In fact I DO agree with you. As Mike remarks, the apparent difference of view is in the semantics, not in the substance, not in the thought before the attempt to verbalise it. As I have often said, words are no good. We have to take as much care as we can when using them. The difference between people that you now point out is certainly a substantial and very real one, so I apologise for not expressing myself precisely enough to discern the exact shape of what I believe. I’ll look again at what I said . . .
Eric Franklin, Wed 7 Dec, 12:11
Thanks for your last comment and the link to your well-stated article. I know we are on the same page and the only differences are in the semantics of it all. I hope you are doing better.
Michael Tymn, Tue 6 Dec, 06:03
I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you on the relative difficulty of “forgiving” vs. “believing.”
There is indeed (or at least there certainly appears to be) such a thing a a “will to disbelief.” We’ve all seen it prominently displayed by MANY well-known (and even more anonymous) atheists, “humanists” and other assorted materialists. While I’ve never been able to understand how otherwise highly intelligent people could so firmly clutch onto a viewpoint that, if pressed, they’d have great difficulty enunciating the logic of, it would seem that their stance, even with its inconsistencies, is essentially “intelligence-based.”
On the other hand—I suspect we’ve all known people of that ilk who can otherwise be some of the nicest people in the world—including being highly forgiving in many circumstances. Those who DO have difficulty in forgiving (and who in many cases, just plain don’t have any INTEREST in forgiving) tend, I think, to base their attitudes not on any type of intellectual evaluation, but rather than on the much more ancient “animal instincts” that still reside so close to the surface in some of us. A whole different ballgame, and one that’s not going to be won by logic.
According to everything we hear from the spirit-side, even these “lower-level” humans will, ultimately, reach the point of development that we’re all striving towards…but I wouldn’t expect conspicuous acts of “forgiveness” to start magically surfacing among them any time in the immediate future…
Don Porteous, Mon 5 Dec, 18:50
Dear Mike, and dear Newton,
I am in complete accord with you both, but our words may differ somewhat. What use were words, ever? They create more misunderstanding and war than any other invention of man’s mind, though he didn’t have to INVENT his tendency to greed, selfishness, LEGALISM, and a lot else - THAT was just there as in an animal with less consciousness and conscience than humans have inherently.
Perhaps man’s invented or distorted religions have caused just as much evil as his invented or mind-complicated religions. But wordlessly we three are a little group gathered together in Yahshua’s name, in his MANNER OF HEART AND MIND, and He is present in that spiritual oneness. Newton is right. And you’re right, the dancing tables get the attention of those who are being led (whether they know it yet or not) towards the same Father’s arms. It is quite something, for me, to be able to write in this way, of MY father’s arms, having had the most absent present father in the world’s history. I am being truthful, not unkind to him. He is forgiven - just. Don may like to agree that forgiving is just as hard as believing. He also is one of the group gathered in love, and many others will be.
Imperfectly thought out and written in haste as always.
Eric Franklin, Mon 5 Dec, 09:36
Incisive questions you ask, Michael, and many books have been written to try to answer them. Surely there are many ways to love God, each religious tradition—indeed, each individual believer—having fashioned ways of life to honor, and, yes, worship, the Author of life itself. I can speak only as a Christian here, uncomfortable as I am with that word in light of the checkered history of the institutional church. I much prefer “follower of Jesus” with the qualification “lukewarm” or “half-hearted.”
So what does this following entail, this way of life which expresses and ever intensifies the love of God, the One, the All, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, whom Jesus nevertheless addresses by the intimate name of “Abba” and vividly, albeit metaphorically, describes in parable after parable? Here’s my best shot—at least a timely one, if nothing else, as the holiday season comes upon us:
As I see it, Michael, the entire corpus of your work, books and blog, have been a large part of your own way, uniquely fashioned, to love God—a decades-long endeavor to keep alive, against all odds, a compelling thread of His continuing revelation. Does not that thread reach its apex, for many who attempt to trace it, in the teachings of Imperator, teachings delivered in adoration of an incomprehensible yet personal God, teachings delivered under the sign of the cross?
Newton Finn, Mon 5 Dec, 00:59
I believe we can no more worship God than we can love Him/Her, but we can be in awe, and full of admiration, especially when we think we detect that He/She has performed a little miracle of protection for us (I have experienced not a few of those). Just as Don, in his recent book, says that faith/belief is hard, so is worship, and so is love. We simply cannot do these things, but are aware of our insincerity when we claim that we do. We are ALL woefully inadequate, but we believe God loves us still, but we cannot love Him/Her. Does anyone really believe that a nice bit of classical harmony, from voices or organ, with its Diabolos-in-Musica and its comma of Pythagoras out-of-tuneness can possibly be acceptable as valuable worship to God? Of course it can’t, BUT He/She is infinitely pitying towards us Inadequates. So we must, I think, give up trying (which only produces church buildings, paintings, hymns, regular church attendance, and the like but can never produce real difference of HEART, and acknowledge to God that we CANNOT please Him/Her and let him support us in the everlasting arms (that verse somewhere in Deuteronomy - remember?) and just accept that saving us is His/Her work, not anything we can do for ourselves. What arrogance to think that we can do ANYthing for ourselves! We MUST just rest in the loving arms.
Eric Franklin, Sun 4 Dec, 22:00
Thanks for the explanation. It all makes sense to me and is consistent with my convictions. I just don’t see the conflict with “dancing tables.” It may very well be that dancing tables are produced by low-level spirits, but they are intended to attract the nihilists.
Michael Tymn, Sun 4 Dec, 21:36
Brotherly love. I don’t think I need say much here. Greek philein, I believe. Newton will know the Greek far better than I do. It’s obvious, I think, that whilst one does not act sexually towards one’s brother, one does help him. The help, gladly given, is the love. My elder brother is helpful to me, a good adviser. I know of two brothers, very young, one of whom fled and got home to safety when his slightly younger brother, holding his scooter as he also tried to flee from a group of neighbouring children who came upon them both in a narrow alley between their houses attacked both children. The older brother in that case did not help, but saved himself - and was, I believe, admonished by their parents. One would have to say that the older brother did not in that circumstance show love, but fear. So, there, love is the opposite of what I have related, not so much a feeling, let alone a romantic feeling, but an action.
But romantic love, eros, is very real too. One has to tread carefully when describing what actions it may entail, especially among strangers who think themselves society’s guardians, for those actions are not the same for all. What one wife, safe in her husband’s known and trusted romantic feelings, enjoys privately is no one else’s business unless it harms her not fulfils her, and that cannot be legislated for (Law often utterly destroys the very thing it seeks to protect, in this case the PRIVATE love of man and wife, and especially her physical safety, for example) and is horrifyingly anathema to another wife. Divorce is then the option that brings love - though our society is not yet fully realising for the RIGHT reasons that the invention of legal marriage was SO bad an idea, though the principle of loving service, in all life’s situations, is an excellent idea.“Happy is that man whose conscience doeth not condemn him in that which he alloweth”. I shall say no more on this matter but “Live and let live, according to your own and your wife’s natures” - and (society will probably never learn this) do not make laws of marriage that in reality destroy the lives of its participants, or, if you have the courage to do so, IGNORE those laws because you know that the way you DO want to live with another will fulfil, whereas legalism would destroy.
And there is love of God. I believe we CANNOT love God because we cannot form any worthwhile impression of that Being as a person - we just don’t know romantic, or most other kinds (except as a general principle of behaviour), of love for an unknown person, but we CAN seek to apply the ethics we have formed in our ordinary lives to the Great Being, and so at least seek to be and to do something that just might please God - and then, having done all, to stand, in TRUST that God’s pity for our utter unsatisfactoriness will be granted His/Her acceptance. NOTHING, Paul says, in Romans, if I remember correctly, can separate us from the love of God. Quite a good thing, that, when you consider how utterly awful we must seem from a viewpoint that high.
The fourth Greek word, storge, in pidgeon English, means some other kind of social love, I believe, though I don’t recall exactly.
This makes no claim to be an adequate treatise. It is straight off the top of my head, and it will be very stupid to hold lots of verbal inquests on it, so please do not do that. If that happens I may opt out (but I shall not cop out).
Eric Franklin, Sun 4 Dec, 15:19
In haste, having read half your poem, on the matter of foreknowledge, and whether it takes away our free will. NO IT DOES NOT.
God knows in advance what we will think, do, say. The key to the absolute removal of this apparent problem is that WE DO NOT KNOW WHT THE FUTURE HOLDS. The fact that God knows it does not in any way impair our freedom of will to act well or badly.
