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Life After Death: When Skeptics Expect Too Much

Posted on 19 July 2021, 10:23

Whenever the mainstream media cover something of a paranormal nature, they are sure to call in a “skeptic” to provide the viewer or reader with the questionable aspects of the phenomenon.  Perhaps the two best-known media skeptics are Michael Shermer, Ph.D. and Susan Blackmore, Ph.D. Actually, I consider them both “debunkers” rather than skeptics, but that may be a matter of semantics. While recently browsing the PSI Encyclopedia, offered by the Society for Psychical Research, on the internet, I read the entries on both Shermer and Blackmore and was a little surprised to learn how they came about their skeptical views. 

I knew that Shermer, an American who studied experimental psychology, was a “born again” evangelical Christian at one time and had plans to be a theology professor, but I wasn’t aware how or why his worldview changed until I read the encyclopedia entry on him. It explains that the change came about as a result of his inability to overcome various ailments by using unconventional health practices.  Also, when his girlfriend was seriously injured in a car accident, his prayers didn’t seem to help her.

I find it very odd that a man with Shermer’s obvious intelligence would revert to nihilism because his prayers and holistic health practices didn’t appear to work for him. If those things had been my criteria for believing, I should have become a nihilist 50 or more years ago.  I feel fortunate in that I have been able to look back upon many adversities and failures in my life and see that valuable lessons were learned, and that in most, if not all, cases the adversity or failure eventually led to a more positive path. To again quote the advanced spirit known as Imperator: “It is necessary that afflictions come.  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.” 

Blackmore, a British psychologist, headed the student psychical research society at Oxford and had a very vivid out-of-body experience (OBE) before doing some experimental laboratory work and finding it did not support a spiritual view.  “I no longer think anything leaves the body in an OBE,” she is quoted in the encyclopedia. “Rather it is the brain’s attempt to construct a convincing ‘model of reality’ from memory and imagination when its sensory input has failed to provide one.”

I also find it equally strange that Blackmore would change her views and convert to nihilism simply because she couldn’t validate her experiences in the laboratory. I can’t make claim to any laboratory experiments, but I will admit to failing in all attempts at automatic writing, remote viewing, astral travel, and the Ouija Board without being discouraged from a spiritual outlook.  I also failed in my youthful ambition to be a baseball player, but I am not one to say I can do anything if I put my mind to it.  I recognize my limitations. Apparently, not everyone does.

Professors William James of Harvard University and Charles Richet of the University of Paris were considered two of the most brilliant men of science during the late 1800s and early 1900s.  James is listed as one of the founders of modern psychology, while Richet, a physiologist, won the 1913 Nobel Prize in medicine for his research on anaphylaxis, the sensitivity of the body to alien protein substance.  He also contributed much to research on the nervous system, anesthesia, serum therapy, and neuro-muscular stimuli.  In spite of their brilliance, both men struggled with the spirit hypothesis, apparently assuming that spirits, if they exist, should be very intelligent, maybe even all-knowing.

“The primâ facie theory, which is that of spirit-control, is hard to reconcile with the extreme triviality of most of the communication,” wrote James, referring to the mediumship of Leonora Piper. “What real spirit, at last able to revisit his wife on this earth, but would find something better to say than that she had changed the place of his photograph? And yet, that is the sort of remark to which the spirits introduced by the mysterious Phinuit (Piper’s spirit control) are apt to confine themselves.” 

Surely, a man of James’s standing should have recognized that the trivial messages are the most evidential. When physicist Sir William Barrett began communicating with his widow, Florence Barrett, a physician and surgeon, through the mediumship of Gladys Osborne Leonard, he at first told her of his current existence and explained that at death the conscious and subconscious unite but that when he came back to talk with her through a medium they again separate and there was much he could not remember or relate.  Lady Barrett found all that interesting, but she didn’t see it as evidential and asked Sir William how she might satisfy people that she was really talking with him.  He replied that it depends on the type of mind, commenting that reference to a tear in the wallpaper in his old room might satisfy some people and not others.  Lady Barrett noted that a month before his death he had pointed out a tear in the wallpaper in one corner of his room.  Sir William then said that some higher minds have gone well beyond the need for such trivial verification, mentioning another distinguished British physicist, still in the flesh, Sir Oliver Lodge.  “Lodge is nearer the bigger, greater aspect of things than most,” he stated. (See Personality Survives Death: After-Death Communication from Sir William Barrett by Florence Barrett, White Crow Books)

Richet had similar concerns. He wondered why these “deceased personalities” were not providing advances in science to help mankind. “They have not helped us to a single step forward in geometry, in physics, in physiology, or in metaphysics,” Richet wrote. “They have never been able to prove that they know more than the ordinary man on any subject soever. No unexpected discovery has been indicated; no revelation has been made…”

Neither James nor Richet gives any indication of being familiar with more informal psychical research that took place between 1850 and the formation of the Society for Psychical Research in 1882.  Much of that research was carried out by scientists and scholars of the time and while not subject to strict controls there was much in the way of knowledge, truth, and wisdom that came from the spirits – knowledge that far exceeded that of the medium and was often in conflict with the ideas of the medium. To that extent, it might be considered evidential.  Judge John Edmonds, Chief Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, and Dr. George T. Dexter, a New York physician, collaborated in a 1953 book simply titled Spiritualism.  Its two volumes extended to nearly one-thousand pages of “teachings” given through Dexter’s automatic writing from the spirits of Emanuel Swedenborg, an 18th Century Swedish scientist, and Lord Francis Bacon, a 17th Century English philosopher. 

Add in the “teachings” given to Cora L. V. Scott (Richmond) and French educator Allan Kardec during the 1850s along with the teachings of the Imperator group through Anglican minister William Stainton Moses during the 1870s and you’ll have a library of references on every conceivable subject relating to the purpose of this life and the nature of the larger life, including God, universal space, the spirit world, Christ, spiritual evolution, spirit bodies, reincarnation, relationships beyond the grave, spirit influence, spirit possession, war, capital punishment, slavery, dreams, free will, suicide, and fear of death, to name just some. I cannot think of any subject covered in books published over the last 140 years that are not discussed in those references.  Much discernment is required in reading them, just as there is in reading the Bible.

If James and Richet were familiar with those four references, how they could have complained about the triviality of spirit messages is beyond me.  If Richet expected the spirits to offer scientific knowledge that would significantly advance our materialistic pursuits, he must not have considered the inability of humans to emotionally and morally adjust to progress in science, the problem we seem to be having in today’s world.  If James thought that the spirits should have provided greater enlightenment, he probably didn’t read these words of Swedenborg, as given through Dexter: “What would be the benefit conferred on man by opening to his comprehension all the mysteries of spirit life and all the beauties of the spheres – revealing the truths belonging to his material and spiritual nature, if we were not able to teach him how that life on earth should be directed; how to govern his passions, how to progress, how to live that his death may be productive of life everlasting in happiness?”

But back to Sir William Barrett.  He further explained to his widow that his objective in communicating with her was not simply to add to the mass of evidence already given concerning the survival of consciousness at death but to help find a working philosophy to guide those on earth who are struggling with finding a purpose in life.  “It seems to me from where I am most people are not even struggling but meandering on purposelessly, blindly, because they have no definite philosophy as a starting point,” he communicated.  He went on to say that knowledge of the afterlife opens the gates of inspiration and makes the intuition keener.  With that comes greater enthusiasm, greater understanding of the beauties of life, even the perceiving of beauty where ugliness had appeared to exist.

“Life on my side seems so extraordinarily easy compared to earth,” Sir William offered in a 1929 sitting with Leonard, “because we simply live according to the rules of love.”  The bottom line to all this is that one can be brilliant, yet not especially wise. Of course, the nihilist simply scoffs at that idea.

Next blog post:  August 2

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 latest book, No One Really Dies: 25 Reasons to Believe in an Afterlife is published by White Crow book


Our physical body was part of our mothers and fathers but our soul or consciousness was part of the great Universal consciousness that we call God.  Babies are born conscious and sentient but they are like an empty vessel that needs to be filled up, they have to learn everything from what it is like to be in a body and how to control that body to what it means and how it feels to be separate, unique, and individual which has a whole lot to do with “why we are here.”

Babies are learning machines and as soon as they leave the womb they are on a mission to learn as much as they can about this life and universe.  The start waving their arms and legs around and trying to learn how to control the body they have been given.  They shove everything into their mouth because they are “tasting the universe.”  They look around and are trying to make sense of this 3 dimensional + 1 time universe which is so very different from where they came from.

Arthur Riechert, Sun 15 Aug, 12:41

If we had never come here, and been in a body, our consciousness wouldn’t have the knowledge or information to “create” or conjure up some kind of reality on the other side. Coming here first and spending time in a body teaches us what it is like to be embodied, what time and space look and feel like, what matter is, and what time and space look and feel like. We are simply here to learn what it is like to live and make memories of what it was like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe.

It is so much easier to understand near death experiences and life after death if you have some knowledge of the holographic universe theory.

  This short excerpt is from Kevin Williams website and is really interesting. 
“If the near-death realm is even more frequency-like than our own level of reality, why does it appear to have any structure at all? Given that both OBEs and NDEs offer ample evidence that the mind can exist independently of the brain, Ring believes it is not too far fetched to assume that it, too, functions holographically. Thus, when the mind is in the “higher” frequencies of the near-death dimension, it continues to do what it does best, translate those frequencies into a world of appearances. Or as Ring puts it, “I believe that this is a realm that is created by interacting thought structures. These structures or ‘thought-forms’ combine to form patterns. just as interference waves form patterns on a holographic plate. And just as the holographic image appears to be fully real when illuminated by a laser beam, so the images produced by interacting thought-forms appear to be real.”[4]

People who have NDEs say that it seemed “more real than normal” or “realer than real.” I’m guessing that’s because on the other side we aren’t limited to just the information our senses feed into our brain but instead we are connected to “all that is” because in holographic film each piece contains the whole, nothing is separate, and everything interpenetrates everything. Our physical senses actually limit us because they only allow in some of the information instead of “all that is.”

Art, Sun 15 Aug, 12:34

The evolutionary need for pain is hardly “superficial” Art!  The rest of your recent comment is irrelevant since it has nothing to do with the existence of pain. It is conjecture and essentially meaningless.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 3 Aug, 17:29

“From an evolutionary point of view pain is absolutely necessary for survival of the species. Without it physical organisms would repeatedly injure themselves until they died of their wounds, from whatever the source. Physical pain teaches the organism what it can do and not do in life and
still continue to live. it is a necessary part of survival of the species as proposed by Charles Darwin.”- AOD


Yes, that is the obvious superficial explanation for pain.  But Dr. David Bohm, quantum physicist believed that there was a much deeper hidden reality that we aren’t privy to that our Universe is projected from.  In other words our Universe is a holographic projection from someplace else.  And the most obvious reason for the existence of our Universe is that it is a school that prepares us for someplace else. So there is also a much deeper hidden reason for the reason “why” things happen here.

David Bohm and The Holographic Universe:

Art, Tue 3 Aug, 16:28

From an evolutionary point of view pain is absolutely necessary for survival of the species.  Without it physical organisms would repeatedly injure themselves until they died of their wounds, from whatever the source.  Physical pain teaches the organism what it can do and not do in life and still continue to live. it is a necessary part of survival of the species as proposed by Charles Darwin.- AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 3 Aug, 13:10

“Art, thanks for clarifying; I think I now understand what you are saying. But I’m not convinced.”  Rick

Arguing and disagreeing are just another way to experience duality and separation! One more lesson in separation to learn what it means and how it feels to be separate.

“Physical suffering is something else again. Was everyone tortured by the Inquisition just going through a rough day in school so they could pass a course in Basic Uniqueness? I’d be a dropout.” Rick

Pain and suffering isn’t about learning what it means and how it feels to be separate.  Pain and suffering are about making memories about having a body and the parameters of that body.  Teaching the soul or consciousness about what “out there” looks and feels like and what it’s like to have a body and control that body.  Like pixels on a TV screen.

We’ll see who was right and who was wrong after we get there.  We don’t have to agree.  We won’t know the truth until it’s all said and done which won’t happen until after we’ve shed these bodies and crossed to the other side.  At that point I doubt we’ll care who was right and who was wrong. 

We don’t have to agree and probably irrelevant what I “think” or believe.  I won’t know absolutely 100% for certain until I get there. 

And by the way I abhor the whole idea of reincarnation.  There are other ways to interpret the evidence we have for reincarnation.  More than likely it has something to do with the oneness and interconnectedness of the Universe.  More like being tuned to more than one station at a time; borrowed memories.   

Coming back here over and over again?  This is the place of pain and suffering. No thanks! But we’ll find out after we get there?

Art, Tue 3 Aug, 09:07

Art, 1 Aug, 15:06:

“So we can complain and beg for release from suffering but if you have a physical body you will experience separation and it is by being in this Universe that we become separate unique individuals.”

Art, thanks for clarifying; I think I now understand what you are saying. But I’m not convinced.

In the words quoted above I believe you conflate two very different kinds of experience. Separation, yes, it’s logical that we would have to be separated to develop individuality. Physical suffering is something else again. Was everyone tortured by the Inquisition just going through a rough day in school so they could pass a course in Basic Uniqueness? I’d be a dropout.

