|The Soul Shift Newsletter|
The Soul Shift newsletter was established 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
|A closer look at Skepticism... by Mark Ireland
I thought it would be appropriate for me to preface Tricia Robertson's article with this brief piece, serving as an introduction to the topic of skepticism. My book, Soul Shift, touched on this subject and I'm also working on a second book that includes a chapter on skeptics.
In my writings I have shared my perspective that skepticism is a healthy attribute for any intelligent, thinking person. It is normal to question things that don't make sense and it is prudent to ask for substantiation of fantastic claims.
Yet there are some well-funded people with questionable agendas-cloaked as skeptics-who are not what they seem. By definition, a skeptic is one who assumes an open-minded position, not pre-judging claims without impartial inquiry and investigation.
The individuals to which I refer are defenders of of a particular worldview-and their dogmatic position is as inflexible as many fundamentalist religious sects. In the view of such people, evidence suggesting the possibility of any paranormal phenomena must be flawed and therefore must be "de-bunked." You may ask, 'Why is this so?'
The simple answer seems to be that the existence of such phenomena is in direct conflict with the the (material-reductionist) paradigm to which they are married. This leads said "skeptics" to spend all their time trying to shoot holes in evidence for the paranormal rather than considering it. For them, no amount of evidence will ever be sufficient.
To understand the mind-set of such individuals, consider Dr. Rupert Sheldrake's comments, captured during a recent interview: "These are mainly people who are committed to a kind of militant/atheist worldview. As far as they are concerned, if you allow any psychic phenomena to occur you are leaving a door open a crack and, you know, who knows, within seconds you could have God back again and, even worse, the Pope. So, I think, for them, it's almost like a kind of religious struggle. It's like a crusade."
(Skeptiko.com; transcript 43, June 23, 2008).
|About Sceptics, by Tricia Robertson, Hon. Secretary and Immediate Past President of the SSPR (Scottish Society for Psychical Research)
Having examined paranormal phenomena for approximately 25-years, I have concluded that:
1 Various forms of paranormal phenomena do occur.
2 Many of the sceptical arguments do not hold water as they do not address all of the FACTS.
3 Media sceptics choose a weak example of a particular phenomenon and dissect it for TV/ magazine/ etc.
4 They do not address the wealth of evidence which is already on record.
5 Psychological interpretations are not always the answer (although they may sometimes be).
6 Paranormal phenomena may not be parapsychological-they could possibly be Para-physics, Para-biology etc.
7 The explanation for paranormal phenomena will not have a "one fits all" answer-that is for certain.
8 The avid sceptic (or skeptic in the US) will never look at these events and examine the evidence with an impartial eye; they KNOW what is possible or not possible before they examine the evidence. This is a belief system.
9 I am not a religious person with a fixed belief; I examine evidence and carry out research (over years) on claims of the paranormal.
10 The half-hour or one-hour sound bite we see on TV is worthless. This end-product only reflects how a producer/director chooses to shape a programme.
If you are really interested in psychical research, then you must read reliable books and do your own research.
Quotes regarding avid scepticism:
Sociologists Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch conducted a study to evaluate the manner in which parapsychology has been treated by critics in the main scientific journals. They found straightforward statements of prejudice; pseudo-philosophic arguments to the effect that parapsychology ought to be rejected simply because it conflicts with accepted knowledge; accusations of fraud without any evidence to support them; attempts to discredit scientific parapsychology by association with cult and fringe activities, and emotional dismissals based only on grounds that the consequences of its acceptance would be too horrible to contemplate. They concluded that the ordinary standards and procedures of scientific debate were being seriously violated. This fear, in the minds of some sceptics, seems to stem from a perceived threat to the structure of science. (Collins and Pinch, The construction of the paranormal.)
However, Physicist Henry Margenau has demonstrated that it is impossible to identify a single scientific law actually threatened by the reality of paranormal phenomena. He points out that the Law of Conservation of Energy and Momentum has already been broken by discoveries in quantum physics, which also deal with non-locality-or action at a distance; and notes that nothing in parapsychological discoveries contradicts either the Second Law of Thermodynamics, or the Principle of Causality. The only contradictions that seem to exist are with our culturally accepted view of reality based on such laws. (Le Shan, From Newton to ESP.)
Psychologist, Charles Tart, University of California, suggests that the emotional nature of the debate might be due to the fact that discoveries in parapsychology offer a more personal kind of threat that operates through unconscious fears of the subject. This is clearly not the whole answer, but I find such psychological explanations very persuasive....science is not so much a body of undisputed fact as a set of perceptions about facts that are, on the whole, very useful, but occasionally harden into dogma. Normal science is guided by a substantive set of beliefs, held both consciously and unconsciously by the scientific community. And anything that starts out by defining itself from the beginning as paranormal is likely to be dismissed as irrelevant.
(Lyall Watson, Biologist, Supernature 2.)
Tricia J Robertson
DACE Tutor University of Glasgow.
Hon Sec SSPR
|RELEASING EARTHBOUND SPIRITS, by Linda Williamson, Medium and Author
For the vast majority of those who die, death is no more than a swift and easy transition into a higher dimension. From this dimension they can watch over those they have left behind and communicate with them. As a medium, it is my job to enable this communication to take place, giving sitters the reassurance that those they love are still close to them.
