|The Soul Shift Newsletter|
About this publication
The purpose of the Soul Shift newsletter is to provide a collaborative forum for the collection and dissemination of information pertaining to the following themes:
- Parapsychology research
- Mediumship and consciousness survival
- NDE (Near-Death-Experience) and related phenomena
- Heightening unity among all peoples
- Raising consciousness
|Psychical Research Today, by Tricia Robertson, Hon. Secretary and Immediate Past President of the SSPR (Scottish Society for Psychical Research)
Psychical Research has been called the Cinderella Science, as it is often pushed into the shadows and ignored and is not invited to the Ball of accepted science.
This largely happens because few members of the general public actually know what it is. They may have a vague idea that it has something to do with the paranormal, telepathy, ghosts, spirits, apparitions but that is about all. It is actually the scientific investigation of alleged paranormal phenomena that cannot be explained by any branch of science at this time. In response to the public's interest in spiritualism in the middle of the 19th century, The Society for Psychical Research was founded in 1882-to study claims of the paranormal, including spiritualism, which was becoming popular at that time. The Society still exists and has a praiseworthy track record of work in this difficult subject area. The American Society for Psychical Research, founded a few years after the SPR, still exists, has also devoted itself to such studies. The Journals and Proceedings of these societies contain extremely valuable reports of their labours, many of which are still thought-provoking to anyone interested in the large number of topics covered by psychical research and the study of human personality in all of its many facets, latent or otherwise.
There are many Societies devoted to a particular paranormal topic, for example, Ghost Clubs. The 21-year-old Scottish Society for Psychical Research-a young society compared to the others already mentioned-offers monthly lectures to its members on a selection of topics. It allows the speaker to give his or her input on the topic of their choice and consequently the members have been given a fresh insight into that topic. This means that they have more information about it than they had before and can then make up their own mind as to whether they accept, integrate or reject the speaker's experiences or opinions.
The rash of media presentations, journals radio, TV, about "the paranormal" is not always a help to anyone who actually would genuinely like to look at the subject. This is a real problem and often raises the question from the general public, "Where can we find reliable information about the paranormal?"
In response to this plea, two psychical researchers, Professor Archie Roy and Tricia Robertson offer a 20-week course, each of two hours duration, for the Department of Adult and Continuing Education at the University of Glasgow, " An In Depth Study of Psychical Research." The earlier courses of this nature ran for ten weeks, but it noted that more time was required to do justice to any particular topic. These courses provide the student with a book list of published material and lectures that delve into the wealth of good research that has been carried out in the past, along with up to date studies and data bases. This course studies a wide range of topics, including Ganzfeld laboratory based telepathic experiments, mediumship, apparitions, haunting, possession, work on the vitally important Mind and Brain question: are they one and the same or does the evidence in the field show, or indicate, that they may be two different things? Is everything connected with human personality stored in the brain and when the brain dies the personality ceases to have any influence in any sense at all? Or does some form of personality survive? The course also examines the richness of evidence for possible reincarnation gathered from the 3,000 or so cases collected by Professor Ian Stevenson over a forty-year period, from investigations out in the field, along with the work of Haraldsson and Stemman. The students can then evaluate the material for themselves from a more knowledgeable perspective on the topic. Yet for those who cannot take such a course as the one provided by Robertson and Roy, where can the man in the street find this type of information?
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the man in the street to know where to turn for reliable information.
The problem with psychical research is that reported paranormal happenings are not few and far between, but much more widespread than anyone could imagine. Within each topic, of course, there are strata of credibility, ranging from the deluded, the mentally ill and genuine claims of paranormality. Herein lies a problem. The tendency of the Ultra Sceptic who BELIEVES that these things can never occur is to bring the weak cases to the public's attention, pointing out the flaws, yet they never address the strong, well researched cases which provide reliable evidence within that topic.
In 1994, Professor Archie Roy published a "Challenge to the Sceptics" in the Psi Researcher, the magazine of the SPR. In this challenge, he listed 25 well-authenticated investigations of ostensible paranormal events, giving a long list of further references to the original sources of these cases. He challenged the sceptics to point out the flaw or flaws in any one (or more) of these cases, stating their reasons backed up with evidence, for the challenge. Since that time, he has not had even one reply.
