Psychic or Medium?
A medium is someone who can communicate with spirits or who in some way
makes it possible for spirits to interact with the physical world.
A psychic is someone who has ESP, for example, who is precognitive, can
do psychometry, or has other "psychic" powers possibly including
(Occasionally, below, I use the term
"psychic" with the intention that the term exclude mediumship. It should be clear from the
context when that is.)
Some mediums say that when they give a reading, some of the psychic
information is from spirits and some (such as career advice and the
like) is from their own power and they know which is which.
In my experience, when I have a psychic perception, I never feel able
to say "this is not coming from a spirit". Maybe I am not sensitive
enough to have purely psychic perceptions or I am not sensitive enough
to tell the difference, or maybe I am biased. I've been brainwashed by
society to disbelieve in psychic abilities (really!) so I assume any
psychic perceptions are caused by spirits acting on me and not through
my own power.
Once I was lying in bed half awake and saw a person in my mind's eye and
I somehow knew things about him and got a philosophical message at the
same time. Later that day in a mediumship class, I started to give a
reading to one of my classmates, and I saw the same person in my mind's
eye. My classmate recognized the spirit, from my description, as a
relative and said the message was characteristic of him. Another time I
was lying in bed half awake and I saw a cat that was mostly white with a
few small splotches of color. This is not a very common color scheme
for a cat. Later that day an acquaintance started showing me photographs
of her pet cats. I took a chance and asked her which one is mostly
white with a few splotches of color. She showed me the picture (but it
took her a while to figure out that she had never told me about this
cat). In the first instance it seems likely that the spirit I saw was
communicating with me but in the second case I just assume it was spirits
influencing me also.
I have a lot of the strange coincidences happen to me and I never
notice anything unusual until after it happens. This makes me think I
am being influenced by spirits rather than being psychic. If I was
psychic I think I should understand what was going as it was happening
rather than seeing it as unusual after the fact.
I was in the grocery store and was going to get a can of frozen juice.
For some reason I walked down the wrong side of the isle with the two
rows of low freezers in the middle. I never made this mistake before
and it is a very unlikely mistake for me. I'm somewhat compulsive about
efficiency in the grocery store. I have Pocket PC with a spread sheet I
use to take inventory at home and then sort it by where everything is
located in the store so I only have to make one pass through aisles.
When I realized my mistake I continued walking all the way around the
end and over to the other side to get to the frozen juice. When I got
there, the juice wasn't where I expected it. I had a sneaking suspicion
that they must be on the "wrong" side, the side I first went down and
sure enough they were. Was it psychic or mediumship? I don't know. I
assume it was mediumship.
Another time I went shopping for a certain item. My policy is to always
go to Wal-Mart first since if they have it, it is most likely cheapest
and I don't have to look elsewhere. However, I missed the turn. I
continued driving and figured out how to get there by another route. I
missed the turn for that route too. I finally ended up near some other
stores. Having missed two turns, I was suspicious that something
unusual was going on but I told my guides: "I'm sorry, I can't really
rely on this because it might be an accidental coincidence." To make a
long story short, I went back to Wal-Mart but ended up getting what I was
looking for at one of the other stores. So was this psychic? Maybe. I
hardly ever miss a turn like that let alone two. But, if I was psychic
wouldn't I know I wouldn't find what I was looking for at Wal-Mart instead of accidentally
missing a turn? So I assume it was mediumship.
This is one of the reasons I
started studying mediumship. I felt like I was being influenced by
spirits and I wanted them to talk to me about it so I would know what
was going on.
There some are cases when I have psychic perceptions and I feel very
strongly that they are coming from a spirit. In general this is when I
am doing or practicing mediumship and especially when the perceptions
are so strong they are unlike ordinary mental impressions. I often think visually but when a very clear and
strong visual image appears in my minds eye in response to a mental
question I pose to a spirit, it seems obvious that it is coming from the
spirit. Also, my sense that the perceptions are caused by spirits are
especially strong when I smell something psychically or when a words
seem to be put in my mouth and also in cases when it appears I am being
influenced for a purpose. I have recounted some of these experiences
in the chapter
The Dark Side
Also, there are instance where I feel the presence of a spirit while I
am communicating with one. It's analogous to the way you have a mental
map of your environment and you know someone is behind you even if you
don't look at them if they are moving around doing things making noise.
I sometimes sense the presence of a spirit in a similar way. Other
times I have felt as if they put their arm around my shoulder or place
their hands on my head.
I don't claim that my perceptions prove these perceptions come from
spirits I only say that is how it seems to me.
A Glimpse of the Higher Realms
The most beautiful thing I've ever seen was light shining through a
doorway to the spirit world. In a vision, I saw a dark wall with a man
standing in a doorway. He was there to give me a glimpse of the other
side. Behind him was the most beautiful light and it was was streaming
through the doorway. It had a greenish hue which I understood was
coming from a garden behind the wall. It was as if the plants were not
just reflecting light but were luminescent. It's hard to describe, I
only saw the tiniest glimpse, but it is where we will be when we are
done with our earth life and it is more beautiful than we can imagine.
Feeling Free of the Body
Once I woke up in the middle of the night and I felt like like I was not
connected with my body. I knew this must be what it is like to be dead
and separated from the body. It felt a lot better than
ordinary existence. It's hard to say how - lighter, not physically so
much as mentally. It was like all the weight of earthly worries and
cares kept in the biological brain were no longer weighing me down.
This was not an out-of-body-experience (OBE). There is a sense of freedom of movement even in
partial OBE's which I did not have with this. I've never heard of this
feeling occurring with OBE's only with near-death-experiences. I didn't see my
surroundings like in an OBE but I didn't sense my body either like in
normal consciousness. I didn't have any sense of freedom of movement
but I didn't feel paralyzed. I would guess that I was still in place
just not connected in the usual way. It felt so pleasant that I tried
to avoid any movement or thinking which might disturb it.
I had the sense that it was done just to show me, as a kind of
Connecting With the Higher Realms
I went in to donate blood again recently. I hope donating is good for my
karma. I like to think that as my blood is draining into the collection
bag, that some of my bad karma is draining away too.
As I was lying on the table with the needle in my arm, I thought it
might be a good idea to try adding some healing energy to the blood.
Some people believe that you can store healing energy in objects so that
whoever receives the object will receive healing. Other people believe
that the energy is not really stored in the object but that spirits or
angels make a note of your request and deliver the healing at a later
date. There is actually scientific evidence that something like this
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However it happens, I thought it would be a good idea to add some
healing energy to my blood so that whoever got it would receive an extra
dose of healing at a time they would probably be in need of it. At the
same time I also directed healing to whoever needed it in the donation
What is interesting about this is that when I started doing the healing
and I opened myself to the higher planes where the healing energy comes
from, I could suddenly feel something very special. I felt is a strong
feeling of joy and love for the other people in the donation center.
What I think caused this is that there are probably a lot of highly
evolved spirits hanging around a blood donation center who come along
with the staff, volunteers and donors. If you open yourself up, you
start to pick up on the presence of those spirits. Another part of it
is something called "spiritual contact". When you
open yourself to spirit contact you connect with higher planes and you
begin to resonate with the atmosphere of love and happiness that
pervades those spheres. I've had similar experiences when going to a
spiritualist church and, I think, for the same reasons.
One of our jobs on earth is to help spread God's love. I think of this
as acting as a reflector of God's love. The source is God and it comes
to us from Him and we should try to let it shine through us onto other
Spiritual healing is similar to
meditation. In fact, I was meditating to relax before I had the idea to
do healing, but when I started healing and opened to the spiritual
contact, I felt a very different experience. This is one of the things
that leads healers to recognize that spiritual healing is a real
phenomena. When you do it you feel different from anything else,
including things like meditation which are similar.
This also shows that learning and doing spiritual healing can be a path
to spiritual and psychic development.
One last point. Many readers may know that meditation is good for
spiritual development. But, meditation is also good for your blood
pressure. Everyone in my family has high blood pressure except me. I'm
the only one who meditates regularly. When you donate blood they take
your blood pressure, so every eight weeks I get confirmation of this
The method of healing I use is described in the chapter on
While I was out for a walk one day, I saw a small gray dog wandering down
a busy street. I was afraid it would get hit by a car so I prayed for
an angel to help the dog get home. Immediately, a white car pulled over
to the curb near me. The driver was wearing a white sweater and she
asked me if it was my dog. I explained it wasn't so she pulled up a
short distance ahead, near to the dog, and tried to get the dog to come to
her. It didn't work so I squatted down and clapped my hands a few times
and the dog ran right up to me and I grabbed it by the collar. We
looked at the dog tags and found a phone number and the woman called and
left a message that she was going to keep the dog until the owner could
contact her and come and get the dog.
Right after I prayed for an angel to help the dog, a white car pulled
the driver was wearing a white sweater, and she takes care of the dog.
I think she was an angel sent to answer my prayer.
When we understand more about paranormal phenomena our definition of
matter will change. "Paranormal" and "supernatural" really refer to
things that we can't explain. They are not unnatural it is only that
our knowledge is limited so we need words to describe things we can't
In the absence of medical science there are witch-doctors - folk
remedies that are fundamentally sound are considered magic. When the
explanations are provided by medical science, they become mainstream.
There are forces, dimensions, particles, waves, snarks and slithy toves
that behave according to natural laws but our scientists haven't
"discovered" them yet. As soon as they do, materialism will expand to
include these phenomena that are not yet explained by it.
