Dr. Mark Pitstick and Dr. Gary Schwartz have done breakthrough science, so why all the “soul phone” chatter?
photo by: Skeptiko
[Clip 00:00:00 – 00:00:16]
That’s a scene from the movie Ouija: Origins of Evil where the family is gathering around the Ouija board and get some rather unexpected results. It’s a cautionary tale that seems to fit with today’s interview with Dr. Mark Pitstick, who along with Dr. Gary Schwartz from the University of Arizona, have designed, patented and are marketing the SoulPhone.
Here’s a clip from the interview and stick around after the show for the one question I have on this one is interesting, and I think it’s one I really, really like to get input on. So if you do stick around to the end, let me know what you think. Okay. Here goes the interview.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:01:05] First of all, people need to understand that the research of Dr. Schwartz at the University of Arizona is, as far as we know, the only truly scientific, replicated, controlled, double blind, all of that that I mentioned, research being done. The others, you mentioned are mediumistic research and some mediums are rock stars. That was how Dr. Schwartz got into this area after he left Yale and came to the University of Arizona 20 some years ago, documenting that some mediums are very highly evidential, but again, some of those have bad days, make mistakes, etc.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:01:43] But Mark, I mean, the problems here are almost too many to even start with. Why do you think you can open up the door and say, “Trust us, we know what we’re doing. We talked to the A team, and by the way, the A team includes Michael Jackson,” you know, the Jesus juice, reach around pedophile, Michael Jackson, he’s on the A team, right?
Welcome to Skeptiko, where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris and you know, I don’t usually read bios into the intros of these interviews, but Mark has an exceptionally impressive and an exceptionally good one, so I thought I would read it.
Dr. Mark Pitstick has over 40 years’ experience in hospitals, pastoral counseling settings, mental health centers, and private practice. His training includes pre-medical degree, graduate in theology and pastoral counseling studies. Master’s in clinical psychology and doctorate in chiropractic health, which is no joke in my opinion, is fantastic. He has also provided suicide prevention counseling, and education to many, many people. He began having clairvoyant experiences around the age of 10 and has been blessed with numerous miracles in his life, revelatory experiences, spiritually transformative experiences. Are you getting a kind of feeling for why I wanted to read all this in, pretty amazing? After working in hospitals with many suffering and dying adults and children, he was motivated to find sensible evidence-based answers to the questions that many people ask, actually, I think many people should be asking more on a regular basis. Who am I? Why am I here? What happens after I die? Will I see departed loved ones again? Is there God? Why is there so much suffering?
So his books, documentary films, and workshops have grown to address all of these questions. Dr. Pitstick wrote Soul Proof, compelling evidence that no one really dies and Radiant Wellness: A Holistic Guide for Optimal Body, Mind & Spirit. And I think there’s another book in there that I may or may not have mentioned, but I’m sure we will get Mark to talk about it.
Mark, welcome to Skeptiko, thanks for coming on. I should mention to people, you know, the primary reason you’re here today is to talk about this SoulPhone project, which a lot of people have heard about. I’ve referenced on the show a couple of times. I have a lot of questions about it, so it’s great to have you here.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:04:44] Thank you Alex. My pleasure. Let’s dive in.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:04:49] What’s the SoulPhone? For the uninitiated, give us the big picture view.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:04:57] How many days do you have.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:05:00] Keep it brief because my audience knows this stuff and we’re going to get to level three really, really quick on this. So just give us the high level.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:05:11] The SoulPhone project Alex is being conducted by Dr. Gary Schwartz, as you mentioned, and his team of electrical engineers, optical physicists, software programmers, and evidential mediums at the University of Arizona’s laboratory for advances in consciousness and health. He’s been working for 16 years to capture the signal of spirit and the trick is capturing their signal amidst the noise.
There are four anticipated devices right now. We are working on the Soul Switch, we say, which is a binary indicator, for yes/no answers from those living in the next realm, what we call postmaterial persons. Quick side note, we don’t call them spirits. We definitely don’t call them dead or departed or deceased because they’re none of that it turns out, and we know this from a series of different experiments. They are just as physical as we or can be if they wish. There’s good evidence they can multi-locate, they can be pure energy, or they can manifest in physical form. So we call them host material persons, and those of us who are living on earth, material persons.
