It gives us a curious slant on life to know we may have unknown friends. Unknown in that we really don’t know how they operate, who they are, or where they come from. Sometimes they seem to come from the other side--in this example, not surprisingly, from a mother. Theresa Cheung, a University of Cambridge graduate, with a master’s in theology and English, said that while driving towards a junction behind a truck, she was about to turn left but her dead mother’s voice told her to shift to the right lane. She said: “Even though she had died a few years earlier, it was my mother’s voice, and I obeyed instantly. If I had turned left, you wouldn’t be reading this now, because I would have driven into a pile-up that claimed the lives of three people in cars directly behind the truck. I can’t explain that voice; it must have been my mother guiding me … It proved to me there is an afterlife.” (Daily and Sunday Express. 2018. express.co.uk/news/ weird/935615/life-after-death-afterlife-what-happens-when-you-die)
I have a similar story from a nurse who was once my student. She was driving to work and had reached a stop; when the light turned green, she was about to press the gas pedal when she suddenly saw her dead mother appear standing in front of the car. The nurse froze while exactly at that instant a Mack truck ran the red light, and would have killed her if she had not been stopped by the apparition of her mother. Once again, somebody’s life seems to have been saved by an unpredictable intervention from nowhere.
Here’s another story I heard from a student. In 1967, in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, an American soldier, Celestino B., was saved by an unknown voice that called him three times to move toward the end of the dugout during an air raid. As soon as he did that, a bomb struck the very seat where he was sitting and killed everybody in line up to but excluding him. An unknown voice saved Celestino His mother prayed to Padre Pio for her son and credits the miracle to the Padre—but who knows for sure?
Even more obscure is the identity of the unknown friends that save people as reported in cases from a book called The Third Man, a collection of stories by John Geiger about people caught in terrible circumstances who are saved in mysterious ways. For example, in one case a man lost in a blizzard in the vicinity of his arctic outpost would have surely perished if an unknown form and voice had not appeared out of nowhere and led him just to the point he needed to reach so he could make it back on his own. The title of Geiger’s book is a reference to a poem of T.S. Eliot where such an unknown presence is invoked.
In Josh Slocum’s great travel book, Sailing Around the World Alone, the author describes how the spirit of the great sailor, Sir Francis Drake, would appear to him during rough weather, converse with him, and take over the tiller while Slocum slept.
Stories of this sort aren’t hard to find. I’ll mention as a last example, the belief found everywhere in the mythology of guardian angels. It seems likely that this belief is based on stories of unexplained helping interventions such as the examples above. .
From Plato to the Upanishads, many if not most traditional religions have embraced the belief in a transpersonal or transcendent mind. Modern scientific materialism evolved in such a way that seemed to falsify that belief. According to it, our minds are weak, fragile byproducts of our brains, and their powers are confined within the limits of what brains can do.
But this is no longer the mainline view. Today the majority of pros agree that science is unable to reduce our mental life to our brain life. There are correlations not explanations. Consciousness cannot be squeezed conceptually into the brain. Our brains are tiny dots in a boundless sea of consciousness. But that sea does connect with our personal river of consciousness. So, in a sense, each of us is indeed a small thing; but in another sense, we are a great, infinite thing. How we view ourselves depends (most of the time) on the kind of experiences life throws at us. Contractile or expansive. The big question: Are there ways we can learn to burst open the floodgate of higher consciousness? Any ideas out there? Stories of unknown friends? Secret allies? Mysterious interventions?-->
As I was reading this post, I kept thinking how these examples could be explained by Stanford’s Psi Mediated Instrumental Response (PMIR) model. Essentially, PMIR posits that psi is a goal-oriented process operating below awareness and working in our service to fulfill needs, avoid threats, and the like. I suppose that, using the PMIR as a starting point, one interpretation of these experiences is that these ‘unknown helpful friends’ are mere mental constructions that are produced to help our PMIR ensure that we avoid trouble or fulfill our needs at critical times. But, equally plausible perhaps and working within the same model is that those guardian angels are always around watching over us and protecting us every step of the way and always without our knowledge. But, that at those critical times and through our own psi abilities, we are somehow able to make them known to us thereby further ensuring that we, in fact, will avoid trouble and/or meet our needs. Just a thought ...
More than just a thought -- well thought out. I've very much Rex's ideas and models in the back of my mind--and there are so many ways to parse the possible explanations. My own view is that learning how to use these extended abilities we seem to possess is more like an art form than a strict science--although every artist needs to know to his
Hi Michael - I appreciate this topic. My experience includes voices - shouting or speaking a warning. Once it was "Run" as I was in an isolated area with a friend and two strangers approached. We thought they were non-threatening as they left for another area and then the voice yelled. We ran and hid. Then watched them return and scope the area trying to find us. Another time, I escaped an attacker and could have responded with the incredible surge of strength (given to me to throw the person off) in that moment to hurt that person. The shout was "Karma" - I paused, astounded, and let the person disappear into the night. Apparently, not my fight.
Something similar happened to me. I was driving along a country lane when an urgent voice told me to pull to the side. I obeyed just as a car came screeching over the hill on the wrong side of the road. It would have wiped me out. The voice was not that of a dead relative though as far as i could tell.
I was working as a barmaid in New Zealand (I am Australian), my grandfather had died 18 months prior. I had left Australia and my family to travel. My family life was horrendous as I was a creative child and loved the outdoors plus I did not agree with my mothers strong Catholicism and was always getting bashed by my mother. So my out was to go and travel and forget it all. However, my sister was getting married and I was to return to Australia to be a bridesmaid (something I did not want to do). As I was working in the Star and Garter in Christchurch with two elderly barmaids, I was making a cocktail for a client and I had my back to the clients in the bar. One of the elder barmaids came up to me and said that there was a man waiting to be served and he would only let me serve him. I explained that I would only be a minute and then would serve this man. Well I went to serve this man and in a nanosecond I knew it was my grandfather! He looked a little younger than when he died, but he had on his hat he always wore and looked really healthy. I am not sure why (as this was my first experience of this kind) but I was not afraid and I totally accepted he was there with such love and understanding. Yet I still had to check. So I asked him if he liked music. He said yes, so I offered to sing him a song I always sang to him when I was growing up and staying at his house. The song was Mammy by Al Jolson, he hated that song. He just laughed and said if you sing that I will have to chase you around the lounge room again. I KNEW then that this was real. Noone would have known that this is what we use to do. He then asked me how Bill (my father) was and I replied that he was good. My grandfather then ordered a five ounce beer, paid for it with coin and continued to drink the beer! Then he said to me, Do not worry, when you get home everything is going to be alright. A gentleman then came up to the bar to be served so I moved slightly to the right and served him. In an instant I look for grandfather and he was gone. I asked the man I was serving if he saw him leave,(as he was right beside my grandfather) He said, What Man?. There were other things that followed. But I thought you would be interested in hearing this. To cap if off the other two barmaids came up to me and said, You look like you have seen a ghost are you alright? I said I was very much alright and they asked me who the man was. I explained that it was my grandfather and they said isn't it nice of him to come vist you in NZ, then I let them know that he had died 18 months previously. The poor ladies look so shocked. PS> just finished reading you book on Soulmaking. Thank you, it was the only book ever that I have read to explain and understand what I know to be true. Patricia
Patricia,I wrote you when I published your comment but don't think you got it. You implied you had other experiences, and would be interested in learning more. The story above that you describe is quite striking--thank you. If you want, my email is
I don't mind publishing this because it's incredibly absurd. I'm guessing that your sister is very young, maybe about 8 or 9 years old, perhaps with a touch of psychopathy.
I would certainly make her pay for a new phone.
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