Monthly Archives: February 2014

Febuary 19th

This week, we ventured into the world of psychic communications and spiritual mediums as part of our foray to understand more of what lies beyond our physical existence. After reading on the biographies and life histories of several spiritual mediums, there seems to me to be a common thread: that they generally claim to use their work for the greater good; for the healing and comfort of others. For them, the ability to be able to offer other people reassurance and hope is in itself an extremely rewarding experience for them. Nonetheless, their discovery of their ‘skills’ come in different forms; some of them noticed their abilities manifesting from an early age, while others gained awareness and became attuned to the spiritual world after a traumatic event or spiritual awakening (‘meeting an angelic being’ etc.). In terms of their lifestyles, many of these mediums are themselves heavily involved in becoming spiritually educated, through their own spiritual teachers, meditation, or through seeking other forms of spiritual enlightenment.

Previously, I was rather skeptical of the idea of mediums or psychics, believing them to be mere con men whom make use of mentalist techniques to appeal to the emotions and subjective reasoning of their clients. However, after hearing the stories that some of these mediums present, including those that came to our class, I decided to approach this topic with more of an open mind. After all, it seems that many of these mediums previously held professional positions, in occupations such as psychiatrists, doctors, lawyers, but chose instead to pursue their understanding and usage of their ‘gifts’. Their unique perspectives and descriptions of the world beyond the material were somewhat compelling and piqued my interest. One of the things that stood out to me was how they described their interactions with the spiritual world, in terms of the ‘energy’ that revolves around and within all of us. This is certainly a fascinating concept that can be potentially congruent with scientific discourse, considering how much we already know exists that we cannot see.

Relevant to this week’s assignment, I picked out two mediums whom I read up on that I thought had representative stories. The first is Derek Acorah, an internationally known medium who had achieved success on television, radio and personal appearances across the world. Derek was first exposed to his spiritual abilities at a young age when he met the spirit of his late grandfather. He began to foster his abilities with the help of his grandmother, herself also a medium, and eventually began life as a full time spirit medium in his hometown of Liverpool. As the years passed, his popularity grew from being a small town psychic to an international sensation through a number of media appearances, that led him on the road to becoming one of the most well-known mediums in this age. On the other spectrum of the limelight, I found the story of Adrienne DeSalvo: a medium whom resides in the city of New York. As a youth, Adrienne frequently experienced lucid and precognitive dreams, but her abilities did not manifest much more than so. She found work as a legal secretary and at the same time dedicated her life to gaining knowledge becoming educated in all aspects of life. Unfortunately, one day Adrienne was diagnosed with brain tumor, for which she received treatment. It was after this experience that she began to embark on a spiritual awakening and training to develop her mediumship. Now, she commits her life to serve and help others heal as a spiritual counselor and psychic medium.

In essence, from the myriad of biographies I have perused it is apparent that these stories can often come in multiple shapes, sizes or forms. The process of unlocking these ‘inner’ spiritual abilities can be complicated for some but more natural for others. Regardless, it is insightful for us to learn more about these mediums in our attempt to understand the metaphysical world.

2/19 Medium Biographies

After the very insightful presentation and Q&A by the mediums in class on Monday, I decided to take a look at mediums from different generations. Through the Spirit Writings website, I discovered a medium named Andrew Jackson Davis lived through the 19th century (1826-1910) and a medium named Francisco de Paula Candido Xavier who lived through the 20th century (1910-2002). By comparing the cultural, geographic, and generational differences between these mediums, I hope to uncover consistencies that would support the timelessness of the “other side” or variances that could be challenge the spiritual component on a societal level. Lastly, I hope to learn more about the different types of mediums, since Rita mentioned on Monday’s class that nobody’s energy or abilities are the same as anyone else’s.

