This monograph was published in 1990, in a slightly more elaborate form, by the Italian institute of Parapsychology ("Centro Italiano di Parapsicologia" abbreviated as "CIP"), one of the most ancient and qualified Italian Institutes, which enjoys the patronage of the ISUP Foundation and its Department of "Altered States and Interior States of Consciousness".
CIP has its seat in Naples.
The fundamental characteristic of CIP has been the continuous investigation from 1946 until today (that is to say since almost fifty years) into the most sensational case of mediumism of this century. This case has been restricted to the Italian territory mainly because the medium in question remained anonymous until the end of April 1991. From that date CIP is officially authorized to mention the name of the medium. This anonymity which lasted from 1946 till 1991 came to an end thanks to a book published in Italy by Edizioni Mediterranee and written by the medium himself. The title of the book is "Il sorriso di Giano' ("The Smile of Janus") and the medium of whom we are speaking is Corrado Piancastelli, a well-known cultural personality and President of CIP, succeeding Prof. Giorgio di Simone who was its President from 1963 until 1989.
One doesn't need to dwell at great length on the importance of Piancastelli's mediumism. He has the gift of an embodiment trance with a complete alteration of personality and voice, followed by a total amnesia. Piancastelli can also come into telepathic contact with the "voice" which appears during the seances. This situation through which Piancastelli has lived for nearly fifty years is the origin of the exceptional document "The Smile of Janus" in which the author describes how, from a logical and neurophysiological point of view, he receives the "voice". According to the critics it is the first time that a great medium, and also one of refined cultural faculties, analyses himself not only with exasperating, scientific meticulousness, but also with great literary expressivity, transforming a text of Parapsychology into pages of genuine poetry. As a matter of fact Piancastelli is not only a psychologist and parapsychologist well-known in Italy, something which confers special emphasis to his case, but he is also the author of a dozen books outside the parapsychological sphere and the promoter and inspirer of the movement which is nowadays defined as 'Humanistic Parapsychology' whose foundation text came out in Italy, edited by Corrado Piancastelli and published by Edizioni Mediterranee, under the title of "Proposte per una parapsicologia alternativa" ("Proposals for an alternative Parapsychology").
The singularity of the Piancastelli case is not only due to the remarkable fact that he is the first medium in the world who has been scientifically examined, as will be explained hereafter but also because his "voice" or "Entity A" or "Andrea" (1) (since Piancastelli is no longer anonymous) which by now has become legendary to thousands of people, has manifested an exceptional wisdom in half a century of communications. These communications have been collected in more than l0,000 typewritten pages and approximately 2,000 hours of tape recording. (The average trance duration is about one hour and a half each seance). Academic theses have been written, various books have been published and there is a bi-monthly journal entirely dedicated to the communications of "Entity A".
(1) "Andrea" Translates in English as <Andrew>
In many Italian towns groups have been formed to listen to the recorded seances and seminars are being organized with the participation of the public.
It's only natural that this monograph in English represents a special event for CIP of Naples, because it takes the presence of this great Entity (but also a scientific case of immense value beyond the national borders).
Piancastelli's mediumism which avails itself of a convergence of supporting evidence which was never realized in this world has furthermore acquired a unique significance because the contents of the lessons received from "Entity A" have a philosophical and spiritual value which is, to say the least of it, precious.
We feel that this is the right moment to outline our research, in order to give our readers an immediate orientation and to show that the CIP methods are not exaggerated.
The phenomenon of " Entity A" can be examined from two main points of view. Firstly the philosophical and spiritual teaching of his mysterious voice and secondly the technical aspect of the phenomenon. This technical aspect can be briefly described as follows: Piancastelli falls into a trance after a kind of respiratory convulsion and some minutes later a voice can be heard which is different from his own and which starts to speak and to ask those present if they have any questions. Normally these questions have a philosophical content and the answers are always immediate, elaborate and aimed at a cultural programme which through the years revealed itself to be highly organized, as if, in advance the whole cosmological plot was known. In 45 years of periodical manifestations this Entity has been extremely consistent, it has never contradicted itself on a cultural level and it has never given in. In conflict situations among those present, it has always conducted the seances with exemplary calm and in all these years has kept the same tone, the same skill and wisdom and exceptional firmness, sometimes also accompanied by great gentleness.
This voice asserts, since 1946, that it belongs to another world, that is to say that it comes from the hereafter, sic et simpliciter!
It was therefore essential to carry out a number of checks to ascertain, as far as possible, that the medium was really in a trance, that the voice of "Andrea" was not a disguise of the voice of the medium, that the contents of the doctrine did not come from the unconscious or from the culture of the medium and finally that the medium was not an hallucinating psychopath.
The global results of an electroencephalogram made during trance, analyses of the voices, linguistic analyses, a Rorschachtest and a study of the physio-chemical variations have demonstrated the Entity's independence from its medium, as well as the reality of the trances. Therefore every hypothesis is open to any solution, including the one that "Andrea" is actually what he claim to be, that is to say a non human reality. This strengthens the doctrine itself, because the origin from the depth of an altered state of consciousness confirmed as such by scientific verification, makes this voice similar to prophecy, miracle, philosophical revelation and re-proposes a metaphysical mission of the world, based on reality, more than what happened or would be acceptable in other, similar manifestations.
There are not many analogies with other mediumistic phenomena. If we compare the experiments performed on the mediumism of Piancastelli with others, the analogies are worthless. The other important cases which occurred in the history of parapsychology are in no way superior to the case of Piancastelli, because none of these mediums have ever been put through all the cross-checks and convergent checks which make the whole phenomenon so unique. Moreover, in Piancastelli's case there is no need to polemize on the "alternating personalities", a subject so dear to psychoanalysis. In the alternating personalities the so-called guardian spirit is not present, nobody claims to come from another world and the independent psychophysical activities, such as voices, speech, EEG track, cannot be identified.
This is meaningful, because both voice and speech are like fingerprints and they cannot be disguised without being noticed by our sophisticated checks. Again referring to Piancastelli, there is no need to give consideration to the hypotheses of psychosis or schizophrenic disorder, because, apart from leading a mentally normal life, our medium also stood the Rorschach test in which even the most normal neurotic formations proved to be lacking. If we extend this concise survey worldwide, we find that other mediums remained famous for their intellective manifestations, but that their number is very limited, considering that we are observing at least a whole century: Leonore Piper, Gladys Osborne Leonard, William Stainton Moses, Eileen Garrett, Pietro Ubaldi, Jane Roberts, Roberto Setti. If you read reports on these sensitive, you will realize that it is difficult to make comparisons with Piancastelli, even if you don't consider the sustaining research to which, apart from a few rare exceptions, they never submitted anyway. There are, for example, the psychological tests which Whately Carington applied to Garret and Leonard and which are quite rudimentary, if reviewed now that there are very reliable tests.
However, it is not our intention to dispose of anything and anybody and we are aware of the fact that one cannot be a supporter of "Entity A" just because it manifested itself at CIP.
That would be the limit! Any result in this fundamental, but delicate field of research belongs to everyone. We must nevertheless maintain (and who could blame us?) that scientific proofs, in addition to the level of content, in a strictly parapsychological sense, cannot be ignored. It follows that the entirety of facts attributed to "Entity A" and its medium point to a paranormal origin sufficiently demonstrated, also irrespective of references based on certainty, in the sense that we ignore the processes which regulate the relations between the metaphysical and the neurophysiological aspects of the human being.
The Italian Institute of Parapsychology (CIP) therefore declares that the communications of "Entity A" are certainly originating from an unknown dimension. Too many proofs have in fact accumulated in the various decades, too many emblematic situations have accompanied the hundreds and hundreds of seances through which the lessons of "Andrea" have been received, such as for instance Andrea's frequent telepathic anticipations towards the questions of those present, to name but one of the paranormal atmospheres in which you feel immersed when you get in touch with this Entity.
If, therefore, within this communicative and cognitive picture "Entity A" maintains, among other things, to be a Spirit originating from another dimension, why shouldn't we believe it? In the name of what logic should we accept the fullness of its cultural project, but deny the identity which it declares?
Of course we are far from having understood and resolved everything. We know very well that there are enormous problems to clarify, such as the linguistic way of expression and the linguistic transformations used by Andrea, the study and the nature of human inner linguistic expression, the relations between Andrea and the neuronic network, the nature of the normal and altered states of consciousness, particularly in connection with the trance and not only with this trance, but with all the conditions in which humans perceive other dimensions, like for instance intuition, ecstasy, poetry, metalinguistics, and so on and so forth.
Of course this is not the right place to deal with these subjects which, however, give shape to the new relationship which is emerging between the classic and the humanistic parapsychology, but we would like to conclude that beyond all the technical and theoretical aspects there is also an emotive immediacy which a message like that of "Entity A" evokes in those who are listening.
Nevertheless CIP can only dwell for a moment on the emotive aspects. We need to go still further, into the areas where scientifically founded metaphysics and neuroscience meet. And this would exactly apply to the suggestions of "Entity A".
Therefore the new trend of CIP in Naples is completely aimed at the transformations of speech after death and the verification of the signals which separate the brain from its Spirit. This is a very new perspective for a parapsychology of the future and in this project CIP would be grateful for a serious co-operation and for an exchange of information with scholars of parapsychology.
The study of the Electroencephalogram, the analysis of the
voices, the comparison of the linguistic structures and the
study of the physio-chemical variations during
the embodiment trance represent an indication of very great probability
that the Entity is completely independent of its medium.
Almost for fun and driven by a wish to try if they too would have been
able to "evoke spirits", as one of them happened to witness the evening
before, a group of boys between 15 and 16 years old tried a mediumistic
séance at the home of him who would reveal himself later-on as the
of "Entity A".
There were immediately various physical phenomena in connection with the movement of the inevitable small table and Piancastelli wrote the following annotation about this experience in the third person, to maintain anonymity:
"Probably about 11 PM the boys reached their friend's (1) living room with stealthy steps, in order not to awake his parents and after having chosen a small, round, gilt, three-legged, eighteenth century table, they sat down around it and joined hands, in complete ignorance of every technical procedure and above all entirely uninformed about what a mediumistic séance could be. At the fatal words "If you are there, strike a blow" said by the experienced (sic!) friend who had been present at a séance the previous evening and who was therefore considered a kind of elder, a sharp blow was heard on the walls, which nearly stunned them all with fright. Immediately after that the boys felt an icy wind in their faces, while the little table gave evident signs of life to these lean and pale kids who remained glued to it feeling more like wetting their pants than remaining."
The séances with the little table became a daily pastime which involved hundreds of people from all over Naples, until the turning point of 1946 when suddenly young Piancastelli fell into trance.
The aforementioned text continues: The séance with the small table had started as one of the many which had by then been held for nearly one year and there was nothing to forebode what was about to happen then, also because until that moment there had been no premonitory signs at all of possibilities to fall asleep. All at once the young medium felt that he was prey to a sudden and deep sleep, lost consciousness and started to breathe deeply and rhythmically, with a simultaneous overlap of rattling sounds.
(1) The "friend" is Piancastelli himself, writing in the third person!
Then the rattling sounds became more reduced, more compact, as if they were about to reach some conclusion, changing into coordinate sentences and precise orders.(2)
Years later Piancastelli thus remembered this first episode:
"I felt myself gently drawn into a vortex towards an irresistible sleep......"
In this way a great mediumism originated and was to involve, in subsequent years, hundreds of people and later on, considering the books written on Andrea, certainly several tens of thousand of devoted admirers, because the teaching of this Entity is unique in the world for its contents of speculative value and for its strict logic.
In those first years every séance lasted about two hours, but the power of this medium is such that even now, in exceptionally positive conditions or for particular reasons, he can still remain in a trance for up to two and a half hours. The trance comes about through embodiment and the Entity uses the phonation system (3) of the medium. In the initial phase of the trance there is a respiratory stress which is integrated by a rattle lasting 3-4 minutes. If it were not controlled by the communicating Entity, this stress could, in the opinion of various physicians, involve the danger of suffocation for the medium. It probably suggests a partial transformation of the physical structure of the larynx, to differentiate the vocal tone and timbre of Entity A from those of the medium. Although from a paranormal point of view the voice details are not fundamental, they assumed a considerable importance in the scientific research which was carried out in the seventies.
The séances were initially held either in the dark, or with weak red light, or sometimes in half-light. Later-on they were held in complete darkness, in order not to create superfluous interferences to the medium.
At the end of each séance the medium's return to consciousness has always been immediate and complete, without any symptoms of tiredness. Rather each time a séance was held while the medium was not in perfect physical health, every pathological symptom was eliminated for the whole duration of the trance and nobody could understand how this could happen.
2) Concerning the technical aspects of the seance of which the boys knew absolutely nothing.
3) Phonation is the production of speech sounds through the combined action of the vocal organs.
In 1963 CIP was founded. The then president, Prof. Giorgio di
Simone, related as follows his meeting with the medium:
"The meeting was apparently casual, at the end of a series of lectures, studies and meditations on the greatest problems which have afflicted mankind from times immemorial and which concern the characteristics and the purpose of life.
At that time the medium was 2l years old and it became clear to me that his preparation in the field of philosophy or logic was not particularly thorough. The hypotheses which are suitable to explain the type of phenomenon which I attended regularly have been checked up one by one - the hypothesis of the dissociated, multiple and alternating personalities (Flournoy, Sudre, Servadio), the hypothesis of the cosmic reservoir (W. James), the hypothesis of polypsychism (Mackenzie), the hypothesis of facts and information, forgotten or unconsciously assimilated in the past, emerging from the medium's subconscious and emotionally re-expressed, the hypothesis of clairvoyant or telaesthetic reception of facts and information during the trance. In vain, none of the hypotheses known, except the one of a contact with a disincarnated intelligence, could explain what took place before our eyes".
During the span of 40 years many hundreds of persons have attended the phenomenon. Séances have been held in the presence of one single participant, as well as for more than 70 persons.
Nearly all the communications by Entity A and by other entities have been carefully tape-recorded, transcribed and filed.
From this enormous store of material four books have been derived "Il Cristo vero" ("The Real Christ"), the "Rapporto dalla Dimensione X" ("Report from the Unknown Dimension"), the "Dialoghi con la Dimensione X" ("Dialogues with the Unknown Dimension"), "Colloqui con A" ("Conversations with A"), all edited by Prof. di Simone, as well as ample extracts published in the journal. "Informazioni di Parapsicologia" ("Parapsychological Information") which is the official organ of CIP and furthermore the "Comunicazioni dalla Dimensione X" ("Communications from the Unknown Dimension") which are reports on conversations with Andrea, published since 1977 by the study group of Bologna, coordinated by Silvio Ravaldini and Clara and Riccardo Cesanelli.
Spectrum Analysis and Voice Print
In 1971 Prof. di Simone had the voice of Entity A and the one
of the medium subjected to a spectrum sound analysis. This is an extract
from the report by Prof. Gino Sacerdote, Director of the Institute of Electroacoustics
G. Ferraris of Turin:
"The recording of the voices turns out to be of good quality and the pronunciation to be very clear. We were requested to investigate with technical means if the two recordings could relate to the same voice.
