tartthendofmaterialismThe Ground of Faith
Exploring Science, Mysticism and Experience Together

August 2009
Editors: The Rev. Michael Cocks and The Rev. Victor MacGill

"Theological Education and Paranormal Sciences"

"GOD THE GEOMETER": Codex Vindobonensis 2554 (French, ca. 1250), in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek


"Theological Education and Paranormal Sciences"

We think that we are the only on-line journal tackling the Paranormal and Christianity.

ASPSI Was Michael Jackson overshadowed by spirits?: Michael Tymn

ASPSI Frederick W H Myers: Michael Tymn

When the silver cord is severed: Michael Tymn

New Ideas in Science: Thomas Gold


Subversive Thinking http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com/

Book Reviews

Charles Tart: The End of Materialism

Elizabeth Keane: Direct communications from the afterlife

Damian Broderick: Outside the Gates of Science


Louis de Figueiredo: The Jospice Mattress

Other relevant e-journals, blogs and publications

Victor Zammit's Weekly Treasure Trove


Public Parapsychology



"Theological Education and Paranormal Sciences"

The Ground of Faith has now celebrated its 6th Birthday

*Until now we have been providing material from many sources that invites us to think about the Christian faith in the light of science that recognises and explores the reality of the paranormal experiences of countless millions of people, regardless of their faith community. Such science has much advanced over recent years, and more and more people in the so-called Western world are becoming sure that there is an afterlife.  

In this issue we ask the question:  Should familiarity with paranormal sciences be part of theological and Christian education?  [And of course part of the education of Moslems, Jews, Buddhists and anyone else. It is just that this journal has a Christian readership in mind.]  Rationally, the answer should be Yes.

Let's consider things that are asserted within mainline Christianity:

*That there is a spiritual dimension to reality
*That there is eternal life. The death of the body does not change this.
*The Communion of Saints of the church militant and the church triumphant. (The oneness of the living and the departed in Christ.)
*That the way we live in the body is important part of our spiritual development
*Some Christians believe that we may pray to the saints, and that spiritual beings can help us in our earthly lives
*That prayer matters, and can sometimes play a part in spiritual and physical healing
*In the New Testament we see cases of telepathy, clairvoyance, distance seeing, prophecy for the future, inspiration, peak experiences, holistic awareness, communication from the spiritual world, negative entities, possession and more
*That the Spirit is in all through all and above all. 

Overall, from the point of view of paranormal science  one could see the New Testament  as a multifaceted psychology.

It would make sense for Theologians, Theological students, students in church schools, Christians in general to become acquainted with the state of the play in this field. If this were to happen it:

*would help Christians to interface their Christianity with what can be learned here, and perhaps thus grow in their faith.

hearnoevil*would help Christians be clear how the Materialist hypothesis is falsified, while employing the various scientific methods in coming closer to the truth of things. [Materialism
asserts that mind/consciousness/spirit is nothing but
electrochemical processes in the brain.]

Why ever would Christians not wish to study what would support and illuminate the very things they believe?

This on the one hand; but the issue is much bigger than this: What we are faced with is the question of how to totally re-orient our thinking in a culture shot through and through  with this denial of the significance of mind/spirit. 

*Now we are hoping readers will help us think about the future. You could join our FaceBook group or write to the Editors at editor@thegroundoffaith.net

An organiser of religious education in church secondary schools has invited us to draft an experimental syllabus for ages 16-17, and to trial it.  We have made progress in making  PowerPoint presentations of the topics we would hope to cover, and the ways they could be addressed.  If you click on this link, you will find out how we are thinking, and we would much value comments and suggestions.

lonelinessWe think that we are the only on-line journal tackling the Paranormal and Christianity.

But there are a bewildering array of scholarly journals investigating the paranormal and the functions of science. Examine the links provided by

http://www.anomalist.com/ or better still http://scientificexploration.org/ and be overwhelmed.

MichaelJacksonASPSI Was Michael Jackson overshadowed by spirits?: Michael Tymn

There has been much in the way of spirit communication to suggest that talented artists in the spirit world attempt to influence, or overshadow, people here on the earth plane, especially people who might have an aptitude for whatever gift the particular spirit had when incarnate. "The spirit world, rather than the physical world, is the sphere of causes," Dr. James M. Peebles, a California physician, quotes one of many seemingly advanced spirit communicators in an 1887 book. "Its baptismal influences are continually being poured upon mortals. All great orators are inspired; all poets are impressed; the greatest artists often paint wiser than they are known. Read on..

