicate telepathically.  They cannot interfere with our free-will choices. So much of what they might want to say is beyond human comprehension.  Much too Much to cover here.  See all blogs back to 2010 for answers.

Michael Tymn, Wed 5 Aug, 17:36

I have to say that James Hyslop tarnished his reputation somewhat when he provided a scathing critique of Casper Yost’s book about Patience Worth and published it in the 1916 Journal of the A.S.P.R.  Apparently Hyslop was in secret communication with Emily Hutchings, an erstwhile friend of Pearl Curran and took as fact everything Emily gossiped about her poor relationship with the Currans.  He severely denounced use of the Ouija board in Pearl Curran’s case but praised its use to high heavens in Emily Hutchings’ case when she wrote the novel ‘Jap Herron’, which she claimed was dictated by Mark Twain.  It should be noted that in her conversations with Hyslop , Emily committed 25% of the profits of her book to the ASPR of which Hyslop was Executive Secretary and Treasurer until his death .  Hyslop publicly stated that funding of psychic research was seriously neglected and obtaining funds was high on his priority list. Hyslop also met with Hutchings and her medium Viola Hayes eleven times during which he thought that he had contacted Patience Worth and was ready to write something about her before Yost beat him to the punch with his book.


Hyslop was not bad-mouthing Pearl Curran or Patience Worth per se although he did publicly state several demeaning untruths about the Currans and their motives.  He in fact thought that the writing of Patience Worth might be very good although that kind of writing did not interest him. Hyslop just didn’t like it that Casper Yost did not write a book that would interest a “scientific man”, that is, Yost did not provide a lot of background information about Pearl Curran and possible sources of her information purportedly coming from Patience Worth.


Twenty-two years after Hyslop’s critique of Casper Yost and the Currans the ASPR issued a point-by-point rebuttal of all of Hyslop’s accusations about Casper Yost, John and Pearl Curran and Patience Wroth.


Hyslop was respected by a lot of the people who knew him but I think he was human and allowed his ego to get the better of him.  Evidence meant everything to him and I think, after a time he regarded himself as the expert and unquestioned authority on spirit communication.  He clearly believed, without a doubt, that spirits existed but required his own brand of evidence before he would commit himself to endorsing a purported spirit contact by someone other than himself.


One might say, and I would say it, that Hyslop was an arrogant SOB who thought that he was right about everything psychic and anyone who contradicted him was wrong and not worthy of his attention, calling them “ignorant” or “moral cowards” - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 5 Aug, 17:13

As a curious person trained in physics I naturally find the claims hard to believe.

But I would like to read further.

If there is an interaction with another “dimension” it should be detectable - bangs on the table can only be achieved through a force in this world.

For the past 300 years we have refined the “scientific method” to learn the truth about life, the universe etc. It works.

A scientist with a new theory would wish to design repeatable experiments to test the theory.

Is there documentary evidence of “big” questions being put to the spirits? Perhaps to the “Einsteins” and similar?

One would hope to seek to get answers to questions about their world. You would also expect the same answers to be given in simultaneous sessions with different mediums.

1) What happens to dead children?
2) Do you have all knowledge available to you?
3) What do you do when not talking here?
4) Do you “live” for ever?
5) How do you communicate with each other.
6) Do all dead humans join you?
7) When in the past did the first humans arrive on your side?
8) Can you help us solve the worlds problems.
9) Are you joined be non humans from other planets?

Are there any videos of sessions taken in a fully lit room?
Are there any recordings of answers to questions?

There is no materialism different from spiritualism. It can only be one world with knowns and unknowns,
To know a fact there is only the scientific method.

Frank G Marshall, Wed 5 Aug, 11:51

Thanks Mike, Please also note that there is a plague at Oxford University at the Museum Lecture Theater on the very spot where Sir Oliver Lodge sent the first radio signal in 1894. It was Sir Oliver who invented the radio but he has been written out of our corrupt history books in England where the Church and the state are still established. The big question is who is going to pump money at priests if millions should find out that it is a scientific fact that every person survives the death of their physical body? Michael Roll

Michael Roll, Wed 5 Aug, 10:34

Bob,

Thanks for your comment.  I actually have about 50 such quotes saved, the 15 posted here being the earlier researchers. I have about 20 more from the early 1900s and then about 15 more current ones. I plan to post those in future blogs.  As you suggest, however, the more current researchers are somewhat more cautious and reserved in their statements.

I’ll check out your book.

Michael Tymn, Wed 5 Aug, 08:09

I am the author of a book, DIRTY SCIENCE, pointing out the forces blocking acceptance of the psychic and the spiritual within our accredited academic institutions within the United States. These forces are extreme bias enforced by extreme social manipulation within these esteemed academic institutions. What I am presenting is the   negative of the negative. I welcome this book as positive support for the psychic, the spiritual, and for scientific accuracy. It helps to know that persons of status have been convinced of the reality of the psychic and the spiritual. My only criticism is that there should be more contemporary people on the list. I already know the answer to that: They would immediately lose their social status within the academic community if they ventured such an opinion. They would be hooted and ridiculed and shunned out of existence. God is not dead, but academic freedom is.

