Fools rush in where angels fear to tread

Rand_holding_light     I’ve worked as a psychic in Santa Fe and nationwide for many years. Around 20 years ago I was invited to attend a local skeptics conference. I was interested because I had long thought intuition and reason are both crucial to a balanced understanding of psychophysical phenomena, and I had been yearning to find a group that honestly and without bias investigated paranormal claims, experiences, and practices. To me a “skeptic” was an honest seeker of truth, in contrast to a “debunker,” an ideologue whose mind had already been made up, and whose purpose was to reveal as fake or erroneous a practitioner and his or her practices.
     When I arrived at the conference I sat with my host in the audience. The leader of the conference, a distinguished looking academic type, called the meeting to order and introduced me as the guest speaker. I politely informed him that I had not been told I was the guest speaker; I thought I had been invited as just another attender and observer. I noticed that he had on his table a compilation of fliers and other literature I had posted on bulletin boards around town to advertise my workshops and services; there had clearly been planning involved in the event.
     The conference leader acted confused and surprised that I had not been told I was to be the guest speaker. I glanced at the man who had invited me—the husband of a client—and the grin on his face made it clear that he was enjoying the situation. (I later realized that he resented the work I had been doing with his then-wife and that this was a form of retaliation meant to lower me in his wife’s estimation.)
     They invited me to give a demonstration of my trancework. I explained to them, essentially, that I was an agnostic spiritualist—that I did not know anything for sure about the existence of the paranormal—and I informed the group that I told my clients that I did not speak from any spiritual “authority.” A woman politely asked me if she could take my pulse as I did my trance; I told her I did not like being touched when I was in trance. Another woman asked me if my psychic abilities were proven to be imaginary, would I be willing to give up my career as a psychic? My honest answer was, “I hope I would have the courage to do so.”
     I attempted a demonstration, and it was a complete disaster. I felt surrounded by a 6 foot high, 6 foot thick, impenetrable wall. Absolutely no impressions of any kind reached me until the very end of the session, when I picked up a few mini-“hits” about two of the men in the audience. One set of impressions I received spontaneously, about a man’s popularity with his young students; the other set of impressions came as a response to a question that later proved to be a complete fabrication. At one point I saw an elderly man at the back of the audience staring at me, and the look on his face was pure unmitigated contempt. When I was done, I saw the delighted looks on the faces of a number of the audience members, and it was clear that I was not in a skeptics group, but in a debunkers group, and that they had gotten the experience they desired.
     After the meeting I was ignored by everyone in the group, and left quietly. A week or so later one of the audience members interviewed me privately, and although he was very polite, it was clear from the questions he asked, and the details he dropped about himself, that he was a conservative Catholic who believed that spiritual guides were Satanic deceivers promoting humanism above the revealed doctrines of the Church. Later he wrote a letter to the local paper claiming “Rand Lee may be the only honest psychic in Santa Fe,” a reference I believe to my hope that I would have the courage to quit my profession if proven a fake–and though some might take this as damning with faint praise, it did console me a trifle that at least one person at the conference did not believe I was a charlatan, just self-deluded.
     It took me many years to regain my confidence in my abilities. But I learned from this experience that (1) when I am in an altered psycho-receptive state my critical analytical faculties are offline, and I am unable to detect when I am being conned or lied to; (2) that I cannot read through my own fears—I must feel safe in order to relax and get objective impressions of my audiences; (3) that I cannot read people who do not wish to be read; and (4) that I have the right to say “No” to any situation aimed at humiliating me. I see now that I should have refused to give a demonstration at that meeting, and called out the man who invited me for his act of passive aggression. Not to have done so was, I fear, foolish. I regret that decision to this day.
—October 2, 2017
I’ve recently come across a very enlightening website that addresses the issue of honest skepticism vs. the current fashion in verbally abusive online pseudoskepticism. The site is http://www.skepticalaboutskeptics.org.

Do You Believe In Fairies? Clap Your Hands

Spoiler Alert: Last night, on Netflix, I watched a British film called “Hippopotamus”. The main character and narrator is a  late middle aged British critic whose sardonic skepticism is equaled only by his sense of personal failure and self-loathing. In the film, he is called to an aristocratic country home to investigate rumors that a younger son there—the critic’s godson—has developed supernatural healing abilities. A man, a horse, and several women have been reported as cured of life-threatening illnesses when the boy laid hands upon them.