Myers ASPSI Frederick W H Myers: Michael Tymn

Theodor Flournoy, a world-renowned University of Geneva psychology professor, once opined that the name Frederic W. H. Myers should be joined to those of Copernicus and Darwin, completing "the triad of geniuses" who most profoundly revolutionized scientific thought.

Pioneering psychiatrist William James, wrote that Frederic Myers "will always be remembered in psychology as the pioneer who staked out a vast tract of mental wilderness and planted the flag of genuine science upon it." Read the article


ASPSIsilvercord When the silver cord is severed: Michael Tymn

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” - Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

Read the article


Thomas GoldNew Ideas in Science: Thomas Gold

Source: scientificexploration.org/journal

[Thomas Gold's work crossed academic and scientific boundaries, into biophysics, astronomy, aerospace engineering, and geophysics; Read this Wikipedia article about him]

"Peer review is Herd review and so new ideas are squashed"

New ideas in science are not always right just because they are new. Nor are the old ideas always wrong just because they are old. A critical attitude is clearly required of every scientist. But what is required is to be equally critical to the old ideas as to the new. Whenever the established ideas are accepted uncritically, but conflicting new evidence is brushed aside and not reported because it does not fit, then that particular science is in deep trouble-and it has happened quite often in the historical past. If we look over the history of science, there are very long periods when the uncritical acceptance of the established ideas was a real hindrance to the pursuit of the new. Our period is not going to be all that different in that respect, I regret to say. Read the rest of this important article 


scientificexplorationWe hope to continue to link to the FIVE-STAR site: with a multitude of excellent articles, and endless links to a very great number of sites that will be of interest to readers of this journal. It is produced by The Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE) which “is a professional organization of scientists and scholars who study unusual and unexplained phenomena. Subjects often cross mainstream boundaries, such as consciousness, ufos, and alternative medicine, yet often have profound implications for human knowledge and technology. All topics amenable to scientific inquiry are welcome.”

subversiveSubversive Thinking http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com/

By subversive thinking, I'm refering to a critical approach to many controversial topics, including (but not limited to) paranormal phenomena, afterlife research, pseudoskepticism (debunking), reductionistic materialism, dogmatic atheism, philosophy of mind and religion/spirituality. Ocassionally, you'll note some broken english expressions of mine... I'm sorry, I'm japanese and I'm learning the english language. [**** in the opinion of the Editor]

http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com/2009/02/marco-biagini-quantum-physics-and.html “Marco Biagini: Quantum physics and the scientific refutation of materialism”


Book Reviews

TarttheendofmaterialismCharles Tart: The End of Materialism

TartHis and other scientists' work convinced him that there is a real and vitally important sense in which we are spiritual beings, but the too dominant, scientistic, materialist philosophy of our times, masquerading as genuine science, dogmatically denies any possible reality to the spiritual. This hurts people, it pressures them to reject vital aspects of their being.


KeaneElizabeth Nawotny-Keane Amazing Encounters: Direct Communications from the Afterlife. 

The Editor writes: "I met Elizabeth and her husband Ross at  an annual conference of the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies Inc. at deSales university Pennsylvania, two years ago, and it was a great pleasure for me. Elizabeth had recently been awarded a PhD from the University of Western Sydney, on her dissertation on 'Direct communications from the Afterlife". This has now been published in the form of this book, and I highly recommend it. The following is part of a review    that you will be able to read in full at the link at the end."
 People who have experienced the presence of a departed spirit no longer doubt there is an afterlife. This book tells amazing stories of people who have received direct visits and communications from deceased loved ones – a parent, spouse, sibling, child or friend. The bereaved tell stories of visionary encounters, conversations, dreams, familiar scents, even hugs and kisses. These fascinating accounts of successive communications from the deceased are shared within the framework of the lives of their loved ones.
    The power of these direct and spontaneous communications from the dead in easing grief, in alleviating the fear of death and in changing lives is evident. The book will be of great interest to those who are interested in spirit and spirituality, psychic experience, death and the afterlife.
    It will be of value also to people who are engaged in supporting those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, the bereaved, the elderly and their families. It will be helpful for so many people who have had such experiences and do not know how to share them or to integrate them into their lives.  Read more... and order the book, if you wish.

