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How the Eiffel Tower is Like the Spirit World

Posted on 16 September 2019, 9:48

“Why can’t a medium find out what happened to Flight 370?”  That was the question asked not long ago by a reader of one of my books. He was referring to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared somewhere over the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014 with 227 passengers and 12 crew members presumed dead.  To this day, the final resting place of Flight 370 remains one of the greatest air mysteries of all time.

The reader was suggesting that someone should be able to go to a good medium and make contact with one of the pilots or passengers to find out what happened to them.  I inferred from our discussion that the reader assumed that spirits are omniscient, or all-knowing, which psychical research reveals, is clearly not the case. Some spirits, we are told, don’t know any more than they did when in the material world.  Nor are they sitting on some heavenly perch able to peer down and see all events taking place in the physical realm.  Quite a few don’t even know they are “dead.”  As I understand it, the spirit world is shaped something like the Eiffel Tower, (below) having a broad base and gradually narrowing to the top. As spirits advance toward the top, it becomes more and more difficult for them to communicate with the physical world.  This is because such communication is a matter of vibrational frequency.  To put it another way, the less-advanced, or less-evolved, spirits are closer in vibration to those of us in the physical world and therefore can communicate more effectively with us than advanced spirits.


If the Eiffel Tower is a valid simile, most spirits, or souls, it seems, are hovering, not far above the esplanade at ground level.  Earthbound souls are in something of a stupor, struggling to keep their feet on the ground, while slightly more developed souls are striving to make it to the first-floor observation deck at 187 feet. Those who are have reached the first deck have a better view of things than those below them, but it is mostly a local view and certainly does not extend to the Indian Ocean. They are within shouting distance of those still on the esplanade, but it requires a loud voice and harmonious wind conditions for those on the ground to hear them.  Only a few of them have voices strong enough to be distinctly heard by those on the ground and often those on the ground catch only a few words and just get the gist of the message. 

The more evolved souls – those who have reached the second observation deck at 377 feet – have an even better view of things but it is still far short of the Indian Ocean, and they are well beyond shouting distance from those on the esplanade.  Indications are, however, that they are sometimes able to communicate with humans on the esplanade by using souls on the lower deck as intermediaries, i.e., having the lower-level souls relay the messages to humans. It often happens that the soul on the first deck does not completely grasp the message from above and the person on the ground receives a distorted message or even a completely different one.

“All should remember the parlor game in which a few words are whispered into the ear of the one near you and from him to a third and a fourth person and so on, to find at the end that there is no resemblance to what was started,” explained Professor James Hyslop, one of the foremost psychical researchers of the last century, referring to the game charades.  “The same is likely to take place in spirit messages. The control (spirit intermediary) must put the message through and it will take the color of his or her mind.  Then it is doubly colored by the subconscious, sometimes by the normal consciousness of the medium as well. The fact that the incidents prove the personal identity of a deceased person and are not known by the medium suffices to justify the spiritistic hypothesis, though this origin does not prove the purity of the message, or that it came from the communicator directly.  It may have been subjected to all sorts of modifications, phonetic, visual, or interpretative.”  Hyslop (below) further explained that much communication between spirits and as received by human mediums is by means of thought-transference, or “pictographic” in form, not in language as we know it.  Such pictographic communication is subject to frequent misinterpretation.


The lessons of psychical research suggest that the very advanced, or high spirits – those metaphorically on the highest deck of the Eiffel Tower, at 907 feet – see much more of what is going on in the physical world than those on the lower decks.  They have easy access to the antennae above them and can tune in to pretty much anywhere. Their focus, however, is no longer on individuals, as may be the case with lower-level spirits, but on humanity as a whole.  While they apparently try to influence humanity in a positive direction, they are not permitted to interfere with our free-will challenges and lessons, fully recognizing that overcoming adversity is the best way to learn and spiritually evolve. 

“It is necessary that afflictions come,” said the obviously advanced spirit with the name Imperator, who communicated through the mediumship of William Stainton Moses, an Anglican priest, during the latter part of the nineteenth century.  “Jesus knew and taught that. It is necessary for the training of the soul.  It is as necessary as physical discipline for the body.  No deep knowledge is to be had without it.  None is permitted to scale the glorious heights but after discipline of sorrow.  The key of knowledge is in spirit hands, and none may wrest it to himself but the earnest soul which is disciplined by trial.”

Moses was told that Imperator headed up a “band of 49 spirits” – apparently a “group soul” – and that his messages were actually relayed through lower-level spirits making up the group soul.  We might infer that Imperator was on the top deck of the Eiffel Tower, while others in his band, elevated but not so advanced, were on the middle deck, perhaps some on the lower deck in order to facilitate communication with those still on the esplanade.  It may also be that Moses was able to raise his vibration rate to something approaching the lower deck of the Eiffel Tower, thereby receiving communication directly from the middle-level spirits.  The messages handed down through the Imperator group were not bits and pieces of information coming from a recently departed loved one to a human, as is more common in today’s clairvoyant-type mediumship; they were teachings aimed at helping humans better understand the meaning of life and see the bigger picture.