Spiritual laws will become physical laws when we can explain them in
terms other known laws.
Some people like to complain about reductionism but we cannot
really say reductionism is unsatisfactory until we actually understand
the alternative explanation.
The Betty Book
The Beta is the form attribute of the consciousness which is you.
"Not in the same sense as the physical. There is a difference in kind.
You have the same body as I have, and an outer covering which I have
discarded as a disintegrating shell. The difficulty is in words. For
instance, I have a hand. You could not separate my hand from me and have
me go on living. You have a physical hand that you could separate from
you and still go on living.
"The physical body is made up of atoms. Each of these atoms is an
individual consciousness, and each of them has a form. The Beta is not
made up of any such; not in the way the physical is made up. The Beta is
elemental; atomic, but not infinitesimal."
The Unobstructed Universe
There is but one reality. It is all-inclusive, but in degrees. Its
highest expression on earth is consciousness, the self-aware I-Am of man.
Consciousness, in degrees, is the one and only reality.
This is not a statement of subjective idealism. It is as far from that as
from materialism. For as Stephen phrased it:
"Your men of books and laboratories...all seek to find a fundamental in
their favorite attribute of reality. The idealist has made mind
supreme...the materialist has made matter supreme. The truth is that both
mind and matter are...attributes of one that is greater than either."
To that "greater than either" he gave the name of its highest
What you call natural law is just a reflection, so to speak, of the
orthic law governing my unobstructed universe. There is only one
universe, one reality. The only-one-universe is pluralistic, as
consciousness, the fundamental reality, is pluralistic. My aspect of the
universe is unobstructed. Your aspect of the universe is obstructed. But
there is no condition or fact that we have here that is not at least
foreshadowed in your world.
"Now your laboratories are constantly discovering new manifestations, new
laws. Every one of those laws has a parallel here, and every one is
useful to you and to us. All the laws and manifestations discovered on
your side are operating on our side. And on our side are many laws and
manifestations you have not discovered and do not sense. Years hence all
this will be told again in the terminology of our laws yet to be
discovered by you.
If you want proof of certain paranormal phenomena, all you have to do is
read the existing literature. The
this site has links and references to get you started. The chapter
Evidence for the Afterlife has a summary of
the evidence for the afterlife.
However, more proof will not convince many materialists who will not consider
evidence that conflicts with their religion of materialism.
When we can produce technology or techniques that use paranormal forces
or laws to do things easily, often, and well, which cannot be done
today, that will get the attention of materialists and government
research funding agencies.
This is why paranormal researchers and parapsychologists should stop
repeating experiments asking "does it work" that have been successful
for years and years and start focusing on trying to understand "how it
works" so that we can start applying engineering techniques and make
these laws of nature easier to use by the average person. The chapter
is a very preliminary attempt to do something of that nature.
Another good example of someone using paranormal phenomena in a
practical way is Induced After Death Communication.
Induced after death communication (IADC) is a therapy developed by a
Veteran's Administration psychologist that helps veterans with post
traumatic stress syndrome. The therapy allows the patient to
communicate with the spirits of those who's death was involved in the
traumatic experience of the patient.
What is important about this therapy is that any therapist can be easily
trained to do it with the same high level of efficiency as any other.
For more information on IADC see:
Some skeptics complain about evidence not obtained in a
laboratory. It must be understood that some science cannot be done in a
laboratory. Many aspects of field biology, ecology, geology,
anthropology, astronomy are studied by observing phenomena that occurs
outside a laboratory. It also must be understood what a laboratory is.
A laboratory doesn't have to have benches, stools, sinks, and glassware
cabinets. A living room in an ordinary home with curtains that block
all light from the windows and used to hold seances can also be a
laboratory if phenomena are examined there in an unbiased, empirical, and
open minded way. Scientists do not hold a monopoly on science. Where
did the first scientists come from? Science is when you try to
understand a phenomena by making observations and testing hypotheses.
Other skeptics complain that some of the evidence for the afterlife was
obtained too long ago in the last century. The absurdity of this
complaint is apparent when considered against the fact that the geometry
taught in our schools was codified by Euclid some time around 300 BC.
Rational thought and intellectual competence is not a modern invention.
A fact does not become false simply because it has been known for a
certain period of time. Furthermore, at the time of this writing,
the evidence of reincarnation research, ITC, IADC, and the Scole Experiments are more recent sources of evidence.
There is an important parallel with the history of science. At
some point in the development of western civilization, a few people
decided that ancient manuscripts, and superstitions might not be
100% accurate and that, if possible, facts should be tested. When those
first few scientists started testing things, they found that they could
learn even more about nature by inventing hypotheses and testing them.
This was one of the most important events in the intellectual
development of humankind. None of those first few scientists could
possibly understand all of modern science. No single person today can
understand all of modern science. Nonetheless modern science exists.
Paranormal science is in a similar stage of development today as
mainstream science was in those long ago times. However we have been
stuck in the earliest stage for too long. We need to start testing
hypotheses to learn more about how it works. No single person is going
to explain everything, but with many people working on the small piece
that interests them and sharing their discoveries we will accumulate a
body of knowledge that can be used to develop methods and technology
that will make paranormal phenomena an everyday occurrence experienced by
A summary of the evidence for the existence of the afterlife
can be found in the chapter
Evidence for the Afterlife
(A more up-to-date article on super-psi is available on my blog:
The "super-psi" hypothesis proposes that evidence said to demonstrate
the existence of the afterlife is not evidence of spirits but is
actually the result of unconscious paranormal powers of living
The small effect sizes and the lack of super-psychics reported by
parapsychologists studying psi indicates that there is little
evidence for super-psi outside of afterlife phenomena. This is one of
the reasons for skepticism of the super-psi hypothesis. Furthermore,
not a hypothesis of super-psi, it is hypothesis of pseudo-afterlife-psi.
Somehow the unconscious mind of some living person is supposed to mimic,
through various paranormal phenomena, the appearance, personality,
knowledge, and behavior of a deceased individual through psychic means.
Another problem with the super-psi hypothesis is that it was not
proposed to explain an observed phenomena and then found to also explain
the afterlife evidence. It was defined exactly by the afterlife
evidence and the definition is expanded every time a new type of
evidence for the afterlife is discovered. Therefore the super-psi
hypothesis is not an evidence based explanation for afterlife phenomena,
it is merely an expression of disbelief in the afterlife.
Super-psi is used in two main ways: as an explanation of mediumship and as an explanation for any type of evidence for the afterlife.
The super-psi hypothesis for mediumship
There is evidence that can be used to support the
notion that in some cases, mediums, even trance mediums, even very
reliable evidential trance mediums, sometimes seem to be filling the
role of a spirit by means of some subconscious process. One
for this is not that the subconscious mind of the medium
simulates a spirit but that the subconscious mind of the medium
influences the communications from spirits that come through it.
Mediumship, even physical mediumship, is fraught with difficulties
for both spirits and mediums which can result in unsatisfactory
results. However in many, many cases mediumship does appear to be genuine.
The following example from "Survival Versus Super-psi" by Hornell Hart
shows how mediumship can be at times genuine and at other times influenced by the mind of the medium.
Up to the sitting of June 7th all the information came through Nellie,
Mrs. Thompson's so-called spirit control. But on that date the
deceased tried, as he had promised, to take control himself, as the
technical term goes. The evidence then became very striking. During a
few minutes - though a few minutes only - I felt absolutely as if I were
speaking to my friend myself. I spoke Dutch and got immediate and
correct answers. The expression of satisfaction and gratification in
face and gestures when we seemed to understand each other was too true
and vivid to be acted. Quite unexpected Dutch words were pronounced.
Details were given which were far from my mind, some of which, as that
about my friend's uncle in a former sitting, I had never known, and
found to be true only on inquiry afterwards.
But being now well on my guard, I could, exactly at this most
interesting few minutes, detect, as it were, where the failures crept
in. I could follow the process and perceive where the genuine phenomena
stopped and the unconscious play-acting began. In hardly perceptible
gradations the medium takes upon herself the role of the spirit,
completes the information, gives the required finish, and fills in the
gaps by emendation and arrangement...
I have had very similar experiences in mental mediumship classes. I
would get a reading from a classmate and they would start off being very
accurate but after a point the accuracy would become reduced and the
student didn't seem to notice anything different. I also found that
when I would give a reading I would start off with very accurate
evidence and then when I didn't seem to be getting anymore, I would
stop. At this point the teacher would usually try to encourage me to
try to get more information (which often resulted in some heated
dialog). Other students would also try to suggest I should give longer
readings, these were the same students who continued long after they
stopped being accurate. While mediumship is not 100% accurate, the
instances where it is true spirit communication and where it is simply
the action of the subconscious mind of the medium are easily
In some cases, when facts about the life of a trance medium's control
spirit have not been able to be verified, the control spirit is thought
by some to be a creation of the mediums subconscious mind. Mrs. Piper's
Phinuit is an example of this. However when the medium uses such a
control to pass on evidential information from another spirit, that does
not mean that the other spirit is also invented.
If the unverifiablilty of the control is considered evidence of
the evidential nature of
information from other spirits must be considered evidence of survival.
Otherwise, those who assert control spirits whose identity cannot be verified
are a result of super-psi
must be able to explain why
a medium who
can use super-psi to simulate real spirits,
does not use
this facility when generating their control spirits.