Eric Franklin, Sun 4 Dec, 13:02
Dear Mike (Tymn),
I make haste to respond to your request. But I do so with full awareness that I shall not be able to do what you ask. I am not offended that you ask. Thank you for asking!! I do not know if Newton will agree with my choice of words . . .
There is only one word, in English, for love. The language is very impoverished in that regard. Greek has FOUR words for different aspects of lovingness. The one English word has to do its duty for every good act or state of mind from kindness to others, right through all the kinds of love to sexual love. (I once wrote a short story about that, and brought in many other strands, including OT prophecy, mentioning the prophet Hosea - but that’s another story (literally)).
Some manifestations of love can be seen: “By their fruits ye shall know them”. Example, perhaps? Dr Lockhart was utterly destitute, far from what had been home for twenty years (India), and almost totally without income when I first contacted her, despite owning an Indian inheritance that COULD NOT be realised here in Britain, but the British government itself FINALLY admitted, had to be written off. I can’t go into details now. The British government, ignoring its own Decisionmaker’s Guide, and to its shame, (I shall not mention the government decision-maker’s name here, but it was on the national news at least once) was breaking the government’s own statutes, and I accepted the responsibility of helping Dr Lockhart, and where her MP and Citizens’ Advice Bureau had TOTALLY failed, and given up, I WON - but it took years of letter-writing until a certain government officer with the surname Tripp, at the DWP, saw that I was right. It had taken about 6 years by then, during which (and for the rest of her life) Dr Lockhart lived under my roof. Eventually, after the DWP backed down, Dr Lockhart received her due, and immediately contributed financially, and we were well enough off, as two individuals living in one tiny house, to help others to the tune of well over a thousand pounds. Perhaps that qualifies as an example of the practical end of the spectrum of loving.
I shall be happy to give other examples later. I intend to say something about each of the four aspects of love that Greek recognises, but English muddles up under just one word. For now, I must post this before the code word changes.
Eric Franklin, Sun 4 Dec, 12:53
Newton and Eric,
Would you mind defining “love” as you use it? Is an effort required to love the Creator or does it come naturally? If effort is required, how does one go about making it? How does that love manifest itself? Is there a difference between love and worship?
Michael Tymn, Sat 3 Dec, 23:27
A quick comment:
The majority of Spiritists believe there is sufficient evidence of the existence of spirits, the afterlife, and the Creator. Although some Spiritists continue experimental testing mostly spirit communication via electronic means.
Our main emphasis is respect, love and admiration of the Creator, in bettering our own moral conduct, studying spirit teachings with as much discernment possible, and, for those trained to do so to assist troubled spirits.
Séances have been done in bright light but the spirits do not prefer it. The sprit themselves request at least lower lighting, but all can be seen. I do not know about the red lights mentioned.
Also, touching a medium while a spirit is communicating can interfere with the communication and also can cause harm to the medium.
I have personally experienced this first hand as a medium (disorientation, instant headache, feeling horrible, etc.); depends on the situation. We teach do not touch the medium.
Although testing can be done during mediumship, if there are requests either from the spirit and/or the medium, I believe we should request their wishes. Any fraud is eventually revealed.
Each medium is an individual and each spirit is too. The conditions during a séance can vary widely. We do not know enough at this point, about what all will hurt a medium and/or what affects a spirit communication.
I believe we are blessed to have the information that we already have acquired, and are currently receiving. I believe we can continue our studies, being as educated on the subject as much as possible and proceed with respect, humility, discernment and caution regarding the phenomena.
As we progress, Spiritist believe more will be revealed, as we are able to understand it… as many spirits have said.
In my humble opinion,
Yvonne Limoges, Sat 3 Dec, 22:42
In one of my poems (dutch),I also touched that subject. This is the google translation:
When we are gone
Comes the inevitable life review
Where everything we did is replayed
The good as well as the bad
But to what extent did we have free will, if chance does not exist
Or is our free will just part of the illusion ‘life on earth’
Unless providence takes a step back
Presents us with the tests of life
And we do choose freely
The law of ‘cause and effect’
Knits the inevitable sequel to our choices
Making coincidence again no coincidence
So we can make some curves in our path and maybe our soul need to send another facet of the diamond to accomplish the task, but eventually the goal stays the same…love, light and the knowing of Oneness of All That Is.
Chris, Sat 3 Dec, 20:02
That’s my view.
Faith and belief must become knowing,I recently read somewhere.
Chris, Sat 3 Dec, 19:46
It is often difficult for us in the human experience to understand the Divine Plan. Our view is shortsighted.
We often limit our view to this life, not see the whole picture of what is going on.
I asked Rob Goodwin (channeler of white feather) how to combine the saying that there is no coincidence and the free will of men and he said it rather fine:What he asserts is that there are no accidents in the sense of random happenings that cannot be traced to cause and effect. Nothing occurs by sheer ‘chance’ and there is always causality involved. As for free will, that is interwoven with cause and effect. A person decides to take a particular route in the morning and they are involved in a fatal car crash. Had they chosen a different route, there may not have been a crash at all - the free will of both drivers contributed.
As for everything being known, it’s IS, but not from this level of linear time. The knowing occurs at the non-linear level. A good analogy would be viewing something from the mountain top (non linear) where much more can be viewed and seeing two vehicles heading towards each other at a blind bend down in the valley. Neither driver can see the other from their perspective (linear time) but from the mountain top a different scenario is seen to unfold.
Are not the everlasting arms, Michael, wrapped around each of us in a loving embrace? Supernormal experiences can break through materialism and draw our attention to that embrace. But then the task, it seems to me (and to Schumacher and Eric) is to learn to love ever more deeply the One, the All, whose arms are wrapped around us.
To what extent is progress in this task, the placing of ever more trust and faith in a living and loving God (as opposed to blind and sterile propositional belief) helped or hindered by the unceasing quest for more first-hand or second-hand experiences of the supernormal? At what point does such a quest divert us from the one thing needful: the deepening of the relationship between the soul and its Creator?
Is there a subtle and dangerous tendency in some forms of spiritualism to substitute, in our minds and hearts, the existence of the afterlife, as indicated by supernormal experiences, for the Giver and Ground of that gift, the One, the All, who claims and deserves our ultimate allegiance? Was not this substitution of extraordinary experience for faith and trust in God repeatedly warned against by Imperator and other higher spirits?
What draws me to your work, Michael, even more than its clarity, cogency and comprehensiveness, is its attention to the spiraling, not merely the circular, spiritualist teachings, the communications which point in the direction I’ve tried, though undoubtedly failed, to describe.
Newton Finn, Sat 3 Dec, 17:44
Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 3 Dec, 14:43
It is my understanding that infra-red “light” and red light are not the same thing. Infra-red wave lengths as well as Ultra-violet wave lengths are not part of the visible light spectrum but are at the ends of the visible light spectrum followed by other wave lengths. Humans cannot see these wave lengths although it is thought that some animals, especially insects like bees for example, may see them. A infra-red camera or camera film does not emit light but is sensitive to infra-red electro-magnetic waves humans feel as heat. Infra-red cameras are especially sensitive to these heat waves. An infra-red camera in the seance room would not emit light but would record heat. - AOD
Dear Mike, and all,
The faith is a wavering (of course - we are only human) but real TRUST that no matter what, all will be well, BUT it is not ‘blind’, NOT without witness in our lives. (God is on record for Bible-based believers, as never being left without witness) I have myself a few events in life’s memory bank that are really difficult to explain if a Great Being has not been holding me safe in His/Her arms during a crisis. I shall not go into details here - MAN, not God, would immediately put a legally-adverse wrong meaning onto one or two of my own past events. I have seen that before, and, after the required battle, years of battle in one or two cases, BEATEN THEM (Government for example) hands down single-handed without human law courts, because I, not they, was the honest one. I defended Dr Lockhart for EIGHT YEARS from when I met her in dire need of justice, against the British DWP, and in the end I WON HANDS DOWN BECAUSE I WAS RIGHT and HONEST, and they were NOT, and God honoured that fact. I will give details if anyone is interested.
On the matter of communications from other cosmoi we are looking at communications ACROSS A SENSORY BOUNDARY, are we not? A kind of HALL EFFECT. (The electron disappears on the sending side to reappear without traceable causation on the other side. It happens, but even the physicists don’t know how it happens.) Mediumistic communication, prophecy, call it what you like, is of that nature, and its content is often a bit garbled and culturally conditioned by the medium’s mind. (Just look at the waffling Ezekiel 18 (I think it is - no OT to hand to check). NO-ONE, no matter how zealous a believer, can say that THAT was inspired by the Great God Yahweh, or even by the (Greek) Great Being ‘ho OWN. Thoughts are piling up, and my old fingers just won’t record them fast enough, so I shall dare to hope that just one or two of you will know what I am referring to, and am meaning, and let me stop at this ragged point. One can always see reason to trust in the Everlasting Arms (that phrase is itself a later, probably priestly, interpolation into a verse somewhere near Deuteronomy 28, if my memory serves.
