Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of conversations with spiritually awakening people. I’ve done 630 something of them now. If this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to batgap.com and look under the past interviews menu where you’ll find them organized in several different ways. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it and would like to support it or help support it there’s a PayPal button on every page of the website and there’s also a page explaining alternatives to PayPal. My guest today is Lauren Robertson. Lauren is a lifelong psychic medium having conducted over 15,000 sittings and public demonstrations globally in a career spanning two decades. She is the author of The Medium in Manolos – a life-affirming guide to modern mediumship and The Art and Science of Mediumship on Substack. Lauren graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow where she studied English Literature and Philosophy specializing in consciousness studies. Okay. So it’s funny Lauren it took me a while to realize that Manolos are a kind of shoe. I was thinking it was someplace in Spain or something.
Lauren Robertson: I know people thought the Philippines like Manila.
Rick Archer: But I got it eventually. So you like to wear Manolos, and you’re a medium?
Lauren Robertson: Correct.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So and you are in Glasgow now? Are you in Scotland now?
Lauren Robertson: Yes, I’m in Scotland now.
Rick Archer: Good. I was telling Lauren before the show that we’ve been watching a beautiful TV series called All Creatures Great and Small which is set in Scotland and has Scottish actors. And everything’s really sweet. There’s a recommendation for you folks. It’s on Amazon Prime. So, as I recall, you had your first medium-type experience when you were about 14 right?
Lauren Robertson: Yes.
Rick Archer: What happened?
Lauren Robertson: So that journey started with my mother and my mother is also a medium, it runs in the family and there’s definitely something in the water up here. And my mom used to take me to spiritualist churches which I absolutely loved. And she bought me a deck of angel cards when I was 14 and unlocked within me this ability to connect with people on a deeper level than I had experienced before. As soon as I got these angel cards I just understood what they were about. I understood the idea of the symbolism and the meaning and how it could help people see themselves in a different way. So my journey as a medium really started I guess on the psychic level with reading for people from the age of 14 about their lives, first of all.
Rick Archer: So you’re dealing with live people?
Lauren Robertson: Yes.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think I thought I heard you say in your book that, you know, you’re not that psychic but mediumship is a different thing than psychic? Or did I misunderstand that part?
Lauren Robertson: Mediumship is a different thing than psychic work. When it comes to psychic work there’s really two souls involved. There’s you as the reader and then there’s the person receiving the reading and the inquiry is really more about their life, you know, are they going to get married? How is this difficulty going to turn out? Are they making the right choice in their career? But when it comes to mediumship there’s, at minimum, a third soul involved because mediumship really focuses on proving the transcendent existence of human consciousness after physical bodily death. And so both the function and the sorts of things you talk about change. And also the sort of, for me, the internal feeling or the phenomenology of connection changes as well. So when you’re working with somebody psychically it’s very much got this energy of being very front and center and dealing with the person right in front of you. And for me, it feels like it’s in the heart and the gut. Whereas when I’m working mediumistically with someone and I know there’s a person in spirit that wants to speak, that wants to be acknowledged and identified, the feeling is much more light and airy and it’s much more like something is being impressed upon me from somewhere back here and it’s not so much front and center about the person right in front of me. So yes, there are many differences. But I really, by accident, ascended into mediumship. It just so happened that between the ages of 14, and sort of 17 I developed more and more my psychic abilities. And then I got kicked out of school when I was 16 and immediately got given a job as a psychic reading my angel cards, it’s a funny story. And then afterward I started doing readings very regularly as part of my career and just progressively more and more the spirit world was pushing through and wanting to speak and wanting to be acknowledged, and it sort of just happened on its own. And I really loved that work specifically, because I feel that a lot of people’s lives are defined by the love that they have for others. And when somebody dies that really meant a lot to you, it can really feel like a part of you has died as well. It can be a very stressful and difficult experience for a lot of people because of the meaning that they gave to the love and the relationship that they had with that person that’s now passed. And wondrous healing can take place by saying, Okay, what if this relationship is not goodbye forever? What if there’s something that is transcendent? And although you can’t reach out and touch that person physically anymore there is as a way in which they still matter and you still matter to them and they’re still aware and engaged with your life. And to me this is not fanciful or wishful thinking, it is just the fact that the nature of consciousness says that it transcends the limitations of the physical body. And so when that work started to come more and more I found it really meaningful and I made the decision to sort of focus my energy really on that because of how it made others feel and how it made me feel. And so that’s really where the mediumship took off, it happened by accident. There was just one reason where the door to the spirit world got thrown open by this woman’s father, it was in a dingy pub in Glasgow that was doing like a charity night, and I was doing readings in the basement with all the beer, you know, like pumps going off, and I had like an upturned beer crate for a table. And I just remember it so clearly, like it was yesterday. But I think I must have been about 20 at the time. And this women’s father just was so strong in my mind and I couldn’t ignore it and I just knew that he wanted to be spoken about and that in some real sense he was there. And so yes, from that moment onwards, I really devoted myself to mediumship.
Rick Archer: Why did you get kicked out of school?
Lauren Robertson: I got kicked out of school for a number of reasons. I mean the quick answer is truanting, which is basically non-attendance. I went through, as many teenagers do, a period of quite a lot of teenage angst. There was a lot of disruption in my teenage years and, you know, I was figuring myself out and I was really weird. You know, I was a goth in school. And, you know, I was good at some subjects but not others. And I was like, there was disruption at home and there was just a lot going on. And at that point in my life, I was much more interested in dream analysis and angel cards and learning the tarot and burning bits of paper in my room doing pagan spells for, you know, to get boys to love me and all of that stuff. So really, the school just asked me not to come back because I had got grades, you know, I did well, I did graduate from high school but I was taking an extra year what we would call advanced hires in Scotland and it just didn’t align. So because of non-attendance, because my mind was already aware in other places they basically just asked me not to come back. My mom wasn’t happy but like I say I got this job as a medium right away, like the next day. I went home and I went on this website called The Job Center which is this website where you can get just normal jobs like waitressing or cleaning or driving a bus, you know, jobs that normal people do. And I was trying to prepare my mom for the news that I got kicked out of school. So I thought I’d sweeten the blow by telling her that I found a job to try and like recover from the fall, kind of thing. So I put all my details into this website and I just thought there’s never going to be any job that matches my description of myself here. And it came back with one job, which was psychic mediums and angel card readers wanted in the Glasgow area. And I was 16 and I just got kicked out of school and I was in love with these angel cards. And I went for the interview and got hired that day. So that was my profession from the age of 16 and I worked at that company for 13 years.
Rick Archer: Was that one of those things where you call and you’re charged so much per minute and you talk to a psychic or talk to somebody about this kind of thing.
Lauren Robertson: No, so we toured Scotland and the UK doing live events. So I would go and I would give a demonstration first my angel cards then psychic work then mediumship. So I’d given a live demonstration and off of the back of the demonstration, people would book a private session with me. So every night, like five nights a week, I would go out to places all over Scotland, all over the UK with my boss and the other people in the company and we would do these live events. A lot of the time it was ladies’ nights, charity events, things like that. And yeah, I loved it. I would do these demonstrations and I remember the very first one that I ever did, I wasn’t supposed to be doing a demonstration. And my boss when I turned up the for the first shift I had my little school bag on and I was so green and so nervous and my boss opened the door and I remember her face was ashen and she said two of the other psychics haven’t turned up tonight and we have a crowd of 100 women come in so you’re going to have to do a demonstration. My first night, my maiden voyage and that’s work. And I remember turning up and these 100 women were like quite drunk, and there was a big rabble and they were all just looking at me and I was like, this is the moment where I either sink or swim. I’ve got to just trust that the universe as there and wants me to do this and wants me to be in this moment. And, you know, it was like a university for a real sort of moment or I can be a 16-year-old child and just run off the stage and run away. And so just that very first exposure just got me hooked because the spirit world was there, you know, the universe was there, it wasn’t really me that was doing it. There was something transcendent that took over and allowed me to do meaningful work with those women, even though I was 16 and they were a bit drunk. And you know, it was my first ever time. And so from there I just, I just loved the entire process. So yeah, it was a touring event company that I was involved in.
Rick Archer: That’s cool. And then somehow or other in the midst of, and I remember you saying, but that by the time you were 17, you were doing what 30 or 40 sessions a week or maybe that’s in the context of this company.
Lauren Robertson: Yes, it was. So we had sort of five nights a week and I would do this demonstration and then I would do between seven and 10 readings per night. We’d probably get home at like 1 am, 2 am kind of thing. So it was a rock and roll life.
Rick Archer: Amazing. But somehow or other you also managed to go back to university and get higher degrees and all that. Was that after this stint with this company or somehow the same time,
Lauren Robertson: it was briefly for the same time, but I had to, unfortunately, say to my boss that I wasn’t able to continue with those sorts of shifts. I became very unwell, I actually got meningitis when I was 21 and became very seriously ill. I was in hospital for a number of weeks and was completely out of commission for a number of months. And so I had to say to my boss that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the same shifts that I had been. At that point I was sort of like, you know, the student becomes the master 13 years later and my boss had her own ideas. And I love her to bits, we’re still close but she has her own ideas about how she wanted to do things. And I had different ideas about how I wanted to do things. And I really wanted to get an education about why certain people have these abilities. And so as a mature student I put myself through uni. I had to do a pre-degree here. So I had to basically show that I was invested and that I could handle a university-level education. So I did that. And I got into Uni, Glasgow Uni, which was always my dream, which I thought was over because I got kicked out of school. But then somehow the universe finds a way and it was wonderful really, I loved it.
Rick Archer: That’s great. I got kicked out of school too, by the way, but that’s yeah,
Lauren Robertson: Did you, what for?
Rick Archer: Drugs and being just a messed-up kid, you know?
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, were you a Goth too?
Rick Archer: We didn’t have Goths in the 60s. I was a hippie.
Lauren Robertson: You’re the 60s equivalent?
Rick Archer: Yeah, exactly. Fortunately, we weren’t into getting a lot of tattoos and piercings and stuff. Maybe you just wore some beads and grew your hair. So no lasting evidence.
Lauren Robertson: Did you also have funny smelling cigarettes around the back of the gym hall?
Rick Archer: Yeah, as a matter of fact, I, one time we did a school field trip into New York City and I remember I took a regular cigarette and packed it with marijuana and smoked it in the back of the bus because everybody’s smoking cigarettes, but everyone is like, wait a minute, what am I smelling here?
Lauren Robertson: That’s you rumbled.
Rick Archer: Well, I survived those years by the skin of my teeth.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah. Same, same thing.
