Friday, April 30, 2010

Mike Tymn Interview with August


Michael Tymn, highly respected paranormal journalist of several decades, has honoured us by inaugurating his new blog, at White Crow Books, with his recent interview of August — accompanied by Tim, naturally.

Mike recently published The Articulate Dead, which is getting well-deserved accolades from many sectors of the paranormal and psychic communities.

Pomaika`i, Mike — we look forward to enjoyable and informative reading your new blog as it moves forward!

August & Tim

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Zerdin Phenomenal Book Review


The following review is now in the Zerdin Phenomenal Magazine for April. Because you must have a subscription to access it, the reviewer was kind enough to lend us the piece for posting here, as well as sending us a complimentary copy of their magazine, which is fascinating stuff with lots of photographs of spirit materialization phenomena. It's quite interesting that this UK reviewer sees our book as primarily "scientific" -- although neither of us are or claim to be scientists other than a volcano at the science fair in grade school and burning holes in leaves with a magnifying glass. Everyone sees it differently seems to be a constant message of feedback.

The Risen: Dialogues of Love, Grief & Survival Beyond Death” by August Goforth & Timothy Gray. Paperback. 315 Pages. £15.50 Tempestina Teapot Books (available from Amazon.com).
By Graham Jennings

The purport of The Risen is scientific, but the inspiration is pure love: the love between August Goforth on this side of life and Timothy Gray on the other.

The Risen of the title are what August’s inspirers from the Spirit World call themselves. (They prefer it to spirit.) August – that is the name they bestowed on him – is a New York psychotherapist. He is also a mental and psychophysical medium, but keeps his spiritual work separate from his medical practice.

In “The Risen”, August tells how Timothy passed with AIDS. Described as being more like mischievous boys than adults, Timothy always had the capacity to surprise him. Not even August though expected a surprise from him after death.

Then one night it happened. Alone and typing a manuscript, a sudden movement caught his eye. He glanced at the bed a few feet away. “And there was Tim – sitting on the bed, a huge grin on his face, his legs crossed at the ankles and hands calmly folded in his lap!”

That was only the beginning. Soon Tim was communicating information of the most detailed and scientific nature, though always on a personal level of love and understanding. He is the spokesman for a group on the other side calling itself The Risen Collective, an organization of educators, scientists, healers, philosophers and artists from Earth and other dimensions. Beyond them is The Risen Assembly, described as “an even higher-vibrating gathering.”

The introductory chapters describe August’s and Tim’s inseparable relationship, but by chapter 4 we are into science in earnest.

For instance, everyone who hears of the Spirit World has an instinctive question: where is it? As Spiritualists we know that it exists, but cannot say where. We know it interpenetrates our world and is all around us. Yet we cannot say how. How then, our critics ask, can more than one object occupy the same space? It is impossible!

In the Thirties, scientists became aware of ‘dark matter’ in the universe, and in the Nineties of ‘dark energy’. This is significant because it appears to fill the universe, or rather the 90 percent that is not measurable in purely physical terms.

‘Dark’ is a misleading term – it is possible to see in the dark – but is our ubiquitous term ‘spirit’ any better? As yet, there is no adequate vocabulary to describe the phenomenon of dark energy-matter, but this is how it appears to operate.

Dark-energy particles, unlike the atoms that are the building blocks of physical matter, have no electrical charge. For this reason they are unable to interact with ordinary matter via electro-magnetic forces. They do, however, appear to interact with each other, through some as-yet-unknown force.

They can be detected only indirectly, yet dark energy-matter apparently has mass. This is revealed by its gravitational effect on visible matter. Because it has no electrical charge, and no interaction with physical matter, it can occupy the same space as physical matter, or pass through it. (It passes through the Earth itself, and us, every second.)

Scientists now reckon it is the dominant substance of the universe. “If visible matter,” writes August, “is just 10 per cent of what we can see, then what is the other 90 per cent? Is dark-matter energy also spirit energy? The Risen response is: ‘Yes, and a whole lot more.’”

If there is no electrical charge to these particles, there are no electromagnetic waves and so no visible light, hence their apparent invisibility. As without a charge, there is nothing to prevent them occupying the same space as a charged particle, the implications are limitless. “We have the possibility,” declares August, “of substances, forms, people, planets, entire galaxies and universes interpenetrating one another, and simultaneously existing in the same place.”

Furthermore, this dark energy-matter appears to have existed before what scientists call the Big Bang. This is the initial event that brought charged, visible, apparently solid matter – and ultimately our physical bodies – into existence.

It also appears that it is with this same dark energy-matter that mediums work. “Having gained a self-awareness,” adds August – a medium himself remember – “of their own subtle bodies and subtle sense, they are able to see hear, touch, and take part in realities –or fields – that interpenetrate our material one.”

The scientific content may seem a bit daunting, but as I said above, it is presented in a highly personal context. Moreover, without such an intense personal relationship and all-abiding love, such an extraordinary, lengthy and informative communication could not have taken place.

Tim’s passing from AIDS, and the termination of a beautiful friendship, appears to us in the material world as a tragedy. Yet to the more spiritually discerning, The Risen is a triumph of love, dedication and every nobler attribute of which humankind is capable.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Review for The Articulate Dead


See our review for Mike Tymn's book, The Articulate Dead.

A Sea of . . .

