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Posts Tagged ‘demonic possession’

Take a moment to watch this short video featuring Dr. Gabor Mate

The night that I walked into a house claiming demonic activity, I knew that I should not have. The result of ignoring a ‘gut feeling’ was over a week of spiritual, emotional, and physical illness. I remember sitting on the floor of the bedroom in that house, my teammates arrayed on the bed; I knew that the darkness that surrounded us was ripping holes in my heart and mind and was influencing my friends to behave oddly and out of character. I saw that my camera was malfunctioning in ways that it never had before; I could not take photographs. My recorder spit back loud interference and static; I could not record the activity in the room. I knew that this energy was what we call ‘evil’, in the sense that it sought to confuse, disconnect, distract, divide, and create despair. So why did I stay, when the second I stepped into the foyer my entire psychic alarm system warned me to turn back?

We become disconnected from ourselves in the way Dr. Maté describes when we decide that what we think the world wants or expects from us is more important than our internal alarm systems or our gut feelings or instincts. In my case, my kryptonite is a desire to please. I did not want to let down my team by backing out of a dangerous situation. Of course, they would have understood completely; but I did not give them the chance. I had decided that my own emotional, spiritual, and psychological well being was less important than possibly disappointing my team and the client. I am socially conditioned to seek out others’ approval; I have developed a skill for divining what somebody wants or needs and attempting to supply it for them. This poses a problem in research of any kind: if you seek to please those with whom you are collaborating to the detriment of your own inner compass, you may miss the truth about the case you are investigating and the motivations of those involved.

There are other ways that this disconnection from your core instincts can sink you in your pursuit of the truth. Excessive curiosity can lead one to a sort of arrogance, where you believe that you can figure out a great mystery if you read more, collect more data, conduct more investigations, or write about it from multiple angles. If you keep attacking a problem, it will eventually yield up all the answers. This is my greatest sin, but also my greatest passion; sometimes, it is difficult to disentangle dedication and devotion from arrogant assumptions about one’s ability to ‘solve’ the most intransigent conundrums of the universe. The evil in the house I ‘investigated’ (more like ‘succumbed to’) was not something that had an answer, because I was incapable of posing the right questions. Whatever was there would have laughed at my questions, anyway; one of the characteristics of demonic phenomena is its resistance to logic and reason. When one brings a desire to understand that which resists understanding, the result can be a frustration that leads to despair.

Other forms of disconnection look like a desire for fame, for attention, for money, or for status. The line between true investigation and research into the paranormal is so often blurred by the entertainment industry that I wonder if anyone can trust the ‘evidence’ that emerges from programs designed to sell themselves. I remember the moment I realized that looking cute for the cameras while ‘chasing ghosts’ had replaced any serious attempts at reaching honest answers. It was the beginning of my spiritual crisis.

What do I ask of paranormal investigators? Of parapsychologists? Of anyone studying the nonphysical phenomena that hovers between dimensions? I ask that, in addition to collecting data, to analysis, to publication of findings and reports, that you pay attention to your instincts. Allow your ‘gut feelings’ to guide your way through a difficult case, even if that seems unscientific. Following your deepest compass, your inner voice, will lead you to the truth eventually; and sometimes, it will lead you away from a situation that poses a spiritual danger to your soul.

—Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD; founder, International Society for Paranormal Research

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The scariest courses you can study at university | Student

For my Soulbank readers, I am pleased to report the creation of my new research and investigation project, the “International Society for Paranormal Research”, or the ISPR. Soulbank will continue to be the official blog site for this society, and I will soon start up the social media machine.

