Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Amy's NDE

Amy's NDE is quite interesting. It offers evidence in support of the filter model of the brain (see below). I recommend reading it. Here are some excerpts ...

Amy had an NDE after a bad reaction to pain medication:

I considered the doctor's prescription of three whole pills and decided to take them all and trust him.

I went to bed after taking all three and within minutes felt myself begin to go numb. Then the inside of my nasal passages swelled up and I couldn't breathe at all. I couldn't even open my mouth I was struggling to get air, but could not. My entire body felt like it was mummified. I couldn't call out for help, and it only took a couple of minutes before, the struggle was over.

There was a strong suction coming from the top of my head (like a vacuum) and an absolute sense of relief. There was no longer a need to breathe, and no feeling of being drugged on a medication. I had no sense of my own body. I've forgotten much of this next part, but it seems I travelled very quickly. This is a void area for me.

The next thing I remember is pulling through some kind of a portal along with many others. It felt like I was in a waiting room. There were many others coming through and I began to watch them move in.

Some lessons can only be learned by incarnating:

The teacher continued to offer more information. He explained how in aborting their own lives, these people would have a rest period, but that learning what they needed to learn would be difficult. I came to understand that as much as they were taught and infused with good and helpful information there, and even if they agreed "wholeheartedly" with what was being taught.. or what they needed to learn, that learning without a body is like learning to get over an addiction to drugs with no opportunity to do the drugs! Or like learning to love one's own enemy without having enemies to deal with. He explained how he needed to teach this group of people how vital it is to let go of themselves. How to lose their obsession with themselves. How they will be stagnant in all progress if they cannot unchain themselves from their own self-obsessions. He had to teach them the importance of humility. And yet, he shook his head, smiling slightly, and he implied that there was still very little he could help them with, without their bodies. His hope was to instill more of a passion for what he had to teach, strong enough that it would leave a seed of Light that might stay with them through their sojourns.

Spirits retain the same personality they had on earth:

Looking back at that part of my experience, I was astounded by how earthy.. how even animal-like people can be on the Other Side. One might expect that upon entering through Death's Door, there would be sudden enlightenment; that maybe everyone would realize absolute goodness and choose Light and a fresh start, possibly becoming more angelic and purified, but in that place, everyone came in exactly as they'd been before.

One's earthly religion is not important in the spirit world:

I'd also wondered at religion while I was there, and I quickly received the sense that this wasn't important. That one's religion, no matter which they joined or didn't join on earth, was always what was written in their own heart. It was about WHO the person was, not what label they wore or who or what they worshiped or believed in. Your own frequency, tone, mathematical equation and vibration says it all, and you can't tinker with that. You just ARE who you are. I learned that we are here to learn how to Love, Divinely. And to become Masters of ourselves. To nail down our own lower natures and to Raise up within ourselves our own Highest Self. We are all working toward Oneness again.
Life may seem chaotic and pointless but everything happens for a purpose according to a plan:

In my NDE though, I came to understand that most of us have lived much, MUCH longer than we could even fathom. That our lives that feel so very long are infinitesimal when placed in the Whole picture... which for that matter, cannot even be framed. I was shown how every single individual through their own free will chooses paths that MATHEMATICALLY take them to the circumstances of their next existence or life. That NOTHING at all sits in accident or chaos. That every single aspect of our lives are ruled by NATURAL Laws that we placed ourSELVES in! That in a sense, we create our own worlds. I was shown how one can never assume either, that if someone lives a life of suffering that this is because of "evil" deeds. Many may CHOOSE a life of suffering because of what it Awakens in them.. or to help another, etc.. We can NEVER EVER assume that we can be accurate in guessing why each Being lives the life they live. I cannot describe the relief... the refreshing, peaceful balm this Knowledge was for me. To finally gather this Truth that I'd yearned for all of my life... That all IS Good! That there IS sense and beauty all around. That no one is just "free-falling" as it had seemed before! That God doesn't just get to toy with us as He pleases with random ideas of tests, including rewards and punishments that just depend upon His current mood or mindset. While in this experience, out in the vast expanse of stars and planets, moons, and Knowledge, I Knew complete Trust for what felt like the first time. This was bliss for me. I had lived in fear and distrust and panic for 30 consecutive years.

During her NDE, Amy experienced enhanced mathematical abilities. This is strong evidence in support of the filter model of the brain, which says that the brain does not produce consciousness but only filters non-physical consciousness while we are incarnated. Like a piece of colored glass filters light so that only certain wavelength pass through it, the brain filters out some of the capabilities of consciousness while we are incarnated. When we are freed from the brain after death or during an NDE, we regain all our capabilities including the ability to understand advanced mathematics.

Amy's enhanced mathematical abilities during her NDE also seem to support the filter model of the brain as an explanation of Acquired Savant Syndrome. In acquired savant syndrome, a person develops exceptional talents after a brain injury. In some cases, this involves enhanced mathematical talents. In one case, a boy knocked unconscious when hit on the head by a baseball was able to do calendar calculations when he woke up. If the brain filters consciousness, then damage to the filter may act like a puncture and allow aspects of consciousness, like mathematical abilities, to pass through, that were previously restricted by the filter:

I want to add that in my life, I have always had a mental block when it came to math. Even the simplest math ideas, starting from the time I was only six years old were difficult for me to approach. I would shut down when anything with numbers was presented to me. So, in my NDE, while being shown such an enormous array of gorgeous mathematical equations and facts... and visual numerical splendor, I was overjoyed at my own ability to thoroughly comprehend all of it. Unfortunately, at my return, I was discouraged to find that I could not relay or bring with me the expansive amount of math understanding and knowledge I'd been so anxious to share with others. I was and still am, in love with numbers. That was a big leap forward!

Amy's life review gave her insight into the emotions of other people in her life and also into the the way higher beings react to our mistakes:

I was able to feel exactly what others around me had felt during my life. I understood how everything I did and said and even thought had touched others around me in one way or another. I was able to even enter the minds and emotional centers of many who had been around me, and understand where they were coming from in their own thinking.. how their own personal views and lives' experiences had brought them to the places each stood. I felt their own struggling and their own fears... their own desperate need for love and approval.. and more than anything, I could feel how child-like everyone was. With every person I viewed, including myself, I was able to See and Feel with a Higher Mind and Eye. And the feeling I had toward everyone was nothing less than what a loving mother would feel for her own children at toddler age.

It was actually comical at moments. I could feel how the "Elders" as I will call them (these are those who are Helpers on the Other Side.. who have Mastered themselves in many or all ways, and help work with us.) see us and find so much humor in the way we do things. It might seem brutally annoying to consider when we are in the midst of a great argument or drama that is playing out in our lives, that the Elders view these things very much like when a mother sees her two year old scream and cry and bop another child on the head with a stuffed animal.

God is in everything:

At NDE, 'God' was the Mind, or maybe I'd say, "The Order" in all things.. 'God' felt to be the Supreme Highest Vibration and Frequency, that felt like more of an ESSENCE than an old man, to me. It was all around and in everything. And 'God' no longer felt male to me. I didn't sense a gender, if there was one. The idea of that just seemed silly to from the Other Side. God was just all that is beautiful and peaceful and One, and all that is Good. And everything DID feel so good to me, there. In fact, I came back with this Knowing that despite what SEEMED "good" or "bad" before... it now became united to be only, "Good." Because I trusted and Knew that everything was in it's right place... even when people made decisions that I didn't agree with myself, I still felt that in the overall picture, it was ALL "Good." I had this Knowing as well, that there was the essence or spark of the Highest (as I'll refer to 'God') in EVERYTHING. In every mineral, vegetable, animal and human and beyond... I just Knew that the Highest waited within everything to expand and create and grow and experience. I lost all desire to analyze everything in life, as I'd done before through religious examples, by trying to judge everything little thing as being either "good" or "bad." I wasn't concerned. We are all just consciousness experiencing life, and learning how to love, create, and develop to the Highest we can be. I knew to choose what felt right for me and to trust more. That when something felt unjust or imbalanced, to do what I could to work toward harmony, but to not worry about that which I had no control over. I know that eventually, even without our taking over the controls, the Universe is so full of Order, it always finds a way to Balance everything, because the Universe cannot exist without perfect Balance. And it will continue to exist.
Since her NDE, Amy is much less judgmental in her thinking. She realized her old way of thinking was making her miserable:
I had never understood the all-encompassing monster of misery that my "Duality" way of thinking was in my life until my NDE If someone had walked up to me before my NDE and had asked me if my "duality" way of thinking was tiring and miserable for me, I would have been utterly confused and unable to agree with the statement or even make sense of it. I had never been aware of how my mind had always tried to label or judge in one way or another everything I came across. Even if in ways I thought of as "good," for example, "She's the nicest.." or "He's this or that.." or "That backyard is the prettiest one, etc." It was me judging one thing as better than another. Dual-thinking.

