Communication with the Afterlife


from the pages of Thresholds

Communication with the Afterlife
by Paul Blosser

“If we ever do succeed in establishing communication with personalities which have left this present life, it certainly won’t be through any of the childish contraptions which seem so silly to scientists.” Thomas Edison

During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the American public was fascinated by the occult. For some this was a serious interest, for others this interest was merely an entertaining diversion. On a cold winter evening, adults might gather around the table and hold hands with a psychic so they could talk with a deceased relative. Often Uncle Harry’s or Aunt Margaret’s return to the physical plane was accompanied by the table tilting wildly or scooting across the floor. Perhaps other noise and clatter would follow as the spirit signaled its entry into the room, often depending upon the experience and skill of the psychic.
One of the greatest scientists of our time, Thomas Edison, believed in life after death. Rumors suggest that his parents were Spiritualists and attended such seances. Edison thought the methods used to communicate with the deceased were crude and childish. He believed he could invent a machine to receive and transmit messages with the dead.
Always the scientist Edison considered the soul, or what he termed the personality, to exist as infinitely small particles of matter combined in swarms. He theorized “ is strictly logical and scientific that it (personality) retains memory, intellect and other faculties and knowledge that we require on this earth.”
The scientist was correct in assuming it would take a very sensitive apparatus to communicate with the deceased. In a series of experiments Edison and his colleagues conducted with clairvoyant Bert Reese, Edison was very close to discovering that apparatus -- the mind!
Reese was a noted psychic in the 1920’s and Edison performed a variety of experiments to determine how mental telepathy or mind-to-mind communication occurred. In one series of experiments, Reese would sit in a control room under the observation of Edison and his assistants. One of the assistants would go into a separate room and write down information while Reese recorded the impressions he received.
In one experiment, a Norwegian assistant was sent into the other room where he wrote personal information about his mother. Reese repeated the information completely, including the difficult spelling of the mother’s name. In a similar experiment, Edison himself tested Reese’s abilities to find a solution in his development of the alkaline battery. In the room separate from Reese, Edison wrote “Is there anything better than hydroxide of nickel for an alkaline battery?” Then Edison reported immediately thinking about something else so Reese couldn’t read his thoughts. When Edison returned to the room, Reese replied, “There is nothing better than hydroxide of nickel for an alkaline battery.”
Edison attempted to recreate Reese’s success in mental telepathy by constructing an electrical apparatus. Four assistants, each with this apparatus on their heads, sat in four separate rooms and attempted to establish mind-to-mind communication. The assistants moved closer and closer together believing this might aid the communication. In the end, all four men sat in the same room with their knees touching but they could not report any success.
Edison knew that extrasensory perception or mind-to-mind communication was a reality based on his experiments and his own experiences. He didn’t quite understand how ESP occurred between living individuals nor did he realize that telepathy was how the living and the dead might communicate.
To understand how telepathy occurs, it is first necessary to understand how all communication occurs...or doesn’t occur. You may be able to recall an instance when you were talking to someone and at the end of the conversation the person replied “What? Did you say something?” Something has gone wrong! Communication has not occurred because something is missing and that something is the desire to receive or listen. This scenario also illustrates the important point that communication occurs when there is mental action by both parties; the aggressive action of relating a message and the receptive action of listening.
When the element of desire and the aggressive and receptive actions of the mind are present, communication can occur across a dinner table or across a city. Consider the following experience that illustrates these elements of communication, resulting in mind-to-mind communication.
A young girl was spending the night with her new friend. In her excitement, she forgot to tell her father the friend’s phone number and he later found the need to reach her. He began thinking, “Michelle, call home. Michelle, call home,” very persistently. A few minutes later the phone rang and it was the daughter. She said, “I thought I better call home.”
The father had a desire to communicate with his daughter. The aggressive action of his mind was in thinking “Michelle, call home.” This mental message was broadcast much like a radio station broadcasts a song or newscast. The radio station broadcasts electrical patterns we call radio waves; the father broadcast electrical patterns we call thought. The daughter’s mind was receptive to the father’s message, tuned in just as a radio must be tuned to the proper frequency to receive the song or newscast.
You may be able to recall similar experiences you’ve had. Or you may remember thinking about a distant friend in another state then receiving a letter or phone call from them the same day. Mind-to-mind communication can occur across the miles of a city or even a continent because our thoughts are very far reaching. They are unhampered by physical distances. This is also why telepathy can occur.