After a few days of welcome warm weather, NYC is suddenly back to chilly and rainy spring days, and so there's a noticeable increase in sniffling and sneezing. This morning while reading on the subway, one such unfortunate sitting next to me began blowing her nose into a tissue with such an abundance of sound effects that indicated mass quantities of . . . well, I was just totally grossed out, please don't make me go into details. I had been silently chatting with Tim while reading, and he must have noticed the oo-ick-yuck shivers going up and down my spine, and asked me what was going on. I explained but he could not understand what I was trying to say, and was clearly puzzled by it. It only took a quick minute for me to realize that Tim has truly lost all memory and concept of what it's like to have a terrestrial human body with all it's weaknesses and messiness. The idea of stuff coming out his nose (or elsewhere) simply makes no sense or has any place in his Risen manifestation.

From this, it might be a little easier to understand those experiences reported by others who have had communications with those in spirit -- where their Risen loved ones often seem uncaring or even cold about our upsets and mishaps, even the major ones. A Risen One's focus is always in the eternal present, and from a place of existence that has no physical illness, and all emotional and mental worries (should they ever arise) are instantly washed away by the tide of their eternal presence of divine self-awareness. They are not experiencing their lives in terms of loss, as we so often do, but as a never-ending abundance of positivity. It's not that they don't care, but they can see so much more than we can, that our trials and tribulations are infinitesimal compared to where they are and we will eventually be. Our focus would be better aimed on the infinite cosmic ocean toward which we are sailing, rather than the little raft on which we often feel so abandoned.

Even if it is on a sea of snot.

The French Revelation Blog Unveiled


N. Riley Heagerty, esteemed author of The French Revelation, an important book about the great direct voice medium, Emily French, is in the process unveiling his blog (spirit-like pun sort of intended.)

For those interested in acquiring an inexpensive copy of his rather rare book, you can get a signed copy directly from him. See his blog for directions.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ta, luv, my China Charlie.


I had begun to think I was being too picky, unable to find something at Netflix worth watching, even with what little time I have these days. Tim and I always liked anything British (except he found Monty Python unfunny for some funny reason) so it was nice to find something I'd never seen before and which looked promising -- the late 70's BBC Series, The Dutchess of Duke Street.

I sometimes think I should have been born in Edwardian times, and was immediately entranced by everything about it — the set, the characters, the blurry camera work from overlighting that typified such made-for-tv stuff in those days; I felt comfy and cozy. I loved the strange Edwardian phrases, like "poodle-faker," "divvy dancing," and "you can stick it where the monkey put the nuts." I zipped through the first set of 3 episodes and just finished the second set last night, happy that there were many more to come.

From his first appearance, I fell in love with the character Lord Charles (Charlie) Tyrell, He was an aristocrat, eventually to be Lord Haslemere, and I, too, became another of his conquests, enchanted by his looks and his down to earth but sophisticated manner. Christopher Cazenove, the English actor who played this role, (and also known for a major role on Dynasty) was himself a fairly sophisticated person with his own aristocratic roots. He reminded me in many ways of Tim, who had also had a bit of an acting career, but more so because of certain mannerisms, the devilish ne'er-do-well bloke, always looking on the bright side.

And I found that I couldn't stop thinking about this character - I was really smitten quite hard. He seemed "to be with me" off and on as I went about my days, and while I didn't question this seeming obsession — and rather enjoying it — he was never far from my mind. Finally, after finishing the 5th episode last evening, I decided to slow down the speeding credits at the end and find out who this dashing fellow was, and upon learning it was Christopher,Cazenove, naturally googled him.

I was astonished and then experienced what can truly be called un frissonnement, overcome by sudden shivers and sadness upon learning that Christopher Cazenove had transitioned a little more than 2 weeks ago on April 7, at the age of 66, from a quick battle against septicaemia, more often known as blood poisoning. Reportedly, he contracted the infection at the end of February after complaining of migraines during a business trip to California. On his return to the UK, he was treated at St Thomas's Hospital, in London, where he died on April 7.

What especially hit me was that his date of transition was the same day that I had put the first episode of The Duchess of Duke Street in my Netflix queue. Through tears, I whispered a prayer of luck and well being for him, the same one I do for everyone: "May your soul rest in peace, and everlasting light shine upon you." And then I watched the third and final show on the DVD, and went to bed.

In bed, in the dark, with Fiona and McHenry snuggled up tightly next to me, I continued to sadly ponder the how's and why's of this bit of a spirit mystery. Was I so tuned into this person I'd never met for a reason, or rather, maybe he was tuned in to me? At that point I felt yet another overwhelming emotional surge of feelings about this person, and began crying. "What?" I asked. Silence and purring were the only answers.

Just as I was drifting off to sleep, entering that in-between state, I clearly heard a voice say: "You better get that finger seen to now if you don't want to get the blood rot." I lay there for a few seconds, not comprehending what that meant. As I began to drift back to a fully waking state, I realized the middle finger on my right hand was throbbing with a bit of a burning sensation, and then remembered that a few hours earlier I had jammed the finger against the kitchen window sill while trying to grab and rescue a jar from falling, and gotten a sliver or some such schmutz jammed under the finger nail for my efforts. I didn't pay much attention to it, and I have the ability to dissociate from my body (not surprising for a medium) and any pain it might have (other than headaches) so had been ignoring it up to that point. But damn, it was hurting, and as I turned on the light to go tend to it, it suddenly hit me who it was who had been hanging about in order to prevent another early tragedy.

Ta, luv, my China Charlie.


Quamobrem "The Risen"?


A question we often get, which is kind of unexpected, is why or how the words or term "The Risen" came about. I (August) never know quite how to answer it, as it just made itself known in its own ways, and was not my invention. Maybe because it does sound a bit serious or even grim, so Tim and I do a little joshing about it with one another in one of the dialogues in the book. But I was slightly astonished to come across the following in a chapter of Mike Tymn's new book, The Articulate Dead, which lends an eerie validation to the term, on p. 72.

