“Someone once told me that maturity is when you accept the fact that two contradictory ideas can exist together.”
~ From Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms, by David Kessler, 2010
Let me start from the present, and work backwards. I am absolutely convinced that there is survival of consciousness after death of the physical body. When I came across the Copper Wall Experiments (an interesting variant of standard mirror gazing, it was simultaneous with my interest in, and my study of the work of Dr. Raymond Moody and the psychomanteum chamber.
As I discuss methods of contacting those who have gone on before us, beyond the veil, I will also add discussions of the proof of persistence of consciousness and that what we think of as the “Afterlife” is merely like changing trains.
To begin with, at the June 2010 ISSSEEM conference in Colorado, I noticed an interesting session and decided to attend:
Arthur Hastings and Doug Slakey
New Studies with a Copper Wall
This session reports on recent studies that replicate and extend the famous Copper Wall Experiment of Elmer Green at the Menninger Foundation. The experiment combines a reputed Tibetan meditation method, a polished copper plate for reflection, use of a magnet, and personal imagery that appears to have meaning for levels of the self and beyond. Studies include a controlled experiment on imagery seen in the copper sheet, a 10 session series of personal exploration, and reports of individual sessions. The results suggest potential uses for exploring personal meaning, accessing inner processes, and evoking energetic effects.
Monday 11:15 AM
I realized that not only was their work in keeping with that of Dr. Moody, it was in keeping with the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks. I realized that this method of investigation may be superior and of even greater interest than EVP and ITC (which I will discuss in future postings).
As far as the copper wall experiments are concerned, this is an abstract of their paper:
Mirror gazing imagery and meaning
by Slakey, Douglas Michael, Ph.D., Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 2007, 265 pages; AAT 3254397
This exploratory stuck, examined the nature of visual and somatic experiences during mirror gazing. “Mirror gazing” is a meditative technique wherein the meditator holds a direct focus on his or her reflection in a mirrored surface. In so doing, meditators experience a variety of visual anomalies and often experience the perception of coherent though fluid visual images. The protocol used in the study included a copper mirror and a magnet suspended above the participant’s head, in accordance with one format for mirror gazing meditation. It was hypothesized that participants who engaged in mirror gazing would report greater alterations in visual perception and more personal meaning in those perceptions than would a control group. To a statistically significant degree, participants in the experimental condition were able to supply more descriptive elaborations of their visual experience and include greater degrees of detail than did the control group who gazed at a similar but nonreflective surface. The visual imagery and related descriptions more often held personally significant meaning for experimental condition participants than for control condition participants. Study participants consisted of 24 volunteers (9 males, 15 females). The study used 2 groups in a controlled design. Standardized personality assessments were the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS) and the Revised Transliminality Scale (RTS), which did not show significant correlation to more elaborated visual imagery. The study documented the process and phenomenology of mirror gazing over the course of two sessions, MIA has not previously been reported in the literature. The study found that participants reported a connection between the images they perceived, the stories they told about those images, and participants’ own life issues. Results suggest the importance of top-down processes in the development of visual imagery and identified a wider range of perceptual experiences than has been described in visual alteration literature.
You can look at their in-depth work here, should you have interest. It it stimulates you to go deeper, then you can read an interesting discourse by Dr. Green:
Dr. Elmer Green is the former Director of the Voluntary Controls project at the Menninger Institute in Topeka, Kansas. He and his wife Alyce are pioneers in the field of biofeedback training, authoring the classic book “Beyond Biofeedback.” His most recent project, “The Copper Wall,” explores possible electromagnetic correlates of the human energy field.
DiCarlo: Was there any particular event in your life that served as a trigger, and caused you to look beyond the party line of the traditional scientific paradigm?
Green: No, there was nothing in my life that was like that, and the reason is, I was aware of the essence of this emerging paradigm from the time I was young. There never was a time I wasn’t aware that there was a collective unconscious. I knew about this from the time I was about three years old. Since I knew about it, I took it for granted.
When I first started reading Carl Jung, I thought, “Wow, this guy really knows something. He’s writing about things that I know about, so I know he’s right.” I thought that was pretty funny when I found out later who he was, I mean, the creator of the idea of the collective unconscious. When I first read him as a kid, I just thought, “Well, yes he’s right. He knows something.” I already knew about it from an experiential point of view. But I had never known that anybody had written about it.
So there was no event that I know of in my case, but you are right, for a lot of people, it’s sort of like, something happens. Sometimes it might be the death of a friend, or a family member that all of a sudden triggers them into the awareness of a larger reality.
The remainder of this extensive multi-part interview can be found here
In Dr. Moody’s book, Reunions, a few suggestions are given on how to construct a psychomanteum chamber, should you be so inclined. Compared to EVP/ITC, simple equipment and skills are needed: a suitable dark room , a mirror, and a light source are needed. I recommend his book.
What about electronic methods to contact the departed?
Future blogs will revisit EVP and the case of Martin Simmonds which may be of interest to you. A year ago I wrote a blog piece about what happened in London. That may be the starting point!
Aloha for now, and enjoy your day!