Since coming back from the NDE, I find that in my earthly body and mind, this tendency still comes up occasionally, but not as often, and I am much more conscious of when I am doing it. It no longer appeals to me. I don't feel the need.

By the end of her NDE, Amy didn't want to leave the spirit world or her spirit guide, but she realized her daughter and mother needed her so she agreed to come back to earth.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Create Your Own Good Luck: Understand the Law of Karma

People who have near-death experiences and also many mediums who have communicated with spirits say that people chose a plan for their life before they are born. That plan determines the broad outlines of one's life. Also, we are all constrained by the laws of nature, the actions of other people around us, and the genetic and social circumstances of our birth. So, there are limitations to what is possible for each individual. However within those constraints, there is some room for flexibility. We have some ability to make plans and follow them to create the type of life for ourselves that we want.

However, there is also another factor that affects what happens to us in life. The law of karma. The law of karma states that we will experience the consequences of our actions and that good actions will have good consequences and bad actions will have bad consequences. If you want good thing to happen for you in life, within the constraints described in the preceding paragraph, use the law of karma. Avoid bad actions because they will have bad consequences for you. Try to do good actions because they will have good consequences for you.

Bad actions are actions that harm other people. Good actions are actions that help other people. Most people, most of the time, can figure out whether something is a bad action or a good action. There are a few complications, like when a person needs to learn something for himself and providing help would prevent him from learning on his own. In a case like that it might be better not to offer assistance.

Another complicated type of situation is when you see somebody doing something that is harmful to yourself or another person. Should you intervene? How? When one person does something that harms other people, those people are more likely to react in a way that also causes harm to someone. They might try to get revenge on the person who harmed them, or they might take it out on someone else. But if you see someone causing harm, and you stop him in a way that leaves him angry, that anger is going to find another victim.The best solution to these types of situations are solutions that break the pattern of harm. If you can somehow intervene in a way without leaving anyone angry, that would be a better solution. If you can find a way to break the pattern, either by absorbing the harm yourself and not transmitting it to someone else (and this is easier said than done), or by some other creative solution to the problem, that would be better than simply meeting negativity with negativity. Unfortunately, such difficult situations can be very complicated and an ideal solution may not always be apparent or available to you. In that case, a less than ideal solution might still be better than doing nothing.

However, when possible, if you are able to understand the law of karma, you can maximize the good consequences that come to you by doing only good actions and in this way create your own good luck in life.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Cope with Being Psychic


Many people imagine that psychic abilities such as being able to talk to spirits or knowing the future can have a lot of advantages. However being psychic can also cause problems too. It can cause someone to feel different, isolated, confused, and at times it can be frightening.

The remedy for these difficulties is knowledge. If being psychic is causing problems for you, learn as much as you can about being psychic and what other people have experienced. When you know more about the kinds of phenomena that can occur, that there are other people who have the same experiences, how to control them where possible, and how to use them, you will begin to feel more comfortable with psychic experiences.

In particular, learning about the following subjects can make it easier to cope with being psychic:

However, there are limits to what can be accomplished by an article like this. If you are having problems caused by having psychic experiences and want to seek help from a mental health professional who has experience dealing with psychic and spiritual problems, there is a list of such professionals here.


There are a wide variety of psychic abilities. If you are psychic, you might see and hear spirits, or sense them in other ways. You might have intuitions about future events. You might know what other people are going to say before they say it. Objects around you might move for no apparent reason, or electrical equipment may malfunction. You might have dreams of future events that come to pass, or dreams of events at distant locations that you can confirm. You might feel the emotions other people are feeling, or have other types of paranormal experiences.

If psychic phenomenon is not something you have studied before, you may feel alone, confused and frightened by this. If you don't know anyone else who is psychic and you have not read anything about being psychic you might not understand why or how you experience what you do. If you find yourself developing psychic abilities suddenly and unexpectedly, it can be confusing and frightening. Some people may wonder if being psychic is demonic, sinful, or a symptom of mental illness. Friends and family may be wondering the same thing. Peers, friends and family members may not believe psychic phenomena are possible, or they may have negative reactions to psychic phenomena. These things may cause someone who is psychic to feel confused, frightened, isolated, or abnormal.

This article is intended to help you learn to cope with psychic experiences and it is based on my knowledge of the difficulties experienced by people with psychic abilities. I have met many people who developed psychic abilities because I have been a member of several different Spiritualist churches. Spiritualist church services usually include a demonstration of mediumship and many of the people who attend the services are psychic too. Spiritualist churches usually offer classes in mediumship and healing and I have attended those types of classes so I have some experience with psychic abilities myself. I have also communicated over the internet with many people who have developed psychic abilities and I am currently a moderator of the Psychic Support Forum. This article discusses subjects you can learn about that will help you cope with being psychic and includes links to other articles with more information on many of these subjects.

If you are the parent of a child who has psychic abilities, you should also become familiar with this information and try to explain it to your child in a way he can understand. You should also understand that there is nothing evil about being psychic, many people have these kinds of experiences. If your child reports psychic experiences, react to them as if they were ordinary. You should not discourage your child or punish him for being psychic, but don't treat his psychic experiences as something very special either because you don't want to encourage your child to make up stories. You should also try to explain to your child that other people might not understand about his being psychic so he should be careful about who he talks to about his abilities.

If having psychic abilities is causing problems for you, there are several areas that you should learn more about:

How to Control the Phenomena.

Section Contents

Unfortunately, many psychics never develop the ability to completely shut down the phenomena or to turn them on at will. However there are things you can do to develop some control over them.

General Techniques

  • Meditation If you are not a regular meditator you might try meditation because it can be calming and relaxing and this may help you cope better with your experiences. However be aware that meditation can also make one more psychically receptive because it quiets the analytical mind allowing greater awareness of the intuitive mind. If you are a meditator and you want to reduce your psychic receptivity you might try doing less meditation or stopping it completely.

  • Listen to music. Listening to music can distract you from psychic perceptions when you don't want to be aware of them. If necessary turn the volume up but use head phones so you don't disturb the people around you and don't play the music so loud that you damage your hearing.

  • Practice using your abilities deliberately. If you can learn to use your abilities when you want to, you may also improve your ability to not use them when you don't want to. This may help reduce spontaneous occurrences.

  • Pray for guidance, assistance and protection. If you are not comfortable praying, you should try it anyway. When you are dealing with spiritual phenomena you must use the tools of spirituality. Just tell God what is bothering you or what you want. If you want help from divine or spiritual forces, often you have to ask for it before it can be given. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Part of spiritual maturity is understanding your part in the hierarchy of advanced beings helping less advanced beings. This means you should help other people when you can, but it also means it is your responsibility to ask for help when you need it. Cooperation, working together to accomplish something that cannot be done by an individual, is one of the most important spiritual values. Cooperation includes asking for help when you need it. Obviously, not every prayer will be answered but it is still useful for keeping communication open, for maintaining spiritual contact with the higher planes.

    • The most powerful prayer is to ask to be shown how to do something. This is almost always more effective than asking to be given something.

    • A good prayer for protection is: "Oh God, please watch over me and protect me so that only the highest and best forces can influence me."

    When you ask a question in prayer, try to be open to receiving an answer when you pray, but also understand an answer may come later when you might be more receptive or when circumstances can provide a symbolic answer or some other type of sign.

  • In extreme cases medication may be helpful in curbing psychic perceptions.

Sensing Spirits

  • How to Get Rid of Spirits

  • If you are hearing voices, talk back politely.

  • If you are sensing the presence of spirits, understand that you can be an active participant in the communication. You don't have to be a passive, silent observer:

    • If you would prefer the spirits to leave you alone, politely but firmly tell the spirits to stay away from you. If it is just an inconvenient time and you wouldn't mind if the spirit came back later, say so. If you don't like a certain spirit and want him to stay away permanently, say so. When you speak to spirits you can do it mentally, like with prayer, you don't have to speak out loud.

