Marisa Ryan, Certified Psychic Medium Tackles Big Picture Questions |398|

#41
Though if fraud or hoax can be discarded, it's hard to dismiss the implications of Bob Snow's experience for the reliability of regression in at least some cases:
Terrific video. I seem to recall that I might have seen it before, but no matter: it still gripped me from start to finish, and the detective - Robert Snow - who delivered the lecture is utterly credible. I have no doubt whatsoever that he's telling the truth, and it's all the more impressive that he isn't willing or able to speculate much about what it all means: for him, it was simply a matter of professional pride and integrity as a detective to doggedly track down all the evidence he could find.

What he proves, to my mind, is that human beings have an at least latent ability to access information that they can't possibly have known through "ordinary" means -- and that's about all one can say. It doesn't prove that past life regression actually regresses one to past lives; it doesn't prove that some coincidences aren't coincidences; and it doesn't prove that spirits are involved. All of this kind of thing depends on narratives that human beings create to provide an explanatory framework.

Marisa is also credible insofar as verifying that she has access to information most of us don't have access to -- she has a similar kind of down-to-earth attitude to life in general as the detective. Alex asks whether I trust what she says; well, yes, I do tend to, but not necessarily her interpretation of its source. For me, that's her narrative, and it's influenced by her personal experiences and opinions, which are in turn influenced by the culture she was brought up in, no less than the shamans she mentioned. It might be a wee bit harder for her to see that she herself is subject to similar influences from her own culture.

Of course, Marisa's interpretation could be correct. There really could be spirits, likewise past lives, reincarnation and ETs whom we might ourselves at some stage have incarnated as. But, like Robert Snow the detective, I'm agnostic about what interpretation to place on it all. Somehow everything that has ever happened in the universe may not to be forgotten; somehow some people may have some degree or other of access to it.

The universe may have or be a mind that retains every memory, and we (as alters?) may have the potential to access those; it may also have thoughts about non-eventuated possibilities that we might also be able to access. Our personal/cultural narratives may influence how we perceive this information; we may perceive spirits and ETs, but maybe those are just interpretations that seem to some of us to be real; maybe our belief in them is sufficient to lend them a kind of concrete reality.

However, just as science creates models of reality which scientists often come to think of as correct and not open to question, maybe we create models that it's very hard to put aside when interpreting information. These models have a kind of compelling logic to them. Scientists perceive an apparently external world, and so for many of them there is an external world composed of objects that literally are what they appear to be; and that may produce predictive results that can be used in the development of new technology. To that extent scientific models can be very useful even if not actually correct: but the extent to which they are unquestioningly believed correct contributes to science becoming more like scientism.

Paralleling scientism may be its counterpart, let's call it "psychism" for want of a better word: an explanatory framework in which we hypothesise the existence of spirits, ETs, etc. which does in fact seem to provide some kind of logical rationale for all the spooky stuff. I'm not suggesting that the "spooky stuff" doesn't exist, only that our current models of it aren't necessarily accurate. In a way, psychism depends on materialism, just as scientism does. One has to believe that what we see out there and interpret as planets really are planets in real 3D space, and that upon them (as well as on our own planet) there are real beings that live and die and possess souls or spirits.

We have to believe in the whole tacitly accepted model of reality with its time, space and matter, as much as a realm of spirit. At best, that's a dualistic view, but I lean towards a monistic view in which there is only the one kind of stuff, and since I think that's mental rather than physical, I'm an Idealist rather than a materialistic monist. Matter, space and time are useful concepts - perhaps vital for survival - but not ultimately real. However, our ideas about the spiritual are so bound up with these material concepts that we're all (even if unconsciously), a little bit dualistic. To put it another way, we're all a little bit into psychism.
 
Last edited:
#42
Thank you for the informative conversation Alex and Marisa,

I'm not overwhelmingly interested in proving something otherworldly is going on with the mediumship. For me it's been done. I am very interested in the various questions that this provokes. The one I'm personally focusing on is the role of deception in the experience.

As a result the work of mediums and researchers the veil between this world and the next may become a lot thinner over the next hundred years or so. This could be a revolution in the way we treat grief for a start, with unlimited possibilities beyond that.