Various general aspects have been examined: the rhythm and melodiousness of the voices and significant differences have been found. Various vowels have been analysed and also from this point of view the possibility that the two voices belong to the same person is thought to be quite small.
Among the characteristic elements of differentiation the phonetic behaviour of the dental 't' has been examined with particular care.
For this purpose four oscillograms have been made and they show the significant difference of (phonetic) behaviour. The oscillograms N. 1 and N. 2 belong to the first subject recorded, whereas N. 3 and N. 4 have been taken from the, second recording.
The 't' in oscillograms 1 and 2 has a very short duration and is vocalised, almost like 'd'.
In oscillograms 3 and 4 the t' has a considerably longer duration and the vocalised element is completely negligible.
This plot has been repeated at several points on the two recorded passages, always with results similar to the examples mentioned before. This phonetic element is particularly significant and, taking other considerations and other plots into account, I think that the voices are sufficiently differentiated and, barring simulation or deliberate alteration, have been uttered by different persons."
Prof. Sacerdote explained that "the sentence 'barring simulation or deliberate alteration' is a sentence which, for prudential reasons, I always write in my reports on matters regarding identification."
In 1972 Prof. Sacerdote again examined two voice samples (the voice of Entity A and the one of the medium in a state of wakefulness) with the "voice print" method.
In this second test which is technically superior to the first one and is also considered valid in the legal sphere, Prof. Sacerdote's opinion is even more radical than the previous time and removes every remnant of reserve, bringing out the most unfathomable mystery on the origin of Andrea's voice:
"The plots refer to the same sentence repeated twice at the beginning of the cassette: with '1' I indicate the first voice(4) and with '2' the second voice.(5) The comparative test demonstrates among other things a much slower articulation rhythm in voice '2', a richer melodious texture in '2' than in '1', a higher basic frequency in '2' than in '1'. Even a superficial check of the two diagrams attached reveals a considerable difference of behaviour: the difference between the two voices also appears from the 's' in 'questo'.(6) In voice '2' there are many elements at a frequency between 2000 and 3000 hertz which are completely missing in voice '1 '.
I consider all these elements sufficient to diagnose a differentiation in the two voices."
(4) The first voice is the one of Entity A.
(5) The second voice is the one of the medium.
(6) Questo means 'this'
Electroencephalogram during trance
In the June 1975 issue of the CIP Journal "Parapsychological
Information" a report was published by Dr. Massimo Morlino, psychiatrist,
on an electroencephalographic test applied to the medium Piancastelli at
the 2nd Clinic of nervous and mental diseases of the 2nd Polyclinic of
the University of Naples under the supervision of Prof. Buscaino and Prof.
D'Errico, Dr. M. Vittoria Turra, Dr. Striano, the intern Mr. Russo and
the technician Mr. Rotunno, as well as Prof. di Simone and Dr. Morlino,
the author of the report.
As is well-known, the electroencephalogram records the electric cerebral activity on a moving sheet. In a state of wakefulness there is a great difference between the cerebral activity with the eyes open and the one considered as relaxed wakefulness, namely with the eyes closed which suggests a mental state of prevailing imaginative activity, or at least of distracted attention.
In the first case the track shows a low voltage activity and the second case an activity dominated by Alpha Waves which are characteristic of the adult in a state of perfect rest, but also of states of meditation.
Piancastelli's trance is characterised by the inducement of an initial state of mental void. This inducement which is controlled by the medium himself is followed by the respiratory stress which we have already discussed and is even accompanied by sudden movements. This is followed by the actual embodiment by Entity A, marked by a motory activity typical of a person who normally converses and gesticulates with the eyes open.
Dr. Morlino in his dry, technical laboratory language, gives the following
"As far as the experiment is concerned, without dwelling upon other technical details, I will only mention that it was performed in the presence of various persons, some of whom were acting as discussion partners, whereas others occupied themselves with the instrumental control of the electroencephalograph.
During the seance questions were asked, to which the "medium-entity" replied with a rich verbalisation, so that it was possible to record the electrocerebral activity during the listening phase, as well as during the dialogue. The track which was made before the trance, in basic conditions, turned out to be normal.
In the induction phase, both in the period of motory quiet to realise the "mental void" and in the period animated by exertion and movement preluding the trance, we find characteristics in the electroencephalographic track which are more like those of the control conditions at rest with the eyes closed than those of attentive wakefulness, with the presence of Alpha of more reduced amplitude.
During the actual trance, and this is perhaps the most interesting finding, we discover the presence of Alpha also with the eyes open and in situations which, for all the parameters of description of the functional and behavioural state, we must describe as actively attentive wakefulness during which there is even an active behavioural expression.
The presence of Alpha rhythm cannot be sufficiently explained."
The medium was also subjected to the Rorschach test. This is
one among the most reliable projective tests which can provide a global
evaluation of the personality, especially in the mentally disturbed personality,
in its various dimensions: intellective, affective and conative. The test
resulted in the total absence of symptoms of psychosis or neurosis which,
at least to a very small degree, are even common to each of us, almost
physiological, one might say. This report, together with the EEG taken
before the trance at the 2nd Polyclinic of Naples constitute an additional
ascertainment which, coupled with the previous deductions are in practice
a diagnosis of mental health.
In October 1984, at the annual Congress of Arezzo, Eng. Carlo Trajna and Dr. Loretana Angelucci presented reports in which they exposed the results of a comparative linguistic investigation using the methods of mathematical linguistics. The investigation was carried out on the linguistic usage of Andrea, the medium and various specimens. Mathematical linguistics study certain formal characteristics of speech (such as the frequency of certain letters, phonemes or words according to their length in sentences) which are completely independent of the meaning and typical of a language, a literary genre or a writer.
From the report of Dr. Angelucci we quote: "The writings of two philosophers, for example, will have in common the characteristics of the language and of the philosophical nature, but their linguistic structures in this connection will be differentiated by the philosophers' personal imprints.
It stands to reason that if this method is used to analyse the long dissertations which appear in several mediumistic circles, as originated through embodiment mediumism by various alleged entities, we can verify if there is a linguistic structure differentiation sufficient to confirm the declared original diversity."
Eng. Trajna and Dr. Angelucci selected texts of the same kind, namely analogous issues dealt with by entities of the same level. These texts have been compared with an equivalent group of writers on the same subjects (P. Giovetti, G. di Simone, P. Ubaldi, U. Dettore, E. Servadio, P. Albanese, C. Trajna, A. Ferraro, S. Conti). Then they chose 4 characters from the famous novel by Alessandro Manzoni "I Promessi Sposi"(7) (Renzo, Don Abbondio, Lucia, Fra Cristoforo) and 9 supposed entities of 3 mediumistic circles (Ifior, Cerchio Firenze 77, Entity A), in addition to some descriptive passages from "I Promessi Sposi".
As for the linguistic characteristic to be analysed, preference was given to the length of the words in the texts, because this represents a very sensible index of differentiation.
Of course other statistical parameters have also been used (standard deviation of the words from one to six syllables, from the average lengths, the variation coefficient, etc.) as well as parameters concerning the information theory, of which the principle one is the absolute entropy H which expresses the information content in 'bit per word', where bit is the measurement unit of the information (other parameters: maximum and relative entropy, efficiency in bit per syllable, redundancy, superior inefficiency limit, etc.).
While for all the persons selected a number of words varying from the 1993 of Fra Cristoforo to the 4653 of Kempis (an entity of Cerchio Firenze 77) was sufficient, for Entity A the number of words considered for the sampling arrived at 9229 and the two researchers confessed that at a certain point they had to stop calculating, because, among other things, the research had been carried out without a computer and therefore this limit is not the real one. Dr. Angelucci commented: "I do not exclude that this fact can be significant".
Eng. Trajna then elaborated and compared the results of this first investigation, finding significant deviations between the linguistic differentiation degrees of the selected persons, entities and writers. In particular Trajna also elaborated a comparative investigation between texts of Prof. di Simone and of "Entity A" (the value obtained was 169 millesimals) and between texts of "Entity A" and those written by its medium (value 77 millesimals). These two values are highly superior to the aforesaid average differentiation.
(7) Published in English under the title of "The Betrothed"
According to Trajna this means that "the linguistic structures are extremely differentiated, much more than what emerged from the preliminary statistical investigation into writers and entities.
On the scientific level the selected linguistic parameters of this analysis can be considered sufficient to 'photograph' an author.
The method is well-founded, as it is based on the presupposition that the unconscious automatism, built up during a person's lifetime, is unique and characteristic of that very person: and that's why secondary and imaginary personalities necessarily have this automatism in common among themselves and with their main personality.
Therefore, insofar as we can include the said parameters in the unconscious automatism, we can exclude that Entity A represents a secondary personality of its supposed medium or
Prof. di Simone."
New research between 1990 and 1992
In 1992 the latest research was completed on the mediumism of
Corrado Piancastelli. It was started in 1990 by a Commission appointed
by the ISUP Foundation, under the auspices of the Department of Altered
States and Interior States of Consciousness.
The Commission consisted of five physicians, chaired by Dr. Giuliano Taesi of Brescia. The Commission re-examined the entire previous research, correlating it with new systematic measurements of heart rate and blood pressure during Piancastelli's trances. The pressure values rose considerably around 200 of systolic and 120 of diastolic pressure at the beginning of the trance, to normalise towards the end of the seance and in the following half hour, on the return of normal consciousness.
In its scientific report the Commission states that: "considering the presence of Alpha Waves in the electroencephalographic track in the course of the trance, there is no explanation for the prevalence of the sympathetic peripheral regulation of the cardio-circulatory system, accompanied by a high rate of catecholamines which supports it" and on the other hand, "the Alpha Wave would blank out the cerebral cortex during the talking phase" (of the medium).
The hypothesis that Piancastelli's nervous system is being blanked out during the trance and that an autonomous force takes its place in the intellective and biological regulation, seems quite probable to the Commission which, among other things, totally excludes the hypothesis of the alternating personality.
Even if these researches probably never reach the value of "proven proof" (which, from an exquisitely ethical point of view, is perhaps right), they nevertheless provide more and more precise indications of an absolute intellectual independence of Entity A(Andrea) from the medium through whom it manifests itself.
These researches also provide scientific comfort "ad personam" so to speak, to the only medium on record, as far as is known, to have accepted such complex tests, without ever refusing them, provided that they were done in official scientific environments.
On the whole, the entire research of the last twenty years therefore highlights both the mediumistic qualities of Piancastelli and the possibility to study more closely the physio-chemical and bio-electrical dynamics of the altered states of consciousness, linked together with mysticism, revelation, prophecy and perhaps even with the genesis itself of creativity.
As Piancastelli himself says, perhaps mediumism, art and creativity in general, have their origins in the same mould.
From the theoretical to the existing
Forty years of Entity A's presence at the seances held at CIP have meant for many of us an intelligent and consistent affinity which has accompanied our lives, our aspirations, our errors and our increasing maturity and now that most of the doctrine can be said to have been transmitted, it is not only right to pause and evaluate its significance in its entirety, but also to start working on analyses and extensions, as well as on comments. This work has never been done and is completely open to the future.
Andrea's communications certainly end up forming a philosophical system, but they are also much more than that, because the whole message is not only theoretical, but also practical, that is to say it aims at being integrated with the personal experience which at a certain point becomes an indispensable base for the continuation of the evolution of one's cognitive and experiential capacities.
Perhaps more similar to the great oriental initiatory systems, Andrea's is a teaching which, owing to its own natural propensity, does not only theorize on life, but also intends to enliven the theory through an active inward and behavioural verification.
This should not make us believe that Andrea conveyed an ideology to us, in the sense of a preformed scheme of thought, because the ideological superstructure makes up just that first misleading and alienating level which, in each of us, obstructs the free expression of our own inwardness.
Ideology means negation of freedom, never mind how holy or right the cause is! Andrea, on the other hand, teaches us to search for and pursue a more authentic freedom which is the only guarantee to our individual soul that it can manifest itself to the world and to our consciousness.
While developing a continuously dialectical structure of the doctrine, Andrea, in all these years, has always allowed for the evolution which occurred within us as time went by.(1) Therefore a return to the same subject meant reinterpreting it on the basis of new prospects and acquisition and consequently extending its level proportionally, in a process which always remained strictly logical and rational.
In connection with the incontrovertible proposition that each truth which we can approach during our physical experience is relative, Andrea allows us to follow personally the succession of partial truths which little by little become less and less partial, and imperfect truths becoming less and less imperfect. In short, Andrea makes us consciously experience a tract of the infinite.
And all this in a way which becomes more evident as the subject gets more complex and significant, we reach what in this context we can well define as the significant infinite: God.
Andrea's doctrine is founded on His existence and consequently on the existence in our Self of an immortal spirit and this might be called a courageous assumption in an era in which God is usually considered to be dead.
Through a dialectical mosaic which remains consistent and limpidly rational, Andrea pushes our thoughts towards extreme limits, weakening basic concepts and leading us onwards, past intuitions barely touched upon and abysses remotely sensed, opening up the withered mysticism of our consciousness, so that it goes beyond an unacceptable God to a God who is so conceivable that He becomes marvellously plausible.
There is neither a dogmatic compulsion in all this, nor an exploitation of the evocative charisma of the Word, but a continuous incitement to make efforts to penetrate the Self and beyond the Self (limits which at a certain point lose meaning), to find confirmation, in the philosophy of St. Augustine(2), that what is supposition on the outside is verification on the inside.
In this sense Andrea's doctrine can be defined as genuinely eschatological, because it brings salvation where there is a real and immediate need for it, that is to say in the incarnation phase(3), because in that period the human being lacks support and runs the risk of being overcome by a desperation too great to endure.
All of us, either holy or damned, will always be within this infinitely infinite God and therefore in His eyes there will be no guilty or innocent persons, no winners or losers, once we will be 'dead'. The only justice to which we will submit will be one of a self-evaluation of our actions and this is perhaps incomparably more severe than a divine judgement. The function of this process is to open ourselves in other experiential and cognitive directions.
As it enables us to find the traces of a God who is immense in a different way, Andrea's message automatically liberates us from a painful destiny.
1) This is referred to the evolution of the group of scholars which has regularly attended Andrea's lessons and which also includes the Author.
2) St. Augustine: (Aurelius Augustinus) (354-430) Early Christian church father and philosopher. Among the Augustinian theses we find the compatibility between faith and reason, the natural cognition of God, the intellectual illumination of mankind, etc..
3) The incarnative phase: that period in which the spirit is incarnated in a human being and experiences human life.
God as a reality
The impressions of God which can be derived from the assertions
of many philosophies and religions, often form in the first instance an
unreality, because in philosophy it sometimes serves for justifying and
supporting some theoretical set-up in search of foundations.
In the religious sphere, it ends up sliding into an iconographical perspective, for the benefit of a ritual prevalence or certain intermediate figures who, coupled with the dogmatic and faithful element, make up an insuperable barrier between mankind and the divinity.
In this context God is always beyond someone or something and man has little by little given up looking for traces of Him, because he felt unsatisfied with the absurdly anthropomorphic descriptions, reminiscent, at the very most, of an honest person, but certainly not to a divine being.
If God has become an Absentee, His absence is now so gigantic that it reveals itself powerfully in the immense moral emptiness which we can witness around us.
