Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Possessed You?

Dr. Melvin Morse, esteemed writer of the inspirational Forward to The Risen, recently texted a request for us to blog on "Dissociative Disorder vs. Spirit Possession." Oh, as well, an extend essay and also even perhaps a podcast on the subject. He wonders, "Can you be possessed by good spirits?"

Our immediate reply was "Would you like fries with that?" Just a little Risen humor, especially poignant because they tend to avoid fried foods like the devil.

Our initial response takes form in part from Tim's contributions in the chapter on Reincarnation:

"By rejecting their true, unique individual selves and wanting to be someone else, the embodied become ideal receptacles for those disincarnate who wish to have earthly corporeal experiences again. Although possession of a body is comparatively rare, possession of a mind via spirit influence is not. This cannot be debated for long after looking objectively at the obvious successful influence of the Global Madison Avenue. Those in spirit have even more direct access to minds easily hypnotized by such suggestive influences.

“Note that qualities of good or evil haven’t been attributed to invading spirit persons. While their lower vibrational conditions may provide harbor for negative emotions—often intense ones—not all of the disincarnate seeking to reexperience an earthly life have ill intentions. Some are malevolent and some are not, although all are misguided in some way because some form of fear motivates them. Any attempt to invade and use another’s life for one’s own is a misinterpretation of one of the most essential of spiritual reminders, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

“Those Risen who are particularly evolved may make themselves available for help and inspiration when called upon, but inspiration does not mean infestation. Some disembodied are so ego-self-absorbed that they become parasitical to survive. They become engorged on the embodied person’s energy to feed the crystallized ego-mind’s unyielding need for a sense of existence. They then gain more energy and the ability to continue to influence the embodied person. The embodied person’s ego-mind becomes a co-conspirator with the spirit’s crystallized ego-mind and the enlarged sensation becomes puffed up with self-assigned importance—it’s more gratifying to have once been a wealthy prince instead of some menial ditch digger."

In true cases of DID, an individual manifests a seemingly separate personality or sometimes several personalities. From this perspective a channeler or a trance medium wouldn’t actually be contacting some separate entity or a Risen One, but instead somehow be contacting another personality of their own. Stephen E. Braude, an American professor of philosophy, who has done extensive scholarly research and writing on parapsychology, notably addressing the questions of survival and reincarnation and how DID might be involved. He has suggested that in some cases mediums might be displaying “non-pathological forms” of dissociation, or “other forms” related to DID.

This seems to be another way of saying that although, as a medium, I’m not disabled from my “condition” (as a medium) I’m still delusional, which shows just how challenging it may be for some academics to fully commit themselves to the fact of survival after death. Braude’s writings explore in great detail a few particularly famous cases of mediumship and so are especially valuable as historical references. (Braude, Stephen E., Immortal Remains—The Evidence for Life After Death. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003)