“Hippopotamus” is well scripted and well acted. The main character’s acerbic wit both appeals and appalls. But the ending is predictable. The critic—a former poet plagued with writer’s block for decades—unmasks the “healings” as a con on the part of the boy: one of the women dies, and the others’ symptoms return, except for the horse’s, who turns out to have been suffering from nothing worse than a hangover brought on by lapping up an alcoholic beverage accidentally dumped into its water bucket by the critic.

There is a happy ending of sorts: the boy admits to the con; is reconciled with his father, whom the con had been designed to impress; the critic’s writer’s block dissolves; and he starts making poems again. But the underlying assumptions of the film are what I’ve come to expect from modern secular media: there is no God; “miracles” are simply chance occurrences explicable by natural law; and anyone who believes in God, the supernatural, faith, or life after death is a self-deluded lamebrain.

True confession time: The movie depressed me. Against all experience and true expectation, I had deep down hoped that the main character would at least have been left with some doubts about the certitude of his materialism. When the hope was dashed, my ancient doubts concerning the true nature of my own mystical and psychic experiences rose up chattering. This is nothing new—my mind has always been a house divided, rationalist on one side, mystic on the other—and when such dark moods descend on me, I feel like a charlatan who has wasted his life living in a dream world.

Oddly enough, when I go into trance, or throw the cards for a client, or am in the presence of others who have had mystical experiences, my doubts recede, and the quiet joy of knowing that Divine Love is real, and that we are all,  ultimately, safe, returns.  But when I am alone in my flat, at night, it is more difficult to recapture that startling sense of peace I experience in the day.

This dualism is in part inherited: My father was an agnostic and purported rationalist; my mother, a high church Episcopalian who taught me from an early age “If I should die before I wake, I pray my Lord my soul to take.” I always felt torn between them, to the point where, as a child, I taught myself to sleep on my back rather than on my left or right side, because Daddy slept on the left side of the bed he shared with Mommy, and Mommy slept on the right side, and I felt if I chose right or left I would be siding with one parent against the other.

Tonight, as I lay in bed suffocating beneath the dread that the materialists are right, and that my mystic experiences are nothing more than brain farts, I could understand how some people believe in demon oppression or soulsucking negative thoughtform attacks—because I felt attacked, not by demons, but by the overwhelmingly pessimistic materialism of modern secular intellectual culture. And the thought came to me: You don’t have to give in to these doubts. You have a choice, based upon your experience, to believe in spirit guides, nature spirits, ghosts, reincarnation, soul travel, ESP, Tarot, channeling, and other manifestations of nonlinear consciousness, or not to believe in them. Which choice makes your life run more smoothly while not violating either your reason or your intuition? Choose now.

My lifelong difficulty reconciling my father’s agnosticism with my mother’s emotional religiosity was predicted, many years ago, when I was a sophomore at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. I developed a crush on a bisexual upperclassman who dabbled in the occult, inspired by the characters in John Fowles’ The Magus. One day, while in a pot-fueled trance, he predicted that I would spend my life standing on the crossroads showing the way for others to follow, while never taking that path myself.

Tonight I say: I choose to believe that life is more than a molecular dance, wondrous though that dance may be. Tonight I choose to believe that Spirit is real, and that my experiences of It are glimpses of a truth underlying, upholding, and surrounding the truths of physical reality. To put it another way, words deliberately chosen to irritate the the sophisticated atheist who lives inside me: tonight I choose to believe in fairies. And if you choose to believe in them, too? Why, do what Peter Pan invited us to do when Tinker Bell lay at death’s door. If you believe in fairies, clap your hands. •

 

A Message From “The Family”: On the Theory of An Evolving Deity

rainbow_crystal_eggWhen Mister Rand first entered physical reality in zygote form in the womb of his present incarnation’s mother, he … brought with him into physical reality many experiences of standards fallen short, and his grief and pain over these actions (perceived by him as “failures”) were deeply entrenched in brain and body, so that he literally could not imagine a reality where the concepts of Good and Evil, Beautiful and Ugly, Friend and Enemy, Wanderer and Destination, Beginning and Ending did not hold universal meaning throughout all realities.

Big and small, short and tall, victor/victim,  do you not see that these dualities are only meaningful in Thought Reality? In the other levels of Reality, such as the Physical Planning State, the Dream State, the Nonphysical Planning State, the Plane of Light and Sound, and ultimately, the Plane of the Great Self, dualities slip away and are readily recognized as woefully inadequate to describe the enormous complexities of enfleshment.