In Andrea's exposition God really is: He is an absolute presence, even in His infinite ineffability and unattainability. A presence which is deeply rooted in our intimate nature and which, as we penetrate into the core of the message, starts to locate itself in a logical, philosophical and moral dimension which is so consistent, so all-embracing that we discover our natural setting within it.
To put it in Andrea's words: "God is no doubt also a reality, but He is such because the idea of Him and His actual being are associated with a permanent existential ideality. Only when the idea of God will prove to be 'economically' valid, is it possible to affirm that He actually exists and that He is a reality, that is to say when, according to both subjective and objective aspects, His essence is such, when His rational aspect and His essence appear in such a way that His actual existence results to be valid and indispensable."
The mind's categories and limits
The God of whom Andrea tries to give us a vague notion, can be defined, from a human point of view, as a synthesis of opposites, like Heraclitus realized by intuition. Andrea makes a tremendous effort to make us understand that our categorizing definitions bring us to conclusions which are too partial and which therefore become distorted from our own comprehension.
This has always been an enormous difficulty which has ended up pushing many minds towards atheism, because every explanation, every definition relating to God, offered by philosophy or religion, seem to be so reductive that they can only be judged as wrong.
This was certainly felt by Plotinus who said that it was not possible to assert anything about God, because conveying any impression of Him, would mean reducing Him infinitely, "canning" Him, so to speak, in a concept which would end up seeming too miserable even to those who had formulated it.
In the end, however, this attitude will conceal another trap, because if it is impossible to describe God's attribute, this could end in that limitation of thought demanded by the Catholic religion in the name of the need for a blind and absolute faith.
There certainly is an infinite sphere of imponderability around God, especially in connection with the limits of our minds. something which Kant brought to our attention with so much lucid suffering. However, this awareness should not keep us from investigating and the difficulty of the undertaking should incite us to take full advantage of our capacities and not limit us to the only cognitive function which, for us Westerners, has become by now officially accepted, that is rationality.
Andrea shows us that, step by step, we can get much further than what has been asserted or imagined so far, if we try to make the most of our rationality and then, when it reaches its own limit, use our intuition and expand our sphere of consciousness, in a word surpass ourselves.
Commonplaces on the nature of God
A classical contraposition in philosophy is the one between the
emanation and creation theories, as regards the divine 'modus operandi'.
If we go back to the previous quotation of Andrea's words, we can again perceive this distinction between essence and existence.
This distinction, originated in the sphere of the school of Chartres, will be taken up again by St. Thomas Aquinas: God's essence implies existence. This concept is used by St. Thomas to confirm the creative act in God.
This is one of the crucial points of the philosophical religious queries on God.
For all the philosophers of Christian tradition the work of God is a creation, in opposition to the neo-platonic current which maintains it is an emanation. Trying to clarify the terms of this antithesis means starting to structure the hypothesis on God.
Neo-Platonism, then, makes the Universe derive from God through emanation: from the One who is beyond the being, the mind and the substance (in Plotinus's words) the whole creation emanates, in a spontaneous and natural process. This process does not deviate from any voluntaristic act as this, in God, would mean a mutation, whereas in His essence He is not subject to evolution.
The conception of emanation opposes to the one of the creation from nothingness, characteristic of the Old and New Testament which implies the problem whether the creation should, or should not be considered 'ab aeterno'.
According to Andrea this is a false problem. If among God's qualities we advance eternity, absoluteness and infinity, their manifestation should somehow also be like His nature. And this means that the Universe which, in this case, is not intended to be understood as the galaxies, but as power, balance, energy, expression, dynamism and activity, must always have existed in God Himself, at least as a force and a potentiality, because otherwise at a certain point something would have been added to God and in that case He would not be the Absolute.
On this subject Andrea says: "God doesn't create, because creating means producing out of nothing. He doesn't produce out of nothing, but out of Himself. Everything exists already in God, because He is eternal and infinite and His ideas are infinite, not only in a qualitative, but also in a quantitative sense. The ideas assume shape and become independent: the ideas in God are potential and the whole reality has always existed in Him. Theoretically we can make a difference between potential reality and reality being turned into act: the reality which is being turned into act is a potential reality which becomes independent".
And this is how, in all its logic and simplicity, the antinomy of potentiality and act has been resolved: the reality being turned into act is a potential reality which becomes independent and we may all take advantage of the distinction.
In this passage the link with the Platinic philosophy stands out and for Andrea it is a constant reference to key issues, such as placing our most authentic reality on a transcendent level.
But once a certain common basis is established, Andrea's thought, driven by an insuperable force of originality, breaks away from it and follows its own personal course.
Overcoming the dualism of substance and spirit
Unlike Plato who, as with many other philosophers and mystics
later-on, considers substance as something negative and disharmonious(4),
Andrea teaches that substance and spirit, although subject to different
laws, originate from the same divine mould. That's why
there can be neither separations nor contrasts implying a positive
or a negative standard of evaluation, a contradistinction between good
and evil. What happens is that different laws are being applied and observed,
but these laws relate anyhow to a unitary range of primary universal principles
which reflect the divine mould.
The dualism between spirit and substance is therefore certainly a sign of heterogeneity, underneath which there is nevertheless a basic homogeneity, so no negativity of the substantial universe, just some other kind of self which the spirit investigates, because it is anyhow emanated by God and, as such, a sign, a signal, an instrument of knowledge and evolution.
We will shortly come back to this fundamental point.
The entire reality has always existed in God in a potential condition and through the emanation it becomes effective and independent. Please note that the limitation of our language could deceive us here, because all this does not imply that the emanation had a beginning, as it is a divine and eternal activity, just as eternal as its own Mould.
At this point Andrea's teaching breaks completely away from the creationist conception of St. Thomas who, denying that in God there is a potential essence(5), ends up letting Him implode in Himself and relegating the creation to a temporal sequence.
As for Andrea, we have seen that this type of contrast (between potentiality and act) has an exclusively theoretical sense, dependent on the geometrical character of our intellect, so inadequate to catch even the smallest bit of the Absolute!
To this reductive creationist image Andrea opposes this infinite, eternal and continuing explosion in which God does not exhaust Himself, because He has also another, completely ineffable nature which has existed prior to the principles and the law governing the universe. It is His thought to become principle, reality.
4) In this connection it should be noted that substance was also considered to be pre-existent to the so called ordening action of the Demiurge.
5) St. Thomas defines God as 'Pure Act'.
As for what is emanated, the conversion into act means having acquired an independent existence, even if it always remains in God who, being infinitely infinite, always exceeds what is emanated.
Here we can notice a fundamental diversity with the oriental philosophic conceptions in which there is a prevalence of a closer tie with the divine source, a more binding relationship, whereas Andrea's thought displays this independence conception of the elements of the creation in which the spirit and the universe, once emanated, don't need God any more.
This can also be connected with the idea of the spirit rejoining God, which is typical of the Hindu doctrines and which Andrea's teachings oppose with an irrefutable logic.
But how should this independence be interpreted? It indicates that both spirit and substance, being emanated are not an extension of the divine essence, but a projection of it, an attribute of it.(6)
In the eternal instant of emanation, what is emanated possesses already everything in a potential way, as a projection, a reflex of God, already included in the universal equilibrium, in harmony with laws and eternal principles, like the Maker. There is no more need of God and what is emanated lives its own independent life and retains in itself its own significance, as it is a sign, a mark of God.
There is here a clear confutation of pantheism, as is generally understood by the pantheistic doctrines, especially in the Spinozian 'Deus sive Natura', in which God ends up being broken into fragments and being, so to speak, swallowed up by the infinite remoteness of the universe.
In Andrea's own words: "God manifests around and in Himself what he potentially possesses and He evinces it in every infinite dimension. God's possibilities and power however see to it that there is in Him, in addition to what He manifests, also what He does not manifest beyond the infinite limit of His potentiality.
If we would think of God as an infinite force having an infinite localization, He would turn out to be the finite of the infinite, which means that He would have an infinite limitation. But God is more and beyond all this."
Here, too, we can't help observing that pantheism and transcendentalism also form a theoretical contrast and that they lose their meaning against the coherence of Andrea's conception of the divinity and of what exists.
Here the problem of God's static or dynamic nature comes to the fore again and this is also a classic in philosophy.
As for Aristotle the Prime Mover can only be motionless as it is pure act(7) and therefore incapable of motion and becoming.
According to Andrea, motion is indissolubly tied to the divine attributes of existence and intelligence and therefore what exists is also motion as it is life. It is also inconceivable to postulate an intelligence which, being live, is not existing, although, so Andrea says, it is paradoxical to speak of God in the space-time contrast of life and death.
Anyhow, if God emanates phenomena in which an intelligent principle is recognizable, the intelligence must necessarily also b in Him, and that on an infinite level. As the intellect as such is a dynamic principle, capable of organizing the manifestations in an harmonious way, it can't link up with anything static. In this connection Andrea says: "God expresses what He is and that is continuously being renewed. The creative act of God's thought is a continuous, infinite, interior modulation which constantly transforms into act."
6) As a matter of fact God could neither increase, nor diminish.
7) This is where we find the root of the Thomistical conception!
Thought has motion in itself: if this would finish also the thought would end.
Motion is the possibility of manifestation and activation and this can't be nil in God. If it would be, then the principle of equilibrium couldn't exist, because it would not be dynamically supported by the initial force.
A very interesting question which can be raised is the one on
the divine 'personality' .
In fact, if we speak of an attribute of intelligence, can we postulate the existence of some unimaginable form of self-consciousness in God? In one word: does God know that He is and is He aware of Himself?
Certainly no reference is made here to a personal or personalised God.
Since we can't get around using our reductive language, we can say that He is an infinite personality and not infinitely finite, but infinite and absolute.
Here the differentiation from the Universe (which further confutes the 'Deus sive natura' is very clear: while God is infinitely absolute, the Universe is infinitely definite.
Now, God is an intelligent being: He is not only a force, but also what is beyond that force, outside the creation, beyond the creative act.
The intelligence attributed to God is His own state of being, so God knows that He is God.
Therefore the cognitive stimulus is the real basis of the spiritual nature.
In an attempt to further clarify the modalities of the spiritual existence, we will deal with two themes which are dear to Hinduism and which, of nearly the same tenor, can also be found in Plotinus, namely the Spirit's reabsorption in God, as the ultimate aim of every experience and the liberation from the negative bodily ties through renunciation and the purifying influence of virtue.
According to Andrea being absorbed in God would mean the end of individuality, that is the death of the spirit. Then the spirit would not be eternal and would not pass through the universe, but it would only cover the distance which separates it from God.
But an attainable God is also a limited God and the guarantee for the spirit's eternity is indeed the impossibility of this reunion.
The eternal spirit passes through the infinite, while it perceives more and more clearly the mark of the Creator, but also remaining always infinitely distant from Him, the Infinite.
This infinite distance which, in spite of the cognitive passage through the infinite, remains eternally infinite, this infinity in progress, is a further guarantee for the eternity of the spirit. It is the key to the love (if we may call this love) which God brings us, giving us really eternal lives. It is also the real sense of the universal brotherhood, because whatever the degree of knowledge that each single spirit will possess, the spirit will always be at an infinite distance from God, which is equal for all the other spirits.
The idea that the physical and bodily experience is a negative one, is the corner stone of many currents of philosophical or religious thought.
The illusory nature of the human perception, the relativity of the reality, the sufferings of the flesh, the dualism and contrasts between life and inner life, have contributed, in the name of a pseudo-spiritual and purifying purpose, to exalt techniques or attitudes of renunciation, denial or mortification with regard to the life of the body.
One of the most fascinating novelties of Andrea's doctrine is the revaluation of the substance and of the physical experience and, but not in the epicurean sense, the trivialization of the term.
There are two reasons:
a) the substance in itself is a divine creation; as such it should not be submitted to a value judgement, but studied, known and therefore loved, like every other aspect of the divine manifestation;
b) the substance is a cognitive instrument, indispensable to the spirit's evolution, an irreplaceable stage, because it represents another kind of self with respect to the spirit. Therefore it has to be used and tried out at the highest possible level of participation in order to understand its meaning
Substance is a diversity which becomes a cognitive necessity and which, for the spirit, represents a real leap in the dark and often an extremely reductive trap.(8)
This implies the necessity of recurrent incarnations, in order to achieve the difficult and always precarious balance between the absorbing urge of the substance which could completely stifle the spiritual impulse, and a real 'escape' mechanism of spiritual origin which can cause an alienation from the physical experience.
We shouldn't, therefore, live as spirits on earth, but thoroughly experience the substance in a spiritual way, without forgetting either our real nature, or the existence of objectives different from the merely social or instinctive ones.
In this perspective Andrea's thought reveals itself once more in its powerful synthetic quality, for only this conception of the function of the physical experience can justify the deep contrast situations which we all go through on earth.
8) In this you can see a motivation for the desire to 'renounce' substance, in the name of a 'spiritual' life.
The nature of the spirit
According to Andrea the spirit is not a concept or and philosophical position, like the Fichtian Ego(9) or like the Spirit of Hegel(10), but a reality, or rather, for us human beings, as incarnated spirits, the only essential and eternal reality, not subject to the continuous formal mutation of the physical existence.
The notion of an immortal Soul exists in the oriental doctrines, as well as in the Greek philosophy and in the Judaic and Christian traditions, but the theorization relating to the structure of this soul which is most similar to the concept of spirit developed by Andrea is the one of the Leibnizian monads.
9) That this Ego disposes the physical world by a process called productive imagination.
10) Hegel, Georg Friedrich Wilhelm (1770-1831) German philosopher.
He greatly influenced the study of metaphysics, as he saw reality
as a dynamic process, rather than as a reflection of static ideals. He
maintained that the spirit splits up according.
The monad, in the interpretation of Leibniz, is an eternal and individual being, simple and unextended, different from all the others, owing to its interior quality which characterizes it. Each monad is a window on the world, an hermeneutical viewpoint of perception of the Universe, a single, unrepeatable, incommunicable and individualized essence.
As far as Andrea is concerned, the spirit, a divine spark, has always existed in God. In this eternity, without interruptions, nor starting points, nor points of arrival, our imagination, due to its human limitations, is unable to dispel the assertion that there is a 'moment' in which the spirit is 'born'. The spirit, however, passes from the existential condition in God as a potentiality, to the existential condition in God as an emanated being.
And this is the beginning of the infinite story of the spirit's self recognition which, Socratically, is a revelation, a reappropriation of the self through a cognitive dialectical relation with the Universe.
"As the spirit is potentially infinite - says Andrea - because it originates from God's mould, its growth is an interior unveiling. It is not an introduction from the outside into the inside of the spirit. The spirit always makes its discoveries in itself because, due to its divine structure, it already has everything, for it has the infinity in itself. It discovers itself and what is outside of it represents the moment of the stimulus, the moment of the spirit's motion process".
The spirit, being emanated by God, shares the divine nature, even if it keeps its own identity and individuality. This means that it has the infinite knowledge in itself, but only potentially.
This same infinite knowledge which in God is accomplished and absolute, is relatively infinite for the spirit, as it is potentially waiting to be activated and to be brought to the light of consciousness.