So the Soul Switch then allows them to answer yes/no. We’ve been using, what we call the plasma globe system, which uses a Tesla coil to measure their signal and seven different experiments have clearly shown their accuracy in doing this. We’ve collected over 1 trillion bits of information in something like 4,500 sessions with them over the last year. However, the plasma globe system isn’t commercializable, it’s too large, and so now we’re working on what’s called the Electronic Soul Switch, which could be the size eventually of a cell phone, which would allow 98% accurate instantaneous yes/no answers.
However, even that, amazing as it is, isn’t considered to be a commercializable device. The main use for the Soul Switch is to connect about 40 of those in parallel and create a Soul Keyboard, just like we have 40 something keys on the laptop in front of you. That then will allow much greater quality and quantity of input from what we call our A team, 30 or so postmaterial luminaries, people like Carl Sagan and Nikola Tesla, Einstein, Edison, David Bohm and others who have been feeding pieces of information via evidential mediums today, but even the best evidential mediums have off days, monkey mind gets involved, etc. So once we have the keyboard to allow us substantial input of quality and quantity of information, then the creation of the last two devices, Soul Voice, like talking on a cell phone, Soul Video, like we’re doing now, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, should be possible.
So this is happening in our time for communicating with our “departed loved ones” but also tapping into those luminaries who want to help us heal our world and ourselves.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:08:41] Boy, man. I don’t know where to begin because I have so many… You kind of get me riled up with a lot of that stuff. So I’ll just kind of take it one step at a time.
Like I said, you know, before we got on air, I’ve known Gary Schwartz for a long time, I talked to him years ago, have interviewed Julie Beischel on this show many times. Have interviewed some of the mediums who are in your panel of advisors. So I’m very familiar with the topic, very familiar with the area. I am super impressed. I think the most amazing thing, what you guys are doing is you’re essentially doing the next version of the double slit experiment. So in terms of just where it is and further solidifying or falsifying materialism, I think is phenomenal. It’s an extension of Dean Radin’s double slit experiment of a meditator.
Because what you guys are doing, maybe we should talk a little bit about that before I hammer on you on Michael Jackson’s reach around and why he’d be on you’re A team, and why God needs our help with your SoulPhone and your commercialized Soul Switch.
Before we get there, let’s talk about the device, because I think people are interested scientifically. A photon beam and a camera are the technology that are now within reach economically to kind of make some of this stuff viable. Explain to people the basic setup for why you would even be so bold to suggest you could do this stuff.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:10:24] Well, first of all, because as mentioned seven different experiments yielding a ton of data have indicated and the terms we have to use, and there’s a long list, these research experiments are replicated, which means they’ve been done by other people and other centers. They are controlled, which means any time we allow a postmaterial participant to signal an answer, ask them a yes or no, there’s a corresponding baseline period control where nobody is doing anything.
So for each experiment, we can see the difference between baseline, which is kind of like the horizontal axis, flatline EEG or EKG, and not much happening, versus the spikes when they touch the particular device to answer yes or no.
This research is also double blinded. Sometimes Dr. Schwartz doesn’t know who’s going to be involved, when, at which lab and so on.
And finally it’s peer reviewed, been published in peer reviewed scientific journals in 2010, 2011 most recently in Explore coming out this year, and the seminal paper being written right now, hopefully for science advances. So there’s been real scientific research.
And you know, Alex, a lot of people have beliefs about whether there’s an afterlife or how some of this works, but the true scientist has to follow the data. And when you have this much data making this clear of a picture, then one needs to follow that.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:12:13] I’ll pop up on the screen here for people, and I’m going to refer to this a couple of times, because it’s got some good stuff in it. It’s a press release that you guys issued a couple of years ago in 2017.