We must acknowledge though, that whilst such contact is nothing but a positive experience for many people, there are some who come away feeling they have been deceived by either hungry or confused ghosts or something more sinister again. I don't conclude from this that we should ignore the phenomenon altogether, no more than we should avoid the telephone because of scam callers. But we must be able to introduce discernment.

I've just done three and a half hours of recording wit a psychotherapist who spent his career working with schizophrenics. He concluded they were being tormented by various kinds of energetic parasites. He also told me these entities would impersonate family members or ascended masters to sell their scam. He also told me he saw many people for whom these attacks were set off by using a Ouija board or some other attempt to contact spirits. I'm planning on publishing the interview next week.

From what I can see there are two indicators of deception. The first is that the entities have to get their pay off at some point, a bit like a narcissistic guru, they become abusive when they go for what they really want. The second (and this is more mysterious to me) is they can't tell the whole truth. Joe Fisher (The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts) is an example, where the entity/entities new all this information about the people they claimed to be, but got some basic facts entirely wrong.

So how might we keep safe in engaging with this world?
 
#43
There is no doubt in my mind that mediumship is real. I have yet to be entirely convinced, however, that they are actually conversing with the dead. Might it be that they are exhibiting some kind of psi phenomena by perhaps reading the sitter's mind?
You're not alone. A lot of top psi researchers think the same..
For me, it seems like an unnecessarily Long Way Around The Barn... Occam's razor Kind of thing.
I mean, why not accept that it is what it says it is until we prove otherwise.
 
#46
Thank you for the informative conversation Alex and Marisa,

I'm not overwhelmingly interested in proving something otherworldly is going on with the mediumship. For me it's been done. I am very interested in the various questions that this provokes. The one I'm personally focusing on is the role of deception in the experience.

As a result the work of mediums and researchers the veil between this world and the next may become a lot thinner over the next hundred years or so. This could be a revolution in the way we treat grief for a start, with unlimited possibilities beyond that.

We must acknowledge though, that whilst such contact is nothing but a positive experience for many people, there are some who come away feeling they have been deceived by either hungry or confused ghosts or something more sinister again. I don't conclude from this that we should ignore the phenomenon altogether, no more than we should avoid the telephone because of scam callers. But we must be able to introduce discernment.

I've just done three and a half hours of recording wit a psychotherapist who spent his career working with schizophrenics. He concluded they were being tormented by various kinds of energetic parasites. He also told me these entities would impersonate family members or ascended masters to sell their scam. He also told me he saw many people for whom these attacks were set off by using a Ouija board or some other attempt to contact spirits. I'm planning on publishing the interview next week.

From what I can see there are two indicators of deception. The first is that the entities have to get their pay off at some point, a bit like a narcissistic guru, they become abusive when they go for what they really want. The second (and this is more mysterious to me) is they can't tell the whole truth. Joe Fisher (The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts) is an example, where the entity/entities new all this information about the people they claimed to be, but got some basic facts entirely wrong.

So how might we keep safe in engaging with this world?
Fantastic points Richard. Can you Please share a link to that interview here in this thread when it's out.

By the way, for those who don't know, Richard has had some especially amazing interviews on his podcast lately.

Hope Marisa spots this post... would love to get her take.
 
#47
I think that if you postulate unlimited ψ capabilities, then yes, this could mimic mediumship, but does that make sense? For a long time science has rejected the idea that ψ exists (even in the tiniest fragment), and that consciousness does not survive death. Does it then make sense to jump to the opposite position - that ψ can be ultra-powerful - just to continue to deny the conclusion that consciousness survives death? I mean for ψ of any sort to exist, means that consciousness isn't what science assumes it is - a sort of computation done by neurons - so once we are driven to conclude that ψ is real, there isn't much point in trying to twist the logic in the way superpsi seems to try to do.

I understand that the idea of consciousness surviving beyond death is so powerful that people want absolute proof. The thing to realise, is that even science does not offer absolute proofs in the way that mathematics can.

