Ghosts of the Mind

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Top 5 Paranormal Books That Helped Change My Perspective

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‘THE GHOST STUDIES’ BY BRANDON MASSULLO

A little about the author…

One of the first things that struck me as interesting about Brandon Massullo was his career background. Often the subject of the Paranormal draws in many individuals from quite a few different walks of life that have an interest in the subject matter and often apply to it things they have learnt in their day-to-day careers.

Brandon

Brandon is a clinical therapist from Northeast Ohio and has worked within the Neurological Institute for the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. Whilst he was there he conducted behavioural health consultations. He has since moved on to become the director of behavioural health at a local hospital.

With an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in clinical counselling from the university of Toledo, Brandon has some good knowledge and experience that can be applied to the Paranormal field. This is also topped off with an MSc in psychological research methods, which he picked up from the university of Edinburgh. Whilst at the university of Edinburgh he studied under the supervision of Dr Caroline Watt within the Koestler Parapsychology Unit. His research centred on neurobiological correlates of ghostly encounters, which is something else I must ask him about I feel.

Brandon’s fascination for Paranormal phenomena has lead him to participate and speak at many a paranormal forum and event. This has included the Parapsychological Associations 60th Anniversary Celebration too. With his research also cited in many Parapsychological journals, news articles and books, Brandon Massullo is certainly adding to our understanding of how this phenomena may occur.

However if you’ve not heard of Brandon, don’t panic I hadn’t, its likely because the true research side of the paranormal doesn’t get quite the recognition it should in my opinion. Which is a massive shame as there is so much we could learn, understand and use to progress our understanding here and that is where ‘The Ghost Studies’ fits in too.

On to Ghost Studies…

I will be totally honest I don’t recall how Brandon and I began to chat, but I am glad we did. It certainly wasn’t long before ‘The Ghost Studies’ arrived at my home and I set about reading it. In fact its arrival was well-timed as I was just finishing another book at the time.

What’s good to know straight of the mark is that the book is not huge in length and not written in such a fashion that you would need to have attended university to read it. As a matter of fact I found it very easy to read and it flowed from one chapter to the next with ease.

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Something else that really appealed to me about Brandon’s approach was the structure of the book. Not only did each chapter tackle a particular point in order to help build us towards the Massullo’s hypothesis, but each of those chapters were broken into smaller sections in order to look at smaller parts that make up the bigger picture. He also added a ‘summary’ at the end of each chapter to remind us what we had just read about, but also how it was beginning to tie in to the other points the book had raised in previous chapters too.

Throughout most of the chapters Brandon engaged our understanding of various points with a few anecdotal stories he had gathered from various sources. Each of which were ideal for the chapter they were placed in amongst valid points that continued to lead us towards the final understanding. In fact he even brought a couple of these stories back later on to reapply what had been learnt since and how his theories were beginning to tie into them.

All in all the book is well structured and like any good book, it builds the picture gradually before delivering in the conclusion.

What’s it all about then…

This is always the hardest part to write, as I want to tell you a great deal about the book, but equally I don’t wish to ruin it for you. Firstly, if you have an interest in the paranormal and theories surrounding what ghosts may be, then this is certainly a book you should read.

Massullo jumps straight in at the deep end and tackles some of the hard questions within the paranormal without even flinching. He looks at the cause of ghostly experiences, why some report encounters and others do not. He also takes a look at crisis apparitions and how they fit into the mix too. In fact we barely make it to the end of chapter one before he offers up his; ‘ingredients of a ghostly experience’ with an interesting little equation, so to speak.

Massullo writes; “By combining previous research in psychology, bioenergetics, and universal consciousness, this book identifies a simple equation that sheds light on ghostly experiences.”

As a matter of fact it’s a neat little equation that does make actual sense to me and is in my opinion certainly a large step in the right direction for the field. Rather than presenting a singular reason for ghosts and potentially spirits, such as that of a deceased person attempting to communicate. Massullo presents a combination of factors that are required to enable an experience. An approach I totally agree with, its not a simple singular answer that will explain these strange occurrences after all.

Throughout the book Massullo adds to his hypothesis by discussing many an interesting area of the paranormal. Looking at aspects which are favourites of the modern ghost hunter, such as energy or electricity. Which brings the latest favourite into view, EMF. He then moves onto looking for ghosts in and out of the laboratory, discussing Persinger, Koren, Braithwaite and more. Certainly a lot of detail in regards to EMF, MF and even GMF’s.