Maybe separation or anxiety or bad hair days are necessary for us to become individuals. But physical pain is an abomination that should not be needed for our development—and is often a barrier to it.

Besides, you say, “And the amazing thing is that after we leave this body and this universe we remember who we were and the lessons we learned and are able to maintain our individuality and uniqueness on the other side even with those feelings of oneness and connectedness.” If we can know individuality and uniqueness on the other side, why do we have to come to this veil of tears to learn it?

I realize these questions are unanswerable, barring mystical knowledge or Enlightenment. But I refuse to accept the worst aspects of the physical world on the basis of Alexander Pope’s “whatever is, is right.”

Rick Darby, Mon 2 Aug, 22:58

those babies that went to the afterlife before the experience of separation may know everything as they return but they didn’t drive the necessary car as you said it.
Why are there so many opinions in spirit teachings if all the knowledge is available to everybody? Even the most famous spirit teachers aren’t sure about their vision of God.
I still find it weird that you did not answer the question why all the spirit teachings learn us to love and to connect with each other and nature and not to experience as much we can the suffering en separation. Wouldn’t it be a strange divine plan to give the spirits the permission to communicate those teachings and ask the recievers to spread the lessons?

Chris De Cat, Mon 2 Aug, 21:49

It is so much easier to understand near death experiences and life after death if you have some understanding of the holographic universe theory.  This excerpt is from the excellent essay on Kevin Williams website  It is really good stuff. 

“If the near-death realm is even more frequency-like than our own level of reality, why does it appear to have any structure at all? Given that both OBEs and NDEs offer ample evidence that the mind can exist independently of the brain, Ring believes it is not too far fetched to assume that it, too, functions holographically. Thus, when the mind is in the “higher” frequencies of the near-death dimension, it continues to do what it does best, translate those frequencies into a world of appearances. Or as Ring puts it, “I believe that this is a realm that is created by interacting thought structures. These structures or ‘thought-forms’ combine to form patterns. just as interference waves form patterns on a holographic plate. And just as the holographic image appears to be fully real when illuminated by a laser beam, so the images produced by interacting thought-forms appear to be real.”[4]

Art, Mon 2 Aug, 21:01

You can’t learn how to drive a car without first get behind the wheel of a car and driving it.  It is not enough just to read a book about or even watch a video of someone else driving a car.  The only way to learn how to drive one is to get in it and drive it.  The same thing is true of “driving a body.” 

If you are soul stuff and have never been in a body you wouldn’t have a clue what time and space looked and felt like, or what it feels like to be in a body and control it, or even what matter is.  Consciousness is so different from what we call matter that the only way a soul can understand about anything is by first getting in a body and living in it for a while. 

Near death experiencers describe the other side as overwhelming oneness and connectedness and love, perhaps so much so that it may be impossible to learn what it means and how it feels to be separate if you have never been in a body before?  Sort of like the Borg collective in Star Trek.  They have to become unassimilated before they can become individuals again. 

We are not here to learn about love or to be happy or to have fun.  Because if that were true why are so many people so unsuccessful in those endeavors?  If those were the reasons “why we are here” then why didn’t the Creator of the Universe designed a world where everyone would be immersed in those feelings?  Love is felt universally in heaven so why would we need to come here to learn about them when they are so universally available in heaven?  It makes no sense. 

Whatever the reason “why we are here” it has to apply to everyone at all times in history and we know that it hasn’t.

Art, Mon 2 Aug, 20:57

First off time is an illusion.  In reality everything is happening at once.  That is what near death experiencers describe and that is what physicist describe as the true nature of reality. 

Excerpt from Kevin Williams website,
“Another feature Ring finds undeniably holographic is NDEers’ descriptions of time and space in the afterlife realm. One of the most commonly reported characteristics of the world beyond is that it is a dimension in which time and space cease to exist. “I found myself in a space, in a period of time, I would say, where all space and time was negated,” says one NDEer clumsily. [2] “It has to be out of time and space. It must be. because … it can’t be put into a time thing,” says another. [3] Given that time and space are collapsed and location has no meaning in the frequency domain, this is precisely what we would expect to find if NDEs take place in a holographic state of consciousness,” says Ring.”

Secondly after we shed these bodies we will look back on our life here on Earth life it happened in the blink of an eye, and will see it as some kind of illusion. 

Excerpt from Michelle M’s NDE description,
“I felt an understanding about life, what it was, is. As if, it was a dream in itself. It’s so very hard to explain this part. I’ll try, but my words limit the fullness of it. I don’t have the words here, but I understood that it really didn’t matter what happened in the life experience. I knew/understood that it was intense, brief, but when we were in it, it seemed like forever. I understood that whatever happened in life, I was okay, and so were the others here.”

Art, Mon 2 Aug, 20:37

“the problem of radical, pervasive evil, not only in human behavior but in nature itself (red tooth, red claw), has always been the strongest argument against the existence of a loving God or other benevolent force responsible for creation as we know it. Even Imperator, for all of his impressive teaching about the afterlife and the necessity of our struggle to overcome hardship in this life to prepare it, has no answer for the deepest thrust of this question about radical, pervasive evil, pleading ignorance, even from the other side, of an adequate explanation.” - Newton

Pain and suffering imprint on the soul or consciousness the parameters of the body, like bits of information, they are information to the soul, which is an empty vessel before first living in this universe, to teach it what “out there” look and feel like, what it means and how it feels to have a body and control it, and what it is like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe.  They are also lessons in duality and separation which simply do not exist in heaven.  How can you know or understand what it is like be separate, unique, or individual in a Universe where the feelings of oneness and connectedness are infinite and overwhelming?  That is the nature of holographic film which is how many near death experiencers describe their sojourn on the other side (or heaven). 

Duality and separation, being in a body, controlling that body, time and space, living in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe.  It’s as simple as that. 

And the more emotion these lessons evoke the more we will remember them.  They have to be the way they are so that after we shed these physical bodies we don’t forget what we have learned and experienced here.

Art, Mon 2 Aug, 20:30

“do you speak of experience that you would not be an individual being if not on earth? Third time that I ask you if communication with spirits ruins the experience of separation, because that’s one of the primordial messages they give us : we are al connected.” - Chris

I think the answer to your first question is “no?” I have had two mystical experiences and I felt like the answers to questions I had been asking (over and over again) were “downloaded” as a “bolus of information” all at once, and all of a sudden it was like I had to answers to all the questions I had been asking “God” over and over again.  And the answers seemed so simple and logical to me.  It’s not about religion or spirituality at all, it’s about physics and the differences between the physics of where we are now versus the physics of where we are going to spend eternity. 

And after we get to “heaven” all the things I’ve learned will be shared with everyone and everything and that is because of the holographic nature of the other side.  Call it the akashic records or universal consciousness or whatever, on the other side what I know you will know and vice versa.  There will be no misunderstanding in heaven because we will access to “all knowledge.” 

And that is why little tiny babies when they get to heaven, even though they had very short lives here, know as much as what everyone else knows.  The separation we take for granted in this life simply does not exist in heaven.  Period.

Excerpt from The Universe as a Hologram:
“This, says Bohm, is precisely what is going on between the subatomic particles in Aspect’s experiment. According to Bohm, the apparent faster-than-light connection between subatomic particles is really telling us that there is a deeper level of reality we are not privy to, a more complex dimension beyond our own that is analogous to the aquarium. And, he adds, we view objects such as subatomic particles as separate from one another because we are seeing only a portion of their reality.

Such particles are not separate “parts”, but facets of a deeper and more underlying unity that is ultimately as holographic and indivisible as the previously mentioned rose. And since everything in physical reality is comprised of these “eidolons”, the universe is itself a projection, a hologram.

In addition to its phantomlike nature, such a universe would possess other rather startling features. If the apparent separateness of subatomic particles is illusory, it means that at a deeper level of reality all things in the universe are infinitely interconnected. The electrons in a carbon atom in the human brain are connected to the subatomic particles that comprise every salmon that swims, every heart that beats, and every star that shimmers in the sky. Everything interpenetrates everything, and although human nature may seek to categorize and pigeonhole and subdivide, the various phenomena of the universe, all apportionments are of necessity artificial and all of nature is ultimately a seamless web.

In a holographic universe, even time and space could no longer be viewed as fundamentals. Because concepts such as location break down in a universe in which nothing is truly separate from anything else, time and three-dimensional space, like the images of the fish on the TV monitors, would also have to be viewed as projections of this deeper order. At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously.”

Art, Mon 2 Aug, 19:56

“I think it’s not separation that we need to learn, but instead the respect and love for ourselfs and all others.” Chris

Lovely sentiment but not universal meaning the majority of the Earth’s human population is oblivious to it and they are mostly concerned with survival and their own families.  Whatever the reason we are here it has to apply universally to everyone otherwise the Creator of this Universe did a horrible job of designing this place.  We have to look at the world as it is rather than the way we wish it would be. 

From the moment we are born and separate from our mothers and the umbilical cord is cut in two until the time we die and our death becomes a lesson in separation to our loved ones we leave behind life is one great big long lesson in separation. 

Religion, politics, race, gender, color, language, dialects, sexual orientation, wealth, education, I.Q., looks - height and weight, socioeconomic status, etc. The list is endless of all the ways that we experience duality and separation in this life.  Duality and separation seem to be inherent and inescapable properties of this life and you don’t have to go looking for them - they will find you all on their own.  Learning what it means and how it feels to be separate is probably one of the main reasons why we are here. 

And reason “why” is obvious.  There is no separation in heaven so it has to be learned here.  Why?  So that after we spend time here we can use this knowledge to understand and create our own “place” on the other side.  The other side seems to be ideoplastic and “as a man thinketh so is he.”  It is a place where consciousness creates reality and where matter is an epiphenomena of consciousness.  Where consciousness comes first and matter is secondary.  New born babies are like an empty pitcher and are little learning machines.  That is “why we are here” and the stuff that we are learning here is preparing us for “there.”  This life isn’t about this life, it’s about the next.

Art, Mon 2 Aug, 19:47

For those who might want to further their information about cases of purported childhood reincarnation one might want to take a look at a Youtube video of Carol Bowman recounting cases of childhood reincarnation she has been associated with. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 2 Aug, 19:43

“The pain of living is not the goal of the experience, is just the starting point to learn to respect,love and having compassion.” - Chris

It is universal meaning everyone experiences it which makes me believe it has a whole lot to do with “why we are here.”  If you live long enough in this life you will experience duality and separation, time and space, being in a body, and making memories of what it was like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe.

Art, Mon 2 Aug, 19:35

Art, As I said earlier , a few years ago, I wasn’t ‘enlightened’ at all. I was completely negative in my thoughts. But people can change and learn. And the key to change yourself AND the world is to get positive thoughts. That’s why spirits and most NDE’s teach us our connection with the rest of humanity,nature and All That is. I think it’s not separation that we need to learn, but instead the respect and love for ourselfs and all others. The pain of living is not the goal of the experience, is just the starting point to learn to respect,love and having compassion. Give it a try . I know it is not always easy…

chris, Mon 2 Aug, 10:19

“I think you emphasize to much the negative
elements of life and forget the beautiful things that occur.” - Chris


Not everyone is as enlightened as you are.  Most people live lives of quiet desperation. Their lives are one of struggle and they don’t even know where their next meal is coming from.  If we knew 100% absolutely for certain that there was life after death the death of someone we love would lose a lot of its power as a lesson in separation.  It would be more like they had gone on vacation somewhere and that one day we will see them again.

I believe belief is irrelevant.  We will all be healed when we make contact with that Light.  The soul’s lessons are embedded in our everyday lives an it is holistically imprinted with what it needs to learn regardless of who we are, or where we live, or even what we believe.  The Creator of the Universe, that universal consciousness, was so smart that He/She/It was able to create a Universe where we learn what we are supposed to learn whether we want to or not.  That is what it means to learn holistically.  Just as we go about living our lives we are constantly learning all the time.  It’s so that we don’t lose our individuality and separateness after we transition to the other side.  It’s so that we won’t be just pure consciousness and we will understand what we experience after we get to the other side. 

excerpt from Mark Horton’s NDE: “From this vantage point, I had to merely think of a place and time and I was there, experiencing everything about the place and time and people present.

I have always, I don’t know why, had a very strong “pull” toward Scotland. I have some Scottish ancestry, but no more so than English, Swedish, and Prussian, but I don’t know why I have such a strong affinity for the land, its history, its culture, and the music. (No sound in this world can stir the feelings that the sound of bagpipes arise in me!) Well, one of my first “trips” was to Scotland, on a high cliff overlooking a grey, crashing sea during a violent thunderstorm. I was there! I could feel the wind lashing at me and the driving force of the rain while I could see and hear the crashing of the thunder and the sea. All I had done was have the merest fleeting thought of the land and I was there!”

Art, Mon 2 Aug, 00:36

do you speak of experience that you would not be an individual being if not on earth? Third time that I ask you if communication with spirits ruins the experience of separation, because that’s one of the primordial messages they give us : we are al connected. Even you seems to be convinced. So are you ruin our experiences too? And if we are convinced that we are connected, can it exclude pain. Does spirit know no mental pain as they try to give us messages but see that we still not follow up there advice? Aren’t we part of God when we are on earth? I think you emphasize to much the negative elements of life and forget the beautiful things that occur.