There are several forms of the "super-psi" hypothesis that are applied
Mediums might get their information telepathically from the minds of the
Mediums might get their information about dead people from their own
powers of ESP, but not from the minds of the sitters, and perform
physical phenomena through their own unconscious PK.
Trance, materialization, and direct voice mediums might create
artificial entities from their own subconscious using ESP and PK.
The first point is easy to answer. There are many cases where a medium
has brought through information that none of the sitters knew and that
was verified after the sitting, so we know mediumship is not simply based
on reading the minds of the sitters.
The other two issues are more complicated, but can be dealt with by
considering an analogy. Suppose a paleontologist has a collection of
fossils from some extinct species that show a progressive evolution of
some characteristic. The paleontologist will reasonably consider this
data to be scientific proof that such a species once lived and evolved.
Someone might conjecture that alien beings created those fossils five
minutes before they were dug out of the ground. This conjecture cannot
be disproved. Because of this conjecture, should the paleontologist
give up his beliefs about the existence and evolution of that species?
Now consider these data about the afterlife:
Sometimes drop-in communicators who are unrelated to
or the medium communicate through mediums. They do this for reasons
meaningful only to themselves. This shows they are independent
of any living person.
There are links to on-line sources of information on
the chapter no "Evidence for the Afterlife"
in the section on
In the cross-correspondences, parts of a message from a spirit
would be received spontaneously by several mediums working
independently. The parts of the message often used obscure literary
allusions unknown to the mediums and made no sense to any living person
until put together after all the pieces had been received. This
demonstrates that the communicator retained the specialized knowledge of
literature he had when living, that he was still creative, intelligent,
had initiative, had organizing and coordinating abilities and was
independent of any living person.
Sources of further information on the cross-correspondences can be
found in the chapter on
Evidence for the Afterlife
in the section on
Spirits have to learn to communicate through mediums. In certain
forms of mediumship, such as direct voice, trance, or materializations,
spirits demonstrate a learning process. They may have difficulty
communicating on the first attempt and they usually communicate more
clearly and more naturally after several attempts. This indicates
the spirit exists and is learning to communicate through the techniques of mediumship.
Richard Hodgson, who studied the medium Mrs. Piper, observed that
characteristics of the communication varied with the communicators
and did not depend on the sitters. The communicators seemed
to be independent of any living
person. Some spirits were never good at communicating. Some spirits
were better than others at communicating names. All spirits had trouble
communicating at first but improved with practice. This difficulty in
communicating could be overcome with the assistance of other spirits.
Spirits seemed to be confused for a few days just after death.
Stray thoughts from the
spirits (not the medium or sitter) seemed to leak through into the
communications as if the spirit was having
difficulty controlling the means
of communication and private thoughts were being transmitted
unintentionally. These thoughts reflected subjects that would be of
particular concern to the spirit such as situations involving living
relatives but which were unknown to the sitters.
The spirits of young children recently deceased
had clearer memories of early childhood than spirits who had died many
years before. Spirits of young children recently deceased tended to
communicate more clearly than adults recently deceased. Spirits
responded to questions intended to prove their identity correctly but
not always in ways the sitters expected. Sometimes the communicating
spirit was unable to give information that was in the conscious mind of
the sitter. On occasion, a spirit would not know the name of a sitter
they were thought to know. Difficulty in communicating names was a
common characteristic of the communication. If the investigator
ran the sitting like a telepathy experiment, less evidential information
was given through the medium. If he treated the spirit in a sensitive
and soothing manner like an actual person communicating under adverse
conditions, the communication was improved.
This is explained in more detail in my blog entry:
Mrs. Piper: Evidence for Survival After Death
The data from the reports of veridical near death experiences
demonstrates that that the experiencer is able to perceive things
psychically - they have knowledge of things they could not have obtained
with their physical senses had they been conscious. The super-psi
hypothesis does not contradict this evidence that consciousness is not
dependent on the physical body because it is the same person who is
known to have the psychic experience who also experiences
loss of life sustaining bodily functions.
Communicating with spirits has eliminated haunting phenomena that
had occurred with several successive residents who were unrelated and
unknown to each other. The super-psi hypothesis can't explain this
because it assumes there is a living person who is responsible for the
phenomena. If the people in the house change, then according to the
super-psi hypothesis, the phenomena should stop.
Children who spontaneously remember past lives remember them as their
own experiences, they use phrases like "my other mother".
This is not a characteristic of psychic perception. For
example, remote viewers do not describe remote locations as "my other
home". This distinguishes memories of past lives from
psychic perceptions and is evidence that the memories are really
memories and not simply psychic perceptions of another person's life.
There are links to on-line sources of information on children
with memories of past lives in
the chapter no "Evidence for the Afterlife"
in the section on
Super-psi is not a good explanation for children's memories of
past lives because those memories are extremely detailed and accurate.
They don't occur in the usual ways that such impressive psychic information is obtained such as
an altered state of consciousness, a life threatening situation, or by
an individual who has psychic abilities they can use in other situations.
Children who spontaneously remember past lives do not have other types
of paranormal knowledge, the phenomena seems to be restricted to
knowledge of one and only one past life. If super-psi were the reason some children
had knowledge of lives of deceased people, there should be children who
remember other information too, such as
the lives of still living persons, yet there is no evidence of this.
The fact that this phenomena is restricted to memories of one past life
suggests that it is not due to super-psi but to genuine memories.
Children who remember past lives sometimes have birthmarks on
parts of their bodies where they sustained an injury in the remembered
past life. Invoking super-psi to explain this doesn't make sense. Is
the fetus psychic? Is some unrelated psychic exerting psychokinesis on
the fetus to cause a birth mark?
Many hypnotherapists have accidentally discovered past life
regression therapy. This therapy can have highly beneficial effects
when traditional regression therapy or other types of psychotherapy
fail. Super-psi doesn't explain the therapeutic value of this therapy.
However, if past lives are real, then the benefits of past life
regression therapy would be explained because remembering the past life
allows the patient to release previously unconscious fears and regrets.
For more information on past life regression therapy see the
Under hypnotic regression, people remember a continuity of past lives
and inter-life experiences.
During death-bed visions (and other situations) multiple people who are
not mediums see the same spirits.
For more information on confirmed death bed visions, see the section
in the chapter on "Evidence for the Afterlife".
Communicating with undeveloped spirits has relieved symptoms of patients
who were believed to be mentally ill because they heard voices
or were seeing a therapist for other problems ("The Unquiet Dead" by Dr.
Spirits can communicate through mediums who never knew them and
describe verifiable information about their life on earth, the
circumstances of their death and are able to demonstrate personal
characteristics, mannerisms, patterns of speech and skills and that
identify them to those who knew them in life. The super-psi hypothesis
explains this by supposing the unconscious mind of the medium creates an
alternate personality. There is evidence from studies of hypnosis and
multiple personality disorders that the unconscious mind can create an
alternate personality but there is no evidence it can use information to
convincingly impersonate a real person.
We routinely accept far less proof of existence when we identify living
people using the telephone. How would any living person prove they are
not the creation of some super psychic? If a person living in our own
dimension couldn't prove it, how could a spirit prove it from another
If one considers mediumship in light of these other types of
evidence for survival, the likelihood of survival demonstrated by this
evidence makes super-psi a poorer explanation for mediumship. If you
didn't have any other reliable evidence for survival, super-psi might be
a reasonable theory for mediumship, but in the presence of this
other reliable evidence for survival, super-psi seems a poor theory for
Super-psi hypothesis for all evidence for the afterlife
The second use of super-psi is a unfalsifiable attack on all
afterlife evidence whereby anything that seems to suggest survival is
simply supposed to be due to the powers of some living psychic. You can
only dispute such an attack by disputing the evidence used to support
it. Therefore, in the absence of any evidence to support it,
super-psi used in this way is not a logical theory but merely an opinion or a wish.
Another serious problem with this use of super-psi is that it doesn't
specify who the super-psychic is. Is it the medium? Is it the sitter?
What about multiple witness death bed visions, multiple witness crisis
apparitions, and in particular the cross correspondences where a
message is given spontaneously and in parts through multiple psychics.
The super-psi hypothesis also fails to explain the role of birthmarks in
Proponents of the super-psi hypothesis have to explain why super-psi
should be favored over survival. Many of the phenomena described here
could be explained by a contrived hypothesis that some living super
psychic person somewhere is unconsciously responsible for them. Yet,
just as with the paleontologist in the analogy above, the fact that
someone can contrive an alternate hypothesis is not sufficient reason to
reject the straight forward interpretation of the data.
Could mediums be getting information from their own psychic powers
rather than from spirits?
Once I was in a mediumship class when I felt the presence of a spirit who
I knew from previous readings and who now wanted me to give a message to
someone in the room. I said to the spirit mentally, "I don't want to
give the message now" and I explained my reasons, I was a new student
and didn't want to speak out of turn. I didn't say anything
about this aloud. A few seconds later a more advanced student
said that he
sensed the same spirit and gave the message.
Mediums routinely experience spirits as people with initiative and purpose capable of solving problems.
Once I attended a trance workshop given by a visiting medium at my
Spiritualist church. We didn't have any trance mediums at our church so
none of us did this regularly. During the workshop many people I knew
from my church and from mediumship class participated. I was a new
student at the time so I was only allowed to observe. These people, who
I knew well, each took a turn, and after about twenty or thirty seconds
of meditation, (we didn't have to dim the lights) would go into a light
trance. They were conscious but a spirit would speak through them at
the same time. The spirits told us about who they were in life and what
they were doing in the spirit world. Some of the spirits were just as
amazed that they could speak through a living person as I was to hear
them. It seemed to me that there was a personality there and not
just information being accessed. Since I knew the people in the
workshop I could tell they not making it up consciously or unconsciously
and they were not hypnotized.