But how can this be? asks Mister Rand. In physical reality, pain is real. Cruelty is real. Evil is real. How can you treat these intense negative experiences as neither good nor bad? Or as illusory? They are not illusory. They really hurt. How could a loving God create a universe where such pain can exist? Millions of children all over the world dying of starvation. Justice is one of the faces of the Divine, too. Are you saying that “justice” and “injustice” are meaningless concepts in the quote Higher Realms unquote?

We did not say that these things are illusory. We said simply that they have a reality only in Thought Reality, that reality connected to all minds past, present, and future by your reckoning. As for a loving God creating a universe in which suffering is not only possible but certain, given circumstances, some of your teachers [posit] that God has evolved over the eons of earthly existence, expanding through the levels of consciousness from Force, Threat, and Blame (all the vengeful deities of ancient times) to Acceptance With Intent To Learn; Giving; Loving; and Knowing … One’s true, complete, and immutable nature.

Another way of looking at these matters: that God, having evolved over the billennia into the most expanded consciousness, recognizes that It is not bound by space and time. And so Its expanded awareness is free to proliferate up and down the time stream, throughout all probable universes,  …  [expressing] Itself throughout time and space as though It had always been free to do so. In this way, Divine Love obtains access to all of reality and is free to seek to integrate Its mercies with the entire timestream from the very beginning to the very end (if “beginning” and “end” are words of meaningfulness in this context).

Mister Rand says, This is very complicated. Are you saying that God was once a brute, but having evolved into pure Love, is now rewriting the history of Itself so as to appear always to have been pure Love? We are not saying that deception is involved here. We are positing that the pain and travail available in Thought Reality is a remnant of a Maker less aware of the suffering of Its creation than It later became. And now that Maker, unable to remake what already is, is seeking to bring healing to all of history in all its permutations through the expanding consciousnesses of Its  “little” selves, i.e., the sentient creatures sprung from Its womb who are capable of moral choice and compassionate action.

And so It introduces agents of healing and change into the timestreams, “bodhisattvas” if you will, who emerge, have emerged, and will always emerge at various points in history to bring integration of the divine love-nature into Thought Reality and spacetime experience.

Mister Rand asks, So you are saying that some of us are time travelers sent by All-That-Is into physical reality and Thought Reality to introduce ripples of Love and Light into various periods of history? To which we reply, “That is correct.”

And we thank you for sharing. •

— Channeled 23 July 2017 by Rand B. Lee. All rights reserved.

A Message From “The Family”: On the Power of Belief

Mister Rand has asked us to share our perceptions of the power of belief to tweak probability lines and render some outcomes more probable than they might have been without the actions of belief upon them. Belief—which can be described, if not precisely defined, as [involving] emotional and intellectual investment in a specific [concept], person, cause, or positive [goal]—is often used interchangeably with the words “faith” rider_in_the_mistand “trust”. As we see things, however, belief is closer in meaning to a way of seeing the world that shapes expectations and provides a framework within which the believer interprets everything that happens.

There are some people, for example, who believe that if they ask their deity to provide them with a convenient parking place in a crowded or busy lot, that parking space will materialize almost at once. This belief is buttressed by those times when indeed a parking space does materialize within several minutes of the prayer. Those times when the parking space does not materialize are then interpreted according to the framework of the belief. So if the driver’s belief includes the belief that their God rewards them when they do something good and chastises them when they fail to do something good, the driver may conclude that the parking space did not materialize at once because the driver had done something to piss God off.

Or if the driver’s belief … includes the notion that their God is unconditionally loving, the driver can assume that, with a finite number of convenient parkings spaces available at any given moment, their God had denied our driver the parking space because God know that another driver… had a deeper and greater need for … the gift of the parking spot. Because the God knows the big picture, and knows that, in the most probable future available, if our second driver [had been] denied the parking spot [prayed for by] our first driver, a probability line would have come into being that, down the road a ways, might bring the second driver into disaster. In this way the first driver, who believes in an unconditionally loving deity, can console him- or herself that somehow the greater good was served by the desired parking spot going to somebody else.

Victorian_seanceMister Rand asks, “Can belief in a desired outcome draw to the believer a future in which that desired outcome is more probable? Or does a person’s beliefs have no power to affect probability lines unless the believer takes practical steps to make the desired future take place?” Mister Rand [refers to] the movie “The Secret”, which claims that if one believes strongly and vividly enough in a future where one’s deepest desires are satisfied, then that future is assuredly going to happen just as one hoped it would. Desire a bicycle? Pretend you already have it, [says “The Secret”]. Imagine as vividly as you can how the bicycle looks, how it feels under the hand, and how it makes you feel riding it. Do this long enough, and strongly enough, says “The Secret”, and the bicycle will come to you—possibly from an unexpected direction and with no further efforts on your part. “Does this visualization/manifestation technique really work?” asks Mister Rand.

