Survival of consciousness cannot be studied without considering the topic of Mediumship (also known as Medium Communications) and the information it can convey. Mediumship is a process of training and tuning a human mind (the medium) to enter an altered state of consciousness. Once in this altered state, the medium’s mind has access to one or more discarnate entities (non-physical consciousness) enabling them to communicate with living people (message recipients or "sitters") through the medium.
The degree of resonance and the relationship between the medium, the recipient and the entity have a direct bearing on effectiveness of the information conveyed, as well as the type of communication used.
The medium can initiate the process of resonance but the desire to communicate, the method of communication, and the chosen recipient will usually come from the entity.
In general mediums seem to have the ability to selectively establish a linkage with a specific entities requested by the recipient. In most cases the non-physical intelligence that presents itself is usually the one for which the communication was intended by the recipient, but there are occasionally some exceptions to this. In these cases, it seems that sometimes those on the other side are just as anxious to communicate as those on this side.
Mediums facilitate communication between non-physical consciousness (entities) and living human beings (recipients). This exchange differs from ADCs (After Death Communications) in that it requires a third party who is a gifted medium rather than consisting of some form of direct communication between a recipient and the entity.
Often times the messages that a medium picks up can be crystal clear and other times they may be vague. Although they may be misinterpreted or misunderstood by the medium, the messages can be very meaningful to the intended recipient. These messages can be received by the medium directly in the mind as visual images, or auditory input as a voice inside the head, or even perceived as feelings.
Psychic ability refers to non-ordinary perceptual mechanisms of communication between (physical) human beings and do not require a medium to facilitate this information exchange.
The more common of these direct exchanges include the mechanisms of:
All of the above apply equally to mediumship and should not be connected only with psychic abilities. These are the three principle modes of perception for mediums as well.
The most frequently experienced psychic ability is one we all have experienced at one time or another. That, of course, is intuition and is often referred to as our sixth sense. Examples of intuition would be the so called “gut feelings”, the sense of being stared at, a feeling of foreboding, or a premonition of harm or the pending loss of a loved one, especially where there are close emotional ties (say between a mother and a child mortally wounded on the battlefield half a world away). Another common example is the synchronicity (meaningful coincidence) of thinking about a friend that one has not heard from for quite a while, and then receiving a telephone call, letter or some other type of correspondence from them soon after.
Some researchers speculate that the sixth sense is really a misnomer and that it should be named our “first sense” because it was probably developed by nature before advanced perceptual mechanisms (like sight and hearing) evolved. This capability is likely based on the quantum properties of entanglement and non-locality which are inherent in all matter. These perceptual mechanisms evolved first to enable primitive organisms to perceive threats and opportunities (e.g. food) in their environment. Like most functions evolved by nature, they are still present in all organisms even though they may no longer be the preferred method an organism uses to perceive their environment, except, perhaps, when danger is lurking nearby, which can stimulate our most primitive perceptual mechanisms.
Speculation exists that everyone is born with latent psychic abilities but, for most, it withers from lack of use and also by the process of enculturation. For this reason psychic abilities are mostly gone by the time one reaches 7-10 years of age. However, even so, they can manifest later in life as the result of severe emotional distress or a spiritually transformative event. Even without these triggers, there is growing evidence to suggest that psychic ability is really a latent facility that can be restored with significant practice in a supportive environment. According to common wisdom, everyone has psychic abilities to one degree or another.
There are two categories of mediumship that are of particular interest in supporting the idea of the survival of consciousness:
With extensive practice, a medium can train their mind to achieve the requisite non-ordinary state of consciousness by entering some type of trance, hypnotic state or other altered state of consciousness. These states permit the entity to work through the medium, not only mentally but physically too.
Channeling is related to mediumship but in this case the "channel" receives some form of direct mental communications from an entity and can assume a different personality in the process, typically the personality of the entity. Commonly, these entities are spirit guides, an "ascended master", God, or other higher intelligences. Messages are received mentally via the channel and are relayed to the recipients vocally or in writing.