To paraphrase —

Frederick W.H. Myers, one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research, and a medium himself, had transitioned in 1901. Naturally, many people from all over the world wanted to be the ones to establish contact with such an influential person to support the agenda for survival. Four months later, Oliver Lodge and his wife were sitting with the medium Rosalie Thompson, after contacting Myers via Rosalie's trance voice. The spirit Edmund Gurney, who had worked with Myers as a fellow SPR member, and had transitioned some time earlier, was assisting FWH Myers with his transition and also came through. At this sitting, Gurney said said that too many people were trying to contact Myers after his recent transition and that he needed rest: "What we want now for him is to rise, and to forget earthly things." Gurney goes on to explain that Myers was overwhelmed from all the attempts at contacting him, which was forcing him to remain close to the earth, or "earthbound", which was hindering his transition - or, as Tim and I would say, "to become fully and healthily Risen."

Here is interesting support and possible validation of the use of the concept and phrase "Risen" in terms of transition.

Organ Donations as Gifting


Mike Tymn, of White Crow Books presents an interesting question and topic:

"August & Tim — I would appreciate your thoughts as to whether there are any negative effects relative to organ transplants, i.e., either the organs being removed before the soul, whichever body you choose to call it, separates from the physical shell or the donated organs causing the soul of the donor to be held earthbound because of some kind of attachment to the recipient. As you may know, there is an old rule of thumb stating that the body should not be disturbed for three days. Raymond Lodge supposedly told his father that cremation should not take place for five or six days. If you discussed this at all in your book, I don't recall it."
Generally, there should be no problem if the departing spirit has truly left the body and its organs, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Our current overall global society has all but abandoned the practice of ritual in most aspects of human societal development, but not that of continuing to form deeply embedded, emotional beliefs. In cases of formal organ donation, while this is actually in itself a ritualized practice based on giving permission, not everyone involved may necessarily be fully committed to it, consciously or not. If the body and its organs have not been fully released, the departing spirit may still be "hanging on" to them, or thinking about them, causing wisps of energy to still cling to them, the energy of which may affect them in various ways - including imbuing them with memory fragments. If there is one, the belief system may inform how to resolve this, such as how many days to wait, the methods of body disposal, etc. The act of organ donation is that of giving - and gifts must be offered fully and freely with no expectations. So the practice of "sky burial" — placing a body on the mountain rocks for the vultures and other animals, is a powerful act of gifting, symbolizing the cultural acknowledgment that the physical body was temporarily given to us, while offering nourishment back as thanks to other living beings, which is a reflection of our connection to Creator Source who gave freely to us that we might have life.

For example, Tibetans believe that he spirit of the deceased is more important than the body. Following death, the body should not be touched for three days, except possibly at the crown of the head, through which the consciousness, or namshe, exits. Lamas guide the spirit in a series of prayers that last for seven weeks, as the person makes their way through the bardo—the intermediate states that precede rebirth. [Interestingly, so many deaths occurred from recent earthquakes in China that there are too many bodies for the vultures at one Tibetan Monastery; alternate arrangements are being made for mass cremation.]

The primary message here is that Mind is very powerful, the most powerful thing a human has, and as a species we have lost the understanding of this. Some are beginning to wake up, which the Risen describe as a return to the conscious awareness of Authentic Self.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Zerdin Review

Zerdin Phenomenal announced that their review of our book, The Risen, has been posted in their April newsletter - which is available only to members there. They will be sending us a copy of the review which we will then post here.

This is a well-known and respected organization that has been around for quite some time, and devoted to promoting healthy development of physical mediumship. They hope to be coming to NYC this year sometime as well.

And now for something completely different....

M. responds to the idea of S'peare's possible mediumship:

Hi August,

I've encountered this quote about Shakespeare before, but IMO the spiritualist theory doesn't hold up.

First, it's not true that there are no references to Shakespeare's contemporaries in his works. Of course, in his day literature was heavily censored and the penalties for insulting anyone in authority were severe. Ben Jonson was jailed for writing The Isle of Dogs, a satirical play, and Christopher Marlowe was scheduled to be tried before the Star Chamber for his atheistic writings when he was (perhaps too conveniently) murdered in a brawl. Thomas Kyd, author of The Spanish Tragedy, was tortured after atheist documents were found in his possession. Other authors similarly fell afoul of the law. Elizabethan England was a police state, with the usual atmosphere of spies, informants, torture chambers, secret trials, and politically motivated executions.

In this environment it's not surprising that authors resorted to veiled allusions and even hidden codes when commenting on public affairs. Nevertheless, they did comment. Shakespeare makes many veiled references to Queen Elizabeth (usually symbolized by the moon). Macbeth contains a comic monologue about the "equivocations" of Jesuits, who resorted to doublespeak when interrogated. Henry V includes a monologue usually interpreted as referring to the Earl of Essex's military campaign against Irish rebels. Polonius in Hamlet is a daring satire on Lord Burghley, the spymaster of the realm. Etc.

For a somewhat speculative but revealing look at possible coded messages in Shakespeare, see Clare Asquith's recent book Shadowplay, which relates the motifs of the plays and poems to the tumultuous conflict between Protestants and Catholics in that era.

Second, Shakespeare's knowledge of history is sketchy, bookish, and hardly what we would expect of someone who had actually lived in the eras he writes about. Wouldn't a real ancient Roman know that there were no mechanical clocks in Julius Caesar's day? (A clock strikes the hour in the play of that name.) More important, would an ancient Roman need to crib historical details from Plutarch's Lives? Shakespeare's plays set in the ancient world rely heavily on Plutarch, even to the point of nearly quoting North's translation at times. He is similarly indebted to historians like Holinshed for English history. Clearly the author of the Shakespearean canon was a prodigious reader, but nothing suggests that he knew his history outside of books.

