Are they real, those other-worldly things like angels, spirits, extraterrestrials, and God?
Well, that depends largely on:
- our beliefs (supported by faith), and
- our theories (supported by evidence).
Let’s see how we use faith and evidence to find comfort and meaning amid life’s biggest puzzles, mostly through our sciences and religions.
- Religions, with their ancient texts, are the masters of faith and belief. They’ve been around for thousands of years trying to explain the big mysteries we cannot see—puzzles that exist beyond the perception of our 5+ senses. Across the centuries they’ve had the biggest following of all human institutions on Earth, so if we humans are looking for something to put our faith in, a popular, time-tested religion is a good place to start. “Faith is the substance of what we hope for, the assurance of what we don’t see.” — Hebrews 11:1
(That said, some religious beliefs are at odds with solid evidence from science, so it’s not always easy to decide which to accept.)
- Sciences, with their strict protocols, are the masters of evidence and theory. Science has been around as long as human curiosity, and for the past 400 years—since the days of Galileo—the sciences have followed a strict protocol and employed miraculous technologies to catalogue vast evidence of the way things really work in the material universe. “The method of science is tried and true… the best we have. And to abandon it, (along) with its skeptical protocols, is the pathway to a dark age.” — Carl Sagan
(In the process, though, science in those same 400 years has turned its back on “supernatural” things that flourish in superimposed spiritual universes beyond the material universe—beyond our view—things that spiritual believers know, by faith, to be true.)
So the Earth has felt a growing tension during the past four centuries between people of faith and people of science.
Let’s see if we can resolve that.
Basics and Secondaries
The tension between evidence and faith would dissolve quickly if science and religion simply divided themselves up between basics and secondaries:
- Basic religious beliefs are shared by all major religions. Secondary beliefs are important to a particular religion or religious group but aren’t necessarily shared by everyone of faith.
- Basic scientific theories conform to the scientific method. Secondary theories delve into consciousness, afterlife, extraterrestrials, and other “supernatural” issues that can’t be explained or verified by the scientific method, but would require some sort of acceptable in-beyond scientific method (referring to subtler, superimposed realms, or parallel realities).
Anyone could benefit from accepting the basics of both science and religion. That’s both the promise and the premise as we probe the big picture.
Faith and Belief: Religion
While different religions sometimes disagree on their secondary beliefs (ethics, organization, leadership, important historical figures and timelines…) they generally agree on their basic beliefs about our place in the vast cosmos:
Basic Religious Beliefs
The basic beliefs of religion could provide comfort and understanding to everyone on Earth, simply because they’re true. (Most of us know they’re true.) The first two items on the list, in fact, are (most likely) the basis of existence for everything everywhere throughout the vast omniverse.
- There’s a source at the center (God, Allah, Brahman, Jehovah, the principle…) that creates and nourishes everything in the vast omniverse with life-energy (holy spirit, prana, creative life force…).
It’s like a heater filling the whole room with warmth.
- Everything has spiritual copies or templates of itself in finer dimensions (spirits, angels, paradise worlds… with the source at the center of its being). Hence the oneness of all creation.
The source is also like a mighty central furnace in a large complex of similar condos.
- Physical Earth is far removed (vibrationally) from the source, and life on Earth has evolved to become rather brutal, so during a carnal lifetime we humans experience (and sometimes cause) suffering and uncertainty…
Living on Earth is like being stuck in a chilly closet with the door locked.
- To maximize peace and happiness (despite the suffering), we can acknowledge the source and open up to its life-energy by making conscious contact (for example, through prayer, contemplation, and meditation).
Making conscious contact is like unlocking and opening the closet door.
- Intercessors in our world who have mastered #4 (conscious contact) can help us refine our own conscious contact with the source (spiritual teachers, messiahs, prophets, priests, imams, śramaṇas [ascetics], spiritual healers…).
They can unlock and open the closet door for us.
- There are also intercessors beyond our world (angels, gods, departed loved ones…) that can influence us with their positive thoughts and intentions through a sort of mind-bridge, since mind-to-mind is how everything communicates (even if on Earth our mental connections are obstructed and feel vaguely like “intuition” or “inspiration”).
They too can unlock the closet door.
- As we establish conscious contact and begin to receive insights, a sense of morality begins to emerge within us. The way of morals means a) To understand those noble insights, b) to acknowledge them, c) to devise or adapt them to our world and our lives, and d) to act on them.
It’s like emerging from the cold closet into the warm room.