Our answer to this is, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. But one can increase the likelihood of that bicycle materializing by bringing in at least three other persons who share one’s belief in “The Secret” technique. All four believers sitting together, praying for the same outcome or visualizing the same good fortune, often subtly tweaks a probability line so that the desired outcome does takes place.

According to our observations in the life of Mister Rand and the lives of those he has encountered, the more persons believe in a desired outcome, the more likely it will materialize, as long as certain conditions are met (see below).

If one brings in a faith circle to assist in the manifestation process, and still the desired outcome does not materialize, it may be because

  1. materializing the desired outcome might prove harmful to the believer or the greater good;
  2. there are additional actions the believer should take in order to position him- or herself to receive the desired outcome, actions which the believer might be reluctant to take because of fear, laziness, or pride;
  3. deep down the believer believes that he or she does not deserve to experience the desired outcome, and so unconsciously is blocking its manifestation;
  4. there is another outcome which the believer desires as much or more than the outcome the faith circle is attempting to materialize, and the materialization of one outcome would cancel out the likelihood of the other materializing;
  5. what the believer wants would, if manifested, violate the laws of spacetime;
  6. the mass consciousness of the faith group, family, or society in which the believer is embedded is bent on materializing a future incompatible with the outcome the believer desires;
  7. or a combination of the above factors.

Whatever the outcome, one can turn over the matter to Divine Love, which, being complete in Itself, desires only your good without thought of thanks, worship, or return. Ask questions, expect answers from any direction at the proper time, and your way through the dilemma will be made clear.

And we thank you for sharing. 

— Channeled February 3, 2017 by Rand Lee.

 

 

 

A Message From “The Family”: Resurrection Time

earth-5Nothing in physical reality  stays the same forever, for it is the nature of physical reality to be constantly changing: expanding, contracting,  giving birth, wielding death, bringing new life from death again. Your civilization of the West has been living in a reality of continuous stimulation to purchase objects, objects that are touted as possessing the abilities to make you feel young, beautiful, strong, healthy, desirable, hopeful, safe. No object, however, can do any of these things, for objects themselves break down, wear out, are discarded in favor of new objects. And so the cycle continues.

The only possession that does not break down, wear out, fall apart, get lost in the laundry, mess itself up by banging into other objects—the only possession that does not change in physical reality—is (1) pain and (2) joy. Mister Rand objects, “Pain can change if I am willing to feel it and work with it.” That is correct, if by “pain” one means “specific pain arising from specific incidents.” These indeed can soften into background noise, barely perceptible, with no power to limit the onetime sufferer’s life. But pain itself—one’s capacity for suffering, the existence of pain in physical reality—the fact that physical reality provides endless opportunities for pain—that does not change. As long as there is a physical reality, pain will be available.

Mister Rand finds this statement angering and disheartening. “Pain caused by resistance can be mitigated by learning to accept rather than deny what is happening,” he says. “Pain inflicted upon one by a physical source such as sciatica or an angry spouse can be mitigated by medications and physical therapy on the one hand and reconciliation counseling or divorce on the other. But you’re saying that all the claims of certain world religions, that some day God will transform physical reality into a place where no pain, no suffering, no disease, no hunger, no violence exists—you’re saying that this is not going to happen?”

That is correct. That is what we are saying. As long as physical reality exists, pain will be possible, for physical reality is a reality of hard and soft, harsh and gentle, violent and peaceful, good and evil. As we see it in fact, the only realities where pain is available are physical reality and its close companion, the plane of existence we call thought reality. Sometimes called the plane of mind or the astral plane, thought reality is the level of reality where all minds from all times and spaces can meet and interact. Of the nonphysical realities, thought reality is the closest to physical reality, and it mirrors physical reality’s joys and sorrows.

Everything that happens in physical reality sets off sparks in thought reality. These sparks become what we call thought forms, which have, to the aware human mind, all the appearance of reality. When Mister Rand goes into a mall, and begins feeling overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the crowd, he is unconsciously being battered by thought forms generated by the humans in the crowd. That is because, as Judgment Essence in his Tarot of You system of personality exploration, Mister Rand is particularly prone to sensing and absorbing the mental projections of humans and animals. If Mister Rand permits these thought forms to attach themselves to him, he begins to feel as his own the suffering of those who generated these thought-forms. And this often results in his withdrawing as much as possible from the life outside his own head.