The group soul called “Silver Birch,” which communicated through the mediumship of Englishman Maurice Barbanell, said much the same thing as Imperator:  “You do not develop the spirit when everything is easy and smooth, but when you have difficulties.  But there are times when we feel justified in interfering with your judgment.  I would interfere if a very vital principle were involved.  If it meant that my work through my medium would be interrupted, then I would interfere so that the channel would still be free.  But when the problems only involve my medium’s own evolution, then they are his responsibility and he must work them out for himself.”
The afterlife hierarchy described above does not suggest that the lower-level spirit is earthbound or evil in any way, only that he or she is not all that spiritually evolved. On the other hand, there are indications that advanced spirits can temporarily come down to a lower vibration to do missionary work with those who those who have “spiritual ears” and to assist in communication. It has been recorded that a spirit coming down from a higher level is much like a human trying to hold his/her breath under water.  The spirit can hold on to the lower vibration for only a short period. 

Back to Flight 370, the research indicates that even a gifted medium cannot simply dial up a deceased person. There must be a sympathetic link of some kind – a living loved one or some person with a special connection to the spirit present with the medium in order to make contact.  However, if such a link were made between a victim of Flight 370 and a living person, there is no reason to assume that the communicating spirit, especially if just a passenger, would know where the plane went down.  Why would we expect the communicating spirit to know the coordinates of the final resting place of the plane or how the plane went astray?  If a pictograph message were to come to a medium (or to a psychic) showing a body of water, it would be meaningless.  It is not nearly as simple as the skeptics think it should be.

To again quote Imperator:  “We are not permitted to interfere in the chain of cause and effect; to save man from the consequences of his sin; to pander to idle curiosity; to change the world from a state of probation.”

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.

Next blog post:  Sept. 30

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Explaining the Death of a Parent to a Child

Posted on 02 September 2019, 8:56

When my friend Dave was asked by his nine-year-old granddaughter what happens to us when we die, he struggled and stumbled in his response, realizing that it required an answer that went beyond the trite, “we go to heaven and live with the angels.”  Fortunately, Dave’s daughter came to his rescue and explained that people have many beliefs about the afterlife, leaving the door open for her to learn about them and explore her own understanding of what happens when we die, at which point Dave told his granddaughter that he would be happy to talk to her about the subject anytime. 

My discussion with Dave was prompted by a movie in which a young girl, about five, lost her mother to an auto accident and was told by her grandmother that “she will live on in your heart.”  I had heard that hackneyed expression more than a few times before and wondered how a child is to interpret it.  It does not necessarily imply that the parent had survived death in a larger life and was still with her, and it might well be interpreted to mean that the parent was now totally extinct and nothing more than a fading memory.

I can still remember the anxieties and fears I experienced 76 years ago when my step-grandfather died.  My parents didn’t know what to tell me, and I, just six at the time, didn’t know what questions to ask.  It was all hush-hush. The trepidation multiplied 100-fold when we visited the crematorium and I struggled with grasping that what was left of my grandfather was now contained in a little metal box, one surrounded by hundreds of other little metal boxes with “people” in them. 

Is there a comforting response concerning death for a child? After discussing it with Dave, I decided to put the concern to other friends and to limit it to children under seven (the generally accepted age of reason), leaving the older children for another discussion.  I hypothesized a situation in which my friend could go back in time with his or her present experience and knowledge and attempt to explain to a five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son the death of the other parent in a traffic accident. 

I began with my most skeptical friend, Dale, who rejects all the psychical research suggesting survival that is often discussed at this blog, as “unscientific.”  “Kids, I’ve got some really terrible news,” Dale thought out his reply. “Your mommy was killed in a traffic accident. I don’t understand how or why it happened but it did. Come here and let’s hug. (We would all break down and cry). I’d answer that Mommy wouldn’t want us to see her and how she was hurt as it would only make us more sad. We will cremate her body as those were her wishes. Nobody really knows what happens when you die; maybe she’ll go to heaven and we’ll see her again some day. Meanwhile, remember all the nice things she did.”

Dale said that such reflects his belief and he doesn’t see it as giving the children false hope, like telling them there is a Santa Claus. Moreover, he would want them to think about all the good things their mother did and not dwell too much on the loss, at the same time realizing that thoughts of their mother would come back to them from time to time, when they’d just have to be strong and be grateful for the time they had with her.

Dale’s approach seems in line with that of mainstream psychology, as I was able to gather from the Internet. It avoids any discussion of consciousness surviving death.  “Kids this young often have a hard time understanding that all people and living things eventually die, and that it’s final and they won’t come back,” we read at “So even after you’ve explained this, kids may continue to ask where the loved one is or when the person is returning. As frustrating as this can be, continue to calmly reiterate that the person has died and can’t come back.”  More bluntly, as I interpret it, tell the child that the loved is extinct and to get on with life.