    • If the spirits are doing something you don't like, you should tell them, they may not realize the effect they are having on you. One medium I knew was so sensitive that when the spirits tried to explain to her how they died, it could be very unpleasant. She felt what they felt causing their death too strongly. She had to learn to tell the spirits not to communicate so intensely. The spirits didn't realize how they were affecting her but they would be more sensitive when she explained what the problem was.

    • Don't do something just because you think a spirit told you to do it. It is your life and you are here to learn from experiencing the consequences of your actions. Spirits may remind you of factors to consider, but they should not be giving you too much advice about how to run your life. Not every spirit has your best intentions in mind, and sometimes it is possible to misunderstand a spirit or to mistake an ordinary phenomena for a psychic perception (see below).

  • Suggestions on how to handle possession.


If you are experiencing objects moving unexpectedly, hearing raps, or electrical equipment is turning on or off or otherwise malfunctioning, this may be due to unconscious psychokinesis (PK). If these phenomena are restricted to one location, and or do not depend on the presence of any one person, they may be caused by a spirit. If the phenomena seem to occur in different locations and only occur when you are present it is more likely to be psychokinesis. Psychokinesis is often a consequence of emotional upsets and dealing with the issues that are upsetting you may reduce the occurrence of unconscious PK.

  • You can also try to use a psi wheel to develop control over psychokinesis. The linked article describes how make a psi wheel and turn it by placing your hand near it. If you can turn the wheel without placing your hand near it, practice that way.

Empathy: Sensing the Feelings and Emotions of Others

  • Try to continue your daily routine and keep busy as much as possible so that your mind will be filled with mundane thoughts.

  • Try sending spiritual healing energy to the person you are sensing the feelings of. The way you can do that is explained here: Spiritual Healing: You Can Do It. Taking practical steps to help the situation may make you feel better about it.

  • Visualize a shield of white light surrounding yourself that protects you from outside emotions and feelings.

  • Pray for, or ask your spirit guides for, help shielding you, or to help you understand how to shield yourself. I have found that asking to be shown how to do something myself is one of the most effective forms of prayer. Try to listen for an answer immediately after asking, but also be aware the answer might come later at an odd moment when you might be particularly receptive to perceiving it. See the section on Prayer for more information.

Psychic Self-defense

My article on psychic-self defense has additional information and links that may be helpful.

Phenomena that Might not be Psychic

Learn to distinguish between genuine psychic phenomenon and ordinary phenomenon that may appear to be psychic. People who are psychic are more likely to confuse ordinary phenomenon with psychic phenomenon, Because they have so many psychic experiences, psychics have a low threshold for accepting that something is psychic. There are two phenomenon you should be aware of that are relatively common and while they may seem psychic they may not be. Just like sometimes dreams may be precognitive or be communications from spirits but many dreams are not psychic at all, the first two phenomenon below may or may not be psychic.

  • Sleep paralysis

  • Hypnopomic hallucinations - are hallucinations that occur when waking up from sleep. They may seem very real but you should be suspicious of any type of psychic perception that occurs immediately upon waking, it may not be a psychic perception at all but just a hallucination.

  • Hallucinations

  • Fears or wishful thinking. One common mistake beginners make is that they confuse their own fears or wishful thinking with psychic perceptions. It can take a bit of experience to tell the difference. Genuine psychic perceptions are usually a type of "knowing" without emotional content. You might react emotionally to the information but your sense of the information does not come from an emotional part of your mind.

Understanding, accepting and finding purpose in having psychic abilities.

  • Understand that you are not alone and that many other people have had these experiences.

  • Learn more about the evidence for the afterlife.

  • Learn more about the evidence for ESP and some of the different types of psychic perception.

  • Learn more about what it means to be psychic and what people like you experience.

    • Get to know other people who have had psychic experiences.

      • The Psychic Support Forum is an on-line forum where you can meet other psychics and people who are interested in psychic phenomena and discuss anything you want.

      • Spiritualist churches are a good place to meet other psychics. The services usually include a demonstration of mediumship and offer spiritual healing to those in attendance who desire it. Spiritualism is a very tolerant and undogmatic religion. You can be any other religion or even an atheist and still go to Spiritualist services. There is often a social hour after the services for people to meet and get to know each other. Spiritualist churches also usually offer classes in mediumship and spiritual healing.

      • IANDS The International Association for Near-Death Studies has local groups in many locations. People who have near-death experiences often have psychic experiences too.

      • You may be able to meet other psychic on-line through Internet discussion forums.

    • Read biographies of psychics so you can learn about what other psychics have experienced and how they coped with it.

    • Reading about scientific studies and other investigations of psychic phenomenon can also be helpful.

    • Here are some web sites and blogs with articles on psychic phenomena:

  • Find meaning in your abilities.

    • Some psychics learn to use their abilities to help other people by giving psychic readings, helping people to communicate with spirits, or giving spiritual healings. If you want to use your abilities to help other people, you should find a competent teacher who can help you develop your abilites and guide you on how to use them ethically and responsibly.

    • Some psychics find meaning in their abilities by studying them scientifically to contribute to humankind's understanding of the phenomena. If you become involved with scientists studying paranormal phenomena, make sure they have a set of guidelines on the ethical treatment of human subjects in scientific experiements. Read and understand those guidelines. Know if your privacy and anonymity will be respected. Also find out if the investigator will profit from your participation through books and lectures about his research on you. Avoid any type of public contest or challange designed to prove the reality of paranormal phenomena. The mass media and skeptical organizations are not interested in helping psychics. They are interested in promoting themselves.

      Further reading on participating in research:

How it is Possible for People to Have Psychic Abilities.

It is possible for you to have psychic experiences because a human being is a spirit incarnated in a physical body. Psychic abilities are abilities that come from our spiritual nature. They are the abilities we have before we are born into the physical world and that we will have again when we leave the physical world after the death of the body. People who have near-death experiences experience expanded consciousness while they are out of their bodies and experience many types of psychic phenomena such as precognition, clairvoyance, and spirit communication. For most people, the brain filters out these abilities while they are in the body but in some cases these abilities make it through and we have access to them while we are incarnated.

More Information

If you are interested in spirits and the afterlife, there is a lot more information on those subjects at my web site.

Copyright © 2012, 2013, 2014 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Allison Dubois Psychic Medium on Radio Out There Podcast

Barry Eaton, the host of Radio Out There interviews psychic medium Allison Dubois.


Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why do Spirits Communicate Symbolically?

Last week, I blogged about what it is like to communicate with spirits. That post was based on some conversations that took place on an internet discussion forum. At about the same time on the forum there was a thread from someone who wanted to know why spirits communicated symbolically rather than with words. This is how I replied ...

Many mediums can receive communications from spirits best if the spirits show them a picture, so most spirits will try to communicate with a picture. However spirits don't communicate with pictures of words very often. It does happen sometimes but very rarely.

Part of the difficulty is that letters are very familiar and there are a finite number of them. It seems to be true for all types of psychic perception that the more open ended the possibilities for perception the less interference there will be from the mind of the psychic. (Charles Tart discusses this in his book Learning ESP) For example, remote viewing is easier than guessing zener cards because in remote viewing the possibilities are unlimited but zener cards are limited to 5 possibilities.

If you take cards from a deck of playing cards and try guess which are red and which are black without looking at them, you already know what the two possibilities are. The mind tends to be very active and hard to control. If I say don't think about a pink elephant, most people will think about a pink elephant. If you are trying to guess cards you will likely be thinking about different cards. These thoughts are likely to drown out your psychic perceptions. Your thinking about the next card might drown out any faint psychic perception you might have of it. You also know the color of the next card might be the same as the color of the previous card so you may confuse your thoughts and memories of the previous card with your psychic perception of the next card.

However, if a spirit is communicating with images of real world objects, a medium will have no idea what is coming next, he will have nothing to base a guess upon, and he is less likely to think about what might come next, and therefore is less likely to confuse his own thinking with a psychic perception. He would also not expect the next image to be related to the previous image so it would be unlikely that he would confuse his memory and thoughts about the previous image with his psychic perception of the next image.