(Important distinction: Morals are an innate sense of what’s right and good, fed by the source within. Ethics are rules of right and wrong imposed on us by an external authority. Morals are basic; ethics are secondary.)
[Earth’s shadow: There are also troubled spirits (ghosts, attached entities, demons…) that can obstruct our conscious contact with the source—for example, by stirring up our fears, resentments, perplexities, and cravings—thus causing more suffering and uncertainty. But those dark aberrations aren’t really a flourishing part of the vast omniverse; they’re just bits of emotional debris that spin off our troubled planet and gets stuck in Earth’s spiritual “shadow.” Earth’s shadow and its confused denizens are mostly ignored in this article but are covered elsewhere on this website.]
So after a quarter-century of contemplation on the matter, those are what I consider to be seven basic beliefs of religion. I wouldn’t be surprised if they apply to every living thing throughout the omniverse (with the exception of #3, of course, and the note about Earth’s shadow, which are specific to Earth with its savage symbiosis).
Couldn’t anyone come up with their own set of basic beliefs? What makes these so special?
The seven items listed above are impervious to the inherent skepticism of mainstream science, which can neither prove nor disprove them with the scientific method. Other beliefs might not be so lucky… which is why I consider them “secondary.”
Secondary Religious Beliefs
Here are some examples of religious beliefs that I consider “secondary,” mainly because they’re not global or universal in scope. They’re tailored to a particular religion or demographic, or they deal in ideas that are at odds with scientific knowledge, or they get entangled in Earth’s complicated symbiosis:
- Ancient history. Most religions have legends about gods and giants who once walked the Earth. Western religions also speak of paradise Eden and the fall of man. Eastern religions speak of ancient vimanas and astras (spaceships and atom bombs). Are these legends pure fabrication? It’s more likely, as Hollywood might say, that they’re “based on true events,” but we don’t know enough details about those events to know what the heck really went on in days of yore.
- Esteemed individuals. Most religions hold certain individuals (living or dead) in high esteem—leaders, ascetics, gurus, messiahs, prophets, and so on. Many people of bygone days have mastered conscious contact with the source and are thus worthy of our admiration.
- Ethical issues. Most religions try to distinguish between right and wrong human behavior (what and what not to eat, when and with whom to have sex, under what conditions it might be justifiable to kill or steal or lie or cheat, and so on). Earth can be pretty rough at times, with all of its predators, parasites, and competitors*, so it’s important to distinguish between right and wrong for the sake of peace and order. But manmade ethical codes are traditionally tailored to the needs of a particular group (a family’s rules, a society’s laws, a religion’s definitions of good and evil, and so on). So please remember: Morals are an inner knowing of what’s right and good that gets refined through conscious contact with the source; ethics are rules imposed by an external authority in a rough world where it’s easy to stray away from moral living.
*Five kinds of symbiotic relationships are sometimes associated with earthly interactions. They’re listed here from the most amiable to the most brutal, in terms how living things on Earth (including us humans) treat each other: 1) mutualistic (win-win), 2) commensalistic (someone wins, no one loses), and then three win-lose situations—3) competitive, 4) parasitic, and 5) predatory.
So those are three examples of secondary religious beliefs—ancient history, revered individuals (living or dead), and ethics. Such beliefs can be a bonding force within a religion, but promoting them outside the religion (especially trying to foist them on the general public) is usually problematic, since not everyone agrees with them. For example, if a person, or an entire religion, wants to believe that certain human behavior is good or bad—abortion, war, homosexuality, and so on—that’s fine, but trying to force those ethical views on the general public will always cause conflict.
After all, these are secondary beliefs that can help us humans to sustain peace and understanding in a complicated, unruly world, but they’re limited in both their scope and their effectiveness… and potentially problematic.
Again, the most effective way to find peace and understanding is to go back to the basics (the seven items listed earlier)—especially, acknowledging the source and fostering conscious contact.
Evidence and Theory: Science
While science ignores secondary evidence relating to spirits, extraterrestrials, and the notion that the human mind flourishes with or without a physical body, the scientific method does a great job of gathering reliable basic evidence about our lives, our planet, and our material universe.
The clearest way to describe the scientific method is to use a simple example followed by a brief explanation.
Basic Scientific Evidence: The Scientific Method
Experiment: Does sugar water freeze faster or slower than regular water?
- Hypothesis: Sugar water freezes either faster, slower, or at the same rate as regular water.
- Test the hypothesis and gather evidence: Fill an ice tray with tap water. Leave the water as-is along one side of the ice tray. On the other side, add sugar to each cube cavity, starting with ¼ tsp at one end, and working up to 2 tsp at the other end, so that the sugar concentration gets consistently denser from one end to the other. When the sugar is dissolved, put the ice tray in the freezer, check it every 15 minutes, and record the results.
