Human contacts with spirits (1)

“Come in,” said he, “I have the spirit of your uncle with me.” I did not know how to respond to that greeting. Indeed, for the next hour, I had little to say; I was totally out of my depth.

I had traveled interstate to meet a clairvoyant who had been recommended to me. Why did I want to meet a clairvoyant? To find out what clairvoyants do, and how they go about it. Why? Because I was now researching psychic phenomena, having previously – over about 3 years (early in my retirement) – read about what (a) scientists and (b) the major religions were telling us about the Cosmos and the place of mankind in it.

As an aside, I am impressed with the fact that only Hinduism offers any thoughts (including a cosmology) on this core question. I am also intrigued that eminent speculative Western cosmologists of modern times had expressed their thoughts in phraseology which resonated with the vistas and concepts provided by their distant Hindu counterparts.

In the preceding 40 years I had been sampling religion (and the major religions) through my reading, as well as e.s.p. (extra-sensory perception). As e.s.p. is not supported by the scientific method, it has little credibility in the realms of science. Having studied the scientific method during my training in psychology, I do understand its limitations. I now sought to find out how clairvoyants, psychic healers, and those who are able to read the future go about their work.

Initially, I had not expected to be involved or affected by what I hoped to learn. I have an open mind, in spite my experience in my youth in Malaya (now Malaysia and Singapore). Amidst those who one would kindly refer to as opportunists, there were a few who read the future accurately, and achieved cures as spiritual healers. But I had not heard of anyone who had been presented with a spirit, especially of a close, much-respected relative.

I had, of course, heard about an occasional kampong Malay ‘running amok,’ having seen a ‘hantu,’ a ghost. There were also reliable reports of mature Westernised non-Malay adults seeing, in recent times, the spirit of one who had died by accident on a road, and who seemingly had not left the site.

In real life, an event, however improbable or esoteric, personally experienced by a rational, even slightly sceptical adult, has to be accepted as a real experience. Such psychic experiences cannot, of course, be proven by those affected to those individuals who just know better. Neither can such an experience be disproven in any substantive sense. A simple denial would be irrelevant.

It is worthwhile examining such real experiences of contacts with the spirit realm to understand how the material sphere interacts with the ephemeral sphere. Both spheres are manifestations of a complex Cosmos.


Quaint concepts: The ‘fabric’ of space and ‘dimensions’

When the Hubble Telescope reported that galaxies (of solar systems, of those stars on fire clustered together as they spin in space) as moving away from one another into infinite space, the layman on Earth was offered an explanation – by analogy. This reported movement of galaxies was comparable to spots on a balloon moving away from one another as the balloon is being blown up. The image of a fabric pertaining to space was now in vogue.

This, instead, was confusing. Space is infinite, not bound by a skin of any kind. The concept of a fabric surrounding space makes no sense.

We were then offered space-time. That does not make sense either. Is time comparable to aether or Consciousness? How so? Is time any more than a measure of events as they occur? Is future time any more then an indication of events to occur? When my initial clairvoyant foresaw an event 12 years ahead (of me addressing a large number of students at a university), did that indicate anything about the nature of time?

An attempt to demonstrate gravity displayed what looked like a mesh (a fabric) with a dip in it; space-time is apparently ‘deformed’ by gravity. The language of mathematics must, however, be more explicitly clear.

Then some speculative cosmologists wrote about the possibility of more than one universe (the ‘multiverse’) in existence, with ‘worm holes’ connecting them; a diagrammatic representation was of a series of ‘balloons’ adjacent to one another.

My reaction is: could not another universe co-exist, perhaps be inter-twined, with our universe, while yet remaining separate in terms of its composition, structure, and operation?

One might therefore conceive reality as composed of more than one dimension. Theories of the structure of the universe include one which postulates about 11 dimensions, most of which are assumed to be rolled into a small apace (so goes the theory I read). These dimensions begin with the three we are all familiar with.

However, there is another concept of dimension. An example is the Afterlife, the temporary residence between Earthly lives. (Although I expect to be there soon, I will not be able to talk about it when I am next embodied; a great pity.)

This dimension would need to be self-contained and self-sufficient, thereby independent of the dimension occupied by us, and yet be related to it. My feeling, based on interactions with spirits, is that this dimension is also here; that is, with us. This would enable certain spirits to reach us; and a few humans enabled to communicate with occupants of this realm.

With no boundaries, no ‘fabric’ of any kind involved, a member of such ‘dimensions’ may co-exist in infinite space, depending upon their functions and related structures. Ethereal links may enable co-existence – even within the same sector of space.


Indian poetry

Kabir  – Hindi poet

Like the oil in the sesame seed,
Like the fire in flames,
Your Lord is within you.
Find him if you can.

Be patience, O my mind!
With patience you get everything.
A gardener may use
A hundred vessels of water,
The plants will bear fruits,
Only when the season comes.