Andrew Jackson Davis was born and resided in the New England area for the duration of his life and started his spiritual career by practicing mesmerism at the Castleton Medical College. H would later frequently end up in “magnetic sleeps” where people were transparent to his eyes and h would wake up the next morning 40 miles away in a random location. This was late classified as supernatural powers and studied by various philosophers and doctors. In his own words, “it is a truth that spirits commune with one another while one is in the body and the other in the higher spheres.” Davis continued to offer his services as a mesmerizer by “seeing apparitions” and throwing himself into “the superior condition” while prescribing herbal remedies for his patients.

Francisco de Paula Candido Xavier on the other hand was born and lived in Brazil until his death. He practiced a form of Brazilian spiritualism called Spiritism, where he would contact the spirits and engage in automatic writing. He came about this ability when his mother died and he consequently heard voices and sensed spirit presences. He cured one of his sisters from an apparent possession through his automatic writing. Although he was blind in one eye and only had a rudimentary education, Xavier wrote over 130 books that have sold over 3 million copies in 415 editions. A lot of people have analyzed his works and have come to the conclusion that the automatic writing contained skills and concepts beyond the medium’s understandings and thus came from his subconscious (or spirituality). What’s even more amazing is that he completed these works in very fast times.

From these medium’s long lives as well as the two presenters from Monday’s class, it is easy to see that mediums come in all shapes and forms. Something similar between all four of the mediums I analyzed was that they didn’t seem to be doing it for money or fame. Mostly, they genuinely wanted to help or teach people, either by sharing their experiences through written literature or performing their talents on those in need.

 

http://www.spiritwritings.com/andrewjacksondavis.html
http://www.spiritwritings.com/chicoxavier.html

February 19th

Annie Dreisbach

February 19th, 2014

Medium Biographies

This week, inquiries about the lives of mediums led me to the story of Andrew Jackson Davis. Davis was born in 1826 in Blooming Grove, New York. At a very young age, Davis heard voices and had gifts of clairvoyance. Until the age of 16, Davis never received any formal education, but instead worked as an apprentice for a shoe-maker. In 1838, Davis had an inclination to move to Poughkeepsie, so he persuaded his family to do so. Five years later, Dr. Grimes, a professor of jurisprudence, visited the city to deliver a lecture on mesmerism. Davis attended the lecture and was asked to be used as a demonstration. During the on stage mesmerism, nothing appeared to happen. However, later a local tailor named William Livingston put Davis into a “magnetic sleep” and discovered that when he was in this state, Davis had the ability to accurately diagnose people of disease. The following year, Davis wandered from his house in a state of semitrance and found himself the next morning forty miles from his home in the mountains. He claimed that on this journey, he met the late physician Galen and seer Swedenborg and experienced a state of illumination.

After this experience, Davis began writing and teaching about his gift. In “The Principles of Nature”, “Her Devine Revelations”, and “A Voice to Mankind”, Davis dictated his trances and visions to assistance who wrote down his words verbatim. His dictation was met with enthusiasm and witnesses confirmed the reality of his words. His gift was also supported by his improvisational and accurate answers to questions under trance.  Also they received much support, his books also had many critics, including Professor George Bush, who stated that Davis, although a decent man, was a mouthpiece for deceiving spirits. However, Davis did predict many things, including the coming age of Spiritualism, as well as the existence of Neptune and Pluto before their discovery. It is even thought that Davis met Abraham Lincoln and advised him during the Civil War. Davis died in 1910 after earning a degree in medicine and retiring to Boston to open a book store.

Obviously, there is strong evidence of mediumship existing many years ago. However, I was also interested to compare the experiences of mediums today. George Anderson is a well-known medium who claims to connect with departed souls. At the age of six, Anderson had a near-death experience after contracting encephalomyelitis. After he recovered, Anderson began to see images of St. Joan of Arc who spoke to him frequently about the afterlife. He also began to see relatives who had died. Initially, he ignored the visions, but eventually doctors got involved and worried that Anderson had permanent brain damage from his NDE. But the communication with the other side continued, which made people around uncomfortable, even suggesting that he goes to an insane asylum. It was only from one spiritual and understanding doctor who believed in Anderson’s visions and helped him realize his calling in life was to bring comfort to those grieving a loss. Some people believe Anderson was chosen, while other hypothesize that his gift comes from the rewiring of this brain after trauma. Today, Anderson continues his work with those who are suffering a loss. He is also an author and television personality.