Chris De Cat, Sun 1 Aug, 18:42

“My soul is whispering, “I’ll skip the physical parameters of the body if it will save me from terrible pain. Give me a break.” - Rick

You wouldn’t exist as an individual if you hadn’t been born into this world and suffered all that entailed.  There would be no Rick.  It is only by being born into this world and experiencing duality and separation, pain, frustration, challenges, that we become separate unique individuals.  Before that we were just part of the great collective consciousness that we call “God.”  In much the same way that our bodies were part of our parents before conception our soul’s were part of that Universal consciousness that permeates the Universe. 

There is no escaping the physics of this life.  The first noble truth of Buddhism is that all life is suffering and that suffering can be escaped by non-attachment through control of the mind the vast majority of people are not able to do that.  I’m not sure anyone really escapes it?  Even the Dali Lama experiences some separation from China’s occupation of Tibet and when he was born he experienced separation from his mother. 

So we can complain and beg for release from suffering but if you have a physical body you will experience separation and it is by being in this Universe that we become separate unique individuals. 

And the amazing thing is that after we leave this body and this universe we remember who we were and the lessons we learned and are able to maintain our individuality and uniqueness on the other side even with those feelings of oneness and connectedness. 

Excerpt from Mark Horton’s NDE description, “I was unique yet I was the tiniest part of the whole.”

Art, Sun 1 Aug, 15:06

“Infamous”—-maybe a little too strong!

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sun 1 Aug, 13:39

Art Riechert, 19 Jul, 19:07:

“As for physical suffering, it imprints on the soul the physical parameters of the body. What it means and how it feels to be inside a body. To inhabit a body. The difference between feeling warm and feeling hot is a matter of degree. Same with cold. Each touch, both positive and negative, like a bit of computer code, imprinting on the soul the physical parameters of the body.”

I have not the smallest idea what you are talking about. People must experience physical suffering so their souls floating around somewhere can know what it feels like to be in a body? My soul is whispering, “I’ll skip the physical parameters of the body if it will save me from terrible pain. Give me a break.”

Rick Darby, Sun 1 Aug, 00:30

Amos Oliver Doyle, 27 Jul, 19:34:

“Dr. Brian Weiss’ infamous case of ‘Catherine’ where she recalled a life in say, 2,154 BC is an example!  Now I have a difficult time with an entity knowing dates before Christ and before the current calendar was adopted.”

Good on you, AOD! I remember reading that in Weiss’s book and it stopped me cold. I’m glad to learn the case is “infamous”—I wondered if I was the only person to have noticed the gaffe.

How could Weiss, who purported to be a disciplined investigator, let that absurdity pass?

Rick Darby, Sat 31 Jul, 23:59

Lee, 29 Jul, 21:46:

“I will refer to Ian Stevenson who spent decades studying cases and he himself never concluded they constituted conclusive evidence for reincarnation.”

What would be conclusive evidence? Even if a subject got all the names and historical facts right in a hypnotic or spontaneous recollection, any verification could only be through written records or other people’s memories.

By definition this could be obtained through industrial strength psi. And while I think the super-psi team’s arguments are often far-fetched, in this case I’m tempted to side with them up to a point; telepathy and clairvoyance plus imagination and unconscious storytelling might be woven into past-life “memories.”

Of all categories paranormal phenomena, reincarnation is the only one I have serious doubts about. Too many confounding factors and no way to rule them out. For what it’s worth, I suspect the alleged memories come from discarnate spirits and are blended with the subject’s own needs and fantasies.

Rick Darby, Sat 31 Jul, 23:30

Art, July 31:

“Physicists show everything happens at the same time”

Can confirm. That’s how I feel every day.

Rick Darby, Sat 31 Jul, 22:50

My internet was down for a couple of days, and now that it’s back I feel impelled to make an additional comment. Is it just me (I have been out-of-sorts recently), or has this thread taken an unfortunate turn, morphed into something more like one might find on an anything-goes New Age website? Many comments (including perhaps my own) seem like standalone personal takes on the kinds of abstruse metaphysical subjects that Imperator strongly urges us NOT to dwell on. This is the first time that I find myself uncomfortable on Michael’s blog, feeling a disconnect not only from Imperator’s warning but also from the helpful and necessary scientific restraint brought prominently to the table of afterlife research by Myers and the entire SPR. I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade or to discourage anyone’s participation—just the opposite, because we learn from other—but shouldn’t we be seeking (like Michael seeks in his books) some fundamental common ground on which to stand, putting aside whenever possible what William James would call our inevitable individual “over-beliefs”?

Newton E. Finn, Sat 31 Jul, 16:17

“But it does not mean that everything that happens in this world is part of a perfect plan in which all things unfold as they were divinely intended. Such a blanket statement, to be blunt, is New Age drivel…” Newton

Excerpt from James E’s NDE description, “It taught me that everyone, everything, is in its right place. Always will be, no matter how much we try to change, or try to destroy, or try to create, we’re simply doing exactly what was planned. The meaning of life, as I felt it to be, is simply to live.” 

Time is NOT real: Physicists show everything happens at the same time
“TIME is not real - it is a human construct to help us differentiate between now and our perception of the past, an equally astonishing and baffling theory states.”

Excerpt from The Universe as a Hologram, “At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously.”

Art, Sat 31 Jul, 00:43

If there is reincarnation, and there is nothing conclusive on this front to support the claim, what difference does it make to me given I don’t recall my past 100 lives nor do I know what my next 100 lives will be like?

Even if there was conclusive evidence for reincarnation it would change literally nothing for me in my current life. If you believe in reincarnation so be it, maybe you will end up being right. Nobody knows the truth on that front and everyone is left to believe what they want.

Lee, Fri 30 Jul, 21:07

Thanks for clarifying about what you mean by heaven. I thought you were referring to a Christian heaven as what other way would I take it to mean? For all I know, maybe the Christian heaven is real.

I too have read a lot about ndes, including books you mentioned,  and initially thought this was stellar proof of the afterlife. The problem is these are not death experiences. Nobody other than Jesus, if we are to believe in this, died and returned to life. I know MDs who themselves studied ndes, not by reading about them but by speaking to their patients after they had ndes. The one MD, who writes a great deal about parapsychology and has been doing so for many decades, believes in an afterlife but he is not convinced ndes constitute proof of an afterlife. And yes, I know all about atheists and nde experiences.
I am on on the fence when it comes to ndes being evidence of an afterlife. For me, deathbed visions are more evidential.

I stay away from quantum physics and the paranormal as for the most part only few physicists understand quantum physics while many others use quantum physics in a nonsensical manner to support the notion of an afterlife, much like Deepak Chopra who is an embarrassment when he brings up quantum physics given he has little understanding of this field of physics. I took some courses in Uuniversity in quantum physics but would never try to tie quantum physics in with the afterlife as it would also come across as meaningless gibberish that may sound brilliant only to someone who does not have a solid academic background in quantum physics. Too many lay people try to connect quantum physics woo woo in support of their afterlife beliefs.

Nobody knows what, if any role, quantum physics plays with respect to consciousness. I refer to the theory from Penrose and Hameroff but it is a theory never to have been experimentally tested.

Lee, Fri 30 Jul, 13:07

OK Lee, I read the Dunning article.  I guess that settles it.  There is no such thing as reincarnation.  Have a good day!- AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 30 Jul, 10:24

“You keep referring to heaven but Jews, Buddhists and many others do not believe in heaven so you are speculating based on your own religious beliefs” - Lee,

??? When have I mentioned Christianity?  My beliefs are based on a matrix or mandala by reading and studying near death experiences, deathbed visions and nearing death awareness, quantum physics, the holographic universe theory, mystical and transcendental experiences, Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, of literally thousands of NDEs and deathbed visions, etc.  Belief seems to be irrelevant.  In the book “At the Hour of Death” by Osis and Harroldsson people in India have the same deathbed visions as people in the United States.  Studies of NDEs show they are universal all around the world, Japan, Africa, the Netherlands, England, The United States, and religion or lack thereof seems to be irrelevant.  Atheists have NDEs just like people who have some belief. 

I have spent the last 21 years reading and studying these strange and amazing experiences and their connection to quantum physics and the holographic universe theory can not be easily dismissed away. Belief is irrelevant.  We all go to the same place which seems to be some kind of strange holographic film of some sort.  I just label it as “heaven” because it’s a name that we are all familiar with.  That doesn’t mean I believe it’s anywhere near like the heaven that most western Christians believe in? 

NDEs of Atheists,

When it comes to belief or what we believe it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, it can be a little or a lot.  The New Testament has some verses that I like to so I take the ones that I like and make them mine and the ones I disagree with I just ignore.  I suspicion that is pretty much what we all do.

Art Riechert, Fri 30 Jul, 06:39

Amos and Lee,

I generally avoid reincarnation at this blog, because I believe the wisest thing said about it was by one of the purported Glastonbury spirits communicating with Frederick Bligh Bond.

When Bond, a psychical researcher of the early 1900s, asked a communicating spirit about reincarnation, the spirit replied:  “You understand not reincarnation, nor can we explain.  What in you reincarnates, do you think?  How can you find words?  Blind gropers after immutable facts, which are not of your sphere of experience.”

The Seth Material seems to say that we are living all our lives at the same “time,” as there is no such thing as time in the larger reality.  I have a difficult time wrapping my brain around that idea, but apparently some people can.

Michael Tymn, Thu 29 Jul, 22:15


Google “Skeptoid podcast-The Boy Who Thought He Was Reincarnated” as it pertains to the Leininger case. I see no evidence of reincarnation, but I do see a great story put together by his parents.

Once again, I will refer to Ian Stevenson who spent decades studying cases and he himself never concluded they constituted conclusive evidence for reincarnation. At his stage of life and career, if he thought he had amassed conclusive evidence for reincarnation, he would have said so.

Lee, Thu 29 Jul, 21:46

I can’t help but read into what Myers said about reincarnation my own thoughts about a group soul being made up of various personalities lived in past lives.  From my perspective, perhaps in agreement with Myers, my current personality would not return to earth but a new personality of the group soul (my true spirit entity) would incarnate to live a life not entirely uninfluenced by the previous personalities of the group soul. Here is what you quoted from Myers:

“Myers further explained that the group soul might contain twenty souls, a hundred, or a thousand. ‘The number varies,’ he said. ‘It is different for each man.  But what the Buddhist would call the karma I had brought with me from a previous life is, very frequently, not that of my life, but of the life of a soul that preceded me by many years on earth and left for me the pattern which made my life.  I, too, wove a pattern for another of my group during my earthly career.’

Myers added that the Buddhist’s idea of rebirth, of man’s continual return to earth, is but a half-truth.  ‘And often half a truth is more inaccurate than an entire misstatement. I shall not live again on earth, [the personality Frederic W.H. Myers] but a new soul, one who will join our group, will shortly enter into the pattern or karma I have woven for him on earth.’ “

This statement from Myers which you quoted provides some credence for me that what was purported to come from Myers through Geraldine Cummins was really coming from Myers and not from Cummins’ subconscious.

But here again, I guess I am only believing what I already think or intuit is true.  That is, “I believe what you say if what you say agrees with what I think.”  Silly human! - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 29 Jul, 21:10

I think that the concept of reincarnation is more than just speculation.  After all, that concept has been entertained for 1,000s of years and by some of the best minds of the time.  If you have not considered the reincarnation cases of James Leininger or Marty Martyn I strongly suggest that you direct your browser to search for information about them.  I would be interested in your thoughts about those two cases. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 29 Jul, 20:11

In my present life I have been an infant, a child, an adolescent a young adult, a mature adult and an old man.  Now which one am I really. They are all quite different.  Could one say that I am all of them or am I only the one I am now?  Could I describe myself as a group of beings at various stages of development?  Well, that is how I look at so-called “group souls” A group soul is an accumulation of personalities lived by a spirit entity over several or many lifetimes.  Often the metaphor of a faceted diamond is used to describe a group soul with each facet being a distinct person or personality of an oversoul which is the diamond.

The personality one cultivates during a lifetime is not the totality of the spirit entity.  How could it be when a personality is the result of many factors (some due to sheer luck) including male or female, rich or poor, race, culture, intelligence, whether or not it is disabled in any way, how long it lives, where it lives, the time in history it lives and on and on. My personality now is a far cry from my personality as a 14-year-old or a 40-year-old.  Personality is not enduring and may change considerably over one’s current lifetime and lifetimes to come, so what really is the enduring part of a soul that lives eternally?  I would say that it is the oversoul, the group soul or the diamond that lives eternally, not the ever-changing personalities. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 29 Jul, 20:00


That post about definitive proof and awaiting our time sums it up best. Until then none of us can answer the big questions with any certainty, and it may be I am wrong about everything that I assume and believe in.

You keep referring to Imperator so I need to read about him as I must confess the name does not ring much of a bell.

Lee, Thu 29 Jul, 19:52

Indeed Lee. If we knew everything, what would be the next challenge?

Chris, Thu 29 Jul, 17:19

I agree with everything you wrote in your last post. I too doubt spirits have the answers to all the big questions ( one reason why I do not believe in Kardec’s claims) and agree one must be very discerning when it comes to what mediums claim and to trust in one’s own intuition.

There is so much in the way of speculation out there that one can end up believing in everything and anything even if much of it is false. 

