llMy readers know that, although this blog discusses a lot of seemingly weird subjects, I don’t write about things just because they are strange, inexplicable, out of the ordinary. I try to maintain a clear focus on consciousness, and its possible survival of bodily death.

That is one of the reasons why I studiously stayed away from the UFO subject (the other one being that I know next to nothing about the subject). I recall having mentioned UFOs in passing, just to say that I instinctively like the theory – which has been gaining some traction in recent years – that sees them primarily as consciousness phenomena. This theory proposes that we are not encountering crafts (and beings…) from distant galaxies – we are opening up to other dimensions of reality which are normally hidden from our consciousness. That would mean placing UFO encounters on a continuum that includes as diverse things as telepathy, precognition, NDEs, after death communication, and the like. I have not given all this much thought, and I would certainly not be prepared to articulate the details of such theory or defend it in a debate. I just have a strong feeling that there may be something to it.

Then, just a couple of days ago, I received a communication from a James, a British reader of my blog, who pointed me in the direction of a truly extraordinary phenomenon which has been (and is) happening just a couple of hundred miles South from my hometown of Glasgow. Rather than trying to summarise what goes on there, I find it much better to direct my readers to the same article James pointed out to me, which is available here.

Now, quite apart from their quintessential weirdness, I found the Longdendale Lights challenging in a number of ways. First of all, let’s make this clear, there is no satisfying explanation in terms of known causes. Many have made a show of shallowness invoking the so-called “earthquake lights”, which are light phenomena – the existence of which is questionable in itself – for which a possible mechanism has been (speculatively) proposed based on piezoelectric effects in the earth crust. The Longedndale Lights are not earthquake lights (whether these actually exist or not): they are phenomenologically totally different. Ball lightning has also been proposed, but here again the Longdendale Lights look different, behave differently and, especially, are not associated with thunderstorms. James writes “I am quite prepared to believe that the lights are natural, possibly geological phenomena – however, there is a lack of appetite to consider the implications of this explanation. It would mean that there are natural/geological phenomena occurring in the UK of which science is completely unaware.” I entirely subscribe to his view.

However, the real challenge for me is that I cannot possibly see how these light phenomena (similar, in many ways to the well-known and well-researched Hessdalen Lights in Norway) can fit with the “continuum of consciousness” theory. In fact, these lights also bear some resemblance (although on a different scale) with the light phenomena consistently reported in physical mediumship séances. In that case, however, we can invoke an “opening up” of consciousness to afterlife dimensions and the interaction between sitters, the medium and spirit communicators. But why should this happen spontaneously, and only in a particular geographic place? And, why should at least some of these “natural” lights show what appears to be an intelligent, intentional behaviour?

We are again exposed to fleeting, inconsistent, unpredictable phenomena, which are nevertheless reported too often to be simply dismissed as “impossible therefore not occurring”. Happenings which are too weird, inexplicable even for an admittedly “far out” theory as the continuum of consciousness. I often wonder if there really is a limit to what we should be able to understand, to make sense of in this earthly life.


Adventures mid

I once heard a self-appointed literary critic affirming that “blogging is to literature what graffiti is to visual arts”.

There are two ways, I think, of looking at this statement. You can take it as derogatory and self-righteous, belittling both blogging and graffiti by comparing them to implicitly superior forms of expression. Or you can take it as an open-minded recognition that both literature and the visual arts are diverse, evolving fields, and new languages and modalities have emerged in the recent past as products of the world we live in.

The reason I am talking about this in the introduction is that this book is a collection of the blog postings I have published between 2013 and 2014 on my website, drparisetti.com, and I shamelessly maintain that this is indeed literature. My conviction rests on a few key arguments.

Firstly, with these writings I had the explicit intent of expressing myself, of saying something, of sharing original ideas and lesser-known information. These, in short, were not compositions thrown together and published – as is the case for certain blogs – to increase the number of hits on a website or to get a better ranking on search engines.

My blog – and this book – are the outcome of my work as a scholar and a practitioner of applied psychical research. Psychical research and parapsychology (the terms are used interchangeably) are concerned with the scientific investigation of the ways that organisms communicate and interact with each other and with the environment that appear to be inexplicable within current scientific models. They are also concerned with the scientific investigation of phenomena suggestive of survival of personality of bodily death. Applied psychical research is a discipline that looks at practical applications of the body of knowledge acquired through scientific investigation.

As a medical doctor and a trained psychotherapist, my interest lies in the use of the results of psychical research to ease the suffering of two categories of people – those who are in pain over the loss of a loved one, and those who are distressed because of imminent death (their own or a loved one’s).

And here comes the second reason that makes me believe that my blog postings are a form literature. The 57 articles that form this book are individual, stand-alone pieces that can be read in isolation. However, they also belong to a greater, coherent and consistent scheme and logical framework. Psychical research provides compelling evidence for the facts that mind is related to but independent from the physical brain and significant aspects of human personality survive the death of the body. These subjects – the mind/brain relationship and the survival hypothesis – provide the substance for most of my writings, but they are not dealt with as a matter of simple intellectual curiosity. The underlying angle, the common thread linking all of this work, is that these subjects are crucially important for the bereaved and the dying. When it is understood – rationally understood – that death does not equate with disappearance/annihilation, a considerable part of the fear of death and some of the pain of bereavement can be avoided.

Thirdly, and lastly, there is consistency of format, style and language. The vast majority of the articles take relevant – and often lesser known – pieces of information produced by psychical research, present them in a language adapted for a non-specialist public, put them into context as described above and offer my own, original reflections. Such consistency, I believe, makes them “natural” material for a book.

It is my hope that those who follow my weekly postings – and have contributed a large number of most interesting comments – will find it useful to have nearly two years of articles gathered into a single publication. And, especially, I hope that through this book my ideas will reach a larger public and inspire further interest and reflection.

I would be very grateful if the most affectionate amongst my readers would kinldy write a little review on Kindle store or Amazon, as this greatly helps to boost the books visibility.

The paperback version of the book can be found here

The Kindle version can be found here

And the Amazon page can be accessed here