Just by reading these two biographies, it seems like society was more open to this type of spiritual thinking and connection long ago. Although there were doubters, Davis was acclaimed for his abilities and thought of as a brilliant seer. However, more recently, Anderson was thought of as crazy when he talked about his gift. It seems like today, people look for proof, and abstract ideas or thinking are not given as much credibility as they used to be given.

http://spiritwritings.com/andrewjacksondavis.html

http://www.georgeanderson.com/georgeandersonbio.htm

 

Feb. 19: Victoria Wolcott

This week, I chose to explore the different psychics that I could find on YouTube in order to compare them to one another.  I managed to stumble upon a pair of twins named Linda and Terry Jamison, otherwise known as the psychic twins.  The two of them have, like many other twins, felt that they have a special connection, however theirs has always gone much deeper than most.  Their biggest predictions have been of the 9/11 terrorist attacks about 2 years before it happened, the prediction of both Bush’s holding office, that JFK Jr. would die by plane, and the US stock market crashes within the week of the actual occurrence. In a video of them that I found, there were excerpts of their writing where they predicted 9/11.  In their notes, they have the words “World Trade Center, Bin Laden, 5,000 perish.” The two sisters use automatic writing to channel their energies and record their information.  Before 9/11, they tried to warn the government of the terrorist attack, but the government did not take them seriously.  However, after it happened, they were deemed a threat and the FBI shut down every website that they had with their prediction on it.

Sylvia Browne, on the other hand, was a psychic that the authorities trusted and utilized to solve murders.  While she was able to solve many murders along the way, there were several instances where she was very wrong.  One of which is in the case of Amanda Berry.  Many years ago, Amanda Berry’s mother came on the Dontell Williams show and asked for a reading.  Sylvia Browne said that unfortunately Amanda Berry had passed and her mother would only see her again on the other side.  Fortunately (for Amanda Berry) Sylvia Browne predicted incorrectly, and she has since been discovered alive.  While Sylvia may have gotten that part of the story wrong, she was correct about her description of the man who abducted Amanda.  Sylvia Browne described him as being a short, stout, Hispanic man and she was correct about that.

Overall, I found all three psychics to have compelling stories.  All three psychics had a relationship, albeit a complicated one, with the authorities.  I think, similar to myself, the authorities are wary of psychic abilities, but they do not want to be the ones who fail to prevent a death because they do not believe.  If there is a chance that the psychic would be able to find a missing person, why not use that skill for good?  On the other hand, an incorrect prediction of whether or not a person is dead or alive could be devastating for the family.  I am still deciding how I feel about this.  There were too many inconsistencies for me to believe whole-heartedly, but these psychics have definitely captured my attention.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpwv6SDskUk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67nnkxSzSYg

Osiniecka – Feb 19

Izzie Osiniecka

2/16/2014

Joseph Gallenberger: Brothers Forever

            Brothers Forever is a story of Joseph Gallenberger and his journey to contact his beloved brother Pete after Pete’s suicide. The book describes their life, their relationship, and the spiritual world. Though Joseph contacts his brother a few times, the time that I found most important was the last channeling session Joseph has with Pete. During this session the medium describes how Pete’s soul is buoyant, free, angelic, and sweet (much different from the way Pete was during the later half of his life). The medium comments that Joseph can communicate with Pete better now because Joseph has let go of his guilt and sadness. Next, the medium comments that Pete is finally getting out of his hell, and will probably reincarnate to a better life than he had before. Next, Joseph learns about Pete’s separation from work (Pete was a very hard worker during his life, though this never paid off for him). Apparently, people have a consciousness for work and the experience of work will lead to toil and disappointment; this must have been why Pete had such a rough life. Next, the medium sees an image of a firefly, though neither she nor Joseph understand the meaning, and it is never revealed/explained. Following this image, Pete tells Joseph that during his physical life he had a chemical imbalance, so all his suffering was unavailable. Finally, the session ends with the medium saying Pete is now free; he understands that he has choice in the plans he draws up for the lives he leads. Pete flies away into the freedom of the nonphysical.