And it is by testing itself in relation to the universe which it perceives as different(11) that the spirit continuously relates the external experience to its potential internal reservoir which, in proportion to its cognitive level, opens up and discloses an internal response which is self-knowledge and, through the self, also knowledge of the divine mould. In this process the spirit experiences the interaction and the interrelation between the two realities,(12) as well as the certainty about the existence of a God who, although He does not reveal Himself, is an eternally simultaneous presence.
In Andrea's words: "The spirit is an existential being, that is to say an existent reality which defines its quality or evolution in itself and which defines it on the basis of a real knowledge which it has of
itself and of the universe. This is a knowledge which has an infinitely dynamic nature, but it is somehow at a standstill at that existential moment. That is, the spirit defines itself on the basis of what it is and not on the basis of what it could be, or what it will be, because if the spirit wouldn't have the dimension of its existence, it wouldn't have its identity either".
One can note that the agreement with the existentialist scheme is very evident here.
Coming back to the parallel with the Leibnizian thought, we could say that every spirit is a different point of view of the infinite, one of the infinite interpretations of this universe and which through this cognitive passage finds its existential dimension, its real objectification.
11) The feeling of its own individuality never leaves the spirit, as it is the basis of its existential continuity.
12) The reality of the universe and the reality of the spirit
In a more structural than deep sense the "esse est percipi" of Berkeley resounds and which, removed from its limited range, acquires an imposing cosmic dimension which Andrea transmits us and in which we can find the fundamental unity of the divine works.
On a spiritual level the knowledge of the noumenon which Kant denies to the human intellect is being realised: the "thing-in-itself" is an unattainable phantasm for us, but a God who would have let us suppose a possibility of knowledge, to deny it later-on in eternity, would really have been cruel and above all contradictory.
The descent into the flesh: the hell of despair
Once incarnated, the spirit loses this serene knowledge and this
clearness and in this perspective man's sense of ontological oblivion is
evident and appropriate for a complete participation in the earthly experience.
This experience could certainly not be such if each of us would retain
the awareness of being an eternal spirit.
From this point of view it is clear that the human being, examining his situation in the light of a ratiocination which isn't ready to become blunted in the name of whatever dogma, will not succeed in dispelling his fear of the certainty of being destined for death and this will spread a veil of darkness over the joys which life has in store for us.
Hence the despair which, in a Catholic mind like Kierkegaard's, becomes an almost psychotic mortification of the tormenting situation of sin, whereas in the more stoical and deliberately detached perspective of existentialism, it does not only become acceptance, but even a reappropriation of its own existence, even if it is an existence for the sake of death.
In this dimension the thought of Heidegger stands out, which literally incarnates the deep contradictions of human life. The greatest metaphysical mind of our times, the father of modern ontology, a symbol of the highest spiritual presence in a man, seized, like Kant, by the inalienable evidence of the human limit, maintains that at the basis of existence there is nothingness, because nothing else but nothingness is the (in our eyes) logical and inevitable conclusion of the 'Dasein'.
New mathematical science has demonstrated the essential unreliability of the concept of absolute logic, because there can be several parallel logics and several configurations.
The Kantian levels, the nothingness of existence which cannot be anything else but nothingness, cannot assume absolute evidence. They are hypotheses, even very psychologized ones, and therefore questionable.
We can only point out the deep, basic irrationality of a philosophy which asserts that existence originates from nothingness.
There is a certain margin in the term 'nothingness'. Parmenides maintained that nothingness cannot be thought. If we consider that, in the fullness of existence, the nothingness is anyhow something existing, we will realise that there is a psychological residue which is elevated to a philosophical level, as it is manifest in Sartre.
The following question should be asked: if we apply a procedure similar to the phenomenological reduction indicated by Husserl to our own personality, stripping it of what genetics and environment have stratified, do we arrive at the nothingness of the existentialists or at the spirit of Andrea.
At this point we find the real basis of Andrea's doctrine. As it is structured on the premise of the existence of God, it would result to be, from a strictly philosophical point of view, devoid of a demonstrable fundament.
In fact Andrea's doctrine ends up forming a very long exposition of a thesis which, if it appeals to our individual productivity, will become a working hypothesis.
In this context Andrea's doctrine finds a fundament and a justification, suggesting to each of us to enter into a dialectical relation with our own selves, to verify, in an intimate confrontation, the reality of this hypothesis.
If in ourselves, deep in our inwardness, beyond social conditioning, inessential psychologism and a consciousness wider than the Freudian one, we will find a place (not a philosophical, but a real one) where our nakedness will not correspond with a non-existence, but with some kind of essence which is different from the one we see in the mirror and where we can anyhow feel our own identity, then each of us will find the justification, the basis and the real and living demonstration, not only of Andrea's words, but also of God's existence.
(An Extract from a Parapsychology Course)
There are various reasons why the manifestation of Entity
"A" and its doctrine is so important.
First of all because through it we can revert to the entirety of other historically verified manifestations which preceded it.
Furthermore it makes us understand the mediumistic origin of the deepest religious expressions, from the ancient world onward, offering precise ways of interpretation and not just simple conjectures or mere hypotheses, like the ones obtained from garbled sources or sources partially kept secret.
From this point of view the case of Entity "A" gives us an expanded and renewed version of the treasure which ancient witnesses had gathered and passed on in an hermetic way.
Certain happy intuitions, particularly those of Dodds (in "The Greek and Irrationality") on the subject of certain mystagogic religions, like the Orphic one, wherein Orpheus is seen as the prototype of the Thracian shamans, are being confirmed in an amazing way.
In Orphism, unlike the common Greek conception which clearly separated the mortals from the Immortals, humanity has a divine nature.
For the Orphic religion "real life is death, the body is the tomb of the soul".
The expression "soma sema" ("the body, a tomb") coined by Plato (Cratilus, 5th Century B.C.) is emblematic of the Orphic conception, according to which the aim of the human being is freeing himself, that is to say releasing what Dionysian qualities he possesses (divine, celestial and good ones) and to rid himself of what Titanic qualities he possesses (evil and earthly ones).
This doctrine devoted itself mainly to the soul and its superterrestrial destiny and it considered the liberation from the cycle of reincarnations as the ultimate aim of the initiate. (Encyclopedia delle Religioni - Garzanti - 1989) (Encyclopaedia of Religions-published by Garzanti - 1989).
In Naples there is a beautiful mosaic from the first century A.D. with the symbols of the wheel of the reincarnations, surmounted by a skull (Museo Nazionale) (National Museum).
Enthusiasm, that is the state of possession by a god who enabled the 'transformation', was part of the Orphic practice.
On the subject of "divine possession" it may be interesting to note the statement of the last representative of Neoplatonism in Athens, the philosopher Proclus (410-4R5 A.D.):
"There are men who are possessed and who receive a divine spirit, some of whom spontaneously, like those overwhelmed, so to speak, by the god, either at specific times, or at occasional, irregular intervals; there are others who excite themselves to enthusiasm by means of a voluntary act, like the prophetess of Delphi sitting over a cleft in the rock and others who have drunk the divinatory water".
As you will have noticed, Proclus clearly divides the divine possession into spontaneous, voluntary and induced. He further adds- "During these phenomena the theogogy (1) inevitably goes into action and suddenly an inspiration and an alteration of the thought occur. But also among these cases of obsession there are those in which the possessed are completely beside themselves and unconscious and others in which the possessed keep their consciousness in an extraordinary way. (Giamblico - I misteri Egiziani / The Egyptian Mysteries, Edited by Rusconi - 1983).
I wanted to propose this passage first and foremost, because Proclus shows a great competence in this kind of phenomena and further because his testimony of fifteen centuries ago demonstrates that this phenomenology, although rare, occurs with continuity in the course of the history of humanity.
For this reason, the case of Entity "A" with its topical interest, has an impact on and a great value for the religious historian, for the scholar of anthropology, for the psychologist and even more for those who cultivate the science of parapsychology.
I would like to stress the fact that Proclus points out that in the course of these phenomena "the theogogy inevitably goes into action". This means that the divinity appears in the medium. In the ancient world theology was separated from theurgy. Theology was the line of reasoning around the divinity. On the other hand, theurgy was the art of getting in touch with gods or spirits and working wonders thanks to them.
If, in this context, we consider the meaning of the word "Prophet', in the sense of Plato or Plotinus, as "an interpret of the divine thought" or "an inspired master " or " a messenger of a religious doctrine" (Giamblico, op. cit.), we can understand that in ancient times this phenomenology was well known and had a precise theoretical setting.
The belief that the divinity inevitably appeared when a trance, as we call it now or, as the case may be, an ecstasy or an enthusiasm, as they called it then, is activated, was an opinion which was based on the experience of facts observed.
After thousands of years we can observe that the phenomenon of the trance produces the same effects, because "the theogogy inevitably goes into action" in those cases in which it is real, and in this respect it doesn't differ from what it was in ancient times.
The fact that the phenomenon of Entity "A" is produced in one of the ways described by an observer of 1500 years ago, becomes a further motive for reflection and study.
The question that arises spontaneously is: <<Why do individuals, as soon as they fall into a trance, start talking about, or produce voices who deal with cosmic and theological themes or themes pertaining to life after death (from ancient Greece until to-day, just to remain anchored to sources written in the Western world), without ever losing sight of this orientation and this cognitive current and without ever moving away from these themes through thousands of years?>>
If this question has never been formulated in these terms, or if nobody has been able to tell why in a state of trance there is an emersion of deep knowledge, indications and suggestions which the individual in a normal state doesn't seem to possess, it is only because one didn't want to face this phenomenology and pay attention to the things it produces or maintains, because of superstitious fear, or simply because one ignored it.
The discovery of the unconscious, however, has made a small opening into this field.
1) In the theurgical tradition "theogogy" is the evocation of a divinity, coercively operated by a priest.
Jung, for instance, in <<Fondamenti psicologici della
credenza degli spiriti>>(2) (Works - Boringhieri
- vol. 8 - page 340) maintained that the parapsychological phenomena which
are usually connected with the presence of a medium, are <<externalized
effects of unconscious complexes>>, but later-on he changed his mind
about it. In fact he recognized in a footnote: <<after having
gathered, in the course of half a century, psychological experiences of
many people and in many countries, I don't feel certain any more, like
when in 1919 I wrote this sentence. I doubt - and I openly confess
it - whether an exclusively psychological methodology
and reflection can cope with the phenomena in question>>.(3)
It isn't by chance that parapsychology claims this class of phenomena as its sector of studies.
Mediumism used to be superficially and erroneously included in the categories of alternating personalities which was studied by psychopathology, in order to avoid a confrontation with what this phenomenon demonstrates by itself and what it asserts about itself.
In the race for the classification which dominated that period, not enough consideration was given to the fact that the characteristic of the alternating personalities is that they are in conflict with each other and that they break into the external behaviour of the subject, frequently causing permanent alterations.
In fact, even if the subject is not aware of what happens to him, as the personalities seem to be independent of each other and sometimes seem to ignore each other, it is remarkable that they have opposite polarities.
In the classic case, studied by Dr. Azam (Rene Sudre - Treatise of Parapsychology - Astrolabio - 1966), there was on the one hand a woman (Felida) who was devout, timid and meek and on the other an aggressive, impudent and foul-mouthed woman.
These two personalities alternated cyclically and reached the paradoxical point where one of them became pregnant, without the other knowing it.
The discovery of the split personality as a cause of an actual behavioural pathology, was also used to explain mediumistic phenomena.
However, in cases in which the most appropriate techniques are used to establish that the subject has a completely normal personality, that he is perfectly healthy and that no behavioural anomalies and alterations have been found, is it then possible to avail oneself uncritically of the categories theorized on a clinical level and to think in terms of pathology? Of course not. The clinical paradigm is only useful to form a mental model of possible analogies, but we may not equalize both phenomena, homologating them scientifically.
We are entitled to make this statement, because Piancastelli, the medium of Entity "A", does belong to this category of psychically sound persons to which I referred before.
And this is another element which deserves the utmost consideration, because it definitively finishes with the conception extrapolated from pathology, showing that this class of phenomena is independent.
2) Title literally translated from the Italian: "Psychological Foundations of the Belief in Spirits"
(3) Jung's quotations have been literally translated from the Italian text.
Hence it is clear that this is a specific phenomenology, with basic principles of its own, that it is not assimilable to an other phenomenology, as it is greatly different, and that it must be investigated with an appropriate methodology and therefore scientifically isolated.
Moreover, in more limpid cases, like the one we are discussing, it is difficult, if not impossible to refer to whatever manifestation compensatory or complementary to the personality of the medium.
There is no question of an overlapping or a confusion of personality and what manifests itself during the trance does not invade or alter the behaviour of the medium at all, but always remains quite detached, distinct and perfectly separated from him.
Therefore the researcher becomes aware of the fact that he is faced with a phenomenology which obeys its own laws and which can't be confused with psychic manifestations pertaining to pathology.
What remains is the data, the fact observed as it occurs.
There is another, not less important element which we should bear in mind and which concerns the way in which these mediumistic seances proceed.
During the seances those present are requested to ask questions.
This precautionary measure which Entity "A" itself wisely wanted, clears the procedure of the suspicion that the subconscious of the medium could be operating.
The unforeseen nature of the questions would in fact force the subconscious of the medium into hesitation, silence and even confusion, something which never happened to Entity "A".
If there is no question of the medium's subconscious(4), there remains the possibility of two more hypotheses:
a) The appearance of the deepest inwardness of the medium.
This would not at all diminish the importance of the phenomenon, as it would confront us with an unexpected reality which lies in the depths of the human being. It seems to us that this is not sufficiently evaluated by the most stubborn detractors of these phenomena, because it would prove the existence of an even deeper personality with an awareness different from the medium's normal one and complete in its kind.
b) The non entirely hypothetical possibility exists that, in certain conditions, a circuit is activated in predisposed individuals which enables other intelligent structures to transmit highly qualified and typified communications. Owing to their very special intimate aspects, to the way in which they are formulated and to the aims they reveal, there is a very high degree of probability that these communications have their origin in single transmitting sources which continuously manifest their specific individuality.
One of the basic characteristics of Piancastelli's trance is that it has been going on, without solution of continuity, for about forty five years. The extraordinariness of this fact, having regard to the very early age at which Piancastelli had his first trance, puts the phenomenon in question among the most representative and significant ones in the whole of paranormal history.
In these forty-five years of Entity "A"'s presence among us, scholars of various disciplines have literally bombarded Entity "A" with questions, encompassing the entirety of human knowledge and without hesitation this extraordinary voice has replied to all their queries.
4) The method of the free questions with their accidental character proves to be the best safeguard against possible unconscious tricks.
Moreover it has always shown an absolute command of the subjects under
discussion and it has often extended the proposed themes at its own discretion,
drifting freely also into other fields.
Furthermore it always succeeded in leading everything competently back to the contexts of the doctrines which it was expressing, maintaining a strict and punctual contact with them and always knowing how to bring the debates back to the formulated origins.
Just think that from Entity "A"'s lessons more than 10,000 pages have been transcribed and that Prof. di Simone, using only extracts from these lessons, published four books which are still on sale. It is therefore easy to understand that the study of the message in its completeness would, without exaggerating, require a multitude of people, engaged full-time and for many subsequent generations, so large is the quantity and so great is the quality of the information it contains.