For the me the concept of group soul reincarnation seems like nothing more than speculation to me, as is the concept of reincarnation in general.

Lee, Thu 29 Jul, 17:17

Hi Art,

You keep referring to heaven but Jews, Buddhists and many others do not believe in heaven so you are speculating based on your own religious beliefs, which is fine but it won’t mean much for those who are not Christians. Also ndes are not death experiences ( nobody who had an nde actually returned from death) so I am not 100% convinced they are proof of an afterlife.

As for Akashik records, there is no evidence of their existence so speculation tends to play a large role in our beliefs.

Lee, Thu 29 Jul, 11:18


Let me add something to what I just posted in another comment. Like Newton, I am a big fan of Imperator, who said:

“For definite proof you must be content to wait until you, too, have rent the veil, and stand with unclouded eye in our company.  The most we hope for now is the gradual establishment of conviction.  We desire that you should apply to us the same law by which the Master judged – the Divine law of judging others as you would yourself be judged.” (emphasis on ‘gradual.”)

Michael Tymn, Thu 29 Jul, 08:57


I did not mean to discourage you from thinking about it, only from, as you say, “overthinking” it.  I like the way the group soul called the “Invisibles” put it to Betty White about 100 years ago.

The Invisibles stressed the need for Betty to develop what they called “habitual spiritual consciousness.”  But they didn’t want Betty to think this meant retirement into a cloistered nunnery.  “It means simply that each day, when you finish your practice, you do not close the experience like a book, but carry it around like a treasured possession,” they explained.

“Instead of being completely forgotten, it remains in the back of your mind, communicating its influences automatically to your actions and reactions, and ready at any moment, if specifically called upon, to lend a helping hand.”

I believe “habitual spiritual consciousness” is more important to those in their winter years, but it is good to lay the foundation when one is younger, especially if it helps deter one from the hedonistic lifestyles we witness today, lifestyles grounded in a ‘carpe diem’ philosophy.

Michael Tymn, Thu 29 Jul, 08:41

“We probably are not meant to know some things,” lee


This life is a school. We are here simply to learn the things that can’t be learned in heaven.  The physics of where we are now is very different from the physics of heaven.  I know it is so because that is how near death experiencers describe it. We are here to learn what it means and how it feels to be separate, what time and space look and feel like, what it is like to be in a body and be limited by it and what “out there” look and feel like, and make memories of what it was like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time Universe.  That is it. 

Duality and separation, as in losing someone you love, death, divorce, politics, religion, race, culture, language, dialects, gender, sexual orientation, wealth, status, education, I.Q., looks, etc. teaches the soul what it means and how it feels to be separate which is something that can’t be learned in heaven due to those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness that so many near death experiencers describe feeling on the other side.  How can you become a separate unique individual in heaven if you literally feel like you are the universe? 

There are things that you can only learn by actually doing them, like being in a body and controlling that body, experiencing time and space, death and separation, etc. You can’t learn how to drive a car just by watching someone else do it, you have to actually get in the car and drive to say that you know how to drive a car.  Being in a body is like driving a car, or riding a bicycle, or flying an airplane.  The only way to know what it is like to make love to another person is by actually doing it.  It is not enough just to watch someone else do it, you have to experience and do it for yourself. 

After we die we will look back on this life like it was an illusion or a dream.  Nothing else. Our Universe is nothing more than a holographic illusion that was made to teach us the things we can’t learn in heaven. Period.  We are actors and teachers all at the same time, learning holistically, just by being here.  We are here simply to live, that’s all, just live, and simply by doing so we are being taught holistically (which means our lessons are part of our everyday lives and simply by being here we learn what we are supposed to learn). 

Separation, time and space, being in a body and learning how to control that body, what “out there” looks and feels like, are all things that can only be learned by actually doing them.  It is not enough to read it in a book or even watch a video of someone else do it. 

That is “why we are here” and after we’ve experienced and learned them “enough” we shed these bodies and merge or transition to the place we call heaven.  And because of those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness in “heaven” everything we’ve learned and experienced in this life is stored in the “Akashic records” or collective unconscious are available to be instantly borrowed or used (as in “having all knowledge” or access to all knowledge) once we are safely on the other side or heaven.  It’s a holographic universe oneness and connectedness thing. 

And oh yeah, the more emotion the lessons evoke the more we will remember them because there is a very strong connection between emotion and memory.

Art Riechert, Thu 29 Jul, 06:55

Hi Amos,

I have been communicating with Dr Pandarakalam for some time now about various topics, especially Marian apparitions and the experience my mom and her brother had in the early 1950s when they said they witnessed the Virgin Mary as children.

It is a small community the parapsychology one. Dr Pandarakalam is a very interesting person as he has spent decades involved in parapsychology research, including undertaking some nde case studies of his own. He is very much a believer in the Medjugorge visionary claims but I am skeptical only because the messages from the Virgin Mary have been consistently mundane for 40 years now. However, my suspicion does not mean it is not all true.

Dr Pandarakalam communicated with Ian Stevenson for 30 years. He is not convinced by reincarnation claims/studies.

I have read most of what Dr Pandarakalam has published including his paper on reincarnation which notes that the early Church believed in reincarnation. Being a devout Catholic he must know church history inside out, but academics I have come across have written how reincarnation was never part of early church theology, so I don’t know what to believe with respect to this.

I find it interesting how it is mostly just Brazilians and very few French people that believe in Spiritism ( there are also some other S. Americans into Spiritism). I notice how in Canada, the US, UK and in other countries all Kardec/Spiritist societies are made up of Brazilian immigrants so it seems to be a cultural thing. I tried to get my friends in Canada, Australia, the US and Europe to give Spiritism a look and none of them found it of interest, even though they all believe in the afterlife.

I am very skeptical of Kardec as have yet to find any spiritist publication in English which outlines his specific study design for asking 1000 questions of various mediums. The spiritist I know could not even answer my questions in this regard and she knows the heads of the British Spiritis Union and other spiritists. I am willing to be open minded but not so open minded that my brains fall out and believe everything claimed by anyone, without doing my own due diligence.

By the way, if interested you can listen to a recent episode of with Alex Tsakiris where I helped connect him with Spiritist psychiatrist Dr Alexander Moreirea-Almeida. I was hoping Alex would ask him about Dr Alexander’s latest mediumship research but he never did.

Speaking of Brazilians, Sonia Rinaldi has been doing itc work for decades and claims to obtain crystal clear communications via the deceased- you can hear and watch her claimed communications on youtube-  but I think it is all bunk. I spoke to a current professor of psychology who does consciousness research and he knows Sonia and he also does not believe she is communicating with the deceased. One needs to be very discerning in what one believes.

Thenabove professor is in contact with a US professor of electrical engineering that I know to discuss a potential joint itc experiment. Hopefully they do it.

Lee, Wed 28 Jul, 22:53

As previously discussed, it appears that reincarnation is a fact, but not in the way most people think of it, in a linear manner.  The discarnate Frederic Myers put it this way:

“Now, if you would understand psychic evolution, this group-soul must be studied and understood.  For instance, it explains many of the difficulties that people will assure you can be removed only by the doctrine of reincarnation. You may think my statement frivolous, but the fact that we do appear on earth to be paying for the sins of another life is, in a certain sense, true.  It is our life and yet not our life.  In other words, a soul belonging to the group of which I am a part lived that previous life which built up for me the framework of my earthly life, lived it before I had passed through the gates of birth.”

Myers further explained that the group soul might contain twenty souls, a hundred, or a thousand. “The number varies,” he said. “It is different for each man.  But what the Buddhist would call the karma I had brought with me from a previous life is, very frequently, not that of my life, but of the life of a soul that preceded me by many years on earth and left for me the pattern which made my life.  I, too, wove a pattern for another of my group during my earthly career.”

Myers added that the Buddhist’s idea of rebirth, of man’s continual return to earth, is but a half-truth.  “And often half a truth is more inaccurate than an entire misstatement. I shall not live again on earth, but a new soul, one who will join our group, will shortly enter into the pattern or karma I have woven for him on earth.”

Myers likened the soul to a spectator caught within the spell of some drama outside of its actual life, perceiving all the consequences of acts, moods, and thoughts of a kindred soul.  He further pointed out that there are an infinite variety of conditions in the invisible world and that he made no claim to being infallible. He called it a “general rule” based on what he had learned and experienced on the Other Side.

Both Seth and the Course in Miracles seem to say the same thing as Myers, but in different words—there is reincarnation but it is not linear and as people who think of it believe in it. All the arguments for and against reincarnation seem to begin with the conventional view of it and they go nowhere.

Michael Tymn, Wed 28 Jul, 22:53

I think maybe that the real concern or question in your comments about abiogenesis is, “Can spirits be trusted to be all-knowing.”  “Should they be believed when they provide answers to life’s unanswered questions.” And I would have to say, “No.”  I think that spirits have proven themselves to not be omniscient and, in some cases, entirely wrong in their answers to life’s big problems.  They may pontificate from their elevated position trying to convince those who are in the physical realm that they know the answers to everything much in the way that some people still alive on earth try to do the same thing from their elevated positions.  I think that one must test the spirits and not accept everything they say as truth.  Added to that, information transmitted through mediums tends to take on color from the medium’s conscious or subconscious mind and may commonly be biased by the beliefs of the medium.

As a precaution against being taken in by spirits, I think it is important to be as widely read as possible about paranormal activities and actually everything in general and not rely on one or two spirits/mediums for information about life’s unknowns.  Trust in one’s own intuitions and seek as much information as possible before coming to some conclusion.  Often that will take a lifetime.  After 65 plus years of considering things related to spirits and alternate realities, I still find that I am not entirely convinced of anything. That old spider doubt is still spinning a web around the beliefs in my head. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 28 Jul, 22:50

The idea of reincarnation has been a topic for discussion within religious organizations for hundreds of years, most heatedly perhaps among Christian theologians.  I found a good paper on the internet titled “The Biblical Reincarnation” by Dr. James Paul Pandarakalam which is not overly burdened with Christian Dogma.  I recommend reading it through to the end (about 7 pages). There are other papers available but I found this one to be the most straight-forward and easy for me to understand.

Regarding abiogenesis, my previous comment was somewhat ‘tongue-in-cheek’ but nevertheless true for a very specific time period at the beginning of the history of Earth unless one is inclined to consider divine intervention, “guided evolution” or “theistic evolution” at the beginning of life on Earth. Unless you are from Brazil, I assume that you seek-out other opinions about abiogenesis other than those transmitted through Kardac.  In the back of my mind, I recall that there may be some very up-to-date ideas about abiogenesis which might provide, in a limited way, some substantiation on a chemical level.  I don’t remember the reference however and it may not have been anything of value but it was something under a reference to “spontaneous generation”.

I enjoy your thoughts, Lee. Keep them coming. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 28 Jul, 21:35


You raise good points. I am overthinking trying to find reasons for everything. We probably are not meant to know some things, as you point out, so it is pointless getting all tied up in a knot trying to understand the meaning of suffering, evil, etc.

And yes, I agree there is a fair bit of evidence,  when taken in whole, that points to consciousness survival being reality. A part of my mind finds the concept to be so ludicrous (our thoughts floating around somewhere on another plane, communicating with mediums at times or directly with loved ones on this earth in the form of deathbed visions or dreams, etc.) that this rational part of my brain tends to override all the lines of evidence out there pointing to the likelihood of there being something beyond death.

I will try to spend less time wondering why there is suffering and evil and more time just being in the moment and not worrying about the big questions in life, given that nobody really has any answers. Maybe after we die we will find out the answers about evil,. suffering, karma, reincarnation and much more- if one believes Kardec was indeed obtaining all his info. from spirits on these weighty subjects- or maybe we won’t even know the answers to these big questions after we die, assuming our consciousness survives.

lee, Wed 28 Jul, 14:16

Amos, thanks on your comments about reincarnation.
Unless I am mistaken, the early Christian church believed in reincarnation, but I am not 100% certain this is the case as religious scholars claim this was never the case.

As for abiogenesis, this is what Kardec said spirits told him :Abiogenesis - Spontaneous Generation:

“20. One naturally asks: why have there not been formed more living beings in the same conditions as the first to appear on Earth?

The question of abiogenesis with which science is occupied today, although yet diversely decided upon, cannot fail to throw light upon this subject. The problem proposed is this: are there spontaneously formed in our day organic beings by the sole union of the constituent elements without previous germs produced by ordinary generation, i.e., without fathers or mothers?

The partisans of abiogenesis reply affirmatively, and are supported by direct observations, which seem conclusive. Others think that all living beings are reproduced by one another, and support this fact arrived at by experience, as the germs of certain vegetable and animal species, being dispersed, can preserve a latent vitality for a considerable time until circumstances are favorable to their birth. This opinion does not answer any question concerning the formation of the first parents of any species.

21. Without discussing the two systems, it is well to remark that the principle of abiogenesis can evidently be applied only to the inferior order of beings of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, to those on which life is commencing to dawn, their organisms being extremely simple and rudimentary. These are probably the first which have appeared upon the Earth, of which the generation has been spontaneous. We could thus form an idea of a permanent analogous creation to this which has taken place in the first ages of the world.