- Analyze the evidence: Check your notes to see if the sugar water took less time or more time to freeze, or if it froze at the same rate as the regular water. (You’ll also determine if the sugar concentration had an effect.)
- Draw a conclusion: Make a firm conclusion about what freezes faster, based on the evidence.
Finally, document the experiment and submit it to your peers for review.
So that’s the scientific method: Make an observation and ask a question. Then,
- Form a hypothesis, or testable explanation, and make a prediction.
- Test the prediction and gather data.
- Analyze the data.
- Draw a conclusion.
Then submit your findings to peer review so others can test your results.
Hm, wouldn’t it be easier just to do a google search?
Of course that would be easier… when the results are already widely known. But the complex, rigorous nature of the scientific method generally guarantees* the best possible evidence, and it excels at the difficult questions that have no clear answer at the moment. It’s great at solving mysteries. In that way it’s enabled scientists to steadily build a reliable picture of our lives, our world, and our material universe during the past 400 years.
[*Of course, there are conniving scientists who fake their results to “prove” faulty assumptions (usually for profit), and there are dogmatic scientists who manipulate minds, media, and the internet to disgrace finer truths that flourish beyond the scientific method, but those are just moral failings that carry karmic implications beyond the scope of this article. The extent of lying, cheating, and fanaticism in science (and in other human endeavors) at any given time in history also reflects the current moral state of society… and plays a big part in shaping its fate… also beyond the scope of this article.]
So, despite some moral problems that plague science (and humanity at large), the scientific method provides reliable basic evidence to support worldly truths.
But what about other-worldly truths?
If the scientific method can’t address things like spirits, extraterrestrials, and God, then maybe an alternative method should be devised and accepted by science today. Maybe we need a sort of in-beyond scientific method to support secondary evidence that can validate other-worldly truths. That could encourage science and religion to “play nice” together.
Secondary Scientific Evidence
A reliable in-beyond scientific method could be built around basic religious beliefs like the ones listed earlier, in order to provide secondary evidence.
- There’s a source at the center that creates and nourishes everything with life-energy.
- Everything has finer copies of itself in subtler dimensions leading in-beyond toward the source.
- The physical universe is far removed (vibrationally) from the source, and life here has evolved with a brutal edge, causing pain and suffering.
- We can alleviate suffering in a lifetime by making conscious contact with the source, thus fostering a mental rapport with finer beings closer to the source.
- People who’ve mastered conscious contact and a fine mental rapport can help others to do that.
- There are also finer beings beyond the Earth who can and do help.
- As we receive insights from that rapport, morality is then to understand, to acknowledge, to devise, and to act-on those insights.
Some scientists know these basic truths intuitively and follow them as best they can in this tenuous world. They’re generally more sensitive than the norm, and they might receive insights that make great strides in scientific understanding.
Trouble is, this kind of knowledge doesn’t lend itself to the scientific method, so the best of these inspired individuals sometimes become outsiders to mainstream science—pariahs*.
If science could embrace (or at least tolerate) an in-beyond method, then these gifted individuals would no longer be pariahs. At worst they’d be tolerated by the scientific community… at best, encouraged or even revered.
(*Rupert Sheldrake comes to mind as an inspired frontier scientist—open to the in-beyond—but a pariah of mainstream science. Sheldrake has studied psychic animals—dogs who know when their owners are coming home from work, and African Grey parrots who read their owners’ minds and say what their owners are thinking. He’s attuned to mental rapport—a reality that the scientific method can’t reconcile.)
[Over the course of weeks I’ve tried to come up with a good, “in-beyond” alternative to the scientific method, but to no avail. I love science, but I’m not scientific enough for that job. Still, I believe that a list of basic religious beliefs (like the list of 7 above) would be a great place to start.]
Now the fun part (at least for me).
Solid Afterlife Evidence
[(ITC, or instrumental transcommunication, means getting in touch with the spirit worlds through modern equipment. Spirits communicate with each other clearly (mind to mind) in their own subtle worlds, but trying to communicate with us in our dense world (mind to machine), where human minds are in turmoil, is fraught with problems. For one thing, our mental turmoil attracts disruption from Earth’s unruly shadow (mentioned briefly, earlier in the article). Also, when trying to record the faint spirit voices, they can get buried in ambient sounds. Even when a stable, protected bridge is established that allows spirit phone calls and other enhanced communications to come through (which requires mental harmony on both sides of the veil), their information often gets lost in transmission. I’ve been immersed in ITC for 30 years, mostly writing about it, but also actively experimenting until around 2008. I’ll share three of the best examples of my own “in-beyond” evidence, or secondary evidence.]
