Possession

BruceAdama

Established Member
So, I was thinking about this last night at work, and wondering that if a soul that had just died did not want to cross over, could somehow enter the body of another person who is still alive? Now here’s the funny part… IF such a thing were possible… what if when THAT person dies, the intruding soul that possessed the body refuses to leave? Could the intruding soul keep that body alive for itself? If it’s possible to possess a body, then that could be a means of a sort of vicarious immortality… living forever by leapfrogging from body to body.
 

mac

Administrator
I've been writing about that subject elsewhere only earlier today. There's a body of individuals who believe such a thing can, and does, happen, Bruce. But, then, there are individuals who believe all manner of outlandish notions. ;) It's great fantasy and/or science fiction but let's look at the simple situation.

When an individual is about to be born into this world a number of things have to happen. Firstly there has to be a fertilised egg courtesy of the parents-to-be, intentionally or otherwise! At some point I'm not able to define (but hardly matters for this argument) the spirit seeking an incarnation commits to engaging with the fertilised egg and animating it as it develops, grows and hopefully becomes a functioning adult.

All things being equal the new association is destined to last until death of the body the spirit has animated the whole of its life. That mechanism isn't negotiable; it's how new humans come into the world.

There is no alternate mechanism for animating a body. There is no mechanism whereby a spirit leaving its former shell can side-step (so to speak) and enter the body of someone still living. If there were just think of the chaos.

Of course in a fantasy world everything you've proposed could happen and it makes a great story along with all the other fantasies folk love!
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
I honestly don't know. But there is an episode of the show "Ghost Whisperer" that deals with that idea (well the first part of the idea, anyway). Actually, it's more of a whole character arc.
 

BruceAdama

Established Member
Well, what about your own body? Assuming it hasn’t suffered anything physically damaging to it to the point where death is certain, and say you died of a heart attack or pneumonia or even heat exhaustion or hypothermia, etc… what if you simply don’t want to leave your body? Like what if you take a look at it, and decide to go back in? What’s to stop you? Are your guardian angels going to force you to leave?
 

mac

Administrator
Death is marked by the irreversible separation of body from its animating spirit - period. The exact point can't be observed scientifically and the exact reason may not be certain. A body may appear to have the capability of continuing to function but if the spirit has ceased to animate it then life is over and there's no 'going back'. We can't, of course, always tell if that point has been reached except in retrospect.

If separation hasn't occurred, even if the physical body has experienced extreme stress and perhaps even appearing to have stopped working - hypothermia, severe illness etc. - then that body's animating spirit is free to do whatever it chooses within its own power.

The key to understanding the situation is that death is irreversible. When the so-called silver cord is severed death of the body follows. It's not a 'staying out or going back in' choice because the spirit isn't housed in a hidey-hole it can leave or return to. This silver cord has been likened to an umbilical cord. When it breaks there's no repairing it and the outcome is that someone dies. The body doesn't live - can't be alive - at any point in isolation from its animating spirit.

So-called guardian angels have no say or influence in the death process. Their role is to support but they can not influence outcomes.
 

Auras

Occasional Contributor
I'm unsure if possession can actually happen... Although I stumbled across trance mediumship some years ago. At first glance it seemed like some sort of possession, or is it more of an influence?I haven't read into trance mediumship very much so hopefully @mac can shed some light on the mechanical side of it.
 

mac

Administrator
Although I'm here on ALFseveral times every day my role is mainly of a janitor keeping the place tidy. I've largely withdrawn from posting in topic threads, just occasionally contributing if one catches my fancy. Bruce, too, is only an occasional visitor/contributor and hasn't had any more to say on the subject he raised. Neither have I as I think I've tied up any loose ends.

Incidentally nothing in Bruce's piece has anything to do with trance mediumship.
 

BruceAdama

Established Member
Well, here’s something I was ponderin’ at work the other night… regarding the life review, and when it ends. Let it be known beforehand, that I still have absolutely NO intention of undergoing one... this is just a question regarding it.

I was contemplating… let’s assume for the sake of this question, that someone has died, and chooses NOT to cross over. But he/she IS dead… certifiably dead. Now… let’s assume that they, as a spirit or consciousness, or whatever, remains on this Earth for millions of years, until they grow bored, and decide to leave. IF we are to accept that a life review is a recap of all YOUR experiences in this incarnation, then since you didn’t cross over until long after you had died, would your life review still end wi the death of your PHYSICAL body, or would it also include all the experiences you’ve had since your soul remained here on the Earth plane? Because technically, you still did experience things within your present incarnation… just without your body.
 

mac

Administrator
It does not matter how long in earth years a spirit may choose and be able to exist in that condition - assuming it's possible at all - because the spirit will not have experienced any further incarnate life.