The spirits who come through in consultations or sittings exist in a world of peace and harmony. But there are a few spirits who, after death, remain trapped or earthbound, unable to free themselves from the physical environment. There are many different factors that can cause this to happen. These include sudden and violent death and attachment to a house or to a living person. Because they are in a confused mental state, spirits in this condition may not realize that they have left the physical body. For instance, a person killed in a road accident might wander around the place where they had died, unable to understand why no one can see or hear them. Someone who had lived many years in a much loved house might remain there, existing in a dream-like state and resenting the present-day owners of the property as intruders.
The consciousness of earthbound spirits is fixed on the material world. For this reason, they do not understand that there is a higher world and cannot see spirits from that world who are seeking to help them. This is why a medium is needed. A medium is able to make contact with them, rather like waking up someone who is sleep-walking. In most cases, once contact is made, the spirit becomes aware that there is somewhere better for them to go and is happy to be led away by the guides or helpers who are with the medium.
Spirit release is not very well understood, even among mediums, some of whom do not deal with it. However, I believe that it is important, since those who are in this unhappy state are as much in need of help as the bereaved in this world. In my book GHOSTS AND EARTHBOUND SPIRITS
I have written about my experience of dealing with earthbound spirits. Learning how to release them has been a fascinating voyage of discovery. It can be very emotional, since when I attune my mind to the spirit I feel what they are feeling; their sadness, confusion and despair. But I also feel the wonderful relief as their eyes are opened to the reality of their situation and they move forward into the waiting light. That is what makes this work so rewarding.
|Your Soul's Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born, by Robert Schwartz
This book explores the premise that we are all eternal souls who plan our lives, including our greatest challenges, before we are born-for purposes of spiritual growth. The book contains ten true stories of people who planned physical illness, having handicapped children, deafness, blindness, drug addiction, alcoholism, losing a loved one, and severe accidents. The information about their pre-birth plans was obtained by four gifted mediums and channels, including one who has the ability both to see and to hear the dialogue we have with one another before we're born. The book presents the actual conversations people had with their future parents, children, spouses, friends, and other loved ones when they planned their lives together. For readers, suffering that once seemed purposeless becomes imbued with deep meaning. Wisdom may be acquired in a more conscious manner; feelings of anger, guilt, blame, and victimization are healed and replaced by acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, and peace.
Your Soul's Plan Site
|Contacting The Spirit World,
What happens to a loved one when they die? How can we get in touch with them? How do those in the spirit world communicate with us? These questions and many others are answered in this book. Drawing on her long experience as a medium, Linda explains how mediumship works and how it can be developed, giving practice advice to help readers explore they own psychic skills. She cites many cases that demonstrate the strength of the evidence for life after death. The book concludes with a section on trance mediumship or channelling.
by Linda Williamson
WORKSHOP: Techniques and Tools for Developing Your Intuitive Abilities
Psychic-Medium Jamie Clark, featured on Lifetime TV's "America's Psychic Challenge", and Mark Ireland, the author of Soul Shift, come together to share practical techniques and exercises designed to enhance your intuitive abilities.
Mark Ireland, son of renowned Psychic-Medium
Dr. Richard Ireland, will share training materials from his father's psychic development manual. Jamie Clark will share personal practices that have fueled his psychic unfoldment. At the end of the session, Jamie will share messages and validations with members of the audience. Individual readings are not guaranteed.June 6, 2009
Laguna Hills, CA
For more information on the event, see DETAILS
Psychic Testing, by Dr. Richard Ireland
The true psychic is far more interested in developing ESP potential than the scientist. He [or she] knows and understands the kind of conditions which achieve the best results in testing subjects, and making the tests themselves more meaningful.
By this I do not mean that scientific, clinical conditions should be sacrificed; instead, newer and more interesting test methods should be used. The psychic should be approached as a professional. The psychic who possesses extra-sensory perception must become a professional if he [or she] wants to gain recognition for his [or her] clairvoyant and precognitive gifts. It is important that he [or she] receive acceptance on the same level as the scientist - with dignity, respect, and understanding. To test the psychic in the most productive manner, the proper setting is required.
Actually, you can compare it to the planting of a flower. To make something grow and blossom you need the right kind of soil, water, and "tender loving care." Like the creative person - the artist, or musician - the psychic is an extremely sensitive human being.
(Excerpt from "The Phoenix Oracle", by Dr. Richard Ireland, Tower Books,1970).
|What's New: The "Skeptiko"
When I first heard the name "Skeptiko", I rushed to judgment and assumed that this podcast was created to pander to debunker-type skeptics. But after hearing a few of the highly interesting interviews housed on Skeptiko, I discovered that my presumption was off base.
Founder, Alex Tsakiris, apparently selected the name "Skeptiko" to remind people of the original meaning of the word "skeptic", derived from ancient Greek (language). True skepticism is about the open-minded investigation of all areas of exploration, without prejudice. This definition stands in stark contrast to the narrow, debunker mind-set that seeks to defend preconceptions,
based in the dated dogmatism of mainstream science. Alex reminds us that, "Science is a method, not a position."
I have become a big fan of the Skeptiko podcast and often listen while driving to and from work. Alex Tsakiris has interviewed some of the top researchers in fields of controversial science, such as Rupert Sheldrake and Peter Fenwick, as well as their adversaries, like James Randi.
Best of all, the interviews on Skeptiko are available for free download. I encourage you to join me in listening to these enlightening and entertaining interviews.