Bob Gebelein, Wed 5 Aug, 04:12

Thanks to all for the comments so far. Those who might be interested in Frank Juszczyk’s experience are referred to my blog of March 12, 2018 in the archives at left.

To add to Don and Paul’s quote of Professor Hyslop, let me recall another one.  While teaching ethics and logic at Columbia University during the 1890s, Hyslop became interested in psychical research.  When he published some articles on his research into mediumship, James Cattell, a fellow Columbia professor, sneered at Hyslop’s interest and tried to have him fired.  In his defense, Hyslop, noting scientific efforts to find a species of useless fish to support Darwin’s theory, asked, “Why it is so noble and respectable to find whence man came, and so suspicious and dishonorable to ask and ascertain whither he goes?”

Michael Tymn, Wed 5 Aug, 02:07

Amos,

I am familiar with Stanley De Brath primarily from his translation of Charles Richet’s “Thirty Years of Psychical Research.” I vaguely recall reading something by him in a journal, but I don’t recall what it was.  I do recall being impressed by it.

According to the Biographical Diction of Parapsychology, de Brath (1854-1937) was a British engineer who worked in India for 20 year before returning to England to become headmaster of a preparatory school.  After WWI, he went to Paris and collaborated with Dr. Gustave Geley at the Institute Metapsychique.  He served as editor of Psychic News for 12 years and is the author of “Psychic Philosophy” under the pseudonym V. C. Desertis, (1909) and “The Mysteries of Life,” (1915) “Psychical Research, Science and Religion” (1925), and “Religion of the Spirit (1927).

Michael Tymn, Tue 4 Aug, 23:21

I have a brother who went to work in America in order to be closer to a group receiving revelations from the spirit world. What he has learned has turned him away from his early Christian faith and given him an interesting but different view of how things work.  This makes me think that warnings given in the Bible need to be taken very seriously.  As a Christian I believe in God and the existence of another life but have to accept that there are forces of evil as well as good and a great battle going on of which we can only dimly be aware.

Jim Hunt, Tue 4 Aug, 21:48

I have long been past the need for confirmation stage. I am in constant contact with my wife who passed six years ago. The first few years after her passing, she was quite active in producing paranormal incidents. I now regard them as ordinary, everyday occurrences. Jean has communicated some very important knowledge in specific terms through a medium she chose to act as our go-between. Any current debate about the existence of an Afterlife seems puerile. It’s a given as far as I’m concerned. Jean’s most valuable information is that any self-doubt or sense of guilt about anything creates a condition she calls being “stuck” in a self-created state of illusory suffering on the Other Side. It’s all about attitude and being who one is without reservation or shame.

Frank Juszczyk, Tue 4 Aug, 19:01

Of course, Randi and others claim that you have to be an accomplished magician to understand how all these great scientists were duped.

Michael Tymn, Tue 4 Aug, 18:57

Dear Michael,

I think the kind of ‘bouquet’ you have assembled here has a real value in that: a) there are a good number of such individuals, b) these are individuals of high reputation, sophistication and perspicacity, and c) these individuals are not speaking conjecturally, as ‘armchair philosophers’, but typically from greatly extensive experience with the phenomena they have encountered and to which they have subjected all reasonable controls and explored all reasonable alternative explanations.

The only point that really stands against them is their distance in time from us and the sense that their testimony, ‘aged’ as it is, is somehow now less valid.  This might be true in certain fields of science, where new discoveries outstrip old knowledge, and where a Newton, undoubtedly as brilliant as he was, has less of relevance to say to a Feynman, in light of intervening advances in physics.  But such is simply not the case in all fields.  Philosophy, in which ancients such as Plato and Aristotle still command serious attention and respect from professionals, is one such example.  It is certainly not the case that ‘scientific research’ in ‘posthumous/discarnate studies’ has, in the intervening decades, outstripped that which was known by a Myers or a James.  If anything, there has been a retrogression in knowledge, in terms of what has been remembered and acknowledged in the present day of this older work, as you know all too well in your own writings.

The consequence of my points a), b), c) above is that the materialist, discarnate-survival-rejecting skeptic is forced onto the horns of a dilemma: either i) hold to his materialism and be forced (one hopes uncomfortably) to write off as foolish or mistaken a number of eminent individuals reporting their direct evidentiary testimony, or ii) reevaluate (no doubt equally uncomfortably) his materialist assumptions regarding discarnate survival.