Eric Franklin, Sat 3 Dec, 13:54
Eric and Newton,
I trust that those “everlasting arms” are involved in all things “spiritual,” but not to attempt to examine what those “arms” are wrapped around seems like going in reverse and relying on the “blind faith” of most religious practitioners. However, it may very well be that I’m not advanced enough to understand what you are saying or implying. I do appreciate your comments and thank you for your patience.
Michael Tymn, Sat 3 Dec, 07:59
I know nothing about electricity, including whether the harmful effects of white light are present to a lesser degree in red light, but I have heard of other mediums rejecting even red light. If there is a difference between red light and infra-red light, pardon my ignorance.
Camille Flammarion, the pioneering French astronomer, wrote the following about a sitting with Eusapia Paladino: “The sitting was begun in full light, and I constantly laid stress upon obtaining the largest number of phenomena we could in the full light of day. It was only gradually, according as the ‘spirit” begged for it, that the light was turned down. But I obtained the concession that the darkness should never be absolute. At the last limit, when the light had to be entirely extinguished, it was replaced by one of the red lanterns used by photographers.”
Flammarion otherwise devotes about two pages of his 1909 book defending mediums and the need for darkness. “...the extraordinary character of the phenomena is in direct ratio with the absence of light, and we are continually asked by the medium to turn down the gas, almost to the vanishing point…..”
Like so many researchers, Flammarion usually states that the “medium asked…” rather than the “spirit” controlling her doing the asking…in Eusapia’s case, the spirit control her calling himself John King.
Back to my mile-run analogy, or perhaps it is more a simile, Eusapia seems to have been the equivalent of a sub-four miler. It may be that Scott Milligan is more the equivalent of a five-minute miler, still far ahead of the average person who struggles to break 10 minutes, but not having the strength or power, whatever is involved, to work in infra-red.
It may also be that Scott’s guides or spirit controls are inexperienced and really don’t know what they can handle. Dr. William Crawford, in his experiments with Irish medium Kathleen Goligher, concluded that the “operators,” i.e., spirits, were experimenting on their side, just as he was on his side and were often uncertain as to how to handle certain situations. That was 100+ years ago, but how do we know that “spirits” controlling today’s mediums know any more than those of a century ago? Perhaps they are amateurs in controlling humans, or low-level spirits, and are unaware of prior research on their side.
Michael Tymn, Sat 3 Dec, 07:45
I started to watch the link you provided ( thinking there is more to Amos than a soloist for Patience). I take it you have a copy of The Personality of Man G. N. M. Tyrrell with a chapter on Patience. It is on my reading list.
Back to the video of a lady ( I have yet to complete the viewing) with a NDE. What struck me was the description of those who greeted her. I did have a supporting experience.
My first father-in-law suffered a stroke which put him in a coma in hospital. When I was visiting I saw at the foot of his bed in the room, a human form with the head of a bird very close to the lady on the video. Not having seen anything like this before or after I was surprised. I thought angels were human. The bird head reminded me of Horus. What I do remember was that he was waiting to escort my father-in-law to where he was going. He was patient and respectful and also didn’t seem to have been noticed.
So having stranger things in my life, I put it down to “nice to know” but doesn’t mean much.
I was also sure that while others were hopeful of recovery I knew that my father-in-law would pass in a few days.
Just when you think you have a spiritual theory along comes a reminder that there are other paths which you dismissed some time ago.
Bruce Williams, Sat 3 Dec, 00:53
I am very glad to read Newton’s latest comment, not only because it shows that, in the midst of life’s difficulties, he is still with us, still taking a valuable and active part; but also to say that he is right about my repeated but obviously ignored lament at the lack of recognition, even here, where we ought to be able to expect it, that we conduct all our lives in the presence and observation of the Great All, Who is conscious of all we do and think - ALL we do and think.
Eric Franklin, Fri 2 Dec, 23:17
Does anyone know how infra-red photography is detrimental to ectoplasm? I don’t understand why mediums won’t allow infra-red photography if they do not emit ectoplasm or even if they do. Infra-red photography is just recording heat and is not interfering with ectoplasm in any way. Photography is not emitting or interfering with anything, it is just recording something. Living Beings among most/all other things, e.g. ice cubes, emit infra-red radiation (heat). What better way would there be to detect shenanigans of a medium. I think the claim that it would be detrimental to the health of the medium is very weak. If would of course be very detrimental to any scam perpetuated by the medium. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 2 Dec, 16:52
Pete Marley, Fri 2 Dec, 14:33
Ha ha not quite the break I was referring to. Emeritus professor of astronomy Archie Roy a world renowned scientist and psychical researcher in the 80’s felt that the next step forward was to film physical mediumship in action without risk to the medium.
He had the backing, equipment and team ready to proceed. Sadly there were no takers in his lifetime!
Scott has performed regularly at the Arthur Findlay college but walked away once they took the decision to make filming mandatory. His spirit team insists he can only work in total darkness yet the spiritual wisdom informing the progress of the college takes a different view.
You criticized Scott Milligan for his reservations about being filmed, i.e., that he might be injured. To again quote Dr. Karl Gruber, a German physician, biologist, and zoologist who carried out numerous experiments with various mediums, including Rudi Schneider. Referring to the ectoplasmic connections between the medium and the paranormal activity, Gruber wrote:
“If this connection is broken by movements of the hand or other object across the field of activity, or if it is roughly torn away, either temporary or lasting bodily injury to the medium results. This fact has been repeatedly misunderstood by the skeptical, who have seen in it the unmasking of a frightened medium.”
Hopefully, that is “break” you asked for. Even if the film makers were warned not to move anything across the field of activity, there is the risk that they will somehow penetrate it.
Michael Tymn, Thu 1 Dec, 23:12
I just watched a very long fantastical interview that Jeff Mara did with two people, Dr. Cristos and Nicole who had some very interesting spiritual experiences and provide a thought-provoking philosophy of life and beyond. It is very long but worth the time. – AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 1 Dec, 20:10
Forgive this lengthy quote from E.F. Schumacher’s “A Guide for the Perplexed,” but he makes a crucial point much better than I can.
“The great teacher of Buddhist Satipatthana Meditation, the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw (1904-1955), warns the pupil that he will have all sorts of extraordinary experience: ‘A brilliant light will appear to him. To one it will appear like the light of a lamp, to others like a flash of lightning, or like the radiance of the moon or the sun, and so on. With one it may last for just one moment, with others it may last longer…. There arises also rapture ...tranquility of mind…a very sublime feeling of happiness…. Having felt such rapture and happiness accompanied by the brilliant light, ...the meditator now believes: Surely I must have attained to the Supra-mundane Path and Fruition! Now I have finished to task of meditation. (Yet) this is mistaking what is not the Path for the Path, and it is a corruption of Insight which usually takes place in the manner just described…. After noticing these manifestations of Brilliant Light and the others, or after leaving them unheeded, he (the true seeker) goes on continuously as before…. He gets over the corruptions relating to brilliant light, rapture, tranquility, happiness, attachment, etc.”
Schumacher goes on to note that “Christain saints and sages are equally clear on this point. “We can take Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591) as a typical example. ‘With respect to all (bodily senses) there may come, and there are wont to come, to spiritual persons representations and objects of a supernatural kind. And it must be known that, although all these things may happen to the bodily senses in the way of God, we must never rely upon them or accept them, but must always fly from them, without trying to ascertain whether they be good or evil…. For the bodily sense is as ignorant of spiritual things as is a beast of rational things, and even more so. So he that esteems such things errs greatly and exposes himself to the great peril of being deceived; in any case he will have within himself a complete impediment to the attainment of spirituality.’”
“Jakob Lorber, Edgar Cayce, and Therese Neumann (whom Schumacher previously discusses) were intensely religious personalities who never ceased to aver that that all of their knowledge and power came from ‘Jesus Christ’—a level infinitely above their own. At this suprahuman level, each of them found, in their various ways, liberation from constraints that operate at the level of ordinary humanity—limits imposed by space and time, by the needs of the body, and by the opaqueness of the computer-like mind. All three examples illustrate that paradoxical truth that such ‘higher powers’ cannot be acquired by any kind of attack and conquest conducted by the human personality; only when the striving for ‘power’ has entirely ceased and been replaced by a certain transcendental longing, often called the love of God, may they, or may they not, be ‘added unto you.’”
