The author’s gripping, ghostly experiences. Guardian angels. Extra sensory perception (ESP), out of the body experiences (OBEs), healings, levitations, transfigurations, materialisations. What might they all mean? How do these ‘spiritual gifts’ develop? Past-lives, future lives, after life. What does Psychology indicate, especially Transpersonal and Para-psychology, also the eons of grassroots spiritualistic and ordinary faiths experience plus that of the Psychic Research Societies? ‘Trips’ beyond the psychedelic and ongoing research travels with the author around the UK, NZ and Australia. This is the parent book of Dr Rolls’ self help series across the whole Psychospiritual range.
My writing, adventurously woven for first-band freshness and truth around the book title’s fascinating themes, is partial autobiography. As part of the fabric, profound discussion is interwoven, hopefully at cracking and entertaining pace for the general as well as serious, academic or scientific, even religious reader.
This is not a religious book; still it might evoke or support certain religious feeling, neither is it a scientific book, though it will finish open-endedly on certain scientific pointers for the future.
Hopefully the book will balance religious, esoteric and scientific views yet read like a thrilling story, gripping at times with love, poignancy and humour. It is a humanly true story and account. One early conclusion it can legitimately make, is that whereas churches once held sway, interest in the supernatural, or to put it more scientifically the ‘paranormal’, surges ahead. So too did the psychedelic revolution and the mystical ‘trips’ which triggered new wave transpersonal psychology, surge ahead. Indeed, ‘tripping’ and astral travels etc. become very much a part of this book, as does ‘survival’, post mortem.
Yet, we can go back to esoteric literature or religious books such as the Holy Bible, for timeless truths, which we, in our ignorance, think of as being paranormally beyond us! St. Paul (lst Corinthians, 12) wrote ‘concerning spiritual gifts brethren, I would not have ye ignorant’, and he listed those qualities which subserve parapsychology’s – ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) PK (Psychokinesis – movement by psychic energy), and paranormal healing categories etc. ‘Subserve’ is used rather pointedly here, for some so-called experts (though by no means all) think that these relatively rare phenomena are just waiting to hop into laboratory test tubes, figuratively speaking. The inference here is that they will be straightened out, slotted into a few simple mechanistic laws and that there will be no more spiritual thinking ‘kinkiness’.
Ironically, kinkiness and psychokinesis are not so far removed, anagrammatically. Ironically again, Heaven or ‘afterlife’ believers, or post mortem survivalists (to offer another description), might not find their hopes so wooden, – ‘Troy-like’ in the parapsychology camp. Parapsychologists might prove to be their saviours but increasingly Transpersonal Psychologists share this honour.
Lay thinking leads to such word and phrase usage in our language as ‘hunch’, ‘intuition’, ‘must have known’, ‘mind’s eye’, ‘took the thoughts right out of my head’, ‘second sight’, ‘fey’ or ‘fay’, ‘there in spirit’, ‘green fingers’, ‘healing touch’, etc. More sinisterly, ‘he or she willed me to do it’, ‘put the hex on me’, ‘spell’, etc. The generally accepted view is that a positive sunny approach dispels negative and dark powers eternally.
Whereas psychology is the study of human behaviour, whether in, say, therapeutic, industrial, educational or general social setting, parapsychology evidently studies the phenomena of more spiritual or psychic setting. ‘PSI’ is a neutral abbreviation for the phenomena, without commitment to particular theories – spiritualistic, evangelistic or whatever.
‘Psychical Research’ being the older term, interchanges with parapsychology and, as will be deduced, ‘Paranormal Healing’ interchanges with, say, ‘green fingers’ or ‘spiritual healing’ etc. ‘Clairvoyance’ (from the French, meaning clear seeing) seems more acceptable than ‘second sight’. For the purposes of this book and for variety’s sake, many other parapsychological and lay terms, if not coinciding, will be interchanged. In every case context should make all clear for the theme is autobiographical and authorial view changes chronologically. Everything evolves.
Whereas once there was for me youthful lay idealism and the spiritualist case, or Heaven behind the ‘spiritual gifts’, such survival is by no means under-written (though possible) in the PSI or psychic phenomena approach of parapsychology. There must surely come a point however, when PSI phenomena is all formerly noted but inexplicable and scientific theories expand into less material vistas. Mechanistic world view gives way to Relativity and Quantum theories, converging with a myriad of new scientific and old mystical perspectives, accepting less barriers to the frontiers of human consciousness. Transpersonal (psychology) implies across – beyond such barriers and material law and into spiritual aspects.
