Blumhardt The Ground of Faith
Exploring Science, Mysticism and Experience Together

December 2008
Editors: The Rev. Michael Cocks and The Rev. Victor MacGill

Johann Christof Blumhardt



In a way, it is a painful thing, producing this journal:


Time to Formulate the Laws and Hypotheses of Psychic Science

To Die For! The afterlife as theoretical science

It is not the case that we are little manikans

Blumhardt Wheat and Tares

Blumhardt on The Kingdom

Victor Zammit: Dialectical Spiritualism

Little change in the struggle against scientific and religious prejudice in the last 130 years

The taboos of science: why science cannot handle the paranormal

For the Brain, Remembering Is Like Reliving

What Happens When We Die?

Forcing God's Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture -- and Destruction of Planet Earth,

David Bohm and Plasma Life Forms

Bohm: “Thought runs you.”

Townsend Brown


In a way, it is a painful thing, producing this journal:

In a way, it is a painful thing, producing this journal. It is painful because of the wealth of fruitful psychic research in the past 150 years, because of the high calibre of the scientists working in the field, because it addresses the very nature of our existence, and because it is shunned and even execrated both by Materialist scientists and also by religionists of many conflicting sects and dogmas. It perhaps especially painful when spiritual people shun study of this work, since it affirms much of the spirituality common to the main religions, and helps to save us from superstition and unhelpful beliefs and dogmas. This pain was expressed 128 years ago by Alfred Russel Wallace who, with Charles Darwin, developed the theory of Evolution. If you look him up in Wikipedia, you will note that he seems equal in stature to Darwin. Yet he committed professional suicide by investigating psychic research and finding much of it valid. Few people know his name these days. In a letter which we quote later in this journal, he writes that the whole force of their arguments “depend upon an assumed proposition which has never been proved, and which I challenge anyone to prove. The proposition is, that a large number of independent, honest, sane, and sensible witnesses, can testify to a plain matter of fact which never occurred at all.” When we see almost a galaxy of eminent scientists testifying to the reality of various paranormal phenomena, it painful to see how their characters are attacked, and their work not studied. It is painful to read of the scorn accorded eminent physicist Sir William Crookes, or to Nobel Physicist Brian Josephson, amongst many others. The same pain is expressed in the article by Howard and Kelleher on Psychic Science.

Those of us who are not Materialists, should be grateful to these studies for saving us from a battle of the holy texts; saving us from proving matters with this or that quote from the Bible or the Koran, or the Buddhist, Hindu or Theosophical writings. Our communities of faith, worship and mutual service are extremely important, but psychic research, as well as human experience, are ways in which we can separate the wheat from the chaff in our belief systems.


BateyASPSI Boyce Batey has been the Executive Director of the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies, Inc. (formerly The Academy of Religion and Psychical Research) since 1978. He is a graduate of Princeton University ...He studied at Dr. J. B. Rhine's Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, was co-founder of the Communications Research Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois, and has spent the past 54 years as a psychical researcher with a primary interest and focus on survival research. For 20 years he conducted research on over 40 reports of haunted houses and poltergeist activity and conducted rescue mediumship, counseling the dead, or soul rescue work as needed. the past 20 years, thousands of people and by one account, statistically, some 14 million people in the United States alone, have passed through that portal which we call death and have come back from that undiscovered country to tell what it is like to die. These people are clinically dead with no heart beat, no vital signs and yet, through cardio-pulmonary resuscitation techniques, are revived and tell what it is like to die. They describe passing through a dark tunnel and seeing a bright light.” Read the conference lecture

 lawsofscienceTime to Formulate the Laws and Hypotheses of Psychic Science

by Robert G. Howard, PhD and Daniel E. Kelleher, MD

ASPSI Abstract. An objective of this article is to prove the feasibility of formulating laws and hypotheses of psychic science by physicists, psychologists and neuroscientists. Another objective is to introduce the mental constructs of a second dimension of time as psychic phenomena with mathematical descriptions. The article also discusses how psychical science is shunned by most practitioners of psychology, physics, and neuroscience. Read this article

PublicParapsychologyA Catch-22 : Psi and Explanation

Public Parapsychology: Posted: 08 Nov 2008 12:29 PM CST

When it comes to evaluating parapsychological phenomena, a Catch-22 situation emerges: if fraud or fluke can’t account for the phenomena, then some other theory must be employed. However, mainstream science will not accept psi until it is explained, yet psi is unlikely to be fully explained until it is incorporated into more inclusive scientific problem-solving.  Read Catch22

To Die For! The afterlife as theoretical science

James E. Beichler, Ph.D.