22. Why, then, could not beings of a complex organization be formed in the same manner? That these beings have not always existed is a positive fact: then they must have had a beginning. If moss, lichens, zoophytes, infusorians, intestinal worms, and others can be spontaneously produced, why is it not the same with trees, fishes, dogs, and horses?

For a time investigations rest here. The conducting thread is lost, and, until that be found, the field is open to hypothesis. It would then be imprudent and premature to give any views on the subject as absolute truths.

23. If the fact of abiogenesis is proved, however limited it may be, it is no less a capital fact, a steady beacon-light on the way to new discoveries. If complex organic beings are produced in this manner, who knows how they have obtained their origin? Who knows the secret of all transformations? When one regards the oak and the acorn, who can say if a mysterious tie does not exist between the polyp and the elephant? (n° 25). From our current state of knowledge we cannot thus far establish the theory of permanent spontaneous generation, expect as a hypothesis; however a hypothesis that will perhaps in the future take a prominent place among the incontestable scientific truths. *”

The above is complete nonsense. For example, moss and worms are not generated spontaneously as claimed by spirits that Kardec supposedly communicated with. Spirts Kardec “communicated” with know about everything yet it took Pasteur to prove them wrong about nonsensical claims of moss, worms, lichens, etc being spontaneously generated. These spirits were not all that bright it seems…

Also, if spirits know all the answers to life’s big questions why would they sit on the fence when it comes to the theory of abiogenisi and not have a definitive answer? Could it be Kardec had no idea what the right answer was so left it as follows:

“From our current state of knowledge we cannot thus far establish the theory of permanent spontaneous generation, expect as a hypothesis; however a hypothesis that will perhaps in the future take a prominent place among the incontestable scientific truths. *”

Lee, Wed 28 Jul, 13:03

Yes Newton, that was a good interview with Dr. Greyson. I had watched part of it before but finished it up due to your recommendation.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 28 Jul, 00:38

I like to believe that similar to evolution of species there is also evolution of consciousness and that all consciousnesses start out as unevolved entities, small sparks of the divine.  They progress through various physical forms experiencing life and learning to become one with God again. Through that process God grows in omniscience and omnipotence.  It is not repulsive to me at all to think that my consciousness may have at one time occupied the body of a non-human. I think this concept is considered to be “transmigration of souls” an ancient Eastern idea not exactly the same as reincarnation into another human body.

This belief system provides great understanding, peace and acceptance for me.  I regard all animals, actually all of life as part of the divine and various embodiments, diseased or not, privileged or not as opportunities for evolution of the soul toward God. I accept all stages of evolution of the spirit as equal in value.  While it is not true that all men are created equal, all consciousnesses are, although some may be a further along on their journey to enlightenment.

Life is a grand play, a performance on the stage of physicality.  Consciousness plays many parts but when the curtain goes down for the last time and makeup is washed-off and costumes are returned to the rental company there is satisfaction that the audience was entertained and that everyone gave their best performance.  At the closing night cast party true identities and relationships are revealed sans, beard, wig and cane and there is great rejoicing and anticipation of the next role and the next performance they will all do together. -AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 27 Jul, 22:34

I was able to find the brief segment of that Dr. Greyson interview when he gets into reincarnation and the kinds of anomalies I mentioned. For those interested, check out the following video at about the 56 minute point near the end.

AOD’s comment on the subject adds, as usual, additional food for thought. Great thread here due to the comments of one and all.

Newton E. Finn, Tue 27 Jul, 21:32


I understand your doubts and uncertainty, but I do believe that there is much truth in the the answer given to Victor Hugo by the spirit claiming to have been Martin Luther to Hugo’s question of why God doesn’t better reveal himself. In 1854, Hugo made contact with a spirit identifying himself as Martin Luther, the father of Protestantism. Hugo asked Luther why God does not better reveal himself.  “Because doubt is the instrument which forges the human spirit.  If the day were to come when the human spirit no longer doubted, the human soul would fly off and leave the plough behind, for it would have acquired wings.  The earth would lie fallow.  Now, God is the sower and man the harvester.  The celestial seed demands that the human ploughshare remain in the furrow of life.” 

So I begin with a belief that a certain amount of uncertainty and doubt is part of the plan and that some people need more of it than others in order to carry out their plan.  As I have said before I’m 98.8% certainty, meaning 1.2% doubt.  I can live with those percentages. I was once at 50/50.  You sound like you are more at 40% certainty and 60% doubt.  Perhaps you need that much doubt at this time in your life to fulfill your earthly mission.  It will hopefully move toward more certainty as you accomplish what you are supposed to.

I accept my limitations in understanding things. I accept that God is beyond my comprehension.  I accept that I can never understand timelessness, i.e., how we can be living in the past, present, and future all at the same time, i.e., there is no time.

I infer from what you have said that you are reasoning deductively rather than inductively. I find that the inductive approach works best, and that involves looking at all the evidence for survival, the cumulative evidence, and finding that neither fraud nor subconscious memories or dreams can explain them.  No single case does it for me, but, as Sir Oliver Lodge said, the cumulative evidence is what leads him to conviction, or true faith. 

I recently wrote something to elaborate on this for a publication and had planned to do a blog on it once it is published, which might be another month or two. That article focuses on inductive reasoning and hopefully will make more sense than this short reply.

I can only suggest now that you not overthink it all by using deductive reasoning, e.g., there can’t be a God, because God would not permit such evil.  Take the inductive approach and look at the evidence, then factor in the possibility free will and cosmic consciousness are more to blame for all the “evil” we experience than is an anthropomorphic God.

Michael Tymn, Tue 27 Jul, 20:13

Some cases of purported reincarnation may really be cases of possession or over-shadowing by a spirit entity. And there is some question about when exactly does a conscious entity enter a newborn body:  before birth?  at birth? or after birth? As always, one must take all of these cases “with a grain of salt” knowing that not all of them are actual cases of reincarnation. I agree with Ian
Stevenson, in that reincarnation cases obtained through hypnosis are not reliable and some or many of them may be fabrications. I also think that expecting reincarnated entities to recall dates always seems to me to be suspicious.  Dr. Brian Weiss’ infamous case of ‘Catherine’ where she recalled a life in say, 2,154 BC is an example!  Now I have a difficult time with an entity knowing dates before Christ and before the current calendar was adopted. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 27 Jul, 19:34

Good comment of 7/27/21.  I especially like the quote from William James the last part of which is worth repeating as related to today’s moral desert. “If your heart does not want a world of moral reality, your head will assuredly never make you believe in one.”  This thought surely applies to Young Americans especially, today. They need to take notice! - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 27 Jul, 19:10

Lee has brought so many good issues for discussion that it is difficult to give each one its full due with a short comment.  In regards to reincarnation, I would say first of all that reports of past lives by children under 5 years old can be very convincing that the child may have previously lived a past life.  Two recent ones in the United States are the ‘James Leininger case’ and the ‘Marty Martyn case’ investigated by Jim Tucker, Ian Stevenson’s successor.  Both cases involve young children who provided much specific information that seems unlikely they could have known from their present life. These cases demand explanation.  Either the information was obtained from a past life or it was obtained by some other means.

It is true that Ian Stevenson did not publicly state that he had proved reincarnation.  Apparently, he was smart enough to know that to do so would have destroyed his reputation as a sensible university professor.  He was very careful to say that his documented cases were “suggestive” of reincarnation not that they proved anything.  Stevenson also did not support hypnosis as a means of undercovering past lives but preferred to study spontaneous reports from very young children.  This threw some shade over popular reincarnation writers, e.g., Dr. Brian Weiss, M.D. who obtain their notoriety from their experience hypnotizing their patients.  What Stevenson’s personal beliefs were regarding reincarnation has not been made known publicly.

Reincarnation was not endorsed by Christian clerics so mediums who attended church and the church-going public skirted around the subject although one can find reference to it, both pro and con, in most of the documentation about mediums.  Whether or not there was such a thing as reincarnation was a common question asked during seances.  I think that there may have been a misunderstanding of exactly what reincarnation was.  Some thought and still believe today that reincarnation means coming back as the same person one is in their present life and reliving their life over again.  Others may think that they could come back as an insect or other animal, while others injected Karma into the mix and thought one will suffer for one’s present sins in a future life.  There may have been some who confused reincarnation with resurrection.  Some may have seen any religious doctrine that included reincarnation as part of Eastern religion and to be avoided.  Mediums and their communicators were not immune to these common beliefs about reincarnation. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 27 Jul, 18:42

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the suggestion. I will do as you say as I am open minded and like you say, I have nothing to lose.

Lee, Tue 27 Jul, 18:18

Thank you Newton, for your wise and kind words. And yes, this reincarnation stuff is a real head scratcher for me. Whether true or not, what bothers me most about it is that Spiritists, and others who believe in reincarnation, are quick to conclude that if a person is mentally ill or has some other terrible affliction, or suffering for any reason,  it is because they did something bad in their past life or the person chose this obstacle in this life as a way to experience something. It is a great way to blame the victim. I actually feel anger when I hear anyone say that a person’s soul chose their path of suffering because “it is good for them from a soul evolution perspective.”

I detest speculation like this based on little more than one’s own belief system. There is literally no conclusive evidence of reincarnation but yet many people talk as if though it is a fact and explains the whys of those suffering in this world.

I have a friend who has a daughter who became ill with schizophrenia at age 19, around 4 years ago. It has been living hell for her and her family. I told a Spiritist I know about this and her response was something akin to this experience being good for the soul of the ill girl. I find it to be such BS when people start talking with certitude when it comes to any area of parapsychology.

There was a discussion about why some people are born with low IQs and some born with high IQs and why some are born into and live in poverty and others in affluence, etc. The spiritist concluded it all has to do with karma and reincarnation. I thought maybe it had more to do with genetics and the environment (i.e. some people have more opportunities because they are born into wealthier families than those born into poor families; maybe those with higher IQs had parents with higher IQs than those with lower IQs, etc.) but why bring common sense into this when one can jump to paranormal conclusions…

Lee, Tue 27 Jul, 18:17

If one is a Materialist, abiogenesis is self-evident.  Pasteur was wrong! After all, if one goes back far enough to the beginning of the universe or specifically to the origination of planet Earth, then life—-that is, a process that produced YOU (I mean your body)—- could only have originated by abiogenesis from a mass of hot magma or cold basaltic rock and water. Right? - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 27 Jul, 17:47

Lee, that reincarnation thing is a real bugaboo, ain’t it?. What I found most interesting was an observation made by Dr. Bruce Greyson in one of his YouTube videos, to the effect that some of the past lives related in reincarnation research turned out to be lives of people born AFTER the supposedly “reincarnated” person had been born. This anomaly makes me more open to the kind of group soul concept which Michael uses to try to sort this stuff out.

Newton E. Finn, Tue 27 Jul, 16:51

Lee, something that you can try: before you go to sleep think about something positive, something that makes you happy and smile ,maybe a rose, a pet,...Next, you ask your Self( not yourself) and All that Is that you would like to have an answer to certain questions and ask the question. It can take some days , but one morning it is pretty possible that an answer will pop up in your mind, suddenly and unexpected. You don’t have to say it loud , you can just think it ,but you must believe in what you do and the question may not be pure selfish or materialistic. You can try it, what do you have to lose?

chris, Tue 27 Jul, 15:53

Thank you, Lee, for digging down to what I believe is the deepest level of human existence, and for having the honesty and courage to admit the nagging doubt, bordering on despair, which so many of us can never wholly eradicate or transcend, no matter how hard we try…how much we read, how much we think. Is THIS not the human condition, which both binds us together and separates us? This brings us, for me, to that thing called faith, not in opposition to reason but as an extension of it, this thing which William James called “the will to believe.” Rather than presumptuously preach to you (an unlovely tendency of mine), let me merely quote one of William’s most profound observations. It directly concerns moral values, but it applies to all things spiritual or religious, especially to the kinds of existential questions with which you are grappling. “The question of having moral beliefs at all or not having them is decided by our will. Are our moral preferences true or false, or are they only odd biological phenomena, making things good or bad for us, but in themselves indifferent? How can your pure intellect decide? If your heart does not want a world of moral reality, your head will assuredly never make you believe in one.” And I would hasten to add, neither will all the signs and wonders of spiritualism, for which I am grateful as SUPPORTING REASONS for my prior faith DECISION. May God bless you on your journey, Lee, and I hope you keep coming here to share your questions and answers, and to draw from the questions and answers of others, in this sacred internet community to which Michael, bless him, has given birth.

Newton E. Finn, Tue 27 Jul, 15:40


I wanted to touch on your point about how some make life being all about happiness and fun.
I wonder how many people spend most of their time in a happy and fun state? Is everyone out there except me very happy with life and often having a fun time of it? Most everyone at the federal government where I worked had mostly mundane (normal?)lives, doing the same thing day in and day out when at home, with most people hating their jobs and only doing them because of the need for a paycheck.

I see all the media focussing on lives of celebrities frolicking on exclusive beaches, living in mansions, partying day and night, taking selfies of themselves with big smiles on their faces and I wonder if maybe I just missed out on life. Then I wonder if these people are truly happy or whether they are faking it to impress others. If celebrities are so happy having so much fun, why are there so many problems with drug addiction, so many broken marriages, etc?

I think of the masses of humanity who struggle from paycheck to paycheck, dealing with illnesses and accidents, living with incredible daily stress, trying to just survive another day. Are they happy for much of their lives?

