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Metaphysics & Psychology

On The Side Of Angels: The Life Story of Gordon Higginson

The life of medium Gordon Higginson (1918-1993) is described in the 1993 biography On The Side Of Angels compiled by Jean Bassett.  Gordon served as president of the Spiritualists’ National Union for more than 20 years.  He joined the SNU after World War II and once gave a sitting to Arthur Findlay, who bequeathed his Essex mansion Stansted Hall to the union.  The estate is administered by the union as a College for the advancement of psychic science. Gordon’s mother Fanny had also been a medium.  She had been trained by trance medium Annie Brittain.  Gordon began participating in his mother’s ‘development circle’ when he was five or six years old.  He recalled having once glimpsed “a clear vision” of his Black guide ‘Cuckoo’: “That was not her name: it was the way I called to her, then she would call back.  Because of this she chose to be called Cuckoo . . . Cuckoo had always talked to me and often used to come with me to school.”

I became a boy medium when I was 12 years old and travelled with my mother and a speaker.  I had been trained as a demonstrator so needed a speaker to go with me.  My mother worked to develop my mediumship to the calibre she felt was necessary. I became known before the war for giving full names and addresses.  This was considered quite remarkable and widely reported in the papers in the towns where I worked as well as the Spiritualist publications.

Gordon was 18 when he realized he was a trance medium.  He remembered shutting his eyes when he felt drowsy at a Sunday Spiritualist Church service.

The next thing I knew was that the chairlady stood by my side offering me a glass of water.  I thought I had fainted, apologised and said to her, “Am I to give the demonstration now?”  “Yes, after we have sung the hymn,” came the reply.  I asked if the address had gone all right.  “But you gave the address!” said Mrs. Northall. Of course, I told her that I couldn’t have done as I didn’t do the speaking.  She explained I had given an excellent trance address, and moved down the steps from the pulpit among the people.  The spirit control had then given those present a message to be given to me, the medium, when I came out of trance.

The message was for my mother.  It stated she was to find an envelope in which would be found the name of the spirit control, Light, and that this was also my spirit name. Upon telling his mother about the incident, she went to her room and brought back the sealed envelope enclosing a paper with his ‘spirit name’ written on it by Annie Brittain at the time of his naming (the Spiritualist alternative to Christening) — “Of course, the name on that paper was Light!” World War II resulted with Gordon turning 21 while serving in the army.  He commented, “As a gifted medium, I was able to help so many young men who were troubled.”

I made many friends whom I knew were going to survive the war because a medium is conscious not only of the past and present, but also the future as well.  When mediums are working, they are not conscious of time, but are sharing a consciousness of no time.  We are conscious of an existence that goes beyond the present.

During the post war years, his first appearance in London resulted with a couple who had received messages, Mr. and Mrs. Hiscock, confirming the accuracy of the messages in a letter to Psychic News.  In the 1950s, Gordon consistently sat in a circle to develop his physical mediumship at the suggestion of his guides.

I have experienced burns and injury when my seances had unexpected interruption so you see how important it is to know what you are doing before you embark on this type of development. It was some seven years before we were getting good trumpet and apport phenomena; we nearly always had one sometimes two trumpets moving.  We had spirit lights and the movement of objects quite early on . . .

It was around 1964 when the circle started to observe materializations.

We started our seance with an invocation and then had one short hymn.  I would take that opportunity to go into trance.  Once I was entranced, the proceedings were then handled by the spirit guides. Of course, two of my guides have become so well-known to people through my physical mediumship; they are Cuckoo and Paddy.  Cuckoo, as already explained, has been with me ever since I can remember, a great friend to me over the years.  Paddy usually takes charge during physical seances and is very good.  I have another guide called Choo Chow of whom I was aware, but who did not come forward until the beginning of my trance mediumship and seemed to take charge.  It was through him that I became a trance speaker. I have another guide who only comes to me once a year.  He takes over during my regular Christmas Day trance address, speaking about the world and the current and future situations. This guide is Light.  I am named after him in the spirit world.

Gordon began giving public demonstrations with his circle around 1970 with Paddy usually being Gordon’s chief communicator.  Gordon mentioned that not all of the seances were successful.