Rick Archer: So before we started you and I were talking about, you know, why this stuff is important and why some people are very skeptical of it. And, you know, with respect, you know, in respect to those skeptical people we should, we’ll cover a lot of points here today about, you know, what evidence there is that this is not just a figment of everybody’s imagination. And maybe we should start more with why it’s important. And let me just make a brief statement, and then you can embellish on it. My attitude is that it’s a good idea to understand how life works, you know, how the universe works. And if, for instance, we think that we are just this body and when it dies that’s the end of us or when our loved ones die, that’s the end of them, that’s a very different perspective than kind of seeing the body as a vehicle which we drive for a certain amount of time and then the vehicle wears out and then we move on to something else. Perhaps we get another vehicle in the name of, you know, terms of reincarnation or we go somewhere but we don’t utterly cease to exist. And if you’re convinced of that then it seems, as I am, it seems to me that your whole orientation to life and the things that you’re, I mean, you’re told many stories of people who are terrified of dying, because they didn’t have that perspective. Your whole orientation to life, the amount of fear you might feel around dying or grief, you might feel around others die, is very much diminished. So anyway, that’s my nutshell version of why I think it’s important to have this understanding.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, and sort of just off the back of that, I totally agree with what you’re saying. And for me, there’s really two aspects to it. First of all, I feel that my perspective and perception from my own experience as a medium is that selfhood is not what we think it is. And a lot of the skepticism that we face is essentially a materialist worldview that your selfhood is synonymous with your body. And people are taking that huge unjustified claim that your selfhood is synonymous with your body as gospel or obvious and it’s not at all obvious that your selfhood is synonymous with your body. And I think that that’s one of the reasons that skeptics struggle so much to get on board or to understand mediumship because somewhere deep within their wiring or how they see the world, you know. They see the world as a series of objects which have very delineated parameters and when those parameters are visibly no longer there then all of the aspects of that item is no longer there. And for me, that is just not so. So much of myself has got nothing to do with my body. In my relationship with my brother or my sister, the love that I have for flowers, the music that brings me to tears, you know, they’re all very much relational things that of course, my body at this time is participating in. But it is not contained within my body. There are versions and aspects of myself that kind of reach out like tendrils into the world and the world reaches back. And my opinion on that is that when our physical bodies die those tendrils don’t because they’re part of a causal chain, a causal chain of events in the world that doesn’t cease when a physical body dies because they continue to sort of fall like dominoes and cause different things throughout time. And because of that, certain people have the ability to tap into this very complex and infinite web of events and web of information. That basically as the personality of people that was like never in their body to begin with it was precisely not in their body, it was exactly on how they’re related to everything else around them. So that’s the first thing. And the second reason I think that we need to sort of readjust what it means to live and die is because of the meaning that we give love itself and the meaning that we give relationships. And, you know, as you said, like you and I were discussing before we went live, when you love someone, and like you really really love them, a dog, a horse, a person, and that being passes away, it can feel like a huge part of you has died with them. What I mean, if yourself is synonymous with your body then how can it feel like a part of you has died with them in a very real sense when they die, you know. There has to have been something else in addition that has to do with the love, that has to do with the relatedness that goes with them when they die physically. And I think that those connections can be restored and can be rekindled and can transcend and be talked about and discussed in a new way that actually reconnects people and reconnects the love that was lost between those that are in the spirit world and those that are still living. And I don’t think that it’s wishful thinking and I don’t think that it’s just wishing to remember those that died. As my many years as a medium I have very good reason to believe that there is some semblance of consciousness or intention or meaning, you know, the properties of consciousness being the ability to choose and have agency and to set intentions and fulfill those intentions. My experience as a medium has been that the people in spirit world for reasons that I don’t yet understand, seem to be able to sustain those properties. And because of that, we don’t need to grieve like we’ve said goodbye forever. And that love was this thing that we had and it’s fleeting and now it’s lost. If we can open our mind to the fact, or the reality in my opinion, that we’re not synonymous with our bodies then we have good justification to open that door and say. What if I can keep loving my loved ones who have passed? And what if they can keep loving me? And if that’s true, then our understanding of what it means to be human, conscious, to love, is radically different. And I think the ways in which it is different are really, really worth taking seriously for living well in this lifetime.
Rick Archer: Very good. Yeah, there’s so many interesting facets of this that we can discuss. In the Indian tradition, you know, the person is considered to be a conglomerate of Five Sheaths. That’s Pancha Kosha I think they call it. Yeah, so, and the gross sheaf, the physical body is called the Annamaya Kosha. Anna means food because it’s made of food. It’s just one of the five. And when that dies, the other four are, which is the subtle body called sukshma sharira, as I recall, and that’s considered to just carry on without the gross body. And it’s no big deal. And there are verses in that tradition like in the Gita, which says, you know, you grieve for those for whom there should be no grief yet speak as do the wise men. Grieve neither for the dead nor for the living. And it goes on to elaborate because basically there’s nothing to grieve about because the person is existing every bit as much as they ever have. They’re just a little bit, you know, harder to locate cause, you know, the gross body has dropped off.
Lauren Robertson: But that’s a really interesting point you made because I think it’s because of our over obsession with the material object of a person that we find it hard to see that the people that we love, that have died, are still around in all of those very many ways. And so it goes back to just accepting this materialist worldview as gospel and not interrogating or being, some minds are unable to interrogate what’s behind that you know, what might be behind the veil in that regard. And so I do think that a world in which philosophies are more holistic about what existence is made from and not just maths and not just material objects and not just things that you can grasp and touch and pick up with your hands but other things that are immaterial but still important and still causal. And I think when we move forward and incorporate that into our worldview, people are going to stop sort of investing all of their love [n the physical presence of a person. Look, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing like cradling your baby or kissing your dog’s head or, you know, hugging your mother or your best friend, I do not mean to minimize, those things are all, those things are so, so important. But they’re not so important that they’re all there is and that you have to say goodbye to those things forever and ever and now those people that you loved are no longer here. So I do think that what you said about that aspect of the body, when we sort of look, try and look behind it and say Okay, well, what else is there? I think that’s going to be really helpful in sort of lessening the grief or the hole that people are experiencing
Rick Archer: Yeah, and I don’t mean to sound glib or to trivialize anybody’s experience because, you know, I mean, it’s natural and human to experience grief when somebody dies even if you are rock solid sure that they haven’t really died and couldn’t die. It’s a natural thing. I mean, I, I felt grief when my cat died a few years ago, you know, and I knew the cat was gonna be fine in some dimension. But you know, I loved the cat. So it’s a natural reaction. So, so I don’t mean to offend anyone who is grieving or experiencing a loss. It’s like,
Lauren Robertson: I must say, sorry to interrupt you, Rick, I must say, like, I totally agree with what you’re saying. My mediumship is the outcome of my own grief when my grandmother died. I actually have her picture right here on my desk such was the meaning she has to me, this is my Gran. And this is me when I’m about 10 and this is my cousin Hamish. And the
Rick Archer: Hold it up again because I said something and the picture switched to me. There you go. If you want you can even send me a scan of that and I can insert it into the video so people can see it clearly.
Lauren Robertson: I’ll do that. So. when I was 17 she died, and the whole process of it just absolutely destroyed me and I had no preconceptions at all that we would reconnect again. And shortly after she died, because I mean, she was really a source of unconditional love in my life like I absolutely adored Gran and needed her and when she died I just thought that was that and she was gone forever. And then one night, I wrote about this in my book, one night I went to bed and I had a dream about her and in this dream, I was in my gran’s old house. And I knew she had died and I knew that I kind of shouldn’t be there but I was sitting in her living room and the sun was streaming in through the window, you know, the God rays that you get that they’re streaming in through the window. And I heard this familiar sound coming from the kitchen where my Gran used to have this steel tray with flowers on it that she would make everyone tea and biscuits and things and bring it in and I could hear her doing that preparation and the caption. And when my Gran died she had breast cancer and she was very, very ill and she became skeletal before she passed away. And it was awful. But in this dream when she walked into the living room holding this tray she looked radiant. She had the most piercing blue eyes, and our hair looked beautiful. And she was so full in her cheeks and she looked the absolute picture of health. And you know, all this light was streaming through her hair. And she sat the tree down and I said to her, I was like, Gran you shouldn’t be here you died. And she looked me in the eye and she put two fingers on my hips like that’s just at the side of my hips and she had lifted me off the ground with her two fingers and she said, ‘when you die, you don’t really die. It’s not what it seems to be. And it’s going to be your job to tell people this’.
Rick Archer: Cool.
Lauren Robertson: And then she lowered me down and as my toes touched the ground I woke up. And that dream was realer than waking life. And it has never left me and the feeling that my Gran is with me has never left me. And so I also definitely do not mean to be flippant about people’s grief because my mediumship came from the deepest grief imaginable. So I get it. I totally get it.
Rick Archer: It’s funny that you thought your Gran was gone forever, even though you been a practicing medium for a few years.
Lauren Robertson: So I was 17. So I’d been a practicing psychic.
Rick Archer: Psychic, I see.
Lauren Robertson: Yes so between the ages of 14 to 17 it was just the angel cards and I was happy with that and were people going to get that job that they wanted or meet the love of their life.
Rick Archer: So you weren’t dealing with people who had passed or thinking about that very much.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, yeah, not at all.
Rick Archer: Okay, that makes sense. So this thing about materialism, it seems to be the predominant paradigm of our age. It’s the predominant way of thinking and science although there’s a groundswell of more and more scientific people thinking otherwise. But it’s ironic that it is predominant because you know, quantum physicists a century ago told us that the world is really not so physical as it appears. But it still predominates. And people think, you know, most neurophysiologists and psychologists and so on would tell you that the brain somehow creates consciousness even though they don’t know how. And what we’re suggesting here and others are suggesting is that it’s the flip opposite of that, that consciousness is fundamental, physical creation is an emergent property of consciousness, you could say, and that the brain is more like a radio receiver-transmitter, you know, that, that intermediates between the electromagnetic field which is fundamental and people who can listen to the radio. So anyway you can elaborate on that thought. But, you know, well just one more thing is that, you know, if the predominant paradigm of our age is wrong, in fact, 180 degrees wrong, then what are the implications of that for the world? I mean, what about the world? Do we see that would be different if we had it the right way around? And I think the implications are huge. I think that all the environmental damage and the wars and the, you know, the misery and all the problems in life could be dissolved if consciousness were our primary focus and experience and orient, you know, the ground state from which we functioned. Anyway, you go with it.
Lauren Robertson: Sure. So what you’ve described loosely and philosophy would call idealism. You know, it’s the idea that all that’s physical emerges first from some form of what we would call thought or consciousness or light you see a kind of energetic or conceptual aspect of reality from which the physical then becomes. There’s lots of different definitions of it. So that’s just a rough, you know, my rough summary. I don’t know, I don’t know what the answer is. I think the relationship between idealism and materialism is a kind of a donut shape where the relationship has no end and no beginning and there isn’t actually like a flip side as such as if there’s like right and wrong, yes and no, back and forth. It’s more like a donut shape, where it’s like, it’s constantly feeding into each other. I think there’s a symbiosis between the ideal conceptual energy aspect of reality and the physical aspect of reality. And I don’t actually think they’re opposites. I think they’re on a continuum that’s continually speaking to each other. So I would call myself I guess, what you would call an interactionist. You know I believe in a fundamental interaction between those seemingly two distinct properties or states of being that actually, sort of probably come from the one thing, but in being the one thing so say the donut is like all of existence, they still have their differences, they still are different parts of that. We don’t really understand yet how, but I don’t think it’s an either-or proposition. I think that one of the mistakes we’re making is thinking it has to be either material or ideal. I don’t think that’s true. Also, I’m not sure whether, you know, changing our worldview to an idealist worldview, or something along those lines, would solve all of the problems that we think it would. It might solve some, definitely what I think is that if people were more conscientious about the fact that they’re all connected to each other, and a harm done to another is a harm done to self and vice versa. That’s a really, really useful sort of golden rule to live by. But I also do think that, you know, part of the separation illusion is that humans have a lot of guilt, and a lot of guilt that makes them feel that they should be in control and ought to be changing things that actually they don’t have the power over that they think they do. And we’re more a sort of witness to the things that are going on. And it’s how we choose to witness the things, you know, of reality, the experiences of reality, that we are so much the executors or controllers of it you know. I think about existence as almost being like a, you know, on a roller coaster ride. I guess the comedian Bill Hicks, you know, you’re on a roller coaster ride and, you know, enjoy the ride. That’s what you’re here to do is enjoy the ride – the thrills and spills and up and down. But ultimately that track is laid out in front of you and you’re not laying out, you know, and to me that’s where God is kind of, or the spirit is kind of moving through you. It’s like the universe and spirit is looking out of your eyes. And so you’re not really the kind of controller and we can’t really wrestle with the things that we imagine we can,
Rick Archer: Yeah. It’s, you could say in a way that there are different perspectives which are kind of contradictory and paradoxical but each true in its own domain.