For example, suppose you want to 'prove' that potassium cyanide is deadly poisonous, you can (disregarding moral concerns) feed some to one person and watch them die. However, a naysayer can then point out that sometimes people die unexpectedly, so this experiment is only suggestive!
So you line up another 10 people and feed them potassium cyanide one by one. After they all die, the naysayer, says, "Well I do understand that this is suggestive, but look, as I pointed out before, people sometimes die unexpectedly, and after the first man collapsed, the other nine were possibly so scared that they simply died from shock!

Arguments analogous to this could be used to destroy any scientific result. Science simply has to be pragmatic.

I would say that arguments about superpsi are very much of the above type.

So, Truthseeker, if you only want to accept TRUTH, the best subject for you is maths (but avoid statistics).

I have been with Skeptiko for a long time, and I have come to realise that the only way to be comfortable with the range of subjects discussed here, is to recognise that certainty is unavailable except to those who insist that they BELIEVE some version of some religion - but really that is just make believe.

David
Thanks for your feedback. I agree there is a problem with the superpsi hypothesis in that it breaks the rule of falsifiability. How can you prove that it's not superpsi? Yet my point is that even though most mainstream scientists do not accept psi, it is undeniable that it was used with at least some success by the US government to locate a spy plane via the Stargate program, and particularly gifted individuals in psi, like Ingo Swann were able to report back instances in the past. I am not saying with 100% certainty that all mediumship can fall under the category of superpsi, but just that we know that at least some individuals are capable of developing it with great accuracy, Pat Price being one of them.
 
#48
If the medium routinely brings through verifiable information which she would have no normal way of knowing, you have some reason to trust what she is relating from spirit communicators.

Given that most published scientific research is false, I would say such evidential mediums should be trusted more than scientists.
I agree. In reply to Alex's question
To what extent should we rely on / trust what mediums tell us:

We all stand on the shoulders of giants when it comes to personal experiences. I'll use Alex and Marisa as an example. Alex has been researching consciousness and through his experiences has been given pieces to the big puzzle. Marissa through her experiences as a Medium has been given pieces to the big puzzle; And through Alex's reading with Marisa, they both know their puzzle pieces fit together. The more pieces you have the closer you get to seeing what the big picture is. Through Alex and Marisa's shared experience, they each know their puzzle pieces connect; But that doesn't mean either knows what the picture is on the puzzle. I trust not that a medium can see the whole picture but that their pieces connect with mine.

I also frame my mind with this metaphor.
A group of us are surfing the internet. I'm on a PC with a touch screen using chrome, you're on a mac with a mouse using firefox, Janes on an android running opera, Jills on a braille computer; and everyone is interfacing with the same information; our experience is lensed by our own biological hardware/software. But we all still access the same information.
 
#49
I agree. In reply to Alex's question
To what extent should we rely on / trust what mediums tell us:

We all stand on the shoulders of giants when it comes to personal experiences. I'll use Alex and Marisa as an example. Alex has been researching consciousness and through his experiences has been given pieces to the big puzzle. Marissa through her experiences as a Medium has been given pieces to the big puzzle; And through Alex's reading with Marisa, they both know their puzzle pieces fit together. The more pieces you have the closer you get to seeing what the big picture is. Through Alex and Marisa's shared experience, they each know their puzzle pieces connect; But that doesn't mean either knows what the picture is on the puzzle. I trust not that a medium can see the whole picture but that their pieces connect with mine.

I also frame my mind with this metaphor.
A group of us are surfing the internet. I'm on a PC with a touch screen using chrome, you're on a mac with a mouse using firefox, Janes on an android running opera, Jills on a braille computer; and everyone is interfacing with the same information; our experience is lensed by our own biological hardware/software. But we all still access the same information.
Indeed, I think we should be suspicious of anyone who claims to have absolute answers.
 
#50
I agree. In reply to Alex's question
To what extent should we rely on / trust what mediums tell us:

We all stand on the shoulders of giants when it comes to personal experiences. I'll use Alex and Marisa as an example. Alex has been researching consciousness and through his experiences has been given pieces to the big puzzle. Marissa through her experiences as a Medium has been given pieces to the big puzzle; And through Alex's reading with Marisa, they both know their puzzle pieces fit together. The more pieces you have the closer you get to seeing what the big picture is. Through Alex and Marisa's shared experience, they each know their puzzle pieces connect; But that doesn't mean either knows what the picture is on the puzzle. I trust not that a medium can see the whole picture but that their pieces connect with mine.