An image usually comprises an entire concept. But if you were seeing images of words it could require several words to communicate a concept. Your thoughts, assumptions, memories, associations, and inferences that arise from the meaning of previous words and clauses could influence your expectations about what the next word would be and you could confuse that expectation with your psychic perception of the next word. If the spirits tried to communicate by showing pictures of letters, the medium would likely be thinking about and visualizing words and letters, trying to guess the next letter based on the letters of the word already shown or the next word based on the words of the sentence already shown. It would be harder for the spirit's communication to be perceived over the noise.

When spirits communicate with pictures, the picture can very often be interpreted literally. When I would communicate with a spirit, I would usually see them as they looked in life. They would show me pictures of things they did, what their house looked like, where they worked etc. These types of images helped the sitter to identify the spirit.

However, spirits will use symbols when the thing they want to communicate cannot be represented with a literal picture.
Some things can't be described with a simple picture but can sometimes be communicated with symbols. Names are one example of this. One time I was getting a reading and the medium brought through my uncle. He showed the medium a picture of a snowy field which I recognized as the name of the town he lived in: White Planes. (This is why it is important for a medium to report exactly what they perceive and not try to interpret it. Usually the sitter will know what is being communicated symbolically and how to interpret it. If the medium saw the snow and said something like "snow was meaningful in the spirit's life" it would not have made any sense to me. I have had many readings by inexperienced mediums who provided a lot of evidential material but wove it into a story of their own creation that had nothing to do with reality.)

There are also many occasions when a spirit will communicate something without using a picture. Once when I was giving a reading, a spirit named Rose identified herself to me by making me smell roses. Another time I was giving a reading and the spirit identified his cause of death by inducing me to place my hand under my neck and close my hand. This helped the sitter to recognize the spirit as a cousin who died by hanging himself since the gesture I made was like I was grasping a rope around my neck.

Some spirits do communicate with letters but it requires a special development process that few mediums go through.

It involves a ouija board which I don't recommend anyone use. The ouija board is a form of physical mediumship and if you open yourself to the influence of spirits there is a possibility that "undeveloped" spirits can influence you. In general, like attracts like, if you are using the ouija board as a joke for vulgar entertainment you are likely to attract vulgar spirits that might like to play jokes and tricks on you.

If your intentions are of a high spiritual nature you will likely attract highly developed spirits. However with physical mediumship there is no real guarantee that the good spirits can keep the bad spirits away. There are many cases in the history of physical mediumship where the good spirits were not able to prevent such interference. It often takes a team of spirits to work with a physical medium, some of whom act as spiritual bouncers to keep away the etheric riff-raff. There must be a strong karmic purpose for your mediumship in order to justify an entire team of spirits working with you.

(In mental mediumship, you are in direct mental contact with the spirit and it is easier to recognize the personality traits of the spirit - with physical mediumship they just control your body so it is much easier for them to fool you.)

There are cases where very proficient mediums got started with a ouija board, but there is some risk to it. After using the ouija board for a time the medium may begin to know in advance what the next letter is going to be and she can just say or write it rather than use the ouija board. Later she may begin to know what the next word is going to be and she can stop spelling out the words. Eventually she may develop into a full trance medium.

There are a couple of free ebooks about excellent mediums who got started with the ouija board:

The Betty Book and Our Unseen Guest. Both are available at: Unfortunately, this site seems to go down frequently. If the site is not up and you want to download the books you might try to use a search engine to see if they are available elsewhere on the internet.

The Betty Book:

"As with numerous others, our interest in the ouija board began quite casually. On the date I have mentioned, some friends called on us bringing one of these with them. They had bought it as a toy, to try Out,without belief that anything in particular would happen to it.


But once, in the middle of our laughter and buffooning, the glass moved with a sharp quick decision as though impatient, in striking contrast to its customary fumbling.

"Why do you ask foolish questions?" it spelled.

Those sitting at the board denied having anything to do with this: it was too apropos! Nevertheless we suspected them, and they suspected each other.


Next our attention was caught by the repeated spelling out of the name Betty. Now there was present a young woman nicknamed Betty. She was standing in front of the fireplace after a very brief trial at the board-and a somewhat scornful trial at that. We insisted that she was being paged and that she must try again. She was reluctant, thinking this merely an attempt of those sitting to lure her back into the game, but finally yielded and took her place.

Immediately her fingers touched the glass it began to move in circles. Around and around it went, faster and faster until she and her partner could hardly keep their fingers on it. So comically like a dog frisking in delight was it that we all burst into laughter.

"It's glad to get Betty," said we."

Our Unseen Guest

OUR first experience with psychic phenomena occurred on the evening of December 7, 1916---by way of a ouija board. Neither Joan nor I had ever seen a ouija board before. The "toy" came into our hands quite by accident. We were taking our dinners at a private boardinghouse some blocks from the apartment building in which we lived. On the evening in question a sudden storm blew off the lake, while we were at table, and after the meal Joan and I wandered into a deserted sitting room to wait until the wind and sleet abated. There one of the resident guests had left the ouija, a remnant doubtless of some Halloween party.

"How does the thing work?" Joan asked.

I read the directions; we rested the board, whereon the alphabet was printed in two semicircles upon our knees, and put the tips of our fingers on the flatiron like pointer.

"Now," said I, "this tripod affair is supposed to move from letter to letter, spelling out a message."

Thus we sat for a period---ten minutes, perhaps. We joked, I remember, of the good fortunes ouija would tell us. But no message came. Then, just as we were about to give up, the tripod began to move.

"Quality of consciousness," it spelled. A pause---then, once more, "Quality of consciousness."

"Darby!" Joan took her fingers from the pointer. "You can't fool me like that. You did it! 'Quality of consciousness'---that doesn't mean anything, anyway."

I looked into Joan's eyes. Was it she who had moved the tripod, or did she honestly accuse me?

"Not guilty!" I pleaded. For a moment we faced each other in silence. Then said Joan, gravely, "Let's try it again." So we tried it again.

On the instant the tripod gathered strength. Over the alphabet it moved, slowly, yet with machinelike precision, pausing on this letter and that. Here are the words it spelled: "For you two I have a message, a revelation....

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pseudologia Fantastica

From the wikipedia article on pseudologia fantastica:
(The links in the excerpt below were added by me.)

Pseudologia fantastica, mythomania, or pathological lying are three of several terms applied by psychiatrists to the behavior of habitual or compulsive lying.[1][2] It was first described in the medical literature in 1891 by Anton Delbrueck.[2] Although it is a controversial topic,[2] pathological lying has been defined as "falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime".[1]


There are many consequences of being a pathological liar. Due to lack of trust, most pathological liars' relationships and friendships fail. If the disease continues to progress, lying could become so severe as to cause legal problems, including but not limited to fraud.[9]


Pathological lying is a complex phenomenon, differing from other mental illnesses. It has many life-changing consequences for those who must live with the illness. Currently, there is not enough research in the area of pathological lying to guarantee a cure.[12]

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interview of NDE Researcher Dr. Pim van Lommel by Alex Tsakiris. Veridical NDEs prove consciousness occurs when there is no brain activity. Since consciousness is not produced by the brain, reports of heaven must be taken seriously.

A few days ago I posted an article about an interview with Dr. Caroline Watt. In that article, there was a quote from an interview of near-death experience researcher Pim van Lommel discussing the evidence that NDEs occur when there is no brain activity. That interview with Dr. Van Lommel was done in November of 2010 by Alex Tsakiris of In the interview, Dr. Van Lommel explains that 15 seconds after cardiac arrest there is no brain activity and any verifiable perception of an event that occured after those 15 seconds is evidence that consciousness is not produced by the brain and that the NDE is not an illusion. Also in the interview, Alex discusses how evidence that consciousness is not produced by the brain means we have to take seriously the reports from people having NDEs who say that heaven is real.

Key Points from the Interview with Dr. Pim van Lommel

  • Dr. Van Lommel explains that people having an NDE experience enhanced consciousness at the same time they are experiencing physical symptoms, such as cardiac arrest, that cause almost immediate loss of brain activity.

  • Dr. Van Lommel explains that 15 seconds after cardiac arrest there is no brain activity and any verifiable perception of an event that occured after those 15 seconds is evidence that consciousness is not produced by the brain and that the NDE is not an illusion.