In some cases, the messages received and transcribed by the channel are written backwards (i.e., right to left) or even upside down. In addition, punctuation marks are sometimes added (at the correct locations) after all the text has been transcribed while the channel is not looking at the paper. How could the channel possibly know the correct locations to place the punctuation marks without looking?
Precognition & Premonition
Precognition is the direct knowledge, insight or perception of a future event obtained by non-ordinary perceptual mechanisms. Premonition on the other hand involves a feeling that something is going to happen. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake has done several experiments with pets who seem to have an uncanny ability to detect when there owners are about to return home even if they are miles away at the precise point in time when they make the decision to do so. (see Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home by Rupert Sheldrake). Is it because they can see the future or because they are picking up on their owner’s intention to come home through quantum non-locality?
Precognitive experiences which involve a highly emotional charge, such as serious accidents or death of a loved one, usually occur within 24-48 hours before the actual event. Premonitions involve unconsciously sensing the future. They are psychic impressions (e.g., feelings) or a warning of some future event. They may range from vague feelings of foreboding, suggestive of impending disaster and are either visual or auditory. Dreams are frequent vehicles of premonitions, either direct or symbolic, as well as veridical dreams.
Related to these is intuition defined as reaching the correct solution without consciously knowing all the facts. Since the subconscious reaches beyond the bounds of ordinary time and space (e.g. non-locality), it can offer insight into the correct course of action or at a solution to a problem.
Déjà vu is the feeling of having been somewhere or done something before. Déjà vu could be the result from an unrecalled, buried memory with an accompanying sense of what will happen next that comes from that same buried memory. The other possibility is that it results from precognitive premonitions that may have a basis in quantum non-locality.
Are psychic phenomena real? To the skeptic, it is easy to rule out psychic phenomena as bogus because science currently has no solid theory to explain their mechanisms. This, of course, is in spite of the fact that there is a growing body of evidence that such phenomena actually exist. Skeptics usually subscribe to the philosophy of materialism. They assert that the mind (our consciousness) is an epiphenomenon of brain processes. However, this is an assumption that has never been proven despite numerous credible attempts to locate the seat of consciousness in the brain in the last few decades.
In addition, the materialist position fails to account for many phenomena reported throughout history including mystical experiences, spiritually transformative experiences, near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences and other transcendent experiences, as well as exceptional abilities of mind and various non-local consciousness, e.g., remote viewing, mediumship, terminal lucidity, automatic writing and many other phenomena.
Some scientists today seek an alternative to materialism to soundly explain how consciousness extends beyond the brain and even pre-exists/post-exists the brain. They propose that full consciousness has access to an expansive reality that is kept mostly hidden from ordinary waking consciousness. They posit that consciousness uses the brain to manage the body and facilitate functioning in the external physical world. In other words, they theorize that expansive consciousness uses the brain as a reducing valve or filter to limit access to the whole of reality. This, they believe, prevents the physical brain from becoming overwhelmed, thereby allowing limited ordinary consciousness to function as it does.
A growing body of evidence suggests that this alternative to materialism is a viable one. It provides a means to explain the phenomena described previously. Furthermore, with this model, there is no reason to conclude that death of the physical brain necessarily implies the demise of consciousness. Thus, the following types of psychic phenomena serve as evidence which demonstrate the ability of consciousness to extend beyond the ordinary bounds of space, time and the physical body, (i.e., non-locality).
1. Extrasensory Perception (ESP) involves expanded awareness to obtain information about events through non-ordinary perceptual mechanisms such as:
2. Psychokinesis is a general category of expanded intentionality which involves direct mental interaction to affect external physical objects (either biotic or abiotic) or events such as:
3.Various phenomena which suggests that consciousness exists beyond the physical bounds of the brain/body system such as:
4. Exceptional mental abilities such as: