The difficulty of developing reliable knowledge
It has been eight years since I set up this website, as testimony of a thirty-year research activity in the field of the experiences of the conscious Ego during its organic life, and of the possibility that the Ego continues to exist and to experience even after the death of its organism. The time has come to make some considerations on the objectives that I had, and which I am setting for myself on continuing to write these pages, and on the correctness and efficacy of the research and exposition methods used by me in relation to these objectives. In fact, it is often taken for granted that the mental processing activities through which the Ego seeks more or less reliable forms of knowledge are controlled and directed by the Ego itself, and therefore can be considered as the fruit of its work. But if it is true that the Ego must invest time and energy in committing itself to obtain certain results through the mental activity of research and elaboration, it is also true that the psychic origin of these results means that they often escape the Ego's control abilities: it may happen that the Ego is all the more convinced of the validity of the results obtained through its own mind, the more it identifies with the psyche's attunements that involve it. It is therefore necessary for the Ego to have some control methods that allow it to verify the results obtained through its own mental elaborations: this is possible for some forms of knowledge, but not for others. The various disciplines of mathematics are the field in which mental processing can be subjected to rigorous control, both by the subject whose mind invents, i.e. finds, a certain solution, and by other subjects who verify that solution, given the universality of the results obtained. In all experimental activities, it is the result of an experiment, if coherently repeatable and controllable, which can confirm the validity or otherwise of the mental process, to verify which the experiment has been programmed. Finally, for all mental design activities in construction, industrial and technological fields, the quality of the products made and their correspondence to the needs to be met and to the required technical specifications constitute in themselves the validation of the correctness of the mental process which has allowed their realization.
A mental activity of remarkable importance for human interactions consists in transmitting information through a linguistic or audiovisual communication system about current or past events, human experiences, descriptions, classifications and evaluations of all kinds. This information can be true, or more or less reliable, or even false: then, what verification tools can our Ego have to evaluate the correctness of the information received, if is itself subject to psychic dynamics that can deceive it? First of all, it is necessary to distinguish between the intent of the person who transmits the information and the verification capacity of the person who receives it: whoever transmits the information must have the sincere and convinced intention of presenting data as true and reliable as possible, or must honestly declare that what is reported is only reliable to a certain extent. Obviously, there are many people willing to spread false information – or to hide and deny true information – in bad faith, that is, well aware that what they are doing is the opposite of what would be correct and fair to do. Unfortunately, this is how the human psyche works: these people will always find a reason, more or less valid in the light of their way of reasoning, to justify their behavior. For this reason it is necessary that whoever receives the information can first of all verify its original source and establish how much trust they can place in it: this is not always an easy process in the complexity of current human interactions, also because the psyche's negative polarity continuously devises various expedients to mask its intent with forms that suggest trust. It is also evident that there are always more or less numerous groups of people inclined to willingly accept as true the information coming from individuals that no sane and reasonable human being could consider reliable. Therefore, as regards the assessment of the correctness of the information received, in all those cases in which there is no possibility of relying on objective validations each of the users is forced to rely on their own intuition and critical intelligence: in fact, never trusting would mean giving up a priori the acquisition of useful elements for increasing our knowledge, while naive and uncritical trust in any information that is transmitted to us involves the Ego's conviction in mental schemes that do not correspond to reality, and can also be harmful to ourselves and others (as demonstrated by the conflicts generated by different political or religious ideas).