What is the point of this discussion? Our point is that, while you are in physical reality, suffering is one of the experiences that is inevitable here. But physical reality is not the only reality in which your consciousness is embedded, and suffering is not the only experience available here. There are many joys and pleasures available in physical reality as well. Physical reality holds beauties innumerable, and pleasures that have nothing to do with possessing objects that will inevitably decay. Furthermore, Mister Rand is continually connected to the consciousness of his Greater Self, and in the nonphysical he is surrounded by what your Bible calls “clouds of witness”: disembodied friends and relatives, spirit guides, angelic consciousnesses who wish him only well and if called upon can help him make choices that will open up new avenues of pleasure for him.

For every pain in physical reality there is a solace, even if that solace be death; and for every death there is a resurrection. •

— Channeled Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.

A Message From the Family: Heaven Can Wait

desert_sunriseNothing in physical reality maintains its form forever. This includes the shape of spacetime itself, if “shape” can be used to refer to a nonphysical, nontemporal probability construct in which the phenomena of energy and matter can form regular recurring patterns. Therefore degradation, delapidation, denigration, and devastation can seem stronger forces than those of re-emergence, recurrence, innovation, renewal, and resurrection. But “Death”, one of the Tarot’s Major Trumps cards, signifies not just endings, but the beginnings that spring from the endings. So a persistent, invasive terror of death, which at times in his life Mister Rand himself has felt, can actually hide a deeper terror: a terror of rebirth.

Stephen Levine, in his book, Who Dies?, observes that in his experience working with hospice patients, the persons who have been the most fearful of living are those who tend to be the most fearful of dying. For much of his life, Mister Rand has attempted to maintain a sometimes precarious existence on the borderlands of consensus reality—i.e., on the sidelines of life. This is because his early childhood experiences had taught him to expect that it was safest to be invisible. So he never developed the skills requisite for a thriving social life, and greatly feared intimacy, for the most nurturing person in Mister Rand’s childhood had also been one of the most abusive. Consequently, Mister Rand did not easily trust intimacy, as witness the fact that Mister Rand had only one romantic partner, the late Stuart “Alex” Lucker, who died two years into their relationship.

Since that time things have changed for Mister Rand. During his years in Santa Fe, attending a Twelve Step group for persons with eating disorders, he has learned to trust many of the persons he has met in his meetings, and some of them have become friends. In addition, his psychic work, and his … involvement with The Celebration, a leaderless Santa Fe spiritual group, has enriched his social life in ways he could only have dreamed of when he was younger and more frightened.

We say these things not to embarrass Mister Rand, nor to solicit pity for him, but to illustrate the limitations of fear-based thinking when considering all the richness of possibility that physical reality has to offer.

true_strength_is_nurturingIn your Bible it says of the story of redemption, “These things the angels themselves desire to look into.”  While in the original the Bible writers intended this sentence as a reference to the concept that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah or Savior of the world, we submit that it can also be employed to refer to physical reality itself—that unbodied spirits long to directly experience for themselves what life in physical reality is like.

What does physical reality have to offer that the nonphysical realities do not? This is an important question, because in your theologies, “Heaven”—being a reference to not only the intangible “afterlife” but also to the sky above your heads—is considered superior to “Earth”, the physical plane in all its manifestations. Yet there are some experiences only available in physical reality, and it is these experiences that the angels desire to look into. Some of these experiences include sensory experiences of light, sound, color, music, scent, texture, movement, and temperature; the pleasures of creativity through art; the pleasure of patient guided unfolding of a possibility as it changes into a reality; and the expansion of understanding triggered by incarnational experiences such as birth, sickness, romance, reproduction, child rearing, freedom fighting, [observing and interacting in love with animals, plants, and insects], and the recovery from illness. The experience of the passage of time itself is an experience that can only be enjoyed and benefitted from by those in physical reality.

rainbow_mosqueIn looking over our list, Mister Rand asks (. . .), “But is the joy that physical reality affords us worth the suffering it also affords us? What of the millions suffering unspeakable pain? How can smelling a flower offset the sheer weight of their dismay?” The answer, of course, is that a person dying of AIDS in a back alley needs consolation, water, food, medications, and supportive social interactions, not just the smelling of a flower. And since the hands of God are the hands of Mister Rand and those other spirits who have taken on flesh, seeking God’s will for assessing what help to give the dying person is the responsibility of Mister Rand and his acquaintances. For the joy of helping to relieve another’s suffering is another experience that only physical reality (and thought reality, its close sibling) can provide.

