Do you remember the first time you heard about someone’s ghostly encounter?
Not just someone on TV, but a friend or family member.
I was 14, and after my friend thrilled me with his personal encounter
with a ghost, he asked me, his voice trembling slightly, “Do you believe in
ghosts? Are ghosts real? What causes a ghost?”
I must have stared at him for 10 minutes as my brain worked overtime
to come up with an intelligent response. But the only answer I could
muster up was “I don’t know.”
It turns out that my response, at age 14, is very similar to what the
majority of mainstream scientists and researchers would say today.
My friend’s questions have bothered me for more than 20 years, and
I have actively sought the answers through education and interviews with
those who report interacting with a ghost. While looking for the answers,
I noticed similarities among ghostly encounters, which ultimately led to
developing new theories to explain ghosts and ghostly experiences presented
in this book. I haven’t investigated hundreds of haunted locations, nor do I own a
vest with hundreds of pockets. I never understood why ghost hunters on
TV always have those vests. I do not dress in all black. I don’t claim to
have psychic talents. And I’m not part of a paranormal investigation team.
What I am is extremely fascinated with reports of ghostly encounters. My
passion has led to countless hours combing through the paranormal literature
and speaking with people who report ghostly encounters. When
someone is recalling their ghostly experience, their whole persona changes.You can physically see the rush of emotion and excitement on their faces.
The people around them change as well. From staunch skeptics to steadfast
believers, their ears will perk up and their eyes will widen when someone
is recalling a ghostly encounter. Everyone is fascinated with ghosts.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I’m a clinical therapist and parapsychologist
residing in Northeast Ohio. I’ve worked within the Neurological
Institute for the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, conducting behavioral
health consultations. Currently, I’m the director of behavioral health for a
local hospital. I’ve been fascinated by paranormal phenomena for 20 years,
and have been a participant and featured speaker in numerous paranormal
forums and events including the Parapsychological Association’s 60th
Anniversary Celebration. I studied psychology and parapsychology at the
University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and my research has been cited in
parapsychological journals, newspaper articles, and mainstream books. I present my background to communicate that I have experience with
assessing hallucinations brought on by mental illness or drug abuse, and
in my opinion, the ghostly encounters that a majority of the millions of
people have reported are definitely not the results of mental illness or substance
abuse. Upon hearing of someone’s ghostly experience, skeptics are
quick to proclaim “They are crazy,” or “You must have been imagining
things,” statements that question the witness’s mental stability. This is an
uneducated and irresponsible way to respond to someone who reports a
ghostly experience, but unfortunately it is far too common.
With ghosts and hauntings, although an individual’s experience is
unique to them, overall there are some key similarities among all ghostly
interactions. Through the years, I started to really listen to people’s paranormal
experiences and certain similarities caught my attention and led
me to write this book.
A true apparitional or ghostly experience happens on rare occasions
and is only possible when several factors line up. These factors include
psychological, environmental, and bioenergetic fluctuations. Much time
and research has been spent on whether people’s ghostly experiences are
of a natural or spiritual origin, which has simply led to scattered results.
Looking for a single cause for a haunting or ghostly experience may be too
simplistic. For such complicated phenomena, it is likely to be a combination
of several theories or mechanisms.
In The Ghost Studies, we will explore popular theories on ghosts, discuss
the role of energy and electricity during ghostly encounters, and finally,
through real-life case examples, explore my theories on the processes that
are necessary for apparitions, ghostly experiences, and hauntings. By the end of it, we will
have provided answers to questions such as:
What causes ghostly experiences?
What is the catalyst to witnessing a ghost?
Why do certain people report numerous ghostly encounters
and others none?
What leads to certain locations being haunted?
If you are looking for more than ghost stories, and want to know what
causes ghostly encounters, The Ghost Studies is for you.
Brandon Massullo is a clinical therapist and parapsychologist residing in Medina, Ohio. Fascinated by paranormal phenomena for more than 20 years, Massullo has been a participant in and featured speaker at numerous paranormal forums and events. He studied psychology and parapsychology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. His research has been cited in numerous parapsychological journals, articles, and mainstream books.