One could contrive any number of conjectures about about how these two
experiences might result from the psychic powers of a living person
without the involvement of spirits. However, as explained in the
previous section on
the mere fact that one can make up a story is not by itself sufficient
reason to give up the straight forward belief that these phenomena are
the result of spirits communicating through mediums.
But, the question about where mediums get their information is also
somewhat complicated and has several parts:
Do mental mediums get their information about spirits from
communicating spirits or by some other psychic means?
Next, if you attribute trance/physical mediumship to psychic powers of
the medium without the involvement of spirits,
you also have to assume the unconscious mind of the medium
is creating pseudo personalities because the spirits say that they are
spirits and behave interactively like conscious beings. Therefore the
following questions must be addressed:
Are the spirit guides that come through trance/physical mediums real
spirits or constructions of the medium's unconscious?
Are spirits that come through trance/physical mediums to communicate
with sitters real spirits or are they also constructions of the medium's
Some relevant and interesting articles can be found here:
Some of the confusion in these articles is due to the fact that we tend
to underestimate the difficulty spirits have in communicating with the
physical world. As a result we have unrealistic expectations about the
level of accuracy that is possible. Also, spirits themselves say they
can be influenced by the minds of the sitters and by the spirit's own
ESP. Even in trance mediumship, the mind of the medium can have an
effect on the communication. Spirits may not be able to overcome the
associative and deductive powers of the medium or get the medium to say
exactly what they want for a variety of other reasons.
You can read more about this here:
To answer the questions posed above:
Some mental medium's say they can tell the difference between when they
get information from the spirit and when they get it from their own
psychic powers, so you have to accept the word of the medium. In my own
experience, in mediumship classes, my subjective experience is that I am
interacting with a spirit. I see a person in my mind's eye and I get
verified answers when I ask questions, and I often sense a unique
At least some of the time the spirit guide can be an aspect of the
medium. I'm not sure we understand how this works, whether it is the
unconscious, or the higher self or if there is a difference between the
Silver Birch said that he, his medium, and his medium's wife
were aspects of one individuality.
Based on my observations in the trance workshop, when a spirit comes
through with detailed information about their identity and demonstrates
personality characteristics and skills of an identifiable person, the
most reasonable interpretation is a spirit is communicating.
Survival of consciousness after death is a more convincing explanation than super-psi when
all the evidence
but it is interesting to study the history
of psychical research because the super-psi hypothesis was reasonable up
to a certain point.
The early psychical researchers had reason to believe that the
unconscious mind could create "personalities" and that the unconscious
had psychic powers. They knew of multiple personality disorders and
they knew that under hypnosis people could be induced to invent
personalities. They knew telepathy was real and they knew that crisis
apparitions occurred for living people in danger and not just for people
Therefore, the early psychical researchers had ample reason to wonder
if trance mediumship might be explained by the medium creating
alternate personalities and using psychic powers like telepathy to
obtain information about deceased people.
Poltergeist phenomena, in some cases, seems to be associated with a
living person. This, along with what is known about crisis apparitions,
seems to suggest that that a living person could be responsible for
physical mediumship including materialization mediumship.
When the early psychical researchers studied a medium like Mrs. Piper
who in trance, could tell of things she would not be able to know in a
normal state of consciousness, they knew there was some psychic
phenomena occurring. When they found on certain occasions the "spirit"
would only tell things correctly that were known to the sitters, this
seemed to suggest the medium was using telepathy and generating
personalities herself. But sometimes the medium would be able to tell
of things unknown to the sitters, so they wondered if in those cases the
medium was getting things telepathically from people outside the room
somewhere else in the world.
Eventually Richard Hodgson, who was the main investigator of Mrs.
Piper, came to believe in survival. The best instances of Mrs. Piper's
mediumship seemed to him to be genuine surviving personalities because of
so many little touches that to accept they were due to the unconscious
mind of the medium seemed to stretch credulity too far. These
touches extended beyond simply characteristics, mannerisms and patterns
of speech of the individual spirits. They included misunderstandings, and
confusions, of the type you get when you are interacting with real
people. In addition, the control spirits for Mrs. Piper changed over
time and the later ones were better at explaining the difficulties
spirits experienced communicating through a medium. They explained some of
the seeming failures of mediumship, and were better able to control the
sittings to produce more accuracy in the sittings.
More information about the mediumship of Mrs. Piper can be found in:
Michael Sage: "Mrs. Piper & the Society for Psychical Research"
A FURTHER RECORD OF OBSERVATIONS OF CERTAIN PHENOMENA OF TRANCE by
Richard Hodgson L.L.D. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research
Vol. XIII. 1898, p 284 - 582
Later evidence from the
NDE's and other phenomena make the survival hypothesis
much more reasonable than super-psi.
However, the history of psychical research is still fascinating. In its
early days, it was the first time that scientists started to examine
whether or not psychic abilities were real. They had no previous work
to start from. They began by looking at basic phenomena,
and paranormal aspects of mesmerism. They collected anecdotes of apparitions and made a survey to prove
apparitions appearing at a time of crisis happen much too
frequently to be due to chance coincidence. In time, they
worked their way up to the question of survival of consciousness. The
involved in early psychical research included Nobel prize
winning scientists such as the Marie Curie, Pierre Curie,
John William Strutt,
and other brilliant scientist like
Sir William Crookes,
and Sir Oliver Lodge, and leading psychologists like
William James and Frederic Myers. To me it seems like it was a unique
time in history, in a way similar to the time when the US was formed by
the founding fathers. A group of highly intelligent people were, by
good fortune, in the right place at the right time to do something
unique in history.
The term "energy" is used when discussing spiritual healing but it
would be preferable if there was a better term. Scientists have a very
precise meaning for the word "energy" and it doesn't really overlap with
the way it is often used in spiritual discussions.
To a scientist there are various forms of energy: kinetic energy (energy
stored in a moving object), gravitational potential energy (the energy
stored in an object raised to a height that can be realized by letting
it fall), electrical potential energy (the energy of a charged object in
an electric field that can be realized by allowing it to be accelerated
by that field), the energy equivalent of matter that can is realized in
nuclear reactions where it is converted to heat and light, heat energy
which is the kinetic energy of atoms and molecules, light energy which
is related to the frequency of a photon, etc etc.
Energy can only be converted from one form to another. There is no such
thing as pure energy. When you drop something, gravitational potential
energy is converted to kinetic energy, when you bask in the sun, light
energy is converted into heat energy. In a scientist's view, saying
that everything is the same because everything is made up of energy
makes about as much sense as to saying everything is the same because it
is made up of matter.
Another problem term is "vibrations". We hear phrases like "everything
is vibrations" and that is used to explain all sorts of phenomena like
telepathy, materializations, and the existence of higher planes of
existence. However to a scientist, the word vibrations is a lot like
energy in that it doesn't make any sense unless you know what form the
vibrations are taking. What is vibrating? Scientists are aware of
physical vibrations in matter which we call sound. There are vibrations
in electromagnetic fields which we call light. Atomic and subatomic
particles which we consider matter behave as if they were the result of
vibrations that give them properties of waves rather than particles.
There is also another aspect to vibrations - this is whether they are
random or periodic. Heat is caused by vibrations which are "random".
Light "vibrations" are periodic, they have a frequency which determines
for example, the color of visible light.
Saying a phenomena is a result of vibrations is not an explanation.
Doing so may be descriptive - planes of existence may interpenetrate
like radio waves that allow different stations to be broadcast through
the same space. However a description is not an explanation. In order
to explain the phenomena you also have to explain what is vibrating.
One reason for the difficulty many scientists and engineers have
in accepting psychic phenomena is the way it is discussed. The casual
use of what they consider scientific terms causes them to think
believers in the paranormal don't understand scientific principles and
they tend to assume believers are therefore not thinking clearly and this
gives scientists a rationale for doubting real evidence for
the paranormal that cannot be explained by known scientific principles.
I've read accounts of spoon bending parties and I have no reason to
contradict those who have done it. However I did attend a class on
spoon bending and saw spoons bend but I don't think the explanation was
Firstly, the teacher's spoon broke. I didn't understand how that could
happen. I looked all over the internet for information on spoon bending
and read many accounts and I never heard of that happening. Then a
friend of mine explained the obvious: if you bend a piece of metal back
and forth it eventually breaks.
Secondly one student in the class said that her spoon bent but that she
just forced it. The teacher aggressively insisted, "But you used less
force than you normally would." The student replied, "well, uh, yeah".
Thirdly, many accounts I've read said that you can't bend the spoon back
once it's bent. However this didn't stop one student from straightening
So my belief is that in this class people who's spoon bent were either
deceiving themselves or deceiving others and in either case they were
encouraged to do so by the teacher.
Unfortunately, this was at a spiritualist church and I and many others
stopped going to that church when the teacher of the class became
It may be possible that spirits can manifest themselves in photographs as orbs, but not
all orbs in photographs are spirits.