Lauren Robertson: Yes. I love that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So I mean, you could say on one hand that nothing ever even manifested, the world it’s just sort of an illusion. But you could also say that everything is divinely orchestrated and perfect just as it is. And you could also say that, oh, there’s a lot of things that need fixing, let’s work on those. And so, you know, they all are sort of contradictory but I think you can incorporate them all within one. perspective, one awareness.
Lauren Robertson: Yes but also I think that part of what makes existence alive is that we must always keep moving between those things, you have to always keep moving between it. We have to always be vacillating, oscillating, you know, we have to always keep it moving. And, you know, that’s what makes life I think, is that you can’t just be static on one side or the other. You can’t even be static choosing one side and then deciding to choose the other. The fact of existence is the motion and the movement and the going back and forth. And like you correctly said the context of in some situations this is correct and other situations that’s correct. And right now I think this and then in 10 years I might think something different and that’s okay. And you know, the richness of existence is that we’re all, you know, human beings and all of reality is constantly moving between these different states. And I think the real magic like I said, with the donut is that motion, you know. It’s in the constant movement between all of those states is what’s creating this diversity of existence in life and consciousness that, you know, it’s like the friction if you like between it all
Rick Archer: Have you ever heard of a Mobius strip?
Lauren Robertson: No, I have not heard of that.
Rick Archer: If you take let’s say a strip of paper and you make it into a ring but before you join it you flip it over once then you get this infinite thing where, as you go around it you keep changing sides and it goes around and around. So I think that might be what you’re kind of alluding to with the donut metaphor.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, I love that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And this thing about getting locked into a perspective, I think it’s, you know, we were kind of touching on this as we go along here. But people tend to get attached to a particular perspective and to get strangely defensive of that perspective, like, we’re talking about the materialists who we’ll talk more today about these people who invest a lot of time and energy into arguing that mediumship couldn’t be possible for instance. And yeah, which is not to say that we should just blithely accept every idea that comes along. We need to, you know, exercise judgment and discernment and scrutiny and so on. But sometimes people are just overly attached to a particular perspective, sometimes at their peril. I mean, I heard a story about this kid that was in India, and he got an infection on his leg. And he was like, aahh the body is an illusion, the world’s an illusion, I don’t need to worry about it. And he almost died, you know, or at least lost his leg, instead of getting medical care, which is what was really called for. So it’s just a human thing, I think, to kind of glom on to a particular thing and cling to it. But it’s not really conducive to a holistic understanding of the way life works.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, I totally understand why people do that. Because existence is vast and terrifying. And without charting, or forging some kind of path through it, it would just be completely frozen, it’d be completely frozen, you wouldn’t be able to move or proceed. And part of that path is given to us by our genetics by the certain types of brain or mind or our genetic makeup. And that’s determined by our ancestors. And the ones who have survived are often the ones who are more likely able to focus on a fixed target, you know, they’re able to zoom in on one target because those are the ancestors that ate. And the ancestors who were skeptical, are the ones who survived being eaten by saber-toothed tigers. And so, you know, there’s a very long biological genetic lineage of why we’re so skeptical and why we’re so focused on the material world and why, you know, we think that way. And yet because we’re not in the same physical dire need many of us now our brains and our minds and our experience of reality is now able to start asking what else, you know, what else is there, you know, creativity, spirituality, not needing to deal with just survival and deal with the one object that’s right in front of us that we need to stay alive. And I think it’s a gradual movement and progression through that that is going to just overtime, help like sort of instill within humanity a different perspective of the world. I think we’re just a product of the necessities that we’ve had both personally and sort of genetically as the human race. But I don’t think that those same threats are present now which is why we have the benefit of being able to have these, these conversations. You know, as soon as you start seeing like cave art and cave paintings and the human race reaching for creativity you realize that they’re, you know, they’re not worried for their life every day. And it’s as soon as we’re not worried for our life every day that we can start opening our minds. Some people, sadly, are still worried for their life every day for reasons that are real or imagined. You know, some people are living with a very terrifying, like, I must just focus on this one thing or, you know, I’m gonna fall apart, the world will fall apart, I won’t know how to control things. And there’s definitely a correlation with people who have, in my opinion, and experience, skeptical and flexibility with that sort of existential terror in general.
Rick Archer: Interesting, I mean yeah there are legitimate reasons to be concerned for your life. Russia is threatening to invade Ukraine right now and the Ukrainians are looking at making sure their bomb shelters are in good shape and taking self-defense courses and, you know, worrying about that. Although I’m sure there are plenty of people in Ukraine and, in fact, there were even people in the Nazi concentration camps who were of a mindset such that they, they were tuned into a deep, deep spirituality and kind of saw the beauty of life in the midst of horrific circumstances.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, yeah. And so I think that that’s like a time context I’m sure because that’s like a very short time context. But I guess what I’m talking about is like genetically over a hundred, you know, like hundreds and thousands of years.
Rick Archer: I see. It’s ingrained in us, yeah.
Lauren Robertson: But yes in that shorter time period you’re right, it’s like modern humans as we know them to be like us. You know, Man’s Search for Meaning. Obviously, it’s a really famous text by Viktor Frankl who was, you know, in that situation and was able to reach for something utterly transcendent in the moments where you would expect to be able to the least. And yet there are people whose lives are perfectly happy and contented and they’re not under any threat and yet that wiring, you know, that biology for being like, where’s the threat at, is like very much alive and well just by their genetics or by their early childhood experiences. And I’ve found it in terms of sort of mediumship and saying well, it’s not just you against the world, we’re all in this together. It’s very difficult to get those people to kind of short circuit their wiring and be able to see the world in that different way,
Rick Archer: Yeah, what you just said is a good reminder of the value of some kind of meditation or spiritual practice which can help to diffuse the chronic fight/flight response, you know, and to start clearing out a lot of pent-up stress and impressions, you know, that accumulate and become habitual over time. I mean, to take extreme examples, you get these guys coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan or something. And, you know, they’ve got so much stress built up from their experience they have what they call PTSD. And, you know, a lot of them commit suicide or get into drinking and so on. And there are a number of things which can help but some kind of practice such as meditation, there’s even good, some good research with psychedelics helping such people. But something to kind of neutralize because stress is not just something that happens to us in the moment and then disappears, it leaves an impression and it can accumulate and become quite a volcano ready to erupt, you know, if it’s not diminished somehow.
Lauren Robertson: Yes, yeah, I totally agree with that. And again part of the value I think of mediumship is I think that loving connection and stress are sort of a counterweight to each other. And when we feel more stressed we often feel most alone. And when we feel most alone we often feel more stressed. So, you know, a lot of the people that come to me for my public demonstrations, and in the past my private one-to-one readings, you know, they have come with stress, grief, a feeling that they don’t know who to talk to about it. And definitely loving connection in all its forms including psychedelics, including, you know, finding a way to be of service or I know for PTSD often connecting with animals and getting involved in some sort of animal therapy, you know, anything involving loving connection can help restore a lot of people.
Rick Archer: Did you ever see the old movie The Birdman of Alcatraz with Burt Lancaster?
Lauren Robertson: No, I have never seen that.
Rick Archer: It was a true story about this guy who was a murderer and he was in Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay for life. And a bird flew in his prison window one day and he started taking care of it. And then one thing led to the next and he ended up becoming this world expert on birds. Even though he spent, I think, his whole life, maybe eventually got out at the end of his life but, you know, it had such a healing influence on him just doing that.
Lauren Robertson: Yes. And I think that, I mean, that’s the sort of movie I would bawl my eyes out from start to finish. Like loving connection moves me so deeply. But again, I think that there’s just different kinds of brains and personalities. And I think that for a lot of people loving connection does the job to make them open their eyes and their minds and say, ‘what else is there beyond just my body’ and ‘am I okay?’ You know, just beyond like silence or the fear that underpins a lot of various kinds of violence, you know, that grabbing and taking sort of energy like when people even have the smallest chunk of light that breaks through into loving connection often is enough to stoke that curiosity and have them see, well, ‘what else is there?’, you know, ‘maybe I’m not just the sum of all my parts of my body, maybe there’s something else, you know, maybe it matters how I love others, and that I love others’. But then there are also some people who they just, like I say, they just don’t seem to have the sort of brain or personality where they respond to that type of connection as much. And you know, that’s also okay, there’s a place in the world for people who aren’t going to, you know, cry and get into sweat and like labor over a decision for 10 years because they are worried about how it affects somebody else. You know, there’s a place for those people in the world as well. And that’s absolutely fine. I don’t think that mediums are for everybody. I don’t think that everybody will necessarily receive a communication. I think that certain people’s, for me it’s like there’s three doors, right? So there’s my door and there’s the recipient’s door, so that’s the person receiving the message. And then there’s the door of the person and the spirit world and depending on how much that door is open, closed, or just ajar a little, sort of determines the flow of information that can come and the type of information that can come. And some people just have more of a closed door. And some people in the spirit world also have more of a closed door. So even though I do think that loving connection has its place for most people, and it’s the salve for a lot of things, a lot of the world’s ills, you know, by some form of loving connection will be made better. It’s also okay, if you’re the kind of person that gets made better by organization or numbers, or, you know, intellectual or cognitive stimulation, that type of thing. So yeah, I think it’s really horses for courses. But I wish, you know, I could have the power to bring through people from the spirit world when it’s requested, or, you know, to really give the message that is needed at the time. And that is 100% not within my power. And I think that it’s because of differences and personalities.
Rick Archer: Well, you do, but you’re just saying you don’t do it like with 100% certainty or reliability right? Because that’s what you’re doing. You’re bringing through messages from people.
Lauren Robertson: But not for all people at all times.
Rick Archer: No
Lauren Robertson: Not with an equal level of detail.
Rick Archer: I see.
Lauren Robertson: And that’s what I mean about the doors it’s like a unique combination for each reading of how open the doors between me the sitter and the person and spirit. So it’s not, no two reasons are alike and no two reasons are alike in their detail or their length, or their consistency. And I do think that’s because of these differences and personalities.
Rick Archer: Sure, there’s never been a baseball player who hit a home run every time they came up to the plate.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: Is it your understanding that on the other side, if we want to call it that, everybody communicates telepathically because obviously there’s no air and they’re not making sounds that can transmit from one to the other. It’s just sort of that’s the norm in that dimension.