One of the purposes of this site is the spread of information relating both to events and research in the field of mediumistic phenomena, and to non-ordinary experiences such as NDEs. The information I have selected is not exhaustive and, in particular with regard to NDEs, has an exemplifying value and is intended as a stimulus for further research. However, I have done everything possible to select reliable information, at least in the light of my evaluation skills. In the case of NDEs the merely subjective nature of such experiences means that any information in this regard is based on the trust that the subjects who recount their experience are sincere, and therefore offer us a sufficiently precise testimony of what they have actually experienced. On the other hand, the impossibility of an objective verification concerns any inner experience that is told to us by another person, and consequently any evaluation in this regard is based not only on the congruence of the account, but also on the trust that we can have in that person's sincerity. We are led to consider NDEs as experiences that actually occurred also due to their high number and the coherence of some of the elements that characterize them. As regards information on mediumistic phenomena, it is very important to do historical research on the numerous documents we have available, starting with those published in the United States in the decade between 1850 and 1860, when the spiritualist movement quickly spread, between the skepticism and aversion of some – especially on the part of religious institutions and various newspapers – and the enthusiasm of others, who believed a new era had begun. Some of these texts are already available in our Library, while others will be added in the future. In this research it is necessary to distinguish between the facts, as they are presented to us by the testimonies of various diligent, capable, and – above all – truthful investigators, and communications from spiritual entities, always received through the mind-tuning device of a medium, and therefore subject to distortion due to interference from the human psyche. While the concordances on the established facts lead us to consider the reality of these events as sufficiently proven, leaving aside the difficulties relating to their interpretation consistent with our knowledge, mediumistic communications show some concordances but also a wide range of variants, sometimes even incompatible with each other and not infrequently difficult to understand and unverifiable in the light of the intellectual faculties on which our convictions are based.
In terms of the collection and spreading of information relating to the aforementioned topics, I therefore believe that I have carried out with sufficient diligence the task I set for myself. Whenever I could, without breaking copyright laws, I have made available to readers the texts from which I have drawn this information – which can be downloaded from the Library – to allow everyone to directly evaluate the informative material treated, and to deal firsthand with the problem of the trust to be attributed to other people's testimonies. I should add, out of respect for those who follow this site, that it is above all for others to judge the value, importance and quality of the work I have done: however I think that this is only partially true in the field of research that I deal with, given that the psyche's dynamics that are often activated as a reaction to the topics here covered prevent some people from correctly evaluating the motivations, commitment and intellectual resources of those involved in such research. On the other hand, the very complex and enigmatic nature of the events, experiences and information relating to this field of research often causes those dynamics of denial or hostility – determined by the bipolar energy of the human psyche – to emerge, which I have often dealt with in the pages of this blog. The way in which the psyche reacts to information relating to events that are considered anomalous opens up a new field of investigation concerning the functioning of the psyche itself, and in particular the various interpretative elaborations with which the psyche tries to explain the observed phenomena, or accepts or rejects their reality as a consequence of the functioning of previously elaborated cultural programs, operative in different forms in the minds of the various human individuals. Since I have often dealt with these issues, it is now necessary to evaluate the limits to be attributed to my interpretations, as they too – being the product of my mental elaborations – reflect the attunements of my psyche.
The evaluation of our mental elaborations
If the Ego identifies with the elaborations of its own psyche without submitting them to a critical evaluation – that is, if it takes them as right only because they come from its own mind, and not from that of another – it runs the risk of being controlled, manipulated and deceived, so to speak, from within, since it knows nothing about the dynamics that make its mind work the way it does. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that the human psyche has produced, and still manages to produce, absurdities of all kinds, some of which spread and propagate among humans with a force of conviction that increases as the number of people who share them grows, thus succeeding in imposing itself on all those Egos who allow themselves to be elated by the power of identification with the psyche's collective dynamics, due to their weakness and lack of adequate resources. Just to give an example, in the phase of consolidation of the Christian religion many people engaged their mental resources – sometimes even of a remarkable quality – in elaborating and debating how what would later become the Trinity dogma (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) should be defined and interpreted. Although the contrasts determined by the different mental elaborations caused conflicts with a good number of victims, without producing any real benefit in terms of knowledge, given the impossibility of verifying in any way what the psyche produced, many people continued to be fascinated by this useless waste of mental energy, taking sides with one or another interpretative theory. It can be observed how the elaboration of speculative theories for which no real validation is possible, is often associated with the desire to proselytize – that is, to convince other people of the validity of such theories – in order to prevail over the opponents. Given the way the human psyche works, every Ego practically always implies a we: but while the Ego is almost always a well-identified subject, either on the basis of its self-awareness, or in relation to the organism with which it is associated, the we is a relative and changeable category, which can be referred to a more or less large and more or less organized group, to a nation, or even to the whole humankind. Because of its weakness, the Ego is often induced to affirm its convictions through a we whose strength is proportional, as we have seen, to the number of individuals who are part of the group to which the we refers. Unfortunately, due to the often defective functioning of the human mind, the power of attraction exercised by the we can prevail over the ability to verify the truth and correctness of the ideas shared by a certain group, imprisoning the Ego in a gregarious and sectarian condition.
