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Is There Marriage in the Afterlife?

Posted on 26 January 2015, 10:26

“Until death do us part” is a pledge in marriage liturgy, but there have been many messages from the spirit world suggesting that such is not always the case. That is, love bonds often continue after death.  “If [marriages in the physical realm] are based in selfishness, they necessarily terminate sooner or later; but if true and well fitted, the spiritual dominating when on Earth, they continue on in our world of spirits,” one spirit communicator is quoted by Miles Edward Allen in his latest book, Astral Intimacy.  “If a husband has had several wives, or a wife several husbands, the tie endures only between the most congenial pair,” another spirit communicator is quoted.

astral

“Until death us do us part” is a pledge in marriage liturgy, but there have been many messages from the spirit world suggesting that such is not always the case. That is, love bonds often continue after death.

In effect, the book is a collection of messages from the spirit world, an encyclopedia of spirit communication about the afterlife as recorded by dozens of mediums, researchers,  and authors between 1852 and 2001.  Love bonds in the afterlife make up only a small portion of the hundreds of messages quoted, but the title of the book and the subtitle, “Fifty Spirits Speak About Life, Love, and Sex After Death” are teasers aimed at drawing attention to the book.  Nevertheless, there are several dozen quotes dealing with astral love and sex.  One message states that sex in the spirit realms is different than in the physical world. “It is more obviously like what sex really means,” the spirit communicator offered.  “Here you actually can enter the whole person.  It is like you are in fact merging.”

Allen has drawn from 50 different sources, many of them well-known researchers, such as Alan Kardec, William Stainton Moses, Sir Oliver Lodge, John Edmonds, and William T. Stead, among the older ones, and Neal Donald Walsch, Martha Barham, Ruth Taylor, and Michael Newton among the more recent. 

I am unaware of any other collection of quotes as comprehensive as this one.  Allen prefaces the encyclopedia part of this book with some discussion of the sources and the phenomena giving rise to them.  This should be a valuable travel guide for anyone expecting to take the ultimate journey. 

Here are some other quotes from the book:

Separation of Body & Spirit:  “When I left my body, I found that I could not free myself from the entanglements of Earth for a considerable period…It seems that every soul must pass through such a condition…With some souls this is only a matter of a few hours or days; with others it may occupy years…Only the enlightened soul can traverse rapidly the spheres of the denser astral.”

Many Mansions: “You ask them which heaven they inhabit, because you have the idea of several heavens, placed one above the other, like the stories of a house, and they therefore answer you according to your own ideas; but, for them, the words, ‘third,’ ‘fourth,’ or ‘fifth’ heaven, express different degrees of purification, and consequently of happiness.”

Earthbound Spirits: “A number of spirits do live and spend most of their time near the Earth, but they are the very unprogressed and find their pleasures in mingling with mortals.”

Heaven: “Some may inhabit [a conventional heaven] until they learn through their own experience that existence demands development and that such a heaven would be sterile, boring, and indeed ‘deadly’.”

Distorted Views: “It is a wondrous land of light, where the beauties of nature, as seen on Earth, are brought to perfection…The great pity is that it is so long before some spirits even begin to see it as it really is. Some of these spirits who have not progressed far enough to see and realize the beauty about them, when communicating with their friends on Earth, give them quite wrong and dissimilar impressions of conditions over here.”

Soul Vibration:  “While you are still on Earth, your thought, your intentions, everything you do, gives your soul a certain rate of vibration…When you die and manifest here, you would go straight to the part of our world that vibrates at [that rate].”

Spirit Body: “There is an inner, etheric body, composed of minute particles, of such substance that it can, and does, pass into spirit life…It is in the semblance of the material body, but whether beautiful or ugly, strong or weak, depends upon the inner life of the person.”

Gender Identity: “Those of us who have lived on Earth or elsewhere usually consider ourselves as male or female in our own thoughts.  We can project our image to another soul in that form. But we have no gender, not really.”

Rest: “The spirit’s need of rest depends on its particular degree of development, diminishing in proportion to its advancement from the material plane.”

Food & Drink: “We eat and drink, but it is not what you mean by eating and drinking.  To us it is a mental condition.  We enjoy it mentally, not bodily; as you do.”

Clothing: “One’s garments here are made from one’s quality of character.”