BeichlerASPSI Professor Beichler has been teaching Physics, 

Tom Butler, AA-EVP;

James Beichler

PMH Attwater, authority on NDEs

Mathematics and the History and Philosophy of Science at West Virginia University at Parkersburg for the past seven years, but will soon take an early retirement to conduct his own independent research. He has taught these as well as other related subjects at the university and college level for more than two decades, but only obtained his Ph.D. In 1999 from the Union Institute and University. He earned his Ph.D. in Paraphysics, a branch of theoretical physics. It is the only such degree from an accredited university in the world. Professor Beichler designed his own course of study for the Ph.D. He combined past advanced degrees and doctoral work in Physics and the History and Philosophy of Science with new studies in Parapsychology. He presently edits an on-line journal,
Yggdrasil: The Journal of Paraphysics, and is also conducting theoretical research in Cosmology to explain Dark Matter and Dark Energy, in physics to explain the nature of life, mind, consciousness and matter and will soon develop a new physical model of the atom. Journals relating to the topic of Paraphysics

Science investigates phenomena in nature that are either experienced or observed by people. However, one special class of phenomena is generally considered unscientific, i.e., unworthy of scientific investigation, by the majority of scientists. Science generally ignores any phenomenon associated with the possibility of an afterlife, which amounts to a scientific bias against this possibility. This shortcoming of science is actually a historical artifact Read the article

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It is not the case that we are little manikans

BlumhardtSome quotes from Johann Christoph and Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, from 'Thy Kingdom Come', a  Blumhardt reader, p 81: 

It is not the case that we are little manikins and there is the great, tremendous, powerful God of whom it is difficult for us to think, let alone understand. Rather, the reign of God operates through an endless number of powers, through an endless number of the heavenly host, through an endless number of personalities that stand about his throne and stand near to us as well.

BlumhardtChristoph Yes, I know quite well that modern man wants to see only people and, beyond them, nothing else in the whole, wide world. I know very well that we want to be the only ones who have the Spirit, thus glorifying ourselves...But, my friends, everything which lives in the heavenly world—that world into which our material eyes cannot see, which fills all earth and heaven—those beings nevertheless surround us from the side of the Father in heaven. There exists a regime underwhich we repeatedly feel ourselves served by invisible powers; and time and again our spirit feels awakened by the Spirit which fills the whole creation and which is God. I don’t want to have a single day go by without recalling that God’s heavenly host is around us, going out into all the world. I couldn’t live a single day without the thought that there is never a time nor a place that we are alone.

God sends us all sorts of powers, all sorts of helpers, both corporeal and spiritual; and all these messengers of God are personal in nature. Under God’s command, there are an endless number of powers which can surround us and accompany us; and they are most various.

 Blumhardt on THE WHEAT AND THE TARES: Nate Cull

Cull Still working my way through the Blumhardt reader, Thy Kingdom Come. It connects in many ways with the strands of mystical theology I’ve been tracing through Spiritualism, Christian Science / New Thought and the roots of Pentecost — as well as the Catholic contemplative tradition, for example Thomas Merton, and the postmodern/emerging church — that emphasise oneness and the love of God.  Read the rest of the article

Blumhardt on the Kingdom : Nate Cull

"here’s a take on the ‘Kingdom of God’ from the Blumhardts (probably Christoph, the son), one of the earliest healing revivals and precursors/parallels of the Pentecostal movement. The Blumhardts had experience of literal exorcisms and healings, and yet see how their theology differs from what is often touted today as straight-down-the-line Pentecostal values." Read the article 

Zammit Victor Zammit: Dialectical Spiritualism

“This alternate thesis shows the ‘historical inevitability’ of global acceptance of the afterlife - that it is inevitable that one day, one time in the future ALL people from all countries in the world will accept the paranormal and the empirically based evidence for the afterlife. The final stage through the dialectical process will bring all peoples form all nations together.” Read this strong statement

Explore Victor Zammit's  Weekly Treasure Trove:


Public Parapsychology
Electronic Voice and Instrumental Communication:
The Psychic Times

 Wallace Little change in the struggle against scientific and religious prejudice in the last 130 years

A.R. Wallace (co-developer with Charles Darwin of the theory of Evolution) quoted: "If a man tells me that he saw the lion on Northumberland-house descend into Trafalgar-square and drink water from the fountains, I should not believe him. If fifty men, or any number of men, informed me of the same thing, I should not believe them."