Are all/most of those posting here mostly happy, having lived fun-filled lives? I think fun for me stopped in my early 20s when real life hit me square in my face and later when my dad died which was truly the end of innocence. I realized then that life is really harsh and happiness is ephemeral.

Lee, Tue 27 Jul, 13:51

I forgot to note that I liked your point about living in the moment and not clinging to the past. I find myself looking to my past mistakes or hoping some things were as they were in the past, while not being present in the moment.  I also liked your point about a small candle.

Lee, Tue 27 Jul, 13:31

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your post. The key point to your comment is that of spirits and their teachings but that gets back to my point of whether there really are any spirits and whether it is not simply our human minds believing that mediums are indeed communicating with spirits. Maybe they are but a part of me wonders if this is really the case.

I have started studying Spiritism and was at first taken by it believing Kardec communicated via mediums with numerous spirits who all communicated consistent messages about the afterlife, life lessons, karma, reincarnation, etc,  but the more I looked into his teachings the more I started to doubt he received his messages from spirits as opposed to basing his teachings on his own belief system. I was greatly disappointed as I think we want to believe so badly, we often don’t ask critical questions and take alll claims at face value.

Spiritists, for example, claim 10+ spirits all told Kardec, via mediums, about reincarnation yet no notable mediums of the 19th century discussed reincarnation. What are the odds that he came across only mediums who all discussed reincarnation while no notable ones discussed this topic?

Also,Kardec wrote in his Spirits Book about life’s big lessons and how we evolve via reincarnation,etc. Yet the same spirits Kardec claimed to have received messages from had no idea whether spontaneous generation was possible (spirits discuss the possibility of abiogenisis in the Spirits book). Only one year after publishing his Spirits Book, Pasteur proved abiogenesis was not true. So we are left to believe that Kardec’s spirits, that communicated with him, could tell us about the wonders of the universe, explain how karma works, how we are reborn to learn life lessons and all these other incredible claims, yet they were not able to tell us if abiogenisis was true or not? I think Kardec did not receive messages from spirits but instead based his teachings on his personal beliefs. I can go into great detail to further explain as to why I think Kardec did not receive messages from spirits, but I think it suffices what I already wrote here to dampen belief in his claims. This is just one example of how so many people claim great universal teachings which supposedly come from spirits but which may not be the case.

So I tend to lose faith in claims of the afterlife with spirits supposedly explaining why we suffer and how we choose our life lessons before birth, etc.

Ian Stevenson studied potential reincarnation cases for over 30 yrs and never concluded that reincarnation was a fact, yet despite this I see numerous Spiritists, and others, claiming reincarnation is a fact based on his research. Stevenson himself never concluded reincarnation was a fact yet I am supposed to believe in conclusions of others, who did not spend 30 yrs researching the topic through case studies, speaking on his behalf and twisting his words.

I am just left doubting whether spirits, if they exist, know everything about life and the universe and God and about all other of the big life questions. I am not picking on Spiritists just pointing them out as one group that claims to have all the answers even though there seems to be a lot of red flags when it comes to Kardec and his claims of having asked 1000 questions of 10+ spirits and receiving consistent answers from all of them.

I find it interesting that the Spiritists I know cannot even address the simple red flags I raise which makes me think they, like other participants of organized religions, operate on blind faith and do not dare question anything claimed by their religion.

Suffice it to say I do not believe that spirits, if they exist, know the answer to life’s big questions. So when I hear peoplemtalking about spirit teachings and their explanation of suffering, I tend to shut down.

I hope I did not ramble too much.

Lee, Tue 27 Jul, 13:23

it’s not easy but I’ll try to explain what I think about those terrible and horrible events. I can’t take away the horrifying factor of those events and it is emotional difficult to search for a positive reason in it, but if the spirit teachers are right those victims will return home to a better place than earth, maybe they all have accomplished their goal and that is to create a shockwave to humanity so that they will be conscious of the fact that they are at the wrong path en need to change their mindset and actions. I think that all the wars in the Middle East will continue until all the sides will be respectfull and listen to each others viewpoint. Connection is important , not separation and domination. I think that the natural disasters and pandemic work the same way to say to humanity : ’ look what you are doing to nature and yourself!’ Do something about it!Change your pure greed mentality!
I’m not a medium , but sometimes there are thoughts that pop up in my mind,mostly in the early morning. The message I recieved this morning was: ’ Don’t look to what you missed in the past, but look out to what the future can offer you.The most important thing is to enjoy the now and to realize that even a small candle can light up a complete dark room.’

chris, Tue 27 Jul, 11:00

Michael, great post as usual.

Unlike most posting here I find myself losing faith in there being any meaning to life and the prospect of an existence of an afterlife. Having experienced suffering and witnessed others experience tremendous suffering, I wonder if there is really any meaning to life. As someone previously posted, Billions live in great poverty and suffer dreary lives of subsistence, experiencing little, if any, joy over the course of their existence. What of all those that died horrible, violent deaths in concentration camps and gulags or simply lived relatively long lives of quiet desperation through no fault of their own?

Our lives are over over in a flash compared to eternity so does anything even matter? Over 70 billion people have already lived and died and their experiences of joys and/or sufferings are now meaningless as these people no longer exist on this plane.

So much that happens in life seems to be based on nothing more than mere randomness. We try to find meaning when terrible things happen, for example as to why some lovely, kind family was killed in a car crash when hit by a drunk driver (who survives),on their way to church, when maybe there is no meaning and it was simply the cold elements of randomness and statistics at play?
What great knowledge is gained from such a tragedy or any other terrible misfortune?

As for evidence of an afterlife, I too am losing faith in this notion of consciousness survival as there is no single piece of conclusive evidence that our consciousness survives death. I have studied nde’s (they would be more evidential if they were death experiences but nobody experiencing an nde has actually died) and all other lines of “evidence” supporting the belief in consciousness survival, and even provided funds to support a scientist in their research of mediums.

Despite everything I have read, everyone I have spoken to, very impressive readings received from a medium with claimed messages from my dad, in addition to my mom and her brother having witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary in Lithuania (then communist USSR)not long after the end of ww2, I still find myself with no strong faith in the prospect of consciousness survival. 

I wonder if there is something wrong with my thinking given that I know a great deal about afterlife research - I am not lacking in faith due to a lack knowledge about the subject matter. Perhaps it is normal to question the possibility of consciousness survival even if one has studied the field of consciousness survival for many years? I am no Michael Shermer as I am not closed minded to the possibility of consciousness survival, I am just losing faith.

Perhaps those posting comments can try to take a stab at trying to answer my questions and allay my doubts. I would very much appreciate any responses.


Lee, Tue 27 Jul, 01:09

I suppose there is a fine line between criticizing what one says and criticizing the person who says it.  Not to be argumentative but you did say, and I quote, “I don’t know what else to say—you either get this or you don’t. Surely you, of all people, should know that Patience did get it,” I take that as a personal criticism rather than a refutation of the topic being discussed.

I did watch the hour-long lecture by Dr. Robert Cox and although the sound was problematic, I continued to the end.  I was not especially impressed with his discussion of spiritualism in the early 19th century finding it somewhat superficial, truncated and at times misleading and I don’t understand why it was necessary to inject race, feminism, and who really won the Civil War into the presentation.  There have been others who have attempted this also.  I have read a PhD thesis about Pearl Curran and Patience Worth that attempted to do that very same thing, suggesting that Pearl Curran was a stifled woman who could only gain recognition in the world of men by feigning the false personality of Patience Worth.  A book by another PhD attempted to paint Pearl Curran as an adulteress who out of frustration with her role in life bore an illegitimate child or attempted to hide the gossip that her step-daughter had the baby out of wedlock which Pearl later adopted Those ideas were written by English majors, erstwhile novelists who have since faded into anonymity not by scientists, psychologists, historians, spiritualists or anyone knowledgeable about the history of parapsychology or spiritism.

Spiritualism as a religion, thankfully has “withered’ but the spiritual basis of all realities as a natural scientific universal law is, at least in some quarters, growing stronger and one might be hopeful that it will bear ripe fruit as the growing conditions become more favorable with each passing season. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 26 Jul, 17:49

AOD, I am in full accord with your most recent post and meant no personal criticism in my prior comments. I have the highest regard for you and your work, as I’ve said here repeatedly, and if my words came off as a personal attack on you, as opposed to questioning the appropriateness of what you said in a particular context, then I used those words poorly and seek your forgiveness. As for the “flash in the pan,” you might consider the thrust of the video to which I linked in a short post below. How fast spiritualism grew! How fast it withered….

Newton E. Finn, Mon 26 Jul, 14:46

Art, for the most part I agree. See my blog on the subject of fun vs happinsess in the archives at December 19, 2018 or click on

As I see it, most people are trying to have “fun.” While the TV program “Friends” won all kinds of awards, it did more to encourage the fun lifestyle than anythings else.  Add in “Sex in the City,” another very popular program.  The advertising industry and Hollywood have brainwashed us with the idea that life is all about having fun.

Thanks to all for the comments thus far.

Michael Tymn, Sun 25 Jul, 19:22

Some might find this video of value, as I did, in coming to understand the historical context in which this thing called spiritualism arose. IMHO, we don’t talk enough these days, not nearly enough, about the sociopolitical impacts in THIS world of what we profess to believe about the next. There’s so much more to spiritualism, at its best, than personal consolation and metaphysical musing.

Newton E. Finn, Sun 25 Jul, 17:47

I have read your comment of 7/24/21 several times and I still am not sure of its intent as it seems to wander around with cloyed vague generalities.  Since you addressed it to me I feel obligated to respond when otherwise my inclination would be not to comment at all.  However, the last two sentences of your comment seem to imply a criticism of me. I may have misinterpreted those sentences but I am offended by your attempt to lecture me.

Human tragedies may be inconsolable. There are no words or philosophies, religious or otherwise that can soothe a broken heart in the throes of despair.  A caring minister, priest, rabbi or imam would not offer religious dogma or secular platitudes at such a time.  It must be very difficult for you as a minister at such times to provide consolation to those whose soul has been mortally wounded.  No words suffice; only a loving presence will provide solace.

I doubt that Jesus would have thought that spiritualism was a “flash in the pan” or superficial or flippant as in my opinion Jesus was the first true Spiritualist.  He spoke of our “Father which art in heaven”; He healed the sick, raised the dead, walked on water and is reported to have spoken with spirits including the “Evil One”.  He acknowledged in his hour of agonies that the thief crucified next to him would “this day” be with him in paradise and it is reported that he appeared as an apparition to his disciples and others after his death.  All of these things are spiritual in nature and many of them are duplicated by so-called mediums of today and yesteryear.  Jesus himself indicated that his disciples would do even greater things than these. He said that if one has faith or belief,  even a small amount the size of a mustard seed, one can move mountains.

That is a difficult concept to accept and it is likely that Jesus was speaking figuratively not literally but miracles do occur, even today as documented in much of the spiritualist literature. An acknowledgement of the spiritual nature underlying all realities is the basic tenet of Spiritualism; hardly superficial, flippant or a flash-in-the-pan.  Those looking for religious dogmas in spiritualism will be disappointed as there are none.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sun 25 Jul, 15:40

Art, I didn’t get an answer on my question: do you believe that mediums, spirit teachings and communications and NDE’s ruin our lessons in separation? Aren’t we missing something? Did your never had joy in your life? The birth of a child, to see a butterfly on a flower, to hear a blackbird sing his song in the evening….or do you only memorise the negative emotions. A few years ago I was totally negative in my thinking too, but now I try to see more to the positive things in life, how small they may seem to be. I must admit, there are negative days and experiences too, but wenn you look arround you there is also some good stuff , you just have to notice them and keep them in your memory.

Chris De Cat, Sun 25 Jul, 15:07

I have read several times people saying things like “we’re here to have fun” or “we’re here to be happy.”  If that were true just how many people are happy or having fun?  One of my sisters in law, who is Indonesian, once told me that there are people in Indonesia who are vegetarian not by choice but because they are so poor that they can’t afford to buy meat. 

If the reason we are here is to be happy or have fun then why is there so much suffering and pain in this life?  And if this were true then whoever or whatever created this world we live in did a miserable job of it?  There are literally billions of people who live in poverty and every day is full of suffering. 

The only way to even try and understand this life is to do it with eyes wide open, realistically, and try and figure if there is a reason for all this pain and suffering and separation? 

I have done that by trying to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together and make sense of it all.  And the only thing that makes sense to me is that the pain and suffering and separation exist for a reason, and that the differences between where we are and where we are going are so radically different that there are simply things we can learn here that can’t be learned in heaven? 

Can you learn to drive a car simply by reading a book about it?  No, the only way to learn how to drive a car is by getting in one and driving it.  The same is true of riding a bicycle or flying and airplane.  You have to climb in one and learn how it feels.  And the same thing is true of being in a body and learning how to control it.  What it means and how it feels to be embodied, how to control it, and how it feels, tastes, smells, sound, and looks.  Which is something that if you were pure spirit and had never been in a body before you wouldn’t even be able to relate to. 

If time and space are so radically different in heaven than they are here how would you be able to understand them if you hadn’t spent some time here and experienced them? 