This is only a glimpse of the story, and I feel that I have not done it justice. However, this book was amazing and by far my favorite that I have read this semester, so I do recommend that everyone get a chance to read it. It was very interesting to hear someone who is not 100% sure of his abilities take a journey into the spirit realm to be able to be able to connect to his brother. It was also interesting to hear the story of someone who was having a reading done by a medium instead of just from a medium him/herself. I know that the author believes in everything that happened in the book. As always, I am a bit skeptical, though I do believe that Joseph and Pete did have an interesting connection that could not be stopped by death.

Feb 19: Michelle Strait

Over the years a myriad of individuals have come forward claiming to have had a meeting (or several) with the Virgin Mary. Although claims usually come from rural poor in developing countries, they are not limited to that setting, and several high-profile cases have been found in the United States. In the book Apparitions, Healings, and Weeping Madonna’s: Christianity and the Paranormal, author Lisa J. Schwebel mentions several of these individuals. All these women, no men were mentioned as having this connection interestingly enough, had reported several consecutive meetings with the Holy Mother, and were unafraid of telling the general public about their experiences.
The first mentioned was a housewife from Dallas, Texas, Anne Kirkwood. In 1986 she began to receive messages from the Mother Mary. At this time Anne was suffering from agoraphobia, panic attacks, and depression, and was losing hope until discovering “The Mind-God Connection”. This book had literally jumped off the self at her, and explained how individuals each have a guide connecting them to God. Several months after she began praying for a strengthened connection, she finally had her first contact with Mary: her voice seemed to resonate throughout her whole being, not just her mind or heart. Holy Mary told Anne she had a message for the world and had chosen Anne to help her tell it, even though she was Protestant. Anne received daily messages from Mary, with the general theme of love and peace, saying peace will come to the world as individuals find inner peace within themselves. Mary wants us on Earth to learn to love ourselves, and clean our hearts of hatred and fear.
Over the span of the first two years Anne complied these lessons and co-wrote her first book with Mary: “Mary’s Messages to the World”. Not only does Anne write books with Mary’s assistance, but also an online newsletter, and she goes on tours. Anne reports through this connection with Mary she has been given the strength to get over her phobias, and is thus able to help Mary spread her message and act as God’s agent.
The general public seems to have taken these lessons by storm, and several of Anne’s books are translated into many different languages. Anne has remained Protestant, and the communication with Mary continues to this day. As for the Catholic Church, they say this is not the real thing because many of the teachings and sayings of ‘Mary’ tend to go against Biblical teachings. For example, saying the Mary had other children besides Jesus, that the devil does not exist, and they also cite her many failed predictions as proof of this not being the real Mother of Jesus.
In a small town in New York gift shop owner Mary Reilly has been having weekly communications with the Virgin Mary since the summer of 2001. As reported by the New York Times, these visits began when Reilly was told by the Virgin to go to a grotto behind a nearby church and pray. Ever since Reilly has episodes of ecstasy (back arched, whole body trembling) beneath the statue of the Virgin Mary in this grotto, during which messages of love and hope, and a call to pray the rosary, are revealed to her. As word of this has spread people from all over have come to hear these weekly messages, although Reilly only communicates what she has received with her “spiritual director”, a local reverend, who then passes on the message. By 2009 many Christian theologians reported they think this is not the real Virgin Mary, due to many doctrinal errors, errors of predestination, and errors of the blessing of Jesus found in her messages.
While it is interesting there are many occurrences of having been in contact with the Virgin Mary, I find it difficult to believe all of them to be true: why would she need to contact so many different individuals to pass on her message? In addition, why would such messages often not mesh with the teachings of the Church? However, the Virgin Mary is a beloved figure in Christianity, so it is no surprise those who claim to have a connection to her have many followers.