Massullo continued his journey by looking at the psychological elements of this equation and discussing Jung, Freud, Rhine, Jawer and Sidgwick, covering off a variety of considerations including repressed emotions and emotional crisis too. This lead to internal energy and bioenergetics, looking at Pert’s theory on the ‘molecules of emotion’ and beyond.

We move on from the bioenergetics to external information acquisition and once again return to the work of Jung (personal favourite), but this then took us onto the work of Sheldrake and his morphogenetic fields. Which for me was very interesting as I had too made this connection previously. It’s always good when someone else makes a similar connection as yourself in the paranormal.

Brandon even throws a little entanglement and interconnected minds in there too just at the right moment. Which is something that’s been received with a positive and negative response over the last few years. Personally I do think it plays a part and we are still a little way off figuring out exactly how.

Finally, Massullo presents his theory and its important processes to enable it to work before bringing back those all important stories to show how it fits and explains the scenarios at hand. I am not going to explain the theory here or even the hypothesis, as I feel its something you should read and gain an understanding from. Brandon applies it to haunted locations too and I have to admit the theory is quite compelling.

It is a well structured comprehension of hauntings and how they could occur, giving the reader a fascinating possible hypothesis to why they happen. One that doesn’t simple re-write old approaches, but builds on what we already know.

In my opinion…

‘The Ghost Studies’ is one of those books that if you’re into trying to understand the true questions of the paranormal like I am, you should really own. If you’re anything like me you will probably read it through in a short space of time, but then keep referring back to it, just because its full of information cover to cover.

Brandon has constructed the book really well and has been careful to make it very accessible to most in the field I would say. Its well written and engaging throughout, which keeps you turning the pages at a good pace. Although he covers a wide range of topics and disciplines within the covers, they never seem to be presented in too much of a heavy format that has you losing interest.

He sets out the plan for the readers journey right from the outset and from chapter one you know exactly where you are going, gradually building an excellent case to support his hypothesis.

If you’re interested in reading about paranormal theories and possible explanations for the cause of ghosts and hauntings, then this is the next book you should read. The hypothesis presented between the covers is well put together and to me at least made excellent sense. A quick flick through the notes section and you can easily see the work that has gone into this theory, not to mentioned the wealth of knowledge on the subject that Massullo obviously possesses.

In all honesty I am not sure if I 100% agree with the entirety of the hypothesis, but then given the subject at hand there are bound to be a few things we wouldn’t agree on. That’s half the fun of such a wide-ranging and complex subject. However please don’t misunderstand me, as I agree with a large majority of what Massullo has put forward in this excellent book. Hopefully the source for future discussions, I will certainly be applying some of what has been learnt from this book to my own research now.

Closing the cover…

This is one of those books that I was pleased to read and I am very glad that I have. The hypothesis presented in under two hundred pages is excellent and in my opinion highly probable given the extensive supporting work. It is certainly food for thought and gets the old grey matter going.

I would encourage you to grab a copy of ‘The Ghost Studies’ as its likely that it will spur additional reading and research, which is always a good thing. It may not answer the hard questions of consciousness and its survival just yet, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and cannot sing its praises enough. If you’ve enjoyed many of my psi theory posts then you will more than likely enjoy this too. Although I have now finished the book, I am more than certain that I will be referring to this one on a regular basis for a long while to date.

Finally, I would like to thank Brandon Massullo for giving me this opportunity to read his work, it was indeed an enjoyable journey.

If you want to grab a copy of ‘The Ghost Studies” by Brandon Massullo click below…

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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia – Intuitions

What is it?

It’s been called ‘the private voice’, ‘the inner voice’, a gut feeling, a hunch, it has even been related to our potential spiritual guides or protectors, but these days it’s often recognised as our intuition and it could be a fundamental building block in our paranormal experiences.

Oddly this is one thing that we have probably all experienced at some point in our lives, its just often overlooked as being a part of everyday life. However there are the odd occasions we experience something a little bit more than normality and then raises our interest slightly. These have been the kind of things like the inner voice telling you not to get on a plane or into a car, then after making that decision something happening that quantifies your fear makes the intuition all that more real.

So, basically its realising that feeling and allowing it to influence your current decision. I’m not an expert, but from what I do understand intuitions do appear to be there constantly as a part of our daily life decisions. Sometimes we take notice of them and other times, if not most of the time we dont and carry on with our normal day to day.

A Little History

This is a particular part of the Paranormal that is a little like Swiss cheese as it is often something which utilised for life changing decisions or completely passed over as irrelevant.