Spirit Phone Calls
Shortly after getting involved in afterlife research, I had the good fortune in 1992 to meet Maggy Fischbach and Jules Harsch of Luxembourg, whose communications with the other side were getting lots of attention from fellow afterlife researchers, scientists, and the media. Their friends at “Timestream” spirit group, who said they were living at “level 3” in the afterlife, were gracing the couple with radio dialogs, phone calls, TV images, pictures and letters in their computers… even FAXes.
After I met the couple, we established a collaboration on friendship and trust, and soon founded INIT (the International Network for Instrumental Transcommunication) in order to spread that harmony (so key to ITC!) out into the broader world of afterlife researchers
Miraculous communications began to snowball after that. Our members from around the world began to get exceptional contacts from their spirit friends.
On January 7, 1994, I got the first in a series of spirit phone calls. They started out as short messages followed by a hang-up—no opportunity for me to say anything but “Hello” and “Good-bye” Though brief, the messages were meaningful and always made me feel like I’d entered an alternative, paradise reality. (After the first call, which came as a total surprise, I connected recording devices to every phone in the house and suggested my colleagues all do the same.)
Then two years later, on May 3, 1996, I got the surprise of my life. I actually got to chat with the other side for 15 minutes. The caller was a Latvian psychologist named Konstantin Raudive, a trailblazer in technical spirit communication who’d died in 1974 and then said it was his calling to continue the work from the other side.
Here below is the phone call, including the original 12-minute dialog, followed by a 3-minute follow-up call placed seconds later as a sort of afterthought by the spirit group.
I’ve never shared this call publicly before in its entirety—not because there’s any sort of mysterious secret in the dialog, but because, frankly, I’m a little embarrassed by it. I was totally unprepared for actually talking to our spirit friends.
Imagine having the opportunity to talk to someone living in Earth’s afterlife paradise. Think of the questions you could ask, the insights you could share with the world! Instead, I was at a loss for words, I hemmed and hawed, I interrupted Konstantin several times, and had to struggle to think of things to talk about. (Fortunately, several key pieces of information were exchanged.)
When I answered the phone, I was greeted with, “Hello Mark, this is Konstantin Raudive calling. How are you?” I immediately pushed the RECORD button. I think I chuckled nervously at that point, recalling Konstantin’s wry wit with my colleague Sarah Estep, who’d asked Konstantin the previous year, “How are you?!” and he replied, “I’m as fine as a dead one can be. Dear Sarah, thank you very much for all the work…”
So I said, “Konstantin, what a pleasure. I’m very well, and you?” That’s where the recording picks up.
Anyway, here’s that phone call. (I’m not including the transcript, as it would be too long, but I did transcribe the important parts of the conversation in an earlier article.)
Spirit Face Photos
This is a picture of my ITC lab in the late 1990s.
I used the radios to get voice contacts from spirits. The tower-like device was used for spirit face photos. It’s called a “luminator.”
The luminator (left) seemed to generate an energy field that allowed me capture spirit faces with a Polaroid camera. I’d take pictures of people, and spirit faces would show up superimposed over the subjects’ faces. Simple process: Turn on the luminator and start taking pictures with Polaroid 600 film.
When digital photography took over and Polaroid stopped making its classic film around 2007, the spirit faces disappeared once the film ran out. I knew my spirit friends were still with me because they kept talking to me through my radios (and I’ll share two of those radio contacts in a moment).
Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite spirit faces caught on Polaroid film:
Joy Schilling and John Denver
The face of popular singer John Denver showed up five years after his death, when in 2002 I took a picture of Joy Schilling, owner the Celebration Bookstore in Colorado Springs—a charming metaphysical shop reminiscent of Cassie Nightingale’s “Bell, Book & Candle” in Hallmark’s The Good Witch.
The fact that Joy and John bear an uncanny resemblance to each other—they even have that same inner glow 🙂 —might make one wonder if that’s not John’s face in the Polaroid, but Joy’s… in some kind of weird double exposure. But from the moment that picture developed, I’ve known deep in my gut that the face on the left is John Denver, whose music I’ve always loved. When I showed the picture to people familiar with the late singer—especially those who knew him personally—their usual reaction was, “That’s John… definitely!”
