What is Etheric Studies
Even a cursory review of the scientific literature will show that survival of the personality after physical death (trans-survival), and an aspect of reality in which personality survives (etheric space), is not well studied by the scientific community. Even the field of parapsychology stops short of the study of survival as being possibly more than just delusion, and the subject of a nonphysical or etheric aspect of reality. Yes, parapsychology does address psi phenomena, which concerns an apparent subtle energy involved in telepathy, clairvoyance and shared senses, but psi is seen as a human potential that does not require survival or things etheric to exist. Even more distressing is that traditional scientists, such as physicists and biologists, generally discount the existence of psi.
If the study of reality were to be ranked from the perspective of Etheric Studies, as is illustrated below, the physical aspect of reality would be just a subset of all of reality. Anything other than physical reality, that which is not considered physical, is etheric. There is some form of etheric-to-physical interface, and it is thought that the study of psi energy is closely associated with that interface.
People who study things etheric do not begin with the intention of looking outside of physical science. However to this time, it has not been possible to develop hypotheses to describe such phenomena as EVP and mental mediumship without allowing for the possibility that there is a reality greater than the physical. It is hoped that, by establishing the field of etheric studies, the field will eventually be seen as being complementary to physical science and parapsychology.
Why the name, “Etheric Studies”?
Specifically in transcommunication, the question of how people who study survival should be described has often been explored and no useful name has emerged other than “etheric studies.” One of the requirements for a name is that it is easy to use, not a new term and recognized by the average person. For instance, when someone hears the term, “things etheric,” he or she at least understands that the subject has something to do with the nonphysical.
Terms, such as “meta science” turn out to be too arcane and anything that is specific to EVP or any other subject of the paranormal would be too specific. “Empirical metaphysics” was a good candidate at one time, since the study is primarily research evidence based, but again, the term sent people scrambling for a dictionary. Simplicity is important for a household term.
“Nonphysical” was tried for a while. It works okay, but it is something of a negative term. Surprisingly, fewer people have indicated that they have even an idea of what is intended by “nonphysical,” while “etheric” is easily related to the early efforts to define the greater reality. Most people have been taught about the term, “etheric” in relationship with Greek philosophy in high school.
It is interesting that even Albert Einstein speculated about the existence of a characteristic of space still best described as “ether.” Even though the idea was set aside by later scientists, the need for an etheric characteristic of reality is often noted in quantum physics, although it will probably not be referred to as ether.
(What Einstein called the "Universal Constant" seems to have been resurrected as "Zero Point Energy" in quantum physics. This differential between absolute zero energy and what is actually measured in a vacuum at absolute zero temperature my represent the etheric-to-physical interface--a good illustration of how important mainstream science is to etheric studies.)
Surely a better term for this field of study can be found, but by now, “etheric studies” is fast becoming established and changing it would cause much lost time. It is thought to be best to settle on the current term for now and let circumstances lead us to whatever will become common usage as this field becomes established.
Who studies the etheric
A mental medium is an etheric studies practitioner, as is an EVP experimenter and a person who practices out of body travel [for instance]. A person who studies these subjects is an etheric studies researcher. A researcher may be a physicist or psychologist specializing in psi studies as a parapsychologist, but when studying the relationship between the medium and the etheric communicator, the researcher is working in the field of etheric studies.
The demarcation amongst physical, psi and etheric studies is dependent on the subject. For instance, a theory proposed by Alexander MacRae to explain the mechanism of etheric to physical influence is that the physical property first influenced is the relative permeability of physical matter. To study this in etheric studies, the etheric to physical interface is also a physics problem. The interface cannot be studied without involving both fields.
In a different example, the work of researchers, such as Dean Radin, who proposes that there is a field of subtle energy connecting people, is clearly part of psi studies, yet when the question of how an etheric communicator influences that field is studied, both psi studies usually conducted by psychology trained parapsychologist, and etheric studies which is currently studied by lay scientists, must be considered together.
As in all fields of study, research based on field observations, and those based on experiments according to a strict protocol in controlled condition, must be considered. Some of the most valuable points of evidence have come from people like MacRae conducting simple “number of instances per experiment” research. At the same time, target research includes laboratory simulation of recording devices to determine electrical parameters of voice insertion. Both types of study are equally important, as they tend to produce data points that help define other aspects of the study.
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