Lauren Robertson: Telepathically I would say is a clumsy word because there is actually no mind, in fact, to be being telepathic between. So you know, there isn’t a mind the way we think of a mind. Telepathy is usually depicted as like, you know, brain-to-brain communication and it’s not that either. It’s really hard to grasp and explain, but the only way I can explain it is just there is and there are and that was the state before we were born. And it’s the state still that we’re in and it’s the state that we will go back to. And it’s, in a sense, unchanging. And so it’s not, it’s not telepathy in the sense that we would think, you know, from telepathy experiments, like let me focus on this one thing and send it to you by mind. As I mentioned at the beginning of our chat it’s almost like there’s this wave of, this wave of causation and meaning and a wave of emotion and conceptualization and imagination. And that wave, all aspects of it touch all other aspects and so they’re just is. And when I sit down with a person who’s looking for a reading, the resonance prominence, which is this idea of the open doors, calls forth from what is coming together of the persona or a coming together of the personality of the person and the spirit world. So it isn’t mind to mind as such. It is all that is, and is and was, and will be always there. it’s so hard to explain.
Rick Archer: What do you mean there’s no mind, you know that Pancha Kosha model that I mentioned earlier with the five Sheaths and well, I think it’s the second sheath down from the physical one that’s supposed to be the Manomaya Kosha, the mental sheath and you’re considered in that philosophy to still have a mind after the physical body dies. So what do you mean by there’s no mind in these people on the other side?
Lauren Robertson: Mind is a very confusing word. It means a lot of different things. And again, it’s very closely associated with brain and human persona and the things that we think about, quote/unquote in our heads, and so what I mean is that in that regard that has no mind, you know, as it’s not like the human concerns you have when you’re here, you’re not like, Oh, what are we having for dinner? And let me go over here and do this thing. And let’s pick the kids up from baseball. You know, when we think of our minds that you’ve got something on your mind, we have these kinds of associations, and I think that that like almost ego layer also goes and a sense when we die along with our body,
Rick Archer: Well there’s still some kind of cognitive ability apparently, I mean, for instance, people who have out of body experiences or near-death experiences and sometimes both together like, for instance, a woman I interviewed Ingrid Honkala, who, when she was like three, four years old she fell into a tank of water and was drowning and had an out of body experience in which she went down the street to where her mother was waiting at a bus stop and kind of showed up there. And in her subtle body it was like, ‘Hi, mom’, you know. Her mother dropped everything and raced back straight to the tank and pulled her out. And so there was perception. She had senses because she could see her mother. And there was some kind of mental impulse where she recognized her mother and actually communicated with her mother. So, yeah.
Lauren Robertson: This is where, you know, as I say, the definitions of what you want to define a mind as needs to be laid out really carefully to even proceed, you know, with this conversation because for me, what you’re talking about for me is not a mind thing, it’s not a cognitive thing. When we talk about those things, we don’t mean really cognitive, you know, we don’t mean cognitive like neurons and doing a sum and you know, a plus b equals c, we don’t actually mean that.
Rick Archer: No forget about neurons, we’re just talking about some kind of mental and perceptual functioning irrespective of a functioning body.
Lauren Robertson: I don’t, I think that that thing is more akin to what you said, it’s like, it’s like a light body, an ethereal body, a subtle body. It’s a selfhood that we don’t yet understand. But I don’t think that mind captures that. I don’t think it’s telepathic, I think it’s something else. Because for me, you know, mind and telepathy like I say is still very much a term that I relate closely to the body and being embodied and cognition. And I just don’t think that this is an experience of cognition. The near-death experiences, mediumship I think it’s to do with the fact that there’s invisible bonds and connections that we have out there in the world and we can go to those bonds and connections in ways that we don’t yet understand. But I don’t think the word mind covers it.
Rick Archer: Okay, so in other words, you’re saying that we better be careful about how we define terms because we can use a term like mind or consciousness or many of these other terms and be meaning one thing and people are hearing a completely different thing because of their definitions.
Lauren Robertson: Yes and it’s the biggest problem in this research. That’s what is the hugest problem. No one knows what consciousness means no one can agree on it. No one knows what mind means no one knows what psi means. Just, these are terms of convenience. And we’re limited by the language that we’ve chosen to tag them with. And they just don’t, we need to really get back to being like, right, we cannot take any of that terminology for granted at all.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s a good point. I mean, if we use words like trees and cars and things like that everybody knows what we’re talking about because everybody experiences those things. And here we’re talking about something much more abstract that a lot of people experience but not a majority of the population, certainly. And so the terminology is very preliminary, I guess you could say. It might take a long time before we standardize our understandings and definitions of these things.
Lauren Robertson: Yes, you’re absolutely right. In that, I think,
Rick Archer: Yeah. The reason I asked about how people might communicate on the other side, you know, whether they are psychic or whatever, is that some people have speculated and there are I think ancient records even that, that suggest that there could have been enlightened societies in which sort of a psychic communication was the norm. People didn’t actually have to speak physically that much because they were so sensitive and so attuned to one another, you know. Whether these societies actually existed or not or just some idealistic thing I don’t know. But we can imagine a world in which everybody was psychic as the best psychic and as gifted as the best medium, and so on. And this was the norm, you know. It’d be interesting to imagine how such a world would function and if there were such a world or society I imagine that the boundary between, you know, the living and the deceased would be very porous, it would almost be like, you know, somebody over in the next neighborhood or something.
Lauren Robertson: Exactly. And that’s such a lovely way to put it. And you know, you’ve made me laugh talking about this example because the other night my fiancé was taking something out of the dishwasher and I can’t even remember what the joke was about but something happened and I literally said the joke in my mind without saying it out loud. He looked at me and laughed and I laughed back at him. I’m like, the whole interaction happened without saying a word. And my fiancé is very, like, he’s very cognitive, he’s very smart. He’s very good at computer coding and programming. He’s not at all woo woo like me and the whole thing happened telepathically. And I guess what we would say intellectually, but it’s the wrong word because let’s think about why that actually happens. Well, why it actually happens is because we love each other, we know each other, we have a bond, our experiences are in sync, we have an understanding of each other that isn’t what we would call a mind to mind, you know, just let me beam that to you. It’s a holistic and comprehensive understanding about how the other person moves through the world, what they relate certain things to, what sparks them and inspires them, and how they would usually respond. And so this is what I meant by the term mind just not being quite enough to capture it because there’s a depth of a bond and a depth of love and a depth of like patience, and perception and appreciation. That is really the cause of how that happened. It’s not cognitive if that makes sense. So that other day he was like ‘what just happened?’ Because he’s used to me being the like the speaking weird one but he started to get sucked into it though. It is, it is.
Rick Archer: There was a comedian named Steven Wright and one of his jokes was if you believe in telekinesis raise my hand. Yeah, it must be contagious.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, that’s a good one. That’s a good one. Spoken like a true skeptic as well.
Rick Archer: Actually it’d be funny to think of a comedian and an audience who are all totally psychic. And the comedian just stands there on the stage and everybody laughs and laughs again and nobody’s saying anything?
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, exactly. One day, one day,
Rick Archer: yeah. Would you pay to go to such a thing? I guess you might. Um, okie dokie. So let’s talk about you wrote this, you told me you spent about eight months working very hard on this essay for this essay contest, which I forget the name of but you can tell us and a guy named Jeffrey Mishlove won it, got half a million dollars for winning. He’s the guy who does the Thinking Aloud podcast series. And it was all about whether consciousness, what’s the best evidence for consciousness surviving physical death. And you went at it from your experience as a medium. And I imagine others, I haven’t read any of the essays yet but others use different arguments. And it’s interesting that I get, oh is the Bigelow Institute, right? It’s interesting that such a contest existed and that somebody was willing to cough up millions of dollars, or nearly a million if you consider all the prizes to the winners, it must be very important to whoever is backing this thing. But anyway, let’s talk about the whole phenomenon of, you know, skepticism around the kind of thing that you’re doing and the kind of, you know, the whole thing we’ve been talking about. And you said that you there are some guys who you’re going to debate who you know, one of them has like nine pages of notes ready to hit you with that tries to refute, you know, what you’re saying and doing. Give us some of that, because there might be you know, might be that half the people that are listening to this today are, are skeptical themselves about whether this is really a thing or whether there are other explanations for it.
Lauren Robertson: Sure. So as I said, the Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies ran this essay competition. The first time ever really that big prize money has been put up for the subject matter which really excited me and really sort of inspired me and made me super passionate about wanting to do this because it’s about time somebody funded the sort of research. And I spent eight months writing this essay based on my perspective as a medium answering this question, ‘What is the best available evidence for the existence of human consciousness after permanent bodily death?’ And my approach really was to progressively break-away layers of criticism and skepticism that could be leveled at my mediumship. And I chose specifically to focus on my own mediumship and literally like detailed and transcribed real reasons that I’ve done in order to unpack them in this essay. So I started off by the sort of low hanging fruit of people like magicians, like Penn Jillette and Derren Brown and all these magicians who hate mediums for reasons best known to themselves, would say that I am doing cold reading, hot reading, you know, all of these different strategies that they would show people for how to mimic a genuine medium basically. So I took a few of my sittings and unpacked why those explanations were insufficient to explain real reasons that I had participated in. But then that’s the kind of low hanging fruit, then it gets a bit tougher because you have really, really smart people that have really put a large cognitive capacity to undermining the connection between the experience of mediumship right, so the information that comes through in a mediumship setting, whether or not that really means survival? You know, do we have a right to say that if I can see connect things about your loved ones in spirit that means that they have actually survived? Like, how justified are we in claiming that and believing that? So I tackled that point of view. Really the most predominant argument is called “living agent psi”, and it basically suggests, as you mentioned earlier about telepathy Rick, that most mediumship is explainable by some version of telepathy among the living. That when I’m claiming to be speaking on behalf of a discarnate person who has passed away, what’s really happening is I’m piecing together information about them from what the sitter or sitters already know. And the difficulty that we face is, because in mediumship obviously, you want to say something that’s right, because it’s that evidence, it’s getting the correct name, you know, I’ve got Bob here and spell it for you. It’s getting the correct address, it’s getting, you know, the correctness of the information is what makes mediumship valid really and impressive or at least that’s where the journey of it has brought us. But the problem is that if the sitter is able to say, ‘Yes, I do understand that piece of information’, then it must already have been in their mind to begin with. So we have this real problem of how do we say we’re justified in adding this additional consciousness that’s transcended death, which, of course, is a huge claim to be making. So it is a real problem and Professor Michael Suthers is one of the sort of proponents of alternative explanations where the stuff that happens in mediumship and the information that’s there were not really warranted or justified in calling it survival. And so my task in the essay was to argue against the points that he made, which really amount to, we could be getting it telepathically off of the living. And we’re also not justified even if we aren’t, in saying that that information means survival. So there’s really those two parts to his argument. So my task was to try to find a case where neither my mind nor the mind of the sitter contained the piece of information that later turned out to be true. So where the sitter would have answered no to something but later on when they went perhaps that research or something happened in their life, they found out that, in fact, was true. And what I was looking for additionally was a setting where I wasn’t actually conscious or aware that any correct piece of information had been conveyed, sort of like the correct information had been encoded into something that I said offhandedly without me actually being like, ‘Okay, I’ve got your friend here. I know, his name was Bob, I know you used to do this and that together’. You know, it wasn’t like this conscious thing that was happening, I had to try and find an example where something came through me without me being at all aware of it, or in charge of it to try to circumvent this problem. So that was my objective with the essay. I then went on to describe how we could set up experiments that mediums could participate in to replicate those conditions where the whole idea is that neither the medium nor the sitter know a piece of information that we’re seeking. And we find different ways of trying to sort of let the Spirit communicator know that we’re looking for an encoded piece of information specifically that nobody else is aware of. So everyone has to be blind to what the piece of information is such that, if a medium sat down and gave everything under controlled conditions and said that piece of information, we would definitely be sort of forced to conclude that that information made it through them in a way that we don’t yet understand, by somebody who responded to our request to please encode that piece of information and the setting. So, Professor Michael Suthers, who I never imagined in a million years would read my essay or have any interest in it has been so amazing and taking my essay really seriously and discussing it with Professor Steven Browdy who was the other essayist whose points I sort of criticize in my essay. So yes, they said they’ve been discussing it and Professor Suthers has nine pages of notes. Now, I don’t know if he’s refuting what I say, I don’t know what he’s written yet but I do know that his point of view tends to be quite harshly, well not really justified in claiming survival. So I’ll be really interested to read what he has to say.