Keith remembers that when he was about four-years-old his great-grandfather died and he was told that it is like “falling asleep.”  He feels that this euphemism is still effective with the younger children.  “You know your mom was in her car, don’t you?” he provides his possible explanation.  “On the way a lorry did not stop at the traffic lights, and it hit your mom’s car and she was knocked out.  That is like falling asleep when you get a bang on the head.  By the time she arrived in hospital she had gone to sleep forever.  We all do that sooner or later.  So now she is at the hospital and won’t be coming home again, so you won’t have the chance to see her until you also fall asleep forever, when you are very old.”

When the children are a little older, Keith, who does not subscribe to any accepted religion nor accept the standard Christian version of heaven and hell, would use the word “died” instead of falling asleep and would explain that death is not the end of us, and that Mom is quite possibly living with her family on the other side and waiting patiently for her children to join her.

Glenda recalls the time she was working as a hospice social worker and made a call to a home where a young father fatally shot himself.  The man’s three-or four-year-old son kept asking what was wrong and was told by the police and others that everything was fine and not to worry.  “I thought it was doing a disservice to the child to lie to him and make him distrust his own observations and fears,” she says, adding that her advice in that case was not accepted and she was not allowed to follow up on it. 

“They also need assurance that they will always be cared for and safe,” Glenda continues. She does not agree with Keith in suggesting that death is like falling asleep, as it might cause the child to fear wanting to go to sleep. 

“My answer is pretty simple,” Mike replies.  “If they haven’t reached the age of reason, and assuming they still have the other parent, I would say to them, ‘God called Mommy home to help Him in Heaven. She still loves you and thinks of you and watches over you from Heaven; and you can talk to her every night before you go to bed when you say your prayers. And she will hear you. And you’ll will see her again when you someday go back to Heaven. In the meantime, I will take care of you   Talk to me any time you want. I always have time to listen to you, and help you. And I love you very much.’”

Like Mike, Norm does not accept the humdrum heaven of orthodox religions, but he believes in keeping it simple for children of that age and expanding on it when they become a little older.  “[I would] explain that an accident is like falling down and scraping your knee, but sometimes more serious because the person will not get better,” Norm states. “God wants her to live with him to make her feel better until all of us can be together again and happy forever.  Meanwhile, she sees you and knows what is happening to you, and she will be at all your birthday parties.”

When the children do indicate that they can comprehend a somewhat more complex idea, Norm would expose them to the evidence for survival as developed over the past 170 years by psychical researchers.  “In other words, I would guide them along the way as far as they might want to go, not indoctrinate them. If they chose a traditional religious faith after all that, I would not attempt to proselytize them. However, I would be happy to discuss the ridged dogmas of both organized religion and materialistic science.”

Getting back to Dave, he would tell the children that their mother has gone to a very special place where she is living with God, who is taking care of her.  “In her new home, she lives in a Spirit body that we can’t see, but she can see us, and she will be living with us and watching over us to give us all her love,” he explains it.  “It’ll be sad for us because we can’t see her anymore, but anytime you want to talk to her you can and she will hear every word you say and she will try to find a way to answer you.  When we die, we will all go see and live with God and Mommy forever.”

Like Norm, Dave would later introduce them to the evidence “that explains and reinforces this belief, educating them on the context of the world’s major religions, including reductionism and the role of science in explaining our unknowns.”

Lewis would tell the children that their mother “had gone to a better world, a happier world, the place we’ll all go to when we leave this one.  I’ll tell them she did not want to leave early and that she had no control over what happened, and that she’ll miss them and think about them for as long as they are alive. And they should talk to her, for she will pay them visits from time to time even though they probably won’t be able to see her.  She will always love them and help them in every way she can.”  Lewis adds that he would be in steady contact with his deceased wife, “sending her my love and assuring her that we love her and wish her every happiness where she is.”

Richard would explain to the children that their mother was killed in a terrible auto accident.  “She can no longer be with us,” he would continue, “but she would want us to be very strong and help each other understand.  She is actually in a ‘wonderful place’ called heaven and her “spirit’ is watching over us every day.  She loves and misses us very much.”  To support his statement, Richard would familiarize them with the stories of Colton Burpo (“Heaven is for Real”) and Akiane Kramirik’s “Portrait of Jesus.”  I would add Karen Herrick’s “Grandma, What is a Soul,” to the list of books that might help children understand death. 

All of my friends had more to say on the subject, including how they would explain it to the children at an older age, but space does not permit more here. Readers are invited to share their thought on the subject in the comments section below.

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.

Next blog post:  September 16

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After a Suicide by Sylvia Hart Wright – Now Rita's a very spiritual woman, very religious, and this kind of thing has happened to her a lot. She finally decided she's not crazy, she just sees people after they've died. What she does in response is she prays for them. So she was telling me, "Laura, I really think Dave needs our prayers. I think he's stuck." And that word jumped into my head. I'd completely forgotten my nightmare but that word "stuck" jumped in my head and it really disturbed me. Read here
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