It matters not a jot whether the spirit reviews its last incarnation immediately after passing or millions of earth years into the future - the last body it animated died. That's what death is - separation of body and soul. There is no body left to die after a life review, no matter when that occurs.

It's fanciful and mistaken to suggest (quote) ".....technically, you still did experience things within your present incarnation… just without your body." because you DIDN'T. You may have had further experiences but not as an incarnate.

Whatever alternative descriptor you might choose to use to describe existence between dimensions, there is no "present incarnation" if the spirit isn't animating a body - by definition.
 

mac

Administrator
Well, here’s something I was ponderin’ at work the other night… regarding the life review, and when it ends. Let it be known beforehand, that I still have absolutely NO intention of undergoing one... this is just a question regarding it.
If you eventually decide - after your death - you are not going to review your present incarnation's experiences then that's the end of the matter. It's your choice - it's not something you will undergo because someone else carries it out on you.

Maybe when you've kicked your clogs you will still feel as you do now but there's no way that you can know what you'll feel in the future. All you can say with certainty is how you feel now in your incarnate form.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
It does not matter how long in earth years a spirit may choose and be able to exist in that condition - assuming it's possible at all - because the spirit will not have experienced any further incarnate life.

It matters not a jot whether the spirit reviews its last incarnation immediately after passing or millions of earth years into the future - the last body it animated died. That's what death is - separation of body and soul. There is no body left to die after a life review, no matter when that occurs.

It's fanciful and mistaken to suggest (quote) ".....technically, you still did experience things within your present incarnation… just without your body." because you DIDN'T. You may have had further experiences but not as an incarnate.


Whatever alternative descriptor you might choose to use to describe existence between dimensions, there is no "present incarnation" if the spirit isn't animating a body - by definition.

While what you've said is true, I don't understand why you believe that one has to experience things as a soul incarnated in a body in order for those things to be a part of any afterlife review. Surely what the soul experiences is more important than what the body experiences? It is the soul that makes decisions/choices, after all. And if our souls are able to continue to exist in this earthly dimension/plane after death, perhaps they are able to interact with each other, as well as with living loved ones. So why wouldn't those things be part of any "life review" in the afterlife?
 

mac

Administrator
While what you've said is true, I don't understand why you believe that one has to experience things as a soul incarnated in a body in order for those things to be a part of any afterlife review.
It's not what I believe but what has been taught and what appeals to my reason.


Surely what the soul experiences is more important than what the body experiences?
In our incarnated forms in this world what the soul/spirit experiences is influenced greatly by its body. That, after all, is the importance - it's taught - of the experiences we have as humankind to the rate of our spiritual progress.


It is the soul that makes decisions/choices, after all.
As an incarnate choices are made by the 'composite' individual, the unique combination of spirit animating a physical body. It's moot whether a decision is ever taken solely - or predominantly - by the animating spirit of a person as opposed to it being made by the 'whole person'. Even if it were the case, how could we know which of our two selves makes decisions or the ratio of influence one to the other?

And if our souls are able to continue to exist in this earthly dimension/plane after death,.....
Is that what you think happens? Spirits existing in this dimension without physical bodies? It's not what I understand to be the case.

.....perhaps they are able to interact with each other, as well as with living loved ones. So why wouldn't those things be part of any "life review" in the afterlife?
As far as I'm aware the so-called life review applies to spirit individuals who have recently completed an incarnation. IF you believe spirits live among us and IF you believe they interact with one another in this dimension then maybe what you say would have relevance. I know nothing, however, to support such a hypothesis.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
I agree that living in bodies can often influence the choices we make (due to desire, illness, pregnancy/childbirth, addiction, hunger, pain -- "the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to."), but ultimately it is the animating soul/spirit which makes all choices, in my opinion. The flesh itself is nothing without the soul. I don't think we have or are "two selves" -- in my opinion, we are essentially a soul inhabiting a meatsuit, and the meatsuit cannot do anything on its own, without the animating spirit.

If there is an afterlife, then I think that it's possible that some souls linger here on the earthly plane for a while after death, without physical bodies (e.g., ghosts, or at least some ghosts, those which are not just essentially recordings in the environment rather than true spirits).