Rick Archer: So you’re gonna have a debate with him and that’ll end up on YouTube or something?
Lauren Robertson: It will be on my Substack where you can read my essay on the Art and Science of Mediumship just now. It’s free to read it, you can go on there. And so yeah, so the debate will be on there.
Rick Archer: But it won’t. It’ll be just in print not in video?
Lauren Robertson: No it will be video. Yes. It will be video.
Rick Archer: Okay. Yeah, it’s a little funny to me that somebody could believe in psychic phenomena and then figure that you’re just picking up stuff psychically and yet they have a real hard time believing that we survive bodily death. Because it’s not a big leap from being able to communicate psychically to still existing after the body dies.
Lauren Robertson: If it’s a materialist it’s a huge leap because psychic stuff is like this living person and this living person has some, you know, as Rupert Sheldrake would say, some sort of morphic field connection that we don’t yet understand. But if we want to start saying okay, no, in the absence of that physical body people somehow still have sentience, consciousness intentions, and the ability to cause things through a medium or cause things in the physical world, to somebody who’s a materialist, that is a huge, huge leap, that they probably will have a lot of difficulty getting their head around. So there’s lots of reasons why people try to hold on to living agents psi, but there are so many problems with it, not least of all psi is a meaningless term, that’s an umbrella term that talks about all of these different capacities that we don’t actually know what they have in common, if anything. And one criticism that I raised in that essay is that I think that we have segmented this idea of psi and mediumship completely wrongly. I think that we’re going to find out in years to come that the correct way to segment people’s intuitive skills is more object-focused and people-focused. And the foundation of that opinion, as Dr. Iain McGilchrist, wrote a book called The Master and his Emissary which talks about the left and right hemispheres of the brain being coding for being more object-centric or relationship-centric, being able to see more the object to grasp, or the bigger picture of the relational network that would exist in them. And so I think that we’re going to find out that a lot of these psi tasks, which have always been to do with viewing physical objects. don’t translate to people who are having these mediumistic skills. I think that mediums are people-centric minds, people-centric brains, even if you want to call it that, whereas a lot of these psi tasks are, are successfully completed by people who have more object-focused brains. So that would be more sort of left hemisphere dominant, whereas relational people are more right hemisphere dominant. And I think that if we find justification for segmenting those two, then we’re not going to be able to say that psi is the cause of people who seem to have this awareness of relationships that transcend the physical body which is essentially what mediumship is, it’s awareness of relationships, where there’s a lot of psi tasks as awareness of objects. And I think that’s going to turn out to be a really, really important distinction. And that’s one of the reasons that I don’t think we’re justified in even offering psi as an alternative explanation until we know whether, you know, because all of these psi tasks have been so object-focused that’s kind of skewing the data. Because if you were, if you were to put me or any medium to work on, for example, the Joseph Rhine experiments with the cards, you know, the telepathy cards with the squiggly lines and the stars. A lot of mediums you’re going to find can’t do that, they can’t get that type of experiment right. The same way they can tell you, you know, your father’s name and how he died and what his hobbies were is a different sort of a thing. And so if they were to try to cross-examine that and have mediums do these sorts of experiments, I think they’re going to find that there’s a failure there and a disparity between the accuracy that mediums can get in their own realm and their own specialization, which is about relationships and connection, versus the psi practitioners which is more object focused. So I think those are really, really important distinctions to make. And I’m really excited for the day when the science is pushing forward to start doing those sorts of experiments. And that’s why I was so thrilled that BICS put up that sort of money and really disappointed that I didn’t win a prize because I really wanted to participate. And, you know, saying ‘this is why this matters and here’s the justification for it’. But hey ho, hopefully, somebody else will pick up that baton.
Lauren Robertson: Have you, have you?
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Lauren Robertson: I’m such a geek and they’re like, literally my heroes.
Rick Archer: If people want to watch those interviews they’re on BatGap. And I just was in touch with Iain and he’s got a new book out and hopefully, we’ll do another interview.
Lauren Robertson: I’ve got it, I’ve got it. And like, I’ve ordered a new chair for my office especially for reading The Matter With Things. Like I could not order it fast enough. I can’t wait to get stuck into it. So yes, he’s one of my all-time heroes,
Rick Archer: Yes, like 1500 pages, he said, ‘Well, you’re gonna have to, like get sick for a few weeks in order to get through this book’. I said ‘No, I don’t want to be sick. Maybe I’ll commit some minor crime, they can lock me up for a while.
Lauren Robertson: Good shout. Good shout.
Rick Archer: You know this. Again, just to press on this point, a little bit that you were just making. If there is a morphic field through which people can communicate psychically, Rupert even has a book called Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home because they did all kinds of studies very carefully, not tipping off the dogs in any noticeable way and randomizing when the owners were coming home and all kinds of things. And the dog, sure enough, would perk up and go to the door, even when the guy started thinking about coming home. But if there is some kind of morphic field then that presupposes that this field is nonphysical, that transcends the physical. So we wouldn’t think that that field would disappear if some person happened to die. And so again, you know, if you think of it that way, it doesn’t seem like a big leap to me to consider that there could be a field which deceased people are either living in or in tune with or some such thing and through which they could communicate with people like you. So it’s, I don’t know, that’s why it doesn’t seem like a big leap to me.
Lauren Robertson: Yes to us, because, I mean, I’m very high in trait openness, as per the Big Five Personality Trait Scale. I don’t know if you’ve ever done it.
Rick Archer: I don’t think so. No.
Lauren Robertson: Well, people who are high in trait openness can see all of this very clearly and obviously, and you know, like, of course, there’s like connections between things that are immaterial but which, you know, feel the world and feel existence. But to people who are lore and openness that is not so obvious. But to you and I and most people like probably Rupert Sheldrake as well, it’s easy for us to see how we’re all existing in a kind of network of causes and responses and events and meaning. You know, even if we break it down to something really simple, like, after model, all money in the world went away, the concept that a material concept of trade, would still be an existent thing that life tended towards. And so, to me, that’s just a really simple example of how there’s this layer of like conceptual or relatedness to reality that has nothing to do with the actual material way that that concept gets enacted than the physical world, but which is very real and has causal force, nonetheless. And so I think that the morphic field is just full of that. And I think Rupert Sheldrake is pretty close on the money. All of my mediumship experiences fit into what Rupert Sheldrake would call the morphic field. So I really love that theory. I think he’s really onto something with that. And I think it does explain how and why mediumship is possible. Because if you even think about it this way, wouldn’t it be a terrible waste if all of your ancestors struggled and suffered and learned and grew, and yet when you’re born they didn’t pass any of that on to you. You just were born like, you know, you knew nothing, you’ve got to start from scratch all over for yourself. That doesn’t seem very, you know, Nature doesn’t nature’s not that inefficient, your nature is not going to let you be born with zero clue. It’s like you have all of the weight of your ancestors’ experiences are in there, but they’re not in your body they’re in something else. And I think that that’s the morphic field. And I think it’s how mediumship is possible, roughly speaking, I also think it extends from the future backwards as well.
Rick Archer: And another point that’s related to what you just said, for me, the idea of reincarnation is as much a no brainer as, you know, mediumship or psychic abilities or anything else. I just happen to feel deeply that that’s the way things work. And so wouldn’t it be a waste, to use your phrase that you just used if we go through this life and we make our mistakes, and we have our successes and we make some progress and we learn some things and then boom we’re done. And even though we’re still half-baked we’re not going to get any further, you know? So to me, it makes a whole lot of sense that all right, you’ve gotten the best you could in this body now take a rest for a little while and then pick up a new body and continue the journey.
Lauren Robertson: Yes, I totally agree. And I do believe in reincarnation, I don’t think that you and I would have precisely the same viewpoint on it. But the way that I describe it is I think that consciousness, awareness, whatever makes our personality, sort of share some of the properties in common with water. And so far as when you’re born it’s like a personality, a relatively blank personality gets poured into you. And it gets shaped and frozen and solidified and colored by all of the experiences that you have. And then when you die it’s like you’re being, you know, like an ice pot or an ice cube, you’re being popped out of your container that shaped you back into, I guess, the spirit world again. And some people can retain that integrity, that shape for a long time, you know. there seems to be the right conditions for some selfhoods or personalities that they can go on be an asemblance of that self for quite a while. And when they do, they can communicate with mediums, or they can look over their loved ones or whatever. But I think eventually we all sort of melt, we all will dissolve and we all you know, become a sort of blank consciousness again and then we just go ahead and get recycled into the next body, you know, just as precipitation does.
Rick Archer: Yea that’s kind of the Buddhist view of that, because they don’t really give much credence to the idea of the street self anyway. And so the idea that some person maintains their integrity from life to life goes a little bit against their philosophy. I’m kind of more aligned with the, I guess, the Hindu view that Lauren Robertson has been that very same soul, that very same person with her impressions and, you know, whatever we do take from life to life, has had many lives, not necessarily Joan of Arc or Cleopatra but has existed here and there and there and there throughout history and has been growing and learning as she goes along.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, I’m not sure about that one, I really don’t know only because I haven’t had enough compelling experience to justify a belief in that. Obviously, because of my own experiences as a medium, both in terms of when and how people can communicate from Spirit and the fact that people can sometimes communicate from spirit or they seem to not be there in the zone of communication. And also, the fact of certain reincarnation stories were, to me reincarnation stories where little kids have, you know, been able to, like with precision describes the life of another person, it’s almost like clumps of ice, if you want to stick with the water analogy, you know, clumps of that personality have kind of been recycled into another body too promptly before they’ve had the chance to sort of dissolve and become one with all that is again, you know, essentially getting wiped clean. And they’ve sort of come in still a little bit chunky into the next body. And that’s how we end up with little reincarnation stories with young children. But it’s also why they kind of melt and dissolve and don’t stay with that child throughout their life. And so yeah, just there’s a few kind of studies and experiments that have just made me feel that this bond or this relationship between water and consciousness, there’s something to it. I don’t quite know what it is yet. I’m very interested in like digging more into that. But I just feel like the analogy and my experience suits very well on a lot of different dimensions.
Rick Archer: Yeah. There’s a fellow named Jim Tucker who took over the work of Ian Stevenson. I interviewed Dr. Tucker a few months ago if people want to investigate this whole area more. There’s also an interesting guy that I interviewed just a few weeks ago named Father Nathan Castle and, have you heard of him? He had this intense dream one night where some guy was sitting on the radiator of a car and it burst into flames and the guy died. And he woke up from that dream and thought, Woah, what was that? And it turned out that was his kickstart experience for a career of helping stuck souls move on or crossover. And the whole implication of his work is that, particularly with violent or sudden deaths, people can be stuck in some kind of an anti-chamber or foyer waiting room or something and they’re having a hard time moving on. I have another question based on that concept but perhaps you’d like to just comment on what I just said before I ask it. Okay, well, if I can keep going?