Sir Lauren’s van der Post (1907) recorded an anecdote about the death of his admired friend, the psychologist C.G. Jung (1875-1961). Van der Post was returning by sea from Africa. He had a kind of waking dream one afternoon of Jung lifting a hand in farewell; the following morning he looked out through the porthole of his cabin:

I saw a great, white, lone albatross gliding by it; the sun on fire on its wings. As it glided by it turned its head and looked straight at me. I had done that voyage countless times before and such a thing had never happened to me, and I had a feeling as if some tremendous ritual had been performed.

A moment later, he heard on the radio the news that Jung had died the previous day – at the precise moment, as far as he could determine, of his “vision.”

Van der Post believed that Jung had communicated with him at the moment of his death, but then taken the form of the albatross in order to reassure him. At least in order to comfort him into the belief of Jung’s continued existence.

You see although this anecdote appears to have been timely in its occurrence and many others would have discounted as simple coincidence it does have relative relation to Jung even as an anecdote. Van der Posts experiences could have been seen as a synchronicity or meaningful coincidence, something which Jung himself had theorised on.

Over the years I have read an abundance of these kind of anecdotes and heard similar stories from people I’ve met. These meaningful coincidences that occur around the time of an individuals death, but the information of said death seems to be unconsciously communicated to close friends or family, sometimes even those that were simple acquaintances too.

I believe that FWH Myers of the SPR even touched on this in his epic piece Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death. Myers even submitted a few examples similar to the one above regarding individuals receiving certain odd information only to discover that someone close had passed away at a similar time.

Whether it’s as simple as a small sense that we should take one option rather than another, a definite feeling that stops you in your tracks saving you from making the wrong decision or even what seems like information transmitted from someone close at the moment of their death; these intuitions have existed for all of time and appear to be part of each of us similar to our fight or flight instinct.

Intuition Today

Although many spiritual approaches have had good knowledge of intuition for what must be centuries if not longer, an understanding of them seems to be making its way into mainstream popularity these days.

Comprehending our own intuitions on a daily basis and consulting them for a part of decision making process is something many out there will offer to teach you these days. Some are obviously after your hard earned cash to line their own pockets, but a few are genuine and there to help.

Becoming mindful, meditation in order to calm the mind and enable more connection with our inner-self is now becoming more accessible to us all. It’s no longer just available in books, you can find it in an app on your phone if you look. Although I do wonder if attempting this through a phone app is really taking it in the right direction.

Personally for me intuition has become a valuable tool I use during investigations. I of course gather data and log occurrences, but it might be my own intuition that leads me to try a certain approach or venture into a particular part of a location.

In the work that I have done with mediums and during the seances; intuition could play a big part and be part of the mechanics that helps sensitives possibly communicate with spirits. It could certainly be an individuals intuition that allow them to accept certain pieces of information as communication. As we are still in the dark to whether or not this information is from spirits, telepathy with others or simply random information we may already know, we must go with what our intuition assesses it as. There are of course ways to determine information source, but even that’s not conclusive in all cases.

If indeed intuitions are instinctive then we perhaps shouldn’t simply rule them out just because on occasion they appear a little, well emotionally driven or perhaps a little crazy.

So, next time you have a decision to make, don’t forget to consult your intuition too. You never know it might just provide a better option for you to take that works out a heck of a lot better.

Click here for more on the Metetherial Encyclopaedia

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The Consciousness – Are We Looking in the Right Place?

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My Random Thought Processes on the Paranormal

Consciousness and the Paranormal

The concept of consciousness and its relation to the paranormal is far from a new one, in fact its a concept that one of the founding fathers of the Society for Psychical Research raised in his book ‘Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death’ back in the early 1900’s. Frederick Myers wrote a considerable amount on the subject, which wasn’t published until after he’s death. 

The question of whether consciousness survives death is actually one of the ‘hard questions’ out there. Although the question itself is slightly flawed by the fact that a definitive explanation of consciousness is still to be found. Thus without that how we will truly define it as surviving death will always be just beyond our reach. 

So, if you’re searching for spirits or ghosts, interested in the afterlife, then you are already looking at whether our consciousness may survive death. See, its a hard question isn’t it? 

There’s a little more on the survival of consciousness in a previous post of mine here – The Survival of Human Consciousness After Bodily Death Hypothesis

The Brain and the Mind

One of the things I often read about in relataion to the concepts of consciousness is whether the brain and the mind are one of the same thing or actually two separate things. This has been a point of debate for many years and troubled a lot of great minds too. 