I do agree that the man from Stratford is most unlikely to have had the education, legal training, military and naval experience, opportunities for European travel, etc. that are reflected in the Shakespearean works. That's why I think Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, is a better match for the author. Will Shakespeare was probably a play broker who served as a middleman for the earl; in those days the nobility could not be known to participate in the public theater without suffering an immense loss of face. Most likely, many of the Shakespearean plays originated as court entertainments that de Vere later expanded for public performances. In some case the courtly origins remain obvious; Love's Labour's Lost is clearly a play written for the Queen's inner circle. (Incidentally it is chock full of topical references to courtly intrigues, ambassadorial comings and goings, and rather malicious gossip; a play with more references to the author's contemporaries would be hard to find in any era.)

It's also worthwhile to notice that all the major events of Oxford's life are reflected in the Shakespearean works. Oxford , like Hamlet, was captured by pirates and set free. Oxford, like Bertram in All's Well That Ends Well, was pressured into a marriage he didn't want, and fled to Europe to escape his wife, only to be duped into consummating the marriage by means of a "bed trick." Oxford was Burghley's son-in-law, as Hamlet is Polonius' prospective son-in-law. Oxford, like Prince Hal, participated in a sham robbery at Gad's Hill as a lark. Etc. Mark Anderson's excellent bio of Oxford, "Shakespeare" By Another Name, presents hundreds of parallels between Oxford's life and key incidents in the plays.

Of course I might be wrong. Maybe the Stratford man did write the material himself, as orthodox scholars think. One way or the other, I see no grounds for the spiritualistic hypothesis in this case. Mediums come through with some good information, but also a lot of nonsense. Emily French seems to have been a legitimate medium, but I think either her unconscious mind or a playful spirit was having some fun with her that day!

Best,

"M."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And now for something completely different...


A friend and I were discussing the film “What Dreams May Come” and it emerged that the title is from the famous Shakespearian quote,“To be or not to be” from Hamlet —

To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil.

I was reminded of a dear friend who is a noted Shakespearian actress and historian, and who fervently believes that the man William Shakespeare didn’t actually write the stuff, but rather, that it was Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. My friend heads a noted society devoted to convincing everyone of this and has lots of fun traveling the world and debating it. They’re not alone, as many people, who have looked at the facts, conclude that it doesn’t seem possible that Bill S. penned such immortal phrases, including Orson Welles, Sir John Gielgud and Charlie Chaplin. The word “immortal” is key here. I once suggested to my friend that it seemed quite clear to me that if anything, Mr. Shakespear (no ‘e’ on the end, either, according to my friend) was a medium, and his stories were given to him by the Risen. She looked at me like I had said that strawberry jam tastes best on a sardine sandwich.


Robert Green Ingersoll (1833–1899), a Civil War veteran, American political leader, orator during the "Golden Age of Freethought," and noted for his broad range of culture and defense of agnosticism, was one of the many Risen who spoke via direct voice in the presence of the medium Emily French and the famous lawyer Edward C. Randall, who studied Miss French’s work and recorded the spirit materials over several decades. The following, from The Dead Have Never Died, by Edward C. Randall, (p. 207), discusses just this subject of who the Bard really was. We submit this extract for your perusal and perhaps the stimulation of something completely different:


Robert G. Ingersoll, well known to me in the after life, speaking on this subject said:

"Let me give the most remarkable illustration of spirit suggestion—the immortal Shakespeare. Neither of his parents could read or write. He grew up in a small village among ignorant people, on the banks of the Avon. There was nothing in the peaceful, quiet landscape on which he looked, nothing in the low hills, the undulating fields, nothing in the lazy flowing stream to excite the imagination. Nothing in his early life calculated to sow the seeds of the subtlest and sublimest thought. There was nothing in his education or lack of education to account for what he did. It is supposed that he attended school in his home village, but of that there is no proof. He went to London when young, and within a few years became interested in Black Friars Theatre, where he was actor, dramatist, and manager. He was never engaged in a business counted reputable in that day. Socially he occupied a position below servants. The law described him as a "sturdy vagabond." He died at 52.


"How such a man could produce the works which he did has been the wonder of all time. Not satisfied that one with such limited advantages could possibly have written the master pieces of literature, it has been by some contended that Bacon was the author of all Shakespeare's comedies and tragedies.


"It is a fact to be noted that in none of this man's plays is there any mention of his contemporaries. He made reference to no king, queen, poet, author, sailor, soldier, statesman, or priest of his own period. He lived in an age of great deeds, in the time of religious wars, in the days of the armada, the edict of Nantes, the massacres of St. Bartholomew, the victory of Lepanto, the assassination of Henry III of France, and the execution of Mary Stuart; yet he did not mention a single incident of his day and time.


"The brain that conceived "Timon of Athens" was a Greek in the days of Pericles and familiar with the tragedies of that country. The mind that dictated "Julius Caesar" was an inhabitant of the Eternal City when Caesar led his legions in the field. The author of "Lear" was a Pagan; of "Romeo and Juliet," an Italian who knew the ecstasies of love. The author of those plays must have been a physician, for he shows a knowledge of medicine and the symptoms of disease; a musician, for in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" he uses every musical term known to his contemporaries. He was a lawyer, for he was acquainted with the forms and expressions used by that profession. He was a botanist because he named nearly all known plants. He was an astronomer and a naturalist and wrote intelligently upon the stars and natural science. He was a sailor, or he could not have written "The Tempest." He was a savage and trod the forest's silent depths. He knew all crimes, all regrets, all virtues, and their rewards. He knew the unspoken thoughts, desires and ways of beasts. He lived all lives. His brain was a sea on which the waves touch all the shores of experience. He was the wonder of his time and of ours.