I tend to believe, as you do, that if we do have a life review then it is those who have completed an incarnation who participate in that review -- I just don't necessarily agree that it is limited only to those who have recently completed an incarnation. I do think that's the much more common and likely circumstance, but I don't think that means that it never happens later, perhaps sometimes much later. I don't think we can categorically say or know that it never happens that way. I think it is possible that spirits live among us and interact with each other in this dimension -- I don't know that to be the case, but I don't think we can dismiss the possibility wholesale.
 

mac

Administrator
I agree that living in bodies can often influence the choices we make (due to desire, illness, pregnancy/childbirth, addiction, hunger, pain -- "the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to."), but ultimately it is the animating soul/spirit which makes all choices, in my opinion.
I accept that as your opinion.

The flesh itself is nothing without the soul. I don't think we have or are "two selves" -- in my opinion, we are essentially a soul inhabiting a meatsuit, and the meatsuit cannot do anything on its own, without the animating spirit.
It's undoubtedly the case that our physical bodies are animated by our spirits if one accepts the notion of body and soul. But spirit can not exist in this dimension without a physical shell. Neither is viable in this dimension without the other. The "two selves" I was meaning were the "composite person" - body and soul - and the pure spirit individual. In this dimension we function as the former and not the latter. We don't know how much the 'pure spirit' is influencing decisions made or feelings felt. That is likely down to how spiritually-advanced we are but if spirit mainly calls the shots then some and perhaps many of us are animated by selfish and self-centered spirits.

If there is an afterlife, then I think that it's possible that some souls linger here on the earthly plane for a while after death, without physical bodies (e.g., ghosts, or at least some ghosts, those which are not just essentially recordings in the environment rather than true spirits).
Without having accepted the notion of survival and life beyond death then all the rest becomes fantasy, bb - the latter can't be the case without the former in your argument. As regulars here will know I approach the situation from the perspective of someone who is totally persuaded about survival and afterlife and yes, I'm sure some souls/spirits do linger around the earth plane after death. That was never a point of contention.

I tend to believe, as you do, that if we do have a life review then it is those who have completed an incarnation who participate in that review -- I just don't necessarily agree that it is limited only to those who have recently completed an incarnation.
With respect, bb, the word "recently" was intended to imply not after millions of years as Bruce was suggesting. And it's a 'post-incarnation' review, the body dead and not 'waiting to die' once the review had been carried out, Bruce's idea. That would put us in undead, Zombie land, the stuff of fantasists and the movie industry. ;)


I do think that's the much more common and likely circumstance, but I don't think that means that it never happens later, perhaps sometimes much later. I don't think we can categorically say or know that it never happens that way. I think it is possible that spirits live among us and interact with each other in this dimension -- I don't know that to be the case, but I don't think we can dismiss the possibility wholesale.
Again with respect, bb, that's not what spirit teachers and guides have told us. I accept it's myopic to say something out of the ordinary never happens but in my world such events have no practical importance to the general message of survival and what follows. Arguing that a flier can't be discounted is pretty pointless anyway but even more so if an individual is unpersuaded about death and survival in the first place. It's like discussing Zombies seriously when such entities are purely fictional.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
I suppose you and I will just have to agree to disagree regarding the nature of human existence, in terms of the relative importance of the physical body. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but as I'm seeing it, you believe that the soul and the body hold more-or-less equal importance, whereas I believe that the body, while of course reasonably important while we inhabit it during our earthly lives, is ultimately just a tool, a necessary accessory to enable us to live on earth. It does not have its own mind, its own consciousness -- it is nothing more than the shell we temporarily inhabit.

You said that "...spirit can not exist in this dimension without a physical shell. Neither is viable in this dimension without the other." I disagree. Yes, we need it while living our regular earthly lives, but that's the extent of it. I don't think that the spirit influences decisions and feelings, I think it makes decisions, feels feelings. The spirit is the essential being, the body merely the container. I don't understand why you are attributing so much importance to the body.

You're right that I don't fully accept life after death as a certainty, but I do accept it as a possibility. In any case, I don't need to fully believe in a concept in order to be able to consider its ramifications, so I am capable of holding views on the nature of the soul's existence after death. While I suppose it's possible that a soul could wait millions of years after death to have a life review, I doubt it happens often. Of course I have no way of knowing that for sure, it just seems unlikely to me. I don't think Bruce was saying that the body waits until after the life review to die (the "zombie" scenario you mentioned); I think he was saying that the body dies and is disposed of (cremated, buried, whatever), and the soul sometimes chooses to remain, bodiless, on earth for a while. That's what I meant, in any case.