Ms. P.H. recalled recently that she dreamed of a college beau many years after she turned down his proposal for marriage. She wondered why she dreamed of him since she was happily married at the time and hadn’t thought of him for quite some time. She forgot the matter until she was visiting her mother several months later. Her mother informed her that her old boyfriend had died. Upon enquiring “Who?” her mother replied “Robert”, the man in her dream. After reading his obituary, Ms. P.H. realized Robert died the same week she dreamed of him. She believes Robert was contacting her to let her know he was thinking of her even as he died.
The mind or soul or intelligence that was Robert reached out to communicate with his old girl friend. Similar experiences are reported by many people. Sometimes the experiences occur as dreams. Sometimes the communication takes the form of particular tactual or sensory experience.
M.W.’s father died during the past year. She stated she became very close with him during a prolonged illness. He visits her often in her dreams and they talk, sometimes flying to other places in these dreams. She also reports sitting in her home one day when her father touched her on the shoulder. She said she knew it was him because of the way she was touched and that she was comforted by the contact.
In some instances of death there may be unresolved issues and a need for the soul that has departed to offer comfort to those still living. B.P.’s grandmother died in August of cancer. The eight-year-old was distraught over her grandmother’s death, partly because the woman denied she was sick or dying. This left unresolved issues between the woman and family members. The girl loved and missed her grandmother. She told her mother, V.P., she wanted to be with Grandma. One evening V.P. had fallen asleep on the couch. She recalls waking about 10:30 p.m. because someone was in the room. She looked up and saw two figures standing in the room, the silhouettes of a woman and a young girl, even though the room was dark. The following morning B.P. said she dreamed about being with her grandmother during the night. V.P. believes it was the grandmother and her daughter she had seen. Other family members reported similar experiences where the grandmother came to them in their dreams.
Dreams are a natural process of the mind that permit contact with the deceased. In fact, this type of communication may be important for the physical, emotional and mental well-being of the living. After a lecture on dreams, a woman confided her husband came to her in a dream following his death. She reported the dreams to her doctor and he prescribed sleeping pills. She said that she had not dreamed of her husband since she began taking the medication. But she also said she was still trying to come to terms with his death. Perhaps if the woman had been permitted to continue her dreams with her husband, she may have been more comfortable with his passing.
These messages from the deceased sometimes take on more physical form than a dream or a touch. In another experience by Ms. P.H., she said that after her husband died, the carpets, drapes and furniture in her home were steam-cleaned to remove years of cigarette smoke. A few weeks later, a female friend stayed in the house while Ms. P.H. was out of town. The woman woke in the middle of the night because of the smell of smoke. She thought perhaps someone else was in the house. She got out of bed and looked throughout the house, concluding there was no one else there.
This may have been a way for the deceased to let this woman know of his presence, perhaps even that he was guarding his home. In another instance, a ghostly visitation had some surprising results: “My husband was dying of cancer and during his last four or five days I only left the side of his hospital bed when he insisted I go home to care for and feed two mares. Those mares were like grandchildren to us. Each of us was very competitive about grooming and caring for our mares. We’d spend hours in the barn brushing them and cleaning them up. During those last days, I would go home long enough to feed them. They hadn’t been groomed in several days and had been rolling in the dirt and looked a mess. The day my husband died, I walked out to the barn to feed the horses and they were all brushed and cleaned up. I hadn’t groomed them. I checked with the kids and they hadn’t been out to groom them. My neighbors are not horse people and they hadn’t been over either.”
The woman believes this was her husband’s intimate way of saying ‘goodbye’ to her. Numerous other personal accounts of dream visitations, ghosts or signs provide an ample body of evidence that life continues beyond the limitations of our physical plane.
Edison made the greatest discovery of the existence of life after death and communicating with the deceased, not during his lifetime, but immediately after his death.
Edison had been nicknamed “the Old Man” by his assistants and he had once recorded the popular song Grandfather’s Clock with the words “...But it stopped short, never to go again, when the Old Man died.” This prophetic message was fulfilled by Edison’s attempt to communicate at the time of his death. Edison died October 19, 1931 at 3:24 a.m. Three of his assistants reported that their clocks stopped precisely at 3:24 a.m. Three minutes later, the grandfather clock in Edison’s laboratory also stopped.
Even more outstanding is Edison’s communicatation with the living some ten years later. Edison purportedly communicated to two of his associates during a seance in 1941. In the communication received, he offered the names of three people who could lead them to the blueprints of his final project -- a machine to communicate with the dead!•

Paul Blosser holds a B. A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and is currently writing his doctoral thesis in metaphysics. He works as a computer programmer in Louisville, Kentucky.
©1993 Vol. 11 No. 3

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