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Life after Death and Super-psi do not conflict says physics professor

Posted on 03 October 2011, 14:44

When it comes to a belief in psychic phenomena (“psi”) and in life after death, there are believers, non-believers, and what might be called quasi-believers. The latter group accepts the existence of psychic phenomena, but they, for the most part, remain skeptical on the life after death issue and resist the idea that spirits of the dead can communicate through humans.  They believe in what is called Super-psi or Super ESP.  When it comes to mediumship, the quasi-believers seem to see it as the subconscious of the individual interacting with some cosmic computer while pretending to be the spirit of a “dead” person.  Many parapsychologists favor Super-psi over the survival (of consciousness) hypothesis, viewing it as an “either/or” situation. 

Dr. James E. Beichler, (below) a retired physics professor and author of To Die For, doesn’t believe that there is a conflict between Super-psi and Survival.  “To me, it is not an issue because the source for Super-psi is the same as that thing that survives material death – the mind/consciousness complex,” Beichler explains.  “While we are in our material bodies before death, our consciousness (through what we normally call intuition) acts as the source for our sixth sense and mediates between our mind/brain and the rest of the space-time cosmos, including other consciousnesses. This is the physical source of Super-psi. However, when we die the physical but non-material mind/consciousness complex survives and consciousness continues to act as a sensory mediator between physical space-time and our minds.”

james beichler

From the parapsychological point of view, there are, Beichler says, three possible explanations for mediumship: 1) the medium is really passing on information from the spirit of a dead person; 2) the medium is telepathically getting the information from the deceased person before he died, using retrocognition; 3) the medium is telepathically tapping into the mind of some living person who has intimate knowledge of the dead person being channeled.  Numbers two and three have been lumped together and called Super-psi.

Super-psi is nothing new.  Although they didn’t call it by that name, the pioneers of psychical research recognized similar explanations.  Initially, they wrote it all off as telepathy – a “secondary personality” in the subconscious of the medium being able to read the minds of the sitters.  When information came through unknown to the sitters, the pioneers speculated that the medium could tap into the minds of anyone in the world.  They called that teloteropathy.  When that didn’t completely explain it, they further speculated that there is some kind of “cosmic reservoir” into which the medium’s subconscious could access information.  Accepting it as spirit communication would have been much too “unscientific” in that early era of scientific materialism when “intelligent” men and women were trying to put religious superstition behind them. However, most of the pioneers came to accept the spirit hypothesis, which was totally consistent with the survival hypothesis.  It was one thing, they reasoned, for the medium’s secondary personality to access information from minds around the world or from some cosmic computer, but quite another for the information coming from the alleged spirits to actually dialogue with the sitters. There was too much personality and too much volition to dismiss it as anything other than spirit communication. Moreover, the researchers could see no logical reason why the subconscious of so many mediums would pretend to be spirits of the dead.

As Beichler sees it, there is a more complex electromagnetic level of existence than that recognized by parapsychology or mainstream physics.  “This complex electrical structure or pattern corresponds to a living organism and is essentially the mind of that organism, while the corresponding complex magnet pattern that accompanies the mind pattern is consciousness,” he explains.  “Our matter/energy bodies, which include our brains, sense the external three dimensional world of matter and energy that we know from our experiences through our normal fives senses.  However, our consciousness exists four-dimensionally in that it occupies all four dimensions of space while the matter/energy and electric portions of our organisms only occupy three dimensions.  So our consciousness, even while we are living, can sense the external world of matter/energy outside of our normal five senses as well as anything else within all four dimensions of space, such as other consciousness.”

I told Beichler that I thought it was a very convoluted subject and one on which most people might struggle to wrap their brains around.  “The term convoluted is absolutely correct and to the point,” he responded, “but then if I would give snappy one or two sentence explanations no one would understand.  The journey is convoluted, but the goal is simple and straightforward.  However, it’s always about the journey and never the goal or so says everyone having anything to do with enlightenment.  Yes, four-dimensional spaces and five-dimensional space-times are difficult to comprehend and would be dismissed outright if they didn’t have such a rich history. Without that history (the journey), any person who suggested such a radical notion would be thrown in a loony bin.  People were burned at the stake for making far less radical comments just a few hundred years ago, but then so were people who claimed to read minds, tell the future and survive death. Even today, they are minimalized within the scientific/academic community, which in the end isn’t much different from being burned at the stake.”