Websites about orbs explain that the way to take pictures of orbs is to
use a digital camera with a flash in a dark room. One can try this with
the camera focused on the far wall and will easily get a few orbs in the
photograph. However if one blows some talcum powder into the air a foot
or two in front of the camera and takes another picture, one will get a
lot more orbs. The photograph below is an example of a particle of
talcum powder suspended in the air near the camera:
One can conclude from this that most orbs in photographs
are caused by light reflected by particles suspended in the air.
Proponents of the spiritual origin of orbs must provide a way to tell
the spirits from the reflections.
There is an interesting news article about the Salem Massachusetts town
council considering licensing fortunetellers. Salem has a lot of
psychics working in that town because of the tourism associated with the
history of the Salem witch trials. It seems like the genuine psychics
are trying to prevent their industry from being demeaned by frauds.
This issue brings out one of the problems with the public's
understanding of the paranormal. Certain phenomena have been proven by
empirical observations to be genuine. These include mediumship and
A summary of empirical support for the genuineness of mediumship can be found here:
A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife by Victor J. Zammit
Support for the efficacy of spiritual healing includes these references:
"The Effect of the Laying On of Hands on Transplanted Breast Cancer in
Mice", William F. Bengston, David Krinsley Journal of Scientific
Exploration, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 353-364, 2000
Nurse Healers Professional Associates International: "In 1992, the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) created the Office of Alternative
Medicine. The experts in this office found that Therapeutic Touch has
one of the strongest research bases of any of the
However, many people who believe these phenomena either don't realize or
don't care that other types of phenomena do not have any known
foundation in fact. This failure to distinguish between genuine
phenomena and unproven beliefs is a serious problem. It confuses the
public and hides the real phenomena in a haystack of nonsense.
The article above shows one of the ways this causes problems.
One woman paid more than $2,000 for readings at a Salem shop, where she was told she had a black aura around her, according to ____.
"Then one day she came into my shop crying," ____ told city councilors. "I said, 'You don't have a black aura. Sit down and I'll show you your aura on my machine.' And it was blue and wonderful."
Aura machines take a picture of a person and constructs an image of an
aura based on sensors attached to the hand of the customer. (
There is no empirical evidence that these sensors can predict what the aura looks like.
A good debunking of this can be found here:
So what really happened in is that a woman was victimized when she paid
$2000 and was told she had a black aura. Then, while severely upset, she
was taken advantage of again by another practitioner and sold a
meaningless aura photograph. The second practitioner who is a very good
medium makes it sound like she did the double victim a service, and she
says it to the town councilors.
One must be just as skeptical with accusations of fraud as with claims
of paranormal phenomena. There are documented cases of skeptics
committing fraud - lying, deliberately planting evidence, bribing people
to make false statements etc. Also, because we understand spiritual
phenomena so poorly, things that may seem like fraud may be genuine
phenomena when properly understood.
Examples of these can be found in "People From the Other World" by Henry
In the chapter "The Katie King Affair" the author demolishes the
accusations against the Holmeses. The piece de resistance (p445-6) is a
private letter from the skeptics' star witness saying that she believed
those mediums were real and that she was offered money to accuse them of
An example of misunderstood phenomena can be found in the last chapter
on "The Compton Transfiguration" p479. In the middle of a
materialization seance the medium is observed to be absent from the
cabinet, however the materialized spirits are weighed and found to be of
different weights all substantially less than the medium.
Do we reincarnate?
Reincarnation is a very complex subject. People who say it's true and
people who say it's not true can have identical beliefs. Our time on
earth may not provide us with the experiences that are needed to
adequately understand it.
Silver Birch had this to say:
"There are also what I call facets of the one diamond. This is the
over-soul, the greater individuality, and the facets are aspects of it
which incarnate into your world for experiences that will add lustre to
the diamond when they return to it.
Also there are people who, although separate persons, are aspects of the
one individuality. For instance, my medium, his wife and myself are
parts of one individual. So you can have facets of the one guide. You
can call these extensions if you like, but it comes to the same thing.
Only an infinitesimal part of the whole individuality can be manifested
in physical form on earth."
This notion of spirits retaining individuality but forming higher level
entity occurs in other writings as well. However, this notion gives
reason to say that reincarnation is true and also reason to say that it
is not true if the individuals don't reincarnate but the
"over-soul" does send some part of itself to incarnate again.
After death, is there a time when the
individual merges back into the over-soul and is that like regaining lost
memories? Can consciousnesses merge to form
a new entity while the individuals that make it up retain their
individuality? One explanation of God is
that at the highest level of the spirit world advanced beings form a
collective consciousness while retaining their individualities.
When you ask if reincarnation is true you also need to understand that
there are different doctrines of reincarnation. Theosophists believe
that the spirit goes into a sort of nether region until they reincarnate
rather than returning to a spirit world and studying their and preparing
for subsequent life. Having that wrong belief about reincarnation in
life leads spirits to remain earthbound and obsess children in their
attempts to reincarnate. (See Thirty Years Among The Dead by Carl
When people who come from this philosophical background ask spirits if
reincarnation is true, the spirits may very well tell them that
reincarnation is not true because of the above ideas expressed by silver
Birch and because the wrong view of reincarnation has dangerous
Beyond Human Personality
was written by the spirit of F. W. H. Myers through the medium Geraldine
Cummins. The book explains that normally a person reincarnates several times.
However, a soul also learns from the experiences of other members of it's
group-soul while retaining its own individuality. Sometimes a newly
incarnating soul will take on the karma of an older soul in the
I Am quite clear that those human beings who live almost wholly in
the physical sense while on earth, must be reborn in order that they may
experience an intellectual and higher form of emotional life. In
other words, those human beings I have described as "Animal-man" almost
Some of the individuals I have designated by the term, "Soul-man," also
choose to live again on earth. But metempsychosis does not involve a
machine-like regularity of return. I have not noted any evidence of a
continual progression of births and deaths for any one particular soul.
I do not for a moment believe that the individual returns a hundred
times or more to the earth. This is indeed, a wrong assumption. There
may, of course, be certain exceptions which you are more likely to meet
with among those primitive beings who seem incapable of aspiration - of
desire to rise above their physical nature. But the majority of
people only reincarnate two, three or four times. Though if they have
some human purpose or plan to achieve they may return as many as eight
or nine times. No arbitrary figure can be named. We are only fairly
safe in concluding that, in the human form, they are not doomed to
wander over the space of fifty, a hundred and more lives.
However, it is well to be agreed that, even if we run, the race of life
on earth six times, we touch but on the fringe of human experience. We
have obtained only a certain discipline. We have not plumbed the depths
or scaled the heights of being; we have not covered all the space of
human consciousness, of human feeling. Yet I can assure you that until
we have harvested many times the fruits of lives spent on earth we shall
not, save in exceptional cases, live on the higher planes beyond death.
It is not necessary for us to return to earth to gather into our granary
this manifold variety of life and knowledge. We can reap, bind and
bring much of it home by participating in the life of our group-soul.
Many belong to it and these may spread themselves in their journeys over
past, present and future. Indeed in the Group, we speak of the life
of a man as a "journey." Very well. I have not, at any time, been a
member of the yellow races, but there are souls in my Group who have
known and lived that eastern life, and I may, and do, enter into every
act and emotion in their past chronicles.
You will recognize how greatly power of will, mind and perception can
be increased through your entry into the larger self. You continue to
preserve your identity and your fundamental individuality. But you
develop immensely in character and in spiritual force. You gather
the wisdom of the ages, not through the continual "Sturm und Drang" of
hundreds of years passed in the confinement of the crude physical body,
you gather it through love which has a gravitational pull and draws you
within the memories of those who are akin to your soul, however alien
their bodies may have been when they were on earth.
A soul that, for the first time, enters a material body is,
usually, related spiritually to some member of its Group and, so close
is its relationship, it may take on the karma of the older soul. The
latter has, perhaps, experienced four or five incarnations on earth. It
is not yet wholly purified, has not gained all the terrestrial
experience necessary to its spiritual evolution. It acquires it,
however, in two ways: (1) through its entry into the group-memory, the
conditions of which I have described: (2) through its psychic connection
with a young soul which takes up the karma, takes on the pattern created
by its previous earthly life or lives.
Many people who have had Near Death Experiences believe in reincarnation:
I was given the choice of remaining with the light, provided I return later to the physical world and experience all that brought me to the point of shooting myself, or I could return now and pick up my life where it was
All of my being wanted to stay there in bliss, but ever since I was six, I knew that reincarnation is the natural fact of life, and now, I had the knowingness that if I chose to stay, I would have to reincarnate to Earth again later.
Reincarnation is not a linear thing. One of the problems in defining it is that there is no analogy to it. It is outside of time, yet we can't help but think of it in terms of the past and the future, and this incarnation. The whole story is so big and so involved.
Heaven, I undeniably saw that I had lived an innumerable amount of lives. Yet, what I saw went way beyond our comprehension of what we think reincarnation is. So, I am not exactly speaking of being born again and again on this planet alone.
Between lives, with the great knowledge of our oversouls, we choose the next life we are going to live and how much karma we are going to meet and settle. For example, if you abused animals, or people, in one life your oversoul would probably cause you to reincarnate into a situation where you'd get abused to make you realize the misery you've caused others.
Amber Wells' research:
Her paper was published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies in the fall of 1993. In her study, 70 percent of the group of near-death experiencers demonstrated belief in reincarnation. In contrast, a Gallup Poll found that only 23 percent of the general population endorse this belief.
"It is a matter of personal knowledge from what the being with whom I spoke during my near-death experience told me about my older son, that he had had 14 incarnations in female physical bodies previous to the life he has just had."
