Its a question of locality
Whilst I would like nothing more than to jump feet first into a discussion on consciousness, this post is not going to present quite enough room for such an elaborate subject. However, this is hopefully going to be one of those psi theory posts to at least spawn some discussion amongst you the readers, perhaps even a little deeper thought and ideas – if it does, please don’t hesitate to comment below with your thoughts. After all, this one needs more than my own input, so lets kick off a discussion on this one please?
Right, so let us jump straight in shall we. As many of you will more than likely know there has been an on-going debate regarding our consciousness for many years now. Simply put the argument has two sides, one that believes that consciousness is product of our physical brains with their neurons firing and electric pulses. The second side places our consciousness in place that is disconnected from our physical self, giving birth to the mind being an extension of us and potentially elsewhere.
These concepts have always fascinated me, especially when it comes to paranormal investigation, ghost hunting and the survival of our consciousness after death. They have also been a ‘hard question’ that I often find myself pondering over in regarding to the survival hypotheses. The reason for this is simple really; if our consciousness survives death then it seems logical to me that it must exist in a form that is external or disconnected from our physical self. If it exists within our brain as a bio-chemical reaction during our lifetime, only to be uploaded to the ether on our death, then that seems like a very poor design feature. I can’t imagine Darwin’s evolution would have took us down that route. With that in mind, the concept of our consciousness existing outside our body makes sense to me.
This concept of a non-local consciousness probably makes more sense to me, due to the area I work in, where you can store data on the cloud, remote control devices and pretty much model this concept in the technology world. Granted, we have yet to recreate consciousness and that maybe a good thing, as when that happens in the movies it never really seems to go well for us. However, when the hardware fails in the technology world, we are usually not as bothered anymore, simply because the more precious data has been kept intact on a cloud server. It’s this analogy that often rings true for me too, when attempting to comprehend the possibility of survival. However, it has its flaws, which we will touch on soon.
If our consciousness is not simply firing neurons in our brain and is physically removed, yet connected, then my next question is where does it reside? During our life does it remain in close proximity to our physical self, providing that conscious interaction or is it further away in a more non-local existence. Perhaps distance is relative as it resides in a completely different dimension, like a zero dimension or perhaps an Akashic Field (Lazlo 1993 & 2004).
Is it just information or a conscious connection
Whilst many of our approaches as ghost hunters may present us with anomalous information that some may attribute to an intelligent communication or even consciousness, personally I’ve not seen anything that supports this belief. A bold statement I’m sure, considering I have been on some interesting investigations and read some remarkable cases too. However, in my opinion when it comes to communication of an intelligent nature, it all comes down to comprehension of source. Which basically means, looking at the probable sources both locally and non-locally to ascertain if the information could be placed there. Something that I originally wrote my Theory of Telepathic Interaction (ASSAP Anomaly Journal of Research into the Paranormal Vol 49 Nov 2017) on, which also provided ideograms to help map out and distil these interactions. There was a distinct problem though, which could be a flaw in the theory (something I should probably update) and that was I saw most interactions resolve with us, as in the information was most likely received by telepathic interaction either locally or non-locally. This was using a medium in a sitting environment.
I have to admit it provided quite a disheartening resolution, as by following the information at hand alone to probable sources, I saw that it was always known by someone at the sitting itself or by someone who knew someone at the sitting. In other words it was either local or non-local. This is also making the assumption that information can be obtained unconsciously from another mind too by what could only be telepathy.
This approach is of course only an idea, I am not saying that it resolves the situation and by no means am I stating that mediums are not picking up information from discarnate entities, I am simply stating there are other possibilities to consider. Personally for me this approach has also become more probable the more I read regarding parapsychology, there is certainly a great deal of cases out there that could support this too. Some in part and some in their entirety. For example, the Philip Experiment could fit this concept and then take it to the next level, which is with the right attention and intention the group could produce PK activity. In my opinion our minds or perhaps our brains, depending on point of view, are much more capable than we give them credit for. Something that really needs to be explored in more detail, but then I guess that is often what the academics focus on. Time for a little cross-over perhaps.
Perhaps its time to examine the information
This always seems to bring me back to the anomalous data that is captured by ghost hunters, often it is very subjective by nature. A piece of audio that is vague, but with a simple prompt becomes clearer. A photograph of something in the shadows that requires us to highlight the entities position. A mixture of strange readings or video. Whilst all of these often help us in the moment or post investigation review, they are all subjective and are inconclusive.
However, we do have many situations where mediums during sittings, teams during EVP sessions, or through other divining objects have had more lengthy engagements with spirits. Perhaps rather than celebrating the capture of these we should be beginning to look at content analysis of the communications, finding new methods to reduce them down to probable source and allow us to know more about that source. If like me this leads to the source presenting itself as the unconscious mind of the living either local or non-local, then so be it. This would not be a failure or prove that we don’t survive death; it would simply mean that we need to rethink the approaches a little to determine more solid objective data and information.
The hard question of the paranormal has always been; does our consciousness survive bodily death? Myers wrote two volumes on this and had it published after his death in 1901. He also supposedly was a communicator in two separate experiments focused on spirit communication after his death, nearly 90 years apart. Think about that for a second. It either greatly proves that we do survive death, or perhaps he was on the mind of the investigators at both events and that its why he made an appearance. Until we can categorically rule something out it remains on the table.
Maybe we should begin to examine the information we receive in greater detail now. I don’t just mean to link the spirit to the locations history either, I mean truly examine what has been communicated. If its come from a medium then it has been interpreted by them and then presented in its form, sometimes subconsciously. If we take aspects like that into consideration, then examination of the received information may give us some ideas towards the next steps.
If our consciousness does exist outside our body, it may not be situated in one place or float around an old building for that matter. It could be simply a fragmented collection of the memories of events that made up our lives, stored across many minds or brains. Alternatively, it could be part of a greater reservoir of consciousness or maybe it just begins and ends with the physical brain. If we are to further the research into survival then these are questions we need to start tackling, and the sooner the better in my opinion.
So, when you get back to searching old buildings for spirits, it might be worth considering that they may not even be local to that building and could simply be ghosts of the mind.