24 May 2018

Ectoplasm Ahoy!

Fancy a video conference with Kubilai Khan or Charles Manson, ? A two-way call with John Rawls or Aristotle? That's the prospect if you embrace claims made by the SoulPhone Foundation, a US entity that is researching communication with what legal pragmatists such as myself refer to as dead people.

The Foundation's site asks
imagine that science and technology have advanced to the point where it is only a matter of time before accurate and reliable devices will be available for us to continue our relationships with our loved ones who have “passed on,” but definitely not “passed away.” 
The Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health (LACH) at the University of Arizona is actually progressing toward a working prototype of what my colleagues and I call the “SoulPhone.” We express this emerging historic development as the evolution from the cell phone, through the smart phone, to the SoulPhone. 
Now, imagine that this technology exists, and that you can literally text, speak to, or video conference with your child who has physically died. What we call “death” will have been radically transformed from “passing away” to “moving to” a different realm (like a different city, state, or country). ​
The site helpfully provides answers to several concerns -
Q. When contacting those “on the other side,” might we be intruding upon their rest or privacy? 
Two decades of contemporary research with genuine mediums clearly indicate that cooperating spirits want to communicate with their loved ones on earth. “Departed” loved ones and luminaries want to continue to be with us just as we wish to be with them. The evidence reveals that we on earth are not intruding upon the rest or privacy of those in spirit. We are, rather, enabling them to experience and express their love for us and the planet. 
Q. Could SoulPhone devices be used in negative or harmful ways as has occurred with the Internet and other technologies in the world today? 
There will always be those who use surgical knives to kill rather than cure. Some will use smart phones to trigger bombings instead of sending loving messages. Potential abuse of the SoulPhone is no different than for any other technology. Society must be educated in respecting the gift and power of this technology for humanity. 
Q. Will using the SoulPhone and communicating with spirits possibly leave ones self open to evil interference? 
We are very mindful of this possibility and have considered it for years. Here is not the place to describe how we address this profound question. There are technical ways to minimize abuse from “negative” spirits, but for reasons of intellectual property cannot be shared here. Insights from the science of Quantum Electro-Dynamics (QED) indicate that you get what you intend. For people who believe in evil spirits, those are very real. On the other hand, for example, evidential mediums who do not believe in negative spirits can truthfully say they have never observed one. So both those who perceive evil spirits, and those who don’t, are telling their truth. 
When using out-of-body (OBE) techniques, Robert Monroe of the Monroe Institute recommended intending that you will connect only with those on your energetic level or above. Another of his techniques involved encasing one's self in a protective shield. The SoulPhone technology may incorporate using one or more of these approaches to protect being “spiritually hacked.”
Potential consumers of the service or the 'protective shield' might want to read works such as Jeffrey Sconce, Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television (Duke University Press, 2000) or John Durham Peters, Speaking Into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication (University of Chicago Press, 2000).

Hoary old sceptic that I am, the SoulPhone - used to contact Elvis or otherwise - strikes me as sad, just like the work noted here.