Language too, changes and expands. Sensitive can mean over touchy but in a psychic sense can better imply for the parapsychologist, one who is finely attuned. ‘Medium’ suggests spirit agency in many cases. Again the context should make all clear, whether it be ‘medium’, ‘psychic’, ‘prophet’, ‘sensitive’, ‘clairvoyant’, ‘seer’, ‘witch’, ‘wizard’, ‘oracle’, ‘mystic’ ‘channel’ or whatever. ‘Healer’ seems more straightforward – but ‘faith’, ‘spiritual’, ‘psychic’ or ‘paranormal’ healer? Contextual situation should show. ‘Phantom’, ‘ghost’, ‘poltergeist’, ‘astral-shell’, ‘spectre’, ‘soul’, ‘spirit’, ‘deceased’ or ‘loved one’, ‘apparition’, ‘wraith’, ‘spirit-double’ (or ‘doppelganger’) ‘astral body’, ‘spook’, ‘visitation’, ‘guardian angel’ or ‘angel’, again will be best categorised by context. Not all imply post mortem or after death spiritual existence or survival. Whether having a spiritual beginning or an open ended scientific or philosophical finish, a book might also have an entertaining or readable middle. A book such as this might also be an appetiser for more of its kind. (As author I will do my best).
Whatever the hypotheses – ‘survivalist’ or new search for scientific parameters, the book touches on profound questions for all. It is a personal story, as thematic part of one’s life that has echoes in all lives – indeed life per se and the meaning thereof, perhaps here and ‘hereafter’. This is not too grand a thing to say when one considers the ‘miracles’, or paranormal happenings that, truly documented here touch many lives including the author’s and his immediate loved ones (some hopefully or even assuredly, in the ‘hereafter’). Why should not all lives be so ‘touched’?
The events that unfold beg many questions and raise many moot points if not eyebrows! They are written in truth (respectfully, though occasionally humorously, for those ‘passed on’) and monitored hopefully with the scientific objectivity of an academic training, in the author’s maturity. Philosophy – it is said – leads science. The author, being well armed now with the British Open University Philosophy and Psychology Courses and beyond, hopes to ‘build bridges’ between lay movements and establishment psychology, transpersonally. Increasingly it is coming to be seen that mind, body and spirit are one (unitas, mentis, corporis, spiritusque).
Academics tend to doubt and deprecate the talents, and often philosophical leanings, of the lay movement, that cannot perform easily in unrelaxed, cold laboratory settings. Lay psychics or their supporters, take too critically investigative scientific objective sorting of wheat from the psychic chaff and are sometimes naive about the useful role of science. All too often gullibility and blind faith make the work of the medium or psychic too easy and sloppy, where scientific objectivity could stretch and expand the gifted one. Parapsychology as a science must by definition test and quantify slowly but transpersonal psychology as later chapters show, can afford more quantum leaps.
Parapsychology, especially by such instrumentation as biofeedback (physiological body state monitorings) could, and increasingly does, tease out altered states of consciousness in psychic awareness, that correlate to production of PSI. Trainees, in theory, attempt to emulate the ‘scores’ or ‘print outs’ of known sensitives for a given phenomena – say healing. EEG’s (Electro-encephalographs) give the most popular readings at the present state of research, but even if one can train to set one’s pulse, heart rate and even brain waves to match a top medium, one cannot yet, if ever, be sure of the same psychic results. He or she might claim to have another dimension – the aid of a particular ‘guide’ or ‘guardian angel’. There is so much research work yet to be done. However, there does seem to be much fertile ground for the gleaning out of parapsychology’s own ‘sensitives’. Spiritualism, or say, Pentecostism and the Charismatic movement does not find them all. Neither does ‘black magic’. The net should be kept wide however.
Dr. John Beloff of Edinburgh University and once President of the academically based and early pioneered Society for Psychical Research (SPR) states in the introduction to his book (p. 11)1: ‘Parapsychology cannot disown its hybrid origins.’ Also, ‘All sciences have roots that go back into magic and occult belief and practices’, as well as ‘Spiritualist sources and religious movements supporting.’ Dr. Beloff further avers and advises parapsychologists not to ‘stifle creative elements’ and if necessary ‘do some intellectual slumming’, noting that ‘parapsychology is for those who have no other allegiance than to truth.’ Brave words! With Dr. Beloff’s words in mind, there should be much for parapsychologists in the anecdotal but sworn truths that follow. Naive beginnings, from ordinary hunches and intuitions, that the ordinary reader could relate to, lead on to personal development and coverage of many of the ‘spiritual gifts’ listed in St. Paul (1Corinthians, 12) or as perhaps categorised differently by latter day researchers.
The debate will continue as to the possibility of an afterlife (spirit-life), past and future lives (reincarnation) or extra-terrestrial powers within us now. Certainly if out of the body experiences (OOBE’s) reported here and elsewhere in the literature are accepted, all uncanny visitations are not ghosts from beyond our plane. Conversely, all reported ‘visitations’ are not ‘thought forms’, or, astral bodies of persons living now. There appears to be well documented evidence for each theory – that of spirit communication between ourselves now, and ongoing communication with those ‘gone on ahead’. By analogy, those spirits no longer with us have ‘emigrated’ and migrated spirits would not have the same intercommunicating facility as spirits ‘back home’ (except for astral communication, telepathy etc). More than this, they are not even in the same world, planetary system or time and space related dimensions, unless reincarnated. All the more reason for science and parapsychology notably, to advance the frontiers of ‘spiritual gifts’ knowledge, albeit coldly, calculatingly at times. For balance, we should retain the empiricism of earlier lay frontiers and practical research of others (especially the pioneer psychic research societies).