You'll undoubtedly have heard about the paranormal phenomena that
have always been a part of man's life, such as telepathy, clairvoyance,
mediumism, etc. Thinking about these strange but real facts, we realise
they're an integral part of our existence. Who for instance has not had
a premonitory dream which, even if cloaked in symbolism, came perfectly
true over time? Who has not had a presentiment that was so strong that
he/she was sure a family member or a friend was living through a special
These are in fact the minor instances of paranormal phenomena that happen to the man in the street, as one used to say - meaning all of us. In most cases they pass by almost unnoticed, because we don't attribute any importance to them. But if we think about them more closely, we realise that every time they happen they tend to bring us an intuition that there's "something" inside us that's independent of the laws that govern matter. Because the very facts of premonition, clairvoyance, and telepathy confirm this, placing outside our time-space components and in some cases overturning them completely.
All this undoubtedly makes us think and consequently conjecture that the "something" within us that is still so mysterious, variously referred to as "spirit", "soul", "mind", and "divine spark" might really exist and thus represent our true nature, our deepest inner self, beyond the dogmas of religions, the pronouncements of philosophies and negations of science.
History tells us of men who had highly-developed paranormal faculties whom people called mediums. Some of them in particular not only produced significant physical phenomena, materialisations, moving objects, music without instruments or other types of phenomena, such as, for example, faithfully reproducing the voices of the dearly departed, but they also gave us communications of extraordinary intellectual value which can help us live our human adventure better and with greater awareness.
It is precisely one of these mediums that I would now like to briefly mention. I encountered the phenomenon many years ago. It involves an Italian medium, Corrado Piancastelli, who lives and works in Naples. Over the years I have taken part in his many of his séances. While he is in an altered state of consciousness, that's to say in a deep trance, a "Spiritual master" (whom it has been agreed to refer to as "Entity A") manifests himself and gives actual lessons on extremely important questions for all of us: human life, the spirit and its infinite evolution, the problem of God and of death, while also tackling a wealth of other no less important problems. I must say that the logic and rational qualities of these communications, these special teachings, have left me much more able to tackle the adverse moments in my life that were really very difficult to bear ... to endure pain when it has knocked at my door.
I know all too well that when people speak of mediumistic phenomena that in some way involve the word 'Spirit' they are generally inclined to minimise their importance, considering them a product of more or less unconscious elements which have in some way been expressed by the medium and those taking part in the séances. Even when the phenomenon - as in the case of "Entity A" - unquestionably goes well beyond the flaccid manifestations of a highly dubious, oldstyle spiritualism that there is no point going into here.
The phenomenon through which this "spiritual personality" has manifested itself for many decades and continue to do so today must be considered a genuine paranormal fact by virtue of the distinctive processes of manifestation involved. But what really counts are the sayings of "Entity A", which merit attentive reading, reflection and an objective evaluation independently of the origin anyone ascribes to them. It is, in a word, the content of the communications that ought to be taken as a measure of their importance and validity. Making it a good idea to briefly summarise some of their main lines of thought.
"Entity A" develops his discourse in an exceptional dialectic, and has indeed done so since the very beginning of his manifestations, when the medium himself was not even twenty years old. This discourse set out from a traditional, elementary cognition of the human and spiritual problematic and gradually opened out as it proceeded, taking in new and broader aspects of universal knowledge with a logical and rational consequential development.
The Earth, matter and human life have always been presented as something that taints and sullies the spirits, something with an air of expiation and fall. All this rejected and re-evaluated by the "Master", who shows how our human life is lived as a function of acquiring a spiritual knowledge of materiality. So that living this brief period of parenthesis on earth to the full and exploring its various different aspects, above all leaving the freedom of others intact, cannot, in the most absolute sense, be taken to constitute a "sin" (as understood by our conditioning traditions), which has to be expiated with absurd punishments. It is rather a subject for self-judgement, which may also be critical in cases where our behaviour has had a negative influence on the experiences of those close to us, laying obstacles in their path or blocking their way entirely.
The contents of the thought of "Entity A" have met with widespread interest. If deeply understood, his communications represent a valid starting point for rediscovering what our nature and the reality around us truly are. Although we must not forget that one can only reach any kind of knowledge through a process of inner maturing and that this can only be achieved with sacrifice, effort and sometimes pain. And this, we can say, is the concept that is always present in the thought of "Entity A", who continually emphasises that we must live everything that concerns our present life - that's to say our problems and experiences - attentively, incorporating them within us to subsequently resolve and overcome them.
There is a deep uneasiness in the modern world. Man, who has lost or is losing what were, rightly or wrongly, the traditional values that gave him a certain security is now searching and seeking, even though he does not know for what.
The uncertainties and difficulties of everyday life bear down on us all. Its struggles, conflicts, violence, moral and civil disorder make men feel they need help, a real help that can in some way bring them that inner peace they are searching for so desperately.
So that in the critical period we're going through, where everything seems uncertain, there's an even greater need for a clear vision than ever before. We need to clear the field of the nebulous heritage that still entrammels us on so many sides. Now, perhaps more than ever, there's a need for a different, yet coherent and rational discourse, because only this can be understood by an help man to find himself. Which is precisely the intention of the communications of "Entity A".
Finally, I'd like to point out that my own involvement has no financial motive. My only desire has been to bring other people to partake in a phenomenon that is completely out of the ordinary, through which life and death become more acceptable and more comprehensible.
It is with this aim that I am sending you these further communications of the "Master", convinced that you will find the answers to some of your questions in them; questions to which you have perhaps until now always received unsatisfactory answers.
Thanking you for your attention, best wishes
Tina Tungate (U.S.A.)
Andrew Milani (Australia)
ANDREA: THE MASTER OF CHANGE
Although entitled "WHO WE ARE", the previous issue of our
review was in fact the first issue of the "COMMUNICATIONS OF THE ENTITY
A" which has been published in Italy for over 15 years. This, our second
issue, returns to the original title of the review, regarding which I would
once again like to emphasise that the lessons of Entity "A" (a spiritual
master who took voice in 1946 during an intensively studied trance of mine)
are in particular directed at those who want to change and give a purpose
to their lives. The lessons of Andrea (Entity A) are indeed revolutionary,
turning many commonplace conceptions and platitudes on their heads. They
are anti-conformist, clear and peremptory. The substance of his discourse
is that if we recognise the dualistic principle - which is to say the existence
of a Spirit or Soul that acts above and before the brain - then our whole
life must be orientated in that direction. It must, in other words, be
productive for the purposes of the Spirit.
But Andrea does not repeat the sterile and stupid terminology of "doing good", "being good and generous", of "forgiving" etcetera, etcetera. Andrea asserts that one serves the purposes of the Spirit by living actively in the world and searching out experience because it is the only way of maturing, producing inner change and thus developing spiritually. All the rest is simply drawing room chatter and religious do-gooding. We must without doubt also become good, forgive and help others, but all this must take place within a spiritual project directed towards knowledge and not just take the form of a sterile fraternity of charity at all costs simply because the law says so. We cannot and must not simultaneously recognise that we are spiritual beings and yet at the same time continue in the hypocrisy and falsity of living like robots subjected to the renunciatory and passive rules of the world - a world which decides for us what must and what must not be done. Master Andrea, however, also maintains that one reaches the freedom of inner being through the work of reflection, of changing perspective, with the deep-seated desire of wanting to find one's own goal and fulfil oneself that the American psychologist Maslow, one of the founders of humanistic psychology, talks about.
But not everyone can get that far, so we need to be prudent and assess even the possible risks of change in advance. When the spirit breaks in upon everyday life it turns one's perspective upside down and the world needs to be reread with other keys to interpretation and seen with other eyes. Some eyes could be burnt and would do well to stop in time, while others will be illuminated and continue. Remember Christ's warning about not "casting pearls before swine"?
Can there really be any sense in living like computers, being programmed or manipulated by the rules and taboos of people who have nothing to do with our needs and in whom we can recognise neither virtue nor wisdom ? Because the fact is that's how most men live. Which is why Master Andrea urges us toward change, to honour the presence of a Spirit in us and to give a meaning and a purpose to existence.
THE REALITY AND VALIDITY OF KNOWLEDGE
IMPARTED THROUGH MEDIUMS
Question: - We would like to talk about the reality and validity of the type of knowledge we acquire through this extraordinary contact, through seances with a medium in an "incorporation trance". -
Entity A: "I'd say this: people who witness
this type of manifestation for the first time are surprised and perturbed,
or they immediately believe or don't believe at all. Sometimes they even
continue not believing for a long time, because every human being, in a
sense, needs a certain type of knowledge; a knowledge which will be able
to touch the very roots of that person's sensibility but has no meaning
for others at all.
In a sense everyone - in life - needs their own Master, that's what they said in antiquity. So much so that in India, someone who was devoting themselves to philosophy or yoga would often search for years before finding his/her own Master, his/her own guide, and the meaning's clear - because we each need our own truth our own knowledge.
This doesn't mean that truth is dissimilar, different from one person to another but that everyone needs a part of the same truth, because only that part can satisfy their needs. Now, someone who comes here is initially motivated by a legitimate curiosity that later becomes interest (whenever that may be). At which point doubts immediately arise, some of which can immediately be confronted while others take longer.
This situation which has been called a "spiritualistic phenomenon" or "mediumistic phenomenon" posits an immediate relationship between life and non-life and does so I'd say, in a sensory way. It is this that I want to clarify. Because it isn't so important to recognise the validity of the "beyond the grave" phenomenon, as you'd rather inappropriately put it. There's another validity which is much more important and is independent, separate I'd say, from the phenomenon you're witnessing. I once said: "It isn't as important to believe in spiritualism as it is, however, to follow all the knowledge that reaches you through these manifestations - and only through them, so that your interest in the cultural phenomenon that accompanies the physical phenomenon is the strongest". The most important element is therefore precisely in this relationship, in establishing a knowledge that takes its place between you and us and leads you to conclusions or revelations that you wouldn't normally have and receive through man.
It's clear that your reason needs to intervene whenever possible in a dialectic with us, through which we'll always try to eliminate certain rough edges, certain doubts. Why am I telling you this? Because a number of hypotheses and theories, some of them very complex, have been built around spiritualism. After years and years of zealous study no one has managed to fully explain these types of phenomena, one of which is before you. Why? Precisely because spiritualism eludes a total scientific enquiry. One can therefore carry out a whole series of unquestionably valid investigations in the field of spiritualistic research, none of which will however be able to provide the information that completes the picture regarding the relationships, especially the mental relationships, between you and us. Of course our affirmation that we are spirits may well at a certain point have a relative value for you, which you will determine according to your sensitivity, your act of faith. This is nevertheless only faith up to a certain point, because while a general faith in the reality of the spiritual problem is something natural, instinctive or even empirical, here you are undoubtedly in the presence of a different circumstance; a phenomenon that happens under the scrutiny of your senses.
You're listening, you can see, other mediums can carry out physical phenomena; they are, in short, phenomena that can be understood, followed and interpreted on the level of a scientific and spiritual logic. And that is the main difference between an empirical, reasoned or instinctive faith, which is of a religious nature, and a faith that is based on concrete facts, such as those delivered by spiritualism over a great many years. However, the alternative to settling the question, which is to consider the cultural phenomenon as taking precedence, can be acceptable even to those who do not want to follow a spiritualistic line, making it an entirely satisfactory approach for both of us. Because it doesn't concern us greatly whether you believe us. The only thing that concerns us is that certain questions raised, influence your spiritual personality. After all, as one of us said, and I agree, there are certain truths regarding which it really makes very little difference what you believe on earth, because they're the truths you discover on the day you die. Such as whether another life exists, that cardinal problem of human existence. Well, you'll be able to verify this other life for yourselves and there won't be any wanting or needing to believe, because you yourselves will be the "dead" people; you will testify to another existence with your presence, your being.
So your legitimate concern is to search for certain truths and my suggestions to carry out certain investigations are unquestionably valid and legitimate and will lead (if they lead anywhere) to some results. However, our presence here is only explained on a spiritual plane, and it is on this plane that we always prefer to remain. A plane that takes your human nature into account and your need to receive that knowledge from us which can improve your life and help you better interpret the circumstances and relationships between you and God.
I naturally don't want to start preaching here, because that's not my way of doing things. I simply hope that our new guests understand this discourse as a concrete desire on our part to have a dialogue with you and with those of you who have been here longer, with this always being an entirely brotherly relationship. Our limits are due to the fact that we cannot give you everything. First and foremost, we can't give you faith, because it isn't in our power to give it to you. We could give it to you through grandiose phenomena or grandiose apparitions, but experience teaches that it is never proofs that give man faith.
Man reaches faith, if he reaches it, through a personal labour of analysing truth, penetrating it, and maybe you will never reach it. What is more important independently of an abstract faith, is the concrete way of living following certain universal "morals", eliminating the superfluous in your conduct and reducing your own truth to a lean relationship, a lean knowledge of the relationships between you and the Universe.
Unfortunately, with all the many, many things that have been said on Earth, you've lost the genuine relationship between God and yourselves. You find yourselves in a situation which it is very difficult to get out of. I believe all this can be put down to man having reflected little on the fundamental problem of his life; that is to say his inner being in relation to a possible God, that is simultaneously outside and inside him..."
MAN, THE SPIRIT AND THE AFTERLIFE.
Entity A: The problem which most interests
you men is life after death. On the other hand, many continue the illusion
of a life that continues after death as an extension of human life. They
cultivate it, partly due to its fascination - the attraction of a life
that retains much of its human character for them and partly because the
various different religions have not moved far away from descriptions of
an almost human life, albeit sublimated. All this is very disappointing
from a strictly dialectical, philosophical point of view, because a change
of life, a shift in one's state necessarily involves a series of transformations.
One is forced to conclude that man has tried to render this afterlife in his own image and likeness, as happened in the Old Testament, except that there it was God who made man in his image and likeness. Following a reverse process, man then created this God, obviously in his own image and likeness and with God everything in the other life.
When they leave the body, many spirits are disappointed by all this, because they have seen that there are actually differences between life and death from an outside viewpoint. But these spirits have not reflected sufficiently on the differences. They are in actual fact not immediately aware that nothing has changed in the substance, that it is only the form which has changed. This of course includes the mental form, because the way you reason is, just as I was saying, a dialectical way imposed by a given language, by a mental pattern of your brain. It's clear that when the brain goes, the related mental pattern also goes - it disappears. But in the reality of the Earth, the mental pattern of the brain had a purpose, it was the organ for transmitting something else, deeper inside man. It is this "something else" which in its substance does not change. Nevertheless, it has all the appearance of change, because it is precisely this apparel, this human shell that, being eliminated, frees the fundamental seed of the Spirit, which apparently doesn't recognise itself any more, since it's used to showing itself on the outside, following the mental pattern it used when on Earth.