In order to evaluate the reliability of the mental statements that are spread as information, we can start from the assessments about facts, which are more or less easily verifiable by anyone who is able to get the information relating to these facts. For example, stating that there are people who are vegetarians is the observation of a fact, just like stating that there are people who vote for a certain political party and others who vote for a different party. Similarly, it can be said that there are people who believe in the Islamic religion and others who don't, or that there are people who think that the Earth is flat. In the latter case, however, the observation of a fact – that indeed there are people who believe, in good faith, that the Earth is flat – immediately implies a problem concerning the functioning of the human mind, since the Earth is spherical. Therefore the human psyche can convince the Ego both of things that can be true and may not be so, without there being the possibility of ascertaining it, and of things which, despite being false, are held and presented as true. Consequently, if I affirm that all human beings are equal, without adding anything else, this statement of mine is not the observation of a fact, but the enunciation of an idea originating from the human psyche. Even the affirmation that all human beings have the same rights is not the recognition of a fact, but at most a declaration of intent to be achieved: what we find as a fact is the opposite, that is, that human beings are different from each other and have those rights that are recognized to them by society (the we), when and if they manage to get them recognized. Today, in our culture, the right to express and defend one's opinions, whatever they are, is recognized: in this way the human psyche can openly bring out its own dynamics through the confrontation between different actors, even if these dynamics are contradictory and conflicting. However, there is the risk of depriving the Ego of any defense against the psyche's attunements that directly involve it, relativizing and indulging in any form of conviction, and weakening the resources the Ego has at its disposal to undertake to verify its own opinions and interpretative evaluations. This uncritical indulgence towards the psyche is also reflected in those educational systems, widespread today, which tend to justify, or at least to accept, any form of behavior as a manifestation of the subjection of the Ego – considered as inevitable and even beneficial – to the dynamics of its own psyche. Thus, the weaknesses of educators are passed on to those who should be educated.
As far as the contents of this site are concerned, when I have presented facts, I have undertaken to ensure that the recipients of the information relating to those facts can verify their reality as far as possible, on the basis of the intellectual resources that each one has. On the other hand, I am aware that I have not infrequently presented my interpretative elaborations regarding these facts, which – obviously – are determined by the functioning of my mind, and therefore originate from my psyche. For example, I have presented many facts relating to mediumistic phenomena of a physical kind which demonstrate their reality: however the attribution of such phenomena to the intelligent activity of alien entities belonging to another dimension is an interpretative elaboration of my mind, which I am not able to validate experimentally. While asserting my right to manifest and defend this interpretation of mine, which seems to me more reasonable and intelligent than other alternative explanations that have been put forward, I must admit that it still remains the expression of my psyche's orientation, and therefore has all the limits that any product of the psyche that cannot be subjected to an effective validation method has. As I have already observed, the elaborations of the human psyche manifest themselves individually through the mental functioning of our organisms, and then spread through forms of interpersonal communication, to be shared by some or opposed by others, to varying degrees. In any case, regardless of the public success they sometimes have, they cannot be considered reliable forms of knowledge if they are not validated by an experimental verification method. When there is no possibility of applying a reliable verification method, the prevalence of one or the other interpretative elaboration produced by the human psyche depends on the functioning of the same psyche, and in particular on the conviction power that the dynamics of the collective psyche have on the Ego of each individual. Therefore, if the Ego wants to distance itself from the dynamics of the human psyche that inevitably involve it, it can observe the interpretative elaborations produced by its own mind with the interest and critical attention they deserve, nevertheless evaluating them for what they are: more or less intelligent and fascinating inventions which may even seem real to it, but which it cannot consider as conforming to reality if they are not first validated by an effective verification method. This is even more true for some interpretative hypotheses which today are considered by public opinion as accredited in the scientific field, even in the absence of experimental validations. The fact is that the lack of validated and reliable knowledge about certain events that occur, and that we experience, stimulates the psyche to elaborate interpretative hypotheses that fill, at least temporarily, that void of knowledge in which the Ego feels uncomfortable.