http://www.marysnewsletter.com/

http://www.catholicplanet.com/apparitions/false21.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/26/nyregion/skaneateles-journal-waiting-to-hear-from-the-madonna.html

http://www.catholicplanet.com/apparitions/false110.htm

Mediumship Skepticism

The first medium I stumbled upon was George Anderson. He briefly describes his life story which seems similar to other mediums and also the guests in class. He started noticing his abilities when he was six years old. This happened after he contracted chicken pox which developed into encephalomyelitis. The disease left great damage to his brain which prevented him from walking for a period of time and the doctors did not think he was going to live. It was during this time of recovery where he first saw his first spirit in the form of Joan of Arc. The doctors thought he was developing a severe mental disease, most likely schizophrenia, but one of his doctors gave him the benefit of the doubt which prevented him being locked away in a mental institution. Since then Anderson has written many books and appeared on television shows along with his full-time work as a medium.

I read a skeptical view of his work from the website tampabayskeptics.org which analyzed the transcript of a private reading he performed for a client. Obviously the article was slanted against him, but the first two minutes of dialogue did not make him look any bit genuine. I understand that sometimes mediums are not in tune with the spirits, but it appeared as Anderson was doing a lot of guess work for the answers. One of the most obvious instances of perceived trickery was when he incorrectly guessed that the male figure was a “sweetheart” so he went back and said that the spirit was joking about it. He kept trying to guess the name of the spirit throughout the transcript which was successful eventually, but not without many fishing attempts such as guessing the first letter or how many letters.

I then turned to John Edward who is one of the most well known mediums in the business. He also started experiencing his abilities at a very young age when his family realized that he knew facts about their family history which would have been unknowable to a child of that age. He was significantly influenced by the psychic Lydia Clar who told him that his life work would be to teach others his ability. He has been written several books and even created his own television show which are some of the reasons he has achieved so much fame. I watched several of his interviews since he seems to be the flagship for mediumship which yielded some interesting results. First, he was asked if he was ever contacted by spirits at an inconvenient time to which he replied yes. Actually, he was interrupted during sex one time when he was younger, but he would not go into further detail. I thought it was interesting how he talked about the spirits not caring about interrupting human activities which we might think are “embarrassing”.

I noticed that he did readings for multiple audiences which I thought was brave considering the possibility of error. First I watched one from George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight in which he was making a return visit. Apparently, Edward had broken the microphone during his first visit in one of his readings. He started by sensing energy from a particular area in the audience where he thought a younger male presence existed, perhaps a son or younger brother. A middle aged woman stood up and he continued by saying that he passed in an unexpected event. He said that “they” kept showing him June because a big number six was appearing to him. The woman could not readily identify the significance even though he kept pressing. He asked who died from a brain related disease and the woman could identify a relative.

When he did a reading of The View’s audience he started by sensing energy from a particular area in the audience where he thought a younger male presence existed, perhaps a son or younger brother. A middle aged woman stood up and he continued by saying that he passed in an unexpected event. He said that “they” kept showing him July because a big number seven was appearing to him. The woman could not readily identify the significance even though he kept pressing. He asked who died from a brain related disease and the woman could identify a relative. Obviously, this is the exact same thing save for a different number. Now I have not done enough research to see if this is the only way in which Edward sees spirits, but the dialogue was so similar to one another that I could not help but let that damage his credibility severely.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHz9ZuYzaEM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKSFi9dtg5M

Reema Z—Feb. 19

Lessons from the Light—George Anderson

George Anderson’s Lessons from the Light was a great choice for me to read considering the topics and themes we have been talking about recently. In the beginning of this class, we discussed and learned a lot about “near death experiences” that numerous people have been through. The individuals we explored encountered all different causes of their NDE, whether it was a freak accident, illness, old age, even suicidal. Despite if a student in class was skeptic or not, the class had the great opportunity to discover very thought provoking experiences.