He comments: Hence it is inferred that there are certain things so absurd and so incredible, that no amount of testimony could possibly make a sane man believe them.

Now, these illustrations look like arguments, and first sight it is not easy to see the proper way to answer them; but the fact is that they are utter fallacies, because their whole force depends upon an assumed proposition which has never been proved, and which I challenge anyone to prove. The proposition is, that a large number of independent, honest, sane, and sensible witnesses, can testify to a plain matter of fact which never occurred at all.” Read this article [from Report on Spiritualism, London Dialectical Society, 1875]

Radin The taboos of science: why traditional science cannot handle the paranormal

Dean Radin, PhD, IONS' Senior Scientist, discusses scientific topics which are considered taboo to discuss publicly:

transitory taboos (4mins) stubborn taboos (4 mins) and woo woo taboos (4 mins)

  For the Brain, Remembering Is Like Reliving


Published: September 4, 2008

Scientists have for the first time recorded individual brain cells in the act of summoning a spontaneous memory, revealing not only where a remembered experience is registered but also, in part, how the brain is able to recreate it. Read this article from the New York Times

A sympathetic Radio New Zealand interview of a spiritualist.

 What Happens When We Die?

ParniaBy M.J. Stephey Thursday, Sep. 18, 2008 TIME

A fellow at New York City's Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Sam Parnia is one of the world's leading experts on the scientific study of death. Last week Parnia and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind "out-of-body" experiences.
Read the article

Book Review

rapture Forcing God's Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture -- and Destruction of Planet Earth,

by Grace Halsell. Washington, DC: Crossroads International Publishing, 1999. 132 pages. $14.95, paperback.

James M. Wall
Senior contributing editor of
Christian Century

If there is a single use of the word "zealot" in this book by Grace Halsell, I could not find it. And yet, when I finished reading her study of a sub-culture of religious fanatics, that one word stood out in my mind as the book's central theme. This is a book on zealotry and the danger it poses to the future of the world. That Halsell chooses not to use the term "zealot" is indicative of the style and tone of her work. While she seeks to inform a largely unsuspecting public about a dangerous belief system, she does not condemn the passionate mindset of those believers committed to an "Armageddon theology," a belief system calling for a world war that will lead to the Rapture, when "born again" Christians will be lifted into heaven, leaving all others behind to suffer and die.

Read the review

bohmDavid Bohm and Plasma "Life Forms"

Bohm, a leading expert in twentieth century plasma physics, observed in amazement that once electrons were in plasma, they stopped behaving like individuals and started behaving as if they were a part of a larger and interconnected whole. Although the individual movements of each electron appeared to be random, vast numbers of electrons were able to produce collective effects that were surprisingly well organized and appeared to behave like a life form.    Read the article

Bohm: “Thought runs you.”

[From Wikipedia] "So one begins to wonder what is going to happen to the human race. Technology keeps on advancing with greater and greater power, either for good or for destruction." He goes on to ask:

What is the source of all this trouble? I'm saying that the source is basically in thought.  

ASPSI Therapy for sane hallucinations

Karen HerrickRev. Karen E Herrick, PhD, LCSW, LMSW, CADC   Her website
There has been a scarcity of literature related to the spiritual experiences (hereinafter sometimes referred to as SEs) of mental health, allied healing professionals and their clients. When 133 professionals, who attended an educational workshop where they were asked about the SEs of themselves and their clients, eightyseven
percent of respondents stated that a personal SE had affected their life in a positive way. Eighty-five percent of them recognized and felt their clients had been positively affected by their SEs. Forty-two percent of the research subjects took the initiative to read an article or a book on the subject of spirituality in the year since attending the workshop.
Read the article

TownsendTownsend Brown and Rock Music

Abstract: Millivolt level signals produced by certain rocks lend themselves to scientific, artistic and mythical interpretation. Empirical probing of these signals by an artist and an electrical engineer observed both linear and non-linear displays. Whether interpreted through the lens of science or panpsychism, the signals themselves provide an excellent template for sonic experimentation. Accumulated years of unstructured qualitative data indicate these tiny voltages originating in the core of the rock react to outside stimulus in a variety of perplexing ways. Creative application has therefore tended to produce unexpected and unexplained results.