Lauren Robertson: No, certainly I can only talk from my own experience but I’ve never experienced anybody in the spirit world have been stuck. I never have. What I have experienced or been made aware of is that there is a sort of zone of healing that people go into. I say people, it’s the only word that really fits but like personalities, souls, if you like go into where they are requiring some regeneration or some sense of being rebuilt because of what they’ve been through. But it’s never without love. It’s never without love. And it’s never outside of the kindness and the generosity and the wholeness of the great intelligence of all that is. It’s not someplace where they’re stuck away. And sometimes, you know, when I hear people saying that it makes me think that the person who said that is feeling stuck in their own life to perceive reality that way. And so no offense to Nathan, you know, he’s a reverend did you say?
Rick Archer: He’s a Catholic priest, Father Castle.
Lauren Robertson: So, no offense to Father Castle, if he’s listening to this, I can’t possibly speak for him. But I just don’t I, it’s not been my experience that anybody gets stuck, babies, suicides, tragedy, everybody’s assured and loved the same. The worst person you can imagine is assured and loved the same in that perception.
Rick Archer: I guess the reason the ‘stuck’ idea popped to mind is that you were talking about people like ice cubes that eventually melt and disperse. And in his experience was that people do, sort of, the people he deals with anyway, are kind of in this situation and then he is able to intercede with them. And at the end of his session with them someone comes and says ‘Okay, I’m here to get you let’s move on’. And they move on to a place where he can no longer communicate with them, or at least he doesn’t. And so I’m wondering if in your experience something similar happens where, you know, you can communicate with certain people but there’s a stage after which they have moved on to higher bardos or whatever we might want to call it and so they’re no longer in close proximity to the earth so to speak, you know, and are kind of on to do other things and out of your range.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, that’s a really good point and I do think that that’s the case. And I described, where people can do mediumship from the spirit world, right, so ‘spirit people’, where they can come – I describe it as ‘the zone of communication’, and people. So look, no two human beings are alike at all. No two life experiences are, in any way alike at all. And so I can’t make a rule about any reason why anyone can or cannot communicate? I mean, literally, everybody’s different. And so, again, I think that one mistake we make when trying to talk about mediumship and these subjects, we’re trying to say like, what’s the rule here? And like, what’s the underlying mechanism or rule? And that’s gone back to that kind of, you know, left hemisphere thinking, again, of trying to grasp onto something. But no two people are alike and so it’s like, I can’t possibly say why somebody goes out of the zone of communication. What I have found is that there are all different reasons. There’s the Spirit people and spirit who, to my perception want to get good at this. They want to get good at communicating through mediums and being connected to the earth plane. They kind of have an objective or something that they’re trying to accomplish. They’re trying to become better at playing me as an instrument. Like they would play a musical instrument. That’s the only way I can describe it. And they’re, I can feel them getting used to being like, okay, right, like that’s the way she thinks and if we pluck this string of her imagination, she’s going to get the point. And, you know, if we kind of ‘tinkle the ivories’ in this way with the things that she’s been thinking about, she’s going to be able to describe it really well. I can feel them, like attuning themselves to me in that regard. I also know that there’s people in the spirit world who are definitely waiting to speak because they have something they want to say that they should have said when they were alive and living. Or they did something horrible, that they feel really bad about and they want to atone for or they really, really miss their loved ones. And you know, maybe their competence with communicating in the spirit world is a little bit less, you know, they don’t quite know how to ‘tinkle the ivories’ and ‘pluck the strings’ of my awareness to get me to say just the right thing super accurately, but the feeling and the heart and the intention and the meaning is there. And when those people have said their piece, they tend to go away and not come back. But I do also know that there are some people for reasons that I don’t know who ascend past the zone of communication and are out of the zone of communication. And it doesn’t matter how much a person desperately wants a message I cannot magic it out of thin air, they’re just not there. And that goes back to the whole psi argument again, which is like, why would I choose to sabotage my own reasons in that regard? You know, if it was just me and the client, and it was just telepathy, why would I choose to be like, the person’s not here, you know, I would be doing the same thing I always did with other living beings. The factors, there seems to be some form of what I can only describe as agency, although I don’t really know how that pertains to them, maybe it is more like alignment, you know, some form of alignment that either is present or is absent, that seems to determine whether or not someone can communicate and how well and how prolific they are. And whether they’re kind of experimentally, you know, working with me and want to really see what they and I can do together for the recipient, or whether they’re just sort of like, clumsily trying to get their heart open and get their message across which, you know, human beings are very much like that as well.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I have a friend whose brother died of a drug overdose. And she felt that for a while she was really in tune but then eventually he kind of moved farther away and she couldn’t track him anymore. And there’s a guy I’m going to interview next week, who talks about shared death experiences where the living kind of partake in the experience of the person who is dying or has died. And, and they’re, very often they reach a point at which, you know, they encounter someone or some wall or something that says, ‘okay, you’ve gone as far as you can. You’re not dying yet so turn around’. But yeah, so it’s interesting. Have you seen the movie Ghost? You probably have?
Lauren Robertson: Yes I have. Of course.
Rick Archer: Bruce Joel Rubin, who wrote the screenplay has been on Batgap and
Lauren Robertson: Wow.
Rick Archer: We stay in touch. But that was amusing. Because, I mean, you know, okay, so Patrick Swayze was trying to get Whoopi Goldberg to cooperate and he kept singing “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am” over and over again until she gets to work with him. But um, referring to Father Nathan Castle again, I got the impression talking to him and others, that there’s kind of a queue on the other side of people who would really like to communicate with somebody on Earth but there’s a paucity of people like yourself who can actually facilitate it.
Lauren Robertson: I agree with that. And one of the main things that I do now is I teach mediumship, I help people to access that part of themselves, both for their own reasons because it’s an amazing journey to go on for self. But also because I do agree that there are a lot of stories wanting told, a lot of relationships wanting rekindled, a lot of people in the spirit world wanting to be acknowledged, a lot of broken hearts that have said goodbye forever, you know, needing to be restored. And that there’s a real feeling in the spirit world of intentionality about wanting to resolve some of those things. And, you know, as we discussed earlier, the sort of getting out good that that can do as well. So yeah, I do agree with that. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah, your book is mostly, I mean, you tell all kinds of cool stories. And we should touch upon a few of those today before we’re finished. Yeah, I’m going to look, there’s some questions that came in to I’m going to ask you in a minute, that might elicit some stories from you. But your book is mostly actually a training manual in a way for people who would like to develop mediumship abilities. And then of course, you have online things, a Facebook group, and all that kind of stuff too, you know, to supplement the book.
Lauren Robertson: Yes, yeah, definitely. My book really is an arc. So from chapter one, you start off, okay. I know about death, we all die, probably have lost someone, which is why I’m interested in this stuff. But how do I start to sort of crack open, whether or not there is something transcendent, and what that might be, and the best place I think to always start with that is with your own loved ones, because they are closest to you. You have the love with them, the trust with them, the goodwill with them. And so that arc through the book kind of continues on to various levels of competence. And the reason I wrote it like that is twofold. First of all, because I do think that many more people have mediumship capacities than realize it. And there’s a latency there because of the predominant worldview. And if you just try, you’re going to, you’re going to surprise yourself, basically. And then the second reason which is related to that, is that there really is nothing like firsthand experience, especially when you’re trying to grasp or wrestle with something so abstract and difficult. Like a medium can only do so much to convince you that your loved one in spirit is there. But what if you yourself develop the capacity to be able to describe somebody else’s loved one that was there. You would get an insight into the reality of your own processes and your own behavior and that you’re not a fake, you’re not a fraud that says nonsense. There’s something very real that’s there. And so it was really a manual of see for yourself and see what you can do.
Rick Archer: Maybe about a week ago somebody sent me an email that I don’t know if he had you in mind or what but he was saying ‘Ooh, you know, mediumship that’s a little dangerous. Some, you know, spiritual teachers sometimes warn against meddling in that kind of area because you might open yourself up to nefarious influences, or something’. What is your answer to that question?
Lauren Robertson: Well, first of all, whenever I hear a person make an utterance of any kind, I always ask myself who is the person making that utterance because a lot of the time, people’s opinions about this type of matter or any matter can be traced back simply to their own life experience. So you know, Father Castle, has had a certain experience with religion and so he has a framework within which to understand and operate something that is very ungraspable. And whoever wrote this email or sent it in, they’ve got certain life experiences or certain personality traits or ways of seeing the world that’s inspired that question and that’s absolutely fine. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a corresponding reality to that concern. And so again, I can only say from my point of view, which is that, for me, mediumship is an art of relationships and all relationships have at the core love and whether that is unrequited love or love that should have been given which doesn’t or love that was withheld or whether it’s, you know, true love or forgiveness or love from a mother to her son, or, you know, whatever the dynamic is, it all has love at its core. And that’s what I’ve experienced the spirit world as. I’ve never experienced. I mean, I’ve had people come through from spirit who were violent, who are gangsters who have been in jail, but they’re not coming forward to be like intimidating to me or the living or anybody else they’re coming forward to be like, ‘Well, will you tell my daughter that I could have done better and I know that now and I missed her for all of those years I was in the clink’, you know. Words I would never use but it’s obviously coming from this other person. And so people are entitled to have their own experiences. But I think that it’s just that it’s their own experiences. And for me, I’ve never felt threatened by the spirit world at all.
Rick Archer: Maybe there’s a like attracts like principle though like in the movie Ghost. There were some bad entities but there were some good entities or like somebody contacted us recently wanting us to interview somebody about Emanuel Swedenborg. And he used to say apparently, that, you know, there are angels and demons around us all the time and, you know, give the old thing of one on each shoulder, you know, trying to convince you of something. So, you know, I actually have interviewed two people that I can think of who one of them was sort of a psychic person, you know, doing that kind of work, another I don’t think was, but both of them say that they all of a sudden, or maybe not all of a sudden, but they started getting assaulted by some negative entities on a subtle level. And it took them quite by surprise, and they had to really go through a process in order to get that to stop. Anyway,
Lauren Robertson: I’ve never had any experience like that. I don’t mean to, you know, belittle anybody else’s experience. But I really, look, whenever my students say this to me and even in my own experiences, and I write about it in the book, my question is always what is this experience trying to teach me about myself? Because my number one thing that I always say is what you do in life, you become in your mediumship because, it really is just a reflection, you know. You’re in the spirit world or working kind of in cogency or in harmony, what I call resonance prominence, which we also discussed I think before we started rolling, so exactly what you said it’s like attracts like, and it’s not that anybody is responsible or to blame for the experiences that they have. But they’re definitely is like, if you’re having a negative experience with the spirit world, there’s an invitation to see how am I making myself available for this? Where am I traumatized? Where do I believe essentially that humanity is bad at its core, where do I feel like humanity has got evil that it can do to me? Where am I not forgiving somebody that was horrendous to me, and these things do happen? But if they continue to happen, sort of in the spirit world, or you, the spirit world is coming to you that way or you’re seeing it that way, you know, for me, there’s always this firsthand invitation to be like how can I grow as a person from this? Like, where do I need to love myself essentially more or resolve something that I’ve not resolved yet? Where do I need to stop watching horror movies? Where do I need to let go of the guilt from my religion from my childhood? Like, there’s all of that sort of personal stuff. I’ve had to plug a lot of those holes as well in my own, you know, in my own self and my own personality to be a vessel for spirit who, when I connect, it’s about love, it’s about family, it’s about relationships. And, and yeah, just I hope that helps whoever has an inquiry like that because I can imagine it’s been very alarming for people who go through that sort of thing. I just, it’s just, this is what I mean about there’s no hard and fast rule because I just cannot get on that level of how that’s happened at all. Because for me, like I say, it’s very much about like, love and family and restocking those bonds.