That's why you find so many spirits who are still in this intermediate phase at seances and who describe the afterlife,( supposing they are spirits, naturally) as a bit like yours. I have sometimes even heard you say you've read about spirits who've described the existence of cities, food, trees and other such nonsense. Why? Because they're Spiritual Beings that, still living within this human orbit, still possess a very strong soul structure that is still bound and mentally structured, so that their consciousness still perceives an inner and outer world that is still made in man's likeness. And that's how they describe it to you, endorsing certain writings that are not based on any logic because, I repeat, the simple fact of changing condition and state has consequences on a practical as well as a theoretical level, and there's no way of getting away from it.
Another source of confusion is probably the confusion between the soul and spirit. This is undoubtedly a very, very widespread confusion, because men don't make much of a distinction between them and neither does religion. Why? Because soul and spirit have always been connected etymologically in the very substance of their meaning. Which is why human beings mean the same thing by soul and spirit. Causing the whole idea of survival to be beset by this confusion, because all one's feelings would go with a soul and this dead being with all its feelings, thoughts and human things would continue living in this sort of extra-terrestrial species and therefore construct a world that's homogeneous with its structure. The image of God is the logical consequence of this.
Now, in actual fact, you know very little about our life, little or next to nothing, because at a certain point you manage to perceive from small signs that your existence after death is an existence which however maintains your personality and see and imagine this existence of thought in a somewhat confused manner; partly because you don't have your ideas clear about thinking either. The thinking of the spirit is not the thinking of man, because the thinking of man is tied to precisely the mental pattern I was talking about, language and its organisation. When this has passed, the spirit only finds an essence of language. An inner world of simple ideas, a world that is indeed rich in simple ideas, but the authentic meaning of these simple ideas is beyond a philosophical substance. What I mean above all is that the inner world of the spirit is a world that is also simple, built on simple and authentic patterns. It's authentic because, in a sense, the spirit is not allowed to dream, to weave illusions, build castles in the air. The spirit lives in the reality of its being and all of this is impossible precisely because its heavy structure is made up of simple ideas, meaning extremely precise and exact ideas.
So it could be that you now have the idea of a fairly elementary spirit because it is undoubtedly a spirit that still has minimal attributes. A spirit that is still elementary. Yes, that's also true. But, naturally, in the world of the spirit where, above all, the law of the extreme precision and exactness of phenomena applies, the spirit is undoubtedly also subject to a great universal scheme. Within this great universal scheme, the spirit finds itself with its self, a lean self. On the other hand it wouldn't know what to do with the bulk that you for example have. You, indeed, as you are, are fake. You aren't a real thing, you're a fake, a fake construction because, if I scratched a bit until I got down to your marrow, there would be very little of substance remaining of you at all. That's to say, all your personality, all of you as a person, is formed of a good ninety percent superstructures.
Superstructures which are of a mental, psychological, cultural and pseudo-cultural character. Your make-up is enriched with social elements, social norms of behaviour - a whole series of superstructures which mean that down at your bones you're the barest shadow of what you seem on the surface. So you're always smaller than your authentic personality, as a spirit.
Now, this faking in your existence cannot continue. That's to say the spirit cannot play the bluff of superstructures with the universal law. It cannot do it any longer and must therefore free itself of all this waste. Why? Because this waste is an impediment to visualising and fully grasping the structure of reality, otherwise it would always see through the distorting eyes of superstructure. And now the spirit has to face the universal structure, which is extremely simple, linear and precise, with new eyes, almost in a state of limbo, the spirit confronting itself with what it really is and with what is really authentic in it.
Making it clear now that once death enters the scene, the spirit is divested of superstructure, becoming something else: as a substance it stays the same, but as an extreme personality and by this I mean a "fake human" personality, the spirit must divest itself. And that's why the afterlife, as you call it, ends up by becoming something else. And in behaving like this you are really running away from the tough criticism of the materialists who quite logically laugh when they hear someone talking about another world that is constructed pretty closely on the human model.
None of you could reasonably imagine, in good faith, that a spirit goes on its way walking down tree-lined avenues or goes out for a drink or a bite to eat. No one could accept that, but it has happened. And that's why research in the field of metaphysics has always been opposed, precisely because of what I'd call its ridiculous fringes, picked up from unsuitable environments or spirits or presumed spirits, but always without any global perspective on the problem and without confronting certain fundamental assumptions. So it's logical that our explanation can also seem disappointing to those who imagine a different world in the afterlife that has all the human affections, ties and attributes. But if you stop to reflect, on the other hand, it is precisely when faced with this lean, very simple structure that you can find the meaning of truth.
In other words, you are actually referring yourselves to a logical plane of acceptance. And what is this logical plane of acceptance? It is that, independently of any proof, human beings don't have a life that is entirely theirs. Which is to say that underneath it all even your materialists have accepted, or are prepared to agree that whatever else, there is a "something" that cannot be explained at the basis of human beings. Only that they see this "something" as a structure, perhaps as some form of electromagnetic phenomenon, a phenomenon that can exist, survive, even survive someone, without it being necessary for one to give this survival the meaning of the continuation of the species in another world.
In this way we are very close to a hypothesis that I'd call positivist more than materialist because the soul, above all, is actually a structure that is subject to death, just for starters. So let's not start accepting this principle that the soul, which could identify itself with that "something" which the materialists talk of and even the neurophysiologists admit, an almost autonomous bioelectric existence, is not independent of the structure of the brain, alright? Good, so this "something" dies. We're agreed on that.
This "something" is the Soul. We shift the terms a little: we say it doesn't die immediately, that it dies later. We can even make it take longer. Let's say it dies after five hundred years. The problem doesn't lie there: the problem is whether it dies or not. Well, this structure does die, but beside this structure or in the substance of this structure there is something different: there is the content of the structure.
You see, any mental model or any electrical model carries signals and carries information because there's always someone who sends the signal and the information. And if there isn't someone, there must be something from which the signal is picked up. What I'm saying is that any electrical or bioelectrical structure can, if it comes from the brain, exist as an autonomous structure. Let's get that straight, because the Universe, with its laws, also moves in an autonomous manner. But if this Universe, if some of these radio signals that can pass through space become intelligent signals, it either means that the signal was sent by someone or that it picked up something significant that it can then transmit. That is to say a signal per se has no faculties and no possibility of organising itself into an idea. Why?
Because an idea, if we analyse it, has a meaning that on the plane of any type of logic can always be traced to an intelligent function. Being a signal with a meaning it is implicitly an intelligent signal. One can't call that into question: that's to say a signal which carries information is incontrovertibly an intelligent signal. It is therefore a question of establishing whether it is an instinctual, natural intelligence or a non-instinctual intelligence. That is in fact an extremely elementary task. Why? Because a signal is instinctual and comes from nature when it does not modify nature. A signal is no longer instinctual when it modifies nature - that's clear - because nature on its own cannot emit contrasting signals. If a signal is in contrast with its origin, which is to say with nature, it means that there has been some form of interference. And since interference is inadmissible in an extremely precise pattern such as the pattern of nature or the universe, it means the signal is an outside wedge that has penetrated it.
Right, what I'm saying is that once we have admitted or come to an agreement upon what the spirit might be, that is to say reduced to an extremely simple element - let's say it might be a signal like an electric signal, or an insistence, a principal with an electric nature that nevertheless has the possibility of sending autonomous signals that are able to reach a mental pattern and give it information.... Well then, at this point we've got to the spirit, because anything else is just a question of terminology, as this electric force that transmits signals can be called spirit or anything else, that's not what matters.
What is important - and this is where everything I've said has been leading - is that we must as far as possible avoid giving the spirit and soul banal, poetic, romantic meanings, but rather, in short, try and return to what the spirit really is. What is the spirit in essence ? The spirit is a structure, an electric structure. Nothing like the electricity that switches on lamps and nothing like the electricity emitted by a source like the sun. It's a type of energy, there's no doubt about that and it must be because the spirit has been emanated by God. The spirit is a part of a the universe. And what's the universe ? The universe is an energy, essentially, so the spirit cannot be anything else, but is a type of organised energy. No one can have any doubt about that, because there are many different types of organised energies in the universe. So there's no reason why the spirit organised in that way shouldn't exist as well.
The important thing then is to establish or succeed in establishing whether or not an intelligent principle exists or could exist in the universe. It's at this point, I'd say, that the materialists have tied their hands behind their backs. Why? Intelligence exists in the universe and man is the proof of it. The principle of intelligence therefore exists, and if the principle of intelligence exists the argument becomes extremely simple. Either one accepts that intelligence exists, or one says: intelligence does not exist. However if intelligence exists, the transfer to a philosophical plane is simple. A thing exists if its principle exists, otherwise a thing does not exist. A reality always contemplates its origin, because reality is always an effect, and an effect presupposes a cause, but above all reality implies the concept of existence. A thing exists simply if it lives and, therefore, if its principle exists.
Without the principle of a reality, reality itself could not be the consequence and could not therefore exist. But if intelligence exists and the presence of man is the most striking testimony to it; this intelligence must have a principle. And since the Earth in itself as a structure, also seems to have a far-off origin in your eyes, because it is the expression of a certain universal energy; then the energy of intelligence must have the same origin. Intelligence is therefore also part of a universal principle.
The fact is that one cannot escape a consequence which I'd call a dialectical consequence. The more we push our discussion, the more this dialectic becomes incontrovertible. We cannot escape this series of steps which are, indeed, elementary steps.
The question of whether or not one can demonstrate anything on Earth is, I'd say, a highly debatable matter, apart from the fact that there are a great many things on Earth which cannot be demonstrated and yet are accepted all the same... In the end humanity has accepted its own life without even knowing how it came about. Only now have you managed to form a few clear ideas about the genesis of man. Only when it was possible to study an ovum under the microscope. Only when genetics was able to demonstrate certain markers which cross the generations - and yet genetics itself makes slow and difficult progress in such an unsure and dangerous field. And to demonstrate what? Things that have existed on Earth for thousands of years and are accepted by everyone. On the other hand genetics has arrived late among you, one could say, to study these generation markers.
Certainly, if someone had come up to me five or six hundred years ago and said; "look! there are certain hereditary characteristics which are passed on from father to son, but they don't pass on just like that, by simple influence, they pass on because there are certain signs that work through the cells, in fact the cells carry certain signals and can keep them for four or even five generations...." well, I'd have burst out laughing, wouldn't I? I wouldn't have been able to accept anything like that. Or I might have been able to accept it on a formal logical plane, but I would still have said: "well, but how are you going to prove that to me?" No one would have been able to prove it.
Now, the existence of the Spirit is in the same situation. The fact that one can't prove it means absolutely nothing at all. It does not deny the possibility of the Spirit's existence. On the other hand there are things that can never be proved: absolutely nothing can be proved. Just as man cannot prove what happens in his brain one second after death. Materialist logic ought to take the view that the brain doesn't stop functioning immediately, but stops some time after natural death. It ought therefore logically to suppose that the being which has just died continues to think in some way. And this would be the extreme of materialism, that the end of thought naturally coincides with an involutional process of the brain one might expect to take place between approximately three and five minutes of death but could in actual fact also become much longer, for a whole series of other reasons that there's no point in going into now.
Whatever the case, we can say that this argument leads to the same old conclusion, namely that it is above all indispensable for you to create a mental pattern that is suitable for being able to accept and continue working down this path. Because no external demonstration could serve any purpose in giving you certainty. Many great people have come to the Earth, I repeat, and they proved absolutely nothing. Christ came and what did he prove? He who does not believe carries on not believing, and he who did not believe carried on not believing. There's nothing you can do about it. Many, many others have come who tried to establish a spiritual discourse, but they were not believed. And with good reason, I'd say, with good reason. Because you must no longer construct a discourse of this kind in the same way that it was several hundred years ago, but in the light of your physical knowledge. That's to say you need to move away from the models of preaching and take refuge in the scientific model, because it's the only one that can open certain doors for you. At least it can give you certain indispensable keys to a reading.
Man at least needs some appearance of proof that the soul can exist. Afterwards he may well go back to accepting everything. But if you don't succeed in giving this to man, the way of the spirit is lost. It's lost because man is no longer capable of accepting on faith, he no longer accepts dreams. This is a good thing, I'd say, from a spiritual point of view, because in this way man at least accepts his responsibilities. However, it would be even better if, while following this path, he committed himself to living socially, because this would ensure those fundamental experiences the spirit needs. Unfortunately, man denies every spiritual value today, and maybe he's right given the history of these studies. I naturally include religion in these studies, because it was religion that ought to have tackled these questions. But it doesn't, no one knows why. Religion is the only study that ought officially to have tackled these questions. Instead of which here we are talking about them while not a word is said there. It seems that everything is clear with the religions, that everything goes without saying, that everything is beautiful and full of light and yet none of that's true, nothing's been proved, even the minimum existence of the spirit has not been proved. Everything's accepted and nothing's accepted, whether in faith or not.
So, as I was saying, if man could at least live his life socially he would derive certain benefits. Instead, unfortunately, man does not even live, he merely survives on Earth like this. A true life, an authentic life, a life full and rich with humanity is precisely what man does not achieve. And that's why, so often, these poor spirits within, behind and beside us truly manage to pass an almost useless life. Fortunately life in itself exists, which is an experience and already constitutes something. The fact of being born and the fact of having to die are already two experiences which are, luckily for you, beyond your choice. You go through them whether you like it or not, because if it depended on man he wouldn't even go through with them, or he'd go through them in who knows what way, and who knows what he'd invent for the question of death. But there are at least two things which are beyond your choice and which, in a sense, you're obliged to endure.
Being born and dying: that's already an experience for the spirit, not a very intelligent experience, to tell the truth, because being born and dying aren't intelligent actions, they're two fairly silly actions, above all because they're things that happen and which you endure. You can't even manage to accept them intelligently, I'd say, and therefore you simply endure them. But the spirit nevertheless gains something from all these reincarnations, because the spirit's still wide awake during the incarnation phase, it's alert and knows what's happening. As soon as death occurs it finds its life as a spirit again and can thus look back on the past. But the rest of life, you see, doesn't amount to much. That's why my advice to live intensely is practical, egotistical advice at the bottom of it. Your spirit came here for that: if you take that away from it what can you give it?
I was saying, in fact I've been saying it from some time and I hope you've been listening, that in the end we aren't interested in saints on earth because the Earth's an exercise ground for the spirit, an exercise ground in matter, and you've got to try and understand matter, now, while you're on the earth. If you went on a journey from your country to Africa, for example, what would you try and do? You'd want to get to know the costumes of Africa, to visit its tribes, to make contact with the people and understand how they live, find out what they eat. You'd try and live some of their experiences, eat with them, in the tribes, in the forests. Why? Because that's a real experience. If you went to Africa and, I don't know, went to sleep in a lovely comfortable bed, for example, taking all your food with you from home - well, you might as well have stayed at home! That's to say there'd be no point in going to Africa. What I'm saying is that someone who wants to live an experience, or see something new, lives the life of these other people that he or she's gone to see.
Now, on Earth, on the other hand, exactly the opposite has happened. Spirits, spiritual beings, come to the earth and take on a human body, to live like what? What, to live like Spirits, to live a spiritual life? That simply doesn't make sense! The spiritual life is naturally something different: it's living freed from matter. But freeing oneself from matter on Earth is suicide. Suicide isn't simply what someone does when they hang themselves or take poison: suicide is what anyone does when they renounce human life, because the spirit didn't come down to Earth to renounce human life, otherwise it wouldn't have bothered coming at all, it would have stayed on the other side.