Making a case for an underlying unity of science and religion would be
pointless were it true that science had already ruled out any basis for the
beliefs underlying religion. Unfortunately, many people, not just scientists,
believe that it is true. There are strong voices among
scientists who fervently proclaim that science has, indeed, proven that
all religious beliefs are unfounded—that religion is simply keeping alive
baseless superstitions and other nonsense. At first glance their arguments are compelling. They invoke the
scientific method. They tell us that none of religion’s claims have been proven
in the laboratory. They assure us that their arguments rest firmly on factual
scientific discovery. They speak with utter conviction. You will no doubt be
surprised, therefore, and possibly affronted, when I say that the people who
hold such absolute views are simply true believers in their own religion: scientific
Scientific materialism rests on the belief that everything there
is or ever will be springs from the interactions of matter and energy—and
from absolutely nothing else. Despite the existence of enduring major
scientific mysteries, such as the origin of life and the nature of
consciousness, scientific materialists believe that it is only a matter
of time before all as-yet-unexplained phenomena will be explained
by—and only by—the interactions of matter and energy. This expectation is an
article of faith among those who embrace scientific
materialism. It is their credo. Given science’s undeniable success
over the last three centuries, scientific materialism’s matter-and-energy-only
hypothesis is very convincing to a lot of people.
Science’s means of exploring reality—the scientific method—is the
oracle of the age. Using the scientific method, scientists have uncovered
myriad laws governing the operation of the physical world. It is no
exaggeration to say that the application of those laws over the last two
centuries has transformed civilization. Unfortunately for other religions,
the religion of scientific materialism is in the ascendant and very
influential. Not just many scientists, but also a huge percentage of people in
the world, are unknowingly members of the church of scientific materialism
because they have embraced the credo: Everything that is, or ever will be, is
the result of matter-energy interactions and nothing else.
But make no mistake: The idea that everything that is and ever
will be springs from the interactions of matter and energy—and nothing else—is
a belief, not a proven fact. Despite the efficacy of the scientific method, it
is not the case. Scientific materialists would have us think that science has
applied the scientific method to all possibilities for nonmaterial realities
and proven them all false. Rather, science as an official body has become so
convinced of the truth of scientific materialism that it simply doesn’t explore
alternative possibilities. The bias
toward material explanations for all phenomena is so strong that it nearly
eliminates the possibility of funding for any scientific inquiry that attempts
to explore realities other than the material. A vocal portion of scientists
dismiss out of hand, or, worse yet, hold in disdain, even the suggestion that
there may be nonmaterial solutions to unexplained phenomena. Embracing such
a suggestion is not, to put it mildly, a path to a successful career in
Although it is true that science has by no means disproven the
fundamental beliefs of religion, failure to disprove does not automatically
make religion’s beliefs true. How, then, can we decide whether or not
there is any truth to religion’s claims? One way we can evaluate
such claims is by comparing the testimony of those who have had profound
transcendent experiences. When we look beyond the superficial variations of
language, culture, and vocabulary such people use to describe their
transcendent experiences, we find a compelling consistency.
Another way to evaluate the veracity of religion’s claims is to
study the remarkably similar ways in which the saints and sages attained such
transcendent states. At the heart of all religions you will find men and women
who practiced a universally effective science of religion. The
science of religion is a collection of disciplines, usable by anyone, which,
when performed with determined focus and intention, inevitably result in
personal transcendent experience. From personal transcendent experience come
the revelations that give meaning to all religions. The disciplines that bring
personal transcendent experience deserve to be considered scientific because
they provide consistent and repeatable results when practiced
I hope that you [find] personal inspiration in The Physics of God.
Practices of the science of religion that lead to inner awakening—most notably
meditation—will allow you to experience a joy beyond anything you’ve ever
known. We are far more than we know.
Joseph Selbie makes the complex and obscure, simple and clear. A
dedicated meditator for over 40 years, he has taught yoga and meditation
throughout the United States and Europe. He is known for creating bridges of
understanding between the modern evidenced-based discoveries of science and the
ancient experience-based discoveries of the mystics. Selbie maintains several
blogs, including Intersections, which explores how spirituality connects with
culture and science. He also authored The Yugas, a factual look at India’s
tradition of cyclical history; and a sci-fi/fantasy series, The Protectors
Diaries, inspired by the abilities of mystics. Joseph is a founding member of
Ananda, a meditation-based community and spiritual movement inspired by
Paramahansa Yogananda. He lives with his wife at Ananda Village near Nevada
City, California. For more information, go to www.PhysicsAndGod.com.