  • Alex Tsakiris explains how even the most basic result from parapsychology, proof of telepathy, provides strong evidence that the mind is not produced by the brain which therefore strongly suggests that consciousness continues after the death of the body. Once you understand that you have to take the content of NDEs seriously and that means you have to take the existence of heaven seriously.

  • Dr. Van Lommel explains the flaw in experiments, such as the AWARE study, that place hidden signs which if seen by people having an NDE could provide proof of out-of-body-experiences which are part of NDEs. These experiments are flawed because there are psychological reasons people are unlikely to notice the signs. People tend to only notice what interests them. In the case of an NDE, the experiencer is likely to notice their body and medical procedures being done to their body but they are not likely to notice signs placed on top of high cabinets for purposes unknown to the person having the NDE.

  • Dr. Van Lommel explains how he started to research NDEs, by asking his patients if they remembered anything from the time they were unconscious. Van Lommel also explains why some doctors might not receive reports from patients having NDEs.

Key Quotes from the Interview

Dr. Van Lommel explains that people having an NDE experience enhanced consciousness at the same time they are experiencing physical symptoms, such as cardiac arrest, that cause almost immediate loss of brain activity.

Dr. Van Lommel: ... They haven’t proven the hypothesis that consciousness is a product of the brain. This topic should be discussed again because people experience an enhanced consciousness, the paradoxical occurrence of an enhanced consciousness during the period of a nonfunctioning brain.

So I’ve been seeing also in the literature about what we know about what happens in the brain when the heart stops. We know also the chemical features of such a patient. He loses consciousness within seconds all of his body reflexes are gone which is a product of the cortex of the brain. But also the brain stem reflexes are gone, the gag reflex, the corneal reflex or the wide pupils are clinical findings in those patients. And also the breathing stops. So the breathing center close to the brain stem stops functioning.

The clinical findings are there is no function of the brain anymore and the electrical activity where you measure it in the EEG is. In an average of 15 seconds there’s a flat-line. And the average period you need in a coronary care unit to resuscitate the patient is at least one to two minutes or more. So there are all those patients who have a cardiac arrest in the hospital and out of hospital arrests that flat-line on an EEG and they have about 20% of having a near-death experience, which is an enhanced consciousness in combination with emotions and memories from early childhood. Also sometimes with future events, with the meeting of deceased relatives, and also at the end of the experience is the consciousness returning to the body.

So all these aspects of consciousness that the people tell you, and there are so many who have told me or written me. It’s not possible that the current medical concepts that the brain product makes the consciousness, that consciousness is a product of the brain, that is impossible. So the brain function for me, it’s not producing consciousness but it is facilitating. That means it makes it more possible to experience your waking consciousness and doesn’t produce it.


Alex Tsakiris: ... We’re talking about almost uniformly people reporting an enhanced-a hyper, a super-consciousness at a time when at the very least the brain is severely compromised if not completely off-line. And I just don’t understand how there can be a complete denial of this basic fact.


Dr. Van Lommel: ... This enhanced consciousness which I also call the non-local consciousness, there is no time and no distance. Everything is there at the same time and you have a life review during cardiac arrest for two minutes. You can talk for days about what happened to you but everything is there at the same time.

And the past and the future is there as well, so your consciousness is in a dimension where there’s no time and no space, which is totally different from the consciousness we have here. They are united in this physical world. You are the subject and the object. But in the other dimension there is only subject. You’re one with everything.

Dr. Van Lommel explains that 15 seconds after cardiac arrest there is no brain activity and any verifiable perception of an event that occured after those 15 seconds is evidence that consciousness is not produced by the brain and that the NDE is not an illusion.

Dr. Van Lommel: It’s not an illusion at all. When you go to the definition of an illusion it is a misapprehension or misleading image. An out-of-body experience where they have veridical perception, what’s happening to their body during resuscitation or during the operation and these aspects can be corroborated by doctors and nurses and family members.

It’s important because it can not only tell us what they perceived but also the moment that it happened can be corroborated. And that what they perceived from a position out of the body really happened at a time that they were unconscious and there was no cardiac function; there was no brain function at all. Because we also know that electrical activity in the brain stops in an average of about 15 seconds. So they have an enhanced consciousness with the possibility of perception out of the body during the period of a non-functioning brain.

It’s also interesting to mention that recently there was a study done by Jan Holden in the book, The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences where she had to review 93 corroborated reports with out-of-body experience. She found that 92% was completely accurate and 6-10% contained some error and only 1-2% was completely erroneous. So they proved that NDE cannot be an illusion nor can it be a hallucination, which is really an experience in perception that has no basis in reality like in psychosis. Neither is it an illusion, which is an incorrect assessment of a correct perception. So what they perceived really happened so there can by definition be no illusion at all.

Alex explains how even the most basic result from parapsychology, proof of telepathy, provides strong evidence that the mind is not produced by the brain which therefore strongly suggests that consciousness continues after the death of the body. Once you understand that you have to take the content of NDEs seriously and that means you have to take the existence of heaven seriously.

Alex Tsakiris: ... The second “if” question I think is really the one that winds up tripping up most people. That’s the “if” question that says: If this is true, then what else is true? If this is true, then what other beliefs do I have that have to start being re-examined? In this regard I think a lot of parapsychology or psi or consciousness researchers can do themselves a real dis-service if they undersell the importance of this “if” question.

I mean, if you’re researching telepathy and you say, “Telepathy is real and I have proven it in the lab,” and if you at the same time acknowledge that that changing paradigm that telepathy implies, changes everything in science fundamentally-every area of science you can imagine it touches on. If you don’t acknowledge that then I think you leave a lingering doubt in the minds of people who are skeptical.

Because you know what? That’s one thing the skeptics have figured out. They understand the slippery slope, if you will. They understand that if our mind isn’t a product 100% of our brain, if consciousness is separate from brain function, then survival of consciousness is not just on the table, but given the data we already have, it’s fait accompli. The data is just too strong for that.

And then if you jump onto that stone and you say, “Okay, consciousness is separate from brain function and therefore maybe consciousness does survive death,” then you’re right there knocking on the gates of Heaven, if you will. Because you have to bring into the conversation the content of those experiences that says there is a higher order, there is some universal feeling of love, of consciousness, the core of cultural issues that have been battled for hundreds of years. Hey, those are on the table.

So don’t do your telepathy experiment and pretend that you can still play in a little Atheistic sandbox over here because you can. Once you start going down these series of “if” questions, it gets really scary really quick. And at the end of the day, I think that’s what trips up a lot of people who are skeptical. At some level, maybe a level they’re not fully aware of, they’ve thought through the if/then implications of opening themselves up to this information. To changing their belief systems to accommodate some of this data. It’s scary because most of us are pretty comfortable with the way that our world is, or at least we’re comfortable enough that we don’t want to turn it upside down and shake it radically. Yet that’s what paradigm shifting is all about.

Dr. Van Lommel explains the flaw in experiments, such as the AWARE study, that place hidden signs which if seen by people having an NDE could provide proof of out-of-body-experiences which are part of NDEs. These experiments are flawed because there are psychological reasons people are unlikely to notice the signs. People tend to only notice what interests them. In the case of an NDE, the experiencer is likely to notice their body and medical procedures being done to their body but they are not likely to notice signs placed on top of high cabinets for purposes unknown to the person having the NDE.

Dr. Van Lommel: ... So you need intention and attention. When you are out of your body during cardiac arrest, you just see your body or you think of your family and you will be there. You will not start looking around to see if there will be some hidden sign. It’s what you call in science inattentional blindness. If you’re not attentive you won’t see things.


Dr. Van Lommel: That positive result is when you are trying to find patients who will see the hidden sign is perhaps what you can find when you have patients with a critical perception in your out-of-body experience experiment you have to corroborate these veridical perceptions. You need doctors and nurses and family members. When you hear such a story you have to try to find out if what they tell is true.

The skeptics always say, “Well, this is just an anecdote.” But there have been so many, many anecdotes; so many patients talk about details of the situation it is totally impossible to know. Also the study of Sabom in from years ago found that patients who had an out-of-body experience who talk about details of resuscitation which was impossible to know.

And it’s also interesting to know that one patient of Penny Sartori who is English and is also performing research on NDE, she had one patient who had an out-of-body experience and who could tell exactly a lot of details about the resuscitation. But she did not see the hidden sign. She had put signs in the room. So they have no intention to look around. So I think that if critical perception can be corroborated the better. The more the better. And that’s the way we have to study it.

