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Feature articles by Michael Tymn

Psychical Researcher Guy Playfair discusses “The Afterlife Revealed” with Author Michael Tymn

Editor's note: Guy Lyon Playfair, a long-time psychical researcher and the author of many books, including This House is Haunted, and The Flying Cow, recently republished by White Crow Books, interviewed Michael Tymn about his book The Afterlife Revealed, also published by White Crow. Here is their dialogue:

An “Interview” with Sir William Barrett 
 by Michael E. Tymn

Before making a name for himself in psychical research, William Barrett (1844-1925) had established himself in the world of physics. After serving as assistant to the famous physicist John Tyndall from 1862 to 1867, Barrett became professor of physics at the Royal College of Science in Dublin.

An Interview with Professor L. Stafford Betty by Michael E. Tymn

As a professor of religious studies at California State University, Bakersfield, Dr. (Lewis) Stafford Betty takes a somewhat unorthodox, bold, and refreshing approach in teaching his classes, including one titled The Meaning of Death. He discusses mediumship, near-death experiences, past-life studies, death-bed visions, and other psychic phenomena./>

An “Interview” With French Educator, Scientist & Philosopher
Allan Kardec. By Michael E. Tymn

Allan Kardec was one of the pioneers of psychical research. This “interview” with him is based on his several books. Except for words in brackets inserted to provide a transition or flow, the words are his. The questions have been tailored to fit the answers.

Is Christmas Celebrated in the Afterlife? by Michael E. Tymn

According to Silver Birch, the spirit entity who communicated for nearly 50 years through the trance mediumship of Maurice Barbanell, a British journalist, certain groups in the afterlife spheres celebrate the holidays – both Christmas and Easter. However, he pointed out that these celebrations were going on well before the Christian era gave added meaning to them.

The Physician Who Watched Himself Die by Michael E. Tymn

Dr. Wiltse could not recall passing through the abdomen or chest, but he recollected that his “whole self” was collected into his head. He appeared to himself something like a jelly-fish in color and form and remembered thinking that he would soon be free. As “he” emerged from his head, he saw two women sitting at the head of his physical shell and wondered if there was room for him to stand.

An Early Near-Death Experience by Michael E. Tymn

That question was put to members of the Royal Medical Society by Sir Auckland Geddes, a British surgeon turned statesman, at the Society’s bicentenary celebration in 1937. Sir Auckland was referring to the strange experience of a man who had seemingly “died” and then returned with a detailed memory of all he had seen and done. The “near-death experience” phenomenon, which strongly suggests a spirit or etheric body in addition the physical body, was for the most part unheard of then.

An ‘Interview’ with The Rev. William Stainton Moses by Michael E. Tymn

An Anglican clergyman and English Master at University College, London during the latter half of the 19th Century, The Rev. William Stainton Moses is most remembered as both a gifted physical and mental medium. This “interview” is based on his books, Spirit Teachings, More Spirit Teachings, and Spirit Identity. Except for words in brackets, inferred and added to permit a proper flow or transition, the words are his verbatim. The questions have been tailored to fit the responses.

An Interview with Canon (Dr.) Michael Perry by Michael E. Tymn 

Michael Perry has served as President of the Churches’ Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies (CFPSS) since 1998 and as Editor of its journal, The Christian Parapsychologist, since 1978. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research. Founded in 1953, the CFPSS exists to promote the study of psychical and religious experiences within a Christian context. It takes a positive view of psychic sensitivity, recognizing that proper theology needs to listen humbly to all empirical evidence.

What’s Real? By Michael E. Tymn

In her 2007 book, When Ghosts Speak, Mary Ann Winkowski, a Cleveland, Ohio medium who serves as a consultant to the popular television series, Ghost Whisperer, states that many earthbound spirits gather on the studio set for the program.

A Glimpse of Hell by Michael Tymn

“Hell is a thought region,” Thomas Dowding communicated on March 17, 1917. “Evil dwells there and works out its purposes. The forces used to hold mankind down in the darkness of ignorance are generated in hell! It is not a place; it is a condition. The human race has created the condition.”

An “Interview” With Alfred Russel Wallace by Michael Tymn

While history has recorded that Wallace (1823-1913) was co-originator with Darwin of the theory of natural selection, usually referred to simply as evolution, most people seem to credit the whole idea to Darwin. That may be because Darwin's book, On the Origin of Species, published in 1859, gave it more widespread recognition. However, a secondary reason may be that Wallace's reputation among scientists was tainted somewhat by the fact that he became a champion of spiritualism.