Early in 1970 my good friend and colleague, Frank Tams, built a cabinet for me to use in the library at Stansted Hall.  The cabinet is not to conceal anything that is happening, but used to focus the energy around the medium for Spirit to utilize in their work.  Although there are curtains, these are usually drawn back so people can clearly see what is happening.

Photo from http://www.gordonhigginson.co.uk/: “Ectoplasm flowing from the mouth.”

Gordon shared his perspective of Direct Voice mediumship:

There are mediums that have provided the direct voice and can be in the normal state of consciousness while working.  But if you follow them, as I have done, you find that in the early stages of development they were a deep trance medium.

Gordon commented that Direct Voice mediums “have to be developed by the link from the Spirit.  They really do the work.  We really do very little; we provide the conditions.  It is work that is direct from the spirit world.” On The Side Of Angels includes Gordon’s reminiscences of observing other mediums’ seances and there are anecdotes of occasions when he worked in association with ‘psychic artist’ Coral Polge.

Of course, there has always been a Spiritualism because Spiritualism is all about facts.  It is about your being here, coming to the earth, living here, having a soul and about a God, which is not a man, but rather a power, a universal mind. I believe that Spiritualism is the oldest known movement in the world.  There has always been a Spiritualism, not as we understand it today, but never the less contact with the higher forces of the spirit world, going as far back as Abraham. Bernard Shaw was another remarkable man.  He wrote: “I am a medium.  When I take my pen or sit down to my typewriter, I am as much a medium as Daniel Dunglas Home or as Joan of Arc.” Many of the so-called spirit writings produced in the name of Spiritualism have within them as many faults and mis-statements as those of old which are venerated because of their stated source rather than their rational content. We cannot, should not, reduce everything to the rational, but we must apply a certain logic when assessing the work of any medium, be they from ancient times or from this era.

Higginson observed that although he was not widely known as a healing  medium, he had considerable success in that field.  The following  excerpt is from Chapter 26 “Ministry of Healing.”

I was always eager to have Stansted Hall used more as a centre for healing, but it never seemed to take off in that way.  I seldom did any healing at Stansted, but concentrated more on my work in my own church.  Most of my healing took place there in the 1950s.  After that I couldn’t be there as often. Healing is part of any church work, but we were trying in all ways to improve everything that Longton church offered.  I started a group to be run under my leadership.  I had a very good spirit helper called Dr. John, who specialised in healing and was a first class diagnostician.  Frank Tams, a very dedicated medium and an excellent healing channel, was to work closely with me in this project. I arranged that Kath Jebb would be in charge of the organisation.  She was a tower of strength in our church.  It is through her that I am able to recall just a few of the many hundreds of people who were helped through my healing ministry.  Kath also kept all the records of the physical circle which met for year in Longton church.  That was a monumental task in itself. It was decided that Dr. John would see the most serious cases.  In the beginning he also gave me healing, but as time went on he started to run the healing more like a clinic and only came in on special cases. Dr. John would receive patients, diagnose what was wrong and very often tell them just how they had got into that condition.  He prescribed what type of healing was needed, which healer was suitable to give a particular patient healing and where the hands should be placed. Kath recorded these instructions and would arrange it all.  If Dr. John wanted to see any person again, she would make an appointment.  It all depended on how serious their condition was.  We were always very busy, especially after people knew that the healing was being run in this way by Spirit. In 1952 I remember a plea for help from a village about 12 miles from our church.  It was from the mother of a young lady called Jean.  She was unable to walk, was crippled with arthritis and also had TB.  Jean was a lovely person.  She had a great sense of humour, but was so frail it was pitiful to see her. She was so young, so pretty and yet lived her life confined to a hospital type bed where there were facilities to lift her without causing her even more pain.  Her mother had heard of some of the things we were doing.  We were her last hope.  They were a lovely family, so close and so courageous.

A photo from the book: Jean.