Here lies, I believe, the most incisive critique of a great deal of spiritualism, its overemphasis on, and consequent distraction by, supernormal signs and wonders at the expense, in many cases, of inner work and spiritual growth. And here also lies, I presume, the ground of Eric’s repeated lament that something vital is missing in much of our blog discussions.
Newton Finn, Thu 1 Dec, 18:53
I appreciate everyone’s comments.
Yvonne Limoges, Thu 1 Dec, 04:35
Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 30 Nov, 16:04
I have always been a soloist, never part of the choir. - A- OD
Yes Pete, I agree. Shannon Taggert’s photos and discussion of ectoplasm are very interesting and could generate a lot of discussion. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 30 Nov, 16:02
All good comments, I think. But do I still sense the lack of reverence for the Great Being Who contains EVERYTHING, and is the only “”“static”“” reference frame there is?
Eric Franklin, Wed 30 Nov, 11:02
The different demonstrations of the survival of the identity after death have changed over the years. Trance, automatic writing gets reduced while NDE are pushed. These are called system levers. Levers alter systems with a small change making large results. Which levers should we then use? Should we only consider these newer methods such as NDEs?
I feel that there is much worth in knowing the methods and thoughts of various past mediums as they were the building blocks for future development. Michael and his fellow contributors serve us well in this department. Should we consider only these older methods?
My thinking is that methods improve over time, what works well in the 1900s is modified in the 2000s. So knocking on tables or replies by a knock when counting the letters of the alphabet is replaced by two way communication by mind to mind. It does however take time to alter these communication methods.
Imagine a team on the Other Side, hand picking those to return to Earth to carry on with new skills. You would have to wait for them to develop skills. Say minimum of 30 -40 years. It would be a slow, patient process. Some might back telepathy, others might want better television performers.
Let us consider the reason for any demonstration. Transition to spirit is hard when the footwork has not been done. Demonstrations allow this footwork to be started.
The one thing that stands out from the consideration of old demonstrations is that few mediums have survived against suspicion and accusations. Each of the contributors to the blog (so close to bog, I wonder if the choice of words was done by person with a strange sense of humour) have found after extensive research a belief in various past mediums, Amos with Patience etc. The newer mediums would have tough tests to meet, to equal these past mediums.
As Michael has compared mediums to athletes, would you want the fast local high school 17 year old or would you want the best of a nation’s 17 years old or the world’s best? You are only judging one ability speed but if you change to having both speed and juggling then it might a different winner. Mediums are no different.
I used to be with a group of mediums with different skill sets. Proof of survival hit rate, precognition, psychometry or great insightful messages were some of these skills.
My uncle gave me some good advice (when he was alive) nobody remembers the guy who came second.
Bruce Williams, Wed 30 Nov, 09:50
Thanks for the various links.
Your long-time participation is very much appreciated and I trust you will continue as you are often a good “devil’s advocate.”
I do have to take issue with you on your comment about ectoplasm not being present with modern-day clairvoyants. You may be right, but the fact that it can’t be seen is not evidence that it is not a factor.
A discovery made by German chemist Karl von Reichenbach during the early 1840s may have been the most important discovery in the history of mankind, even though mainstream science ignored it. What Reichenbach called od, odyle, or odic force was, he said, a “life principle” that permeates and connects all living things. It has been likened to the prana of the ancient Hindus, the vis medicatrix naturae of Hippocrates, the mana of Polynesian culture, the chi of the Chinese, the astral light of the Kabbalists, the telesma of Hermes Trismegistus, and the magnetic fluid of Mesmer. Later names associated with it include ectoplasm, or teleplasm, as given off by some mediums, and orgone energy, as named by Dr. Wilhelm Reich during the 1930s. Od might be best described as a mostly invisible energy field often associated today with the human aura and with holistic healing. It is believed to somehow interact with the physical body through what are called the charkas, the vital energy centers in the spirit body, to govern higher consciousness and spiritual awakening. Indications are that it is also the “soul mist” that many have observed given off by the body at the time of death.
Reichenbach claimed that it is present in all living matter, although it can be seen only by humans who are “highly sensitive.” He further explained:
“The odic atmosphere which every man has about him, and which emanates from every living individual, is not completely similar in every case, but differs somewhat in the case of each, almost as perfumes and flavours differ, as light falls into different colours, and as sound into the various notes of the tonic scale. A woman’s differs somewhat from a man’s, and a young man’s from an old man’s; it differs in the sanguine of temperament from the choleric, and in the healthy from the sick; and, taking those who are sick, it differs in the case of a catarrh from that of one who has scarlet fever, or typhus fever with its calor mordax, etc., and all these differences are perceived and distinctly recognized by high-sensitives, and in many cases often by medium-sensitives.”
While Reichenbach’s research involved studying a number of “sensitives” – people who today might be called clairvoyants or clairsentients – it did not include any kind of “spirit” intervention. It focused on “mind-over-matter” tasks, such as identifying objects in a dark room, dowsing for water in an open field, and moving the needle of a compass without touching it – activities outside the normal five senses and in defiance of known science, what modern-day parapsychologists refer to as extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis. Reichenbach pointed out that absolute darkness was usually necessary for a successful experiment and that the force is distinct from electricity magnetism, and heat.
Michael Tymn, Tue 29 Nov, 21:18
However, while Reichenbach was well respected in the science world, having discovered paraffin and creosote, and was considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of meteorites, most of Reichenbach’s peers dismissed his findings as absurd, more superstition than science, making no attempt to replicate his research. One exception was Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Leipzig. Zöllner observed Reichenbach carry out an experiment in which a sensitive caused the needle of a box compass to oscillate by waving his fingers over it. “These oscillations were not inconsiderable, and the experiment succeeded with each repetition, even when Reichenbach was in other parts of the room, and also when the finger alternately approached and removed from the pole,” Zöllner explained, adding that he checked for concealed magnets on the sensitive and otherwise ruled out deception.
Zöllner proceeded to carry out a similar experiment on his own and succeeded, leading him to investigate other psychic phenomena and eventually writing a book titled Transcendental Physics, published in 1888 and focusing on his experiments with the medium Henry Slade. However, in spite of his detailed and well-controlled experiments, his scientific peers concluded that Zöllner was, like Reichenbach, the victim of clever tricksters, or he was simply deluded.
I think what Chico Xavier was implying is that one cannot walk in to a séance room of a medium and request communication from a specific spirit entity. While that may happen on occasion most mediums are tunning in to what is being made available from the other side. Some mediums discern what is being transmitted from there to here or are able to see, hear or feel information from spirit entities that follow and surround the sitter in to the séance room however small or large the room may be but they cannot contact a specific spirit ‘on demand’. Once communication is established however, then it becomes a two-way conversation of information flowing in both directions.
Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 29 Nov, 20:25
There may be those who seem to be able to contact a specific spirit ‘on demand’, but in my opinion that may suggest something other than contact with a specific spirit and more likely to suggest that either their subconscious is responding or the medium is in touch with his or her previous past-life personalities which are part of his or her group soul or, of course that the medium is possessed or obsessed by the spirit. - AOD
Some of you might enjoy noting the correspondence between the following NDE account, which I just stumbled upon, and the spiraling teachings of spiritualism, especially those of Imperator.
Newton Finn, Tue 29 Nov, 18:23
Pete Marley, Tue 29 Nov, 18:06
Thanks for the link to the Flemish medium I like it, a medium that prefers to work in good red light !
I have not been able to obtain a copy of the book seance by the photographer Shannon Taggart compiled over 20 years but her YouTube presentations and photos are fascinating.
Mike I take your point about the variation in the quality of different mediums.
I get frustrated by celebrity psychics who appear more concerned with book sales, stardom and cash in the grand tradition of tv evangelists in the 1960s demonstrating “miracles” to mass audiences.
Enough of my cynicism I return to people like Rudolf Steiner when I need inspiration. He could see spirits growing up and you know what I believe him.
Your lengthy post on Sunday was a masterful and insightful look at the the old and new ages of mediumship. If I might offer several slight correctives…
Of the “old” phenomena that seem to be missing today, several, levitation and I believe the musical events, were present at Scole (1990’s) and perhaps some other places that I don’t recall. And the “translocations” (or “bilocations” as I call them in my book) were a major feature of Padre Pio’s repertoire in the mid-1900’s.