An Interview With Steve Beckow. By Michael E. Tymn

Steve Beckow, a resident of Vancouver, B.C., has a very unusual pastime. You might call him an afterlife cartographer. A sociologist, historian, and a former member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Beckow prefers to call himself a student of cross-cultural spirituality. His primary interest now is in making sense of the afterlife from revelations that have come to us through various forms of mediumship, including the mediumship of the Bible and other sacred texts. I recently had the opportunity to interview Beckow by e-mail. Here are my questions and his answers:

Automatic Writing by Michael E. Tymn

Automatic writing is a psychic phenomenon in which discarnates, or spirits, purportedly communicate by controlling the writing hand of a human sensitive, or medium. It usually involves the sensitive, also referred to as an automatist, being in a disassociated state and delivering words not in his or her conscious or subconscious, although mainstream psychology attributes it all to the latter.

An Interview With Louis LaGrand, Ph.D. By Michael E. Tymn

When he was teaching a course on bereavement and death at a liberal arts college within the State University of New York system more than a quarter of a century ago, Dr. Louis LaGrand was euphemistically called the “death man” by some of his colleagues. It’s a label he still carries and does not shrink from.

The mystery of Patience Worth

Over 24 years, Patience Worth dictated books, short stories, plays and poems, through the mediumship of a woman in St Louis, Missouri. Michael Tymn investigates.

An “Interview” With Frederic W. H. Myers by Michael E. Tymn

One of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), Frederic William Henry Myers (1843-1901) is sometimes referred to as the “Father of Psychical Research.” His book, Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death, published in 1903, two years after his death, is considered a seminal work in the field. Harvard professor William James wrote that Myers “will always be remembered in psychology as the pioneer who staked out a vast tract of mental wilderness and planted the flag of genuine science upon it.

An “Interview” with Sir William Crookes by Michael E. Tymn

Put “Sir William Crookes” into an Internet Google search and you will receive some 95,000 hits. One of the links is to the Dictionary of National Biography, which refers to him as a “Victorian Man of Science.” It tells of his many contributions to the fields of physics and chemistry, but makes only passing reference to his controversial “excursions into psychical research,” seemingly excusing him for such an indiscretion by explaining that Sir William thought all phenomena worthy of investigation, and refused to be bound by tradition and convention. Incidents in My Life - Part 1 by D. D. Home is available from White Crow Books

Interview with Psychical Researcher, David Fontana

Dr David Fontana, one of the most widely respected psychical researchers in the world, passed away on October 18th 2010, after a short illness. Michael Tymn interviewed him a few years ago shortly after he had published his Magnum opus, Is There an Afterlife? Here is the interview.

Interview with Charles Tart

As Dr Charles T Tart sees it, the world has been miraculously transformed by science and technology. This transformation has been very good in many ways, he points out in his 2009 book, The End of Materialism, but the material progress has been accompanied by a shift in our belief systems, a shift that has resulted in the ‘partial crushing of the human spirit’ by scientism.

Are Organ Transplants Contraindicated?

If I could go back 30 years or so with my present understanding of things metaphysical, I think I would struggle with the idea of being an organ donor.

The Most Dynamic NDE You’ll Ever Read About

“All about and above me I could see nothing, but fancy my astonishment if you can, when looking down, I saw my body resting peacefully on the bed, representing what is commonly called a ‘dead person’,”

Scientist, 107, Embraces Death by Michael Tymn

If the mindset of Dr. Alexander Imich is any indication, embracing death may be one of the keys to longevity in this realm of existence. Imich, who celebrated his 107th birthday on Feb. 4, says that living a long life has never been one of his goals and that he has no fear of death. “I am very interested in finding out how things are on the ‘other side,’”

What the Spirits told the Professor

One of the distinguished scientists of yesteryear featured in my book, The Articulate Dead, is Dr. Robert Hare, a professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania during the 19th Century. Like most of the other scholars and scientists investigating mediumship, Hare started out as a disbeliever and expected to debunk mediumship.

The mystery of Patience Worth

Over 24 years, Patience Worth dictated books, short stories, plays and poems, through the mediumship of a woman in St Louis, Missouri. Michael Tymn investigates.

Confucius speaks? Part 2

Skeptics claim that stories involving the paranormal are often exaggerated over time by both the original storyteller and those who pass on the stories. This feature examines the arguments against the validity of the story told about medium George Valiantine by Dr Neville Whymant in his 1931 book, Psychic Adventures in New York.