It's clear however that this is a concept which men don't understand, namely that the spirit makes a free choice to come down to Earth, because men on the other hand believe that it is God who sends them there and forces them to come and thus puts them to the test saying: you have to live like a spirit on earth... Who knows what the logic is supposed to be in the idea of God doing this! Let's take a spirit and send it down to Earth and tell it: now that you've got a body you however have to live like a spirit.
It is not logical.
Entity A: "...The ancient motto of Delphi
is naturally still valid, because "know yourself" obviously didn't just
regard matter, you know that. So biology, physics and all their related
disciplines can obviously shed a full light on the structure of the human
being: how it's made, how it's evolved, born or dies, but it - scientific
discipline - can never tell us how man is made in the non-visible part
of him which expresses itself through the visible part.
And it is therefore to this invisible part that the meaning of the Delphic Oracle addresses us. Because only a deep inner knowledge of ourselves can enable us to rise up to other mysteries, and thus to "know the Universe and God" as the complete I of the Delphic Oracle.
Naturally, the knowledge of matter can be just as necessary in certain cases, because one can gain a complete knowledge that its therefore greater than oneself by also knowing the manner in which one is made. But because what matters are the meanings beyond knowledge - deep, mysterious echoes which move in that organic structure - one can only rise up to the entire Universe through a rethinking of oneself, a re-meditating of oneself. Why? Because what you are made of "inside" has the same structure and quality as what the spiritual Universe is made of. In the same way that what makes up your matter, as such, in some way naturally also follows certain laws of a more universal character.
What this means, therefore, is that the analysis of aggregates, organic and spiritual complexes, can lead one up to the primary ideas and thus to a deep and complete knowledge. I wouldn't add a thing to the inscription at Delphi, which is as true as it's ever been in your time now. Indeed, above all in your time when meditation has become something that is only entrusted to good will. It's clear therefore that the problem of will doesn't come into it, since knowing a material structure completely doesn't mean solving the problem completely (1). The material structure is nothing other than a light bulb that comes on, or, if you prefer, a unit like one of yours (the ones you use to record these seances), that records and can transmit. But the voice that carries the truth, or carries the knowledge inside your unit, isn't born of it, it's born of something else, it comes from outside, that's to say its born of an Idea which is not innate in or in any way connected with your recording unit.
Your body isn't a recording unit for images and sounds which are in some way connected and processed, because something else exists and lives inside it that gives a moral meaning to every complex of ideas, gives them a certain character, a certain spiritual imprint. This "something" does not belong to your body: It plugs into this circuit because it's a circuit that makes a certain type of transmission possible and is - your body that is - the copy of one of your recording units, a knowledge of which will tell you absolutely nothing about the imprinting of the ideas which takes place later when the "voice" speaks... That's the problem!"
(1) At this point the word "will" refers to a hypothetical voluntary control over the phenomena of the body.
Question on what the point is, then, in knowing oneself.
Entity A: "But knowing oneself, you see,
almost exclusively concerns the spirit which has been incarnated,
because it doesn't recognise itself any more once its found itself in a
body! And that's why human beings can rediscover the meaning of the true
Reality inside them through re-meditation. It's in this sense, in this
direction, that it should be interpreted..."
Question on the need for will; mention of material limits, on one's own DNA (2).
Entity A: "But what does it mean, being
one's own DNA? Look, I totally agree on the fact that man is tied to his
own DNA. Naturally the problem doesn't change one iota from what I've always
said it was, namely that the spirit in some way shapes its own body, that's
to say the body in which it's going to live, because, considering that
body has to serve for a given type of experience, it must be "marked" in
a certain way.
In order to facilitate this experience, the spirit chooses the type of family which in some way guarantees that the body only needs partial, not substantial changes. There is therefore, in a certain sense, a relationship between the type of experience the spirit wants to live and the type of body chosen, which - in order to live those given experiences - must be "dressed" by that DNA and those types of hereditary genes which will then go and mark certain hereditary characteristics, etc. etc.
From this point of view, then, the spiritual problem remains the same, completely uninfluenced by scientific research. No, the problem is rather another one.... you see the problem even exists without DNA, because having said that the spirit organises the body as it wants, it's inevitable that a body built in this way becomes a slave to the primary idea of the spirit, a slave, in some way, to the evolution of the spirit itself.
We must therefore speak of a body which is in some way a slave of the spirit. We must never speak of a slave spirit, even though, I can, however, admit that, during the course of life, the spirit is at least the slave of its own evolution.
Because it's chosen it. Once it's chosen it, the spirit must, for better or worse, follow that path - I wouldn't say against its will, because it was its choice - but it must nevertheless pass through the necessary stages which it has laid out for itself and it is in that that the real freedom of the spirit lies!.
Once born, however, freedom becomes a very, very relative thing; not only because the spirit has to respect the stages it has set out for itself, but also because, in the second place, having placed itself in a body with very strong biological limits, the spirit cannot interfere with it once it has come into the world and been formed. And it can't interfere for two reasons: the first is because the body is formed biologically and, I'd say reinforced by that DNA, by certain hereditary genes, by certain family traits etc. etc. and because the spirit - let us not forget! - falls into a type of sleep at the moment of birth, from which it wakes when the body is between more or less 15 and 20 years old....
(2) DNA = deoxyribonucleic acid, which constitutes the base of the hereditary elements in humans (and other animals).
That's to say the complete awakening of the spirit
occurs with the maturity of the brain, so that until that age the spirit
is practically nothing but a symbol that moves on under nothing but the
force of its own momentum, because it's not completely awakened. And could
not be - and there's a good reason for this - because a totally awakened
spirit wouldn't know what to do with a body which is still asleep, in the
sense of a brain which is not completely developed and autonomous (the
limit here is clearly a shifting limit).
Now where does the will fit into all this? You will often have the will to do certain things but won't have the inner freedom, the possibility of choice. Inside yourself you will never resolve to do a given thing, maybe even for your whole life! Well, why does all this happen? Probably because in these cases it's not an experience that you must have. You have the will on a human level, on a cerebral, psychic level, but something's not as it should be: the "relay" doesn't trip, the spring capable of driving you into that type of experience doesn't do anything, either for spiritual reasons, or even for environmental, educational reasons etc. etc.
But I want to give you a frank and objective answer once and for all on this question of freedom and will. I want to say this: that you don't in actual fact have that much freedom. That's the truth of it - fortunately, I'd say, for as long as you're alive. Because, you see, we - we and you - we spirits, are responsible for this situation and we're satisfied with it.
We probably wouldn't manage to conclude any experience on Earth if we had total freedom, but the fact of not having it and the fact of being bound to what we chose beforehand is a guarantee for us. Because before we're born we know very well that if we don't restrict the body in some way - given that we cannot intervene in it later - we could have no certainty of being able to live a useful life, a useful experience. Who could give us this guarantee? Once we'd fallen asleep in a body with every limit and defect possible, what guarantee could we have of coming to Earth and being able to complete the cycle we had set ourselves?
So we have to take certain precautions. The first is that of tying ourselves to a body, of conditioning the body in a certain way, so that it doesn't play any tricks on us, or else so that if it does, it's some trick we could easily put up with it. And so we know from the start that a body made by us in this way will never become something else, because its impossible for it to do so. The experience will not allow it, will not permit it and we're not interested in living another type of experience. Freedom is therefore relative, it is relative from a spiritual viewpoint above all: you cannot spiritually produce more than the context of the evolution of your spirit allows - its evolution combined with certain unconscious tendencies..."
Question on the ineffectiveness of knowing oneself.
Entity A: "No, you see, because this takes
us back to another aspect of life, namely: the spirit, with all these physical
limits, or conditionings that are not strictly physical (that's to say
they have a certain flexibility), creates an orientation for itself. Its
not precisely that the spirit creates itself in the sense, for example,
of I'll do this at twenty, this will happen when I'm 22, that will happen
when I'm 40. No, that's not how it happens! The spirit sets itself certain
fixed stages which have no reference to time: stages as experiences. These
experiences then come together in life and manifest themselves as they
can (sometimes they don't manifest themselves at all!) But the main purpose
of life remains another one. Not that of living certain experiences in
particular, but of knowing and living the experience of materiality,
through which one can reach very special experiences.
In other words, these experiences are simply the pretext for in some way reaching other, further aspects of materiality. The spirit is not interested in anything else, such as, for example, deciding whether to be a doctor, lawyer, peasant or blacksmith. It's not interested in any of that! Having reached a certain stage of evolution, it's only interested in identifying which experience will be a further experience, the most useful one for gaining a further understanding on earth of materiality, which is the other side of the Universe!
Now, on Earth it must do all this intelligently. Why? Because the spirit has absolutely no other possibility of going through these experiences apart from through the body, otherwise it would not incarnate, it would go through this experience from outside. Why is it forced to live on earth? It is forced to live there because it is only through this series of "relays", or biological "units", that the experiences of materiality are able to transform themselves into spiritual experiences. And how do they transform themselves into spiritual experiences? That's the point of Delphi! Only, that is to say, by interpreting the experiences that one lives through, by incorporating them into one's personality, by bringing them into the very foundations of one's self, that is to say by making them reach the spirit.
And how can an experience reach the spirit? When the individual incorporates the experience, that is to say carries out that "apperception" - to use the philosophical term - that "digestion" of the experience. And to be able to "digest" it well, one needs to know it well and to know it well one needs to know oneself. If one does not know oneself well, the experience remains external, it cannot be digested deep down.
That's how the problem is concluded. That's how Delphi confirms its wisdom.
Why "know oneself"? Certainly not for a whim, because I'd in fact have answered by cutting the question short. I'd have said: there is in fact no point in someone on Earth knowing themselves. The spirit can put its mind to knowing itself afterwards as well! What's the purpose of doing so on Earth? A spirit certainly doesn't take on a body to know itself as a spirit since, as a spirit, it knows precisely what it is! It has no need to know itself on Earth, of all places! What would it come here for? To waste time? No, a spirit on Earth does everything possible not to occupy itself with spiritual problems, because it has all the time it could possibly need to occupy itself with them afterwards! It simply wants to find a possible connection between the material and spiritual; that's why it wants the experience of materiality.
Not because materiality interests it per se, for what it is, because the spirit knows it belongs to a spiritual world, opposite which there is another world that is congenial to it and in which it lives: this is the reality outside the spirit. This external reality is the other side of the universe, that is to say the non-spiritual universe, reality in the normal sense of the word, which is similar in substance to the spirit, but does not have the individuality and personality of the spirit.
The spirit wants to know this existence which is around it, because the spirit knows it exists, but also knows it exists because a Reality of which it is a Principle also exists, and being a Principle the spirit is a real thing. And what is this principle reality made up of? It is also made up of certain aspects called energy, called matter, that is to say the aspect, the "precipitate" of God. In other words the part that "coagulates", the part that is independent of God and instead depends on him, the spirit - and the spirit must know and deeply analyse this part, because by analysing it, the spirit will end up by gaining an increasingly clear idea of itself, of its own individuality, that is to say it will succeed in homing in on its own "self". The spirit knows it, understands it as independent, and this gives it greater autonomy, greater well-being or, if you prefer, greater knowledge, which is that type of peace which has been talked about so much, regarding which I once said: The peace of the spirit is not a state of happiness and bliss! The spirit which is at peace is not a spirit that smiles or laughs, so to speak, the spirit at peace is one which is aware of the validity of its own experience, its own "I" and its own knowledge. When it has these things inside it, these things are peace!
When things have been decided by the spirit you do not have the will to give them up, because it is at precisely this point that the will does not trigger and cannot be triggered. However, not everything that happens to you has been foreseen by the spirit; you lay the groundwork for many events yourself! Basically, the spirit simply chooses a couple of occasions on Earth. Make no mistake, the spirit does not set out to organise one day after another. No, the spirit wants no more than a couple of experiences; all the rest is not only of no interest, but simply paves the way for these salient events, and it is in these rather accessory events that you have your freedom. You don't have it for the fundamental events, but you do have it for the accessory events.
At this point I want to say something further: you have turned this relationship completely on its head: for you the accessory things have become the important things and the fundamental things have become - I wouldn't say banal - but inevitable events, Fate and Destiny. You've managed to make things that don't interest the spirit important: your system of life, your morals, your restraints, your inhibitions, they are - let us say - the daily bread of your life. It's true, they've become important things for you. You almost judge yourselves by these things!
Would it be possible at a certain point for an unpleasant experience (for you, that is to say) decided by the spirit to be skipped? Is it possible, in short, for certain fixed experiences decided by the spirit not to happen for some reason? Yes it is possible for some experiences to stop or not to happen.
When does the experience stop? For example, I have sometimes heard people say... (In fact I've heard you say it... It may even have been a question you asked me)... You've asked me for help with some trouble that has beset you, or if you haven't asked me it was your intention to ask me; and if you don't ask me, you ask your saints, your crosses, your icons.... However, whatever the case, you ask for help. Naturally, we've established that the important events in life are - within certain limits, although it's not always like this - that the really important events in life have been decided by the spirit (the real ones, not the one's you think are important!).
Once the event has started, is it possible to stop it? One can stop it in a way which is, I'd say, completely unknown to you. In fact an event, however unpleasant it may be, is stopped by accepting it. And why does it stop? Because in the moment you accept it (I mean really accept it, make no mistake!) it triggers that "passage of experience" between matter and the spirit. The spirit is satiated, so to speak, by the experience; the cause which gave rise to it withdraws, the effect disappears.
In fact, you see, it must be like this, because the relationship between the experience and the spirit is conducted across the psychic path. When the psychic tension relaxes and the experience is accepted, it's like a miracle taking place. On the other hand, this is not only what the ancient Yogis taught, but also follows an inner logic of its own. The experience of life itself proves it. Those who accept suffering are no longer unhappy. Those who think they're accepting it, but always complain, never let it stop! There's a saying on Earth that goes: "every problem brings another". That's not untrue, because the situation can be fed in a psychic, spiritual way.
In fact, when you live joyfully (the saints said always live with joy: friar Francis said it...) things go better. One must live with joy, accept with joy. That's not a figure of speech; nor is it creating an effect. It is curing oneself of a disease, whether its a social, spiritual or physical disease... Accepting, not in the prostrate, passive sense they may have taught you, that's to say "accept the suffering and thank God". It's not like that, naturally: there's no one to thank here. But accepting with awareness, with intelligence, even avoiding the suffering if possible: there's no need to wallow in pain, none at all! However it's clear that one can only overcome pain by facing it, with reason, and when reason intervenes in pain then the awareness of pain intervenes and the awareness becomes that spiritual experience that the spirit was seeking.
And that is the moment in which freedom is released (the moment of real experience), because it is the moment in which the spirit waits, becomes alert and manifests itself in the clearest way at an unconscious level. It's as if the spirit "opened its eyes" and moved closer to listen, to feel; that's the right moment! They're things that you don't notice, that you don't realise. You haven't even been taught, I must say, to arrive at this type of reasoning, to look pain in the face. You aren't used to it, so sometimes you end up carrying it all your life, without ever looking at the reason for it.