So again, you have multiple kinds of experiments Mark that you’ve done, and that Gary has done, in case people are interested in coming at this from purely a physics perspective. One of the most elegant, beautiful physics experiments in the world is the double slit experiment, where a photon beam is shot through and it either becomes… everybody knows the experiment. It’s either a wave or a pattern based on whether there is an observer, and all this implies that consciousness is somehow fundamental and that the standard model of materialism fails. And the early experiments that you did was setting up a photon beam in a lab and shooting a camera at it so that you could watch that photon beam and then doing your thing, in terms of querying these hypothesized entities in this extended consciousness realm and getting them to answer.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:13:27] You may be right about the details of that, Alex, but it was before my time on. I’ve been with Gary now for four years. The photon beam experiment that he was doing at that time involved a photon beam or a laser beam going from point A to point B and a sensor measured then how long it took, and the table was pretty long, like 10 feet long, but it was in nanoseconds. Then the control was, of course, nobody’s in the room, nobody is doing anything, so we know that set time. Then for the human angle on things, we put up a human hand through the beam or a plexiglass hand through the beam and showed a marked decrease in the time it took to get from point A to point B. Then one of the “spirit participants” put their hand through again, because they still have density or can have, and indeed it was less than a human or a plexiglass. Of course, they’re in another dimension, but it was highly statistically significant versus the control groups.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:14:43] Perfect. That’s great. And that’s just one of the experiments and there’s a bunch of different experiments that have been done. And as you said, they’ve been replicated across multiple labs, completely flies in the face of a materialistic explanation for that. Again, you guys are playing by the rules, right? So science sets it up and says, these are the rules. This is how you would determine whether you can measure things. And in that way you did that, so we’re beyond that.
But here’s where the problem gets in. All the other stuff you’ve said is an interpretation of that, that not everyone’s on board with. I mean, even take. Dr. Julie Beischel over at the Windbridge Institute, they’ve been doing this for a long time with mediums. They’re not coming to exactly the same conclusions. You talk to mediums. I’ve interviewed them on this show, even the ones who are doing this as scientifically as they can. They’re coming to all sorts of different conclusions about how these extended realms work, who is involved in these extended realms. And I think a lot of people would be very hesitant to say that you’re A team with Michael Jackson and Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, that you are really connecting with those. We don’t even know what those spirit beings would begin to… You don’t like my term “spirit being”, I don’t like whatever term you’re associating with it. Do we really know enough to start saying that stuff, so, I don’t know, matter of factly?
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:16:29] Yeah. It’s a fair question. First of all, people need to understand that the research of Dr. Schwartz at the University of Arizona is, as far as we know, the only truly scientific, replicated, controlled, double blind, all of that, that I mentioned, research being done. The others, you mentioned are mediumistic research and some mediums are rock stars. It was how Dr. Schwartz got into this area after he left Yale and came to the University of Arizona 20 some years ago, documenting that some mediums are very highly evidential, but again, some of those have bad days make mistakes, etc.
But to answer the question of how we have a very high degree of certainty about who we’re dealing with. First of all, about 10 of the evidential mediums, and you probably know them all, that Gary researched in the late 1990s became colleagues. And this is really how all this launched. They started independently saying, “Gary, Albert Einstein keeps coming to me and he keeps telling me that you need to create technology to allow widespread communication between dimensions.” So that’s how he got started on it. So that’s one clue.
Secondly, we have developed a series of tests. The first is called the personal identification test in which we ask 20 questions. 10 for which the answers should be no, 10, the answer should be yes. Again, we have a control period where nothing is happening, but they’re hitting 80% accuracy. And we consider that the other 20% is not that they’re wrong about where they grew up or what their mom or dad’s name was, it’s just the limitations in our technology right now to measure their signals accurately.
The next test is called the expert knowledge test, where we show a very rarely known, very arcane piece of information. For example, part of Dr. Einstein’s theory of relativity. I mean something, no one would know, and no one would certainly understand, and show this on the computer screen and say, “Einstein please signal yes if this was part of your theory of relativity,” or if it’s work by another prominent physicist back then, the answer should be no.
So by doing a series of tests like this, and all of this, independent, evidential, medium corroboration, personal identity test, the expert knowledge test, we have a high degree of certainty, but we would never say we have absolute proof. We definitively know who we’re dealing with. That appears who we’re dealing with.