I also frame my mind with this metaphor.
A group of us are surfing the internet. I'm on a PC with a touch screen using chrome, you're on a mac with a mouse using firefox, Janes on an android running opera, Jills on a braille computer; and everyone is interfacing with the same information; our experience is lensed by our own biological hardware/software. But we all still access the same information.
I can accept this analogy, as well as David's idea of the different areas of earth as they would appear to a visitor. The difference to me is that in these analogies the truth is not necessarily deliberately hidden or obscured, nor is there deception involved. It may be uncertain at first, but there are common denominators that will eventually lead the inquiring mind to the truth. Rather, the area of the paranormal seems to turn this upside down. There are clear evidential markers at the onset, but the deeper one goes, the more shaky the ground becomes.
 
#51
Hey everybody,

Touching base and saying, "I'm still here" re: Alex's request in the podcast. Happy New Year. What is this now?-the 11th or 12th year of shaking the Truth tree waiting for the fruit to drop? Well, I'm still here with you and still as hungry as ever. Should be getting ripe by now! ;)

I want to respond to the conundrum about the lack of total overlap regarding these otherworldly mechanisms being posited by various sources. My main spiritual food source the last four years or so has been non-dualism - particularly Vedanta, (i.e., non-dual consciousness is absolute reality, full-stop.) That is to say, EVERYTHING that is known or perceived - including the mind - exists but is UNREAL on account of its ever-changing nature. Each time I think I understand Vedanta I find myself sliding back down the mountain and having to reascend only to find big bits and pieces I somehow didn't get the first time up the hill so take what I say with a grain of salt. But, point being is that in the teachings of Vedanta you are presented with the idea of Ishvara weilding his mighty wheel of Maya. When consciousness (sheer, pure awareness, free of any binding qualities) illumines Maya, experience occurs - and all experience is in mithya (the known) rather than satya (the knower). Anything known will change, as consciousness immediately and effortlessly takes on the properties of the things it knows, it will appear that consciousness is changing - that "I" am changing. But I never change. I always AM. I am still and the maya wheel turns and the likes and dislikes of my mind, the events of my life and the world and history pass through me, inhabit me, and then pass away, and new ones come and replace them. All are unreal because unenduring. Only I endure. Subtle objects, gross objects - no difference - all unreal! All passing! All part of the big tragi-comedy of Maya.

Maybe its just because I've been saturating in Vedanta for too long, but over the past couple episodes I've begun to think it really does make sense of the lack of unity among all these ideas coming up. For instance, in this episode you have Marisa sharing her experiences (which I believe she is having) and in the last episode you have Steve Briggs talking about the doe-eyed people on Sirius B, then there was Mark Booth saying that the entry of Christ into the world was some central event in the cosmos and that there is this big angelic hierarchy reaching up to a medieval Monarch-like God running the angelic (and demonic?) House and Senate, er, Parliament, and the list goes endlessly, wildly, on. These ideas and experiences are relatively subtle - and it seems to me, and this is only my opinion of course - that the more subtle we get the more noise in the signal we receive. Down here on the horizontal plane - Malkuth - "the ordinary world" - whatever you'd like to call it, it is much easier to find consensus than back up the ladder. But there is lack of consensus at any level, because there are innumerable factors affecting each observer's perception of what is experienced. The more subtle the experience, the more divergent the "taste" of that experience and - ultimately - passing and unreal.

But at the subtle levels, we - as the subtle body, the Jiva, not pure non-dual awareness, are likely experiencing as much of ourselves as whatever is there on the subtle levels. This accords with St. Paul's "seeing through a glass, darkly" and with a number of other mystics. Of course we're getting multiple conflicting accounts about the subtle realities because they're all an amalgam of the experiencer and the experienced. Ask the man who got food poisoning on his honeymoon in Cancun how Mexico was, "Terrible, awful! Never again!" Ask the girl who has lived there her whole life, "It's nice. I like it." World's apart. Both at least as informative about the experiencer as the experience, never moreso - just like in any daily chat you'd have with someone about anything. Ask a woman's ex-husband about her, "Terrible, awful!" ask her new fiance, "Wonderful! Perfect!"