Rick Archer: Yeah, well, you seem like a very pure and spiritual and positive person here.
Lauren Robertson: Not that pure, not that pure!
Rick Archer: Relatively, well you put on a good face anyway. But um, you know, well, meaning, lofty intentions, you know, sincere desire to help. Just notwithstanding your Goth period, but you grew out of that.
Lauren Robertson: My Goth period, exactly. I still, like, bring her out every now and again.
Rick Archer: But yeah, maybe on Halloween you can dress it up. But um, you know, there’s some people who are actually into satanic worship and want to put curses on people and do all kinds of nasty stuff. And so again, like attracts like. Perhaps they do attract some kind of demonic entities or something because they’re asking for it. Yeah, again, it’s like what we said materialism, idealism, good, bad, black, white. All of these things seem to be the opposite and they’re not. And so it’s just the upside-down of the donut. That sounds crazy but I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s just the upside-down of the donut and it’s nothing to be worried about, as far as I’m, as far as I’m aware. Yeah, especially if you’re not, there might be reason to be worried about it if you’re indulging in it. But don’t, don’t do that.
Lauren Robertson: Well exactly, I mean, if someone’s choices are guiding them towards that and they’re not self-reflecting and looking at themselves as to whether that’s a good idea, or what they’re trying to accomplish with it, then, I mean, that’s their path.
Rick Archer: Yeah. All right let’s do some of these questions. We might jump around a little bit on our topic as I ask these, because they might be different points but um, this is from Sandra Van den Broek from Holland. She wonders, if you ask a medium something about the future does this interfere with being able to find your own inner wisdom? Or medium qualities?
Lauren Robertson: That’s a great question. I studied time at university as part of my philosophy degree and my opinion is that all of time is happening at once. And on one layer that really matters we are in a sort of causally determined universe, like I said it’s like we’re riding the roller coaster around a track that’s already set out and we’re passengers upon it. So in that regard, the perception of the future is just as the perception of the past or the present. And so no, I don’t think that any medium’s advice or perception about the future can interfere with your own future or your own abilities. What I would say is mediumship is very strictly defined by giving evidence of survival of human consciousness and so if we’re talking about like advice for the future and that kind of thing, that is more about having dropped into the psychic level and really giving somebody again, whatever psychic reason about their life, because it doesn’t strictly pertain to are we proving the existence of a person and spirit that’s continued on by facts that we couldn’t otherwise know. And so really, it’s about your own like looking within and asking yourself was that a competent reading that I got? Did it give me something useful? And how can I take this piece of information I was given and use it to sort of examine myself or examine my life or make the choice that’s best for me. It’s not a choice that you’re, you know, careening towards that you have no say in, it’s an invitation for you to use it right now to explore and examine yourself.
Rick Archer: Good. That thing about time is all simultaneous is interesting, you know, if you could travel at the speed of light. In other words, if you were a photon, and coming from the Andromeda Galaxy you would experience that you’re here instantly because at the speed of light, time and space completely collapse. And yet, from our perspective, our stationary perspective, it takes 2 million years for the light to get here from the Andromeda Galaxy. So there’s some level of reality which time is simultaneous or something, some people actually say, even with regard to past lives, that we’re living them all at once. There’s just kind of, the human filter imposes a linearity on the sequence of events whereas actually, in some deep reality, they’re all simultaneous.
Lauren Robertson: Yes, I agree with that, because it’s only the light of consciousness as you see it looking out through your eyes, or your ears or your sensory perceptions that’s actually holding you in this moment. It’s only the ability of your brain to give you the sense of proprioception, which is where the boundaries of your body are, and has given you this little flashlight that you can shine on what we think of as the present moment, based on the sort of linear movement that you’re committed to by the fact that you’re in a massive body. These things are all just highly coincidental. They’re not necessarily the way things are on the deepest level, you know. It’s only, it just so happens to be that you’re a massive object that has life that has consciousness that just so happens to be at this point, that even when we talk about time, when we talk about time, we’re really referring to four or five different things. You know, when you look at your watch and you see those numbers, that means a different thing to the absorption that you feel when you’re engaged in art or writing or listening to your favorite music versus, you know, what the planets are actually doing, versus the fact that space-time is probably some kind of fabric that can fold and bend and isn’t stretched out in a line the way that we think it is, again, that’s materialism, thank you very much. So there’s just so many different ways to look at it and so many different layers that we shouldn’t take for granted that time is what it seems to be to the human eye. Just like we shouldn’t take for granted that mass is what it seems to be to the human eye because it’s a very limited perspective.
Rick Archer: Yes, but in fact in speaking of mass and space-time, the very fact that the earth is orbiting the Sun has to do with bent spacetime, the mass of the sun causes space, space, and time to curve. That’s what gravity is, I guess. Anyway, we’re getting a little off but it’s interesting to ponder these things.
Lauren Robertson: Well, what is interesting and I personally am of the opinion, and it’s just some sort of reading that I’ve done and what makes sense to me, I guess I would call myself a pan psychist in a form because, not as the way it’s commonly described, but I do actually believe that consciousness, whatever that is, you know that urge to get more complicated and to get more aware and to get a perspective on things rather than things just being sort of blankly. I think that that actually is part of spacetime. I think that space, time, gravity consciousness are all kind of like interwoven and probably other properties as well, that we don’t yet understand and aren’t yet aware of. So my opinion is that when we talk about space time there’s also other threads woven in there as well that, you know, time, time will make clear to us. The passage of time will make clear to us, doesn’t really exist, but you know what I mean.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I know what you mean, yeah. And, you know, an unrelated, completely unrelated point that I just want to mention is that one thing I really appreciated about your book and about you and getting to know you here is that you’re, you’re really kind of genuine. You know sometimes the whole notion of a psychic or a medium has a certain woo woo quality associated with it, or, you know, you see stage performers who just get unnatural in their demeanor and so on. But, um, you know, you’re very down to earth and very self-effacing. And you don’t make exorbitant claims or anything else. And you readily admit to not being the best medium in the world or anything like that, you know. What you see is what you get and I think that’s a really healthy indicator.
Lauren Robertson: Thank you. That’s a great compliment. Thank you very much for saying that. I aspire to sincerity because I sincerely am in search of the truth or truths or whatever might be that’s not yet known. I’m very curious. I like to look under things and behind things that I have no need to defend myself. I’m a real medium. This is a real capacity that I have. I don’t understand it, I wish I did. I wish I had help scientifically to understand it. I, you know, I’m a genuine seeker of truth so to for you to pick up on that is very, very flattering, thank you so much.
Rick Archer: Yeah and a sure way of not arriving at the truth is to assume that you already know it. So it’s good to keep an open mind. You know, Julie Beischel down in Tucson? I don’t know her personally, I’ve tried to connect with her a couple of times and we haven’t connected yet. I’m very much aware of her work of course. Yeah, I interviewed her a while back, for the sake of the audience, she’s someone who studies mediums and we had a whole conversation about that if people want to check it out
Lauren Robertson: They also won a prize for the BICS contest which I was thrilled to see.
Rick Archer: Oh did they?
Lauren Robertson: Yes.
Rick Archer: Okay, here’s another question. This is from Carol McCracken. Have the energies you’ve tapped into always been those who have transitioned or have you encountered higher energies such as spirit guides, angels, ascended masters, etc., the implication is who weren’t previously a human being that you’ve connected with, who have a specific message?
Lauren Robertson: That’s a great question that’s hard to answer because the evidence of living loved ones is something that I really, I’m excited by and so, because a living recipient can say, yes, I had an uncle whose name was Joseph and he died and we were close, you know, because that evidence is there, that’s a really exciting part of it. But also, you know, I do feel like this giant web of all there is benevolently helping me so I’ve never really had like a Native American or, you know, a star seed or this or that or anything else. But I do feel this large benevolent force that I call the great intelligence or all that is that to my perception has all of those things inside of it, with me and helping me all the time. And sometimes it manifests in different ways and can change form and I can have interesting dreams or perceptions about things but I just recognize it as all being little nodes that’s connected to this bigger sort of all that is.
Rick Archer: Good. Okay. This is from Deni or Denise Sullivan in Beaverton, Ontario, Canada. I’m curious if Lauren has any comments or stories of mediumship psychic abilities from the history of Scotland given that the Celtic culture is so old and rich?
Lauren Robertson: Yes, like I said, earlier, when we were talking, there’s definitely something in the water here because the concentration of mediums that comes out of Scotland and psychic abilities is ridiculous. Like it’s a common, normal, fairly normal thing here. And all of my ancestors come from the north of Scotland. I’m Pictish Highlander as far back as the eye can see. And definitely, there were soothsayers and seers and all sorts of different ways of understanding nature very, very attuned to nature very attuned to subtle bodies. So yes, it’s definitely a very long heritage and lineage way back. And I think that, you know, just in the Scottish way of being and the Scottish culture there is a great reverence for love and family and our ancestors and our brethren. And I think that adds, somehow adds to the sort of richness of those kind of bonds and that connection that I was talking about, which I think is responsible for making instances of mediumship more prevalent.
Rick Archer: Interesting. Yeah, that would make sense that certain cultures have a greater predominance of it than others. I mean, that’s also true of indigenous cultures, you know, the Aborigines and the Bushmen and people like that they’re much more, certain South American tribes, they’re much more tuned into other dimensions than your average New Jerseyite.
Lauren Robertson: Yeah, although sometimes it surprises you, you know, there’s a lot of really great, like scarily good mediums in Iceland, also in Japan, you know, cultures where you wouldn’t necessarily associate it with, you know, the things that we’ve just mentioned here. But for some reason there’s just an openness with certain individuals there that makes them tuned into that stuff too. So, again, I think that there are many paths to this type of knowing, I can’t quite put my finger on it. And I don’t think my path is exactly the same as Father Castles or, you know, Icelandic mediums or whatever. There’s just many paths to this. It seems to sometimes share little in common, which is weird.
Rick Archer: No, there are people all over the world who have gifts. I mean, I spent three months in Iran one time and I met some marvelous people there. And you know, and that stereotype might be oh those people are all violent or crude or whatever. But wherever you go there are gems of people scattered around.
Lauren Robertson: Yes.
Rick Archer: Here’s a question from Iris in Sydney, Australia. My friend passed away 15 years ago. I always felt she was sad and very uneasy about something she wouldn’t talk about before and during her illness. After her death, I had vivid dreams. She, pale and distressed, was trying to frantically tell me something. These dreams had a sense of urgency and desperation. After a year they stopped but I still think what could I have done to help? Or could I still?