With regard to your quote from Chico Xavier about the communications being only a “one-way” (from there to here) phenomenon…that may be the case with “standard” mediumship, but it’s certainly not the case in the ITC arena. From the very first incident with Fathers Gemetti and Ernetti in Rome in the 1950’s, all the way through to the work of Anabela Cardoso and David Fontana in this century, the communications have been not only “two-way”, but at times instantaneously-responsive conversations.
Don Porteous, Tue 29 Nov, 17:01
I never heard of Beatrice Brunner either until I started to look some of the German after-death sites. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 29 Nov, 14:12
I know Michael. I am not being critical of your efforts. You start my every day. I have been with you from the beginning, more than ten years ago and you have pointed me in many directions. Thank you!- AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 29 Nov, 14:06
There have been a few comments in the last few days, all worthwhile, but no responsive comment needed, I think. Your own view (I quote) “For me, a lifelong, though terribly flawed, follower of Jesus, the truth of spiritualism is captured by the simple addition of one letter to the trinity—Father, Son, and holy spirit(s).” I believe this concept of a ‘Polyunity’ is correct, and worthy of public approval. God, All and in All. “He” said so Himself.
Eric Franklin, Tue 29 Nov, 10:42
Amos, I don’t heard of Beatrice Brunner, but I must confess that I ’m not really at home in the world of mediums in Europe.
Chris, Tue 29 Nov, 08:22
The only one I’ve heard from and did email once is Isabelle Duchene, a flemish medium, who has some spirit photos on her site.
So #Pete, you can find some pictures on this site
I was called away before I had a chance to finish my earlier email comparing the power involved in mediumship with the ability to run a mile.
Let’s say a high school boy of 17 is capable or running a mile in 4 minutes 45 seconds. He’s the best in his school and clearly in the top one tenth of one percent of all 17 years old. However, he is still the equivalent of a medium who doesn’t have the power to perform in red light, requiring darkness. He might not have the bone structure, heart, lung capacity or whatever it takes to develop into a “red light runner.” Does that mean he is a fraudulent runner? Keep in mind that he is still far ahead of all other 17-year-olds in his school.
Michael Tymn, Tue 29 Nov, 01:58
As I understand it, mediumship “power” comes in different degrees, just like athletic abilities. A few people are capable of running a sub-4 minute mile (D. D. Home performing in the light); most high school runners are between 4:30 and 5 minutes (performing in red light), while breaking six minutes is a sign of good physical fitness but not a competitive time (performing in the dark but not under red light). The average young person will struggle to finish in 9-10 minutes.
Michael Tymn, Mon 28 Nov, 23:17
I think a major problem related to all of the discussions about whether a medium is fake or not, whether manifestations or phenomena produced by a medium are fraudulent is that people seem to be looking for a materialistic explanation for something that is spiritual. A materialistic explanation of spiritual phenomena will never be found. That expectation is like expecting someone who has had a near death experience to bring back from wherever they were, some tangible evidence that they were really there. That is never going to happen.
Yvonne in her comments below has offered some sensible guidelines for evaluating phenomena produced by all mediums. I hope everyone is considering them carefully. While I think some of them might be nuanced some or expanded more, generally I agree with what she wrote.
The comments of Pete Marley resonate with me too. And, after many years considering all of the “evidence” to support spirit realities, I find that I could comment as Pete did. Most if not all of the evidence provided by mediums of various ilk is lacking in some way or is vulnerable to criticism. There are a few exceptions of course and the Patience Worth case is one of them. I won’t get into that again as I have commented about it more than enough on this site.
I also believe that most of the childhood reincarnation cases are difficult to explain away and, in my opinion, provide good evidence of an afterlife or to be more precise, evidence of a prior life. There is little tangible evidence to convince materialists in those reincarnation cases however except for the birthmarks evidenced in some of the best cases and the occasional case where corroborating evidence might be attributed to documented accounts of the previous life allegedly lived by the child. But I think that even that evidence is subject to manipulation and interpretation by persons invested in proving reincarnation.
It is reasonable to think that reported Near Death Experiences are pretty good evidence of survival, at least for a while, of human consciousness but there is little tangible evidence to prove survival for eternity. There is very good circumstantial evidence that the dying human consciousness was aware of what was going on in the room and surrounds at the time they were considered dead. What they report after that is not verifiable to any extent and could very well be a brain’s last-ditch efforts to ease the agony of death. Why evolution would produce that effect, I can’t imagine. Why would that it be necessary for survival of the species? Why not just pull the plug and turn the lights out. Why the evolutionary need for a panorama of heavenly environments populated by deceased relatives? And why are NDEs all so very similar in core points?
And last but not least I think there are some very good mediums today that can produce valid specific information about a deceased person and the deceased person’s family. Those mediums are purely mental mediums and they do not produce ectoplasm, strumming guitars or floating tables with three or four people sitting on them. However, the information they provide cannot be successfully challenged as having come from some source other than the deceased person or their family. Oh, I guess that there are always those skeptics who will say that the information was obtained by “Super Psi” but in my opinion that is as far-fetched as saying that the medium got the information fed to him or her by hundreds of staff persons from all over the world over an earphone hidden in the medium’s hair bonnet.
My point is that proof of survival of consciousness will never be found in material things. One must look beyond materialism in all of its forms to obtain assurance that consciousness survives death of the physical form. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 28 Nov, 23:16
Thank you for your last comment. I agree, but, as I argued in my Bigelow essay, the case for survival was made by 1920, 1935 at the latest. Everything since then is “icing on the cake.” The icing is taken care of by modern researchers and authors, although a number of blogs here have dealt with it. Moreover, there are copyright issues relating to their work and words. A number of blogs here have dealt with more modern phenomena, especially the NDE, but if I were to focus strictly on the modern phenomena I’d write one blog about every three months, maybe four a year, not one every fortnight.
I’ve come across many people who delight in the sweetness of the icing, but haven’t even tasted the cake on which it is spread. My primary interest remains the history of psychical research where we find the cake itself. The recipe for the cake is a very “secret” one and my efforts are aimed at helping others discover the secret of baking a better cake, not just licking the icing off the stirring spoon or beater.
In 1978, the sports editor of the morning paper here in Honolulu saw one of my articles on distance running in a national magazine and asked me if I could write a weekly column on the subject for the paper. My wife’s reaction was to ask how much I can possibly write about “putting one foot in front of the other.” The weekly column lasted for 24 years, until I moved to the Mainland for four years. At the same time, I wrote a monthly column for another national running magazine for 35 years.
At first glance, the subject of life after death seems as limited as putting one foot in front of the other, but, clearly, there is much more to it than people realize and the foundation of it all is in the history of the subject, which very few modern researchers seem to know anything about. If Sir Oliver Lodge is paying any attention to it these days, I’m certain he agrees.
Michael Tymn, Mon 28 Nov, 22:40
Thank you for the comment. Like you, I remain a “follower of Christ,” even though my “Christian” friends seem to think I have abandoned him. I call myself an Unorthodox Christian. But I am much more a Christian than I was during my Catholic years.
Michael Tymn, Mon 28 Nov, 21:56
Why don’t we have the same spirit manifestations today ? As a lapsed Irish Catholic I hung onto my faith for as long as I could until it really did become unsustainable back in 76 during my 1st year at university.
Pete Marley, Mon 28 Nov, 19:12
However I have always found the materialist dogma too bleak and think there must be something else, which I have been searching for ever since. My spiritual beliefs are like a rollercoaster ride ! It is because I still have a fully functioning bs detector, maybe that’s overstating it.
The technology is available to provide satisfactory proof of an afterlife so why have we not seen more infra red filming.
The scole project the spirit team changed their mind at the last minute.
Victor Zammit says that Thompson in Australia is 100% genuine yet it seems infra red filming would damage his health.
Sir Archie Roy was ready to film a seance in the 80’s and the medium cancelled at the last minute saying she had received threats to her life.
How many well known physical mediums seem to have a young boy with a cockney accent as a guide who sets the participants at their ease ?
Gary Mannion is still accepted as genuine by some reputable researchers as genuine even though caught blatantly cheating.
I like and respect Sir William Crookes and don’t accept the criticism s of him but I believe even the photo of Katie King and Florence Cook, you cannot see both faces, one is covered.
I have followed Tom Harrison and his mother Minnie for many years and he always seems 100% genuine . However when discussing the photos he has said unfortunately it was not possible to achieve a certain photo because of a lack of spiritual energy present in the room.
If spirit is able to materialise surely they would want to be filmed as they want us to know there is no such thing as death!
To counter the above negativity I have also been looking into Shannon Taggart who has said that she saw the British medium Gordon Garforth elongate in a seance at close quarters in good red light.