The ISPR was born out of a deep, existential crisis. Allow me to elaborate. As many of you know, I was very active in the Southern California paranormal ‘scene’, for lack of a better word, that used to meet fairly regularly on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. There were a great number of “ghost hunting” groups at the time (2008 to 2013 or so), and the popularity of the paranormal shows on television was at an all-time high. It was during this time that I started the Paranormal Housewives (still ongoing–check out paranormalhousewives.com and our FB page), an all-female group of investigators with a very diverse background, brought together by a common interest in all things mysterious and unexplained. We helped families with hauntings, we investigated countless sites of historical and paranormal interest, and we landed on television more than once. We appeared on the Ricky Lake show (https://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/the-ricki-lake-show/episode-38-season-1/a-ricki-halloween/381207/), Ghost Adventures before we formed the group (https://www.travelchannel.com/shows/ghost-adventures/episodes/linda-vista-hospital), we recorded a sizzle reel for our own reality show and were “shopped” to multiple networks, we gave countless interviews, appeared on the local news, landed an article in the Los Angeles Times (https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-cpt-1028-paranormal-20111027-story.html) and other newspapers, and so on and so forth. In other words, we were almost famous.

It was the “almost” that was our near undoing. High hopes for a reality show were dashed. The requests for interviews and television appearances faded, along with the popularity of the entire genre of the paranormal. Teams dissolved all around the state. We stopped meeting at the Queen Mary. With the pandemic, it no longer made sense to get together in enclosed spaces and huddle together seeking spirits. There were other issues, as well: teams are hard to maintain. Establishing common goals and guidelines was difficult; expectations, hopes, and dreams were not always easy to reconcile. And then, of course, there was the thorny issue of the “evidence”. It wasn’t clear that we had convinced anyone about the existence of the afterlife, in spite of the hundreds, if not thousands, of hours we spent reviewing our audio for EVP. We sifted through video, audio, photographs, and documented our impressions and experiences as we all discovered newly acquired clairvoyant and psychic skills. I wrote hundreds of pages about our experiences, presented our data, and waited for the public to be as excited as we were. That rarely, if ever, happened. I used to post our best EVP begging for public commentary, and nobody listened or commented. That used to keep me up at night. My disappointment convinced me to give up. However . . .

Paranormal research is a passion. You don’t engage in it to convince skeptics, to be on television, to make a ton of money, to find fame online, or to rub elbows with the VIP of the paranormal community; but I am proud of what the Paranormal Housewives accomplished, and it was often thrilling and exciting, especially because it seemed that the general public was truly fascinated by what we did. It wasn’t the public that lost interest; the media did. I’m not sure we knew how to recover from that. The truth is, paranormal research of any kind–whether the classic “ghost hunting” version, the traditional seance and medium modality, or the intellectual investigations of the Society for Psychical Research, is often work done alone, without accolades, without fame, without media interest. What I finally understood is this: that is just fine. I don’t care if the general public doesn’t review my ‘data’, or whether or not anyone in the entertainment industry finds my work interesting enough to create a show around. I don’t mind that most of the time, an investigation might simply be three or four people with a shared need to explore the non-material worlds that surround us.

What do I care about? The community of people who find this work fascinating, compelling, and endlessly mysterious. I care about the investigative process, the sifting of data, the interpretation of audio, video, the information from our various devices, and our experiences. I care about our impressions, our feelings, our instincts, as much as I care about the hard evidence; it’s all part of creating a larger picture, a weaving together of different strands of information that leads to conclusions and to truths that are larger than anything the laboratory can prove. I care about research, about our forefathers and mothers who engaged in this work; I care about our history, our collective past, and how we wish to create the future as investigators. This is about the search; our common desire as paranormal researchers to go beyond the superficially obvious and to penetrate the veil. There are far more questions than we have answers for. This journey will take our entire lifetime, and perhaps far more than one.