Aging: “Our aging is different from yours.  Young people here grow much faster than on Earth in body, mind, and spirit until they reach maturity in body that would correspond to healthy, robust Earth humans 30 to 35 years in age.  At that point they maintain that body and continue grow only in mind and spirit.  The reverse is true for people who arrive in their advanced years.”

Life Review:  “There is no compulsion, of course, to review one’s past life on Earth as soon as one arrives and the new life here begins. Some take a long while to tackle the problem.  They dread to see the effects of mistakes and failures.”

Night & Day: “The light we have is obtained from the action of our minds on the atmosphere.  We think light, and there is light.  That is why people who come over in evil conditions are in the dark; their minds are not competent to produce light enough for them to see. There is greater intensity of light as we go up through the spheres which comes from the blending of the more spiritual minds.”

Time: “There are three kinds of time: sidereal or clock time; psychological time; and orthic time…Orthic time is the reality.  Sidereal time, which is a reality to you, is only an attribute of matter.”

Inspiration:  “Spirit-guides…try literally to inspire those on Earth.  This does not mean in religious matters only; it applies to art, science, engineering, medicine, or any other subject.”

Government: “There is a succession of graduate planes or evolutionary steps over here, each governed or mastered by the most advanced soul on that plane.”

Communication: “Thoughts, being motions of the mind, assume specific and definite forms, and when distinct in the mind can be clearly perceived and understood by any spirit who is in sympathy with the mind in which they are generated.”

Language: “I was able to have a word or two with Pierre Curie, even though on Earth he was a Frenchman and my French was never fluent.  Language affords no difficulty over here; and I yet do not know if I spoke in French or he in English.  Or even if, in the Earthly sense we ‘spoke’ at all!”

Travel: “In a very short time, the soul learns that it can go anywhere – with the speed of thought.”

Occupations: “As there is choice of occupation on Earth, so there is even greater choice of occupation in what you may like to call ‘heaven.’ I find the latitude in our choices here to be quite incredible.”

Pets: “All the dogs that we’ve had in our family I can find here – all of them.  They are still individualized.  However, the dogs that I knew when I was a boy are no longer here…They have gone back to the group soul.”

Suicide: “Persons who commit suicide before the time they are meant to die find themselves in a state of heavier vibration and closer to the earth than those of us who died natural deaths.  They remain in this state of density until the time when they would have normally died.”

Religion:  “There are Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Quakers here, and all the different sects of religious beliefs, just as among you. There are those who bow to the supremacy of a spiritual pope…True, they encounter much to surprise them when they enter here.  Heaven is altogether different from what they pictured, but their beliefs and prejudices are stronger than the facts which come under their observation, and so they merely readjust themselves, still clinging as far as possible to their old tenets; but the time comes, sooner or later, when they grow out of those superstitions.”

Allen offers hundreds of other quotes, providing the reference for each one.  While most are in agreement with each other, some are to some extent conflicting,  possibly the result of the degree of advancement of the communicating spirit, others to faulty filtering through the medium.  As Sir Oliver Lodge, the esteemed British physicist and pioneering psychical researcher, once said, “...all the communications I receive, I receive with caution, and with a consequent need for interpretation; but received in that spirit, I find them interesting and instructive.”


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.
His latest book Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I is published by White Crow Books.

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Was Eusapia Palladino Fact or Fiction?

Posted on 12 January 2015, 9:26

As Michael Schmicker, the author of the recently-released The Witch of Napoli, states, his book is a work of fiction. However, its inspiration was the true-life story of Eusapia Palladino (1854 – 1918), an illiterate Italian peasant who awed many people with mediumistic phenomena, including levitations, materialized hands and arms, occasionally a full form materialization, mysterious lights, the playing of musical instruments by invisible hands, and apports (objects materialized in the room), as well as communicating raps and voices.

witch

According to a number of Internet references, Palladino (also spelled “Paladino”) was nothing more than a charlatan, a fake, an impostor – someone pretending to have mediumistic abilities by using sleight of hand (and foot) trickery.  But most of the modern references are written by debunkers and other “know-nothings” whose minds are made up in opposition to any psychic phenomena.  They focus on the negative reports only while ignoring the positive reports and failing to consider explanations that have eluded mainstream science.   