I think what I’m trying to say is that fraud in this area we all find despicable and I applaud the SNU for insisting that filming should be mandatory at Arthur Findlay college. Surprise Scott Milligan then withdraws as he does not want to risk his health under infra red light, give me a break.
I found an interesting podcast nr 36 of white feather. In the first question he talks about a groupsoal and the using of names during contact with mediums…there are no coincidences ,is it not😁
Chris, Mon 28 Nov, 18:33
Amos is right, we must not forget the past , but we may not ignore the present. Trancemediums as Elaine Thorpe, Suzanne Giesemann, Lee Carroll and many others have a relative big audience and their messages are all of love and light. It is difficult to say if all of what they say is ’spirittalk’ , but is that necessary? If what they say feels good and right,so be it. I also often wonder if my dream messages are well interpreted or not. Did I capture the intention of spirit or not. I think and notice that sometimes well-known mediums also feel that their individually plays a certain role in the communication. By the way,it would be a pity case if only from spirit came interesting stuff. However ,if we remind us that we are spirit too…,😁
Chris, Mon 28 Nov, 16:10
Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 28 Nov, 15:44
Are you aware of Swiss medium Beatrice Brunner? How is she regarded in Europe? - AOD
Michael commented that skeptics of today often ask “why we don’t have the same phenomena [spirit manifestations] today as we did during the second half of the 19th century?”
When I hear that question, I wonder just what phenomena is missing today that was present during the second half of the 19th century? What is missing today? Well, levitations for one thing—full body levitations and levitation of heavy oak dining room tables and other heavy furniture. D.D. Home is an example when he floated out of one second-story window and in through another window or, Carmine Mirabelli, who we see in a photograph (fake or not) floating up to the ceiling of the room.
And, full body translocations are missing today when mediums like Alec Harris for example reportedly translocated from an upstairs room where the séance was being held to the front door of his house. And not least among the missing phenomena are floating trumpets and apports. Self-playing musical instruments are missing from today’s mediumistic phenomena—-the self-playing accordion of D.D. Home is a good example and of course full-blown ‘ectoplasm’ forming disintegrating body parts and pulsating full-figured apparitions that melt to the floor, e.g., Katie King. These all seem to be things of the past.
But consider what is missing from the spiritual phenomena of the late eighteen hundreds: ‘thousands of near-death reports’ from people who have died and come back to tell the tale, ‘hundreds of past life reports by children and hypnotized adults who appear to have been reincarnated from a previous life, ‘reports of organ transplant memories of children and adults who exhibit characteristics of the person from whom the transplanted organ was obtained’, ‘reports of telephone calls and recordings, emails and texts from people who have recently died’, ‘electronic voice phenomena as obtained by Cardoso, Bacci and others and dictation of quality writing from departed spirits e.g., Chico Xavier, Geraldine Cummins, Pearl Curran. These things are all reported by 20th century mediums and today’s mediums. And there are still good cases of spirit possession or obsession, (Lurancy Vennum) and possession by Jonathan of medium Elaine Thorpe and spirit-possession release by Carl and Anna Wickland and others and direct voice phenomena (the many direct voice recordings by medium Leslie Flint).
Many people continue to reluctantly report experiencing visual apparitions and sensory contact from their departed loved ones but those contacts are not written down and published for all to read about.
I could go on and on with many more examples. I think there is a continuum of various phenomena presented through various means in different times and through various mediums of various abilities strongly suggesting the existence of a spiritual reality. This is perhaps a more cerebral age we live in now than the 1800s. People today respond more to the why and wherefore of things than they may have needed a hundred years ago or more to believe Perhaps the lay public needed “shock value” then, since an intellectual approach probably would have fallen flat on its face on its first feeble efforts to float out of the séance cabinet.
Why wouldn’t spirits use whatever means of communication that is available to them and most effective for their intended audience. The last half of the 19th century offered few ways to provide proof of spirit realities other than through mediumship. Perhaps when multiple electronic means of communication became available, those in the spirit reality discontinued the old convoluted ways for the more direct new ways that would satisfy an educated audience. Many more people could be reached by way of radio, television, computers and telephone. Spirits might now be taking advantage of modern invention to make their voices heard and relegating shock and awe and showmanship to the archives. And dissemination of information today through the internet is becoming the most effective way to spread reports of near-death experiencers and reincarnation stories of children.
There has been a dearth of discussion on this site about modern day television and internet mediums, for example John Edward, James Van Praagh, Tyler Henry, Matt Fraser, Allison Dubois, Theresa Caputo, Thomas John, Christopher Sillar, George Anderson, Colin Fry, and many, many others. Why don’t we discuss them here? Is it because they are too flamboyant or too “Hollywood”, too show-biz? Or do we just don’t like their personalities or their style of going about things. Maybe we don’t like them making money off of their talents or maybe we think they are taking advantage of grieving people. What is it that makes us ignore them? Maybe they just don’t look like old grandfatherly Sir Oliver Lodge with his beard and all or maybe they don’t have a PhD, or MD. after their name. Maybe they haven’t been knighted by the Queen of England. I would like to know.
In my opinion those TV mediums offer another peek into the world of spirit. TV psychic Matt Fraser has provided some of the most impressive mediumistic readings for people he has no means of knowing or researching. From the U.S. he reads people from all over the world people whom he has never met, people who aren’t even listed as attendees for his “Zoom” meetings. He provides readings at a distance giving precise, specific information that could have only been known to the sitter or immediate family members. Fraser is one of the very few psychic mediums that is able to give names of communicating spirits often saying the he hears the name whispered in his ear. Fraser often says that spirits communicate only if they have something they need to say. Chico Xavier said that the line of communication is only from there to here not from here to there. Apparently, we are not in the ‘dial-up’ stage yet of spirit communication.
Let’s not ignore these commercial modern-day psychic mediums. Let’s give them a chance to prove if they are real or fake. A hundred years from now there will be books written about them perhaps and then maybe people will revere them as we revere Sir Oliver Lodge today. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Sun 27 Nov, 22:35
Your work, Michael, has opened the minds and hearts of many to the undeniable and glorious fact that there is a spirit world which interacts with the physical world. You have endeavored to—and succeeded in—keeping alive the most vivid and compelling evidence of that spirit world in modern times: the extraordinary mediumship phenomena of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That boat, Michael, you have rowed ashore, and the rest is merely commentary on what has been accomplished.
My own take on the diminishing intensity of mediumistic communication, following the “golden age” you preserve for us, is that the mission of the spirit world was largely fulfilled, that the truths we were capable of receiving were conveyed, and the rest was, and remains, up to us to grasp and live out as best we are able. For me, a lifelong though terribly flawed follower of Jesus, the truth of spiritualism is captured by the simple addition of one letter to the trinity—Father, Son, and holy spirit(s).
Newton Finn, Sun 27 Nov, 18:03
Thank you, Yvonne ,for your contribution on this discussion. Your words mean a lot to me.
Chris, Sun 27 Nov, 15:02
The divine plan is the ultimate goal. We, humans, with our free will can make a few curves in the road, but the goal stays the same, I think. Love and light are the powerful tools to reach for the Oneness.
I remember a blog about the Whites, whose communicating spirits did not give a name.
Suzanne Giesemann is channeling Sanaya, but it is a more fictional name for a groupsoal and there are others talked about in this wonderful blog.
And yes Mike, what is shown on TV kills mostly time, but brings little satisfaction for the heart.
Bruce and Eric,
Thanks for the kind comments and encouragement. After 350+ blogs and maybe 150 or more reports, articles, and essays in various newspapers, magazines, and journals, not to mention seven books, I often wonder how much more I can say on the subject. I recycle many of the same subjects with slightly different verbiage and often with a few additional thoughts on the subject. I try not to “preach to the choir.” My hope is that those who already in the choir will get a new idea or two and pass it on to skeptical or nihilistic friends. The friends may very well reject it, but it sometimes plants a seed that grows over time. And there are quite a few in the “choir” who need renewal or reinforcement in their acceptance of spirit phenomena. Pastors and priests are recycling the same sermons over and over again, year after year, so why not the same recycling here? Most of us need constant reinforcement in our beliefs.
I received an email yesterday from a person who just read my “Titanic” book and came upon the Imperator comment that the spirit world pulled back because of the abuse by low-level spirits and by the reluctance of the greater population to accept what they, the spirits, were trying to teach. The skeptics often ask why we don’t have the same phenomena today as we did during the second half of the 19th century. Well, here is one possible answer. Most of the skeptics probably laugh at that one, but it provides some food for thought for the more thoughtful skeptics, especially those willing to consider that people of that era had more quiet time and fewer distractions and thus were more open to the teachings.
