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Spirit Communication Problems Further Explained

Posted on 01 July 2013, 14:08

No doubt, a big reason why mediumship is rejected by mainstream science is because of the many distortions, anomalies, inconsistencies, and incongruities in the messages received from the spirit world. The debunkers, in all their shallowness, point out every little glitch, as if they expect it to be like a two-way telephone conversation.  Even many parapsychologists believe that it is all coming from the subconscious of the medium.

The problems encountered in spirit communication have been discussed in previous blogs here, but in recently rereading Volume I of The Life Beyond the Veil, a 1921 publication authored by G. Vale Owen, (below) I came upon the best explanation I have yet read from the spirit side.

valer

An Anglican priest, Owen (1869 – 1931) explained that his wife first developed the power of automatic writing and through her he received requests that he should sit quietly, pencil in hand, and take down any thoughts which came into his mind, projected there by some external personality and not from his own brain. Although he initially resisted, he eventually concluded that they were good influences and decided to sit in the vestry each evening to see if he could receive messages.. “The first four or five messages wandered aimlessly from one subject to another,” he explained.  “But gradually the sentences began to take consecutive form, and at last I got some which were understandable.  From that time, development kept pace with practice.”  On only two occasions did Owen have any idea as to what the subject was to be.  That was when the previous messages had been unfinished. “At other times I had fully expected a certain subject to be taken, but on taking up my pencil the stream of thought went off in an altogether different direction.”

The result was many messages explaining the spirit world.  They came to the attention of Lord Northcliffe, a leading British publisher, and were printed as a series in the Weekly Dispatch. Books followed, becoming popular in the English-speaking world and translated into French, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Portuguese.    Unfortunately, the Church of England did not take kindly to such “occult” messages and Owen was forced to resign from the clergy. After touring the United States, he returned to London and became a Spiritualist minister.

Most of the early messages came from Owen’s mother, but it was made clear that she was being assisted by a spirit named Kathleen, who relayed the messages from his mother.  Moreover, many of the messages were not from his mother alone but from a group of entities.  This is consistent with a number of other messages indicating that “group souls” are communicating rather than individuals.  Perhaps the best known is the Imperator “band of 49” which communicated through W. Stainton Moses and later through Leonora Piper.

Owen asked the communicating spirit in one session why they sometimes addressed themselves as “I” and other times as “We.”The reply came, in part: “When “we say “I” we speak as in the name of the leader of the whole band of thirty-six, so as at present numbered.  When I say “We” I am speaking for the moment on behalf of the other six of this detachment.  And now there is something for you to think on: how unity and diversity, how the singular and the plural can be so interchanged and with such ease as in these messages is seen.”. 

At another sitting, on November 16, 1917, a more detailed explanation was given:

“Only in part are we able to make in anywise clear to you the method we are employing in this particular case.  And that we will so far as we be able.  First, then, here we stand a group to-night of seven – sometimes more, at others less.  We have already broadly settled what we will say to you, but leave the precise wording till we sight you and sense your disposition of mind.  Then, we take our stand a little distance away lest our influence, the emanations of our several minds, reach you in detail, and not as one stream but as many, and so confuse you. But from the little distance at which we stand they merge and mingle, and are focused into one, so that by the time our thoughts reach you there is unity and not multiplicity of diction.

“When you sometimes hesitate, doubtful of a word or phrase, that is when our thoughts, mingling in one, are not quite perfected into the special word required.  You pause; and, continuing their blending together, our thoughts at last assume unity, and then you get our idea and at once continue on your way.  You have noticed this, doubtless?” (Owen responded that he had noticed it but did not know the cause.)

“No, well, now to continue.  We think our thoughts to you, and sometimes they are in such words as are too antique, as you say, for you to grasp them readily.  This is remedied by filtering them through a more modern instrument, and it is of this we now would speak. That instrument is your little friend Kathleen, who is good enough to come between you and us, and so render our thoughts available for you.  This in more ways than one. First, because she is nearer to you in status than we, who, have been longer here, have become somewhat removed from earth.  She is of more recent transplanting, and not yet so far away that when she speak you cannot hear.