Obviously the brain is the physical part that we all have, the part which logically makes sense as holding our memories, our thoughts, our feelings and where we make our decisions. If you look into a little neuroscience, as you do, then there does appear to be a direct relationship with changes to the physical brain and when we learn new things for example. In fact there is lots we now know about the physiological make up of the brain and where particular functions can be found, which in turn suggests that perhaps consciousness or at least its process may be found there. However there are certain concepts which could place it elsewhere, some of which reside in the realms of the paranormal. 

The concept of the mind residing beyond our physical body again isn’t new and actually does explain quite a bit. However this is often highlighted by more paranormal aspects such as out of body experiences, near death experiences, telepathy and many more. This has also been given many different examples over the years too, more recently it has been represented in relation to our brain being a kind of receiver, like a TV and the mind is the signal it receives. I’ve used the concept that many of us are becoming familiar with these days, which is that of the ‘cloud’, just like smartphones uploading their information to the cloud our brain uploads information to the collective unconscious where the mind possibly resides. 

These duel concepts often try to show that although the brain function exists and clearly changes according to what we may know, the information, the experiences we have, our memories are also shared with a part of a greater network ‘the collective unconscious’. All of which suggests a probable link between us all, at least on a telepathic level. That said links between us all exist in other theories too, the Gaia Theory for example suggests we are all working parts of a greater system. DNA shows connections between each of us and beyond that to animals and plants too. Jung’s synchronicity also shows probable links between us all too. There have also been more recent studies using Random Number Generators which may suggest that during significant events collective consciousness may be synchronised. Fundamentally there appears to be quite a bit out there suggesting a link. 

So Where Can It Be Found?

This is the ‘hard question’, remember it from earlier? The brain is physical and measurable, which is what we prefer to deal with really, but the mind is a little less easier to locate. Many used to place it in the ether, but what or where the ether is still escapes us. 

Frederick Myers suggested a place where the soul may exist that was beyond or even after the ether, he called it the Metetherial. This got me thinking a little, well a lot really. Perhaps we have been looking for consciousness in the wrong place! More recently as I have been reading Thomas Fuscos book ‘Beyond the Cosmic Veil’ this question has resurfaced as I try to get my head around he’s model that suggests an explanation for paranormal phenomena. 

Right, stay with me now! 

Fusco’s model suggests the concept of information or blueprints as he calls them actuating into physical reality. He obviously describes this in a book full of explanation, which does so in a way that is far better than I ever could. Fusco looks at the mechanism behind how this actuation occurs, which then attempts to help us understand why certain things occur during a paranormal experience. Like temperature changes, light anomalies, air flow, etc.  This all starts in place that is not our physical reality, which then becomes physical after it crosses the light barrier. Again I’m not doing the theory justice here. 

The important thing to take away from this is that, they come from a non-physical reality where clearly the access to the these ‘blueprints’ exists. Perhaps a place of information? Oddly to me, Fusco may disagree, this sounds very similar to the Akashic Records concept. 

Now what if this place was also similar to another dimension or even an additional dimension to our four dimensional existence that has been suggested by such theories as String Theory or M Theory? Perhaps Myers Metetherial is the same place that Fusco is suggesting? 

What Does This Mean For Consciousness?

Right, here’s my Psi Theory mind dump on the possible location of consciousness! Perhaps our consciousness exists in this realm suggested by Fusco and Myers, in which information is present rather than a physical aspect. This would also be where Jung’s Collective Unconscious would be located too. Which means if we take into consideration that we each have access to this place at a quantum level possibly due to how our brain in the physical world and our mind in the metetherial world are entangled with each other. This would perhaps explain how information is transferred instantaneously between the two, but also given the right circumstances perhaps even suggest how in some situations information in this realm could be actuated into our physical reality. A great example being apports.

I wonder if information is like energy, in that it transforms rather than ceasing to exist? Perhaps that’s the key? If this is equally true then perhaps paranormal events occur due to us triggering the actuation of the information from this realm into reality somehow? 

As Myers suggests with his Metetherial, then perhaps consciousness continues to exist beyond death by the possibility that it resides in this other realm entangled to the physical. When the physical ceases to exist then the non-physical information remains. On occasion this information may also become entangled with other physical parts too, then you have the concept of the Stone Tape perhaps. 

Oddly placing consciousness in a non-physical dimension made of information actually kind of works. I get the distinct feeling that I am not quite done with this idea just yet. 

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