It seems to me that we have made little progress in moving from materialism to spiritualism, and I am using spiritualism in its broadest sense, the opposite of materialism, and so, I believe, it is worthwhile to continue recycling such history and evidence in the hope that it helps at least a few people. The alternative for me is to develop more escape mechanisms, such as watching more sports on TV, or reading more books. Now that baseball season is over, I find myself watching more Air Disasters on TV, but that doesn’t quite fill up my day. Therefore, I’m not ready to row the boat ashore. I’ll just keep rowing until I go into severe oxygen debt and am unable to go on.
Michael Tymn, Sun 27 Nov, 01:58
One point is spirits can transmit their thoughts at a distance.
Also, we have found numerous spirits have difficulty in being able to explain to humans how they are accomplishing what they are doing in the ability to communicate with us as humans.
Another thought…that “shadow” could have been a substitute spirit sent in her place…that she became cognizant of but not her at all.
Side note: there is the spirit (seat of intelligence, will and purposeful) and there is the astral body strictly a covering or envelope of the spirit.
That being said, based on my experience not only at our group for over 40 years but at sessions with individual mediums and mediums at various other centers and groups (spiritualist, Spiritist, metaphysical, etc., etc.) and my own personal experiences…
I submit the following information that I agree with from The Mediums Book:
superiority, or inferiority, of spirits can be generally determined by their language to a large part.
Spirits giving a particular name does not guarantee identity, nor superiority. Superior spirits usually do not give a name. It is the message that is most important.
Generally accept of spirit communications, only what is good, generous, rational, and approved alike, by your intellect and your conscience.
one can NEVER be certain of the truth of any spirit identity or of a spirit communication. Therefore judge each one on its own merit.
Earnest thought, directed at God, can be an effective deterrent against deceptive spirits but it is not a guarantee that one will never be deceived.
Spirits can send proxies (substitutes) when needed.
if one is deceived by spirits it is because of our OWN imperfection, and for that imperfection and consequent deception, we ALONE are to blame. God permits this in order to both test us and to enlighten our judgment, by teaching us truth from error; if we cannot do this it is because we are not sufficiently advanced, and need to learn further lessons.
Listen and/or read spirit communications carefully.
Judge the communication weighing the language carefully.
Be wary of spirits giving names.
Judge each message on its own merit.
You may accept what is rational and reject what is not, or you may defer judgment.
(The Mediums’ Book, Chap. XXIV)
My Own Commentary:
As we explore and study the spiritual world with its interaction with the material world, especially during spirit communication seances or sessions, most people want to know if the spirit who is communicating is indeed, who they say they are.
Before we can fully answer that question there are certain facts that need to be discussed. Spirits cannot be controlled by anyone in this material world. Any medium who says they can produce certain phenomena every time at will, or has a certain spirit at their beck and call, is either a fraud, self-delusional, or, subject to obsessing spirits in control of the medium.
In addition, spirits in the spirit world are at different levels of knowledge of their world, so just because they have entered the spirit world does not mean instantaneously they know all “the mysteries of the universe.” So, each spirit is limited by their intellectual. spiritual, and moral development when they communicate.
Morally superior spirits control inferior ones with the force of their will and nothing happens without the Will of God. Another thing, spirits do not wait around waiting to communicate with us. They have duties and responsibilities according to their level of advancement, and/or they may not be in a position to communicate at all, either due to still making adjustments to their return to the spirit world, or they may have a previous engagement. In addition. spirits can send substitutes who will claim the name of the spirit in question, when it serves their purpose and God’s purpose.
So what does all this mean? Each person must decide for themselves if they believe the spirit who is communicating is who they say they are, based on the information given. But, the message and information given in the communication itself should be closely pondered upon. If the information (mannerisms, way of speaking. detailed information given, etc.) was sufficiently specific regarding the individual we wanted to speak to, it may be assumed it was them.
But, since there are never any guarantees. a suitable substitute spirit may have been used but, we should understand that this should not make that communication any less meaningful.
At first glance, this may seem rather unfair, but let’s look at it from a more spiritual point of view. First, if the spirit wants to and can communicate, and it is permitted that they can do so, they usually will. If they can’t for whatever reason. and it would be important to the spiritual and moral well-being of the individual who is waiting for a communication in the material world, a substitute will be sent, or a messenger will be sent explaining that the particular spirit could not come. But, any message we have given them will be relayed to the appropriate individual spirit, sooner or later, when they can receive it, depending on their situation.
God knows ahead of time what we, in the material world, are waiting and wanting for, in regards to spirit communications and He gives us what we need. This is very reasonable because God loves us, wants to comfort us, and wants us to know about the spiritual world. If we do not receive what we think we need or want, there is a just cause for that. All of these facts, do not negate the fact that there is actual spirit communication from the material world.
This does not even address the imperfections of the medium in the reception of the spirit messages that come into play.
There is a lot we do not yet understand regarding spirit communications and different spirits use different words to describe their experiences, just as we do.
There is no way to precisely prove spirit identity.
Take Care, Mike!
Yvonne Limoges, Sat 26 Nov, 21:34
Newton and Michael,
I delayed in sending this for many reasons and I was pleased to see that you were lifted up by others.
A church is the sum of the people. As a fellow member of this congregation of spiritual beings sharing a pew I can only offer my personal point of view.
This may easily dismissed as the rantings of the deluded ( feeling maugrey is not such a bad label ) but it may yield the spiritual lift that you wished for in your hour of need.
I have mentioned that I am a medium and I was directed, inter alia, to join in these discussions. I learned a lot from these discussions and respect the wisdom of fellow contributors. So I was happy to follow “orders”.
Why would those on the Other Side want to be connected with such a discussion on this side of the veil? Surely the Other Side already know the answers. Again, this group is already prepared for the transition so why spend time with the converted?
I didn’t know if Bill with his Seth/AJD connection or Eric with his Welsh perchance for expression was the reason as they said it would be good for me. I waited for any wisdom to flow. What I did know was they saw Michael and his congregation as worthy of this contact/recognition. That is unusual as the focus has been to reduce grief. To me, it shows the admiration of some in the Other Side of Michael’s outstanding work.
Now to me that means that while his sermons are often about dancing tables (they demonstrate the power that is released from time to time) they are all still significant. An example of this was this recent discussion on Sir Oliver Lodge. If you remember the old game of Battleships where you guess the grid location of your enemies ship this discussion on Lodge was almost a direct hit.
The contact of Oliver with his wife (the subject of linkages) was explained to me prior to the Lodge post by Michael. You might note that sometimes I use a friend said this or that (usually they are spirit friends) however Michael was extremely close to a situation that caused an immediate reaction from one of my spirit linkages. I used EG to stand for a quote from Edmund Gurney (friend of both Lodge and Myers) who also was in contact with Sir Oliver after EG had died. This message was shown in my comment marked as EG. About now, you will swing in to questioning how is this possible? Linkage is the key.
I don’t know the wisdom of mentioning this (too many hard questions that are above my pay grade – they left it up to me) but I know the hollow yearning for wisdom that has prompted a patient person to ask for spiritual assistance. Knowing that the other side is contributing to this group is to me of immense comfort.
Always I am asked will my situation improve, I can only pass on messages of love from those linked with you.
Bruce Williams, Sat 26 Nov, 07:51
Dear all, especially Newton and Chris, but not forgetting Don, whose book brought me back into a NEW kind of Christianity, the spiritual simple kind,
Thanks for your intention and prayers. I may be able to drive again from today. No vertigo yet today, after five days. No dizziness yet today. I AM NOT BOASTING, (don’t anyone DARE to misunderstand me!!!!), just sharing it “like it IS”. I hope others, esp. Newton and his wife, are benefiting too.
But this is perhaps a bit self-centred, and it IS a bit embarrassing to shout about, so I won’t waste any more of Mike and Jon’s blog comment space this time. I just hope others are benefiting greatly from Chris’s and others’ intention too.
Eric Franklin, Fri 25 Nov, 10:38
Thank you, my friends, for the edifying thoughts and encouraging words. I knew you would come through, each in his own way, with his own unique and precious spiritual insights. Does not Spiritualism, or whatever it is we’re doing here, reflect the words of the Apostle, that we work out our own salvation not only in faith and love but also at times, perhaps the most important times, in fear and trembling?
So Michael row the boat ashore, though the river be chilly and cold, it chills the body but not the soul. Though the river be deep and wide, there’s milk and honey on the other side. A slave said that, sung that, without any accompanying signs and wonders save the greatest of them all: the indomitable human spirit trusting in its awesomely mysterious, blindingly beautiful Creator.