Now I can introduce the International Society for Paranormal Research. Our mission statement:

The ISPR is an open organization dedicated to investigating and presenting evidence for all aspects of the “paranormal”, including, but not limited to: all manifestations of human consciousness in post-material form; alleged hauntings of homes and sites; poltergeist activity; the work of mediums, psychics, clairvoyants and empaths; anomalous experiences that include UFO activity or any other unusual or unprecedented event, sighting, or manifestation. We are:

  • Open to all amateur and professional investigators who wish to contribute their data and conclusions for review;
  • A forum for investigators and researchers to share their research and data, but also a site for meaningful conversations among investigators regarding methodology, personal experiences, concerns, and questions;
  • International in scope, since we are all interconnected more now than ever, and paranormal phenomena is not restricted to one, particular country;
  • Non profit, with no financial or professional interests that would interfere with our primary mission;
  • Not a ‘team’ of investigators, but may announce investigations and/or invite participants.

Are you interested in working with me on this project? I will announce here the social media sites and the eventual website for the ISPR. Let me know if you have evidence that you would like to share with us. I am excited to get back into the game and start the search again.

As always,

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD

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Chilling Photos of Abandoned Mental Asylums Across Italy | The ...
(from The Weather Channel)

The following story is from my book, True and Imagined Stories of the Paranormal: Can You Tell the Difference? Every now and then, I plan to upload to this site a selection of true and imagined stories of the paranormal, and the readers will decide whether or not the events described happened in reality or only in my creative imagination. By “true,” I mean that I have as faithfully as possible recreated events that actually happened to me or come from a reliable and vetted source. Stories that I created may have true elements or make reference to some true events, but are mostly fictional in nature. The purpose of the book is to show the reader what characterizes real experiences, versus the stereotypes and assumptions about what the paranormal is: false stories will be entertaining, yet misleading.

Here is the first story. Did this really happen? You tell me!

“We had entered the old State Hospital countless times before; sometimes, we trespassed. Other times, as my lawyer husband admonished me, it was blatant breaking and entering, a far more serious infraction. On this particular evening, a side door to one of the enormous wings was open. There was no sign telling us not to enter; there was no picking of locks; there was nothing to do but push the door open and feel that cool air envelop us with the peculiar odor of the old hospital: slightly antiseptic with undertones of dust, mold and animal feces. It was the smell that defined the place; should I live a 150 years, I would never forget that odd combination of old hospital and decay.

Marcy, Kathy and I were seasoned investigators at this point in our lives. We had dedicated the last 12 years to the dogged pursuit of ghosts, demons, shadow people, spirits of unknown provenance, and anything else that tapped on walls, knocked things over, or whispered strange words into our recorders. These hallways, nurses stations, common areas, patient rooms and storage areas were so familiar as to be like a second home of sorts, and yet, there was never a moment where I wasn’t aware of the presence of something, watching us, following our movements, aware of our wanderings and whispered conversations.

We ended up in a very dark hallway in the middle of a large unit. I was never sure which unit served what purpose. Some of them had multiple uses over the decades, and others had never strayed from their original function as giant warehouses for the insane, the disabled, the outcasts, the drug addicts, or even the unfortunate immigrant or divorcee whose husband had declared her neurotic. The units that had been abandoned when the hospital closed in 1997 were the most ‘atmospheric’, retaining a heaviness and despair from hundreds, if not thousands, of confused, unhappy, frightened patients, many of whom are still wandering the streets of the local communities. There were many deaths in those buildings. There was state sanctioned torture in the name of psychiatry. And yes, there were people happy to be there that were protected and well treated. It was a complex mixture of emotions that left its mark in the very walls of the units, a permanent recording of human trauma and fear that replays itself endlessly. I don’t think peace or happiness are trapped in homes or buildings; those emotions go with you to the next life.

