This is part of the Implicit Cosmology Series of essays associated with the Trans-survival Hypothesis. It has been incorporated into a book titled Your Immortal Self. Some potentially important changes have likely been made to this essay for the book. As such, please consider this essay an early draft.
Is the metaphysical approach for you? Please read my comments here before getting very far into this essay.
The phenomena of transcommunication appear to have a purpose beyond the reassurance it offers to loved ones. After examining mediumistic messages from the other side and “revelations” brought by past teachers, it is easy to imagine that our etheric communicators are trying to teach us about the reality of our immortality by showing us they exist. This article is written as an exploration of the idea that the EVP messages in our recorders, or the paranormal images we find in our photographs, are a new way of telling us that we are part of a larger community. Perhaps it is up to us to understand what that means.
The terms “mindfulness” and “mindful living” have become catchphrases for right living, but not in a pretentious way or in an attempt to tell you what to do. People speak of mindfulness, almost in a reverent tone, as if the concept relates more to God than to daily living. Always, it is used to offer guidance in how to improve your life; how to be all that you can be.
Discussions about the phenomena of transcommunication are usually about technique and quality of examples. Who is talking may be discussed, especially if the information seems to come from a loved one, but the question of continuous life seldom comes up. But in fact, considered from the perspective of your immortality, transcommunication may actually be all about you and your immortality. If this is true, then learning to live mindfully may be the most important ability you can learn.
The Hermit from the Paul Case deck of the Tarot symbolizes the seeker who has achieved great understanding and has turned his attention to the world to show the way for other seekers. He is both the seeker and the teacher.
Mindfulness is based on the idea that what we do now matters here and hereafter–both to us and to others with whom we share reality. Information about this has come to us by way of Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC), meditation and mediumship.
With proper controls, ITC can be a rich source of information about the other side. For instance, we have seen that we should expect a life review during our transition. We know they can see us, and we know our communicators sometimes “get together” with friends on the other side. We also know that there are changes in their ability or need to communicate, so that some do not “report in” for years and some seem to “move on” after a while.
Channeled material must be considered with reservation because we know cultural influences can color messages. Even so, consistency amongst communicators seems to add credibility to some messages. 1
Perhaps some of the most important teachers have been the fabled Hermes Trismegistus and the biblical Jesus. The only document credited to Hermes that seems reliable is The Emerald Tablet.2 In it, he speaks of “The One Thing,” which is the same as “The Great Work” of hermetic tradition.3 The Great Work is all about the path followed by seekers to gain understanding. The lessons involved in this are virtually the same as brought by other teachers. The message is that a person benefits by learning to live in accordance with the true nature of reality.
A review of teachings attributed to Jesus, as found in Aramaic-to-English translations, shows that he taught that our I Am presence exists in the greater reality and that our transition out of this lifetime is toward our I Am presence: “Where that I Am really is, there you already are, and you can be, consciously.” (From Luke 24:38-49) He also taught the unity of humankind; that one person’s actions reflect on all people.4
A transcript of Hans Bender’s words as conveyed by the Felix Experimental Group’s medium during a séance can be read on the ATransC website. To paraphrase, Bender explained that we are not alone and that how we view the other side has a lot to do with how we experienced it during our transition. He said that what we are doing here affects the other side and that we can project negativity into the greater reality which can cause problems for others.
Jane Roberts’ Seth material appears to be a reliable source of information about the other side.1 Three important “instructions” from Seth are: People create their own reality; people exist in more than one aspect of reality at once; and, the only wrong act is to violate another person.
The common message from all of these sources is that who we really are, our I am presence always exists in the greater reality, that we are able to connect with our etheric aspect through “right thinking,” that how we think now affects us and others now and beyond this lifetime and that it is for us to learn to live in accordance with the true nature of reality. This understanding is not one person or one organization teaching religious doctrine. Think of it as the handbook for “right living” given to us by our friends on the other side; this is mindful living.