Frank and Kath went to visit Jean at first.  For weeks, Frank gave her healing.  In the end, he asked if I would go as he felt Dr. John’s expertise was needed.  I agreed and went not once or twice, but many times in the following months. The guides used to talk to Jean.  So did Frank, Kath and I.  We spoke about Spiritualism, about life and death, about the many things which are important to the spirit self.  Jean seemed to have a tremendous insight and gradually gained hope of a different horizon.  I never promised her she would walk again.  I couldn’t because I knew the eventual outcome. I did promise that one day she would join in with a Spiritualist service.  Then the time came when I realised she had not much time to go.  There was part of me that was sad.  Jean was so young, but had suffered so much.  Even with spirit help, we couldn’t change her destiny. I decided that she would see a service, even though I had to make special arrangements for it to be in her own home.  I spoke to our church members.  Bill Harratt arranged some hymns whilst Frank came along and did a reading.  Kath gave a short address and I a demonstration. It was a proper service, even though there were only a few there.  Some of our church people joined us along with members of Jean’s family.  Two weeks later, her time here on earth ended and she passed into her new home.  We had become very fond of this child yet could not grieve. There was a rather marvellous sequel to this which happened only a few weeks later.  In the physical circle I held regularly in our church at that time the voice of Cuckoo was heard, saying, “I have a surprise for you.” The ectoplasm built up, and a form moved to the outside of the cabinet.  A young person with a swirling gown moved gracefully and confidently out towards Kath.  It was Jean! “Look Kath,” she said.  “I can walk!  Look at my hands!”  She held out her hands.  And the fingers were straight and true; those poor fingers so deformed in this life were straight and supple.  Tears of joy ran down Kath’s face.  Other members of our circle who had not known Jean felt the emotion and responded in turn. Jean thanked Bill Harratt for the hymns played at her own special service.  She moved across the room to Sally Morgan, a member of our church who attended the service at Jean’s home, thanking her for the flowers which she gave to brighten her room.  Lastly she spoke to Frank.  “I enjoyed your reading,” she said.  “Please thank Gordon.  He gave me so much happiness.”  “May God bless him” were her last words as she returned to the cabinet.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Consciousness Affects Reality: Repetition and consolidation of experience?

Dr. Joe Dispenza was one of the first who began to study the influence of consciousness on reality from a scientific point of view. His theory of the relationship between matter and consciousness brought him world fame after the release of the documentary “We Know What the Signal Does.” 

A key discovery made by Joe Dispensa is that the brain does not distinguish between physical and mental experiences. Roughly speaking, the cells of the “gray matter” absolutely do not distinguish between the real, i.e. material, from the imaginary, i.e. from thoughts.

Few people know that the doctor’s research in the field of consciousness and neurophysiology began with tragic experience. After Joe Dispenza was hit by a car, doctors suggested he fasten the damaged vertebrae with an implant, which could subsequently lead to lifelong pain. Only in this way, according to doctors, could he walk again. But Dispenza decided to quit taking out traditional medicine and restore his health with the power of thought. After only 9 months of therapy, Dispenza could walk again. This was the impetus for the study of the possibilities of consciousness.

The first step in this direction was communication with people who experienced the experience of “spontaneous remission”. This is a spontaneous and impossible from the point of view of doctors healing a person from a serious illness without the use of traditional treatment. During the survey, Dispenza found out that all people who went through a similar experience were convinced that thought is primary in relation to matter and can heal any disease.

The theory of Dr. Dispenza claims that each time, experiencing some kind of experience, we “activate” a huge number of neurons in our brain, which in turn affect our physical condition. It is the phenomenal power of consciousness, due to the ability to concentrate, that creates the so-called synaptic connections – connections between neurons. Repeated experiences (situations, thoughts, feelings) create stable neural connections called neural networks. Each network is, in fact, a certain memory, on the basis of which our body in the future reacts to similar objects and situations.

According to Dispensa, our entire past is “recorded” in the neural networks of the brain, which form the way we perceive and feel the world as a whole and its specific objects in particular. Thus, it only seems to us that our reactions are spontaneous. In fact, most of them are programmed with stable neural connections. 

Each object (stimulus) activates one or another neural network, which in turn causes a set of certain chemical reactions in the body. These chemical reactions make us act or feel in a certain way – to run or freeze in place, rejoice or be upset, become excited or fall into apathy, etc. All our emotional reactions are nothing more than the result of chemical processes caused by established neural networks, and they are based on past experience. In other words,

The basic rule of neurophysiology is:

nerves that are used together are connected.