Jayadeva – Sanscrit poet

“Hey Radha!
Thick clouds are gathering in the sky
Over the woodlands of tamaala-trees,
It is getting dark fast
And he is feeling fearful.
Please take him home.”
Nanada thus asked Radha.
She leads Mahdva home.
But soon begins her passion-plays
On the way back home,
Under each tree,
In the groves on the banks
Where Yamuna river flows.
They are going to be amorous
In their passion-plays.


Mirabai – Hindi poet

Rain drops are falling from clouds
In the month of monsoon,
How pleasant to the heart!
But in the month of monsoon,
My heart begins longing for him.
I hear the sounds of his coming,
The clouds go on gathering
In every direction I see,
The lightening strikes the skies,
The rain falls in small drops
And a cool breeze begins flowing.
How pleasant to the heart!
My Lord is the Dark One,
I sing for him joyfully.


(From the internet)

Persian poetry


I was in the garden in the morning and I was gathering roses
And all the time I was afraid that the gardener would see me.
The gardener, however, only spoke these kind words:
‘A few roses are nothing as I give you the complete garden’.


During tyranny the treasures of the world have no value;
During grief the delights of existence have no value;
The seven thousand years of joy of the world
Compared to the sorrow of seven days of adversity have no value


We have run on the path of love all our life,
We have searched with great force for union with You all our life.
To catch one glimpse of You is better for our sight
Than the beauty of earthly beauties all our life.


No one by himself
Can find the way to Him.
You have to walk with His feet,
Who goes to His street.

Chinese poetry

Moonlit Night
Du Fu

The moon shines in Fuzhou tonight,
In her chamber, she watches alone.
I pity my distant boy and girl-
They don’t know why she thinks of Chang’an.
Her cloud-like hair is sweet with mist,
Her jade arms cold in the clear moonlight.
When shall we lean in the empty window,
Together in brightness, and tears dried up?


Long Yearning
Li Bai

Long yearning,
To be in Chang’an.
The grasshoppers weave their autumn song by the golden railing of the well;
Frost coalesces on my bamboo mat, changing its colour with cold.
My lonely lamp is not bright, I’d like to end these thoughts;
I roll back the hanging, gaze at the moon, and long sigh in vain.
The beautiful person’s like a flower beyond the edge of the clouds.
Above is the black night of heaven’s height;
Below is the green water billowing on.
The sky is long, the road is far, bitter flies my spirit;
The spirit I dream can’t get through, the mountain pass is hard.
Long yearning,
Breaks my heart.


New Year’s Watch
Su Shi

Soon now, we’ll mark the year’s end that approaches,
It’s like a snake that crawls into a hole.
Already half its scaly length is hidden,
What man can stop us losing the last trace?
And even if we want to tie its tail,
No matter how we try, we can’t succeed.
The children make all effort not to sleep,
We laugh together, watching through the night.
The cockerels should not cry the dawn for now,
The drums as well should give the hour respect.
We sat so long the lamp’s burnt down to ash,
I rise and see the Plough is slanting north.
Next year, perhaps, my span of years could end,
My fear is that I’ve just been marking time.
So exert ourselves to the utmost here tonight,
I still admire the exuberance of our youth!


(From the Internet)


Has mankind’s collective morality been improved?

If – and there is always an ‘if’ to any belief – the process of reincarnation is intended to offer each human soul repeated opportunities to refine itself morally, Earthly life by Earthly life, one would surely expect the level of accumulated morality in humankind to rise progressively. A rising tide of new souls should not have any long-term adverse effects.

Looking at the behaviour of people, including my extended families, in my place of birth in south-east Asia and in my country of adoption:

  • social behaviour was both courteous and considerate in both regions in the early post-war years, when I migrated
  • yet, the East is communitarian, while the ethos of the West is individualism
  • in both regions, those on the bottom of the socio-economic scale then became better off progressively through official social policies.
  • participation in civil society (community groups contributing to the betterment of those in need) has increased everywhere
  • however, increasing impersonal welfare largesse in Australia (including some middle class welfare) has led to the transfer of responsibility from family to state; and to the virulent rise of demands for heightened services reflecting a new ethos – of expectation that other peoples’ money (taxation) should provide whatever is sought
  • but, in spite of Westernisation in social behaviour, the state is not standing in the shoes of family in Malaysia and Singapore
  • and personal effort continues to be necessarily high in the Asian surrounds, while the unemployed in Australia are seemingly free to reject jobs offered, while living on welfare. Three generations of unproductive families reportedly live reasonably comfortably
  • this ethos is said to been readily adopted by most of Australia’s ‘boat people,’ the asylum seekers, aided and encouraged by irresponsible Australians, some in high places (see unemployment data)
  • as well, illegal arrivals, who cannot be sent home in spite of not satisfying the UN’s definition of a refugee (“in genuine fear of persecution”), are apparently better off in Australia, while living on other peoples’ money, than they were back home.

Overall, the level of morality has lessened in Australia, in my view, through welfare and the increasing role of the state. Such a change has not been evidenced in Malaysia and Singapore, according to my relatives.