Philosophically, we could also remember that the early church (Western) accepted reincarnation and the cycle of re-birth, as does perhaps half the world’s population (mainly Eastern) to this day but religion and politics get enmeshed and truth often is suppressed. Finally, knowledge is greater than superstition, when any great force is tapped; or, expressed in the lines of the old Christmas carol, ‘Glad tidings of great joy’ do negate ‘‘mighty dread’ so ‘fear not’. There is much knowledge in these pages which in truth is laid out to allay the reader’s superstitions. Further, this knowledge should bring joy to those who perhaps see no point to life’s schoolroom and beyond but confirmation and joy too, to those who do.
One early critic of the book’s manuscript form suggested a re write in a more serious and specialised way but this would only reach a limited readership. A more technical approach at aiming to show bridges exist between body, mind, soul, spirit etc., or a more pious approach, would not have had the authenticity of personal experience. Nevertheless, from the grass roots and lay beginnings, progress along the way to an interchange with the latest in psychology etc., is carefully and chronologically recorded, without spoiling what should be a good true story.
Yet another critic did in fact promise ‘a cracking good read’ and ‘sufficient excellence of work evidencing’, that ‘there are more things in Heaven and Earth etc.’ (Hamlet). What more can an author ask?
The first critic asks ‘What were your life’s turning points?’ They were the different disciplines into which my psychic awareness took me, as sketched out in my sixteen chapters. These are not about my whole life for I have a life outside of my psychic interests, but the psychic pivot has been my enduring turning point. I hope that it will lead you on in your enlightenment too (dear reader).
STUART R. ROLLS
One morning I awoke or thought I did, to the tortuous early clanging round of bedpans and lights being rudely switched on. The world was still dark outside at the ungodly hours hospital wards in those days sprang into life. The trek up and down past my bed was murderous to my then tired – condemned long weeks to a bed-board – body. There seemed a lull. Quietly a tall well-groomed guy in a dressing gown stopped at the foot of my bed, smiled down and said ‘hello, what are you doing in here?’ I part recognised him as he made for the toilet door before I’d properly told him about my injury. I waited for him to come out. He never did! Suddenly all was crazily repeated. I woke up to the usual clamour of bed pans seemingly starting all over again (Déjà vu?) and lights being rudely stabbed on. Eyes cringing in the harsh glare, I kept them riveted on all passing through that toilet and sluice door. No! He never showed up again.
Passing through town some weeks later, after my hospital release, I bumped into an old work colleague of my pre Air Force days. After the usual chit-chat, he said ‘Oh! By the way do you remember Jack so and so (name perhaps safely forgotten at the time of this writing)? He used to work with us ... rode a motor-bike and side car ... killed him ... tall, well groomed ... hair creamed, neat middle parting ... died at the hospital you’ve just come out of, but ages before your mishap.’
Wow! Why was he still there, I wondered, or had he been just ‘visiting’? Perhaps he was still recovering in spirit, in some projection of the ward in which I’d astrally found myself, then re-awoken to earthy reality and the everyday ward.
Needless to say, in recalling the now benign injury, fate, previously unchallenged, now medically denied me Police and many career prospects and a prophecy was fulfilled. (Though could have been avoided if I’d used my freewill and heeded the advice; ‘determinists’ please take note.)
Places and things have ‘atmosphere’ (as in the last chapter) and I have just realised psychometry (akin to dowsing) has not often been mentioned in this book yet. Well! When we were given new keys and one old key to that last English home before possibly emigrating again, I held and tuned into the old key vibes psychometrically, to visions of a back porch door and shed, though we hadn’t seen the house yet! Later evidence showed that the porch door had been re-fitted to the said garden shed, the original door being replaced.
I once knew a ‘sensitive’ who felt ‘crushed’ holding someone’s alloy cigarette lighter. It had been made from an old mess tin crushed by a German tank, unbeknown to the ‘sensitive’. I myself felt ‘vibes’ from another offered old door key once; could only sense running water; was later informed it was the key to someone’s dark room (running water would be needed in the film processing etc.!) Other ‘gifts’ might have escaped discussion, but I am just one researcher after truth.
Parapsychology and science are beginning to show that psychics or mediums are not merely born, but can be trained. The potential awareness is in all of us. Spirit, the psyche or the soul, can know few bounds that we do not impose on ourselves, with narrow, straight-jacketed illusion or finite thinking. Psychic ‘gifts’ could have infinite variation.
I cannot let the book pass without final tribute to Roy Morgan’s marvellous, hardly believed post-dated prophecy (and also tribute to my own guides or psyche, for accurate pre-vision shown). My prophesied new son, David, was born – David Stuart, in fact. Sheila had every chance to change the name but it held because she’d loved the song David of the White Rock’ from her Welsh born childhood. Also, Ralph turned out to be Faye’s prophesied slim and ginger haired, laboratory white coated, suitor and happily the couple marry after they both graduate (Sussex University) all as foretold. Ralph will go into cancer research, Faye to psychology; both perhaps to post-graduate work.