MW: 2014-4

Issue 116

Psi Performance and the Personality: “Despite interest in the correlations between psi performance and personality variables, the intimate life of mediums and other participants in parapsychological studies remains virtually ignored. It is not necessary to say that this is something that we cannot evaluate solely using questionnaires and scales; it is a knowledge that requires careful observation and deep consideration of the life of a person. When we ignore the emotional…and social life of mediums, focusing only on the phenomena that they convey, we tend to reduce these individuals to mere ‘vehicles,’ running the risk of an excessive idealization or, conversely, of a destructive devaluation. Besides, we lose the opportunity to understand better how their behavior and their subjective experiences can influence, or even determine, their mediumistic manifestations.”

From: “Individual and Group Dialectics in the Study of Mediumship: A Psychosocial Perspective” by Everton De Oliveira Maraldi and Wellington Zangari, Paranormal Review Issue 66, Society for Psychical Research, spr.ac.uk.

from-heaven-is-for-realTo Heaven and Back on CNN: Mary Neal “drowned” during a kayaking trip on January 14, 1999. She says when she saw her body, it was purple and her pupils were dilated. Anita Moorjani says she had end-stage cancer when she claims she left her body. Benjamin Breedlove suffered heart failure, and he says he left his body. On the brink of death, all three tell stories of leaving their bodies, going to heaven and coming back. For each, their story raises questions: Is heaven real? What does it feel like to die? Each of their stories was featured in a program on CNN this past December call “To Heaven and Back.” The program presented by Anderson Cooper is a testament to the large number of people who are interest in Near Death Experiences. cnn.com/2013/11/29/us/to-heaven-and-back/

A child’s Near-death Experience: Heaven is For Real is a movie that was released in April of this year. It stars Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly as Todd and Sonja Burpo, a couple whose son Colton (played by Connor Corum) claims he had a near-death experience. The days that follow young Colton’s experience challenge the family to understand the significance behind the event. The film has gotten good ratings and has gained favor with film lovers who want a feel-good movie that suggests evidence of an afterlife, seen through the eyes of a child. The film explores the changes that take place not only in people who claim to have near death experiences, but those in their immediate families and surrounding communities, as individuals try to accept something they don’t fully understand. Heaven is For Real could readily appeal to individuals of all backgrounds, regardless of adherence to religious faith. The movie is based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. movieinsider.com/m9027/heaven-is-for-real/releases/

Backwards-in-time Effect on the Present: “Studies using recording of autonomic nervous response and/or EEG recordings on brainwaves have shown changes indicating increased subconscious anticipation of a forthcoming strongly emotive visual image or sensory shock occurring some five seconds after a preset signal. For computer images the screen remained blank until an emotionally neutral image such as grass, or emotionally charged image such as violence . . . was shown. For studies using sensory shock there was either a shock or a non-shock stimulus after five seconds. Sometimes the anticipatory onset commenced even before the computer had executed its random choice of emotive versus neutral stimuli. These studies imply that a future event-to-be experienced, but not yet chosen, can have a backwards-in-time effect on the existent present.”

From: “After Dr. Mayer Said ‘This Changes Everything,’ What Happen Next? Part Two” by Robert A. Charman, Paranormal Review, Issue 63, Society for Psychical Research, spr.ac.uk.

Matter and Mind: “A number of theories have used developments in physics to bridge the gap between matter and mind. There are some signs that psychic functioning may have physical dependencies, such as the link between geomagnetism and Local Sidereal Time. One issue is that different kinds of psi phenomena pose different levels of challenges to physics, micro-PK being less of a challenge than retro-P­K, which in turn is less of a challenge than macro-PK. Similarly, clairvoyance poses less of a challenge than precognition and OBEs fewer challenges than NDEs.”

From: “Study Day Review: Making Sense of PSI” by Matthew Colborn, Paranormal Review, Issue 63, Society for Psychical Research, spr.ac.uk.

Psychical Research: “The rebranding of psychical research as parapsychology did not alter the negative assessment of the subject by mainstream science. In response there have been constant efforts to yoke aspects of psychical research to new scientific findings in order to legitimize the former and until recently these efforts focused on theoretical linkages. Recently, however, there has been a shift in emphasis towards practical aspects of the relationship . . . and this shift in emphasis has opened up new avenues of investigation. Meanwhile, psychical research itself still struggles for recognition among mainstream scientists because it is perceived not to use the methods of science.”

From: “Study Day No 65: Historical Aspects of Psychical Research and Its Links with Established Science” by Tom Ruffles, Paranormal Review, Issue 67, Society for Psychical Research, spr.ac.uk.

God: Victor Zammat saysOccasionally, I am asked what I think of God because I do not mention God in my research. I usually allow for people to follow their own concept of God. I was brought up as a Christian so that the concept of God and the Trinity was drummed into me for years. But whilst I accept there is an ultimate power beyond my comprehension, I cannot accept the Biblical Jehovah, a jealous God, a God of enormous cruelty, God of vengeance and a God of war.

However, as an empiricist I have been given the powers of observation. When I look at the universe, seeing billions of stars, I see order. A tiny drop of water one millimeter in diameter contains 5,000 billion atoms (5 plus 21 zeroes!) all obeying order—the laws of physics. I accept that the order that governs the universe is the product of a UNIVERSAL MIND. I do NOT accept that all has come by chance because chance does not explain order; a directed force has to maintain order. The possibility of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the complete works of Shakespeare resulting from an explosion in a printing shop. Further, when Professor Albert Einstein was asked the same question about God, he replied, “Suppose I bring you a portrait that wins everybody’s admiration, do we need to see the artist? No, but we know that there is a MIND that created the portrait.”

From: “Friday Afternoon Report” by Victor and Wendy Zammit, victorzammit.com

lighting-spiritualLighting Your Spiritual Passion: Past editor of The National Spiritualist Summit Magazine, Laura Lee Perkins, has written a book of twenty-two essays about subject important to Spiritualists. Typical of the reviews is this one by “Willow” on Amazon.com: “Beautifully written and so accessible to the reader. Laura is the consummate teacher and guide for the journey into soul, heart center and the process of self-understanding. This is a book of essays that belongs on my nightstand. I know that I will reference it often over the years since each essay stands on its own; they are touching, encouraging and enlightening. Thank you Laura for sharing your journey and your care for each of us on our individual paths.”

Lighting Your Spiritual Passion by Laura Lee Perkins, Maine Authors Publishing, 2013, 149 pages.

The Science of Happiness – an Experiment in Gratitude: What makes you happy? A new study has shown that simple gratitude exercises increased happiness. “Two of the exercises—using signature strengths in a new way and three good things—increased happiness and decreased depressive symptoms for six months. Another exercise, the gratitude visit, caused large positive changes for one month.”

In the study of “positive psychology,” the researchers refer to six overarching virtues that almost every culture across the world endorses:

  1. Wisdom: Cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of knowledge
  2. Courage: Emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external or internal
  3. Humanity: Interpersonal strengths that involve “tending and befriending” others
  4. Justice: Civic strengths that underlie healthy community life
  5. Temperance: Strengths that protect against excess
  6. Transcendence: Strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning

From: “Positive Psychology Progress, Empirical Validation of Interventions” Martin E. P. Seligman, Tracy A. Steen, Nansook Park and Christopher Peterson, American Psychology, July-August 2005, ppc.sas.upenn.edu

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