What We Do Now Matters
If you look behind the curtain of ITC messages, so to speak, a pattern begins to emerge that tells us much about the person. While the messages appear to be paranormal, it has been noted by many researchers that different practitioners are apt to record rather different kinds of messages from the same situation.
To illustrate, Lisa and another person went into a dark room of a reportedly haunted building and recorded for EVP. Lisa is a pragmatic, levelheaded witness and recorded EVP containing useful information. The other person delighted in being scared and expected scary EVP, and in fact, she recorded scary EVP. In both cases, the messages were clearly paranormal, but their character tended to agree with the practitioner’s worldview.
As it turns out, it appears the person’s expectations are projected onto experiences. This has been noted in what has become known as the sheep-goat effect. In that, people who are more psi sensitive (psychic) tend to have more paranormal experiences. In his book, First Sight,5 Dr. James Carpenter developed a hypothesis for the evidence currently being presented in parapsychology which holds that people are always informed about the world via their natural psychic sensing. Further, he argues that people are constantly psychokinetically influencing their world.
What all of this means is that we also see with our inner senses (first sight) and always have some influence on our world with our intention, which is based on what we think is true.
Engineers design models for systems they are trying to understand. One way to develop a model is to figuratively put the subject in a “black box” with the known input and output clearly defined. The trick is then to think of what would have to happen inside of the box in response to the input to produce the output. Not knowing for sure what is inside the box, engineers usually solve the problem by theorizing a model with functional areas inside the box.
The functional areas for a person’s mental activity might be modeled as an input from the world as sensed by the person (bright blue arrow at the top in figure above), an output as the person decides whether or not to act via speech or deed (bright blue arrow at right), an area where memory is stored (worldview), and the processes of visualization, perception and expression.
Researchers have found that people imagine what they are experiencing, and the information for that imagining comes from the worldview database. If the incoming information agrees with the database, then it will actually be experienced by the person. If it does not match the database, then it will either be changed to agree with the database and experienced in that changed form or rejected outright. (See the “Basic Functional Areas for Perception” diagram on the next page.)
The way we express ourselves involves the same processes. Something causes us to react, and however that initial stimulus is translated by worldview, an imagined reaction is developed. At that point it is just a fantasy, but if we intend to act, then, what is visualized is expressed in some way. The rest of the story is that, with that intention to act, we begin to psychokinetically influence the world.
Using this model, it becomes evident that worldview plays an important part in our lives. By all indications, we are born with a more-or-less empty worldview database. It appears reasonable to argue that we do begin with a degree of understanding, so that one might say that a child is “an old soul” if born with more than average understanding about the world. It seems reasonable to say that the average person’s worldview is full of what has been taught by teachers, parents, clergy and the media. Much of that is simply local custom or popular wisdom.
Personal Reality, Local Reality and the Greater Reality
Of course, there is only one reality, but there are differences in the way people experience that one reality. This is all about the individual person, so it is important to understand that each of us has a local reality which is that part of the greater reality which we are aware of, and more importantly, which we pay attention to. Your hometown is part of your local reality, but there are likely parts of it you are actively aware of and other parts that only provide background for the sense of “town.” Your neighbor will have a slightly different local reality and someone living in another country will hardly be aware of most of what you think of as real.
The greater reality just is. It does not have the capacity to be positive or negative. The same can be said of local reality: it just is. How you perceive your local reality is rather different. For instance, where you live just is, but it has characteristics such as good, bad, warm or uninviting, depending on how you think of it. Your personal reality is how you perceive your local reality; what you think of it. Right or wrong, as far as you are concerned, your personal reality is the real reality and that is determined by your worldview–what you have been taught, but biased by whatever understanding you have achieved.
In mindful living, we are taught to examine our worldview to see if what we believe is true makes sense. The idea is to align personal reality with local reality; the true nature of reality and not what we have been taught to think is true.
Rethinking what you believe to be true may seem paradoxical. If you believe something to be true, how can you tell if you should change your mind or even examine the belief? In practical application, mindful living is a life-long process; a path to be followed one-step at a time, so how does one begin in the middle of life?