"Was it possible for any man of his education and experience to conceive the things which he did? All the Shakespearean works were, beyond a doubt, the product of his pen, but the conceptions, the plays, the tragedies were the work of many brains, given Shakespeare by spirit suggestion. He was but the sensitive instrument through which a group of learned and distinguished scholars, inhabitants of many lands when in earth-life, gave to posterity the sublime masterpieces of the Bard of Avon'"

One only has to begin to reading the great works of S'Peare to begin to see, quite easily, that there is a Risen quality to the depths of immortal human existence to them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Possessed You?

Dr. Melvin Morse, esteemed writer of the inspirational Forward to The Risen, recently texted a request for us to blog on "Dissociative Disorder vs. Spirit Possession." Oh, as well, an extend essay and also even perhaps a podcast on the subject. He wonders, "Can you be possessed by good spirits?"

Our immediate reply was "Would you like fries with that?" Just a little Risen humor, especially poignant because they tend to avoid fried foods like the devil.

Our initial response takes form in part from Tim's contributions in the chapter on Reincarnation:

"By rejecting their true, unique individual selves and wanting to be someone else, the embodied become ideal receptacles for those disincarnate who wish to have earthly corporeal experiences again. Although possession of a body is comparatively rare, possession of a mind via spirit influence is not. This cannot be debated for long after looking objectively at the obvious successful influence of the Global Madison Avenue. Those in spirit have even more direct access to minds easily hypnotized by such suggestive influences.

“Note that qualities of good or evil haven’t been attributed to invading spirit persons. While their lower vibrational conditions may provide harbor for negative emotions—often intense ones—not all of the disincarnate seeking to reexperience an earthly life have ill intentions. Some are malevolent and some are not, although all are misguided in some way because some form of fear motivates them. Any attempt to invade and use another’s life for one’s own is a misinterpretation of one of the most essential of spiritual reminders, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

“Those Risen who are particularly evolved may make themselves available for help and inspiration when called upon, but inspiration does not mean infestation. Some disembodied are so ego-self-absorbed that they become parasitical to survive. They become engorged on the embodied person’s energy to feed the crystallized ego-mind’s unyielding need for a sense of existence. They then gain more energy and the ability to continue to influence the embodied person. The embodied person’s ego-mind becomes a co-conspirator with the spirit’s crystallized ego-mind and the enlarged sensation becomes puffed up with self-assigned importance—it’s more gratifying to have once been a wealthy prince instead of some menial ditch digger."

In true cases of DID, an individual manifests a seemingly separate personality or sometimes several personalities. From this perspective a channeler or a trance medium wouldn’t actually be contacting some separate entity or a Risen One, but instead somehow be contacting another personality of their own. Stephen E. Braude, an American professor of philosophy, who has done extensive scholarly research and writing on parapsychology, notably addressing the questions of survival and reincarnation and how DID might be involved. He has suggested that in some cases mediums might be displaying “non-pathological forms” of dissociation, or “other forms” related to DID.

This seems to be another way of saying that although, as a medium, I’m not disabled from my “condition” (as a medium) I’m still delusional, which shows just how challenging it may be for some academics to fully commit themselves to the fact of survival after death. Braude’s writings explore in great detail a few particularly famous cases of mediumship and so are especially valuable as historical references. (Braude, Stephen E., Immortal Remains—The Evidence for Life After Death. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

There's something spooky in Iceland

We're not the kind to push trivia very often, but find it interesting to have discovered via the data analyzer at YouTube that our video presentation of The Risen is most popular in Iceland, which is much in the news now due to the recent volcano eruption. What's especially striking is that Iceland has quite a long haunted history, and has been said by some historians to be the home of modern mediumship, and has been studied and noted as such for quite a long time. Icelandic Spiritualism: Mediumship and Modernity in Iceland (1997) is considered the definitive study of mediumship there in the 19th and 20th centuries, and although a rather dry, academic book, offers interesting insights into methodologies for testing and confirming authenticity. Here is one review. Other important research papers on Icelandic mediumship can be found here. The Ghosts of Iceland, by Robert Anderson, was more recently published (2004). The author is said to have "spent time with spirit mediums, joined in group séances, observed and recorded conversations between the living and the dead, arranged for spirit doctors to treat sick friends, and attended lectures at spiritist schools, and coffee klatches of the 'spirit society'. "

The Ghost Center in Stokkseyri is a ghost museum that features all of Iceland’s most famous ghosts. There are even travel businesses that focus exclusively on "ghost hunting" there.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Review of The Risen

A new review of The Risen has been added to the Amazon site by N. Riley Heagerty, author of The French Revelation, (The independent voice mediumship of Emily S.French). Riley is a well-respected historian of spiritualism and physical mediumship. We highly recommend his book, a valuable contribution to the field.

More about What Dreams May Come

Acquire a Splendiferous-Looking Copy of The Risen book here.

An avid supporter and student of The Risen drew further attention to some material that cites major differences between the book and the film of What Dreams May Come, as reported at Wikipedia. We cite this here not as authoritative source, but to stimulate further thought by illustrating how the way ego-mind hungers for drama, drama, and more drama, exemplified by the way, in this case, a filmmaker may change things to suit ego-mind's agenda. The book itself may have been inspired by spirit, as the author notes below, which seems quite likely, and in spite of ego-mind's attempts to disguise truth, still manages to come through in powerful ways in the film.