In the middle of this dismally dark hallway, Marcy stops and sets up various devices. The devices record anomalies, strange words, and changes in EMF and temperature. This is to be expected, of course, in a place like this. As a group, however, we have grown weary of our typical questions (‘can you hear me?’ ‘What year is it’?) and requests (‘tap three times if you can see me’, ‘knock on the walls,’ ‘make a noise so that we know where you are’), so we decide that we are going to take a different approach. Marcy asks it the thing in the hallway would like to play a game. This always makes me nervous, because I rarely sense the presence of children, and she frequently does. Not only does this mean we are attuned to different energies, it implies for me that she is opening up her tender heart to a child spirit that, for me, is a dirty, crazy old man who feels an attraction to her that is not at all innocent. I am scared, and Marcy is excited. I ‘see’ this energy in the hallway as someone who is toying with us. Yes, he taps on the walls, and yes, he has made some indistinct noise that raises my blood pressure; but, I don’t think that this is cooperation or sincere interest. This is his opportunity to lure us into an unhealthy interaction that will make me sick later. “Let’s play hide and seek!” Marcy cries out into the black hallway; “I’m going to hide and you’re going to find me!” Or, “you’re going to hide, and I’m going to find you!” I wasn’t paying much attention to the specifics of the rules, because the game unnerved me.

So Marcy hides behind a wall near a nurses’ station. She counts to ten. All I am aware of is my nausea and my fear, because it feels more and more obvious to me that this entity, this energy, or whatever it is, will not play any game without exacting a price. Shortly after Marcy says “ten,” there is an astonishingly clear noise: it’s a shower curtain being pulled aside on a metal bar. I know that sound, because we had been in one of the old, turquoise bathrooms before we started to investigate. The bathtub–suspiciously clean after all these decades–had a metal bar around the top where the shower curtain hung from shower curtain roller rings. They looked like this:

The curtain itself was open when we first entered the bathroom. After we heard the distinctive noise of the shower curtain opening–which is the noise that the roller rings make when moving across a metal shower rod–we ran back to that bathroom in a state of total shock, only to notice that the shower curtain was now drawn around the bathtub. Someone had moved it. Someone was hiding from Marcy, just as she had requested.

After the initial excitement wore off, we of course wanted to replay the recording of the voice. We heard it, clear as day. And then, something happened that I find mysterious, a quite frequent phenomenon: when we attempted to clip and send the file with the sound, we could no longer clearly hear it. We assume that it’s about compressing the file and sending it to an email address that degrades the quality of the audio. However, there is something more at work here. Countless EVP (electronic voice phenomena) degrades over time even when you listen to the same clip on the same computer using the same software. A voice that the entire team heard clearly the first few times it is played begins a slow and inexorable transformation over time until doubt creeps in about its veracity or intelligibility, and even the best EVP can end up as mere question marks.

We exited the building and wandered around the overgrown courtyards, following the trails of decay and entropy. I had that feeling again that we had been manipulated or simply drained by something that was intelligent enough to play a game. I felt that he was an older man who was stuck in Camarillo for crimes of a sexual, deviant nature. He was not someone who could be rehabilitated or released. He was thrilled that three women were paying attention to him and affording him the opportunity to interact with us, and yet his intention was dark. What would he have done in this afterlife state, this life of a fragmented consciousness, this self expression as instinct and pure id? All he could do, I think, was to trick us and invade our awareness, knowing as he did that we wanted contact, any contact. Once he was in our minds, in our consciousness, he could play there.

Ghosts require energy and an audience that is eager to connect. No matter who they are, they can suck the life force right out of you, as if you were a living battery. I’m not sure that Marcy agreed with me regarding the identity of this entity, and Kathy liked to keep a critical distance from such inquiries and identifications, because once you formulate an image of who is responsible for noises and feelings, you have strayed into the territory of mediums and channelers, and Kathy is comfortable with neither. It is probably folly to attempt to identify the spirit that has entered your space, unless you have a strong, instinctual response to their energy. I have certain physical responses to children, to teenagers, to men and women, and especially to creepy sociopaths. I can sense that presence from a mile away in either the living or the dead.