"My whole life went before me of things I have done and haven't done, but not just of this one lifetime, but of all the lifetimes. I know for a fact there is reincarnation. This is an absolute. I was shown all those lives and how I had overcome some of the things I had done in other lives. There was still some things to be corrected."
"I had a lot of questions, and I wanted to know what they [the light beings she encountered in her near-death experience] were doing – why are you just kind of milling around here? And someone stepped forward ... it wasn't just one ... I got information from a number of them ... that they were all waiting for reincarnation."
Some experiencers interviewed during Ms. Wells' study described the general process of reincarnation as one consciousness separating into individual souls to be embodied in matter. One experiencer took this idea even further, stating that reincarnation takes place more on a collective level rather than an individual level. In other words, this experiencer felt that a collective energy recycles itself through matter and that our sense of individuality is a product of our present incarnation only.
Some experiencers indicated that the cycle of reincarnation would probably come to an end for earthly embodiments, but that one would continue to incarnate into other realms or dimensions.
As you are ready, and as you choose, you will be shown your past lives. If you do not believe in reincarnation it may take a long time before you are able to deal with this. Eventually, you must learn to understand yourself in a continuity of growth over many lifetimes. You must recognize all the strengths you have built and all the karmic ties you have created which must be dissolved.
The being told me that each planet has a theme for learning and that any of them can be chosen by a soul when we are between physical lives.
Remarks about the evidence for reincarnation.
Some people question whether the evidence for reincarnation is simply a
result of mediumship or other psychic perceptions about people who lived
in the past that is incorrectly assumed to be a past life. However
there is substantial evidence for reincarnation that cannot be explained
by inadvertent mediumship or other forms of psychic perception.
For more information about the evidence for reincarnation
section in the chapter
Evidence for the Afterlife.
Birthmarks are often located on the body at the same place injuries
occurred in a previous life. Such birthmarks are objective evidence
that are verified on the person, often a child who remembers a past
life. A child may claim to remember a past life in another
city. He may say that in his previous life he was killed in a certain
way and a birth mark is observed on that part of his body. When
investigators go to the other city and are able to verify all the
information the child gives about the previous life including the cause
of death, this is very strong evidence for
reincarnation. (More details about these types of cases can be found in
the writings published by Ian Stevenson.)
- When people communicate with spirits mentally, they don't get the feeling that it is a memory. It is more like a vision. However, people who remember past lives feel that it is a memory.
- As mentioned above many people who have near-death experiences learn that reincarnation is true.
During hypnotic regression, subjects recognize people they knew in past
lives as incarnating again as people they recognize in their current
Past life regression has been shown to have immense therapeutic value.
This therapeutic effect is not a placebo effect. Many people helped by
past life regression have already tried other ineffective types therapy.
If their problem could be helped by the placebo effect, the placebo
effect would have occurred during the other types of therapy which
therefore would not have been ineffective.
Past life regression therapy probably works like other types of
regression therapy. When people are helped to remember repressed
memories it can help resolve psychological problems.
This can be due to the fact that when a memory is lurking in the
unconscious, it may affect our conscious thinking in subtle ways. For
example, if someone was frightened by a clown as a very young child he
might hate the circus as an adult. If he had regression therapy and
remembered the episode which he had repressed he would no longer hate
the circus. If someone had an unpleasant experience in a past life it
can cause psychological problems in their current life and remembering
that past life experience can help resolve those psychological problems.
Past life regression therapy, when done
without leading questions or suggestions by the hypnotist does
not generate false memories of the current life but often
recovers memories of past lives. This is a strong piece of evidence
that the memories are from genuine past lives.
Many psychologists have independently and accidentally
discovered past life
regression therapy simply by asking the hypnotic subject to "go back to
the source of their problems". False memories of the current life are
never generated by this process but memories of past lives are
A puddle of water
In the gutter by the curb
Reflecting the beauty of the sunshine
When the sky is clear
Make your mind clear like the sky
Life may be drab
Make it worthwhile
Reflect the light of God
Please help us to take time each day look for joy in our lives.
Help us to remember that joy is found in the small, simple things in life, like nature, a flower, the song of a bird, the people around us, or the ordinary things we do each day.
Keep us mindful that like the healing force, Joy is around us all the time and available to us whenever we choose to open ourselves to receive it.
Please help us to receive that joy so that it may lighten our lives and our burdens, and so that it may help us to bring your love into the world.
This is the Memorial Day message referred to in
Adventures of a Student Medium
I was lying in bed trying to sleep at 2 am on the Sunday morning of
Memorial day weekend, when a spirit appeared in my minds eye. He
appeared to me as an older man, not tall, somewhat husky, casual
dresser, bald, and was a veteran. At the same time I received an
inspiration for a Memorial Day message. I knew I was going to
Spiritualist church later that day but I had no idea what if anything I
would do with this message. After the service at church we had
"platform practice" a chance for students to get up in front of a group
and practice mediumship. I did a couple of readings, but on my third
reading my friend from 2 am appeared again in my minds eye. The person
I was giving the reading to recognized the spirit as a close relative
who was deceased, so I gave the message. Afterwards the person
mentioned as further corroboration that other mediums have said that
relative is working in the higher levels of the spirit world.
The Memorial Day message was:
* * * * *
This is the weekend of Memorial Day. Memorial day is the day you honor
those who have died in war. At this time, many of you are concerned
with the international situations in many parts of the world. However
as individuals it is very hard for you to know what the right thing to
Some people believe that all war is wrong, and all violence is wrong.
Others believe that you must use force to stop aggression, and that
delaying this will only allow the aggressors to gain strength. It's
very hard to know what the right thing to do is. Sincere, well meaning,
peace loving people may disagree.
So the message for today, Memorial Day weekend, is that when you pray or
send healing to the world, ask not for a particular outcome but ask only
that the highest good may occur.
Just as when in laying-on-of-hands the healer's intention is that
healing should occur for the highest good, when you send healing to the
world you should also ask only for the highest good. You should try to
follow this guideline whenever you pray or send healing or use any type
of spiritual force. Thoughts are things and they have consequences. On
a planet with billions of people all of whom are exercising the power of
thought but who are not using it in a coordinated enlightened manner you
will find a lot of the problems you have in the world today.
So this is why it is important for all of you who truly desire the
highest good to align yourselves with the forces of enlightenment and
not divide your efforts because of philosophical differences. The hawks
and doves may both be sincere and praying together for the highest good
will advance their ultimate objective far more than separate
antagonistic efforts directed at individual outcomes.
Later that day I thought to the spirits, "This is a fine message for
Memorial May, but what do we do on Election Day when as members of a
democracy we have to help decide what the country will do to try to
solve it's national problems?" A couple of weeks later and only a few
days before the next platform practice I received the answer....
* * * * *
When there are conflicts between nations, you often fail to realize that
the problem has a spiritual side, and you try to solve the problem as if
it were only a problem on the physical plane. But if a problem has a
spiritual side to it, in order to solve it, the solution must take into
account the spiritual part.
For example, you tend to see international conflicts as one nation
against another but on the spirit planes the conflict is between the
forces of good on both sides working together against the forces of
evil. You have to consider the true nature of these conflicts before
you will find a permanent end to them.
Another example is that the unevolved spirits that encourage these
conflicts try to influence all sides to view them as ethnic conflicts.
That is because ethnic conflicts are the most intractable and long
lasting. They continue from generation to generation. The effect is to
dehumanize the other side.
However if you understand the truth, that in the spirit world, which is
the ultimate reality, that you are all God's children, you are all one
family, and the earthly ideas of clan, nation, and race are illusions of
the physical world, then you can shatter the illusion of ethnic
distinctions and protect yourselves from being deluded and egged on by
those undeveloped forces.
Another example is the continuity of the personality after death. A
person may be more influential as a spirit than as an incarnated person.
When an enemy is killed, his actions as an incarnated being may end but
his actions as a spirit do not end. If his death is violent and sudden
he may, as a spirit, influence those still alive to follow his cause.
He might even influence his living enemies to their detriment with out
their realizing it. This is why genocide and weapons of mass
destruction are not just immoral, in the long run, they are ineffective
However, if an enemy were to experience the gradual approach of a
natural death he might come to realize some of the spiritual truths and
have more preparation for crossing over and because of that he may make
a proper transition into the spirit realm and decide as a spirit to work
for goodness rather than evil.
Another example is that like attracts like. If a nation has thoughts of
hate in its hearts it will attract the influence of the forces of evil
which will be detrimental no matter how righteous that nation's cause.
Because of this it is possible that in a conflict between nations there
may be no "right" side. However a nation with love, forgiveness, and
tolerance in its hearts will attract the influence of highly evolved
forces which will help it to find a true solution to it's problems.
Another spiritual principle that has to be considered is the power of
thought. Thoughts of love fuel and empower those benevolent forces
striving to guide the earth towards peace and unity. Thoughts of hate
fuel the forces of conflict and violence. The power of love is hard for
you to understand because when a bomb goes off and kills people you hear
about it on the news, but what you don't hear about are all the bombs
that don't go off because of the activity of those spiritual forces that
are working towards unity and peace.
The last example is that a solution to national problems, must be based
on love. In Europe in the last century, the peace after WWI was based
on vengeance. Reparations were extracted by the victors from the
defeated as punishment and that peace based on vengeance did not last
but resulted in WWII the worst war known to humankind. However the
peace after WWII was based on forgiveness, the victors helped the
defeated to rebuild and that peace has lasted.