Outside Damian Broderick: Outside the Gates of Science

Journal of Public Parapsychology Thursday, June 25, 2009

BroderickDamien Broderick is an Australian science-fiction author and critic with a PhD in the comparative semiotics of science and literature. A rare and chimeric blend of qualities which make him an engaging and sympathetic commentator on parapsychology- an enterprise which is viewed by establishment science somewhat in the same way that science fiction is viewed by the literary establishment- as a quirky and rather embarrassing enterprise driven by a desire for wish-fulfilment that anyone with respectable academic ambitions ought to have grown out of by the time they hit puberty. However Outside the Gates of Science: Why It's Time for the Paranormal to Come in from the Cold is not a book you’ll feel you have to read surreptitiously under the bed covers. A fast-moving foray into the fascinating (and sometimes downright bizarre) world of parapsychological research. It’s a good introduction to the controversies of the field for the non-specialist reader. Read the rest of the review 



VictorMacGillPaper presented at a Systems Theory conference in Brisbane, by co-editor Victor MacGill

Abstract: In the Western World over the last 300 years or so, spirituality has become a casualty in the development of human knowledge. Traditional Christian religion has tended to become rigid in its formulation, maintaining a world-view that sees the earth as the centre of the universe and ‘man’ as God’s special creation given dominion over the earth and everything in it. Reductionist science has taken us to the opposite extreme, seeing the world as a mere rock in an obscure and unimportant part of the cosmos brought into being by sheer random events. Both traditional religion and reductionist science separate us from the world we live in and see the earth and everything in it as available for our use as we please. Read the presentation.

From our readers

 The Jospice Mattress ImprintLouis

Louis de Figueiredo of Sao Paolo, Brazil, has previously contributed several articles to this journal.
"When the West Indian patient Les died of cancer of the pancreas in the St. Joseph's Hospice, Liverpool in March 1981 he left a partial but indelible imprint of his body on the polypropylene mattress over which he had been lying. The imprint showed his right hand, buttocks, arm, shoulders and jaw, in the form of outlines, and with some shadows. The director Father Francis O’Leary took the mattress home after he and members of the Management Committee had observed this unusual happening. There it lay for five years".. Read his article

Other relevant e-journals, blogs and publications

Don't forget to visit these websites: Victor Zammit's site for instance, is updated every week with new material of great interest.

Victor Zammit's Weekly Treasure Trove

ZammitVisit the archives of Victor Zammit's weekly newsletter at http://www.victorzammit.com/archives/index.html  for hours of  fascinating reading.  When you open this website you have the opportunity to request that these emails be sent to you every week, something that we strongly recommend.



We strongly recommend this site, as a source of much interesting material.


Public Parapsychology

Editors' notes: Public Parapsychology is one of an increasing number of web sites that we should be aware of.. and subscribe to. Try this url: http://publicparapsychology.blogspot.com


The Largest Database of Afterlife Description & Analysis on the Internet

“This web site is a compilation of information on the afterlife and other related critical concepts, such as the purpose of life and reincarnation, as they relate to souls here on earth. We have not created this site to convince anyone of the validity of this information, we simply invite you to read through the data, explore the sources we have used and visit other sources to learn more. Using spirit sources from Afterlife101.com and respected authors like Michael Newton, Allan Kardec, Jane Roberts and others, the results of our first investigations reveal 94.8% agreement on a variety of very specific topics. We believe this web site contains the largest correlation of spirit communications about the afterlife, all from respected sources, available anywhere. We will continue to expand this data as information is made available to us and our research expands.”


Click http://www.near-death.com/ for hours of fascinating reading

Kevin WilliamsGreetings! My name is Kevin Williams and I am the owner and webmaster of this website. Over the years, an increase in the public interest in near-death experiences (NDEs) has helped make this website very popular on the internet. My goal is to transform this website into the "Grand Central Station of NDEs." My mission is to help connect people with information and resources concerning NDEs and NDE research for the purpose of understanding death and thereby understanding life in a way that brings tremendous joy and love.

For people who want to know a little bit about me, I say, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" All joking aside, here is how I describe myself: middle-aged, computer scientist, cable news junkie, manic depressive, universalist Christian with Gnostic and Tibetan Buddhist leanings, former Montana cowboy, U.S. Army veteran, social liberal, economic conservative, single Californian, internet addict, and last but not least, NDE evangelist. I am also the author of "Nothing Better Than Death" on the subject of NDEs. Continue reading

Read also http://www.near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation08.html A long list of extraordinary coincidences between the lives of Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy.

Electronic Voice and Instrumental Communication:



Read DISCOVER magazine