As reported in the November 1909 Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, a series of 40 sittings were conducted by Dr. Julian Ochorowicz, a psychologist, in Warsaw, Poland, during 1893-1894.  In all, 23 experimenters participated.  In the end, 10, including Ochorowicz, were convinced of the supernormal character of the phenomena, while seven were uncertain but accepted that they could not have been due to ordinary mechanical agency. Thus, 17 of the 23 did not believe what they had witnessed was trickery.  Two were inclined, with certain reservations, to deny the supernormal character of the manifestations, and three concluded it had to be fraud of some kind, even though they couldn’t prove it.  One refused to express any opinion. And so it was with nearly every study of Palladino – some convinced she was a genuine medium, some convinced she was a fraud, and some not knowing what to believe. 

Schmicker, the author of Best Evidence and co-author of The Gift, has studied the many books and research reports on Eusapia (most researchers referred to her by her first name) and has concluded that she was a genuine medium who probably, when her powers failed her, as they often did, resorted to some trickery so as not to disappoint people in attendance.  Since the scientific research reports about Eusapia make for some pretty dry and monotonous reading, not telling much about her personal life, Schmicker has tried to fill in the gaps by adding some speculative glamour and glitter.  He combines fact with fiction but holds fairly tightly to the investigative and phenomenal aspects of Eusapia’s story. 

“I write with full consciousness of being in the right,” offered Professor Enrico Morselli, an Italian neurologist and director of the Clinic of Nervous and Mental Disease at the University of Genoa, “that the phenomena of physical mediumship attributed to Eusapia are in the great majority of cases real, authentic, genuine; that in the now innumerable series of her ‘spiritistic’ manifestations there may be an admixture of some spurious phenomena, sometimes also naive and puerile attempts at deception on her part, and illusions or errors of appreciation on the part of the sitters; but on the whole the phenomena produced by Eusapia have for a calm scientist, an impartial observer, a competent student of psychology, an objective existence and positive consistency equal to those attained by categories of facts judged by ordinary reasoning, and verified and accepted in accordance with the rules of the experimental method.”

Dr. Charles Richet, a professor of medicine and physiology at the University of Paris and the 1913 Nobel Prize winner in medicine, agreed.  “Even if there were no other medium than Eusapia in the world, her manifestations would suffice to establish scientifically the reality of telekinesis and ectoplasmic forms,” he wrote, noting that he observed her on some 200 occasions. 

The debunkers claimed that Morselli, Richet, and the many other scientific men who attested to the reality of Eusapia’s phenomena were simply duped by a clever magician.

But two researchers schooled in both science and magic, Hereward Carrington and W.W. Baggally, along with Everard Fielding, closely studied Eusapia in Naples during 1908, attending 11 séances with her.  “I have to record my absolute conviction of the reality of at least some of the phenomena,” Carrington concluded, “and the conviction amounting in my own mind to complete certainty, that the results witnessed by us were not due to fraud or trickery on the part of Eusapia.”  Baggally agreed, pointing out that they observed 470 phenomena during the 11 sittings and that it was impossible for Eusapia to have practiced trickery constantly during the many hours they observed her.”  Fielding supported the conclusions of his fellow researchers.
 
Dr. Cesare Lombroso (called “Camillo Lombardi” by Schmicker), a pioneer in abnormal psychology and criminology, initially scoffed at the whole idea that there was anything to mediumship.  Like the vast majority of naturalists, he believed that Eusapia, or Alessandra, as Schmicker names her, was suffering from something called female hysteria and that the various phenomena were produced by trickery.  “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a choice,” Schmicker quotes Lombardi, “we can remain in the darkness of primitive superstition, or we can embrace the light of Science.  I choose Science.”  The supposedly “intelligent” world applauded Lombardi’s words. 

But after Lombroso began studying Eusapia, his attitude also changed.  On two occasions he observed her being levitated above the table. Eusapia, who was seated near one end of the table, was lifted up in her chair bodily, amid groans and lamentations on her part, and placed (still seated) on the table, then returned to the same position as before,” he documented.  In one of those levitations, Lombroso was holding one of her hands, as Professor Richet held the other. 

