For the past four years, this website has speculated on what might happen if someone invents a reliable, recordable communications device that empowers us to contact the so-called dead. How would that change the world? How would it impact global societies?
The candidate with the most potential, in my opinion, is the SoulPhone project. Research and development is taking place at the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health (LACH) under Dr. Gary E. Schwartz via the University of Arizona, Tucson. Visit thesoulphonefoundation.org for more information.
When I began writing this site, much of my insight came from reading books and watching mediums and other spiritual teachers on video. At the time I thought I had a good grasp on general spiritual wisdom. I thought my speculations were logical and well-informed.
Yet over the past four years I’ve done more reading, more watching, more thinking. A major observation is that while many sources lay claim to serving up cosmic truth, some from first-hand experience with NDEs, OBEs, STEs, channeling, afterlife research, and so on, I often found substantial disagreements about what actually happens to us beyond death. Sources vary about the truth, same as with religion, politics, and beauty.
Specific to the SoulPhone, I arrived at a place where I’d stockpiled too many questions that remained unanswered and unaddressed. My best choice seems to be to take a time out.
So what are these unanswered questions? I’ve written about them here before. Mostly they involve what kind of reality would we find once a device works. Here are a few:
What planes or levels of the so-called spirit world would a SoulPhone serve? Astral plane? Higher planes?
How would evil or imbalanced spirits be prohibited from using the technology?
When people change worlds, how does their personal psychology change? Even if we take our personality with us, how does our new environment and perhaps new perceptions change us?
What is happening with the SoulPhone Project from the other side? What kind of science and ethics are driving cooperation and support from that side?
What information can spirit people share with us and what details must remain unshared or in essence censored because we’re not supposed to know? Do they have the equivalent of government secrets?
How much memory from someone’s most recent life on earth is maintained after passing into a next world? How much trivia from their past do they still know after their change of venue?
Do the deceased from this world have access to libraries, search engines, akashic records in that world? In other words, can they source objectively correct information, and how complete is that insight?
It’s often said that love and hightened emotions are necessary forces in spirit communication or for mediumship to work most efficiently. How does that influence academic interest in the afterlife? Is curiosity enough of a motivation to inspire spirits to communicate with us?
We’re frequently told that we each have a spirit team on that side assisting us through an incarnation. How would a SoulPhone help or hinder that relationship? Said another way, are we supposed to be kept in the dark as part of the design of each incarnation?
If this is Earth School and we’re here to learn from the obstacles and uncertainties, would a SoulPhone constitute a form of cheating or diminishing our purpose?
While I have read and heard many theoretical answers to these questions, including thoughts related by mediums from spirits, none of that means that we actually know the answers. Logically, most of these questions would be answered before any SoulPhone launch.
My exposure to the world of mediums, seminars, books, videos, afterlife groups, etc. presented me with vast quantities of unsubstantiated claims. So much that gets passed off as “real” comes without proper evidence or peer reviews for accuracy. Much of it feels more like show business.
A great example is the celebrity afterlife interview. I must confess that I love the idea that we flesh humans could chat with ‘famous spirits’. My mind does a happy dance thinking of all the fascinating things we could learn about the big picture if I could inspire them to chat with me.
The SoulPhone’s alleged A-Team of famous brains tickles this fancy. The A-Team includes household name luminaries such as Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and more modern favorites like Carl Sagan and Steve Jobs. We’re told that mediums independently identified these icons and that during SoulSwitch testing, these entities pass what are essentially quizzes about their lives on earth.
Yet as an ordinary person with no special access to proprietary data, I’m supposed to take their word for it that these entities are who they say they are. Those same A-Team members also show up in other people’s afterlife interview shows and books. Many venues demand little evidence of authenticity. This makes it pretty easy to fake the likes of Thomas Edison (or any other historical character), which for me, again, puts it at a show business level of believability.
All this input gets mixed up in a gestalt soup. Highly researched mediums get plopped into the same bowl as unvetted, yarn-spinning show biz mediums. Add to that soup metaphysical fiction with all the tropes and memes and clichés you can muster. Top it off with all the marketing hype from the spirituality industry. It’s within that largely sensationalistic environment that the SoulPhone Foundation must attempt to impart its message.
How does one separate legitimacy from charlatan chicanery? It’s at this point that I pulled off at the spiritual rest stop and decided to quit speculating about SoulPhones, at least in public. I don’t want to add to anyone’s confusion with assumptions that could prove false.
For example, from all I’ve heard about near-death experiences, some NDErs “knew” a lot of things out-of-body that they couldn’t remember when back in the body. They had access to heightened awareness. This is often taken to mean that anybody who dies instantly becomes close enough to omniscient for rock ‘n’ roll. We also hear many stories about the wonders of the light and the amazing love to be felt in the afterlife.
Yet in counterpoint, people who’ve experienced deliberate out-of-body journeys often present a different picture of cosmic reality. They often say that the astral plane is not the paradise many NDErs reported. It may be an upgrade over physical earth but it’s not nonstop ecstasy.
The bottom line is who and what should I (or you) believe. I think ultimately we have to decide for ourselves based on our own personal standards of evidence and trust.
MY PERSONAL JOURNEY
I am not a seasoned journalist, but I do care about the truth. I’ve noticed that in writing about the SoulPhone, I try to keep to “spiritual reality” as I interpret it, and lately I’ve been feeling that there are too many false prophets and purveyors of unsubstantiated “wisdom” out there. I do not want to be another one.
For most of 2020 I found myself on pins and needles while writing this site. The meh-minus readings I got from several mediums (including a famous and very expensive one) plus a flood of marketing emails from New Age personalities discouraged me about the cosmic consciousness industry, especially as it exists in the United States. Money-making seems to take a higher priority than improving the world. I don’t want to be seen as encouraging less-than-credible merchants of mythology, fraudulent or ill-informed mediums, and metaphysical narcissism.
But another reason probably compels me more. Writing about the SoulPhone in my unofficial capacity as armchair observer keeps me functioning in an intellectual, analytical capacity. I’ve been suffering from excessive social isolation. I’ve come to realize that I may be stunting my spiritual growth with too much head-tripping and not enough interaction with the living.
So my big change for 2021 is to find and encourage more personal interaction.
Speculating on the future of a SoulPhone tells us plenty about where we are right now. How we think things might change is based on how we think things already are. I believe that speculation including science fiction writing is valuable because it involves looking at something from a different perspective, often shedding new light on old issues.
I’ve not lost faith in SoulPhone lab research. They keep working hard to bring their technology to fruition. I will still follow their progress with great interest, cheering for their success and eagerly awaiting what electronic communication with ‘spirit’ might bring.
I support research that helps us understand the true nature of consciousness. So many sources suggest that the materialistic model that consciousness dies with death of the brain is wrong. That model hardly explains phenomena that millions of people experience. While the SoulPhone mostly piques the interest of those yearning to make contact with their ‘deceased’ loved ones, its invention would inherently energize the quest to better understand the mysteries that keep our souls enchanted.