The next day, I had a headache, extreme fatigue, and slight vertigo. I was just sick enough to know that I had run into someone from whom I would have run like mad, had I met him in the flesh. This observation always begs the question: why do we want contact with someone in spirit who we would avoid at all costs in the flesh? Of course, one often doesn’t know who you have come into contact with until it’s too late, after you’ve engaged him. It’s a little like carrying on an intimate conversation with someone in a dark room who can disguise their voice and speaks in riddles. It’s a dangerous practice, one fueled by endless curiosity and the thrill of the hunt.

The problem with that is that we–the ones who seek out such contact–are the ones who are captured in the end. We end up in cages of confusion and partial answers, speculations and strange emotions, wondering if someone we couldn’t see might have taken up residence in an abandoned and dark corner of our souls.”

Was this a story based on true events? Or is this a cleverly crafted ghost story designed to sound true? You be the judge.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD

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The photo is not about proclaiming the author’s beauty. I picked the grittiest, most unflattering filter I could find. I wanted to show something about me. This is my state of mind these days. I am squinting at reality because I don’t like what I see. It hurts; it’s overwhelming. I am unable to control it, understand it, or manage it any way. It’s happening, and I’m watching it. I’m wondering how to escape it, but knowing all along that you can’t. There is no escape from reality–there is no escape from anything. All you can do is change your perception. Changing a perception requires seeing the world around you–with its tragedies, insanity, cruelty, power struggles, and deep sadness–with different eyes.

I now understand detachment as a survival mechanism. There is a practical reason that Eastern religions promote observing reality rather than reacting to it. If you were to react emotionally to everything that happens to you, to your loved ones, to your community, to the world, you would lose your sanity and any ability to change what is under your control. An example of this is happening right now. Southern California is burning. Houses, neighborhoods, entire cities are vanishing in smoke. A ranch up north lost 40 horses in the blaze. The coyotes are screaming as the flames engulf them. We are surrounded by black, billowing smoke and ash. The world, our world, seems to be dying. At any moment, an ember could drift into my area and start a raging inferno.

My level of anxiety has skyrocketed to the point of paralysis. I now understand why people stand in front of the tsunami or the wildfire and don’t run. There comes a point where you can’t react anymore. The body and mind shut down. You decide to give in and drown. Or burn. Anything but continuing to live like a prisoner of panic and horror. What else can one do besides slowly go insane with the bad news that floods us minute by minute, or abandon ourselves to the abyss? There is only the option that I mentioned above: observe. Take only targeted and specific action. What does it really mean to ‘be the observer’? You must step outside of your mind. You must detach yourself from the spinning thoughts, worries, hypothetical disaster ruminations, and other chaotic maneuvers of the mind.

This means, of course, that you must understand that you are not your mind. There is an identity separate from the crazy chatterbox that pushes you to misery, depression, and anxiety. The Self that is not a slave to the mind is always there, always available to take over, always silently connected to God, or the creative principle, the One, the Source, or whatever you wish to call it. You have to find that Self and bring her forth and grant her control of reality. How to do that? This is what I did last night that has helped me tremendously to conceptualize the pain my mind subjects me to. I sat on the sofa, closed my eyes, and observed my thoughts, my state of mind.

It wasn’t enjoyable to watch my mind. It conjured up pictures of me burning alive, of my loved ones going up in flames, and my lungs shutting down and filling with smoke. Then I watched as my mind ran through multiple disaster scenarios and played them out. My mind noticed that my Self had detached from it, so it decided to call in the Big Guns: Demons. The pictures of Hell played out across a screen in my consciousness: Satan ripping me to pieces, devils eating me alive, horrifying monsters committing atrocious acts to my body, and animal predators chewing at my skin and muscles. Needless to say, it wasn’t my favorite meditation. However, there seemed to be a purpose. No matter how many scenes of graphic torture my mind put me through, “I” still survived. Kirsten’s essential self was unaffected by any of it. I arrived at the point where I didn’t care what horrors I was subjected to, because none of them destroyed the Observer. I was watching it all, but it was just another bad movie.