An effective way to begin mindful living is to make a conscious decision to have an open mind. Take conscious control of the process your mind uses to consider new information. The “Basic Functional Areas for Perception” diagram represents a model for how a person experiences information from the environment.
We visualize what we are experiencing in a very fast, mostly subconscious reaction to information from our environment. This visualization is based on what we have been taught, which is in our worldview. If the incoming information agrees with what we expect, say a friend on the phone or the door opening when we turn the handle, then it will be experienced. If it does not agree with what we visualize, it may not be noticed, as if we are blind to it.
An important characteristic of this comparison between what we expect and what we encounter is that a close agreement will likely result in perception of the information as well as feedback that can modify worldview with an ambiguous “maybe.” In other words, we learn. As what we learn begins to consistently agree with reality, it becomes understanding. While we are told that worldview shapes our first after-death experiences, it appears that it is this understanding that persists beyond this lifetime.
The idea then, is to learn to monitor the decision that comes out of that comparison. The idea of suspended judgment is that we seek to just experience and not decide if we accept it or not. People have a tendency to automatically reject things they do not understand. With suspended judgment, the decision to accept or reject is not made without allowing time to consider the experience in the context of more information.
We have to decide … everything. If not what we experience, then we must at least decide how to react. Self-determination also means that we create our world. Again, not necessarily the brick and mortar places and things we live in, but for sure how we react to these things. Two people might have essentially the same experience, but each will remember it in a different way. A person who is in the habit of thinking things always go wrong will likely remember it as a bad experience; however, a person who is generally optimistic about life is likely to have remembered it as a good experience or at least as a learning experience. It is all about attitude and that is a learned thing.
Here too, suspended judgment can help. Whatever you think the world is like, learn to consciously intercept that “Oh, it’s awful” response with either a “wait and see” or a “it has a good side” response. You may be thinking that this is idealistic but it works. Once it becomes a habit to intercept those internal decisions, there is more room for alternative explanations for what you experience. An “awful” reaction tends to stop further consideration of alternative explanations.
You are always psychically interacting with your environment. How you think of incoming information also has a lot to do with how that information continues to develop. It is likely that a positive or at least neutral response will encourage a more beneficial effect in your environment.
This is an abbreviated discussion about mindful living. The main message is that what you do now will follow you for the rest of your existence–here and hereafter. The more your personal reality agrees with the actual nature of reality, the more progress you will make in your evolution toward a spiritually mature personality; understanding begets understanding.
The key is to stop and think before you react. This also applies to things you do. To paraphrase Jane Roberts’ Seth, perhaps the only sin is to impose your will on others. Stop and think about how your actions affect others. You are a citizen of your community, the world … and the greater reality. You psychically interact with it so that your feelings about another person in some way affect that person.
The only right you have is to decide what you think of your world and how you will react to what you decide. You are the only judge as to how well you are doing and that is not based on what you have been taught but on the understanding you have gathered during your existence.
In an ideal world, people would just naturally be mindful of how they are doing as citizens. Laws to enforce behavior considered common decency today would be unnecessary because people would be mindful of how their actions might affect others. Of course, we do not live in an ideal world, but that is the point. We are also a society of people whose personal reality is very different than the actual nature of reality. The ideal of mindful living is to evolve a society of people who understand they are part of a community.
Cunningham, Paul F., “The Content-Source Problem in Modern Mediumship Research,” River University, 2012, rivier.edu/faculty/pcunningham/Publications/CunninghamJP_Fall-2012-Vol-76-(2)-295-319.pdf.
Butler, Tom, “A Contemporary View of the Emerald Tablet,” ethericstudies.org/contemporary-view-emerald-tablet/.
Waite, Arthur Edward, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, 1911, sacred-texts.com/tarot/pkt/index.htm.
Grimes, Roberta A., “How Gospel Analysis Can Be Combined with Afterlife Evidence and Traditional Science to Help Us Better Understand Consciousness,” The Academy for Spiritual And Consciousness Studies, Inc. 2013 Proceedings
Carpenter, James C., First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, ISBN-13: 978-1442213906, 2012