As a prior commenter has brought in Colin Wilson, allow me to relay here his telling summary quote – very much in line with the point I have just made in regard to the eminent individuals that Michael has collected – which appears in his book “Afterlife: An Investigation”, to which he devotes an entire chapter to the early SPR magnum opus, “Phantasms of the Living”, and which Wilson ends with the same capping statement by James Hyslop that was just cited:

In fact, looking back after more than a century, we can see that its achievement during those first two decades was monumentally impressive. It had set out to answer the question: Can the paranormal be taken seriously, or is it a collection of old wives’ tales and delusions? What undoubtedly surprised those pioneers was the sheer mass of evidence for the paranormal. It must have seemed incredible that one person in ten had experienced a hallucination, and that so many people had seen apparitions of dying relatives or had out-of-the-body experiences. Newspaper scandals about fake mediums may have impressed the public, but what impressed the SPR was that so many mediums were obviously genuine, and that so much evidence for life after death stood up to the strictest examination. When Callendar Ross spoke about the ‘suspicion and disgust’ excited by the SPR, he was expressing the feeling of most healthy-minded people towards a ‘morbid’ subject like psychical research. But morbid or not, it refused to go away. And the Society made it harder to ignore by accumulating a positive mountain of evidence. “Phantasms of the Living” may be one of the most boring books ever written, but its two thousand pages of cases finally batter the mind into the recognition that this is something that has to be faced.
… This rag-bag of assorted visions and apparitions underlines the enormous variety of cases investigated by the SPR in the first century of its existence. None of them are, in themselves, more impressive than cases cited by Jung-Stilling or Catherine Crowe or Robert Dale Owen. But they are more convincing because honest investigators have obviously done their best to confirm that they are genuine. And anyone who is willing to spend a few hours browsing through volumes of the Proceedings of the SPR (or its American counterpart) is bound to end with a feeling that further skepticism is a waste of time. Even if half the cases proved to be fraudulent or misreported, the other half would still be overwhelming by reason of sheer volume. It is easy to understand the irritation of Professor James Hyslop when he wrote in “Life After Death”: “I regard the existence of discarnate spirits as scientifically proved and I no longer refer to the sceptic as having any right to speak on the subject. Any man who does not accept the existence of discarnate spirits and the proof of it is either ignorant or a moral coward. I give him short shrift, and do not propose to argue with him on the supposition that he knows nothing about the subject.”

Paul, Tue 4 Aug, 18:54

Michael,
I am reading “Life Eternal” by William T. Stead as recently reissued by White Crow Books.  I was impressed by the cogent forward to the book by Stanley De Brath.  I haven’t read much about Stanley De Brath and wondered if you have collected anything about him.  I read that he was a psychical researcher, author of books about spiritualism, and English translator of works by other psychical researchers, e.g., Charles Richet.


I have come to find out that there were a lot of prominent people interested in and researching psychical topics whose work apparently is being forgotten; maybe Stanley De Brath is one of them. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 4 Aug, 18:42

Michael…

Of the hundreds of quotes in my book, my absolute favorite is by the same James Hyslop that you end your compilation with. In his 1918 “Life After Death” (as cited by David Fontana in “Is There an Afterlife?”)he leaves absolutely no room for misinterpretation…

    “I regard the existence of discarnate spirits as scientifically proved and I no longer refer to the sceptic as having any right to speak on the subject. Any man who does not accept the existence of discarnate spirits and the proof of it is either ignorant or a moral coward. I give him short shrift, and do not propose any longer to argue with him on the supposition that he knows anything about the subject.”

AMEN!

Don Porteous, Tue 4 Aug, 15:38

Thanks, Mike, for this rundown on the eminent scientists who accept paranormal phenomena. Most of these also accept survival of consciousness after dying. What I find curious is that not all of them do.  For those who might be interested, I have made a Youtube documentary entitled “Eminent People Open to Psyhic Phenomena” This covers people in addition to the ones in this blog. You can click on this link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDF6gx5Fo_U&list=PLLB-82YMhiPFPKSm2Ke69aK0DKTftpvo0&index=21&t=1s

Keith P in England, Tue 4 Aug, 15:14

A beautiful bouquet of comments from eminent people of science which provides a rational basis for religious faith. Not a particular faith but the universal belief in a spiritual world which includes us although it is generally unperceived.

John White, Tue 4 Aug, 14:30

The renowned British writer Colin Wilson put it beautifully when he said ” Anyone who denies the validity of psychic phenomena is like someone standing at the foot of Mount Everest and insisting that they can’t see anything”.

alan granville, Tue 4 Aug, 12:22

Thanks, as always an excellent article.

Unfortunately, the situation has come to be that the minds of the overwhelming majority of our current intellectual elite are firmly closed to any notion of the paranormal, totally committed to materialism. To them it is a matter of almost subconsciously assimilated common sense, never to be questioned by any intelligent person any more than the heliocentric theory of the planets.

To them, these statements and apparent experiences of long-dead scientists and other professional people even if very intelligent, are from people who must have somehow been deluded, perhaps due to lack of the pervasive modern nihilistic sophistication. Of course, in reality it is just that these men lived in a day before materialism had become as fully set into a sort of fossilized rock-like cultural and social rigidity.

To the modern intellectual elite, spirit or soul, an afterlife and a spiritual realm are a priori impossible and therefore Sherlock Holmes’ dictum must apply, that the explanation absolutely must be the only thing that remains, no matter how implausible or ridiculous.

Of course, in this case the only thing that remains is the assumption that absolutely all things apparently paranormal (especially afterlife related) have in reality normal explanations, whether misperceptions, hallucinations, fraud, or whatever, no matter how ridiculous given the quality of the empirical evidence.

David Magnan, Mon 3 Aug, 21:31


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