Dr. Van Lommel explains how he started to research NDEs, by asking his patients if they remembered anything from the time they were unconscious. Van Lommel also explains why some doctors might not receive reports from patients having NDEs.

Dr. Van Lommel: ... I started to ask my patients who survived cardiac arrest if they could remember something of the period of unconsciousness. To my big surprise, within two years out of 50 patients asked, 12 of them told me about their NDEs. And it was for me the start because it was my scientific curiosity, how it could be explained that people can have an enhanced consciousness when they are unconscious, when the heart doesn’t work and there is no breathing and their brain stops functioning.


Dr. Van Lommel: ... I’ve talked to hundreds of those patients. You get convinced that there is more than what we can see, what we can measure.


Dr. Van Lommel: ... There was a conference about near-death experience at a university hospital with more than 300 people in attendance. There were some lectures about NDEs. There were some people talking about NDEs. Then a cardiologist stood up and said, “I’m a cardiologist for more than 25 years. I’ve never heard such absolute stories. This is total nonsense. I don’t believe one word of it.” And then another person stood up in the audience and said, “Well, I’m one of your patients and I’ve had a near-death experience and you would be the last one I would ever tell.”

And this is how it works because they feel that it is impossible to share the experience with those physicians who are not open for it.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Arthur Findlay College (The Real Hogwarts) Radio Out There Podcast

Barry Eaton, the host of Radio Out There interviews mediums he met taking a week long class in mediumship at Arthur Findlay college:


    Radio Out There Podcast: Program 408

    Arthur Findlay College

    The Arthur Findlay College offers facilities unequalled anywhere in the world in the Spiritualist movement as a residential centre where students can study Spiritualist philosophy and religious practice, Spiritualist healing and awareness, spiritual and psychic unfolding and kindred disciplines. Courses, lectures and demonstrations are all offered by leading exponents, together with the additional features of a library, museum, lake, magnificent grounds, recreational facilities and full board accommodation.

    Jose Medrado (Trance Painter) Channelling The Great Masters of Art

    José Medrado, whose multiple mediumistic faculties emerged in his childhood, others throughout his adolescence, started painting mediumisticly at the age of 27, when the spirit Renoir came up to him and proposed to jointly undertake a work which would "change paint into bread".

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Survival and Super-Psi

Due to a technical difficulty I accidentally re-published an old article on super-psi. When I realized what had happened I deleted the duplicate article. However, I can see there is some web traffic looking for the re-published article so if you are looking for it, the original article is here.

Michael Tymn: Paid Debunkers: How the Public Is Misinformed by the Media and Academia About Psychic Phenomena

Michael Tymn has a new post on his blog: Paid Debunkers: How the Public Is Misinformed by the Media and Academia About Psychic Phenomena. It is well worth reading. Here are a couple of excerpts to excite your curiosity:

Schwartz, who had done some significant research with clairvoyant type mediums at his University of Arizona laboratory, stressed that there are two sides to each story – the medium’s and the skeptic’s. However, when the researcher, such as himself, found evidence favoring the medium’s side, the TV producers and other media people found it necessary to call in a paid “skeptic” or debunker to “balance” the issue. In effect, the TV producers saw Schwartz as having joined sides with the medium, as if he had become the medium’s advocate, and therefore insisted that “balance” be restored with a paid debunker, who, in all likelihood, had done no research of his own but based his arguments on debunking theory, such as cold reading, chance guesses, etc. The contestants in the debate then became the medium and Schwartz on one side versus the debunker on the other side, when it should have been the medium vs. the debunker with Schwartz as the judge. Instead of the viewing audience appreciating the strong evidence supporting mediumship, the desired result was a draw or a standoff. And so it seems that this was also the desired result of this academic anthology.


Crawford brought in a scale large enough to hold the medium while she was sitting in her chair. He discovered that when a table was being levitated, the weight of the table, usually around 16 pounds, was transferred to the medium through the psychic (ectoplasmic) rods extending from the medium. Most of the time, the transfer of weight would be a few ounces short of the weight of the table. Further experimentation revealed that the extra weight was being transferred to the sitters in the room, who apparently furnished small amounts of the “psychic force.”

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Randi's Unwinnable Prize Updated

Last May I posted an article explaining that Randi's million dollar challenge is designed to be unwinnable. The article linked to posts I made at an internet discussion forum for supporting references. I have now updated that article to include the supporting information within the same post. You can find that article here.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An interview with Caroline Watt at exposes her paper that incorrectly states near-death experiences are not paranormal.

In March of 2012 Alex Tsakiris of interviewed Caroline Watt about the paper she co-authored with Dean Mobbs: There is nothing paranormal about near-death experiences: how neuroscience can explain seeing bright lights, meeting the dead, or being convinced you are one of them. This paper is one of the main sources skeptics refer to when asserting that near-death experiences can be explained by ordinary biological means. The article misrepresents what is known about near-death experiences. In the interview, Alex does a thorough job of showing how inaccurate and misleading this paper is.

Key Facts About NDEs

  • Medical explanations cannot explain NDEs.
  • Researchers have ample evidence that NDEs occur when there is no brain activity.
  • Veridical NDEs, where an experiencer perceives verifiable events that he should not be able to perceive without brain activity, or would not be able to perceive with his normal senses even if he was conscious, are common.

How Alex's interview exposed the inaccuracies in the paper:

  • In the interview, Watt admits that neuroscience does not show there is nothing paranormal about near-death experiences. She admits the title of her paper is an overstatement and explains this deception by saying that the article is designed to be provocative and is not intended to be balanced.

  • Alex goes on to point out that all the main NDE researchers say that neuroscience cannot explain all the data about NDEs.

  • Alex gives further evidence that the paper is deceptive by pointing out an example of an assertion made in the paper that is not supported by the reference cited.

  • Watt tries to fall back on the canard that no one can pinpoint when the NDE actually occurs, implying NDEs could occur after the experiencer recovers consciousness. Alex replies with a quote from NDE researcher van Lommel stating that they do have evidence that the NDE occurs when there is no brain activity. Alex also cites papers by Jan Holden and Penny Satori that also support this view.

  • The strongest evidence that NDEs are paranormal comes from people who perceive verifiable events during their NDE which they could not have perceived with their normal senses even if they had been conscious. Watt explains that this aspect wasn't covered by the paper because it only happens rarely. Alex counters this by naming an NDE researcher who has of hundreds of these types of cases in his database.

  • Alex quotes Dr. Bruce Greyson: “If you ignore everything paranormal about NDEs, then it’s easy to conclude, there’s nothing paranormal about them.”

  • Alex also points out how the paper cites a researcher who denied being a researcher and who's work on the subject has been refuted.

  • Dr. Caroline Watt for all practical purposes admits Greyson is right and her paper is a inaccurate when she says the paper, "... was intended to be a provocative piece. It’s not claiming to be balanced."

Excerpts from the Interview:

Watt admits the title of the paper is an "overstatement", that it "goes too far", that neuroscience does not show there is nothing paranormal about NDEs.

Dr. Caroline Watt: These articles are deliberately designed to be provoking of debate. The whole idea of this group of articles, this type of articles in this journal, is not to claim that you’re making some comprehensive review. It’s not to produce any new evidence for testing a theory, for example.


Alex Tsakiris: Do you stand by the title?


Dr. Caroline Watt: ...I believe it’s an overstatement. It’s too soon to say there’s nothing paranormal, because we don’t have all of the evidence in yet.


I think the title, which is deliberately provocative, is going too far because it’s too soon to say there’s nothing paranormal. The content of the article itself is not saying anything new.

Alex points out all the main NDE researchers say medical explanations do not fit the data.

Alex Tsakiris: ... all the main researchers in the NDE field; Bruce Greyson, University of Virginia; Pim van Lommel, who you cite in the paper; Jeff Long; Peter Fenwick; all of them agree in saying a conventional medical explanation of NDEs doesn’t fit the data.

I don’t know where you can point to any prominent NDE researchers that would support the title like that. It’s provocative, okay, but is it representative even of the field and of the research?

Alex points out an assertion in the paper that is not supported by the reference cited:

Alex Tsakiris: In the paper, your first citation for van Lommel doesn’t seem to be correct. You site this case; here’s from your paper. ... “One example is a case study in which a patient with diabetes reports a near-death experience during an episode of hypoglycemia. There’s REM…” At the end, it’s cited as being in the Van Lommel paper.