“For a like reason also she comes between.  That is, by the words that form her present store.  She can still think in her old tongue of earth, and it is more modern than our own – though we like it not so well, since it seems to us more composite and less precise.  But we must not find fault with what is till beautiful.  We have, no doubt, still our prejudices, and insularity; when we come down here we cannot but take on anew some of those traits we once had but gradually have cast aside.

“The little lady Kathleen is nearer you than we in these respects, and the stream of our impelling we direct on y our through her for that reason.  However, we stand a little apart from you, because the presence of us combined should overmatch you.  You could not write down what we would give, and our purpose in coming is to give you such narrative of words as you and others may read with intelligence.

“You glance at the dial of your timekeeper.  You call it a watch. Why?  That is one little instance of our preference for our older way of speaking Timekeeper seems to us more explicit than the other word.  The meaning of your glance is clear, whatever we call the thing on which it fall.  So we bid you good night, good friend.

“We find sometimes, when we read what message we have given, that much which we tried to impress is not apparent there, and some lesser quantity of what we had not in mind appears.  This is but a natural consequence of the intervention of so thick a veil between the sphere from which we speak and that in which the recorder [ i.e., Mr. Vale Owen].lives his life The atmosphere of the two spheres is so diverse in quality that, in passing from one to the other, there is always a diminution of speed, so sudden and so marked that a shock is given to the stream of our thoughts, and there is produced, just on the border-line, some inevitable confusion.  This is one of the many difficulties we find.

“Here is another.  The human brain is a very wonderful instrument, but it is of material substance, and, even when the stream of our thoughts reaches and impinges upon it, yet, because of its density, the penetration is impeded and sometimes altogether brought to a stop.  For the vibrations, as they leave us, are of high intensity, and the fineness of their quality is a hindrance to their effecting a correspondence in the human brain, which is gross by comparison. 

“Once again: there are many things here for which there are no words in any of the earth languages to express their meaning.  There are colours which your eyes do not see, but are present in your spectrum; there are more colours which are of higher sublimity than could be reproduced by the medium, which shows both the earth colours to you and registers those invisible to you, but present withal.  There are also notes and tones of sound of like nature, and too fine for registration by the atmosphere of earth.  There are forces also, not available with you, not able to be expressed to you.

“These and other matters are interpenetrating all our life and forming our environment.  And when we come to speak of our life here, or of the causes, we see in operation, of which you behold the effects alone, we are much perplexed and strive continually to find just how to say it so that it shall be both understood of you and also not too wide of a target as known to us.  So you will see that we have a task to do in speaking into your sphere from this of ours which by no means easy.  Still, it is worth doing of it, and so we essay our best and try to rest content.”

The communicating spirits sometimes referred to a “Presence Form” and explained what they meant:

“A presence form is the form in which a person becomes localized and visible in form at a distance from himself essentially.  The form is not an empty sign or symbol, but is alive with the life of the person it so manifests, action and expression being responsive to the thought, will, action, and spiritual state of its original.  The personality is projected and becomes visible in any place where God (or those of His angels who are so authorized) wills the manifestation to take place. 

“By this method the wishes, prayers, thoughts, and the whole spiritual state of any one in the earth life, or in any of the regions of the spiritual world, may be manifested in any place or sphere at any moment when those to whom this high gift is entrusted shall will that it be so.

“A person is not always so manifested in the same presence form, which, from time to time, may be given a different aspect and take a different shape.  Under whatever aspect he manifested, however, that form is, for the time being, his real self projected.”

For the debunkers and cynics – those stuck in the dogma of scientism and restrained by ego – all of that is just so much hogwash, but for the open-minded person who takes the time to study and analyze spirit communication, the distortions, anomalies, inconsistencies, and incongruities associated with mediumship begin to make sense..

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

Next blog post: July 15    .
.