One last thing on that. At this point we’re actually not talking about the A team much. Gary and his wife, Rhonda, who’s an evidential medium, were trying to be transparent, share all this and years ago again, before I came on board, they were ridiculed and criticized pretty heavily. “Oh really? You know, Michael Jackson, Harry Houdini?” So a few years ago they said, “You know what? We are not going to talk about it more because we are getting closer and closer every day to letting them speak for themselves. Letting them type through messages. Letting them do webinars. And then they can explain a lot of these questions for themselves.” So it’s really a sidetrack.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:20:17] Yeah, but Mark, I mean, the problems here are almost too many to even start with. But you’re the guys who opened that up, why do you think you can open up the door and say, “Trust us, we know what we’re doing. We talked to the A team and by the way, the A team includes Michael Jackson,” who, you know, the Jesus juice, reach around pedophile, Michael Jackson, he’s on the A team, right? So he’s one of the A team guys. I think you are going to get a lot of heat for that. Just like you’re going to get a lot of heat for the idea that somehow by asking these questions, you’re somehow validating a form that we can’t even begin to describe what this form of consciousness is in this extended realm.
It seems to me, I like to call it backdoor materialism. It’s like, okay guys, we’re past this idea of materialism and everything is building blocks and we’re meaningless robots. And then you’re starting to make all these assumptions about how the extended consciousness realm works. I mean, I don’t get how you can do that.
So we’ll start with the A team Michael Jackson thing. So a lot of people have serious questions, legitimate questions about the moral standards of this one individual. A lot of people wouldn’t think he’d be on the good side over on that other realm, that he may be on that other side. Why would we trust Michael Jackson? Why would we trust the spirit entity that is coming through and identifying themselves as Michael Jackson, even if they know all the personal information and are somehow getting all the rest of that?
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:22:09] Well, first of all, you made a statement earlier. We’re asking people to trust us. We’re not. In fact, we’re not doing much media outreach right now for this very reason. Because we were waiting until we have the multicenter studies involving six different universities and institutes and other things in place, before we do the public demonstration. We could talk about it all day, Alex, but it’s a whole other thing to see the public demonstrations verified by skeptical scientists, independent people that it’s all above board.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:22:47] What would they be verifying?
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:22:49] They would be verifying, in other words, looking at the control, looking at when we’re purportedly measuring the signal of spirit and making sure that there’s no trickery involved, everything is above board. Just like Dr. Schwartz did was with his evidential medium experiments as described in his book, the afterlife experiments.
So again, we’re not trusting anybody and we’re being very selective about doing interviews and probably I won’t do any more until we’re ready for all that, because we are not trying to describe the nature of reality. The only thing we will say with absolute certainty and actually 99.9% certainty, is that life continues after bodily death. That’s been indicated by these replicated experiments and at least some postmaterial persons have demonstrated their ability to communicate and their memory of earthly events. In other words, we do tests where we say, “Is this a giraffe? Yes or no. Is this a jet plane? Yes or no.” So they remember that.
As far as Michael, you have to understand as an open-minded intelligent person that you are, that there’s all kinds of evidence out there. Some horrible toward him that would make you think he’s a pedophile, but also some that say those are trumped up charges. Those are uncorroborated charges and I’m not prepared to get into all that. I would say that, yeah, like I said, we’re going to let them speak for themselves.
For people who want to focus on the negative and Michael Jackson is accused of being this, then they can focus on that. We’re focusing on getting the working devices to the point… Dr. Schwartz has recently written two books and the first is called The Case for Truth, about responsible, truth seeking with an attorney, Alan Bourey, because as you know, we live in a day and age where statements are made in a cavalier way, whether there’s any fact behind them or not. So people are distrustful of science. They’re distrustful of statements in the media and so on. So Dr. Schwartz wanted to write this to help people understand we are following the utmost ethics so that what we say is based on science. We are not making any new statements about Michael or anybody that’s years old information.
The second book that Dr. Schwartz has written is called Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence, and that’s based on a statement by Carl Sagan. And again, making the case that, yeah, we’re making an extraordinary claim here that life continues after bodily death, and at least some people can communicate, and here’s our extraordinary evidence behind that.
