In the first half, clinical psychologist Dr. George Pratt, shared tips for helping people achieve goals, as well as emotional well being. Mindfulness meditation can have a significant calming effect on the central nervous system, he noted. One way to do this, is to close your eyes, become totally aware of the breathing process, and breathe in through the abdomen rather than the chest, he detailed. This so-called "belly breathing" activates a natural relaxation response that counteracts stress, he explained. One of the best things you can do for your brain is to practice gratitude, and make a list of the things you are grateful for, he added.
Dr. Pratt addressed the problem of young people devoting so much time to their electronic devices and video games that they are often lacking in important interpersonal skills. He cited the importance of spending time outdoors, where recurrent patterns in nature or fractals have a calming effect on the brain. As far as New Year's resolutions, he suggested people pick just one goal to focus on. It should be something that can have measurable results, the goal should be written down, and a certain amount of time allocated for it to occur.
In the latter half, PhD researcher Cal Cooper talked about his work in parapsychology including telephone calls from the dead, links between ancient Egypt and the paranormal, and the psychical feats of the late Dr. Alex Tanous. Some of the first research about phone calls from the dead was done by Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless some 30 years ago, and Cooper sought to update it with the advent of mobile phones and texting. While in some cases, the grieving person may be more apt to construe a wrong number or coincidence as being from a recently deceased loved one, there have been cases where an individual has a lengthy conversation and only finds out after the fact that the person they were talking to died a number of weeks earlier, he reported.
Alex Tanous, who had psychic visions from a young age, and the claimed ability to astral project his body wherever he wanted, offered his services to police forces, as well as the American Society for Psychical Research, who explored and proved his abilities via various experiments. Cooper also talked about near-death research and the visions of deathbed patients, who have described encounters with their deceased relatives, as their own lives were ending. In one instance, Cooper recounted, a terminal patient said he was visited by a young relative who had just died that morning in a car accident, yet the patient would have had no way of knowing about it, as the family was trying to keep that information from him.
One of the subjects 12/30/13 guest Cal Cooper has studied is a very eerie occurrence that a number of people have reported. They actually receive a phone call from someone who has died, usually a close relative or friend. The telephone ring is said to sound somewhat abnormal and the connection may have static. However, the deceased's voice is clearly recognizable though it usually fades away or ends abruptly.
Most calls are from the very recently deceased (within 24 hours of their passing) and the purpose behind them seems to vary. They may wish to impart a final message, issue a warning or give needed information. One of the most well known cases, was when actress/director Ida Lupino got a call from her father (who had died six months earlier) telling her where to locate some estate documents.
Interestingly, Thomas Edison, the son of spiritualist parents, started but never completed a telephone he envisioned would connect the living and the dead.
Source: Harper's Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
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