While in trance, Eusapia complained of (invisible) hands grasping her under the arms. Then, her voice changed, apparently to that of John King, her spirit control, and said, “Now I lift my medium up on the table.”  Lombroso and Richet continued to hold her hands as Eusapia and the chair rose to the top of the table without hitting anything.”  They then observed her deposited back on the floor with the same security and precision.

table
Levitating table: Palladino centre

Some of the séances observed by Lombroso were given during daylight conditions, but because of the sensitivity of ectoplasm to light, the best phenomena were produced under dark conditions with a red lantern permitting the sitters to observe.

By 1903, Lombroso had observed Eusapia many more times, but at a sitting with her in Genoa in 1903, he experienced something new.  Before Eusapia entered the trance state, Lombroso asked her for some special manifestation that day and he got it as his deceased mother appeared, spoke to him, and kissed him.  Lombroso wrote that his mother reappeared at least 20 times in subsequent sittings, although less distinct than on that first occasion. “Her deepest grief is when she is accused of trickery during the séances – accused unjustly, too, sometimes, it must be confessed,” Lombroso wrote of Eusapia, “because we are now sure that phantasmal limbs are superimposed (or added to) her own and act as their substitutes, while all the time they were believed to be her own limbs detected in the act of cozening for their owner’s behoof.”

Richet described Eusapia as a simple-minded woman, yet intelligent. At his private retreat on Ribaud Island in the Mediterranean, Richet, along with Sir Oliver Lodge, a distinguished physicist and pioneer in electricity, Frederic Myers, an esteemed pioneering psychical researcher, and Dr. Ochorowicz, conducted experiments with Eusapia during 1894 and observed various phenomena.

One of the tests they put her to involved a spring dynamometer, which, when squeezed, measured hand grip strength.  It was Richet’s idea that all the energy used at a sitting had to come from the medium or some of the sitters.  Thus, he recorded the grip strength of Eusapia and each sitter before and after the two-hour sitting.  In the before reading, Lodge, who stood 6-4 with a muscular build, scored the highest, followed by Richet, Myers, and Ochorowicz, with Eusapia’s being much weaker than the four men.  But after the sitting, Eusapia was giving a feeble clutch when she suddenly shouted, “Oh, John, you’re hurting me!” and the men observed the needle go far beyond what any of them could exert. 

“She wrung her fingers afterwards, and said John (King) had put his great hand around hers, and squeezed the machine up to an abnormal figure,” Lodge recorded the experience, noting that “John King” occasionally showed his otherwise invisible hand, “a big, five-fingered, ill-formed thing it looked in the dusk.”

Though Eusapia was searched before she came into the room and was not allowed in the room beforehand, there were times when the three men thought they saw her cheating by using her hands or feet.  “She wanted us to understand that it was not conscious deception, but that [John King] took whatever means available, and if he found an easy way of doing things, thus would it be done,” Lodge explained.  In other words, Eusapia’s consciousness had vacated her body and the invisible John King was controlling her arms and legs to accomplish certain tasks, thus making it appear that Eusapia was doing them consciously. At other times, a third arm – one made of ectoplasm, that mysterious substance exuded by some mediums – appeared and seemed to be extending from Eusapia’s body as if it were her own arm. 

“Disbelievers!” Schmicker has Eusapia/Alessandra yelling at the observers at Ribaud Island, as a chilling hiss filled the room. “You demand signs and wonders, even as the Devil prepares your place in Hell.”   
Lodge added that Eusapia resented the charges of fraud and that he was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, so far as the morals of deception were concerned, referring to her as a kindly soul with many of the instincts of a peasant.  He recalled that on more than one occasion, she took a boat to a mainland village and came back without her coat.  When asked what happened to it, she explained that she gave it to a beggar who needed it more than she did. 

While Schmicker adds glamour, gleam, and glitter to an already colorful, sometimes gaudy, tale – one that likely will exceed the boggle threshold of those mired in the debunking camp – he creatively captures the crux of the story as documented by various researchers and historians, offering the reader not totally familiar with story of Eusapia Palladino much to ponder on.   

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.
His latest book Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I is published by White Crow Books.

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Next blog post: January 26

 



 


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“A Case to Consider” by Paul Beard – What is it possible to discover about the experiences we shall meet with after we die - if indeed existence does continue - and about how we can best prepare for them? Read here
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