I think perhaps the difference between us comes, at least partly, from your staunch belief in an afterlife and in the teachings of Silver Birch and other guides you hold in high regard, as compared to my agnosticism. Which is fine -- I enjoy our discussions, whether or not we agree. ;)
 

BruceAdama

Established Member
Mac, I’d be very interested to know how you know for sure that it’s our choice whether or not we participate in the life review, because everything I’ve read leads me to believe that it’s not a choice. Everything I’ve read has the recently deceased being “driven” somehow, to look in a certain direction where the life review gets played out, or it’s spirit guides or guardian angels somehow indicate for them to look at it, which to me is coercion, if you don’t want to look. But I’ve never read any accounts where someone elected NOT to participate, and was allowed not to do so. So, I’d like to know what you’re basing that on. As I’ve said, I have ZERO intention of going through with one. I won’t do it, period.

as for the spirit not remaining on Earth without a body… well, we know it’s possible and it’s done. We’ve all been made aware that it’s not unusual for a spirit to remain here for a while to be close to loved ones, until they can accept what’s happened, and get some closure, or to visit loved ones who may be in pain, etc.
 

mac

Administrator
Mac, I’d be very interested to know how you know for sure that it’s our choice whether or not we participate in the life review, because everything I’ve read leads me to believe that it’s not a choice.
What difference would it make if I were to say I did know for sure? The first thing you'd say is how do I know and even then what difference would it make to the way you see the situation? I have no desire to try to persuade you about anything so all I'll say is caveat emptor.

I take notice of souces I consider authoritative (and were also widely regarded that way) and whose ideas appeal to my reason based on everything else I've learned. This so-called life review is a modern-day notion and carries a new-age name. I go along with it, and use that name, because it's fashionable and appeals to seekers much younger than I.

In my time of learning I heard no such name given to the process and my own simple persuasion is that at an appropriate point after death we review important and significant aspects of the life we experienced last time around. Aspects we consider, and/or are advised, are important to our spiritual progess. Whatever name one might choose to describe that experience I have seen nothing to suggest it's not a choice we make. Your mileage doubtless varies. ;)


Everything I’ve read has the recently deceased being “driven” somehow, to look in a certain direction where the life review gets played out, or it’s spirit guides or guardian angels somehow indicate for them to look at it, which to me is coercion, if you don’t want to look.
Then if you're persuaded by that then you should follow what appeals to your own reason.


But I’ve never read any accounts where someone elected NOT to participate, and was allowed not to do so. So, I’d like to know what you’re basing that on. As I’ve said, I have ZERO intention of going through with one. I won’t do it, period.
You seem to have it all sorted.... If I'm understanding what you've suggested an individual can not decide not to look back at her/his previous incarnation because it will get carried out by others. Who do you think these others are who can carry out the life review ON YOU even though you don't want that? You say you've never read an account where someone chose not to participate and was allowed to do what they chose but why would you expect to read such an account? Presumably you believe the review is carried out kinda like a court hearing without you having any say in the matter?

as for the spirit not remaining on Earth without a body… well, we know it’s possible and it’s done.
As I've indicated in this threaad, of course spirit individuals may choose not to make the transition to discarnate life for whatever reasons or if they somehow just fail to complete. But they exist around this plane as discarnates - individuals without physical bodies. If you're content you know something different then the answer is plain - follow your preferred direction.

We’ve all been made aware that it’s not unusual for a spirit to remain here for a while to be close to loved ones, until they can accept what’s happened, and get some closure, or to visit loved ones who may be in pain, etc.
Again no argument with that but again they are no longer incarnates - they're dead!
 

mac

Administrator
I suppose you and I will just have to agree to disagree regarding the nature of human existence, in terms of the relative importance of the physical body.
If we were discussing that point elsewhere other than on a website predicated on there being a so-called afterlife we'd perhaps approach the matter equally agnostic. I am confident in what I know but without your having a firm idea what life in-the-body means in the context of eternal life you're bound to see things differently from me. By now I've accepted I can't offer you any helpful alternative approach to this subject.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but as I'm seeing it, you believe that the soul and the body hold more-or-less equal importance, whereas I believe that the body, while of course reasonably important while we inhabit it during our earthly lives, is ultimately just a tool, a necessary accessory to enable us to live on earth. It does not have its own mind, its own consciousness -- it is nothing more than the shell we temporarily inhabit.
ditto the above

You said that "...spirit can not exist in this dimension without a physical shell. Neither is viable in this dimension without the other." I disagree.
But you don't accept the premise of survival so dimensions won't have any context for you.