The novel has significant differences from the film, in both its plot and its vision of the afterlife. Its approach to the love story is considerably less sentimental, its tone more scientific than fantastic.

There are far more references to Theosophical, New Age and paranormal beliefs. Indeed, the author Richard Matheson claims in an introductory note that only the characters are fictional, and that almost everything else is based on research (the book contains an extensive bibliography). Story elements that do not show up in the film include astral projection, telepathy, a séance, and the term "Summerland" (the name for a simplified Heaven in Theosophy, and for Heaven in general in earth-based religions such as Wicca).

The details of Chris's life on Earth also differ strongly in the novel. Only Chris and his wife (called Ann) die. Their children, who are grownups rather than youngsters, remain alive, as minor characters. Albert and Leona are exactly the people they appear to be, and the character played by Max Von Sydow does not appear in the book at all. Albert is Chris's cousin and not African American as in the film, while Leona's ethnicity is not divulged. Chris and Ann are rural, country types rather than the urbanites portrayed in the film, and he is not a pediatrician, nor is she a painter. He's a Hollywood screenwriter, and she has a variety of jobs.

The afterlife imagery is based on natural scenery rather than paintings. The Heavenly environment doesn't automatically mold itself to people's thoughts, as it does in the film; some practice and expertise is required to build things. The novel's depiction of Hell is considerably more violent than in the film. Chris finds it difficult to move, breathe, or even see, and he suffers physical torture at the hands of some of the inhabitants. He does not encounter ships, thunderstorms, fire, or the sea of human faces that he must walk upon in the film. Instead, he and Albert climb across craggy cliffs and encounter such sights as a swarm of insects that attack people's bodies.

Ann is consigned to Hell for only 24 years, not eternity. At the end, which resembles an alternate version of the film but not the standard version, she escapes from Hell by being reincarnated, because she is not ready for Heaven.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Risen on Youtube

Our book, The Risen, is now featured in a video introduction on YouTube. Be sure to view it at the setting of 480p and in full screen, and especially have your speakers on, to hear the achingly beautiful music of the Scottish pianist and composer Stuart Mitchell, who has most kindly provided it for the background accompaniment. He is also the innovator of DNA Song, where he has pioneered a method of translating a DNA biological sequence into a "genetic musical score."

August has been listening to the music of Stuart (sometimes affectionately known as "Stoogy") for most of the years as a background companion while working on The Risen.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New White Crow Blog

For those interested, Michael Tymn's new blog, White Crow, went live today. Mike is a well-known researcher and writer of the paranormal. Let him know if you'd like to subscribe.
"Here you will meet philosophers and visionaries, painters and poets, novelists and psychologists, whose vitality and insight spill generously across the centuries. Seek and you will find, and when you find, celebrate. Discovery is for the keen-eyed and the open-hearted, and the adventure continues."
The term"white crow" is from a comment of the great Harvard psychologist, William James — who was also one of the founding members of the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) — to a skeptic's doubt about the medium, Lenora Piper (b. 1859):
"To upset the conclusion that all crows are black, there is no need to seek demonstration that no crows are black; it is sufficient to produce one white crow; a single one is sufficient."
Michael shared that he will be discussing The Risen in either his second or third blog. He currently plans to post a new blog every two weeks or so.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Amazon Review by Michael Tymn

A most favorable review of The Risen has been added to Amazon by Michael Tymn, journalist extraordinaire, well-known researcher and writer of the paranormal. He won the 1999 Robert H. Ashby Memorial Award given by The Academy of Religion and Psychical Research for his essay on "Dying, Death, and After Death."His book, "The Articulate Dead," was released by Galde Press in December 2008 and his latest book, "Running on Third Wind," has just been released.

Mike will also be submitting his review of our book to Dr. Don Morse, the editor of the Journal of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies and to the National Spiritualist Summit, the national magazine for Spiritualists.

His highly respected blog is currently being revamped and will reappear at whitecrow.com -- it should be up and running by the end of the week, according to Mike.

Monday, April 12, 2010

You've always had the power to go back to Kansas


Still awaiting further "touches" by Tim regarding yesterday's ITC Moment. (See the previous blog.) Tim and I are nearly always in touch in exquisite and intimate mental and emotional ways, but his physical materializations all but stopped some years ago as he moved on to states far beyond the terrestrial plane. But for the past few months, he's been hinting that a "visit" is being planned, and while not defining its nature, I really want to assume it will be physical in some way.

As I explained to a friend, the recent ITC moment requires that one think like the Risen, which is often and seemingly opposite of ours in terms of "time" - yet another pun Tim is using, (he was a Master Punsman) -- so the original visual, "Visit Tim" could actually be read from right to left - "Tim Visit". Adding the "e" to Tim creates "Time" which is also adding a third word. So in sequence, it could be read, "Tim Visit Time" or in Risen Speak - Tim is coming in time, or Tim will be visiting soon.

But then, knowing Mr. Wit, (a play on his name we used to share) it probably is a nup (thanks, Rob) -- I'm just as in the dark as the next person about these things, and always learning. Often I'm wrong, due to the distraction, which seems to disengage my left brain so the right brain remains unsuspecting of what actually is coming. I wonder if even that makes sense?