As of recent, we geared away from NDEs and have read more about psychics and mediums. In class we had wonderful guests and a video chat with the women who considered themselves to be “mediums,” but throughout the whole chat, I was still confused as to what that meant. Anderson clarified for me that the words ‘psychic ‘ and ‘medium’ not interchangeable; which I thought were almost synonymous. I learned that a psychic feels intuitively the circumstances or information about the sitter. They rely heavily on their intuition. Mediums on the other hand involve two factors: direct communication from a soul no longer on this Earth, and someone with them to receive the messages. Mediums rely on information that is shared by the souls in the hereafter and is merely a link to the person on Earth.

The clarity of the definitions changes my perceptions of the two terms. Quite frankly, I have never liked “psychics” or the idea of them. For one, it scares me a little bit and secondly, I relate it a lot to counting cards. In a game of 21, a player knows how to strategically count the cards dealt to the players and figure out what do. I think that psychics can simply read body language and facial expressions with a strength that others do not have. Just as in 21, one move leads to the next and the person counting keeps track, sitting down with a psychic involves the same kind of plan. Each question they ask gears up to the next and essentially the sitter discloses enough information—whether it be a nod or eyebrow raise, or gulp of saliva—and the psychic develops the reading.

As for mediums, there certainly are things that I am skeptical about; for instance how does someone have the power to speak to an individual in the hereafter? I know that the human mind is incredibly strong, but it is difficult for me to understand how it happens. I do approve of mediums much more that psychics because I feel as though one should not know the future or whether something good or bad is going to happen in a certain amount of time. We are supposed to make the most of each day and live life in the present. On the other hand, mediums can provide a person that may be suffering the loss of a loved one, with a positive light. It can bring comfort and closure to the person struggling by just knowing that their loved one is safe, okay, and happy.

I enjoyed Anderson’s book because it provided the reader with understandings about the afterlife and didn’t take a particular religious approach. It was interesting to read about the ‘hereafter’ and have it defined as a fixed place with many levels of consciousness. I always wondered if people with NDEs were in another sort of dimension than the souls that are 100% in the hereafter to stay. I’ve said this before, but reading up about things like this help me with my fear of what comes next, and life in general. I can’t say I believe everything I read, but it surely provides me with another perspective to look at things and gives me some kind of faith and hope. Anderson gives the reader a lot of insight and understanding, especially for individuals who suffer from a loss of a loved one.

YouTube Video—John Edward: Psychic Medium

John Edward- Medium on the Moore Show 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKalDxBIzkw

This 55-minute video was really insightful for me. As we have been reading more about psychic mediums, I found myself wanting to research more about it. John’s story was particularly interesting because he was not gung-ho about the whole thing in the beginning. Similar to our guest in class, he experienced a moment in the bookstore where cards “fell” and flew towards him, hitting him. After this incident he purchased the cards, began reading them, and soon after began to believe in himself more and more and develop his abilities.

Alford After Death Communications

After Death Communications

Special Relationships

            This short book includes records of automatic writing being communicated by individuals who have been deceased. This spirit-communication is designed to give those who grieve, a brighter outlook on death and separation, gradually drawing away from natural sorrow. This particular part of the book includes several accounts of how the deceased have communicated to loved ones in order to bridge the gap of separation. The one I find most touching were the messages sent by a son to his mother who had been killed in the war. The first set of messages that were sent expressed how Gilbert, the son, had been with his mother all-day and will always be near, that he was alive, that he was in a happy place, and that he will always be with her and his father. The second message again stated that he is with her all-day, that he has saw her grieving and he understands, that he has not left her, that he is very happy, that he hopes to bring her comfort, that he is not dead in the sense of the word, and that he loves her just the same. Adding to when he mentioned that he is not dead, he said that death doesn’t exist. We are only out of the fleshly body, but the new body is more beautiful, easier to move around, and alive to all of the life of the whole universe. The third, and last message mentioned in this short book, said that he would never leave her, he is still alive, he is happy in exception to the sorrow that his mother feels, that he will be able to make her certain that she feels him near very soon, and that he loves her now more than ever; death cannot touch their love.