I can’t find that in the van Lommel paper; I have it pulled up right here. Did I miss something? What is going on there?

Alex shows Watt is not accurate when she questions whether NDEs occur when there is no brain activity. Alex names a number of researchers who have evidence that NDEs occur when there is no brain activity:

Alex Tsakiris: Here’s the point, I guess. What I read, I’m going to read directly from his paper on his findings, and this is the most important point. Occurrences of the experience, the near-death experience, were not associated with duration of cardiac arrest—that’s very important, or unconsciousness, medication, or fear of death before cardiac arrest.

This directly contradicts what your inclination or theory about what some of the causes would be. That’s why this was such a landmark study, because they looked for these things on the physiological or psychological front, and they didn’t find it. I guess I’d come back to saying, if we’re really going to push against this, then I think it behooves you to put forward some data.


Dr. Caroline Watt: I disagree with you on that, because I don’t think van Lommel or anybody else has yet provided the evidence that the experience occurred during the time when the patient was clinically dead.


Alex Tsakiris:

Dr. Pim van Lommel: …an out-of-body experience, where they have [inaudible 32:57] perception. These aspects can be corroborated by doctors, nurses, and family members. It’s important, because it not only can tell us what they perceived, but also the moment that it happened can be corroborated. That what they perceived from a position out of the body really happened at a time that they were unconscious. In other words, no cardiac function; there was no brain function at all.

Alex Tsakiris: He goes on in that quote, then, to cite the paper by Dr. Jan Holden, who I told you we just had on in the previous episode to talk about this paper. She did a peer reviewed published paper that did exactly that; it followed up with people, and found that their perceptions were significantly more accurate than the control group. We’ve also had Dr. Penny Sartori from the UK who’s done a similar study, and had similar findings. I think we can pinpoint and say that these conscious experiences are happening during the time when there is no brain activity.

Alex corrects another incorrect assertion when Watt suggests that veridical NDEs are rare:

Dr. Caroline Watt:

These out-of-body experiences are actually quite rare when you tabulate their frequency. Even when people have a near-death experience, they don’t always have an out-of-body experience as part of it, so it takes a lot of time to gather the data.


Our paper didn’t deal with this question of veridicality at all.

Alex Tsakiris:... Dr. Jeff Long. ... He’s compiled probably the largest database of NDE accounts, and has done some very insightful analysis that I think would contradict a couple of things that you’re saying. One, the veridicality of the evidence and the number of percentage of people who have had an out of body experience is much larger. Hundreds and hundreds in her [sic] survey have experienced that, and have reported that.

Alex points out how the thesis of the paper is contrived with a quote from Bruce Greyson:

Alex Tsakiris: Let me just throw this last quote. I’ve been dying to get this quote in. Please. This is Dr. Bruce Greyson from the University of Virginia, and it’s a great response to your article.

His quote is, “If you ignore everything paranormal about NDEs, then it’s easy to conclude, there’s nothing paranormal about them.” That’s what I think I hear over and over again. Let’s ignore this, and then we can talk about how they’re not paranormal.

Watt's paper cites a researcher who denied being a researcher and who's work has been refuted.

Alex Tsakiris:You also reference people like Susan Blackmore in the paper. We’ve had her on. She said, specifically, “I’m no longer a researcher in this field. I shouldn’t be considered a researcher in this field,” and yet she’s cited, even though her research has been pretty thoroughly countered in, for example, the Handbook of Near-Death Experiences by Greyson and Jan Holden. They cover all that stuff.

For all practical purposes, Watt admits the paper is inaccurate:

Dr. Caroline Watt: As I said, it was intended to be a provocative piece. It’s not claiming to be balanced.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What is it like to communicate with spirits?

Several months ago, there was a thread in a discussion forum on what it is like to perceive psychically. While I have described some of my experiences taking classes in mediumship on my web site, there are some aspects to the experience that I didn't include on my web site which I explained more fully in the discussion forum...

In mediumship class, I experienced several different types of psychic perceptions. Most of the time I perceived things visually. Occasionally I would also get words, smells, sounds, emotions, other sensations, and make gestures.

  • Visual perceptions would appear in my mind's eye, like remembering what something looked like, like a dream, like hypnogogic imagery. It was quite an ordinary sensation which is why it can be hard to teach some people to recognize their psychic perceptions. They are expecting something extraordinary and mystical, and overlook the ordinary.

  • Sometimes I would feel words in my mouth as if I was about to say them. Other times words would come to me as if I was thinking them.

  • Smells seemed to be real, and outside myself as if others could smell them too.

  • Sounds also seemed to be real, outside myself as if others could hear them.

  • I usually didn't recognize that I was being influenced when I used a gesture. A couple of times I was told by different sitters that a gesture I made during the reading was significant. The gestures were uncharacteristic of me and very meaningful to the sitter.

  • Other types of sensations would also occur. Often, if I asked the spirit how he died, I would feel a sensation in the part of my body associated with the cause of death. For example, I would sense a tingling in my chest if the spirit had died of a heart attack.

  • I would occasionally feel emotions. Once when the spirit wanted to convey her love for the sitter, I felt how she felt. It was a very moving experience.

Communicating with spirits is different than other forms of psychic perception because the perceptions are induced by spirits. They can influence your body with their mind the way you would influence your own body with your own mind. Because of this, you don't have to be very psychic to get impressions from spirits because they do part of the work by influencing you. You don't have to rely entirely on your own abilities. This is especially true in a class setting because of the presence of spirit guides and the skill spirits develop with practice. The longer a student has been in class the better the spirits of his deceased friends and relatives will be at communicating with living people. Having a group of psychics together in the same place seems to have an effect that makes psychic perceptions easier too. Also, some spirits will be a good match for a particular person, and it will be easier to perceive communications from them than other spirits. It's a lot like when you meet someone and you immediately know you like that person and can you understand each other easily when you speak with him, you just have a similar way of thinking about the world. It can be like that when communicating with a spirit.

When I would do a reading in class, I would look around the room and one of the people there would somehow stand out from the rest. This could be a pronounced visual effect as if I was viewing just that one person through a telephoto lens. That is how I knew who I was going to give a reading to. Then I would close my eyes and I would see a person (the spirit) in my mind's eye. I would describe the spirit and the sitter would say if he recognized the spirit. I would mentally ask the spirit questions like what he did in life, and what he used to do when he was with the sitter. I would usually get some type of visual answer which I would describe to the sitter. If I asked how he died I would usually feel a sensation the part of the body that was associated with his death. For example, if he died of a heart attack, I would feel something in my chest. All of this often worked very well and the sitter could identify the spirit and confirm the information I conveyed.

Sometimes when I was giving a reading in class, I would also get a strong impression of the personality of the spirit. I think this is one way mental mediumship is superior to physical mediumship. It is harder for the spirit to lie to a good mental medium because of the mental contact.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Physicists study whether the universe is a computer simulation. Has Intelligent design become mainstream or is there a double standard?

The article, Physicists say there may be a way to prove that we live in a computer simulation (by George Dvorsky at, is about physicists who are trying to determine if the universe is a computer simulation or not. I thought this was interesting because it is an investigation in the field of intelligent design. In most other cases where scientist want to investigate intelligent design, they are ostracized and persecuted and accused of doing pseudoscience. What is different about this situation? It seems to me there is a double standard. What gives these scientists immunity from persecution while so many others are singled out by skeptics for ridicule?

If it is reasonable to investigate if the universe is a computer simulation, is it also reasonable to investigate if the genetic code, the mechanism of transcription of DNA into mRNA, and mRNA translation into proteins is a type of self replicating computer that might have been produced by intelligent design? There are good theoretical reasons to doubt whether it was possible for the genetic code to have originated by evolution. The article The Finely Tuned Genetic Code by Jonathan M. at explains the problem:

The genetic code is finely tuned. It was either designed or it evolved from a random code to a finely tuned code.

Indeed, the genetic code found in nature is exquisitely tuned to protect the cell from the detrimental effects of substitution mutations. The system is so brilliantly set up that codons differing by only a single base either specify the same amino acid, or an amino acid that is a member of a related chemical group. In other words, the structure of the genetic code is set up to mitigate the effects of errors that might be incorporated during translation (which can occur when a codon is translated by an almost-complementary anti-codon).
However there are many reasons to doubt that the genetic code could evolve:
Changes in codon assignments would be catastrophic to the cell because such a mutation would ultimately lead to changes to the amino acid sequence in every protein produced by the cell.