These examples explain why it is necessary to recognize that the
problems of nations have a spiritual side and that spiritual principles
must be considered in order for those problems to be successfully
resolved. Until humankind recognizes the spiritual side of its
difficulties and acts in accordance with natural law, you will continue
to have these kinds of problems.
So the answer to the question about what to do on Election Day, is that
you have to search your conscience and consider whether you believe in
these spiritual principles and whether your decisions will help the
nation to act according to these spiritual laws.
The first time I ever went to a medium I didn't want to hear from my
deceased relatives. I wanted to ask a question from my spirit guides.
The medium seemed to pick up on this, the first thing that happened was
that she said she wasn't getting anything and that I should ask a
question. I asked if my spirit guides thought exploring psychic
development would be consistent with my life plan, if I had potential to
do it, if it would be worth while. My guides, through the medium,
replied that: Psychic development should be part of spiritual
At first, I thought I understood this - psychic abilities show that
materialism cannot explain all known phenomena and this demonstrates the
existence of the spirit. But, over time as I continued my explorations
I realized my initial interpretation was too shallow and that while it
was true, it was also much more profound that I initially thought.
Spiritual development is not just recognizing the immortality of the
spirit. It is understanding the role of the spirit in evolving to a
higher being while helping others along the same path. Psychic
development should be undertaken for the purpose of spiritual
(This is "The Forbidden Talk" mentioned in the chapter on
The Dark Side)
I am going to talk about spiritualism and materialism.
According to the tenets of Spiritualism, what happens when a person who
is materialistic dies? Well, according to the tenets of Spiritualism
they will become a materialistic spirit. In spiritualism we believe
that the personality continues after death and that natural laws apply
continuously in the physical world and in the spirit world.
There is a book by Ruth Montgomery, which shows how this is true. The
title is: A Search For Truth. In this book Ruth includes automatic
writing she does when a Spirit Guide moves her hand in writing. The
guide describes himself as a writer who was materialistic in life and
who did not pay attention to spiritual things when he was alive. Now
that he is in the spirit world he finds himself at a somewhat lower
level than he would like to be.
It's interesting to observe that just because a spirit is called a
guide, does not mean the spirit is necessarily spiritually advanced. We
should always think for ourselves even when we are working with spirits
This spirit’s goal in writing through Ruth is to keep other people from
making the same mistake he did. By helping others to be more spiritual
and less materialistic he hopes to rise to a higher level in the spirit
In life he wanted to achieve success by accumulating material things.
In spirit he wants to achieve success by accumulating good deeds. You
have to read the book to really understand just how anxious he is to
“make progress” by helping others. If you haven’t read it already, I
recommend it. What the spirit says through Ruth is still very
You may have heard that the object of incarnation is to develop our
souls so that we can attain higher and higher planes in the afterlife so
that eventually we can attain the highest plane which is where God is.
I have a problem with that type of statement.
That type of statement distracts us from the fact that God is
omnipresent. You don’t have to go anywhere or achieve anything to be
During the healing service here in our church, the God force moves from
a higher source through the healer into the person sitting for healing.
What is the God Force? It's God! When God can move through us and into
us, why do we need to get to the highest level in the spirit world to be
with God? We don't. God is everywhere and right here.
You don’t even have to be a healer or sit in the healing chair. If you
haven’t already done it, you can ask God to come into yourself and into
your life anytime you’re ready.
I've also read a number of books by people who have had near death
experiences. When these people come back and tell us what they learned
while they were in the spirit world they explain that the important
things in life are not material achievements. The things we do in life
that we will be the most proud of when we get to the spirit world are
the little things we do when we love, forgive, and sincerely care about
other people. These are things for which there is no material reward
and no public recognition. These are things which are not related to
our own personal goals and ambitions.
True religion is about learning to love God, to love each other and to
love ourselves. When we love ourselves, when we accept ourselves faults
and all, we can start to accept and love other people who might also
have faults. This is why self acceptance is much more important than
striving for perfection. If we think we have the ability to be perfect
we are less tolerant of faults in others. If we accept ourselves as
imperfect we are more tolerant of faults in others. This is the heart
of spiritual development.
In the universe there is a need for beings who can do many different
types of jobs. The characteristics needed to do one type of job may be
ill suited for another type of job. For this reason the whole idea of
perfection is illogical and for the same reason it is just as
illogical for one person to judge another.
When some one stands up here to speak, I think they ought to give their
listeners some concrete advice to tell them how put into practice they
are talking about. So, now I am going to describe a way to meditate
that can help a person develop self acceptance. It goes like this: sit
quietly and notice the natural rhythm of your breathing. If you need
help concentrating, count each breath as you exhale until you count ten
breaths. Then begin counting over again starting with one and continue
in that way. If you find yourself distracted by thoughts, notice what
you are thinking about, if there are any emotions associated with the
thoughts, notice the physical sensations in your body associated with
the emotions. Then go back to observing your breathing.
Don't feel bad when you get distracted by thoughts during meditation.
The whole point of trying to concentrate is not to eliminate thoughts
but to calm and focus the mind, to give you a background against which
you can clearly see your thoughts and emotions. When we observe our
thoughts and emotions clearly we are engaging in the process of self
understanding which leads to self acceptance which leads to toleration
and love of others which is the heart of spiritual development.
That's all, thank you.
More on meditation
Many people wonder what the purpose of life is. By looking at what
people who have had near death experiences (NDE'ers) say about their
experiences and what people in past life regressions tell us, we can
find an answer to that question.
Since our life on earth is temporary it is clear that the purpose of
life has something to do with the afterlife. The importance of what we
do in this life must be related to how the events of our life affect us
in the afterlife.
We can come to a more detailed answer to the question if we consider how
our actions in this life affect us in the afterlife. Many people who
have NDEs report that after death, we have a review of our life. The
review is from the perspective of the effects our actions have on other
people. We re-experience our life from the perspective the the people we
affect. NDE'ers, who have a review, whether or not they were good or
bad people in life, all say that they are pleased by reviewing the good
actions they have done and displeased by reviewing the bad actions they
have done. Good actions are actions that help others in some way or
express love towards them. Bad actions are actions that hurt others in
some way. Furthermore, before the start of the review some NDE'ers are
asked the question, "What have you done with your life?".
From these facts one can construct an answer to the question: what is
the purpose of life? Firstly, from the question, "What have you done
with your life?" we can surmise that we have a responsibility for our
actions. Secondly, from the fact that our life review is from the
perspective of the people we affect, we can conclude that we are
responsible for how our actions affect others. Thirdly, since both good
and bad people all report that they are pleased by good actions and
displeased by bad actions we can conclude that we are responsible for
doing good towards other people and avoiding harm to other people. It
is interesting that one of the sayings of Buddha is: "Do only good and
do no harm".
Past life regression subjects often explain that they are incarnating to
fulfill a karmic responsibility that they incurred in a previous life.
This might be helping another person to accomplish something that they
may have hindered the other person from doing in a previous
life. Or, it can be experiencing for themselves some unpleasant
situation they caused someone in a previous life. This helps them to
learn to avoid doing that again in the future since experiencing it
for themselves will help them to understand why it is a bad thing to do to someone else.
In general these unfulfilled karmic debts spring from bad actions. So
this source also seems to suggest that we incarnate to learn to do good
and avoid harm.
Also NDE'ers sometimes come back and say simply that the purpose of life
is to learn to love. It is interesting that this is in agreement with
the two commandments Jesus taught: love God and love thy neighbor as
thyself. NDEs seem to be organized and managed by the spirits in the
afterlife so that the experiencer can come back to earth and tell the
rest of us what they experienced. NDE'ers are often told they have an
important mission to accomplish and must return to their earth life. It
is reasonable to surmise that this mission is to tell others about their
experience. Because of this, we should take what NDE'ers tell us about
their experiences very seriously.
The notion that we incarnate in order to learn to love is actually in
agreement with the notion that the purpose of life is, as Buddha taught,
to do good and do no harm. If you follow that
advice you will learn to love. It is the same principle used when minor
criminals are sentenced to community service, and it is something people
who are involved with volunteer work know. When you help people, you
begin to understand them better and understand their problems and
difficulties. This leads you to identify with them more and more.
Their problems become your problems until you find that, as Jesus
instructed, you love others as you love yourself.
There are many reasons given by different authors about the purpose of
life and this analysis does not exclude those it does not mention.
However, from this analysis we can say that the purpose of life is to
learn to love by doing good towards others and not harming them.
Free Will, Personal Responsibility, and Blame
"Free will" is one of those phrases that causes a lot of
arguments because it has different meanings in different contexts. Some
of the time at least, people debating it have different contexts in mind
and seem to disagree but might agree if they considered the same context
at the same time.
God does not control us like puppets, so in that context we do have free
Spirits and incarnated people are subject to natural law. For
example, incarnated people are subject to the law of gravity (some claim
to have detected the mass of the spirit also). We are all
subject to the laws of psychology too and therefore the decisions and
actions of spirits and incarnated people can be predicted. In
that context one could say that we don't have free will.
Other constraints on free will are our life plan. There seems to be
some evidence that certain events in our life are planned before we are
born. How we react to them is left to our "free will" but we cannot
avoid them in the first place.
Also, our spirit guides or helpers in some cases can influence
us in ways we are not aware of and that also restricts our free will.