Lauren Robertson: Oh, that’s a really great question. And this is where I feel that there’s a bond between you and your friends who, you know, that bond is a really special thing and you know, there’s a care that you have for that person and there’s a care that they have for you and it’s obviously been a really, really strong resonance prominence between you of what this thing was and weird experience of it. So my recommendation would be for you to do a ritual for your friend, maybe if you knew she liked Iris flowers, or if you’re, you know, if you know that she loved a particular place that you used to go together or you want to maybe, you know, light some candles at home and just sit and on one page of a journal, I want you to maybe write a letter to her, you know, to your friend. Just say to her look, I feel you were in distress and you’ve been trying to come to me, what can I do how I can help you? And then on the other side of the page when you’re done I want you to just imagine, just play at writing a letter back from your friend who’s in spirit and just see what comes through. And so really, you know, like I say, these experiences with the spirit world can often be really just unique with the bond that you’ve had with this person. So approaching it with a spirit of curiosity and exploration and self-discovery and discovery of what might be transcendent is the right spirit to approach it with. So that’s what I would try. Have a little ritual time for your friend because I can feel the love. Even in your question, I can feel the love that you shared with this person and that really means something. So put together a ritual that feels good for you, your side, and your friend’s side and see what comes up.
Rick Archer: Great. So let’s spend just a few minutes talking about some bits of evidence that have come through in readings you’ve done, which there’s no way you could have known. I mean, for instance, there was one where excuse me, you were talking to, you were communicating with someone who had passed and you saw a kitchen towel that had the faces of the family printed on it? I mean, how could you pull that out of a hat? It was just a really unusual thing. Hardly anybody has towels like that and yet you came up with it. I mean, there was also a gold watch with that person, which is not that uncommon, but the kitchen towel was a real mind-blower?
Lauren Robertson: Yes. Did you watch the video of that sitting? Or did you just,
Rick Archer: I just read about it and heard about it in your book. Yeah.
Lauren Robertson: So the most special part of that was the sitter’s reaction because you really know you’ve hit on something that’s like, really speaking to their heart and that they really know it was from that person by the way they react. And that’s what I mean when I say it’s like the bonds that they have with that person is like, it’s almost like they’re trying to touch that place in me. And it’s my job to try and touch that place in the recipient, you know, again like a musical instrument in order to try and pluck that string. And the way her reaction was, was so instantaneous and so immediate that you knew it was something that had the effect on her, which we’re looking for which is to say, I’m still here and I love you. And for me the experience, especially with that lady that communicated with me who was very adept, in the spirit world with this type of work, she came through very definitively and very clearly, where she wanted to tell the story of herself. And she wanted to tell the story of her husband dying young and her spending all of this time on her own but really having these happy moments interspersed with it with her granddaughter. And what came into my mind, I say mind right and it’s the wrong word, what came into my holistic, embodied, experiential, perception of who she was as a person is that she was either given a gift or there was this kitchen towel where she would walk into your kitchen, and there would be this towel that had all of our family’s faces printed on it. So it just, that’s what, it is so hard to explain. But the embodied perception of just being that person for a split second just comes in and that’s what I saw.
Rick Archer: What are a few other little tidbits like that where, you know, no way you could have guessed at it or any such thing. Just you know, you don’t even have to tell the whole story of a particular reading but just like a few little gems that have come along.
Lauren Robertson: Sure. So in the essay, I unpack that reading that you’re talking about and I also unpack another reading with a client Sally who sadly, her son passed away. And again, her son was very eager to speak and very adept at understanding how to get a message across to me. And that reading, you know, again, it was objects, so his sweater which has a big design on the front, which he put around my shoulders as I was giving the reading so I knew it was important and she had been wearing it. And a necklace that had a shell on it that had been given to his girlfriend. So for me, material objects have a very special place in mediumship settings because when you’re given these more abstract pieces of information, like how someone’s personality was or how they felt about a certain thing, there’s always that room to say, Well, I mean, there could be confirmation bias and how do we really know that that’s how they felt. But when you say look, I know your son wanted his girlfriend to have a necklace that had a shell on it. Did you give her a necklace with a shell on it? And then the sitter immediately produces that item. Then there’s something very, because it’s public, and it’s concrete, there’s something, a very special shared experience you get to have with that type of evidence. Because you as a witness if that wasn’t your reading, can see the item being produced, you know, there’s no ifs, and, or buts. It’s not like, you know, we could leave it open to interpretation or maybe there’s confirmation bias. So that type of evidence is really important. I think, also for me, I really love to try and embody the memories and the mannerisms of people in spirit. So, you know, memories are something where if you shared a really warm or intimate memory with somebody, like a fishing trip for example, if you went fishing with someone you really loved in spirit and that was a really happy time for you and that comes forward, that’s like something that takes you right back to that bond and takes you right back to that connection. And that is what I live for. That’s what I do this for. And then there’s also sort of, if you can perform the way a prison guard used to walk or the way he used to pull his trousers up slightly before he sat down, or the way he used to, you know, have this particular wink that he used to do when he was being, you know, a little bit cheeky or that sort of thing, you know, its these kinds of things that you couldn’t possibly have looked it up, you couldn’t possibly have gotten it off of Facebook, you know. All of these, you know, unkind accusations that skeptics would make against me, I’m constantly trying to push the envelope for how to transcend those. And so the spirit world know that and they’re trying to work with me on that level as well. So yes, meaningful objects, memories, and mannerisms really for me are the ones I love to bring through the most.
Rick Archer: Irene and I had a reading one time with a well-known psychic and it kind of flopped. I mean, she wasn’t getting anything and she was a little flustered and a little embarrassed. And I’m sorry, I’m really not getting anything. We kept saying no to everything. And it wasn’t like the one you talked about where the subject was adopted and so, therefore, she didn’t actually know the answers. But you know, we’re not adopted and she just wasn’t getting anything. So like in baseball, the way they grade a player’s performance starting with a scale of 1000. If they hit let’s say a third of the time, if they hit successfully, then they’re batting 333 a third of 1000. And that’s a really good batting average. So if you were to give yourself a batting average, what’s your batting average?
Lauren Robertson: Oh, that’s a really hard question because it depends on what you mean by average. There’s lots of ways to understand average here. Over the course of my career I would say my batting average is about seventy percent, seventy to eighty percent.
Rick Archer: Woah you’d be making a lot of money in professional baseball.
Lauren Robertson: Well, yes, exactly. But that varies wildly from reading to reading and also varies wildly in the quality of the information because you can say, yes, something was a hit to a piece of information which might be kind of vague, which I don’t find in my own work particularly impressive but, it’s still a hit. So in a way, you’ve got to weight, when you’re talking about evidence you’ve got to weight certain things more heavily than others. Not all hits are created equal. Also, I bomb hard with certain people and certain readings and I’m fine with that. That’s absolutely fine. I’m never going to get anything 100% which unfortunately is the expectation that I should if I’m making the claims that I’m making but that’s not how human communication works at the best of times. But also, you know, when we’re trying to grapple with these ideas of the stats and the evidence and the batting average and these types of things, that really is only one way to understand a mediumship session. The other side of it is the way you appreciate music. So do you like music Rick? Oh, yeah, I used to be a drummer. Okay, well, so when you appreciate music and you’re like really in the zone, and you’re listening to music or you’re playing music and you’re so moved, it’s like, it’s very, very hard to try to quantify that. You know, if you were to just talk about the individual bits of the drum or the individual words in the song, it’s like, it’s not meaning what the song means. And so really when it comes to mediumship, the other way of understanding it, which I think is more important and more true, other than just the individual pieces of evidence and how right or not they were was did you capture the essence of the person in a way that moved the sitter overall holistically. And similarly to the way a person’s moved by a piece of music. And so for me, that is my aim. Any one piece of evidence on its own so to speak, obviously, I’d break it down in the essay because I knew I was writing for academics, but actually, my goal is like did I capture the personality, the sentiment, the meaning, the love of that person in the truest possible sense that I feel proud of and which the sitter benefited from? And if the answer to that is yes then, you know, sometimes you can say something that seems like the most random, silly, vague thing ever and it’s the thing that means the most to the sitter and there’s just no accounting for that. And so, you know, my job is just to turn up and be as true as I can.
Rick Archer: Great. Alright, we’re just about out of time. What? How can people plug into your work? They can read your book, obviously, you have a Facebook group but you have these webinars or something where mediums in training can interact with you and stuff. And I presume you’re still doing individual one-on-one sessions with people. So run through some of that and I’ll link to all of this on your website, or at least to, on my website or least link at least to your website where people can find out all the details.
Lauren Robertson: Sure. So yes as you correctly said there’s lots going on. The best place to connect with me is on my Substack publication which is called The Art and Science of Mediumship. You can subscribe for free or if you want to enjoy some perks you can have a full paid subscription which is like nine pounds per month. The only one to one sessions that I do is that every month I pick one person from my paid subscribers to do a one-to-one session for because I’m so busy with my writing schedule and my public dem schedule that I have very little time for like a lot of one to ones right now. I do have a monthly mediumship meetup where I do a public dem and you can come and watch it, it’s on Zoom and it’s called Spirit Sessions. And if you sign up to The Art and Science of Mediumship that’s really the best place to be notified when the next spirit session is going to happen. So basically, like I say, it’s just a public dem, you come, maybe you get a message from your loved ones. We do meditation together, there’s a chance to ask your questions and I send you away hopefully happier than when you arrived. If you would like to learn mediumship with me I have a beginner’s course which has just started. So we’re on week one. And I also have an advanced course which you can get from our website. And you can buy it as an at-home study course, r we’ll be doing a live round where I’m teaching it in June. So those are the main ways to connect with me. You can also connect with me on Instagram or Facebook at Lauren Sarah Robertson.
Rick Archer: Good. So I’ll put links to all that on your BatGap page. And if there’s anything I leave out or something changes in the future, and you want me to change something, just let me know.
Lauren Robertson: I’ll do that.
Rick Archer: Okay so finally here’s a very important and serious question that came in. When do you see yourself getting married?
Lauren Robertson: Oh, that’s a great question as well. My fiancé and I have tried to get married like three times because we met and then we were trying to decide what to do with our future. And we went to Canada thinking we would create a better life for our future children. And then we went to Canada and COVID happened. We literally landed and went into lockdown the next day. So we moved there and then we moved back to Scotland and on the way back from Canada everything that we own was destroyed in a fire. So we’ve literally come home to Scotland with nothing. All of my journals from when I was 14, all of my Manolos, you know, everything was destroyed in this fire. So we’ve been rebuilding our life in Scotland. But, it’s on the cards so to speak that we will be tying the knot sometime soon, hopefully.
Rick Archer: Great, well, congratulations. And maybe there’s something symbolic about everything being burned and you’re a kind of phoenix rising from the ashes or something.
Lauren Robertson: Correct, you’re very perceptive, very intuitive, yourself Rick in that regard.
Rick Archer: Good. Well, it’s been a joy talking to you and getting to know you. And we’ll be in touch. And as I mentioned for those listening or watching, as I mentioned earlier, next week’s interview will be a kind of along similar lines. It’s a fellow named William Peters who has a whole institute involved in shared crossings or shared death experiences. Where you know, you partake in some way in the experience that a person is having as they die or have died. And yet, of course, you yourself don’t die, but it’s quite common. And I’ve had a couple of those experiences myself, so maybe I’ll mention those in next week’s interview. Okay, Lauren thank you very much.
Lauren Robertson: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.
Rick Archer: Yes. Talk to you later.
Lauren Robertson: Talk to you later. Take care.
Rick Archer: Bye-bye.