This means that neural networks are formed as a result of repetition and consolidation of experience. If the experiment is not reproduced for a long time, then the neural networks break up. Thus, a habit is formed as a result of regular “pressing” the buttons of the same neural network. This is how automatic reactions and conditioned reflexes are formed – you have not yet had time to think and realize what is happening, and your body is already reacting in a certain way …

Our character, our habits, our personality are just a set of stable neural networks that we can weaken or strengthen at any time thanks to a conscious perception of reality! By focusing consciously and selectively on what we want to achieve, we are creating new neural networks.

… Previously, scientists believed that the brain is static, but studies by neurophysiologists show that absolutely every smallest experience produces thousands and millions of neural changes in it that affect the body as a whole. In his book “The Evolution of Our Brains, the Science of Changing Our Consciousness,” Joe Dispenza asks a logical question: if we use our thinking to cause certain negative states in the body, will this anomalous state eventually become the norm?

Dispenza conducted a special experiment to confirm the capabilities of our consciousness. People from the same group daily pressed the spring mechanism with the same finger for an hour. People from another group had only to imagine that they were clicking. As a result, the fingers of people from the first group got stronger by 30%, and from the second – by 22%. 

Such an influence of purely mental practice on physical parameters is the result of the operation of neural networks. So Joe Dispenza proved that for the brain and neurons there is no difference between real and mental experience. So, if we pay attention to negative thoughts, our brain perceives them as reality and causes corresponding changes in the body. For example, illness, fear, depression, a surge of aggression, etc.

Another conclusion from Dispenza’s research concerns our emotions. Stable neural networks form unconscious patterns of emotional behavior, i.e. a tendency to some form of emotional response. In turn, this leads to a repeated experience in life. We step on the same rake only because we don’t realize the reason for their appearance! But the reason is simple – each emotion is “felt” due to the release of a certain set of chemicals into the body, and our body simply becomes somewhat “dependent” on these chemical combinations. Having realized this dependence as a physiological dependence on chemicals, we can get rid of it. Only a conscious approach is needed.

Of course, despite the studies of Dispenza, official science is distrustful of his claims. But why wait for official approval from scientific minds, if now the results of these discoveries can be applied in practice? The main thing is to realize that thought is capable of changing the physical world.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Can the Universe consciously imitate its own existence?

According to the new hypothesis, the Universe imitates its own existence in a “strange loop”. In an article published by scientists from the Institute for the Study of Quantum Gravity, it is argued that the basis of the hypothesis is the theory of panpsychism, according to which everything in nature is animated. 

The article was published in the journal Entropy and, as the authors of the work write, is designed to combine understanding of quantum mechanics with a non-materialist point of view. In other words, scientists want to understand how real we are and everything that surrounds us. Agree, this is at least an interesting question for modern science and our understanding of the Universe.

What is reality?

How real is reality? What if all that you are, all that you know, all the people in your life, as well as all events do not physically exist in reality, but are a very complex simulation? Like in the series of the animated series “Rick and Morty” when one of the characters got into a simulation and did not even notice it. Our regular readers know that the philosopher Nick Bostrom addressed this issue in the foundational article “Do we live in computer simulation?”, Which suggests that our entire existence may be the product of very complex computer models (simulations) controlled by advanced creatures whose the true nature we may never know.

I am not a supporter of this idea, but despite all the seeming madness of Bostrom’s assumption, we really don’t know what reality is. Modern science is not yet able to cognize the quantum world and understand, for example, why at the atomic level particles change their behavior when they are watched. At a time when physicists are working on building a mission that can figure out if a parallel universe or universes exists, Bostrom’s idea does not look extraordinary.

But the new theory takes a step forward – what if there are no advanced creatures, but everything in “reality” is self-imitation that generates itself from “pure thought?”

Frame from the series Rick and Morty. The moment Jerry found out that all this time he lived in a simulation

The Physical Universe is a “strange loop”, writes Quantum Gravity Research, a Los Angeles-based Institute for Theoretical Physics, founded by scientist and entrepreneur Clay Irwin. The work is based on the Bostrom modeling hypothesis, according to which all reality is an extremely detailed computer program – and they ask: instead of relying on advanced life forms to create the technology necessary to create everything in our world, is it not better to assume that the Universe itself is a “mental imitation of oneself”? Scientists associate this idea with quantum mechanics, considering the universe as one of many possible models of quantum gravity.