Newton Finn, Thu 24 Nov, 19:03
And I knew I had forgotten something . . . Thank you Chris for your powerful and helpful thought.
Already, in the few minutes since I sent my last comment, Welsh Social Services have rung to offer assistance. We have such a system of help in the UK, and it is NOT, despite the impression the USA seems to have of our social services, a kind of communist and false political organisation.
Eric Franklin, Thu 24 Nov, 15:11
Dear Newton and all,
I found Don’s book ‘Spirituality and the Afterlife’ had a similar effect to the effect it had upon his own wife. It seems from his research (thank you, Don, for those twenty years of work) that the ‘religion’ that stands above all is the one that focuses its trust in God/Ho Own (Greek)/The Great All-Being/The One and Only Relativistically Static Reference Frame via Yahshua Christos, despite the Church’s 2000 years of fabulation around the message, and brought me back to trust in a new (to me) and spiritual Christianity in contrast to the humanly-devised scheme that had brought me up and ruined my life.
But it cannot ruin my ongoing life, nor anyone’s. Keep trusting, Newton, even when it seems impossible. Others in Mike’s Congregation have already expressed their own empathy . . .
Eric Franklin, Thu 24 Nov, 14:57
I’m sorry to hear of your apparent depressing situation and also sorry that I can’t offer something that would brighten your day. However, I am curious as to what kind of message would do that. If you have time, take a look at some of the 324 blogs in the archives and let me know what kind of message does help in that regard. Actually, I think I am over 350 now, including the posts under “features” which were part of another site before I signed on with White Crow.
I must confess that my mood is not especially bright or optimistic and thus it is difficult to write in a more positive tone when not feeliing it. I just roughed out my next blog and I know it won’t help. But I am curious as to what might brighten your day.
Michael Tymn, Wed 23 Nov, 20:47
As I see it, the pioneers of psychical research, such as Lodge, Barrett, Hyslop, Richet, Wallace, and others were well-enough established in their careers to deal with the abuse directed at them by the fundamentalists of science and religion. However, such was not the case with the young people just entering the field and thus psychical research gradually died out. Although Barrett died in 1925 and Lodge not until 1940, it was the death of Hyslop in 1920 that seems to have been the turning point, followed by the conflicts over the mediumships of Margery, Rudi, and Valiantine.
Michael Tymn, Wed 23 Nov, 20:37
Much the same problem seems to exist today with those young scientists who lean in the direction of survival.
Newton and Eric,
Chris, Wed 23 Nov, 20:08
It seems you both have difficult times. Well they say that intention is of great power, so I send you my respect,light and love hoping things will get better soon for you.
Welcome back! Though a bittersweet post, to be sure, as you appear to be going through your own version of “the dark night of the soul.”
My wife, Joan, was for many years a “lapsed Catholic.” That condition persisted until, after reading my manuscript as it unfolded, bit by bit, she “found belief” again—and far stronger than it had been before. She joined a church (a non-traditional Catholic church), and though we’ve moved since then, has found another suitable situation and is very much involved.
However—the writings that originally had so stimulated her interest to re-find her faith—have now largely ceased to hold any interest for her. I think this a totally normal human reaction—“out of sight, out of mind” and all that. Initial enthusiasms, no matter how strongly felt at the time, do indeed tend to fade.
Perhaps what’s needed in your own situation is a “re-introduction” to whatever sources have been important to you, and helpful to you, in the past. Wisdom doesn’t fade—it just gets forgotten.
My very best wishes for a successful “recovery”...
Don Porteous, Wed 23 Nov, 19:19
My thoughts and prayers are directed your way. Each person must find his own comfort in life, I suppose, so although my wish would be to comfort you, I know I cannot. I could suggest what you already know I would recommend but what I would suggest, I suggest because it resonates with me, because it achieves my goal, not yours, to find succor in God’s arms.
It is a long arduous journey to find peace among the challenges presented to us on earth but assuredly that peace will come after the challenges have been met. - Your friend, AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 23 Nov, 18:54
Thanks for your comment. I agree there is a lack of ethical, let alone truly reverent, matter in most of the comments, and make bold to say so again. If I am given any truly sustaining word I shall post it here for you to see. Meanwhile, trust in all things and at all times (even when you feel you can trust no longer). The everlasting arms are there beneath us, whether we feel their embrace or not.
Eric Franklin, Wed 23 Nov, 17:33
When life gets tough, as it is for me and my wife right now, how little does it matter whether tables move by themselves or whether some long ago medium was or was not dishonest or whether there is something we can’t begin to understand like a group soul. Michael’s books and blog have helped to bolster me, God knows, but I no longer seem able to find here the spiritual sustenance and ethical encouragement I seek and need more than ever. So, my friends, I’m still here in the congregation, sitting silently in a back pew, waiting for something to hit me, grab me, lift me—something significant with which I can engage, from which I can draw nourishment, by which I can grow a bit more, even at this late date, in love and wisdom. Surely it will come if I remain patient, as Imperator advised Stainton and so,in turn, advises me.
Newton Finn, Wed 23 Nov, 16:58
Excellent article and your comment on the Group Soul is pertinent. The section from Mary (Mrs Lodge in spirit)
” …My wife went on: “There is one thing I wanted to explain to you. When people belong to each other through long association through love, through freshly relationship, there is no difficulty in contact between those people, either from one plane to the other, or between them when they have both reached the same plane. The links exist. But in the case of controls it is different.”
This is very important. I suspect that Lodge was wrong about thought forms - to quote again Mr. Fred (that is Myers) can explain.
“Did you know what a thought form is, something that you might send a long way off and the thoughtform might even speak?”
The identity is linked with the client to the medium. The thought forms are not linked so there is a difference. The writing gives the indication that spirits can mislead if they adopt these thought forms. The linkage is the true test. (EG)
In Mary’s word these linkages are formed “through long association through love”.
The medium picks up this linkage -eg I have a woman with the feel of a mother. She passed 10 years ago but her love is as strong as before.
Back to the group soul. Imagine a globe built with meccano links (where these connections are joined is a node=identity on a network).
The group soul is the network property. About 2 minutes in to this video they talk about social networks = group soul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFcuovfgPTc
Bruce Williams, Wed 23 Nov, 08:23
This side of Oliver Lodge is rather arcane. At his best, he is an inspirational guide. In Part Three of his famous book Raymond (1916), he describes his personal religion, one of the most lucid and intelligent pieces of spiritual writing I’ve ever come across. His earlier book (1908), Science and Immortality, is another gem. In these books he even develops his theology. Many atheists would discover that the god they rejected as self-respecting scientists was rejected by Lodge for the same reasons. Then They might find themselves, to their amazement, ready to reconsider. Oliver is one of my very few intellectual heroes.
Stafford Betty, Tue 22 Nov, 20:33
Mike, Good blog. Once again, I’m always amazed at how close the Seth material tracks your historical info. Seth talks at some length about thought forms, describing reality in the exact same way, but just in more scientific language appropriate for the 21st reader.
Michael Schmicker, Tue 22 Nov, 20:06
Mike (Tymn, of course) quotes Lodge’s remarks about Feda as her saying to Lodge; “Solomon, I do not think I have told you about this before, but there are times when Feda is not really communicating, but her shadow is. [Note that a shadow is a two dimensional projection of a three-dimensional solid.](Feda often referred to herself in the third person.) Mr. Fred (that is Myers) can explain. Did you know what a thought form is, something that you might send a long way off and the thoughtform might even speak?”
It may be worth suggesting that Padre Pio and a very few others seem to exemplify this means of communication and even bilocation, and that this seems to be an alternative way of describing what Sir William Barrett, in his wife’s book of 1937, ‘Personality Survives Death’, describes as his inability to come to a séance as his whole self. Something is always left behind, he says in that book, and some things have to be left unsaid at the séance. I suggest further that an inhabitant of a ‘dwelling place’ of five dimensions would have precisely this difficulty in communicating, downwards and fully, with the inhabitants of a universe of only four dimensions, such as ours.
There is much more to think out and say, but I am not well.
Eric Franklin, Tue 22 Nov, 15:22
Very interesting, as always, so, yet again, Thank you!
I notice that in Lodge’s day the investigators (including himself) though true scientists, were much more willing to speak in terms of a “religious” belief (or, more correctly, a reverent spiritual belief), and see phenomena in such a context, than they are today.
I think we should all take note of this, and consider our own outlooks and attitudes.
Eric Franklin, Tue 22 Nov, 11:52
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