Erroneous, Confused, and Irrelevant Matter

Being the scriber of the spirit-communication can inevitably cause some problems. The author writes the messages exactly as he receives them, but everything is not always clear. There are messages where they do not leave any confusion, while there are others that leave a considerable amount of guessing. There are cases where the connecting link in the messages are unknown. In others, the information relayed via the messages aren’t always factual. Assertions about death and/or recovery have been invalid as well. Lastly, there can be a great deal of illegible words or sentence fragments. In one instance, the deceased wrote the author in French, possibly assuming that the author’s French-given name guaranteed his knowledge and comprehension of the French language, however, it did not. One reason why there may be various errors during the communication is because the individual has been deceased for quite some time. Also, if the author has had a long sessions and is quite tired, this may have effects on how comprehensive the messages are.

Self-Interpretation

I drew interest in these accounts from the short book because although I have not had or felt any contact with deceased loved ones, I have wondered about the messages they would send. I know individuals often express how they feel that their deceased loved one is with them, they are comforting them, and they feel their love. While I believe that these feelings are true, I have always wondered how the communication was expressed on the other end. Additionally, while I have never heard of spirit-communication through message writing I am skeptical of the factuality and sufficiency of this. If the connection of communication and be easily triggered by the fatigue of the scriber, there can assuredly be other ways that the messages can be affected by the scriber. Nevertheless, I do find the goal of this communication commendable to help individuals cope with deaths of loved ones a little easier.

The Afterlife Experiment Response

 

This is a story of a respected scientists journey from skepticism to awe as he investigates the question of life after death.  This book devotes a lot of time to painting a vivid picture of the experiments Gary Schwartz and Dr. Linda Russek conducted, however what I want to discuss in detail is appendix b “the energy is love” where Schwartz describes love as a bioelectric energy and discusses the role love has in motivating people to seek contact with a departed loved one though a medium.  In this chapter he also discusses the importance of the heart and cardiac energy, and the nature of love and its role in the universe.  Here I will go more into Schwartz’ investigation of love as a bioelectric energy.

 

In the beginning of this chapter the Schwartz reveals his motivation for conducting these experiments was largely because he was drawn to human beings remarkable capacity to love.  But with this relationship between love and the living soul a fundamental question arises.  If it is true that we all have souls and that these persist beyond death do all of our emotions such as love also continue after we die?

 

Schwartz starts to answer this question by discussing the complex nature of love and its role in human relationships.  One particular observation of loves complex nature was interesting because it pertained directly to the studies if mediums this book accounts.  This observation was simply of the attractive force of love.  Weather it be physical, emotion, mental, or spiritual this attraction is widely experienced and accepted.  Following this observation Schwartz investigates it by asking: if some people experience an energetic relationship between themselves and the ones that they love can love be more related to science then initially thought?  Researchers at the Human Energy Systems Lab believe so as they theorize that the behavior of love is similar to gravity and thus can be studied as a bioelectromagnitic energy capable of surpassing boundaries like death.  Considering that those that seek the help of a medium do so typically because they desperately what to hear from someone they truly loved caused Schwartz to theorize that love may be the mechanism mediums use to speak to those on the other side.

 

This view of love and explanation for how mediums are able to connect with those who have past away was particularly intriguing to me because it made me thing of dark energy. Dark energy, as it pertains to the cosmos, is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and is causing the universe to accelerate its expansion.  I will admit this doesn’t sound a lot like love, but the two are similar in the sense that we know little about them.  All we know about dark energy is that it is everywhere, so powerful that it is stronger then the force of gravity holding the universe together, and utterly invisible; we only know about it because there has to be something causing the universe to exponentially expand.  Love has many of the same attributes as dark energy it is everywhere, so powerful that it may be what is allowing mediums to transcend the boundaries of physical death, and invisible to us apart from its manifestations in the physical world.  My point in saying all this is not two hypothesize that dark energy and love are the same force but instead, while point out how little we know, also considering that there many be more cohesiveness and proof for “the impossible” then we could ever imagine.

~ Genevieve Wang