However, the close bonds manifest in my generation within the extended family has weakened in subsequent generations. Westernisation and wealth have weakened clan links. Relatives do not know one another to the same extent. Societal relations are wider and more complex. Perhaps globalisation is responsible.

Nevertheless, at the individual level, one’s morality will continue to reflect one’s progress through lifetimes. That is the hope for mankind, while we are led into wars which are unnecessary, with millions of innocent people being obliterated, and damaged physically and psychologically. Most of those responsible for such holocausts are probably new souls – who have not learnt why they are on Earth.


A humorous poem

Archemedes Was All Wet

© Robert Z

Published on May 2014

King Hero of old Syracuse had doubts that made him frown.
“Perhaps my goldsmith did not use pure gold to make the crown.”
Since proof of mischief must be strong to put a thief in collar,
The king who feared his judgment wrong called on his science scholar.

“Archimedes, friend of old, find me the solution!
Is my crown pure solid gold, or is that an illusion?”
The scholar’s task was serious; he struggled hard with math.
His mind was near delirious until he poured his bath.

He noticed how the water pushed him up as he stepped in.
He thought about it harder as he stroked his bearded chin.
“The weight of displaced liquid should always let me know
When any golden solid has a density too low!”

“Eureka!”, he resounded. “I have such a clever mind”.
Yet his claim was unfounded ’cause he left his clothes behind!



A confusing concept: The ‘Ocean’ of Consciousness

I have read, again and again, that each human soul had arisen from the Ocean of  Consciousness. If this concept about origins is to have full acceptance, then the idea that we came out of an ‘ocean’ has to be rejected. Why? Because an ocean has borders. Even the single ocean which connects all the named oceans on Earth has a boundary.

Consciousness has to be boundless. It has to be ever-existing, all-pervasive. It was not created. Yet, it can be held as the Creator, the ultimate source of everything known, and to be known, in the Cosmos.

There are clever scientists working on this concept of creation. They refer to the mother-lode as the aether. In the light of the brain-lock applied by the scientific method, and which reflects the mechanistic material paradigm of the physical sciences, the imputed aether will remain out of bounds for a little longer.

Were mythology to reflect reality, then the aether and (Hinduism’s) Consciousness may differ only in terminology. Better still, Consciousness, as that which spawns life, and yet sustains it by pervading it, enables the ephemeral (the ethereal) to connect with the substantial (the material), there being no impermeable barrier between the two realms (or states) of existence.

The relationship between the human brain, the mind, and memories also becomes explicable. As demonstrated by the spirit of my uncle, after death, the mind and its memories can exist outside the brain (now dead, cremated, and returned to stardust).

That my soul (the time-transcending ME) will ultimately return home with a higher level of morality is encouraging. Presumably, Consciousness itself will thereby be purified. What an encouraging vista!

A prayer poem

A Gentle Breeze

© Laurie Swartzfager

Published on September 2011

As I sit here all alone admiring the view of an early sunrise,
I tilt my head back and close my eyes.
A soft gentle breeze crosses my face.
I look around and enjoy the quietness of God’s peace and the soft gentle pace.
The trees are in full bloom, the leaves ready to fall.
God’s beauty of earth, I admire it all.
As the sun comes up and begins a new day,
I sit here quietly and begin to pray.
Dear God, I begin to say, please watch over my life and keep me safe.
Give me hope and show me faith.
Guide my path and let me know you are near.
Allow me to be strong and filled with love, for love conquers all fear.
A gentle breeze crosses my path and gives me a slight chill.
God answers and says: I am with you still.
I’ve never left you alone or threw you aside, I am in your heart, I will be your guide.
I will show you the way to master life’s difficulties and trust your heart,
For I am with you now and forever, I shall never part.
A gentle breeze I feel again, I know my prayers are answered, God has heard my plea.
He has pointed this out for me to see.
Life has many surprises each and every day. We cannot live on regrets and sorrow.
Once again I feel a gentle breeze, which means God is saying:
My child, there is a tomorrow:
The sun will shine once again, the birds will continue to sing.
Memories will last forever, and enjoy life anew today, and all that it may bring.



Poetry with meaning

Watched From Heaven

“This is a poem about my father’s death and my belief in the afterlife. Are you watching me from above?

Unanswered Questions

© Tori

Published on June 2008

I know in my heart that you’re here,
But why can’t I feel you near me?

I search for the signs everywhere
But I can’t seem to see them clearly.

There’s been so many things I’ve said to you
And I need to know that you hear me.

Are you all right? Do you like it there?
Do you know that I’ve always, always loved you?

What’s it like? Are you proud of me?
I was always proud that I belonged to you.

I want to see you in my dreams,
and feel you all around me.

I want to hear your voice strong and clear
Reverberating through me.

Can you tell me
Are you all right? Do you like it there?

Do you know that I’ve always, always loved you?
What’s it like? Are you proud of me?

I was always proud that I belonged to you.”