In the nonphysical realities, there is no sense of separation between Self and Other. Individuation does exist in the nonphysical, but it is individuation seen and felt always in its context of All-That-Is. In physical reality, where consciousness often appears limited to, or framed by, the brain organ, physical and emotional separation are regularly experienceable. So opportunities to reveal these separations as the illusions they are at core are precious, and if taken with care and awareness, yield exquisite experiential results.

So there is, in our opinion, a case to be made that Heaven is not superior to Earth; they are two sides of the same coin, different but equal. And Divine Love is present throughout both realities. Call upon It today to make Its presence known to you in your life as you really are just at this moment, and keep on calling upon it until you become aware of the answer. And we thank you for sharing today. •

— Channeled by Rand Lee, 11/2/16, 3:11:16 AM

A Message From “The Family”: On The Beloved Dead

Victorian_seance[On January 27, 1988, I walked into my love Stuart’s bedroom and found him dead on the bed. He and I had been lovers for only 2 years. We worked as psychics together in Key West, Florida and Santa Fe, New Mexico; we met originally when he came to me seeking Louise Hay-type guided meditations for boosting his immune system. One day, during such a meditation (which he claimed did indeed make him feel better), Stuart manifested a feminine information source he called “Alexandra” whose calm, understated manner was a stark contrast to his Aries exuberance.

[About a month before he died, Stuart—who was suffering from AIDS symptoms at a time before the current, longevity promoting, AIDS “cocktail” of meds had been developed— told me that he had dreamed he was in a coma in hospital, and that I was sitting beside his bed. He said that in the dream, I understood that it was so beautiful where he went when he was in deep trance, that someday he would not come back from there, and that I was OK with it. When I found his body that morning in 1988, I realized then that his account of his “dream” had been his way of letting me know he was planning to kill himself with a heavy injection of painkiller that he had been hoarding since his job as a med tech at Key West Island Hospital.

[The following channeling discusses my experiences regarding Stuart since his passing. -RL]

When Mister Rand first walked into the room where he found his lover’s body, he had no sooner set eyes upon Stuart’s prone form than he felt, floating somewhere near the ceiling on the lefthand side of the bedroom, two energies or consciousnesses. One of the consciousnesses was in fact that of Stuart, Rand’s lover; the other, that of the so-called “channeled entity” that 2 years previously had, at its first appearance, announced its name as “Alexandra”.

Now “Alexandra” was the feminine persona of the channeler, Stuart. In a sense, Mister Rand feels she is still present in his life; at other times she seems a very distant memory. Stuart himself feels to Mister Rand even more distant. Mister Rand’s younger brother, Jeffrey Robert Lee, died in 1990 from AIDS; his consciousness, by contrast with Stuart’s, seems much more present in Mister Rand’s life, particularly when Mister Rand is channeling or doing psychic readings for clients.

Why do some dead feel more present to us than others? The answers in part depend upon our ultimate view of reality. An atheist-materialist-ethicist [might] say that the memories of the dead, not the dead themselves, are present with us in direct proportion to how willing we have been to release those relationships and move on to new ones in physical reality—in other words, the more emotionally attached you are to the memory of your dead friend or relative, the more present they will seem to be. By contrast, a spiritualist might say that some dead feel more present to us than others because some of our dead have been willing to “move on”—detach from identification with their former self, former life, and former acquaintances (us)—and others of our dead have not.

We see the situation as possessing elements of both explanations. Let us say that Mister Yiffniff dies. At first, depending upon his spiritual practises in the life just ended, Yiffniff [may be] a bit disoriented; he may even feel that his death is a mistake, that he has so much “unfinished business” to attend to before he is ready to depart fully. Other, less conflicted individuals, may be ready to “move on” immediately—may be even glad that they have died, for now, if they wish, they can take on a new physical form in a new place or position in spacetime. Still other beloved dead may select to remain focused in our physical plane in order to keep watch over the physically living—to act, in a sense, as spirit guides to those whom they have loved and still do love. Mister Jeffrey, Mister Rand’s baby brother, is just such a one—committed,  as it were, to stay by Mister Rand’s side until it is time for them to become balls of joyous light together. Each case is different, however, and must be evaluated as objectively as possible by the psychic researcher. •