Karma and Personal Responsibility
The law of
(which says that good
actions have good consequences etc. see
The Law of Karma
in the chapter on
is also important in this discussion. Under this law, we reap what we
sow and thus we see that we are held personally responsible for our
actions. This is the way God gets the result He wants while still
free will. The law of karma is our great teacher and its lessons are
the basis for soul growth and development.
Souls are like rose bushes. Every sin is a thorn and every good action
is a sweet smelling flower. Gardeners grow roses for the flowers but
understand there will always be thorns.
If a rose bush is all thorns and no flowers, is it the bush's fault? If
the soil is not right, if there is not enough light, if the plant is
immature, or if the plant is pruned too severely it may not produce
So even though in some sense we do have free will, and we have personal
responsibility under the law of karma, blame and hatred are not
appropriate because we are still an inevitable product of the
interaction of our initial characteristics, our environment and natural
law. When you see people acting badly do not make things worse with
blame and hatred. An appropriate response may be called for, but leave
the law of karma to do it's job and refrain from anger, hate, and blame
as much as you find it possible to.
Everyone is a Medium
Professional mediums are no more spiritually evolved than ordinary
people. Mediumship and psychic abilities are found in all types of
people including selfish people as well as selfless people.
Also, every person has the ability to be a medium to one extent or
another. We all have spirit guides. What do these guides do? They
influence us. How? By influencing our thoughts. That is a form of
mediumship. Obviously not everyone is sensitive enough to give
readings to other people but everyone must be capable of perceiving the
influence of spirits.
Every living person has one or more spirit guides who helps them
throughout life. Everyone also has helper spirits who help them with
specialized tasks. However, most of the time people don't know they are
being helped, and they attribute this guidance to their own mind or
their conscience. Most of the time guides do not control us like
puppets. While they put thoughts into our heads to make us aware of
different alternatives, for the most part they let us make our own
decisions. There are exceptions where guides will take a more forceful
role but only for a good reason and not very often.
Silver Birch, an advanced spirit teacher, has this
to say about spirit guides:
Ambassadors from the hierarchy and other enlightened
beings, who are kindred souls as far as you are concerned, attach
themselves to you sometimes before you are born into your world.
Sometimes they make themselves known to you before you incarnate into
your world; sometimes you agree with them that you will volunteer to
perform certain tasks. It does not matter what names you call them.
They are there. They do not leave you. Their task is as it says in
your Bible, “He shall give his angels charge concerning thee.”
These are the angels of light who surround their charges, whose
self-imposed task is to guard, to guide, to sustain them and always to
point the way to the spiritual path that ultimately leads to mastery.
spirit guides who are with us from the beginning of our lives and who
"guard, guide, and sustain" us. Since most people are not aware of the
activities of these guides, we know that they can do their job
without our knowing it and that they have sometimes subtle (guiding, and
sustaining) and sometime not so subtle (guarding) influences on us.
It's important for people to realize we all have this ability to
perceive spirit communications and that mental mediums who give readings
have something that is highly developed but it is still something that
is natural to everyone. This is an important point because if more
people held this view then people would look for and be more open to
spirit influence in their own lives and that in itself would make them
more aware and more sensitive. If society was more accepting of this as
a natural ability innate in all of us, then children would less often
turn off their abilities due to social pressure and society as a whole
would develop more spiritually faster.
Many people would be better off recognizing that they don't
always need a medium. With a bit of warning about the self deceptions
of wishful thinking, of fear, and of other delusions many
people can learn to consciously sense what their guides want them to
know and even to sense the presence of departed loved ones if they would
be open to it and believe they can really do it. The biggest obstacle
Most people can have the experience of
communications from spirits
and recognizing them as such.
A Natural Method of Communicating With Spirits
explains how to do this working alone.
Many people are also able to do this
in a class on mediumship.
You don't have to be a professional quality medium to have this type of
amazing experience. There is a wide range in ability from simply seeing
a spirit in your mind's eye and describing what you see and getting
confirmation from a classmate, to being able to give a full reading with
a message. You don't have to be able to give a reading worthy of a
professional medium to have a meaningful experience.
There are certain conditions provided by a mediumship class that make
- In a class, the teacher's guides can be a big help because they will have
had a lot of experience with beginners.
- The spirits also say having a group of people assembled rather than
working with a lone individual makes it easier for them to come through.
Mediums also report it is easier to work with a larger group.
When you have a class and the spirits and guides are assembled then there
is also a very specific time frame in which to expect communications to
occur and one can watch the mind very carefully during that time and be
on the look out for spirit communications.
The most important factor has nothing to do with a class and
that is the belief that it is possible for you to do it.
One of the difficulties is that while we perceive communications from
our guides, we think they are our own thoughts. Therefore, even though
everyone is capable of perceiving spirit communications, and everyone
has done so, most people have no idea that it is possible or they are
already doing it. So if you don't know or believe you can do it you
won't look for it to happen or notice it if it does. Spirit
communications are usually too similar to our own normal mental
processes to stand out. The problem is not that they are too rare but
that they are too ordinary. However if you believe it can be done and
you believe you can do it, then you may start watching the activity of
your mind and with the additional factors provided by a class, most
people can have some type of experience of perceiving spirit
communication and recognizing it as such.
Trying to understand God or explain who God is, is very difficult. Part
of the problem is that the human idea of God is probably an invention of
the human mind. That doesn't mean that God doesn't exist, it simply
means that He just might not be exactly what we had in mind. Some of
the ideas we have about God are: He created the universe, the earth, and
life on earth, and that He answers prayers. These ideas also lead to
questions like "how did God come into existence"?
Another big problem is that we can't seem to find a person who fits this
job description. So we start trying to think up explanations like God
is the totality of all consciousness etc. Supposing that
consciousnesses can add up like that, is it necessarily correct to map
that being to the human idea of God and to each of those items in the
Maybe it is better to try to answer individual questions like how did
the universe come into being? Did the earth and life on earth arise by
intelligent action or did they arise by chance? If by intelligent
action, who did it? Who answers prayers?
What if different entities are responsible for these different
activities? Does that mean there is no God? Do we need a single entity
at the top of a hierarchy to escape the "sin" of atheism? Does it
If you read the literature written by spirits through mediums, they seem
to support the notion that God exists. If you are interested in looking
into this, a couple of free on-line e-books by William Stainton Moses
will be helpful.
More Spirit Teachings
Silver Birch, a respected spirit teacher, had this to say...
... I have lived much longer than any of you who are listening to what I
say. As a result of my experiences in realms far beyond your earth I
have gained some knowledge of the Great Spirit you call God, and of the
natural laws which have been devised to ensure that the will of the
Great Spirit will and must ultimately prevail.
Love is a mighty force in the universe. It is love that is expressed by
all advanced beings in our world whose only desire is to serve you. We
seek nothing for ourselves. We require no worship, no adoration, no
gratitude. If we succeed in helping, all we ask is that you express
your thanks to the Great Spirit and, because of what you have received,
try to serve others.
As you learn to fulfill yourselves you will obtain as a result a
richness, radiance, steadfastness, resolution, awareness and inner
peace. You will be in harmony with the laws that the Great Spirit
devised, and even with the Great Spirit, a portion of whose divinity is
within each one of you.
It is perfectly reasonable to acknowledge that you don't understand God.
One may feel funny saying he believes in God. How can you believe in
something you don't understand, can't find, and can't explain or describe?
For a person to try to understand an entity capable of creating
the space, time, and everything in it, is like a mouse trying to understand a computer. A mouse
can only think that it might be something to eat or a place to build a
nest. That is about as close as one might ever come to
understanding the creator of the universe.
However you should use prayer simply because it works. The prayer, "Oh
God, please show me how to ...." is extremely
effective. It is based on
the law of proportional assistance.
has been used effectively and it is based on prayer.
One may hold the point of view that God is who ever it is that is
responsible for giving this help in answer to prayers directed to Him.
Maybe it's an omniscient, omnipotent person somewhere, maybe it's the
celestial bureaucracy, maybe it's the omnipresent superposition of all
consciousness in the multiverse. The important point is that He gets
More on this topic can be found in my blog posts Evidence That God Exists: People Who Have Near Death Experiences Meet God and Realizing the Ultimate.
In many quarters it seems is fashionable today to denigrate religion
because of the misdeeds done in its name. However, that is not
completely fair. While it is true that the inquisition killed people
and took their property, the atheist communist did the same thing on a
scale that dwarfs what the inquisition did. Skeptics have organizations
and meetings and books that fill the the same role in some skeptic's
lives as religion. (see:
Some prominent skeptics even present misleading information through the
mass media to influence the public to agree with their views,
(see the chapter on
while at the same time complaining religion is deceiving the public.
There are also many materialists who refuse to consider evidence that
contradicts their beliefs just like fundamentalists of any religion.
The problem has nothing to do with religion or atheism. It is a problem
with human nature. A few people will have malevolent intentions and
manipulate other people in order to accomplish their goals. They use
some form of ideology to manipulate believers and to justify their
If you care to look for it, you can find many good things about
religion. It made early attempts to codify correct behavior to maintain
a civilized society. During the middle ages it kept education,
literacy, and knowledge alive in Europe. Religious charities take care
of orphans, run hospitals, and provide help to those in need. Many
religious people believe in unselfishness, cooperation, and living a
peaceful life, they are sincerely trying to get through life doing the
best they can and find their religion helps them to keep to these
positive values. Gratuitous attacks on religion don't really help