The bottom line here is that, Super-psi or not, consciousness does survive death, and that is the key message of Beichler’s book.  “Science should soon be able to confirm this fact to some extent,” Beichler continues.  “Or at least viable scientific theories on survival are now beginning to emerge. I wrote the book to inform people of our continuing existence after bodily death in the hope that it would help some to ‘evolve’ more easily to the next step in human existence and evolution – the afterlife. The second message is that religions and various other metaphysical disciplines have gotten part of the message correct, but have also garbled the message to some extent for political purposes.”

Many spirit messages suggest that failure to grasp the fact that we live on after death can result in an “earthbound” condition.  “If the mind had no memories or even the slightest idea of its five-dimension existence during life, such that the person had attained only the minimum level of consciousness before death, the surviving mind might not accept its new reality and continue expecting input from the brain and the four-dimensional world,” is how Beichler explains it in his book.  “Under these circumstances, the mind might be stuck in its four-dimensional reality even though it is materially cut off from that reality, and not realize that the body is dead.  Or the mind might not accept the death of its host body and experience a total blackness or ‘nothingness’.”

In his discussion of near-death experiences (NDEs), Beichler further comments on the need to become “conscious” of survival in this lifetime rather than assume that there is no consciousness after death or assume that we will become suddenly enlightened in the next world.  He points out that not all people who report NDEs have a life review.  “This review is neither an absolute nor even a necessary event since some people have a greater experience with the five-dimensional extension of physical reality before they die and thus their minds do not need the orientation provided upon death through a past-life review,” he explains. “Others may not be advanced enough in their own personal paths of conscious evolution to warrant the past-life review, and still others may not mentally accept what has happened (they deny their death) and thus ‘sense’ nothing at all.  In other words, people’s minds seize upon the most familiar surroundings when they enter the new environment of the five-dimensional universe, but can still reject the experience completely, depending upon their mind set and mental priorities at the time of death.”

I asked Beichler if he sees any change in the attitude of mainstream science toward the paranormal. “Yes, a few more people in science are taking the paranormal more seriously,” he replied, “but only a few. I think that there is also a huge ‘silent majority’ that has nothing against including the paranormal in science, but being silent and ‘passive’ they don’t help the situation very much. It’s funny but modern physics actually implies the paranormal. In quantum theory they say something like ‘consciousness collapses the wave packet’ to create our commonly perceived material reality. It is also commonly known that different parts of out material reality are ‘entangled’ together, meaning that what we do at one time and place immediately affects what happens elsewhere with no signal or knowledge of the original event ‘causing’ the corresponding event elsewhere to occur. If you put those two ideas together, modern quantum theory strongly implies that consciousness can collapse the ‘wave packet’ elsewhere in the universe, which is as good a definition of the paranormal as anyone has ever developed.”

Beichler has been writing about and giving presentations on the development of a new “Third Scientific Revolution” for a number of years now, but he says that it is slow in unfolding.  “The new revolution will give mind and consciousness equal billing with physics and the other sciences,” he states.  “Many distinctions between mind and matter in the Cartesian sense of the categories will just evaporate. Science will become subjective and objective rather than just objective. To a historian of science, such as myself, the past few decades of scientific accomplishments and events look a lot like a replay of the scientific changes and events that occurred in the final decades of the nineteenth century, just prior to the “Second Scientific Revolution.”  It is just awaiting the acceptance of a new theoretical leap forward before it becomes apparent to everyone, and I am working toward that goal.”

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.



That is NOT home That is the Brahma Joti please look it up in the Vedic Shastra This the aura of God and those who go there are imsloprneists (those who do not have? a personal relationship with God)Yes it is boring and those who go there desire to come back to the material world The way back to your real home is to develop a personal relationship with God then you can go to Him and enjoy in a place that you would never want to come back here This world is like a prison house for wayward souls.