I don't always speculate about the inscrutable ways of Maya but when I do, I abide in Self. Don't stay thirsty, my friends.
 
#53
We all stand on the shoulders of giants when it comes to personal experiences. I'll use Alex and Marisa as an example. Alex has been researching consciousness and through his experiences has been given pieces to the big puzzle. Marissa through her experiences as a Medium has been given pieces to the big puzzle; And through Alex's reading with Marisa, they both know their puzzle pieces fit together. The more pieces you have the closer you get to seeing what the big picture is. Through Alex and Marisa's shared experience, they each know their puzzle pieces connect; But that doesn't mean either knows what the picture is on the puzzle. I trust not that a medium can see the whole picture but that their pieces connect with mine.
Let's not forget Julie Beischel in all that. It was her that developed the multiply blind protocol that enabled her to filter out the really good mediums that can perform in conditions where cold calling and other such tricks simply cannot work.

David
 
#54
I wonder if Alex has ever interviewed Tricia Robertson, she is a past president of the Scottish Society for Psychical Research, spent years working with Professor Archie Roy and is incredibly down to earth, together they investigated mediums, haunted houses, poltergeists, healing etc. I heard her talk once and she said that they just followed the evidence.
 
#55
Give me an abstract example of something that could prove that mediums are contacting the dead, if you assume superpsi!

David
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by an abstract example. I just question whether mediums are in actual conversation with the dead, or if they are exhibiting characteristics of psi that have been demonstrated before, such as telepathy and psychokinesis. It appears that even though the effect is rather weak in the general population, certain people seem to be adept to it, such as Ingo Swann. One of the documents of Stargate, for instance, is the Navajo Necklace, where he accurately describes the time period in which it was forged and even the location without knowing anything about what was contained in the envelope. Again, I'm not saying that conjuring spirits is not what is happening. I would just like to see something beyond known capabilities of psi that would assume spirit contact, a manifestation of fingerprints or legit photographs of apparitions would constitute such evidence.
 
#56
Terrific video. I seem to recall that I might have seen it before, but no matter: it still gripped me from start to finish, and the detective - Robert Snow - who delivered the lecture is utterly credible. I have no doubt whatsoever that he's telling the truth, and it's all the more impressive that he isn't willing or able to speculate much about what it all means: for him, it was simply a matter of professional pride and integrity as a detective to doggedly track down all the evidence he could find.

What he proves, to my mind, is that human beings have an at least latent ability to access information that they can't possibly have known through "ordinary" means -- and that's about all one can say. It doesn't prove that past life regression actually regresses one to past lives; it doesn't prove that some coincidences aren't coincidences; and it doesn't prove that spirits are involved. All of this kind of thing depends on narratives that human beings create to provide an explanatory framework.

Marisa is also credible insofar as verifying that she has access to information most of us don't have access to -- she has a similar kind of down-to-earth attitude to life in general as the detective. Alex asks whether I trust what she says; well, yes, I do tend to, but not necessarily her interpretation of its source. For me, that's her narrative, and it's influenced by her personal experiences and opinions, which are in turn influenced by the culture she was brought up in, no less than the shamans she mentioned. It might be a wee bit harder for her to see that she herself is subject to similar influences from her own culture.

Of course, Marisa's interpretation could be correct. There really could be spirits, likewise past lives, reincarnation and ETs whom we might ourselves at some stage have incarnated as. But, like Robert Snow the detective, I'm agnostic about what interpretation to place on it all. Somehow everything that has ever happened in the universe may not to be forgotten; somehow some people may have some degree or other of access to it.

The universe may have or be a mind that retains every memory, and we (as alters?) may have the potential to access those; it may also have thoughts about non-eventuated possibilities that we might also be able to access. Our personal/cultural narratives may influence how we perceive this information; we may perceive spirits and ETs, but maybe those are just interpretations that seem to some of us to be real; maybe our belief in them is sufficient to lend them a kind of concrete reality.

