This is a follow-up video to the one titled “Are ghosts and spirits real?”, so please watch that episode first, to get a better understanding of this one. I mentioned that there are several factors as to why one may see ghosts, but the case of dead loved ones is even more complex. Here, I will try to explain whether the dead still exist as ghosts, and if yes, can we communicate with them?

While seeing evil spirits is always a frightening experience, meeting a dead love one is most often very comforting and soothing for the soul. We can say a final goodbye, we can be reassured that they’re fine, we can express our love towards each other. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s exactly this wish that’s the basis of all such experiences.

We want to believe that it’s true, and as we’re emotionally attached to the outcome, we lay aside our critical thinking. We grab even the tiniest piece of evidence, and even if everything else suggests that it’s not true, we use that to justify our beliefs. These beliefs arise from a mixture of wishful thinking, misinterpretations and self-deceit.

I’ve recently read a book from a psychic outlining the techniques of communicating with the dead. One of the main themes running through the book was that the dead normally communicate to us through various signs. Your only task is to watch for these signs, because they mean that the dead want to speak to you. These signs include just feeling their presence, feeling touched, shadows, clouds, shapes, reflections in mirrors, rainbows, butterflies, feathers and so on.

Along these lines, basically everything can be taken as a sign and interpreted as coming from the dead. Furthermore, the book suggests at the very beginning to discard your preconceived ideas about what’s possible, and then use your imagination. In some books, even specific visualization techniques are given. Sooner or later, you will start to see or hear things, and the more you focus on the signs, the more you’ll see.

But this is basically true of every other thing in the world. When you want to buy a new car, you will subconsciously notice the cars on the street more often, simply because you turn your attention to the subject of cars. And suggesting to use your imagination and to suspend your critical thinking is the perfect way to deceive yourself.

But what about those who claim to have actually experienced something real, like a visitation in their dreams, or feeling a presence, hearing voices, or seeing their loved ones with their very own eyes? There must be something to it, right? I’m not denying that these experiences are not phenomenally real, but I would be very careful to conclude that these are signs of actual ghosts.

In fact, this type of presence is surprisingly common, 30 to 60% of people who lost somebody special experience it. This is perhaps the most convincing evidence of all, but in my book, it’s nothing more than a coping mechanism during a time of grief. Just like flashbacks after a trauma, the memories of lost ones come alive, and help us cope with the traumatic feeling of loss.

Okay, you may not be able to communicate with the dead, but what about mediums? Aren’t they the experts in this area, possessing a special kind of otherworldly sensitivity? To answer this question, let’s go back to the roots of mediumship first! Spiritism – not to be confused with spirituality – is the study of the nature, origin, and destiny of spirits, and their relation with the corporeal world, born in the 19th century.

While the general belief in spirits comes from animistic religions, the birth of modern spiritism can be partly connected to two young girls, namely the Fox sisters. Their name tells a lot about their cunning activities, because at an old age, one of them eventually confessed to using her toe-joints to produce the sounds initially presumed to be coming from otherworldly entities.

They used to sit around a table leading seances, and became celebrities at their times. Later on, they even used automatic writing and channeling through voice, but after the confession, they died in poverty. In spite of this, the belief that we can communicate with the dead didn’t die down, but even started to grow rapidly, and spread around many countries.

Soon, another device of spirit communication became popular: namely the ouija board. In this setting, a board with the latters of the alphabet is placed on a table, and then a planchette or a small glass turned upside down. Two or more participants place their hands on the glass, ask questions, and then wait for the glass to move and show the answer letter-by-letter. And surprisingly, the glass indeed seems to move by itself!

However, various studies have been produced, recreating the effects of the ouija board in the lab, and showing that under laboratory conditions, the subjects were moving the glass involuntarily. The scientific name of this effect is ideomotor response, in which the subjects move their hands unconsciously in a sort of dissociative state.

It’s interesting to note that spiritism lived its heydays after the Civil War, and subsequently after the two World Wars; in times when many people lost their relatives and were grieving over long periods of time. This is another sign that shows how much this phenomenon is fueled by grief and wishful illusion.

In modern times, new kinds of techniques appeared in the toolbox of mediums to connect with the dead: namely channeling lost relatives. They practice it both in private settings and in groups, and the successful ones make a good living out of it. They claim to contact the departed and channel their messages to their living relatives through feelings, visions, sounds, or simply hunches of intuition.

If you watch a video of such a psychic reading it can be indeed quite convincing, and it’s even more convincing to the person receiving it. At least, until you do some research and find out about the practice of cold reading. Cold reading is a set of techniques used to convince others that we know more of them than we actually do.

There’s no time to go into the specific details, but if you do your own research and then re-watch the same video with this knowledge in mind, you’ll probably change your mind about the authenticity of the reading. In fact, I dare you to find a psychic who’s not using some elements of cold reading. To explain this topic in more detail, I created another video titled “The truth about channeling, psychics and mediums”.

On the one hand, I personally find it disgusting how these mediums abuse our hopes, desires and vulnerabilities, and make a living out of our grief, even if they fully believe in what they’re doing. On the other hand, they provide peace, comfort and reassurance to those who suffered a great loss, and help them move on with their lives.

But I’m not here to provide you comfort, I’m here to wake you up. I’m here to make you face truth, and destroy all your illusions. You may feel better within your illusionary world, but only the truth can set you free. Imagining that you can or that you have communicated with the dead is just one of the many forms of death denial.

This is one, if not the most important topic in Immortology, so make sure to watch my video titled “The denial of death”. If somebody close to you died, accept that you don’t have a second chance, but you should use this awareness to appreciate those who are still alive much more. If you want a method to cope with your grief that’s not based on any illusions, I urge you to watch the episode titled “How to deal with grief”.

If you want to know more about death from a spiritual but down to earth perspective, you should read my book: The Power of Death. Click on the link below, and get it now! I’m deadly serious.

Memento Mori!

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