The news depends on keeping our minds in a state of total panic and fear. I am not denying the emotional impact of what is actually happening here in Southern California and elsewhere in the world; but what we are subjected to on social media and all over the Internet is far beyond calling our attention to situations that require our intervention or assistance. It’s not about how we can help; it’s about keeping us in a permanent state of alarm. A populace in a constant state of tension will willingly give in to whatever ‘fixes’ the people in power decide to ram through. Fear allows us to look for false solutions, which often are based on finding a scapegoat to absorb our sense of terror and powerlessness.

Most situations are beyond your control. There is nothing you can do concerning the events playing out at the moment. There are small, compassionate actions that you can engage in: offer a room to a displaced person, provide financial assistance when you can to relief agencies, or bring food/clothing/toiletries to a shelter. There are multiple kindnesses we can present as an offering to assuage the suffering of the world. But we can’t change the course of events alone; the fires will burn no matter how much we pray. Reach out to people and see what they need, but the course of droughts, fires, destruction, and climate changes are out of our hands now. Our world is reacting violently to our collective lack of caring, our exploitation, our rampant selfishness. We are going to pay the price for that for a long time. It will hurt.

But you can save your soul in the process. Stand back. Connect to the part of you that isn’t spinning in outrage and fear. Hold on to that authentic self through meditation, through prayer, through whatever means necessary. For if there is any hope for the world, it is only through our collective connection to something higher and finer in ourselves that can reach out and uplift others; if this divine vibration reaches enough of us, perhaps we can douse the flames of our own destruction.

–Kirsten A. Thorne

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Want to hear something scary? There is a growing consensus in the psychiatric community that some cases of mental illness are caused by malignant spirits taking over a mind. Richard Gallagher trained in psychiatry at Yale University and is a practicing psychoanalyst and . . . exorcist. Although the vast majority of those practicing mental health care refuse to believe in the reality of demons affecting one’s mind, Dr. Gallagher is ” . . . pleasantly surprised by the number of psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners nowadays who are open to entertaining such hypotheses. Many believe exactly what I do, though they may be reluctant to speak out.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/07/01/as-a-psychiatrist-i-diagnose-mental-illness-and-sometimes-demonic-possession/?utm_term=.b5895e67d890)

I’ve written before about possession and exorcism, and the insights I gleaned from my meeting with a Catholic priest who is also an exorcist. In that meeting, I received his blessing to assist in such work. I have yet to truly throw myself into this vital, spiritual work, a fact which may explain my current state of mind (I’m wasting my talents, truth be told, as are so many of us who study the ‘paranormal’). However, the topic of this post is slightly different. Many of us–scholars or not, mental health experts or not–agree based on the evidence that demonic possession is a reality for an unfortunate few. What I don’t see discussed as much in academic circles is the reality of possession by non-demonic entities.

Once you admit the possibility that an evil entity, a dark spirit, can and does take over a body, mind and soul, then you must admit that the same phenomena can occur with beings that are not demonic in nature. If it is possible for a demon to possess a living person, then it is possible for any person in spirit to do the exact, same thing via a similar mechanism. Exactly how this happens is unknown to me, but I hypothesize that you must be in a vulnerable state: altered by drugs or alcohol, severely depressed and/or anxious, inviting such contact via ouija boards, channeling, automatic writing or (it must be said) so-called ‘ghost hunting’. If you are a spiritually grounded person with a strong religious practice and belief, you are more protected from the invading spirit; however, those of us who dabble in spirit contact are most definitely at risk. The reality of this possibility is what is at the heart of our gradual decline in time spent investigating the paranormal, which seems to happen to all of us. It isn’t that we don’t believe it after years of spirit contact, it’s that we discover how powerful these connections are, and we realize how much that contact affects us emotionally and spiritually.