I just hope Tim remembers to put on his ruby red slippers.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tim(e) Passes

Something's in the etheric. The Risen Books website has a "sitemeter" on it which helps me look at statistics gathered, such as how many people visit, what part of the world they might be from, and so on. The data is presented in various ways, and one page uses a table format with column headings. When I went to this particular page this morning, I notice that one of the column headings said "Visit Tim". I just sat there staring at it for a few seconds, trying to understand what I was seeing, as it didn't make any sense. Visit Tim? Then, as I watched, a few seconds later, the letter "E" slowly appeared, -- and now it read "Visit Time" - which made sense within the context of the table's contents. I've never seen html present in this way before, unless it was programmed to be animated - which this simple table and text is not. So I ask my expert colleagues, does this qualify as an ITC (Intstrumental Transcommunication) event? If so, it's clearly a message, although I don't know if it means I should visit Tim, or he will visit me -- I suspect the latter, as in the past couple months he has been hinting that "something" is in the works and I wonder if that something will be another attempt by the Risen Team at enabling Tim to physically materialize in my presence.

As we say in the business, "Stay tuned" -- and we mean that literally and metaphorically.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

From the Archives: For Heaven's Snakes

[First Posted 8/31/2006]

E.W. shares:

"Not long before you wrote about how much more painful loss becomes as we get older I had contemplated (for some perverse reason) the possible death of one of our dogs. I felt such a deep vibratory pang I had to quickly cut off the contemplation. I realized how much more painful the loss of a pet would be to me now; and this from someone who was almost inconsolable when one of his snakes died when he was a kid!Your way of understanding this phenomenon really resonated in me. I actually began to understand more deeply how grief relates to awareness."

Thanks, E.W. — it takes a certain, finer awareness, along with courage to not only allow oneself to feel the pain, but to admit to it — which is really admitting the pain, allowing it to exist as is, alongside the as-is of one’s self.

Any pain, physical or mental or emotional, is vibration, which is movement. Often this movement seems to be impaired or stuck, as if running in one place but getting nowhere. Can not-moving be movement? Perhaps here is movement of a different sort, a different order on a different dimension. Moving our legs through space creates distance across space, which is experienced as a measurement called time. If our legs cannot move because we are in pain — in our body or our heart — there is still movement but of this different order. Here is where courage is needed, to do something seemingly counter-intuitive, which is to go towards and into the pain. "Riding the pain" is one way someone has described it. Others feel carried by it, or even pulled, if resistance is offered. All ways are valid and unique, generated by the Spirit Self and therefore numinous.

Whether or not one believes the pain of grief can be avoided, or has been avoided — it occurs anyway. Any suppression or repression takes place only on the two-dimensional plane of the simulate self. The Authentic Self is where the action, the movement, takes place. The simulate self interprets the difference between the two selves as an edge or barrier, and uses fear as a kind of sonar to sound off against the barrier to detect and prove its existence. Movement of Authentic Self on the waves of pain takes place, regardless of our awareness of it. It is, in fact, the awareness that signals that an awakening is taking place, an awakening to one’s living experience. This awakening can be visualized as a point of awareness arising on the wave, and as an inseparable part of the wave. Perhaps this speaks to the quantum mechanical conundrum that light is simultaneously a point and a wave.

Returning to the space opened by the pain of grief returns us to familiar feelings. The space is opened further each time; or rather, one’s awareness of the already infinite space is exponentially widened. This has been described before as experiencing each subsequent grief as “harder” — but this particular word will change in concept and meaning as the widening continues. Yet it doesn’t mean the experience will become “easier.” It becomes “different.” In a way, there is an experiential realization that one’s manifested material body is limited in its ability to experience and endure physical and emotional sensations. It simply can’t tolerate higher levels of the truth, and this gives rise to its own kind of discomfort or growing pains.

The word “grieve” arises from an ancient Indo-European root for “heavy.” When a certain level of understanding of Truth is arrived at, a lightening of the mind occurs — enlightening – but the mind-body may shut or break down, and the mind-body cooperative may then separate. The cosmic materials that comprise the atomic structure of the physical body are released when the enlightened mind dissolves the “glue” that held the structure together. Mind moves on, free of the material body, and at some point, will utilize other cosmic materials to build a new body that will be able to tolerate the higher level of Truth. Its manifestation will be reflective of the truth as understood by that particular mind.

Grief, then, “undoes” us — that is, it disengages, disentangles, frees, loosens, releases, unbinds, unblocks, unbuttons, uncloses, unfastens, unzips, unfixes, unlocks, unravels, unshuts, unstops, unties, or unwraps us. The pain of grief is a taste of the divine ecstasy foreign to our earthly mind-bodies. Deflected, it continues on anyway, unbinding the glue. Embraced, the pain embraces us back and this chemical union becomes a catalyst for consciously aware change, or movement from the lower to the higher. This is why we seek the company of others of like mind and vibration, who can hold and carry us during the grief process and thus impart a strengthening and nourishment to our temporarily weakened state. We have grown new wings — now, out of the cocoon, we need to rest, to allow the wings to dry and expand before venturing further into new space.

We also experience the separation from other human and animal (and serpentine) mind-bodies as well in our grief — and in our beginning or even anticipated grief as well. When we understand that the “undoing” is also a “doing” and that because of “like vibration attracts like vibration”, another chemical is added to the catalyst that becomes part of the emerging flux, and which will naturally reunite our mind with those minds, whether without or within new bodies.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Hound of Heaven


The Hound of Heaven
by Francis Thompson

I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

They beat - and a Voice beatMore instant than the Feet -
'All things betray thee, who betrayest Me'.
Save Me, save only Me?All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms,
All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!
'Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
'Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.'


Thank you to Rob Smith who just sent me the above partial-extract of a much longer poem as some sort of synchronisitic, perhaps even telepathic response to my own thoughts on the other side of the globe. For this is a story about my own "Hound of Heaven" who is seeking liberation.