Yes, we need it while living our regular earthly lives, but that's the extent of it. I don't think that the spirit influences decisions and feelings, I think it makes decisions, feels feelings. The spirit is the essential being, the body merely the container. I don't understand why you are attributing so much importance to the body.
ditto the above

You're right that I don't fully accept life after death as a certainty, but I do accept it as a possibility. In any case, I don't need to fully believe in a concept in order to be able to consider its ramifications, so I am capable of holding views on the nature of the soul's existence after death.
I disagree based on having been where you are now but having since moved forward. You hold opinions on subjects about which you lack knowledge. By contrast I do know about those subjects.

While I suppose it's possible that a soul could wait millions of years after death to have a life review, I doubt it happens often. Of course I have no way of knowing that for sure, it just seems unlikely to me.
Based on this dimension's values that may seem a reasonable conclusion but millions of years never pass in a dimension that has no framework of time - guides and teachers tell us.

I don't think Bruce was saying that the body waits until after the life review to die (the "zombie" scenario you mentioned); I think he was saying that the body dies and is disposed of (cremated, buried, whatever), and the soul sometimes chooses to remain, bodiless, on earth for a while. That's what I meant, in any case.
That's not what I read in his piece.....

I think perhaps the difference between us comes, at least partly, from your staunch belief in an afterlife and in the teachings of Silver Birch and other guides you hold in high regard, as compared to my agnosticism. Which is fine -- I enjoy our discussions, whether or not we agree. ;)
As I've said repeatedly in past years, what others (including you) see as my "belief" is what I experience as understanding. There are many things that I don't understand but about matters spiritual I don't now hold beliefs or opinions although I once used to. I can compare how different my belief was from how understanding now feels. What I can't understand I just accept as just not being understood and can compare how that feels with stuff I do understand. Guides and teachers have taught me some things but experience has taught me others.

The teachings and guidance of renowned spirit communicator Silver Birch were appealing to the reason of those who heard them long before I heard them. What persuaded those individuals also persuades me. [ SB ] By contrast the words from another guide/teacher also enhance my understanding but they will be known to comparatively few.

Over my years 'in the spooks' I have questioned myself and others mercilessly, looking for flaws in the 'stories' and the guidance offered. I didn't find much I couldn't resolve. I consider myself blessed I am not agnostic and just wish I were able to help you, and others, find directions that would appeal to your and their own reason. It's with sadness I've accepted that isn't a role I can fulfill. It's one reason I have largely withdrawn from topic involvement on ALF.

With my grateful thanks to medium and teacher Martin Twycross for the SB book extract.
 
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BruceAdama

Established Member
mac, I’m just curious where you read that someone didn’t *have to* have their life review, because every account I’ve read, the person either has to or does… I’ve never read any account where it didn’t take place, so if you can point me to one, I’d appreciate it, because I’m curious to read it.
 

mac

Administrator
My first response, Bruce, is to ask you to please take a look at this extract: "The recent conversation in Bruce Adama's thread along with several other threads I've been working elsewhere recently brought it on home that I need to stop adapting to meet others' daft values and odd beliefs. These past few days I've realised how I've grown accustomed to using words and phrases that were never in my lexicon, don't sit comfortably but which I use because others do." (thread since deleted) Then in terms of what you're asking you should better get why I'm going to say what comes next.

This so-called life review is a new idea that's just a re-hash of something fundamental to the principle of life, death and what follows. The guidance that underpins my understanding doesn't use the words 'life review' but the principle of freewill is what really matters. It's vitally important to be comfortable with the reasons we're here living in-the-body. I've picked up the jargon I've read here (and sometimes elsewhere) so I can communicate more effectively with folk who use that jargon. It's time I stopped as I've said in the thread I referred you to.

Based on the principle of freewill any so-called review of the incarnate life we've recently left is something we do by choice. That's the principle behind everything in spiritual life - nothing is forced upon us. So I hope you'll get my hypothetical point that if you're absolutely determined you're not going to undertake a life review then nothing/nobody can force you doing so. But as I understand the picture, there's another principle at work we will find hard to resist. If what I've heard is right - and I'm totally comfortable that it is - then our innate drive to return to our source, our maker if you like that word, results in our wanting to do whatever we can to progress spiritually. That desire is what motivates us. You may be the exception to the rule; perhaps you won't do what I'm suggesting but only when you've died will you know.

But if you can think back to previous threads from way-back-when, I used to tell you that your thoughts, ideas and beliefs as an incarnate may be very different from what they'll be when you've kicked the bucket. At that point you'll see matters through the eyes of a discarnate individual who is no longer constrained by everything he's presently constrained by. You'll see things from a different perspective when you're dead. You may already know much more in your spirit form than you can ever believe or imagine but if you don't then you'll have as many resources as you wish to help and support your learning about the things that matter to you individually.
 
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