Spirits, souls, conscious beings, are in contact with us on a daily basis. Most mediums talk about the ‘veil’ that separates the living and the ‘dead’; this language is reflected in theories of the multiverse and other ‘theories of everything’ that postulate multiple dimensions. Dr. Robert Lanza’s ideas concerning death and multiple dimensions go a step further: not only does consciousness continue in other dimensions, ‘death’ as a concept is meaningless. It essentially doesn’t exist except as a description of a mundane, physical process which has no bearing on the conscious, individual human being. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/is-there-an-afterlife-the-science-of-biocentrism-can-prove-there-is-claims-professor-robert-lanza-8942558.htmlWhatever it is that separates multiple dimensions, whether it be vibrating strings or dark matter, the systems of separation are not perfect and break down. Or, more tantalizingly, WE can break them down through mental effort and meditative practice. Once the boundaries of a multiverse are breached, we can’t keep whoever is living there ‘out’ of our reality. Their energy flows through, finds us, penetrates our consciousness and plays out its need for communication or emotion.

In simple terms, our interaction with what we call ‘ghosts’ often results in spirits finding a receptive home to express themselves through us.  This explains many mysteries and questions of mine that up to now, seem to have no answer. Boundaries are broken down between dimensions, and our easy classification of ourselves as one being, one spirit, in isolation from all others, disintegrates. We are all interconnected and affect one another in ways both subtle and obvious. Therefore, to provide an example, a haunted house story is not a story of a person who discovers ghosts, but of ghosts who discover a person and the beginning of a relationship where all entities rely on each other’s energy and emotion. When you enter into an emotional relationship with the spirits around you, the ‘haunting’ isn’t about the ‘other,’ it’s about all parties involved. You may not realize that your persistent, depressed mood or your strange reactions to familiar situations have to do with someone else living in you, with someone else sharing your psychic space.

Is that possession? It’s probably more ‘influence’ or even relationship. If you have ever felt an inexplicably strong connection to a house or other place, it is likely that you are experiencing the effects of your intimate interaction with the spirits you’ve come to know quite well there, even if not consciously. Much of this phenomena is experienced in the subconscious mind, where our ego and super ego (to borrow from Freud for a moment) expend much energy repressing, denying and fleeing from the truth of our spiritual attachments and engagements. How much of what we feel, what we do, how we react to other people, how we live our lives, has to do with spiritual relationships of which we are hardly aware? That is a sobering question.

There are things I need to know, but the process of understanding frightens me. I would like to know the identity of the spirits who live with me or interact with me. I would like to separate myself just a little more from their influence. That requires an investigation into other dimensions of reality and that, in turn, requires a professional medium of great talent and respectability. That is more than likely the next step for me. It is not easy for me to trust other people, especially people who interpret in my stead what my reality might be. I have always despised that trait in others: the individual who pretends to know more than you about your own life. However, I do believe that trustworthy mediums exist and can shed light on the spiritual mystery that surrounds us all. Of course, those of us who regularly attend church in the Christian tradition understand that this spirit world is all around us at all times, effecting changes and transitions of which we are barely aware. The church, however, tries hard to manage, limit and interpret our spiritual experiences so that they do not fall outside the accepted boundaries of Scripture. I need more than that.

Think about the ways that your spirit interacts with others, both in the flesh and transcendent. If there are no boundaries to spirit, and we are all spirit, then to speak of ‘containers’ of flesh, vibrating strings, dark matter, conscious and subconscious, is all a waste of time. The categories ‘dead’ and ‘living’ are nonsensical when you’re are speaking of souls and not of matter. Just as the spirit of your nasty boss can harm you, so can the spirit of the guy who drowned himself in your bathtub years before you moved into your house. The charge, then, is to be more aware, more conscious, of who is affecting your heart, mind and soul, and where you need to draw the line on a psychic invasion. It would be wise to start with meditation and prayer. But I don’t plan to end there.

Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHWkirsten-in-2017

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Ghost children

Marsha and I heard the voice again. It sounded like a child singing a tuneless melody somewhere in the vast, dark hallways of the old hospital. We recorded it and played it back later, many, many times. That night, as we strained to hear the child’s voice, Marsha became very, very sad and asked, “why would God allow a child to be alone in a place like this?” I came up with some theory of consciousness, reassuring her it was just a fragment of a mind, lost in time and space, not a whole personality, not a person as we understand people to be. She didn’t respond. We continued to listen for the oddly terrifying sounds echoing in dark. Why was I so frightened, if this was a ‘child’ spirit, or even a fragment of one?

In other lost places we heard ‘her’. The same, sing-song voice, sometimes attempting to speak, sometimes singing that same, wandering tune. We had many recordings of that voice before we started to ask ourselves who this might be. This child seemed to be traveling with us from one site to another. She started showing up even in our homes. I have recordings of her in the living room of our old house. Had she followed me home? I have recordings of her at Marsha’s house, too. It was always the same pitch, the same tone, the same vocal pattern. I asked many questions of myself, but they were always the wrong questions. “Who is this poor, lost soul?” “What can I do to help her?” “How can I ‘send her to the light’?”

My life during this time period was falling apart at a dizzying pace. There was financial distress, physical illnesses, mental illness, job loss and painful ruptures in my closest relationships. I continued recording voices and communicating with the spirits until, gradually, I realized that I was probably not communicating with spirits only. The answer hit me fairly recently: God would most certainly not condemn a child to eternity in a dark vacuum of empty space in a mental hospital or a jail.

ghost children 5

This plaintive voice was produced by something with evil intent. I won’t debate the existence of evil or even that entity we call the ‘devil’, because I’ve done that before in previous posts. Evil has certain characteristics that are now quite clear to me. It disguises itself as the one thing you can’t resist, whatever it is that involves you emotionally; it then confuses you, causing you to doubt the existence of an all-loving God; after that, it chips away at your life relentlessly until you are at your breaking point. When you reach that soul-crushing moment, the decision is yours: you either humble yourself completely and give yourself–heart and soul–to who you understand God to be, OR, you continue to pursue those practices, beliefs and values that led you to self destruct.

There was no little girl, crying in the dark. The devil found an ingenious way to draw us all in, to make us doubt and question everything good and holy in the world. I went back to these accursed spaces and places without giving myself completely to God first. I made myself available to the confusion and manipulation of evil. I allowed evil to lead me further and further down the dark hallways of my soul until I was in communication with something that wanted to kill my spirit. Don’t talk to me about ‘coincidences’; during this time, evil tried to hurt my own child. That’s when I drew the line. No one and nothing hurts my child.

The result of my brush with ultimate darkness was illumination. I understood how evil operates in the world: it pretends always to be something else, something attractive, something you really, really want. It often seems logical, understandable and promising. It justifies its existence. It makes people rally around it. It loves the violence, hatred, misery and suffering that it produces. Most people don’t see it for what it really is; they think its presence is natural, necessary and inevitable. Evil appears to everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any other identifying characteristics. It worms its way into politics, culture, social media, news media, institutions; it’s everywhere.

You can recognize it by its effects on you and your loved ones. If you feel crazy, disoriented, confused, aggressive, even violent: it owns you . . . or it’s starting to. Be very, very careful before you give in to hatred and anger. It may feel righteous. It may feel really, really good on a basic, instinctual level; but trust me. It lies. It will find a way to destroy you, and you may not see how it works on you, changing you, hurting you, creating divisions and dissent.

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God does not condemn child spirits to the dank misery of the worst places on Earth. God does not play with your emotions or hurt your family and friends. God waits for us to fall on our knees and ask for love, for help, for light, for hope. We can spin forever in a web of insanity, or we can break free and admit that we don’t know what we think we know. Love someone today who you have not dared to love before, and you will see evil twist and scream in pain. Love like you have never loved before, and your spirit will forever be in the Light, blessed for all eternity.

In peace,

Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW

Heaven

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