The way the two faces seem detached from the body might make one wonder if it’s just a badly photoshopped picture. But everyone at the 2002 workshop will confirm that all the Polaroids taken that day—including this one—are genuine. No manipulation involved. (In fact there were all sorts of weird anomalies in many of the spirit face photos I took over the years, especially lights in light fixtures that seemed to stream or swirl through the picture.
That often happened when I took pictures of spiritually sensitive people like Meme.
In 2004 I gave a workshop at the spiritually charged Edgar Cayce ARE center in New York. Some two dozen people attended, and we got lots of amazing spirit face pictures that day.
The third picture from the left (#3) shows Meme as she looks in life, with some of the light anomalies mentioned earlier.
But picture #1, a close-up of #2, shows two completely different faces replacing Meme’s face. Whenever I look at the face on the left I think of Paracelsus, the 16th-Century father of holistic medicine.
There’s no proof or even solid evidence that Paracelsus was there that day, although he was a member of the Timestream spirit group, who sent picture #4 to my friends in Luxembourg. It shows Paracelsus in his spirit body with a Swiss alpine village in the background—part of the vast community of spirits living in the world they call Eden.
So unless I get, say, a phone call from Paracelsus acknowledging his presence there that day (which is doubtful, because I don’t think he spoke English and certainly not on a phone 🙂 ), I’ll have to rely on my intuition, and admit that it’s just a gut feeling.
That’s something an in-beyond alternative to the scientific method will have to take into account: Intuition, or subjective responses—especially when strongly felt. Strong gut feelings need to be quantified (if possible) and included as secondary evidence.
In the fall of 1995, colleague Maggy in Luxembourg received an insightful letter (with lots of curious typos and misspellings) introducing a fellow who had joined my spirit group.
Arthur Beckwith had been a 19th-Century journalist in Brooklyn, New York, until he died quietly at his boarding house in April of 1912 (coincidentally, the same night the Titanic sank). Then he eventually found his way to Timestream spirit group and became interested in ITC—especially my efforts to document our work in the ITC news journal Contact!.
With this letter Arthur provided incredible evidence to support its legitimacy.
So with some help from a friend (Betsy Moyer), I did a lot of research to verify the names and dates in his letter (you can read about our exhaustive results here on this website if you’re interested).
Anyway, Arthur soon began to make his presence known around our house. On October 17, 1996, I was working on a speech on the computer in my office. The radios in the lab in the next room were emitting a steady drone of white noise, when all of a sudden a voice boomed out, “Time just passes here.”
I immediately contacted Maggy in Luxembourg, who said she’d just received a message in her computer from Timestream: “Tell Mark it was the voice of Arthur Beckwith.”
In 1998 our dear cat Konrad was killed in the back yard by a raccoon. A few days later I was experimenting with the radios in the basement lab when I heard a loud voice trying to come through, but it was too garbled to understand.
When I played it back several times, I was eventually able to hear in a slow, enunciated voice: “Konrad the cat, is Arthur’s pet.”
Finally, just last month that contact was cleaned up by a remarkable new technology so it can be heard much more clearly. It’s so clear, in fact, that you can hear the name “Arthur” preceding the message, so that it’s actually, “Arthur… Konrad the cat is Arthur’s pet.” (More about that in the acknowledgements below.)
Here’s the original message followed by the cleaned-up version:
Once again, Arthur Beckwith provided some excellent evidence of the legitimacy of this sort of afterlife research.
Science in its present form can only dismiss contacts like these because they don’t fit into the scientific method. They don’t fit the criteria of basic scientific evidence.
Hence the need for some sort of in-beyond method that scientists could use to assess the validity of secondary evidence… like ITC contacts.
Tom Rawlings, a reader and commenter on this site, recently acquired the Spectralayers program, which uses artificial intelligence to pull subtle sounds (like spirit voices) out of noisy recordings, and he’s had incredible results. I told Tom about my “Konrad the cat is Arthur’s pet” contact, and he cleaned it up for the final contact in this article.
This article was actually inspired by Tom, a devout Christian who expresses himself with a clear, rational mind. He’s also an ITC researcher—an unusual combination. Mainstream Christians sometimes shy away from spirit communication, and rational people such as scientists sometimes struggle with the whole notion of afterlife. Tom’s been sharing a lot of ideas here lately, including this comment: “…dreaming the impossible dream. In my opinion that’s what Christ meant when he said to believe. I think believing helps us to connect with things we cannot understand. I [often wonder] why more people don’t believe! Why they are not interested in talking with loved ones who have crossed over! I never get tired of it, never get tired of searching for the truth!”
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