One important aspect that distinguishes this point of view from others similar to it is related to the fact that the initial hypothesis of Bostrom is materialistic and considers the Universe as physical. For Bostrom, we could just be part of an ancestral simulation created by posthumans. Even the process of evolution itself can simply be a mechanism by which future beings experience countless processes, purposefully moving people through levels of biological and technological growth. In this way, they generate the alleged information or history of our world. Ultimately, we will not notice the difference.

But where does physical reality come from that would spawn a simulation? Their hypothesis takes a non-materialistic approach, arguing that everything in the universe is information expressed in the form of thought. Thus, the Universe “self-realizes” into its own existence, relying on the underlying algorithms and the rule that researchers call the “principle of an effective language”. According to this proposal, the simulation of everything is only one “great thought”.

How could a simulation have arisen on its own?

Surprisingly, the answer is simple: she was always there, researchers say, explaining the concept of “timeless emergentism”. This idea says that there is no time at all. Instead, there is a comprehensive thought, which is our reality, offering a built-in semblance of a hierarchical order, full of “sub-thoughts” that extend down to the wormhole to basic mathematics and fundamental particles. The effective language rule also comes into force, which assumes that people themselves are such “emergent sub-thoughts” and experience and find meaning in the world through other sub-thoughts (called “code steps or actions”) in the most economical way (well, then) .

We do not know much, which means we must consider all hypotheses without exception

In correspondence with Big Think, physicist David Chester said:

Although many scholars advocate the truth of materialism, we believe that quantum mechanics can give a hint that our reality is a mental construct. Recent advances in quantum gravity, such as the vision of spacetime arising from a hologram, are also a hint that spacetime is not fundamental. In a sense, the mental construction of reality creates space-time to effectively understand itself, creating a network of subconscious entities that can interact and explore the totality of their capabilities.

Scientists associate their hypothesis with panpsychism, which considers everything that exists as thought or consciousness, the purpose of which is to generate meaning or information. If all this is difficult to understand, the authors offer another interesting idea that can connect your everyday experience with these philosophical considerations. Think of your dreams as your own personal simulations, the team suggests. Although they are fairly primitive (by the superintelligent standards of the future AI), dreams tend to provide better resolution than modern computer modeling and are a great example of the evolution of the human mind.

Of course, not everyone will like it, but the Universe can really have consciousness. 
At least we cannot rule it out.

Most notable is the ultra-high resolution accuracy of these mind-based simulations and the accuracy of the physics in them. They point to lucid dreaming – when the dreamer realizes that he is in a dream – as examples of very accurate simulations created by your mind that at times cannot be distinguished from any other reality. So how do you know, while you are reading this article, that you are not in a dream? It turns out that it is not so difficult to imagine that the extremely powerful computer that we can create in the near future will be able to reproduce a similar level of detail.

Of course, some of the ideas of Clay and his team in the academic community are called controversial. But the authors of the work believe that “we should think critically about consciousness and some aspects of philosophy that are inconvenient for some scientists.” We can not agree, because in science there are no or, should be no authorities. 

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Metaphysics & Psychology

The journalist predicted a cancer-free future and was healed

ABC11 American journalist Michael Perchick predicted on his Twitter account that his future would not be related to cancer. The reporter later reported healing, and the post scored 1.8 million likes.

A 28-year-old North Carolina channel correspondent said in January that he was diagnosed with cancer. However, the journalist did not somehow comment on the current state, but wrote about the future. 

“In four months, I will be the 28-year-old who defeated cancer. To the battle! ” – Perchik noted.

Many users supported his entry with comments with words of support. Some users remembered how they themselves fought with a similar diagnosis and they managed to prevail over a deadly disease. 

“I was diagnosed at the same age, two days after my 28th birthday. I’m 34 now. You will succeed, man. Kick your ass cancer,” Humphrey03Pat wrote .

In April, Perchik announced that he had completed the necessary course of chemotherapy. 

On June 5, he retweeted his January post and wrote:

“New information about my life: I was right.” 

This meant that the journalist was cured. In the comments, he met positive feedback from users. Some responded with a meme about dancing coffin carriers from Ghana, symbolizing a cancer funeral.

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