Eren, Sun 14 Jul, 09:47

I been prticing out of body for about 15 years i been tenhicag it for 6. to have an out of body exspirence it only takes two teqniuqs thats it.all those book you read teaches crazy hard ways. you just need to do two teqniqe. aftwer awile you will start to feel the can tell when you are close to having a out of body by how real your dreams become night after night.Yes THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVE AN OUT OF BODY IT WILL SCARE THE LIVING CRAP OUT OF THAT HOW YOU TELL ITS REAL!

Royal, Fri 20 Jul, 18:13

I agree there is most definitely life after death. Here is more evidence, Spirit Messages I’d love to know what you think.

Dr Michael, Tue 22 May, 15:05

Beichler seems to regard the afterlife and the super-psi are equivalent, but I disagree, although they are not logically incompatible. In an case of mediumship, the afterlife hypothesis states that what is manifested by the medium is the independent consciousness of a deceased person, while the super-psi hypothesis states that what is manifested is the unconscious of the medium with extrasensory powers. So in one case, the afterlife hypothesis and super-psi hypothesis are incompatible, but may occur in some cases the afterlife hypothesis is true and in other cases it is true the super-psi hypothesis, so would not be incompatible. But incompatible claims are all mediumnistic cases are cases contact with dead and all mediumnistic cases are cases of super-psi, but supporters of the afterlife just enough for them to prove that there are some cases of mediumship that are cases of contact with the deceased.

So the question is do we have genuine mediumship cases where the afterlife hypothesis is more plausible clearly that the super-psi hypothesis? It seems that yes, when we focus on non-informational aspects of mediumship, motivational aspects, character, the errors committed by the communicators, and so on. Some of these aspects we can see on this page:

The informational aspects can be explained by super-psi always, but the non-informational quite another to assume that in some cases supports the afterlife hypothesis on any other hypothesis.

Juan, Tue 29 Nov, 16:06

I’ve never understood why anyone would find the “super-psi” concept easier to believe in than spirit communication, which seems much more straightforward and simpler.  But on the other hand, our current growing knowledge that everything and everyone really is connected at a fundamental level makes super-psi quite plausible too.  As Dr. Beichler points out, physics tells us that an event or cognition in one place affects those elsewhere. 

Something else I find hard to understand is how so many physicists can contemplate the wilder and woollier aspects of their subject and remain complete materialists.  There are those like Dr. Beichler, but others seem unwilling to face up to what physics has to say about the nature of reality.

I’d never encountered the idea of mediums communicating with a now-dead person during their life by means of retrocognition, but come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I’ve done something on that order.

Elene, Mon 10 Oct, 09:57

Hi Mike—Great post about Jim’s work! I thought you might be interested in this quote from my 2009 paper on survival and super-psi:

“ is important to keep in mind that the source of information reported during mediumship readings may in fact include combinations of all three proposed parapsychological hypotheses (i.e., survival, super-psi, and psychic reservoir). Indeed, the existence of psi abilities and/or the presence of a cosmic store of information do not preclude the possibility of the survival of consciousness or the capacity of mediums to communicate with the deceased.”

Beischel, J., & Rock, A. J. (2009). Addressing the survival vs. psi debate through process-focused mediumship research. Journal of Parapsychology, 73, 71-90. [Available at: ]]

Julie Beischel, Fri 7 Oct, 23:54

I always enjoy what Dr. Beichler writes/says. I thoroughly enjoyed his lecture at one of the Academy’s conferences.
I believe his ideas are visionary yet clearly thought out, and are on target regarding the evolution of the next step in mankind’s perceptions and thinking regarding spiritual matters.

Yvonne Limoges, Thu 6 Oct, 01:40

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Fallen Soldier Convinces His Famous Father of Life After Death – On September 14, 1915, Second Lieutenant Raymond Lodge, the youngest of six sons of Sir Oliver Lodge, a distinguished British physicist and pioneer in electricity and radio, as well as the former president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, was killed in WWI action in Flanders. Read here
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