Those of you have read The Risen know about “liberation dramas” and have some understanding of them – at least theoretically – as it says in Chapter 19:
“Some are simple events, such as helping my cousin Jerry cross a field, but most are extremely complex in approach and design, requiring creativity as well as experience and a certain mental and spiritual stability in one’s life.”

I seldom relate about my current involvement in such “rescues” precisely because of the complexities and the fact that they take place on non-terrestrial, otherdimensional levels that defy description in human-dimensional language. I recently returned from one that was unusually, emotionally and psychologically complex involving many intricate dramas in a diakkan society. (And if you want to know what “Diakka” is, it’s discussed in the book, or see this old blog post.) I can also confirm something that probably hasn’t been made too apparent in all the literature about spirit lands over the past century, which is that it’s not uncommon for diakkan societies to be warring cultures. This particular one that I’m involved in is just that, and quite brutal in its deeply crystallized ego-mind inspired ways of living. But apparently, a certain individual there has grown weary of such violent ways of living, and sent out just the faintest prayer for help – probably no more than a brief sigh – but which went out like a brilliant beacon through the fog, and responded to by higher-vibrating Risen entities. I have a very particular role to play, which more or less amounts to what I can only describe as “espionage”. Ok, well yes, a mole. I’m assigned to this person who thinks he’s supposed to be some kind of teacher-warrior assigned to protect me as in some kind of rough political fray – the likes of which get actually quite physically violent as well there. So the plot thickens, and we pray we will be able to lift his consciousness up long enough to be able to see and hear that which he heart has begun to sense, and to help him transition out of his current state.

The actual point of the above is to lead into what was recently revealed to me as I returned– with some difficulty – into my body one morning after spending “time” with this drama. As I lay there, having trained myself to stay still in order to retain and build an info-sphere of all that had happened, to the best of my abilities – two of my guide-companions spent some time counseling me and answering questions – “debriefing” is the word that comes to mind. I asked permission to be able to record some of it, and they said yes, as long as I did what they said. The first thing was to get up out of bed and turn on the computer to let it warm up so I could type while in trance. This I did, only to find I had to pee quite badly. Thankfully I was allowed to do this, but I was also dreadfully thirsty. But when I went to get a drink of water, they forbade me. This was agony – partially because I was very parched, and partially because I hate being told what to do, especially in the way of my creature comforts. I had to struggle with this but couldn’t for long, if I was to get back into bed for the rest of the process. It was explained that if I took in any terrestrial substance, such as food or water, it would trigger my to fully re-enter my body, and my vibration would no longer be sufficiently high enough to debrief further and access more info, or make memories. This somehow reminds me of the old stories where humans are cautioned to never drink or eat anything when they enter faerie.

After about 30 minutes lying down receiving information and energy, I was told to go to the computer, and typed the following. I give it here in all its original dictated form, and for now, will offer no further comments or analysis about it. However, I will note that the primary subject – that of dreams and dream interpretation – is an interesting one, as the last book the Tim wrote was about just such a subject. He remains silent about this for now.

I cannot speak for everyone, but I do know there are those of us who have lives during the time our terrestrial body sleeps that are so far beyond the pale existence of the terrestrial experience that it is truly impossible to speak or write of those lives in any terrestrial language, save, perhaps, art.

Those who think that they know their dreams, and understand them, and can speak and write of them—in any way—are in the unconscious clutches of the ego-mind, and are being used by its mentality. The ego-mind cannot travel beyond the terrestrial state of embodiment into the astral, where Authentic Self lives—and loves—in such intense, often frenzied and fierce, yet exquisitely fiery and tender ways, that the life of a still-embodied person on the earth can be said without doubt to be the actual dream.Thus all the millennia of written and oral tradition, sacred and secular texts, which claim to have understood the mysteries of what are labeled as “dream lives” and “dream symbols and interpretations” add up to mere delusions of the ego-mind—it is speaking of itself and the lives of its own simulate personalities while in captivity on the Earth, and not of the vast truth which it cannot claim, which is Authentic Self’s immortal existence outside time and space.

When an Authentic Self returns to the terrestrial body, when it awakens—which is really falling back asleep—very rarely can It bring any awareness of from where and when It came. Even those tiny wisps of vibrations that echo scant information of Its astral lives, adventures, and lovers, are unable to be retained for more than a few breaths. Instead, the Authentic Self falls back into a deep slumber, as the ego-mind regains control of the body-mind. The ego-mind is clever and skilled enough to sample and analyze the dissolving wisps before they vanish, and it is with these after-tastes that the ego-mind reconstructs what it thinks are the dramas of its sleep, which it calls “dreams.” Some ego-minds profess to study them, and label them as “not real” but as proof of the depths and complexities of what it imagines as its own real psychological intelligence and evolved and shining talents. Conversely, others also profess to study them and arrive at the same conclusions, while claiming beliefs that the dreams are “real” and evidence higher spiritual aspects, communications, and messages from divinities and demons, as well as interactions with other embodied and even disembodied personalities.

But the ego-mind cannot and never will be able to leave its actual confines, because neither it nor its confines are real, but rather a short-lived and fragile bubble of energy borrowed from the loosest elements of earth and air that comprise the terrestrial body. It is also this bubble of ego-mind’s dreams that Authentic Self re-enters and then proceeds forward in its terrestrial life, unaware in any way of the spectacular, astoundingly beautiful life of reality that awaits Its return to the higher astral realms. Instead, It allows ego-mind to daze and dazzle It by beliefs about dreams, lulled deeper into a day-slumber, where It usually will remain unconscious until the body and the ego-mind finally fall away, and transition toward the Risen Lands begins.