Religion

Sunday, February 17, 2019

By Joshua Bagby

Disclaimer: The following personal opinion reflects my own search for cosmic truth. If you are easily offended by people questioning interpretations of the Bible or do not wish to encounter material you might interpret as anti-religious, you may wish to skip reading this piece.

A major consideration many people have is wondering if attempting to contact the so-called dead is good for the soul or just another way for us to get ourselves into big trouble with high command.

Rumor has it via fundamentalist religions that one way to tick off God is to try to contact the dead via mediums. One of the main citations is Leviticus 19:31. Another would be Deuteronomy 18:9-14.

In my admittedly limited Biblical knowledge, I am not sure which version of the Bible to take as gospel. Different Bible versions phrase things differently, using different words. Which version is right?

I also do not see where the whypart is explained. In other words, what exactly is wrong with consulting mediums? The Bible makes it sound as if attempting to contact 'spirits' is akin to turning against God, something that has never been my intention.

An interpretation I came up with on my own (or via divine inspiration for all I know) is the idea that it's better to try and find your own answers through your own intuitive gifts than to worship mediums like rock stars. Rather than the idea that you will irritate a divine being if you patronize a medium, the Biblical suggestion may be that you will get better results relying on your own abilities (another way of saying ask God yourself.)

A similar theme was put forth in the excellent spiritual documentary Kumaré. People were shown listening less to their own guidance and more to an ersatz guru.

People who patronize psychics or mediums or gurus often ask questions in such a way that it is pretty easy to guess the answer the person wants to hear. The medium or psychic or guru is being cast as the authority figure who will give voice to that desired and telegraphed answer. Seen this way, the admonition may also be a Biblical Better Business Bureau friendly warning against trusting someone who may not have your best interest at heart.

This may also apply to that admonition against "contacting the dead." The meaning behind this may be something like, "Don't cheat on your Earth School exams. We each have our own path to follow and you need to chart your own course. Your spiritual growth will happen faster and better when you just get out and live your life."

The bottom line is that I choose to read these Bible passages as spiritual growth tips, not capital crimes from the heavenly legal system that will roast and toast those who seek to get answers. I find this especially true for people mourning the physical loss of a loved one. Threatening them with punishment seems like added punishment to what they already deal with.

THE SOULPHONE

Of course, the whole purpose of SoulPhone™ technology is to facilitate clear communication between those currently in the flesh and those currently in postmaterial environments we traditionally call the spirit worldor the afterlife. Some people immediately shun the idea of the SoulPhone because it appears to conflict with their religious beliefs.

What's usually not said is that both religious people and secular seekers are primarily acting in good will and in good faith. One group wants to please their God; the other wants to make humanity better. The chasm in belief is the method employed to achieve the goal.

I was not brought up in any strict religious family. My parents were casual Presbyterians, and while we were exposed to religious education, I would not call religion a family priority. I have done much reading in secular afterlife research, watching videos about near-death experience and presentations, and attending afterlife conferences.

In what I have been exposed to, people who have had near-death experiences or studied the evidence for the survival of consciousness after bodily death are generally optimistic, loving, kind, and caring people. They do not court demonic beings. They are not seeking 'fortune tellers' for material gain. They are more students of consciousness, often considering themselves spiritual but not religious.

I've noticed that an abundance of representations of the dead in mainstream media are creepy, ghoul crazy portrayals. Not fun, not nice, not loving. Yet in afterlife research circles, the so-called dead who come through mediums, automatic writing, channeling, out-of-body experiences, and so on, are predominantly loving and optimistic.

Much of the time, these 'spirits' do not attempt to interfere with a flesh person's life. They may offer opinions, but they do not attempt to live someone else's life. They do not give out winning lottery numbers, for example. (This does not cover what unscrupulous mediums might do.)

Even if I am not especially religious, and even though the Presbyterians were not big on hell and damnation speeches, I still occasionally experience a lingering doubt. I still ask myself, "What if they turn out to be right? What if I've been blind-sided and a Judge Judy in the sky will send me to hell for my afterlife curiosities."

SCIENCE VERSUS RELIGION

From what I have been exposed to, religion is a matter of faith. Science is no more eager to prove religious concepts than it is to study whether or not consciousness survives bodily death. Those scientists who dare to study consciousness do it as a secular pursuit that I find akin to nature study, not religious study.

Among those studying afterlife research, I observe a substantial amount of hope that these studies will improve humanity. It does not feel exploitive, greedy, or anti-God (even if some religious people may assume so.) Too often, religions use fear-mongering to control people. This does not set well with me. All things being equal, if afterlife research is more positive and religious dogma is more negative, I will be more attracted to the positive.

I think it's important to note that people who search for comfort via their religion or via secular research are primarily motivated by good intentions. Even if I do not agree with someone's conception of the universe, sometimes vigorously, I don't doubt that they mean well.

The first SoulPhone device—the SoulSwitch™—has already demonstrated that consciousness survives bodily death. That may be news to you because these replicated studies were just recently completed. It is only a matter of time (albeit time possibly measured in years) before communication from 'the other side' could challenge many religious dogma contentions. While some research already challenges dogma, the SoulPhone technology will offer the most scientifically validated input in history.

MORE READING

You can read Dr. Mark Pitstick's take on this topic by clicking here. He discusses some of the challenges to religious dogma that afterlife research has revealed.

Happy coincidence! Just as I finished my post, author Michael Tymn published this great piece Beware: This Blog Could Encourage the Activity of Demons.

Read the latest update on the SoulSwitch (from December 17, 2018) here.

Joshua Bagby is a visionary writer currently residing in Oregon. He applies afterlife research to fiction and nonfiction to envision a better life for all humanity.


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