 


Comments

(Mike - thought that I had sent this but now not sure.)
Juan,
This appears in the literature quite frequently but it is most notable that it is never accompanied by examples.  I am an engineer whose life was spent in ever improving on existing designs and processes, working mostly on my own but often in collaboration with other engineers.  Never did I see anything remotely suggesting input from anything other than the brains of those with whom I was working. 
This is not dissimilar to the oft quoted claim that everyone has a guiding/guarding spirit but never any example of what said spirits actually do.  One must ask as to the whereabouts of such spirits when Hitler murdered millions of Jews during WWII or when Stalin murdered similar numbers of his own people throughout his life.
Given the conflicting information that comes from diverse entities, it is clear that diverse opinions still exist in these next planes.  When this is coupled with the difficulties communicating entities experience in the actuality of communicating with or here and now, about all we can do is be cautiously critical about what we learn.
Leslie Harris

Leslie Harris, Fri 19 Jul, 12:59

Juan,
This appears in the literature quite frequently but it is most notable that it is never accompanied by examples.  I am an engineer whose life was spent in ever improving on existing designs and processes, working mostly on my own but often in collaboration with other engineers.  Never did I see anything remotely suggesting input from anything other than the brains of those with whom I was working. 
This is not dissimilar to the oft quoted claim that everyone has a guiding/guarding spirit but never any example of what said spirits actually do.  One must ask as to the whereabouts of such spirits when Hitler murdered millions of Jews during WWII or when Stalin murdered similar numbers of his own people throughout his life.
Given the conflicting information that comes from diverse entities, it is clear that diverse opinions still exist in these next planes.  When this is coupled with the difficulties communicating entities experience in the actuality of communicating with or here and now, about all we can do is be cautiously critical about what we learn.
Leslie Harris

Leslie Harris, Wed 17 Jul, 09:07

Hello Michael. I would like to know your analysis of this thread:

http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/5343-two-fundamental-problems-afterlife-16.html

Do you know any case of mediumship which has contributed a new scientific/technical knowledge?

Juan, Sun 14 Jul, 04:05

As Elaine points out, there are tremendous challenges in communicating with those right here on the Earth plane—especially when obscuring communication is in their interest—so it’s no surprise that communicating with the spirit world can be a bit tricky!

What the “band of thirty-six” has to say sounds very true to me.  I was given to understand something like what they describe when I was trying to make sense of some contradictions in the Leslie Flint recordings.  What I was shown was that although (usually) only one spirit personality spoke at a time, the support of others was necessary, and it was always a team effort.  That meant that others might sometimes influence the content of the main speaker’s message, intentionally or not.  (IF I understood correctly.)

It seems very common for multiple entities to communicate and for this confusion between “I” and “we” to occur.  In our local area, Betsy Morgan Coffman speaks of her guide Orion as “he,” but Orion, while often speaking in the singular, has identified “himself” as a group of beings, and I have seen them myself that way. (Confused yet?) Meg Colby’s guide collective Ananda, on the other hand, speaks as “we.”

Elene Gusch, Wed 3 Jul, 02:33

Aloha Mike
Thanks for this interesting description of the challenges of communicating between the obstructed and unobstructed universes.  It reminds me of communication challenges *within* the obstructed world of scientific psychologists.
Take this personality construct as an example:  “the sense that one can do what one wants to do”. A study finds that the higher one scores on a measure of this construct, the lower one scores on a measure of depression.  Any of the following terms for this construct might be used in a manuscript submitted to a journal: self-esteem, self-confidence, self-efficacy, self-control, self-management, lifestyle management, ego strength, positive self-regard, self-worth, self-evaluation, and self-reinforcement, among others.  Whether the editor deems the submission suitable for the journal will largely depend on which term the author chooses to use.  If the journal were biased in favor of behavioral theory, the editor would be interested in the manuscript if the terms self-efficacy, self-control, self-management, or self-reinforcement were used.  The editor would reject the manuscript out of hand if any of the other terms were used. 
  This is a long-winded way of saying it must require a lot of deliberation for the ‘band’ to select what terms to use when they consider the recipient of the message.  In addition, it is a point to keep in mind when researchers attempt to get their mediumship work published in mainstream journals.  Selection of the synonym with the most appeal to the editor is critical.

Cheers, Elaine

Elaine Heiby, Tue 2 Jul, 04:45

Great article, Mike.  Very helpful to me as I ready myself to write on this challenging topic.

Stafford Betty, Tue 2 Jul, 03:17


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