Existential Despair and the Wheel of Existence

The mediums that the Society for Psychical Research studied so extensively from 1881 forward paid a price for their gifts. Even a cursory reading of the SPR’s work with mediums reveals health issues and early death as almost an inevitable result of contacting the dead on a daily basis. Mediums tend to have histories of trauma and health issues. The very act of channeling can bring about a debilitation of the spirit. Eusapia Palladino, Eileen Garrett, and even contemporary medium Tyler Henry, all attest to the rigors of mediumship. As Tyler Henry states,

“I hope I live a really long lifetime,” . . . . “I feel old, though, that’s the thing — like on the inside. And readings make me feel older, and because of that, I can’t envision myself as a 70-year-old because I’m already so tired.” https://www.netflix.com/tudum/articles/life-after-death-tyler-henry-medium-interview-mental-health

Personal experience bears this out. Although I have always hesitated to label myself as a medium, on occasion, I experience trance-like experiences that I call “meditations”, so that I will not be afraid of what comes through. Most recently, this concerned a ‘vision’ while meditating on a wall by the famous Alhambra in Granada. What I ‘saw’ were men in chain mail and helmets slowly walking up the Cuesta del Rey Chico. They had tunics and helmets emblazoned with a red cross that I had not seen before:

The cross above is quite close to what I saw. The ‘voice’ that informs these meditations said “Calatrava” again and again. I was told (I do not know by whom; this voice simply exists and communicates) that it was the 14th century, or perhaps the 1400’s; and, finally, I saw horses drag up a wooden coffin. The men were exhausted.

I started my research. This was not a simple task, uncovering any possible validity to what I experienced. I finally ran across a paragraph in a PDF that confirmed that the Order of Calatrava was asked to intervene by the Catholic Monarchs in the Conquest of La Alhambra in the 1400’s:(https://www.avghcv.com/gallery/historia%20de%20la%20orden%20de%20calatrava.pdf An image search revealed that I had correctly “seen” their vestments and armor, including the red cross. There was personal information in this session that concerned yet another past life of mine at or near La Alhambra, along with the information that I come back again and again to the same place. “Te conocemos”, I heard, “We know you”.

The next morning, I was utterly depressed, drained, and exhausted. I dragged myself out to tea and following my morning routine; yet, I was unable to shake the distinct feeling of despair, almost a sense of dread. I shared this with my husband, who has seen this reaction before: “it takes a lot out of you”. Yes, “it” does, and I suppose by “it”, I mean a connection with something outside of ordinary experience, with something like a cosmic consciousness. But this “something” communicates with me and with a great many others, as well, and might attempt to reach all of us; my sense is that most people block out the encroachment of the Divine.

“If mind exists, (and I believe it to be universal) the shock of separation from the brain must of necessity . . . within a new vessel experience something akin to a dreaming remembrance of things past. … How much is remembered in the new state of consciousness … does the dragon fly remember his form as the chrysalis of yesterday?” (Eileen Garrett)

I wonder if mediums experience that “shock of separation” of mind from the brain, creating a state of consciousness where everything past, present, and future collide and knowledge is suddenly available. Somehow, this abrupt sense that you have left your body to access the hard drive of the Universe leaves you in a state of overwhelm as you return to your animal existence. It’s a reduction, a tamping down, of what you were in those brief moments when the 1400’s were now.

“I conceive of yesterday, today, and tomorrow as a single curve … time loses reality and the past and present and future are present in one instant … ” (Eileen Garrett)

As this is all quite new to me, at least the conceptualization of one’s consciousness as free from matter during trance states, I am processing how best to handle these alternate realities safely and without losing my sanity in the process. I have enough to worry about with people hearing this and labeling me as weird or crazy. When you access the “single curve” of reality that abolishes time, you are in strange territory, indeed. For it’s one thing to theorize, and quite another to experience; all I can hope for is continued resilience and strength to manage the truths as they come up for me, knowing that I am–and we all are–following a path that leads us to an infinity of possibilities that we barely perceive as we drink our coffees and plan our days.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD

Published by thupancic

I received my Ph.D. from Yale University in Spanish Literature and Language. I am currently a professor a Southern California college. My current area of research and interest is survival of consciousness research. I live with an eccentric husband and an emotionally deranged green-cheeked conure. I am the founder of the International Society for Paranormal Research (2021), which for now is housed under soulbank.org until we get our own site. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in membership!

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