Furthermore, the question is naturally raised as to what selective-utility would be exhibited by the new amino acids. Indeed, they would have no utility until incorporated into proteins. But that won't happen until they are incorporated into the genetic code. And thus they must be synthesized by enzymes that lack them. And let us not forget the necessity for the dedicated tRNAs and activating enzymes which are needed for including them in the code.

If the genetic code is finely tuned but did not evolve, it must have been designed.


Here is an excerpt from the article Physicists say there may be a way to prove that we live in a computer simulation (by George Dvorsky at

Physicists say there may be a way to prove that we live in a computer simulation

Back in 2003, Oxford professor Nick Bostrom suggested that we may be living in a computer simulation. In his paper, Bostrom offered very little science to support his hypothesis — though he did calculate the computational requirements needed to pull of such a feat. And indeed, a philosophical claim is one thing, actually proving it is quite another. But now, a team of physicists say proof might be possible, and that it's a matter of finding a cosmological signature that would serve as the proverbial Red Pill from the Matrix. And they think they know what it is.

According to Silas Beane and his team at the University of Bonn in Germany, a simulation of the universe should still have constraints, no matter how powerful. These limitations, they argue, would be observed by the people within the simulation as a kind of constraint on physical processes.

So, how could we ever hope to identify these constraints? Easy: We just need build our own simulation of the universe and find out. And in fact, this is fairly close to what the physicists are actually trying to do. To that end, they've created an ultra-small version of the universe that's down to the femto-scale (which is even smaller than the nano-scale).


Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Best Skeptic is an Ex-Skeptic! Some of the Best and Worst Skeptics of the Twentieth Century

Someone over at a discussion forum I participate in asked who were the best skeptics of the twentieth century. I replied with some of the ones I thought were best - people who started out as skeptics but changed their views when they examined the evidence. I also included some of the individuals who I thought were the worst skeptics - skeptics who were embarrassingly wrong or who engaged in misleading behavior in the pursuit of perpetuating skeptical myths. This is not a complete list of either:


Linus Pauling (Winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry) said, "There is no such thing as quasicrystals, only quasi-scientists." However, he was proved embarrassingly wrong when in 2011 Dan Shectman won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of quasicrystals.

Best (The best skeptic is an ex-skeptic!):

Neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander: Alexander started out as a skeptic but after his near death experience he said, "consciousness outside of the brain is a fact. It’s an established fact".

In an interview at, Alexander said:

Coming from a neurosurgeon who, before my coma, thought I was quite certain how the brain and the mind interacted and it was clear to me that there were many things I could do or see done on my patients and it would eliminate consciousness. It was very clear in that realm that the brain gives you consciousness and everything else and when the brain dies there goes consciousness, soul, mind—it’s all gone. And it was clear.

Now, having been through my coma, I can tell you that’s exactly wrong and that in fact the mind and consciousness are independent of the brain. It’s very hard to explain that, certainly if you’re limiting yourself to that reductive materialist view.

... consciousness outside of the brain is a fact. It’s an established fact.

Dr. Charles Robert Richet (1850–1935, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine). Richet initially scoffed at psychical research but after thirty years of his own investigations he came to believe in telepathy, precognition, ectoplasm, and cryptesthesia (the ability of mediums to obtain information about spirits).

Richet admitted that in the 1870s, he dismissed and even scoffed at parapsychology research being carried out by prominent scientists like Frederic Myers and William Crookes.
(From: When skeptics become believers at

Later Richet wrote in his book Thirty Years of Psychical Research:

Perhaps-and I admit it-the innumerable experiments published by eminent men of science would not have convinced me, had I not been a witness of the four fundamental facts of metapsychics. I was an unwilling witness, in no way enthusiastic, very critical, extremely distrustful of the facts that forced themselves upon me. I was able to verify, under unexceptionable conditions
and despite my desire to disprove them, the four essential facts of metapsychics.

These four personal experiences, all four of which carry obvious proof, determined my belief, and that not at once, but after long consideration, meditation, and repetition.

A. Cryptesthesia. Stella, in presence of G., whose family she does not and cannot have known, gave the first names of his son, of his wife, of a deceased brother, of a living brother, of his father-in-law, and of the locality where he lived as a child.

B. Telekinesis. While Eusapia's head and hands were held, a large melon weighing six pounds was moved from the sideboard to the table, the distance between them being over a yard.

C. Ectoplasms. Eusapia was in half light, her left hand in my right and her right in my left tightly held, and before Lodge, Myers, and Ochorowicz, a third hand stroked my face, pinched my nose, pulled my hair, and gave a smack on my shoulder heard by Ochorowicz, Myers, and Lodge.

D. Premonitions. Alice, at 2 P.M. told me, for the first and only time, that I should soon give way to violent anger before one, two, three persons whom she designated with her hand as if she saw them. At G P.M. the unlikely and unforeseeable impertinence of a person absolutely unknown to Alice provoked me to one of the strongest and most justifiable fits of anger of my whole life before two other persons, an anger that led to my receiving a challenge to a duel, the only one I have ever received.

Richard Hodgson:

Richard Hodgson was a skeptic. He had investigated Madam Blavatsky and exposed her as a fraud. Hodgson's investigation of Mrs. Piper proved she was psychic.

Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge (1851–1940). Lodge started out as a skeptic but after attending sessions with mediums, he came to believe they could communicate with spirits. He eventually published a book of communications from is deceased son Raymond.

(From: When skeptics become believers at

Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge was a prominent British physicist and mathematician credited with significant contributions in the fields of thermal conductivity, thermo-electricity, and electricity. He was the first to transmit a radio signal, even before Marconi, and was also the developer of the Lodge spark plug. Just like other scientists of his time, Lodge did not believe in the possibility of communicating with an afterlife.

In 1883, he came across stage performer Irving Bishop and was impressed and intrigued by the idea of thought transference and telepathy. He began thinking of the possibilities that can arise from the concept of dislocation between body and mind. He stated, “I began to feel that there was a possibility of the survival of personality.” Lodge later went on to study the American medium Leonora Piper in 1889, followed by other investigations and research into methods of different popular mediums of the time. He also wrote a book on communication with the spirit of his son who died in a battle. The book was published in 1916 and was called Raymond, or Life After Death.

Sir William Crookes: 1832-1919. Crookes started out as a hostile doubter but later came to believe that Daniel D. Home demonstrated psychokinesis.

Crookes first began his investigations into 'psychic' phenomena in 1869 as a hostile doubter. In his article, 'Spiritualism Viewed by the Light of Modern Science' he declared:

"The increased employment of scientific methods will produce a race of observers who will drive the worthless residuum of spiritualism hence into the unknown limbo of magic and necromancy."


Crookes' experiments with Daniel D. Home demonstrated the existence of a 'psychic force' wholly ignored by science.

Crookes stated:

"Of all persons endowed with a powerful development of this Psychic Force, Mr. Daniel Dunglas Home is the most remarkable and it is mainly owing to the many opportunities I have had of carrying on my investigation in his presence that I am enabled to affirm so conclusively the existence of this force."


Skeptical Investigations explains how the skeptical organization CSICOP while trying to debunk astrology, actually found evidence supporting astrology and "In order to get the result they wanted, ... had to commit a total of six statistical blunders...".

The statistician and psychologist Michael Gauquelin had done a statistical analysis providing evidence that astrology might have some basis in fact. His analysis showed a correlation between the position of Mars in the sky at the time of birth and the odds of a person becoming a sports champion...

In 1976, in an attempt to make this embarrassment go away once and for all, Harvard professor of biostatistics and CSICOP fellow Marvin Zelen proposed a simplified version of the original Gauquelin study which he subsequently performed with the assistance of CSICOP chairman and professor of philosophy Paul Kurtz and George Abell, a UCLA astronomer. In order to get the result they wanted, the trio had to commit a total of six statistical blunders, which are discussed in detail in the article The True Disbelievers: Mars Effect Drives Skeptics to Irrationality by former CSICOP fellow Richard Kammann. Proper analysis showed that the new study actually supported the Gauquelin effect.

Lots more worst skeptics here.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.