Therefore, I have no particular reason to defend or validate those interpretative elaborations generated by the attunements of my psyche that I have inserted here and there in the pages of this blog: the fact that someone might find them interesting and someone else might disagree with them is part of the ordinary dynamics of the human psyche. Furthermore, it is a fact that anyone can verify that this activity of production and diffusion of interpretative elaborations (what are commonly called opinions) of the events of reality is carried out continuously by a large number of people: some even manage to make an economic gain out of it, again due to the way the collective psyche works and the consequent identification of many Egos with their psychic tunings. I could also add that, all in all, I consider the functioning of my mind satisfactory, if compared with that of the average human mind, while it seems to me fully inadequate to satisfy those needs for knowledge that my Ego thirsts for. After all, I too can freely express my opinions, knowing very well that in terms of true knowledge they achieve nothing. Since one of the goals of this site is to help the evolution of the conscious Ego through a progressive training which allows it to differentiate itself from the psyche's dynamics that continually involve it without offering it any concrete benefit, in the future of this blog I will do my best to limit the interpretative elaborations produced by my mind, devoid of verifiable validations, to only those cases in which they may have a particular importance, for example in highlighting the contradictions and inconsistencies of certain interpretations originating from other people's psyche, or incorporated in dominant cultural programs. Anyway, the difference between what are facts and testimonies reported for informational purposes – in relation to which everyone will give the evaluation they deem most correct – and the interpretative elaborations produced by my mind, referring to these facts and testimonies, should be very clear to those who follow this blog. Indeed, the truly important aspect of this evolutionary path is represented by the training of the Ego's consciousness in focusing, with ever greater precision, the dynamics of the human psyche that determine the experiences of each Ego during its organic life, and in helping the Ego to understand the importance of continuing this experiential journey, in a different dimension, at the end of organic life.
Advantages and limits of language
This site is made of written words, therefore it uses language as a means of communication, narration and transmission of ideas, not unlike a book. Language is the most important tool of interpersonal communication that we have as human beings, to the point that it not only rules almost all aspects of our social life, but – once acquired – it also makes so that most of the dynamics of our inner life, including those mental elaborations that are expressed as thoughts, manifest themselves to our consciousness in linguistic terms. This is probably due to the need to be able to communicate to others what the Ego experiences and feels subjectively, due to its condition as a conscious entity. Yet everyone knows how difficult it can be, in some cases, to be able to translate into good language not only the feelings or emotions we have, but also what we experience in general through our senses, or rather, by the way our mental processing system interprets the data transmitted to it by our senses. Furthermore, we often realize how, once what we wish to communicate has been transformed into language, the recipient of our communication interprets what we wanted him/her to understand in a different way from our intentions, and we are unable to clearly understand whether this depends on the quality and precision of our language, or on the limits of the recipient's interpretative capacity. Therefore, as anyone can see, language is a flexible and quite effective communication tool, but not infrequently inaccurate and inadequate: it must also be kept in mind that, especially in the case of verbal communication, language is often used in a spontaneous and prompt way, with very rapid reaction times that can bypass any form of control by the conscious Ego, under the pressure of dynamics of the psyche that are automatically activated. Written language offers the advantage that it can be processed more effectively and then can be carefully controlled by the Ego, at least if the latter has the time to do so. However, written language is often used to disseminate information on topics whose elaboration is more complex and difficult than the ordinary communications to which we are accustomed: the search for the most suitable ways for transmitting such information can be difficult, and often the results obtained do not live up to expectations. Language still remains a tool that springs from the human psyche, only partially adapted and adequate to the needs of transmission of mental processing by the Ego.