So if you want to talk about the SoulPhone devices, the science, the different experiments, great. But if you want to talk about the other, we’ll need to abbreviate this.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:26:04] We can of course abbreviate at any time. But the point about Michael Jackson is not whether he’s guilty of the crimes that eye-witnesses have said they’ve been there and have seen and witnessed, and his attorneys have kind of come out and kind of said things. But that’s not the point. The point is the assumptions that you guys seem to be making that fly in the face of not just other mediums who’ve reported these extended consciousness realms differently than you have, but also all…
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:26:40] Excuse me Alex, so we can make some headway. Let me remark on that. We are not making any claims about the nature of other realms, what it’s like there and so on. So there can’t be a difference between…
Alex Tsakiris: [00:26:58] Of course you are. By the very nature of the way that you described it. Let me go back, I can replay it for you, I can give you the transcript. You said that these are actual beings and entities that lived here and that they don’t really die and that their personality continues. Maybe those weren’t your exact words, but those are all claims about how the extended consciousness realm works.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:27:23] And that they have physicality and that they have density. Those are all based Alex, on a series of experiments. So perhaps it’d be useful for your viewers…
Alex Tsakiris: [00:27:32] And I would suggest Mark, I love the experiment, I love where you’re going in terms of falsifying materialism and our expanded understanding of consciousness, because I think that’s the greatest contribution we could make. I think it dovetails with the very important near-death experience research that has been gone on for the last 20 years. It dovetails with the reincarnation research, like at the University of Virginia on the near-death experience, I know you’ve connected with IANDS and Dr. Jeff Long. He’s been on this show many times and is a very popular guest.
But if you go and look at that research, it is very problematic, and they acknowledge that it’s problematic. If you go look at Jeff Long’s database of near-death experiences, they’re contradictory, they’re all over the place. I’ve interviewed people on this show that have had dramatic spiritually transformative experiences that are extremely Christian based. Ian McCormack is a near-death experiencer or who now goes around to churches all around the world and his message is, “I saw Jesus in my NDE, and I’ll tell you what, if you saw Jesus in yours, you had a real NDE. If you didn’t, it’s probably satanic and you need to step back on that.”
The point is, I think you guys are making the exact same mistake. The exact same mistake. When you start making all these kinds of very, cut and dried matter of fact, statements that you got out of your Ouija board about how extended consciousness works.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:29:13] Well, I would love to explain this to you, Alex, if you would like to listen. In our book Greater Reality Living that Dr. Schwartz and I wrote, we broke down three types of evidence for after life and associated understandings. One is scientific research, which is defined as occurring in a university-based laboratory, using all the things I mentioned before, control, double blind, so on. To our knowledge we have heard that there may be some research like this going on in China, but otherwise no one else is doing this sort of scientific research that Dr. Schwartz did first of all, 20 years ago with mediums as described in this book, The Afterlife Experiments, and secondly, now with the SoulPhone project. Again, seven different experiments, which show by replicated data, the ability of postmaterial persons to have physicality, to move air, to make audio signals, to be visualized, video, etc. Those experiments are what I’m basing my statements on about the nature of postmaterial persons.
Now you mentioned near-death experiences and other research, that’s what we call clinical research. That’s done by university professors, physicians, and others in clinical settings. But by the very nature of the experience, near-death experiences for example, you can’t have control groups. You can’t have double blind and all the different requirements needed for true scientific work.
And then the third group of information or evidence is termed experiential, that is based on firsthand experience. And that’s where things can really get variable, not objective. Whereas you say you have one person saying, “I saw Jesus,” you have another person saying, “Jesus wasn’t there.”
So it’s very important Alex, because I know you’re a strong voice in this, and I hope you take the time to understand this. Are we looking at scientific, clinical or experiential evidence?