Confucius speaks? Part 1

Dr Neville Whymant, a professor of linguistics at Oxford and London Universities, was surprised when he heard 14 languages, including an ancient Chinese dialect, spoken through the American direct-voice medium, George Valiantine. One of the voices he heard used the name by which Confucius was canonized.

Physical mediumship witnessed by Canadian physician

In his 1920 book, Dawn of the Awakened Mind, John S King, a Toronto physician and president of the Canadian Society for Psychical Research, tells of seeing and communicating with his deceased wife, May, during sittings with two mediums in November 1911.

The reincarnation of a WWII fighter pilot… or is it?

The story of young James Leininger, as set forth in the 2009 book Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot, offers a very convincing case for the survival of consciousness at death. Whether it is strong evidence for reincarnation is another issue.

Is psychic healing for real?

Every now and then, while channel surfing, I’ll come upon some television evangelists supposedly healing someone of a dreaded disease by simply putting his hand on the person’s head and then pushing the person backward. I shake my head and wonder what is going on. Is it for real?

Why spirits wear clothes

Pseudo skeptics and debunkers are usually quick to smirk and scoff at reports that spirits wear clothes. Indeed, it even exceeds the boggle threshold of many who believe in a spirit world. However, afterlife communications suggest that spirit beings clothe themselves in an attempt to become visible to us.

Messages from a fallen soldier:  a rumor of angels, Part 2

Continuation of the story about a deceased First World War soldier, Bob Bennett, who was killed on the battlefield in France during World War I. Shortly thereafter, he began communicating with his mother by means of Morse Code and then through automatic writing.

Messages from a fallen soldier:  a rumor of angels, Part 1

A heartwarming movie titled ‘A Rumor of Angels’ was released about six years ago and is an occasional rerun on television. Few people realize that it was based on a true story, although it took place in World War I, not the Vietnam War. The story came from the 1918 non-fiction book, Thy Son Liveth: Messages from a Soldier to his Mother, by Grace Duffie Boylan.

The fate of the suicide in the afterlife: Part 2

There are very extreme views as to what should happen to suicide bombers in the afterlife. At one extreme, they are seen as heroic martyrs in the service of God and should be richly rewarded. At the other extreme, they are nothing but savage murderers who should ‘burn in hell’ for eternity. Emotionally, at least, there seems to be no middle ground.

The mystery of ectoplasm: Part 5

In 1914, Dr William J Crawford, a lecturer in mechanical engineering at Queen’s University of Belfast, Ireland, began investigating the mediumship of 16-year-old Kathleen Goligher. The phenomena surrounding the young girl included communicating raps, trance voice, and table levitations.

The mystery of ectoplasm: Part 4

It is easy to dismiss the photographs of a materialization in process with the medium Ethel Post Parrish as a fake, since the materialization looks much more like a painting or a mannequin than a real person. However, an understanding of the ideoplastic nature of the phenomenon helps us make sense of it.

The mystery of ectoplasm: Part 3

Vice-Admiral W. Usborne Moore, a retired British naval commander, began investigating mediums in 1904. One of the first he sat with was Cecil Husk, an English materialization medium. Like so many mediums of the day, Husk had been charged with fraud a number of years earlier.

The mystery of ectoplasm: Part 2

Skeptical scientists insisted that ectoplasm was nothing more than cheesecloth or some other substance cleverly packed in the body and regurgitated at an opportune moment. They gave examples of this ‘rumination hypothesis,’ showing how some people are able to use the stomach as a hiding place and later bring it back up.

The mystery of ectoplasm: Part 1

How can anything so repulsive and so repugnant in appearance be real? And how can there possibly be any spiritual connection with it? No doubt this is the first reaction of intelligent, rational people who come across old photos in books about paranormal phenomena of a substance referred to as ectoplasm.

Are Ghosts Earthbound Spirits? By Michael Tymn

Wikipedia defines ghost as the “apparition of a deceased person, frequently similar in appearance to that person, and usually encountered in places she or he frequented, or in association with the person's former belongings.”

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The Only Planet of Choice: Visitations – Many people use the word ‘Alien’ to describe a visitor from outer space. Extra terrestrial is another word, which is rather more user friendly. For the sake of the question and answer format, the word used by the questioner has been left, though even Tom questions our use of‘Alien’. Should we wish to foster openess between all beings of the Universe perhaps we should also look at our vocabulary? In a discussion between Andrew and Tom many years earlier, Andrew had asked Tom about UFOs and whether they were created manifestations. Tom had replied: “Many of the flying things that you call UFOs come from our place, but they come from other places also, and they do come in physical form. But many of them are not physical. They are like your movie screen”. Read here
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