The challenge today for good psychical researchers is to continue to go out in the field, carefully studying spontaneous cases and emphasis the strong cases, challenging the sceptics and continuing to build strong, reliable, evidential databases for the benefit of future research.
Of course the bottom line is that if a person has had a genuine paranormal experience, no one can take that away from them and that experience stays with them for a lifetime.
For them, at least, Cinderella has already gone to the ball.
Tricia J Robertson,
|BECOMING A MEDIUM, by Linda Williamson, prominent Medium and Author
Are mediums born or made? Is mediumship a gift granted to a few special individuals or is it an ability that can be acquired? I think the answer is, a bit of both. Undoubtedly, some people are born with a ready-made link with the spirit world. This is usually apparent from childhood and often runs in families. But the ability to be aware of and communicate with those living in the next dimension is inherent in many people and can be developed. To do this requires three things:
1) The removal of the barriers that shut us off from that awareness
2) Knowledge of the technique of spirit communication
3) The discipline to meditate and practice, so as to develop one's ability to their fullest potential
Removing the barriers
The spirit world is very close, interpenetrating our world. In order to be aware of it, we do not need to peer into some far-off place. We only have to open our minds to what is all around us, on a slightly higher level of vibration. Why is this so hard? Obviously, being in a body we are limited by the physical senses. We have to go within in order to develop the spiritual senses that enable us to transcend this plane of life and perceive what lies beyond. This goes against all the conditioning of the western world, which maintains that only the material is real and all else is delusion. For many people, a change of mind set is needed before they can even begin to contemplate that there may be another dimension of existence.
Fear, too, is a barrier. Spirits, ghosts, ghouls, demons-all these things are lumped together as 'the supernatural'-the stuff of horror stories and nightmares. Instinctively, we fear what we do not understand. Even when our psychic awareness begins to unfold we doubt ourselves, wondering if it is all our imagination. So we have to learn to trust ourselves and, like travellers exploring unknown territory, remain open to whatever may come, while maintaining common sense and objectivity to guard against self-delusion.
The technique of spirit communication
It comes as a surprise to some people to learn that mediumship has techniques that can be taught. Not everyone can acquire the skill-there must be some inborn ability-but even a small degree of ability can be honed and refined. The stilling of the mind through meditation is the first task. Once this has been achieved, one must learn to focus the attention in an outward rather than inward way.
Mediumship is thought of as a passive state and it is true that a medium's mind must be open and receptive. But, at the same time, it is necessary to reach out to those seeking to communicate. A mental link has to be established, like tuning in a radio. This balance between active and passive, reaching out and receiving, is an essential skill of mediumship. A firm bridge of communication must be built and the medium can then stand upon this bridge, meditating between the two worlds, channeling the information that comes through with clarity and accuracy.
The process is basically a kind of thought transference. The spirit communicators transmit thoughts, words and impressions into the mind of the medium. The medium must do their best to pass on what they receive without distorting or colouring the message. The art is in holding the mind steady, concentrating on the communicator and seeking to attune to them as closely as possible.
There is no quick fix where the development of mediumship is concerned. It may take months or even years to reach the stage where the medium to ready to work for the public and in fact one never stops learning and improving. The key is regular periods of long, deep meditation. Those who wish to become mediums often fail to reach their potential because they do not take sufficient time to do this and it is, of course, difficult to find space for peace and stillness in the busy lives we lead today. However, if one is determined to succeed then there is no other way.
Training should be sought in a group led by an experienced medium that can explain the methods and guide the trainee. Regular practice is also needed. As the skills develop they need to be tested. Only then is it possible to distinguish between genuine communication and the interference of the subconscious mind-and only practice brings confidence.