Alex Tsakiris: [00:31:33] So let me try and back off and make this, because I’m so supportive of what you guys are doing, and I think it’s so important and you’re advancing the ball down the field in a super important way with your experiments. There seems to be, in my opinion, kind of a problem here that seems obvious to me. I don’t know why you don’t spot it more readily. But with what you’re calling your laboratory work, you’re introducing this hypothesized disincarnate entity. As soon as you do that, you’re no longer doing strictly laboratory work, you’re doing clinical work or you’re doing experiential work just who you’ve substituted in there is not a person per se, but it’s a hypothesized person. It’s a hypothesized experience. You can still do your laboratory work like you’re doing, in my opinion. I don’t know this stuff like you guys do.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:32:34] Exactly.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:32:34] It seems to me a stretch to be saying that because we can now treat that hypothesized disincarnate entity as just another instrument in the experiment. I don’t get that.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:32:49] Yeah, I really hope, in fact, if you want to a deep-six this interview and read Greater Reality Living, I will send you literature so you can understand more, because, excuse me, it’s complicated, Alex and your viewers deserve to understand all the facts behind it.
So the very reason we call them hypothesized postmaterial persons or hypothesized collaborators is, it is a hypothesis until it’s proven. But to date we have so many different experiments, they are not the measurement, we are measuring in seven different ways their presence. And so the research we’re doing could be and has been done with humans involved only in some cases we have allegedly those who have passed on, and their signals are there, and their signals are highly statistically significant as part of the scientific method.
And by the way, you’ve read all my degrees and steadies. I thought I knew about science, but actually I had to go back and edit my previous books like Soul Proof, because I was guilty of making unsubstantiated statements, statements that went beyond the current evidence. But I can guarantee you that Dr. Schwartz doesn’t do that. He’s a true scientist. He has a team of scientists who have been his colleagues and advocates. Unfortunately, we live in a realm where even studying consciousness is looked down upon. And so some of the sciences have worked with him and for decades, some were his students when he was a professor at Harvard and Yale. They say, “Gary, we believe in you. We know you’re the best of the best, but we can’t come out and publicly say it because we could lose our funding.”
So that’s the state of things in our world right now. If you try to prove that life after death exists, which is the number one fear and concern of so many people, you’re considered hooky. So we’re going to change all that. And it’s coming. I would just say to your viewers, it’s coming, and you can learn a lot more about all this at the website, soulphone.org. and understand these complex topics.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:35:18] Okay. That’s fair enough. You’ve stood up to all my toughest questions. So I’m very, very, skeptical of your use of the term laboratory experiments that include hypothesized disincarnated entities as like some photon beam over in the corner. But we’ll leave that where it is.
Tell us what’s going on in your world, in terms of one of the things that you’re doing that I think anyone should be able to get behind and embrace, is you’re a people helper. When I read bio, you can read that you’ve dedicated your life to trying to help people and particularly when people are in a vulnerable grieving situation. Your whole life has been about trying to reach those people and connect with those people. And no doubt, that’s driving this work because you see how comforting and transformational these kinds of experiences can be for people.
Specifically you seem to be setting up programs in order to bring that kind of relief to people through the SoulPhone Foundation. Tell people more about what you’re doing and your personal practice and your books, and also through the SoulPhone Foundation.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:36:41] Yeah, Dr. Schwartz and I saw early on that there was going to be a huge paradigm shift and we wanted to help as many people as possible prepare for that, wrap their heads around it. I don’t know if you saw a Netflix movie a few years ago, Robert Redford was the star, and we were excited about it coming out because the premise, it was very similar to what we’re actually doing in the lab. And that is a top scientist proved without a doubt life after death. Where they went with it, it was extremely dark, and that is a lot of people around the world committed suicide. And we’re like, can you take a possibly worse scenario from this? But we understand that, number one.
Two, so many people have had spiritually transformative experiences, out-of-body experiences, after-death communications, shared-death experiences, etc. but they think they’re the only ones and they’re afraid of being considered cooky or crazy. You know, it wasn’t so long ago that if someone went to a psychiatrist and said, “Hey, when almost died I saw the light, you know, they’d [unclear 00:37:54].
Interestingly, I had an interview with, I was actually helping a psychiatrist last week and she was telling me about the various after-death communications from her husband who passed on years ago. And she said, “I swear to God, I’m not crazy. I really had these experiences,” and I started laughing. She said, “You’re laughing,” I said, “Yes, I never thought I’d live long enough to have a psychiatrist try to convince me she’s not crazy, because she’s having what I’ve been teaching people about for 40 years. So maybe the world is ready.”