Although agile and concise forms of construction of sentences are recommended and used today, this also depends on the fact that linguistic communication is considered according to its immediate and temporary effectiveness, almost like a disposable: in fact, it is believed that any piece of information can quickly be replaced by another piece of information, and that the user's mind is subject to a continuous flow of information whose result is to stimulate novelty, superficiality and immediacy to the detriment of reasoned and meditated analysis. On this site, however, I have used a more classic method of constructing sentences, the complexity of which can be more demanding for the readers, but at the same time allows them to practice the process of evaluating the various – often controversial – aspects of the covered issues in a sufficiently exhaustive way. In this way, even the mind of the reader, if they do not want to give up reading due to the effort it entails, must actively develop its own understanding of the topics proposed: the Ego is thus stimulated to become aware of the reactions of its own psyche, which can be coherent, discordant or alternative to what I have written. The way I use language as a communication tool is not aimed at convincing the readers of the value of my mental elaborations, nor at expanding the number of so-called followers: the use of the term conscious Ego, which obviously arises from my individual experience, refers to the exploratory path of every human being who is interested in the topics covered on this site, as long as they have adequate mental resources to understand and face the problems that the human psyche's domination entails, and to realize the value of the spirit experiences for the evolutionary path of the conscious Ego. In a certain sense, therefore, the pages of this blog also represent the testimony of a human experience that is not exclusively personal (this is the main reason that determined the anonymity of the site), in relation to which the conscious Ego of anyone who carefully follows the site deserves the utmost respect, and is just as important as the conscious Ego of the author. This is the spirit with which these pages were written, and if sometimes I have not managed to be clear enough, or I unnecessarily weighed down the reading with too complex sentences or with the presentation of more or less confused and not well explained mental elaborations, this was due to the limits of my communication skills, of which I am aware. On the other hand, I hope that those who follow this blog can also appreciate the positive aspects of the activity I have carried out (and which I intend to continue to carry out), in trying to translate existential themes, that are often anything but simple and obvious, into fairly effective communication and information terms.
Linguistic communication is important for us humans because words – spoken or written – still have an enormous evocative power towards the dynamics with which the psyche of each of us reacts to information received through language. Several years ago, while I was studying the consistent corpus of mediumistic communications obtained through Corrado Piancastelli (Entity A.) or Roberto Setti (Cerchio Firenze 77), I wondered why such complex and enigmatic phenomena as those produced by inorganic entities through mediums, were used as a means to promote the communication of mental elaborations – verbally transmitted – not unlike those which for centuries upon centuries the human psyche had produced, in one form or another and in one culture or another, and which had already been linguistically elaborated by intellectually gifted philosophers and explorers of the psyche. And yet, the same inorganic entities that were capable of producing physical phenomena inexplicable to us, seemed to attribute a remarkable importance to these forms of verbal communication, which necessarily end up falling within the range of the elaborations produced by the psyche, and which are sometimes striking for their naivety or for their inconsistency in terms of reliable knowledge, especially when compared with our current most advanced technological achievements. One of the reasons why I think that many NDEs are particularly important as testimonies of the Spirit dimension is that those who tell us about them often use the phrase «inexpressible in words», which suggests that such experiences are beyond the reach of those induced by the human psyche. Indeed, even in some mediumistic communications it is said that the Ego will be able to understand the Spirit dimension only when it will experience it directly, but much more often – even at the request of the sitters who want to know – the verbal descriptions that are provided to us by the communicating entities are imbued with elements produced by the human psyche, the bipolar character of which is often reflected in the contradictions or inconsistencies that can be found. As we will see better in the future, sometimes the same communicating entities attribute the verbal enunciation of the ideas they would like to convey to the psyche of the medium, which often remains active to the point that they fail to prevent either the interference or the misrepresentations determined by the human psyche: in a nutshell, they can neither control nor guarantee the quality of the final result of this complex process of interaction between two dimensions. It is well understood how this admission by the inorganic entities considerably weakens the cognitive value of the verbal information obtained through mediums.
When we cannot directly experience and know the reality of something, we can imagine it through the mental processes that determine our fantasies and which can be communicated verbally, to a certain extent, or much more effectively translated into audiovisual experiences, as often occurs today in the entertainment field. Although fantasies cannot be considered real, other subjective experiences – such as dreams – seem real to the experiencer at the time they occur, but their reality is not validated when the mental attunement changes, returning to the normal waking state. The transposition into words or even the audiovisual representation of the content of a dream may be insufficient to represent its emotional, sentimental or also spiritual contents, as they have been experienced by the dreamer, who often forgets them once the mental tuning has changed. If we move outside this consolidated conventional context, as happens when we want to deal with issues such as mediumistic communications or NDEs, we encounter many difficulties even simply in verbally defining a criterion for evaluating reality that does not consist in the mere transmission of information relating to the facts that have occurred, since some people will inevitably and inexorably continue to question the very reality of these events.
(to be continued)