No spirit comes onto the Earth to suffer. The spirit seeks a series of experiences which, probably accomplished fairly badly, consequently lead to pain. Once pain has intervened, becoming an additional, integral part of the experience, the spirit has to face it with the means of reason, understand its importance, connect it with itself, if necessary explain it. Having done that, the pain is overcome! It's overcome de facto, because - how shall I put it - it's like an inner psychoanalysis that one carries out and which automatically cures one of all this.
Question on the case of someone who has lost a leg.
Entity A: "Disability is something one
suffers for an entire lifetime, because the leg can't grow back, but the
disabled person can reach a point in which they no longer feel the lack
of a leg. It's as if they were born with one leg only, seeing that there's
no law in the Universe which lays down that men must be made with two legs,
two arms, etc. One is born with two legs because biological circumstances
wanted it that way. You could, for instance, have been born with three
legs and a tail and not found anything funny about it, just as you don't
find anything funny about the fact that men are born white here while they're
born black in Africa! The moment when the disabled person overcomes the
experience, which is to say when they digest it and understand the point
of all this, they are cured of it internally and thus they no
longer notice their disability. No longer noticing their disability,
it is no longer of any importance whether they have two legs or only one,
because there's no difference between a man with two legs and a man with
one. There's absolutely no difference, apart perhaps from the fact that
some people can go for a good run and he cannot. But what's the importance,
seeing that there are so many men who have two legs and walk slowly for
the whole of their lives?!
It's not a question of unfairness! The disabled person must think that their human life won't last forever, that their legs aren't necessary to think, and following this line of thought they will no longer envy other disabled people who recover, because theirs is another type of trouble, and because they certainly have a different experience. And what does it matter whether you have one or two legs on Earth when this isn't the life that counts and the spirit has no legs and can no longer have any disabilities in the Universe? That's how one creates the explanation for one's state, by bringing the demands of human life into the perspectives of another life. And it doesn't therefore matter whether you live with one leg for a certain time, because you don't need two at all... Everything naturally rests on knowledge, evolution and maturity: it's logical...
When I say live intensely I've said everything, and having said everything I've really said everything! Without excluding anything from the human experience, absolutely anything, precisely because (and we've said it before) the spirit wants to place itself in materiality to understand it, study it and thus overcome it; but to overcome it, the spirit naturally needs to know it.
You need to try and do everything possible to live life to the full, in a conscious and intelligent way, of course, otherwise - living without reason and the moral qualities one has, it would become an entirely pointless experience, valid on the human plane only...".
ON THE INNER LIFE
Communication of 13th November 1991.
Question: The subject we would like to discuss is the development of the inner self. You've spoken to us at length on this subject, but we'd be very grateful for a sort of summary, partly because when we refer to this inner self away from here, many ask what it is.
Entity A: "I realise it can sometimes be
difficult to give a definition when you don't have the right language,
or when the people you're talking to don't have the right understanding.
The inner self, this inner self of which we have spoken so much, is certainly counterpoised to an outside. The fundamental point that you just as others need to grasp is this: when we talk about an inner self and outside, what exactly are we referring to? By outside we mean the simplest thing you posses, even if it's the most complex, that is to say the everyday world of phenomena. For us this is the outside, that we counterpoise to the inner self, because we are the inner self, and thus "we" takes on a distinctly spiritual and non-material value. Because it doesn't just represent, it represents "us" with regard to this outside, this universal reality of phenomena, part of which is the reality of bodies, while yet another part is the reality in which bodies are immersed - that is to say the infinite, representative, tangible universe, the universe of stone, the hard universe, the universe which does not have its roots in autonomy and the spirit. So by outside we mean everything which does not belong to the spirit, although this is naturally a fleeting, shorthand classification.
Now - to turn the discourse on its syntactical head - why do we say that one needs to find the inner self, having said that we are the inner self, that we represent ourselves in this inner self? Because in the very moment that we, as humans, formulate the question, we are no longer an inner self but an outside that formulates the question. We are a linguistic, syntactical, cerebral, thinking jumble, a material human mind that is searching for its own spiritual dimension.
Looked at like this, the question "Which is the inner self? What is the inner self?" can be answered thus: the inner self is everything that, not being subject to the golden rules of matter and the mechanical universe, brings one into a listening relationship with other realities, stretches out above, emulates or walks a parallel together with other realities. The inner self is thus an alter ego of living matter, the living body. It is a function without which the living body could not rise above the animal level.
I think the difficulty you continually have in understanding and identifying arises above all from bad use of your meditations.
To those of you who are looking for this inner self and ask yourselves where it is, where one starts, I always say that the problem is precisely to start somewhere.
You are used to a theoretical type of culture and identification. From birth onwards you were never trained to search, to meditate. Then, suddenly, having reached whatever age you are, you want to find this inner self of yours overnight.
I don't think anyone has seriously tackled the problem of finding their own inner self, which is naturally the search for their own soul. You haven't got your ideas straight about what is of the body, because everything seems to be of the body and because, on the other hand, the one thing you can be sure you have is that part of your body which you touch, that part of it which vibrates, smells, trembles, suffers and loves, grows melancholy and searches and desires and needs. You gradually move from the sensory towards the top 8th, then down (according to your geometric tastes) and you start no longer identifying with your body.
There are things which belong to the body in a way that is highly certain, such as the sensations, pleasure. You identify a caress, a hand resting on you, a tickle, a scratch, a pain. Or you're eating and you like the food and you hold it on your palate, there where the papillae absorb smells, flavours, tastes which the brain transforms into pleasant or unpleasant perceptions or sensations.
But it is at this point that you pass from all these things, which can be endlessly processed and joined with one another in infinite combinations, to other types of perceptions: certain types of pleasure, certain types of love, affection, relations with others, friendship, the sense of forgiveness, the capacity to understand. We are going into the complex end here, into perceptions which start no longer being perceptions because they develop in a world where the bodily, sensory part of immediate recognition, the hard external universe we were talking about starts to be excluded.
We are already in a zone which abandons a number of the body's functional patterns and is geared to listening in other ways. From this point onwards the imagination creates new needs, new desires and, at these levels, it is the soul that suggests your actions to you. So when you say "inner life" you're not talking about something abstract, you're starting to talk about something concrete - if one could call it concrete - you're talking about a complex reality that already lives beyond the corporeal and already belongs to the territory of the inner self.
This is the zone of the inner self and it is about this that you should talk when someone asks you what this inner self is that so much has been said about and which no one seems able to point out, indicating its direction and coordinates.
You need to be careful, however, because many people confuse their inner self with rules. My rules, my inner rules, some will say, lead me to act in this way, not realising that those rules are not the inner self I'm talking about, which is to say the inner self of one's own Spirit, but the one that, strictly speaking, belongs to you - your unconscious with respect to the rules you have interjected. They are naturally unconscious and are also part of one's inner life, but they belong to a false inner life, which is to say that inner life which generates neuroses, not the inner life which frees. The inner life which frees is that of your spirit, that is to say of a deeper nucleus, the nucleus that comes into conflict with the guilt complexes inside you.
If you however reflect on the fact that these so-called promptings of the inner life only tend to block you and create anxieties and distress, to make you a slave of yourself, then you will see that you have two inner daemons: one daemon that prompts you coercively to behave in accordance with the rules (and without this behaviour you are in guilty conflict) and another daemon, the one that has often been called the devil of temptation but is not the devil of temptation - that's the deceit religions have woven for you - but is simply your own true spirit which tempts you, not agreeing in the least with the rules of the world. Why should your spirit agree, since it doesn't belong, even temporarily, to your world? And so the devil of temptation is none other than your own spirit which wants to transgress the rules imposed by religion. The family imposes laws which were promulgated by the religions and have caused guilt complexes, while these have in turn been joined by social laws, so that social guilt complexes exist as well.
So that when temptation raises its head, it is really the voice of the spirit that wants to overcome the rule of the world. The rule of the world, education, ethics, morals and so on, the rule that's called a good rule but is really only a rule imposed by an ethical process of civilisation controlled by the religions. That's the whole and simple truth.
Communication of March 1960.
Question - Why didn't God create the Spirit so that it was already perfect, sparing it reincarnation.
Entity A: It seems impossible - from a
human viewpoint - to reconcile the all-powerful and sublime goodness of
God with the unfairness of the life of society, its suffering, its squalor,
its continual struggles. Could God in actual fact have created a perfect
spirit? The perfection that God ought to have given the spirit, ought for
you to have been an interior infiniteness and, above all, a series of capacities
able to induce this Spirit, even when incarnated, to eliminate pain on
its own. That's what it all comes down to. God ought to have eliminated
pain by giving this spirit, amongst its thousands of different faculties,
all those capacities needed for overcoming and vanquishing all the obstacles
In any case it isn't the Earth as dwelling place, nor is it nature as man's surroundings that provokes or is the origin of these obstacles, but it is man who finds them within himself, in his craving to climb higher, to change himself, to rise above everything and himself and everyone else. It is in the struggle that man creates in life but not always for life.
If it is true that living human beings are different from the beasts, they are different by virtue of a number of characteristics which are mainly those able to organise themselves in a particular way, corresponding to their intelligence, capacities, tendencies and instincts. Now, if these capacities exist - and if, as a consequence of them, man finds himself caught in mazes of his own making this in the end has a spiritual meaning.
The perfection of the spirit is in fact a perfection of its substance and not of its form. The arrangement of its form is what then causes the pain and struggle etc. This arrangement arises from the use the being makes of the powers it has been given: its intelligence, freedom, will, capacities, etc.
Don't get me wrong, if we assert that God is infinite, eternal and absolute, we can say that He has conferred his attributes on the substance that constitutes the spirit. But while there are points of similarity between God's eternal infinite and the eternal infinite of the spirit, there are also "infinites" which cannot be crossed. And that is a result precisely of the infinite structure of the elements forming the spirit and of those forming the divine Substance.
Putting the question in this light, it is clear that this spirit, being in a position of lack and confluence in relation to the divine position, could not do otherwise than create its own freedom.
Now, the fact that the spirit received individuality and personality from God (and is what it is precisely because of that), it could not be separated from the use that the spirit would have made of that freedom. And freedom, associated with intelligence, can only be considered such when it is allowed free interpretation, when it is allowed to act freely in accordance with its own orientation, that can be evaluated in relation to varied and multiple inner and outer needs.
Since we speak of the spirit as an intelligent being, an eternal being, a being which aspires to God, which lives and suffers, torments itself and works... well, then this spirit is an intelligent spirit and to be intelligent it needs to be a free spirit. This freedom that is in the spirit demonstrates the existence of the being in its self.
Individuality?... How can one separate individuality from personality? A being is individual by virtue of being one of its kind. In fact, if there were no principle of individuality, we would have a principle of identity between the spirits that would cancel out personality: a being is personal when it is the only one of its kind.
And thus individuality ends up being a fundamental characteristic of the personality. But personality and individuality are not conceivable if a way of manifesting them does not exist. That's where the need for intelligent characteristics comes in. But intelligence, personality and individuality could not avoid decaying if there were no principle of freedom, and the principle of freedom in intelligence, personality and individuality would remain a static element without the mainspring of the will or the dynamic attitude, the characteristic attitude of the spiritual substance, which tends to become, or rather is a movement. From the universal viewpoint, movement represents energy, while from the viewpoint of the spirit it represents the mainspring of the will. Without this dynamism, without this movement, the spirit would end up being a static element and everything would collapse.
The necessity of the concomitance of these forces leads one to the conclusion that this complex as originated by God, which is perfect in its characteristics, perfect in the way each gear meshes with the other, is nevertheless an almost virgin element. Another consideration comes into the discourse at this point, namely did God of necessity have to make this element called the spirit a virgin element? Couldn't He give it all knowledge already?
Well, let us suppose God did give this spirit all his wisdom to make it "happy" as you'd put it in your way of talking. I might in the meantime object that it wouldn't be much of a happiness if won like this, without any effort, without any work, without any merit.
We've said that it was logically necessary for God to endow the spirit with certain characteristics. If God had, on the other hand, also given this spirit the attributes of the infinite, of eternity and had also given it power, knowledge and wisdom, God would have created another Himself! He would have done nothing other than multiply Himself. And what sense would there have been in multiplying Himself in this way? None at all! It was therefore necessary for the beings created to win this happiness in order to be capable of recognising the signs of happiness and to acquire balance in order to recognise the signs of this universal balance.
The necessity on God's part was not to create beings identical to Himself, but intelligent beings with all the characteristics useful for rising towards Him, while at the same time having everything necessary to justly and logically acquire characteristics of a universal nature so as to in some way make themselves fully useful on the plane of the universal economy. Could God make them happy already and make them start out from that happiness to perhaps win another, greater happiness? What do you know about it?! The fact is that you judge these things on the plane of the Earth. How do you know you're not already happy in your spirits and that you're torturing yourselves today because you've been unable or unwilling to recognise the signs of a balanced and tranquil life and you leave yourselves prey to the materiality that surrounds you? In the end, excuse me, but it isn't it precisely through the suffering, through the obstacles and humiliations that you realise your errors and realise there's another world that surrounds you, that you realise you have so many spiritual needs, that you make good your errors? Is not that perhaps the mainspring to understanding?
Pain is the compass, it gives you the right direction, it makes you put right your mistakes. Now all this, far from being a burden to man, is in fact something very useful. Pain gives you the possibility of understanding error, of changing your way, of making good. So we say to you: let pain be welcome, when it must come. It isn't in fact necessary. You could also not suffer. If you suffer it's always because you've made a mistake, and it's you that's made the mistake, no one else. You do not pay for the suffering of others. God does not oblige anyone to suffer.
God has not decreed through His Law that you have to suffer. No!
From Article 1 of the Statute: "The CIP shall pursue the study of parapsychological phenomena and their causes following the methods of scientific research, and shall disseminate the results".
The Italian Centre of Parapsychology organises itself along at least four lines which also represent the most well-known aspects of contemporary parapsychology:
A) The dissemination of the doctrinal corpus and cultural work
connected with the phenomenon of Entity A.
B) The analysis of and reflections on classical parapsychology.
C) The development of humanist parapsychology, which is a new line of
approach that brings together all studies on altered states and inner states
The basic principle of humanistic parapsychology re-evaluates the inner self and the concept of Soul, considering all the higher activity and creativity of the human species as paranormal and connecting this great hope to scientifically-based working hypotheses.
Humanistic parapsychology (which indeed took form within the CIP) encompasses the phenomena of pre-death, the visions of the dying under the action of drugs, the study of sacred herbs, relaxation and regressive hypnosis, mystic ecstasies, etc.
D) Studies into developing the application of humanistic parapsychology with meetings aimed at personal growth and getting to know one another.
The communications in this review were transmitted by the remarkable mediumistic personality known as "Entity A" through the incorporation trance of an exceptional sensitive who has operated exclusively in Naples, initially for the Centro Cosmos (from 1946 to 1963) and then for the C.I.P. from 1963 to the present day.
The C.I.P. works independently of any technical interpretation (already
successfully taken care of by sophisticated scientific and university research
studies), to disseminate the "lessons of A" in the conviction that the
rare quality of his teachings represents a doctrinal model of immense cultural
import, bringing exceptional reassurance regarding life and death.