So we wanted to have these Greater Reality Living Groups, close to the pandemic, we squashed those, we had about 10 going in a couple of countries where people can learn the evidence, share their personal experiences, learn how to internalize this great news, because a superficial intellectual knowing doesn’t get us through the day, when it gets tough. You know, we’re dying or a loved one passes or whatever. We want people to internalize, to learn all the benefits that accompany knowing, with a very high degree of certainty that all this is true. And then finally, how can we serve others and make our world a better place? So that’s one of the focuses and people can learn more about that by visiting greaterrealityliving.com.
I also just set up with the director of IANDS, which you mentioned earlier, Chuck Swedrock, a series of monthly presentations for the next year, sharing this with a lot of people. Also, I’m very heavily involved with the group Helping Parents Heal, I was on the board for five years. I write their Q&A and I train their leaders and their caring listeners. I think we have about 80 groups now around the world. So yes, I’ve been doing this for 40 years, as you said, since working with all these dying people, and before I had the lead with the clinical and the experiential evidence, which when taken together is very, very strongly indicators.
But now when you add the scientific research, that almost nobody knows about, it makes such a strong case and I’ve had people write me and say, “I was thinking about ending my life, but I decided to stick around because I see hope now and I want to see how this works out.” Or I have bereaved parents contact me and say, “My husband and I didn’t know how we were going to get through this, but thanks to what you are doing, sharing all this evidence and the hope of someday having practical, affordable, widespread devices, not total certainty, but a good likelihood, that helps immensely.”
Alex Tsakiris: [00:40:54] Mark, how do you handle religious issues? Because again, you know, there are two sides to that. Some people find that comforting, other people find that oppressive, and particularly people find that through their life experience that has been a closing of a door rather than an opening a door. So there’s a whole spectrum, people understand that. How do you deal with it in terms of this after-life situation?
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:41:22] Yeah, good question. It depends on which hat I’m wearing, Alex. If I’m the director of the, SoulPhone Foundation, a research assistant for the SoulPhone Foundation, we don’t talk about it, because we know it’s just a quagmire and people can get so upset so quickly.
However, from my decades wearing the Soul Proof hat, I addressed it head on because it’s such an important topic. As you said, I went to theology school purposely to learn for myself the true story, the original meanings of some of the sayings in the Bible that any child can hear and go, “What? What’s up with that? You’ve got a God of unfathomable love and caring, who, depending on if we believe or do certain things will allow us or put us into a fiery eternal hell forever.” It’s schizophrenic. And as you say, many people have been turned off by religion, and I totally understand it. I’ve had many conversations with people who claim to be atheists or agnostics, and when we talk about it, we find that actually what they’re rejecting is the archaic dark ages notion of God is a big guy in the sky, he’s sitting on a throne deciding who gets smited and who goes to heaven forever. Many of them however like the force.
The Star Wars series have done a better job of helping people understand that there’s some creative, loving, supportive presence and power in the universe better than most religions. And so they get that some sort of universal consciousness, one mind, look at the nativistic approaches, great spirit, etc. So that’s why I try to make clear to people, like Aldous Huxley wrote, about the golden threads, the perennial Philosophy he called it. Also like Thomas Jefferson, he said, look for the golden threads that run among the world’s great religions, next trust your inner voice. What makes sense to you about it? And third, look at the contemporary evidence we have and those three perhaps things give one the best understanding of what’s going on.