Perhaps most importantly, the medium should seek to develop their spiritual, as well as their psychic qualities, in order that their work is carried out with wisdom and compassion.
|Believe Beyond Seeing, by Debra Martin
Believe Beyond Seeing represents Debra Martin's first-hand encounters with the afterlife as a medium. This book not only relays the story of how she developed her abilities as a medium, but also details various accounts with loved ones and spirits and their re-connection. If you have ever lost loved ones and wondered about their well-being, then this book is a must-read. It provides a glimpse into higher spiritual realms via a medium who can see, hear, and feel things most of us do not. Quite simply, you may not view life, or death, the same after reading this book.
|Another Great Read
The Hierophant of 100th Street,
by Cullen Dorn
The Hierophant of 100th Street is a rarity: a metaphysical novel set in a violent world of gangs, prisons, and the army. Drawing on the author's experience of growing up in East Harlem, the story follows 17-year-old Adam Kadman and his younger brother John through hardscrabble street life while simultaneously introducing real-life characters who dwell in the realm of spirit.
Tapping the same rich spiritual vein as The Da Vinci Code and The Celestine Prophecy and written in the stark language of the streets, this daring, cinematic novel explores the ancient truths and heady mysteries hidden in the fabric of everyday life.
WORKSHOP: Developing your intuitive capacity.
Hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore on Saturday, February 28, at 2:00 p.m. This session will be co-presented by Mark Ireland and Medium Jamie Clark. (Jamie will share psychic messages with attendees.) For those interested, Mark Ireland will sign books at the conclusion of the program. For more information go to:
Guidance for Psychic Children and Their Families: A Panel Discussion
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Chaparral Suites Hotel
5001 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
This event will provide an open discussion forum for parents interested in how to best foster psychic and mediumship abilities in their children. Although the topic of psychic children is widespread in today's popular media, this workshop will provide a variety of unique perspectives from trained experts so parents can be sure they are receiving accurate, reliable information that will best serve their families.
Speakers will include counseling psychologist and child and family therapist Dr. Chad Mosher; Director of Research at The Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential Dr. Julie Beischel; and Windbridge Certified Research Medium and author Debra Martin. Debra is the mother of four children with varying and diverse psychic abilities and her family was featured in the A&E Network special, Psychic Children: Their Sixth Sense. This event will also be announced on the 10pm news on KPNX Channel 12 on Monday, February 16th. For more information visit:
|A few thoughts from my father, |
Historically, western man has been more concerned with the visible than the invisible world. And by the invisible I am, of course, not referring to the colorless void of outer space, the transparent atmosphere of earth, the microscopic realm of viruses and bacteria, the mysterious domain of atomic and subatomic particles or the the imperceptible zones of the electromagnetic spectrum. Rather, I am alluding to the spiritual and psychical forces which have been known to Far Eastern initiates and American Indian contemplative's for ages.
The Sioux Indians, in fact were quick to recognize that the white man, his Christian religion notwithstanding, was spiritually obtuse. Rather than appreciating the religious, symbolic dimension of a physical object, they noticed that he tended to disregard it altogether unless it had some obvious, practical use or could be converted into gold or "green frog skins," the American Indian phrase for greenbacks. It was this tunnel vision, this exploitative, pragmatic outlook which, as Lame Deer, an aged contemporary Ogala Sioux medicine man has said, caused the Indian to remark that the "white man sees so little, he must see with only one eye."
Modern man has used his lopsided vision to create both order and chaos. Exercising his intellect until he has become mentally muscle-bound and somewhat insensitive, he has erected an enviable civilization on the one hand and waged apocalyptic war on the other. But while his wars are wholly disgusting, his civilization, appearing as a glittering but sterile facade of glass and steel, is not completely satisfying.
It is true that his technology and culture surpass all those preceding it. Yet, even though he may live in splendor and luxury, even though he has mined gems, ores and minerals from the guts of the earth, cruised beneath the poles in nuclear submarines, shrunk time and space by spanning continents and oceans in supersonic jet aircraft, successfully assaulted Mt. Everest and ceremoniously planted a "pre-starched" flag upon the surface of the moon, he is restless, frustrated and unhappy because he does not know himself. Making that recognition is a step in the right direction, for it places him on the verge of realizing that the fulfillment he seeks in the world without actually lies in the world within. After centuries of being the one-eyed white man, he is starting to sense that something lies beyond the images reported by his physical vision. In other words he is just beginning to open his spiritual eye.
Dr. Richard Ireland,