However, just as science creates models of reality which scientists often come to think of as correct and not open to question, maybe we create models that it's very hard to put aside when interpreting information. These models have a kind of compelling logic to them. Scientists perceive an apparently external world, and so for many of them there is an external world composed of objects that literally are what they appear to be; and that may produce predictive results that can be used in the development of new technology. To that extent scientific models can be very useful even if not actually correct: but the extent to which they are unquestioningly believed correct contributes to science becoming more like scientism.

Paralleling scientism may be its counterpart, let's call it "psychism" for want of a better word: an explanatory framework in which we hypothesise the existence of spirits, ETs, etc. which does in fact seem to provide some kind of logical rationale for all the spooky stuff. I'm not suggesting that the "spooky stuff" doesn't exist, only that our current models of it aren't necessarily accurate. In a way, psychism depends on materialism, just as scientism does. One has to believe that what we see out there and interpret as planets really are planets in real 3D space, and that upon them (as well as on our own planet) there are real beings that live and die and possess souls or spirits.

We have to believe in the whole tacitly accepted model of reality with its time, space and matter, as much as a realm of spirit. At best, that's a dualistic view, but I lean towards a monistic view in which there is only the one kind of stuff, and since I think that's mental rather than physical, I'm an Idealist rather than a materialistic monist. Matter, space and time are useful concepts - perhaps vital for survival - but not ultimately real. However, our ideas about the spiritual are so bound up with these material concepts that we're all (even if unconsciously), a little bit dualistic. To put it another way, we're all a little bit into psychism.
Your view on reincarnation is interesting. Regardless of whether or not it can be considered a provable thing, the fact that we should be able to access information that we cannot typically know is still incredible, and would add about a million more questions to such things as memory alone.
 
#57
In fact, I reckon that we could have an entire forum argument tearing apart aspects of memory for hours. Still, no one knows why we remember the things we do, or how remarkably, some people can literally remember every single detail of every day.
 
#59
You're not alone. A lot of top psi researchers think the same..
For me, it seems like an unnecessarily Long Way Around The Barn... Occam's razor Kind of thing.
I mean, why not accept that it is what it says it is until we prove otherwise.
What does the Occam's razor principle say? According to Merriam-Webster, it's a scientific and philosophical rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.

Which is more parsimonious:

a. The universe (Mind-At-Large) is a mental phenomenon. It "forgets" nothing. We are alters of that mind with variously restricted views of its memory and thoughts, not all of them eventuated (some of the latter perhaps even "speculative"). No"thing" is literally real, though is based on the reality of "things-in-themselves" (a la Kant) whatever they might be. Most psi phenomena can be explained in terms of having access to the information in MAL's consciousness; those involving psychokinesis are explained by seemingly concrete reality being actually an illusion; just a compelling mental construct. Sometimes the illusion can be consciously broken and seemingly literal objects be manipulated.​
b. There are numerous different kinds of psi phenomena; see a list at Wikipedia. Each one, such as mediumship, clairvoyance, remote viewing, precognition, psychokinesis, etc., requires a different sort of explanation (e.g. the ability to contact spirits, to see into the past or future, to see in the present at some distant location and so on) and there is the lack of an overarching framework within which they can easily be unified. This leads to proliferation of theories/multiplication of entities. The way they are explained implicitly accepts the literalness of human perception, and this resonates with an at least tacit acceptance of duality: IOW, accepts the existence of separate physical and mental realms, each with its own distinct set of characteristics.​

I think duality is the fundamental, and totally unnecessary, proliferation of entities upon which all further proliferations depend. Make everything one instead of two and the explanatory framework can become that much simpler. Material monism attempts to do this but imo fails miserably. That leaves one with a "spiritual" monism, namely Idealism. For me, it's hands down the simplest explanation.
 
#60
This is a very interesting reply. You seem to resonate with the ideas of Plato and Stuart Hameroff, both of which suggest the same thing. That there are shadows of things, i.e. Plato's Theory of Forms, and that certain constructs are perhaps inherent to spacetime, suggesting idealism. You will be pleased to know that an intriguing surprisingly mainstream recently developed theory of consciousness argues for essentially exactly what you are saying: consciousness can be explained as an entropic force that somehow separated from universal consciousness, meaning that we are all multiple personalities of a universal host. A very interesting idea, no doubt:https://www.outerplaces.com/science/item/18618-theory-multiple-personality-disorder
 
Top