Let me give you one quick example. We hear about heaven and hell, and those have morphed over time into a place way up in the sky or deep in the bowels of the earth. Actually the Aramaic, which was the form of language at the time, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity form, and those in that language, the words for heaven and hell meant how you feel when you die, and you go through a passageway, experience a sorting out, and you see what you’ve done. Alright, now let’s go fast forward a couple of thousand years with near-death experiences, and so many of them describing one of the most transformative aspects of their NDE being the life review, that they not only see it, but feel what they did and said to others. So that can be very heavenly, or it can be very hellish. And, for example somebody like Hitler, he may have to sleep for a long time, he may have a hellish life review, but that’s different from eternal fiery hell.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:44:55] Great. Great. So Mark, again, it’s super exciting about the work that you’re doing. What’s the best way for people to stay on top of what’s going on? We haven’t talked at all about, your book, what’s the best book? We’ve mentioned several of them, what’s the best entry point in your opinion, for folks who are intrigued with this.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:45:20] Well, first of all, there are two websites that people should see, and the first is soulproof.com. That is mine. I have now 75 free articles on it that address the toughest of the tough questions and challenges people go through when your child changes worlds, when a loved one’s body is murdered, when a loved one passes by suicide. If you go to Home, then you’ll see all the different articles. So these are free articles that people can read. Next, if you scroll down you’ll see some of these.
By the way, notice the specific language. When a loved one’s earthly body dies, the loved one doesn’t die, or at least a wealth of scientific, clinical and experiential evidence indicates that, but the body does. So that’s one free resource.
Next, if you go to the top and to the right you’ll see radio shows. I was a radio show host twice over the last 20 years and I interviewed people like Wayne Dyer, Brian Weiss. Michael Newton before he passed, Bernie Siegel, you know, the best of the best. Actually radio shows, I guess, further to the right. So there are free interviews with these great minds that people can listen to and download. I mean, look at this list, Caroline Myss, Anita Moorjani, Bill Guggenheim, a pioneer in after-death communications etc. And then that list below, giants. So that’s another free resource.
The next is sign up for the free email newsletter. So that’s all with soulproof.com.
And then I have 5 books, 12 different transformative audio experiences, for example, past life regression, training with Brian Weiss on holistic breathing etc.
To answer your question, the book on the upper left, is probably the best entry point for many people about all this, because it is so vast and complex, it can seem overwhelming. This is the most recent book.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:47:47] Is it The Big Picture of Life, is that what you’re referring to?
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:47:49] Yes, that was written Alex for ages 10 to 16, but the feedback we’re getting is from adults. They say, “I hate to say it, but I got a lot more out of this kids’ book than I did out of Soul Proof and Greater Reality Living.” And we understand it. So that’s that part.
The second website again, soulphone.org. And then that’s all about the SoulPhone project, the research update, and a number of radio shows that I’ve done. So this is where people can learn about this. Again, because it’s just such a big subject, it’s mind boggling really.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:48:34] Well, you’ve done a great job of laying it out, and I’m glad I had a chance to ask you some of the questions that I haven’t heard you asked on other shows. So fantastic. Again, congratulations with all this important work and we will be looking forward to it. It can only help us all with what you’re bringing forward. One way or another we’ll know, we will know more and that’s always good. So thank you Mark.
Dr. Mark Pitstick: [00:49:00] Alright, thank you Alex. Take care.
Thanks again to Dr. Mark Pitstick for joining me today on Skeptiko. I know I kind of got in Mark’s face and I guess indirectly Gary Schwartz’s face about their SoulPhone and their SoulPhone “laboratory experiments”. But in a way these experiments are fantastic. So if they have a laboratory experiment with a hypothesized spirit entity, isn’t that kind of great in a way, in that it kind of forces the phony baloney physics, materialism, science is wrong about almost everything. It kind of forces their hand, right? Because on one hand, if you want to say that’s not a legitimate experiment because you have an entity there that may be affecting that experiment. Well now you’ve acknowledged consciousness, not only consciousness, but the kind of extended consciousness that we talk about.
On the other hand, if you want to try and hold the line and say there’s no such thing as extended consciousness. Then you got to let his experiment in and move them right to the front of the line for the Nobel Prize. Hey, sure has my nomination, right? If you’re going to hold to your phony baloney, biological robot, meaningless universe science, then you got to let in and experiment that for all the rules does everything right.
Now, if we can get to that point, which we most certainly cannot for all the reasons we talked about so often on this show, but if you can get to that point, then you’re really at the next level where science needs to be, because then, and only then can you talk about why we might be a little bit uncomfortable with the reach around, Jesus juice, Michael Jackson purporting to be the guy who’s on the other end of your Ouija board. But like I say, we’ll probably never get there, but the first part of that question is pretty interesting. What do you think?
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