And the more emotion these experiences evoke the more we will remember them.  Emotion makes the memories last,

Time and the near death experience,

Art Riechert, Sun 25 Jul, 04:26

Dear AOD: the words you’ve said are precisely the kinds of words that would have stuck in my throat had I tried to say them at that memorial service. Spiritualism, at its worst, lacks the weight and depth of existential anguish that so many must endure down here (and yes, I know, you’ve had more than your share, my friend). The worst in spiritualism tends to lapse into a form of Gnosticism, which flees to the spiritual to avoid the harshest, most searing impact of the physical, the Not-God in which we are inextricably immersed. For example, there’s a book out there called “The Fun of Dying.” While there’s no doubt much of value in this book (I very much like the author), just juxtapose that title with the circumstances of the demise of my cousin and her family, or innumerable other unspeakable tragedies. One reason, I suspect, that spiritualism has not taken a firmer hold on the human heart and imagination, turned out instead to be a kind of flash in the pan, is this strain of superficiality, almost flippancy, which surfaces in it again and again. Even Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, agonized over what was to come, his sweat being like drops of blood. There was no fun here, no bigger grander picture in which to lose himself and escape the overwhelming anxiety. And he died, this most loving and wise of human beings, the pattern for us all according to bedrock spiritualist teaching, with a cry of despair—that his God, his tender loving Abba, had inexplicably deserted him at his most pressing moment of need. I don’t know what else to say—you either get this or you don’t. Surely you, of all people, should know that Patience did get it, which is why she shines like a diamond, and always will, in spiritualist literature.

Newton E. Finn, Sat 24 Jul, 15:58

All of the definitions of ‘evil’ are subjective. That is, there is no definition of evil which is not based upon cultural or religious morality or personal beliefs. There is no evil in God’s created world.  Yes, there are circumstances that cause harm to other people and suffering or destroy things but one man’s suffering may be another man’s blessing.  I recall a fable of a Chinese farmer’s son who broke his leg causing him much pain and suffering and curtailing his activities on the farm but as a result of the broken leg he escaped conscription in the Chinese army where he would have surely died.  But because of the broken leg he was able to stay home, heal his leg, continue to live and help his father on the farm. The story went on from there with each seeming bad thing that happened to the farmer bringing something good, depending upon one’s perspective of course.

Pain and suffering might be viewed from at least two perspectives.  One, is the perspective of the person experiencing the pain and/or suffering and the other is the perspective of those watching, for example, a loved one dying. These two perspectives might be at completely opposite ends.  Sometimes death may be seen as a benefit especially if one has suffered for a long time or would survive only to live dependent upon others for every daily need. If one is a true spiritualist then that understanding is more acceptable than if one is a materialist.

Some people who experience a near death experience come back to tell the tale of feeling all-encompassing love and bliss, of wholeness and completion in another reality at the time their body was going through the death agony. To those watching at the bedside the pain and suffering seemed to be grotesque and unbearable but to the one whose body was suffering, their consciousness was away in a reality peopled by those who loved them. And for those who have completed their transition to the other side, they are unanimous in that they say they do not want those left behind to grieve for them or to live with the memory of their pain and suffering rather to go on with their life with joy and gladness knowing that their loved one is happy and made whole and they will all get together again sometime. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 23 Jul, 22:08

What Art says in reply to Sharon (and to the rest of us) paints a beautiful picture, as best it can be painted in this world, of the kind of sublime reality that awaits us in the next. I would add only a few supplementary strokes to his portrait. Many years ago, as a young clergyman, I was called upon to deliver the eulogy at the memorial service of my dear cousin, her husband, and their two babies, all of whom perished in a housefire. They found the body of my cousin, with her two babies in her arms, just inside the front door through which she was trying to escape. A traditional eulogy relating tender memories of loved ones didn’t seem to cut it under these excruciating circumstances. Nor did words about how this life is nothing but a mirage, a school in which we learn important lessons, a mere blink of the eye in light of eternity. So I wound up talking about the mystery of creation as I saw it: how God, in order to create something other than Himself (and to have communion with it) apparently had to create Not-God; how unity had to create diversity; oneness, separation; intentionality, randomness; eternity, time; good, evil; etc., somewhat along the lines of what Art has said. In such a world of Not-God, I went on, tragic and senseless events like this housefire must be able to occur without continual divine intervention (miracles being not only by definition, but also necessity, extremely rare). Only then, I felt, after having said these things, could I begin to talk about the glorious reunion in heaven that awaited us, where even the most unbearable suffering, like that we were experiencing, could and would be redeemed. I tried to explain that while grotesque, life-shattering events often caused us to abandon belief in a loving God, they could also impel us to even deeper faith and trust, because only a loving God and the afterlife He created for us could right unspeakable wrongs. So I think it important—indeed, imperative—that when we talk about the sublimity of ultimate reality (as we should and must) we do so in stark and unflinching recognition of how dark it can get in this world of Not-God—how, as Albert Schweitzer observed with a shudder, pain and suffering can reach an intensity that breaks even the strongest human spirit. This most fearful and vexing enigma we must also leave in His hands.

Newton E. Finn, Fri 23 Jul, 19:24

Sharon, “Evil” is just another way of experiencing separation, in all its myriad manifestation.  Life is one great big long lesson in separation, from the moment we are born and separate from our mothers and the umbilical cord is cut in two until the day we die and our death becomes a lesson in separation to our loved ones we leave behind.  Religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, race, culture, language, dialects, money, looks, weight and height, color of hair, socio-economic status, the car we drive, the clothes we wear, tattoos, body piercings, the sound of voices, these are just a few of the ways we experience separation in this life. 

Why?  Because on the other side, the place we call heaven, the feelings of oneness and connectedness are so overwhelming and powerful due to its holographic nature, that it may be impossible to know or understand what it means or how it feels to be separate, unique, or individual.  Without first coming here we would be like Borg drones without any knowledge or understand of what it means or how it feels to be separate or individual? 

People who have NDEs routinely say that when they were on the other side they felt an overwhelming feeling of oneness and connectedness, so much so that they say “I literally felt like I was the Universe”, or “Me and the Universe were one.”  If you were pure consciousness, spirit, and had never been in a body or experienced separation how would you know what it felt like to be an individual?  It would be like being part of a vast giant cloud of pure consciousness.  Sort of like when we were gametes in our parents bodies, part of them but with the potential of one day being our own separate person.  When we are born we are connected to our parents but we spend our lives working on becoming our own person.  The mistake a lot of Darwinists make is thinking that their offspring are them, that somehow just because they are carrying their DNA that makes them immortal in the sense that their DNA has been carried on to the next generation, but it isn’t so because the environment that they grew up in, and the things they experienced turned them into their own persons, with individual feelings and memories. 

This Earth life is a school that exists to teach us the things that can’t be learned in heaven, which happens because the physics of heaven is very different from the physics of where we are now.  How do I know this?  Because people who have NDEs routinely describe a place where the physics is very different from here.  It is a place where time and space exist all at once and where they feel like they are totally connected from everything else, saying “I simply had to think of a subject and I knew everything about it” or “I thought of a place and time and I was there experiencing everything about it.”  Jesus (who I believe was also a near death experiencer) said to the Pharisees “don’t you know you are gods?” 

This life is temporary and an illusion, a holographic projection designed to teach us the things that we will need on the other side to maintain our sense of individuality, and we will use this information to create and experience a life on the other side of our own making.  Heaven is a “ideoplastic” meaning that it is a place where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality, where the way we think affects what we experience, even much more than here. 

“It does not matter that we leave family and friends behind because time becomes irrelevant. It is certain that once we enter the spirit realm, it will be just a blink of the eye before they join us.” (Mac Wright)

“Before we’re born, we have to take an oath that we will pretend time and space are real so we can come here and advance our spirit. If you don’t promise, you can’t be born.” (Jeanie Dicus)

“Space and time are illusions that hold us to the physical realm; in the spirit realm, all is present simultaneously.” (Beverly Brodsky)

“Time did not make any sense. Time did not seem to apply. It seemed irrelevant. It was unattached to anything, the way I was. Time is only relevant when it is relative to the normal orderly sequential aspects of life. So I was there for a moment or for eternity. I cannot say but it felt like a very long time to me.” (Grace Bubulka)

“During an NDE, you can’t tell if you were in that light for a minute of a day or a hundred years.” (Jayne Smith)

Time and the Near Death Experience:

Art Riechert, Fri 23 Jul, 13:49

The fact that truths are often ridiculed when they are first brought up doesn’t mean that every idea (“scientific” or otherwise) that is ridiculed is true. That’s a logical error that crackpots often make.

Ross, Fri 23 Jul, 06:18

Thankyou Art Reinhart for your comment about the need for us all to experience separation.  This resonates with me, and makes sense.

Also, I don’t understand Evil. What is the role of it?  Is it merely a learning experience? But to learn what? I could understand that it would maybe teach the perpetrator, later on perhaps when they experience the suffering that they caused during the life review? But what about the victims? What is the lesson here?

Thanks to all for a most interesting group of posts.

Sharon Marie hobson, Wed 21 Jul, 18:32

Ulysses,I’ve been reading all day topics and channeling prints of Kryon and I must say that I’m intrigued by the fact that a lot of his ideas match with the ideas that I wrote down in my(not yet published) books. Other story and words but same ideas.Thanks again for that usefull link.

chris, Wed 21 Jul, 16:37

That all things ultimately work out for the good (to paraphrase apostle Paul and commenter Art) is true, no doubt, on a certain level. But it does not mean that everything that happens in this world is part of a perfect plan in which all things unfold as they were divinely intended. Such a blanket statement, to be blunt, is New Age drivel which should be discerned away in light of profounder teachings, deeper and harder truths. To make my point, I need only cite one example: Imperators’ take on the crucifixion of Jesus. “Prematurely was that Divine Life cut short by human ignorance and malignity…. The drama of Calvary was of man’s not God’s devising. It was not the eternal purpose of God that Jesus should die when the work of the the Christ was just commencing. That was man’s work, foul, evil, accursed…. Had the full life of Jesus been completed on earth, what vast, what incalculable blessings would men have reaped?” Spiritualism teaches us that, on this side of the veil, we are engaged in perpetual spiritual warfare, that our souls are at stake in this conflict, and that the forces of evil, while not focused in a single devil, are strong, powerful, and relentless. This is just one of many important areas where that thing called discernment is of crucial significance, the acquisition of sufficient wisdom (always imperfect) to separate spiritual wheat from chaff.

Newton E. Finn, Wed 21 Jul, 16:20

Do skeptics expect too much?

Or are they not real skeptics at all, according to Dr Raymond Moody who explained many times that original Greek skeptics refrained from reaching any conclusion at all, and only endeavoured to further examine and research their subject unlike the nay sayers… Many today skeptics are therefore debunkers, who should “shut up or put up” (V Zammit), as they do not further research, but obfuscate and ridicule it, instead of offering their own research…

Michael Tymn points to several spirits or soul groups who had some very meaningfull things to say.  Maybe skeptics would rather want to hear about new discoveries or insights in quantum theory ?

Well, that also has been provided by the spirit world.  By none other than ALBERT EINSTEIN and NOCOLA TESLA !

This one can read about in two French books, one by the French medium Geneviève Delpech, “Le don d’ailleurs, autobiographie d’une medium” and Didier Van Cauwelaert’s “Au dela de l’impossible”.

Delpeche, (widow of Jean-Michel Delpeche, famous singer - “pour un flirt” - and writer)
a renowend medium, was surprised to be awoken by apparitions of Einstein and later Tesla, who dictated her messages.  She sends these by phone (sms) to her friend, the writer Van Cauwelaert, who photographes them for proof.

In 2015 Delpeche is awakend by Einstein’s apparition, telling her in French

“I am everywhere at the same time, it’s magnificent, and my compass is now 132 years old, so you’ll know it is me.”

Indeed, when little Albert was 4 years old, his father gave him as a present a compass, which aroused in him his conviction then and there, to become a scientist in order to discover this strange action at a distance as measured by his compass…  (Alive, Einstein said he believed in an afterlife, simply because energy can not die, it circulates, transforms and never stops.)

Thus started several apparitions, and both scientists had some interesting things to say as one can imagine.  Einstein talked among other things about “gravitational waves” - then undiscoverd.  Tesla, who dictated some 40 messages between dec 2015 and june 2016, even provided referals to some of his earlier papers, page numbers included.  One of the more comprehensible things Tesla said was:

“Consciousness is a non local phenomenon, as old as the physical universe.  Alive, humans have their consciousness in the structure of the microtubules of their brain, providing a link between that brain and their soul.”

This information is now more than 6 years old.  Have you read any serious examinations of what these giants had to say ?  By any one ? Oh, you can see some debates with Van Cauwelaert and some “skeptics” who of course did not examine the subject, but had all sorts of conjectures about it.  Catch a glimpse on you tube of some of these French television debates :

Intervieuw with Van Cauwelaert about his book:

With David Fontana, former past president and vice president of the SPR and Chair of the SPR Survival Research Commitee I concur that we should not concern our selves with these skeptics-debunkers, but should do our research ourselves instead of trying to convince them. Although Michael Tymn has surely done his best at it and he is commended for it, enlightening most of us, with long forgotten facts and researchers pointing to survival.

Theo De Weert, Wed 21 Jul, 15:31

Dear Art,

I often withdraw from many pursuits, though classical music is soothing. My father said I would appreciate it more in latter/later - listening to Radio 3’s composer of the week, William Byrd as I write. Dear Michael Tymm, my dreams of playing cricket for England only lasted a matter of months in reality.

I kissed my father on the lips, days before his passing at the North Middlesex Hospital in London and saw his eyes again in my beautiful great niece who appears already to possess some of his mannerisms.

At a bit of a loose end and am grateful to have found the time and space for these beautiful and consoling writings.

Thank you Art, Michael and so many more for your insight and company.

Michael, Wed 21 Jul, 12:52

Thank you, Ulysses, for the link. I downloaded the link to the Q&A after reading some topics. Very interesting thoughts. It seems to be a very ‘humancentric’ vision. For example : an onion seems to have the main purpose to feed us,humans. I know that we are using them for that reason, but is that the only reason for its excistance,I ask myself.

chris, Wed 21 Jul, 11:26

Amos,hopefully you are right about the third stage about to be entered.  I’m not so optimistic on a short range basis, maybe 50-plus years after some major catastrophes.

Michael Tymn, Tue 20 Jul, 19:44

This life is exactly the way it is supposed to be.  I have 30 graduate hours towards a Masters Degree in Holistic Teaching and Learning.  What it means to learn holistically is that the lessons we are learning are embedded in our everyday lives and we are learning even when we don’t know it! In much the same way a person learns about angles and geometry and math while building a dog house, or learning about physics and chemistry while making a cake we are learning about what it is like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time Universe.  Simply by being here we are learning the things we came here to learn. 

This Universe we are in now is very different physically than the dimension that is described in near death experience descriptions.  The other place seems to be a place of overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness and where time and space don’t exist in the same way they do here.  Mark H says in his NDE description, “There is no distance here. So time does not exist.”  And Mark Horton describes in his NDE description, “From this vantage point, I had to merely think of a place and time and I was there, experiencing everything about the place and time and people present.” 

And by the way Mark Horton and Mark H are two different people but they are two of my favorite NDE descriptions.

I have read so many NDE descriptions that have said things like “I felt like I was the Universe” or “me and the Universe were one.”  What they are describing is holographic film or the physics of holographic film.  Michael Talbot in his book The Holographic Universe says that in holographic film each piece contains the whole and everything is connected and everything interpenetrates everything.  Isn’t this what Mark Horton is describing in his NDE description?  Michael Talbot says “At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously.”

They are both saying the same thing which I find very evidential.  The physics of the quantum world and holographic film is the physics of the place we call heaven.  And when we get there it feels just as familiar to us and feels like home just as much or more than where we are now.   

We are now living in the holographic projection from the place we call heaven which means that everything that we see around us here exists there only on the other side it is the physics of holographic film, oneness and connectedness, and here it is the world of separation and time and space that we experience. 

One last thing, in Michelle M’s NDE description she says “I felt an understanding about life, what it was, is. As if, it was a dream in itself. It’s so very hard to explain this part. I’ll try, but my words limit the fullness of it. I don’t have the words here, but I understood that it really didn’t matter what happened in the life experience. I knew/understood that it was intense, brief, but when we were in it, it seemed like forever. I understood that whatever happened in life, I was okay, and so were the others here.”

We are all doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing and the more emotion we experience with these experiences the more we will remember them.  Because emotions make the memory last.

Art Riechert, Tue 20 Jul, 19:42

Chris, you may like to read about Kryon ( a Spirit Guide that that communicates through Lee Carroll.

Ulysses, Tue 20 Jul, 19:15

Thanks to Wendy Zammit for catching an error in the Imperator quote in the third graph.  It should read “and none may wrest it to himself….”

Michael Tymn, Tue 20 Jul, 18:28

Although Dr. Shermer states an extremely trivial version of it, the problem of radical, pervasive evil, not only in human behavior but in nature itself (red tooth, red claw), has always been the strongest argument against the existence of a loving God or other benevolent force responsible for creation as we know it. Even Imperator, for all of his impressive teaching about the afterlife and the necessity of our struggle to overcome hardship in this life to prepare it, has no answer for the deepest thrust of this question about radical, pervasive evil, pleading ignorance, even from the other side, of an adequate explanation. So with inexcusable folly and presumption, let me offer a fleeting thought (hardly original, I presume) about this most deeply disturbing and perplexing subject. If you, if any human being no matter how much suffering he or she has experienced, could with a finger snap erase the existence of the universe such that it never was, would you? And if you wouldn’t, then is not the universe as it is, as we can see it only from our limited perspective, ultimately good in some overriding sense, at least more good than evil? This finger snap test holds, I believe, whether or not there is a God or a reincarnation process or an afterlife, by which all might be rectified and redeemed. And please, before you come back at me with some spiel about how everything fits beautifully into some perfect plan, when seen from an elevated perspective, imagine saying that to the mother of a toddler who just crushed her little one under the wheels of her car while backing out of the driveway.

Newton E. Finn, Tue 20 Jul, 17:53

Michael, thank you for the links . I have read them with a lot of interest and shall continue my reading about their messages that they recieved. In my earlier post I wrote BDE in stead of NDE. BDE is the dutch translation of NDE.Sorry for that mistake.

Chris De Cat, Tue 20 Jul, 11:09

Amos,don’t worry…I try to keep an open mind. I know that there are different spirit teachings and that you don’t can believe everything they say. Some spirits themselves will admit that and say that you must not accept what you feel that isn’t right. But everybody is looking for the truth…that’s progression I think. Does that mean that everybody at this Now-moment needs to have the same truth? I think not, believe what you want but keep on searching…it is your path and your decision as long as you have respect to others AND their opinions. You may ask questions and give your opinion or advise ,but never impose it to others with blind force. Does that mean that there are no dogma’s?(I prefer to call them ‘basics’, because dogma has a negative sound and meaning these days and I think there are but a few).
What about ‘the necessity of being’? You can say that we are living in an illusion or that we are just a bunch of atoms, molecules and cells who are working together and combine their activity…can you ignore the being of the illusion in the one opinion or the being of let say the atoms in the other opinion? And there may ‘be’ thousands of other opinions on that issue. So let keep us searching with an open mind and share our ideas and opinions with the respect they all deserve…isn’t that what this beautifull blog is all about?
@ Art. Interesting thoughs but I have one question:
if its all about the experience of separation, does the work of the mediums, the spirit communications, BDE’s etc. not ruin the experience? Or can it be the purpose that we learn from an starting point of the idea of separation that we are not separated, but that we are all connected?

Chris De Cat, Tue 20 Jul, 06:29

To answer Chris’s question about 21st Century teachers, the two that immediately come to mind are Sanaya, apparently a group soul that communicates through medium Suzanne Giesemann, and Rio Do Tempo, a Group Soul that communicates via DVR with Anabela Cardoso.  See my blogs of November 29, 2010 and June 25, 2018 for info on Giesemann and that of December 4, 2017 for info on Cardoso in the archives at left.

Michael Tymn, Tue 20 Jul, 01:34

These people who call themselves “skeptics” are not skeptics. They are people with rigid beliefs that are just spouting those beliefs. If they use the word “supernatural,” that is based on the false premise that certain phenomena are not natural, and the false assumption that the speaker knows the difference. Watch out for vocabulary!

Bob Gebelein, Tue 20 Jul, 00:07

Wise words, Art.
Thank you.

Jon, Mon 19 Jul, 21:56

This Earth life is a school. We simply experience here the things we can’t learn in heaven. Life is meant to be hard. Emotion and memory are linked and the more emotional the experience the more we remember. The things we learn have to be powerful enough to overcome those feelings of oneness and connectedness and lack of time and space in heaven. We experience duality and separation in order for the soul to be imprinted with what it means and how it feels to be separate, unique, individual.

We here in the physical universe can’t begin to understand the powerful feelings of oneness and connectedness in the Spiritual Universe due to it’s holographic nature. Because of those feelings of oneness and connectedness, as reported by so many near death experiencers, it may not be possible to develop a sense of “self” or separateness in Heaven. It may have be done here and the way the soul does it is by being imprinted with separation, over and over again, enough to last for trillions of years. Duality means stuff like religion, politics, race, language, culture, wealth, looks, height and weight, color, dialects, gender, sexual orientation, etc. All the labels that we wear in life that make us feel separate, unique, individual.

As for physical suffering, it imprints on the soul the physical parameters of the body. What it means and how it feels to be inside a body. To inhabit a body. The difference between feeling warm and feeling hot is a matter of degree. Same with cold. Each touch, both positive and negative, like a bit of computer code, imprinting on the soul the physical parameters of the body. Stub your toe, hit your funny bone, scratch an itch, paper cuts, brush your hair or your teeth, eat a hot pepper, burns, touch your face, feel the wind against your skin, and it’s sending little bits of code to the collective unconscious of what it feels like to be in a body.

Life’s lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and the soul learns holistically what it’s supposed to learn whether we want it to or not. In much the same way that children learn how to talk or a baby duck imprints on it’s mother after it hatches out of the egg. Holistically. We don’t have to do jack squat.

Because of the holographic nature of the other side all knowledge, and information, on the other side is shared. What one knows everyone knows. We come here not to be assimilated like some kind of Borg, but exactly the opposite, to become unassimilated. To learn what it means to be separate.

The death of someone we love is the ultimate lesson in separation. Nothing else comes close. Not divorce, not friends moving away, nothing imprints on the soul what it means to be separate quite like losing someone you love. The more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates. Enough to last for eternity.

We may never be allowed to know absolutely for certain that there is life after death because if we knew absolutely 100% for certain that one day we were going to be reunited forever with the loved ones we’ve lost, death would lose a little bit of it’s sting and power over us.

Everything happens for a reason, even the bad stuff. But keep in mind, compared to eternity, our lives here are like the blink of eye.

Art Riechert, Mon 19 Jul, 19:07

I think one has to be careful to not accept everything conjured spirits say as truth.  There may be some insights in what they say but they are not omniscient. One might regard them as one would regard any living person who pontificates about the nature of reality, including a spiritual world. What they say may be interesting to hear and there might be some congruency with one’s own thoughts but most communication from non-embodied consciousnesses is their own perspective on things or interpretations of their mediums, albeit maybe from a non-physical reality but maybe not!  Interesting, yes, but not to be turned into religious dogma and blindly followed.

Spiritual realities are much bigger than can be imagined and each consciousness influences and constructs the realities which they experience in the afterlife.  There seem to be some constants however, of which the over-riding one is love.  I know that sounds trite or too simple but the spiritual definition of love is very broad, non-sexual and includes caring for other entities including non-human entities, that is, un-evolved consciousnesses which might be plants and animals.

Spiritual communications from yesteryear are being replaced in the modern era by near death experiences, EVP and by mediums who provide accurate discernments from people who have departed, people who just want to let their family know that they still exist or perhaps provide information related to unanswered questions.  How much more assuring to hear from one’s departed relative than to listen to ever-expanding expositions from Imperator, Cora Richman or Swedenborg.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 19 Jul, 18:41

Thanks Michael.
Very interesting.

Paul, Mon 19 Jul, 18:13

Does anyone know some 21th Century spirit Teachers with messages of the same dept and quality than those of the beginning of the 20th century? My favorite teacher is Master-Mind of the Green book.
I know Seth was one of the second half of the 20th century but after him? The spirit teachers with messages to Ken Hanson (first years of 21th century) have mostly not that deep knowledge. It’s more that they want to teach us more morality and a better attitude towards things and they keep it simple. And I think that is the correct way to make the ‘spiritual change of the masses’. Difficult teachings are very usefull for the people who already are familiar with spiritualism but they will frighten people who don’t know nothing about it. The enemies of spiritualism as mentioned have seemingly been disappointed or failed in spiritualism…but maybe they expected to much. You can hope and have desires, but the exact realisation of what you expect, it seldom the case. I agree with Amos…don’t worry to much, stay positive…welcome to the third stage.

chris, Mon 19 Jul, 16:18

Every play needs its villains.  History is replete with them.  What would moral and scientific advancement be without argument and opposition from the learned. Someone once proposed that the process of acknowledging a truth is broken down into three stages:

1.  The first stage is ridicule. When a new idea or concept is brought up, it’s so strange that it’s completely absurd. People cannot fathom this idea and how it fits into their lives, so they simply laugh at how impossible it seems.

2.  The second stage is opposition. After a new concept hasn’t made it past the first stage, people begin to worry that it’s here to stay. A few might support the concept, but most will resist because they see it as a threat to everything they’re familiar with.

3.  The third stage is self-evident. There is increasing evidence that supports the idea, which goes from having a few early supporters to entering the mainstream. A majority of people support the fact and come to accept it as a given.

I think that as far as survival of human consciousness after death of the body is concerned, the third stage is about to be entered. All is well.  Everything is proceeding as it should. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 19 Jul, 14:00

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“Life After Death – The Communicator” by Paul Beard – If the telephone rings, naturally the caller is expected to identify himself. In post-mortem communication, necessitating something far more complex than a telephone, it is not enough to seek the speakers identity. One needs to estimate also as far as is possible his present status and stature. This involves a number of factors, overlapping and hard to keep separate, each bringing its own kind of difficulty. Four such factors can readily be named. Read here
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