PROCESSING THE INFORMATION
Extract from Appendix 1 of The Wisdom of the Soul
© Ian Lawton 2007
The following are the details of the criteria I applied when evaluating the research material we obtained.
1 Is the answer relevant to our research?
Especially in the earlier sessions when Andy was getting to grips with the exact meaning of some of the questions, they were not always phrased as clearly as they could have been. This meant that in some instances literal answers were given to the question asked, but it was not what we were really interested in. In addition to this, sometimes a session would go off on something of a tangent. Usually this information has been omitted unless it happens to be relevant to another topic, or is particularly revealing in its own right.
2 Does the answer make enough sense to be used?
English is not the first language of our three Norwegian subjects, which merely added to the difficulties they faced in attempting to describe sometimes difficult concepts. In addition all our subjects’ answers tended to vary in their general lucidity over the course of a whole session. And on a few occasions, especially with the more complex questions, some responses were so convoluted or incoherent that it was impossible to establish what the subject was really trying to say – unless Andy happened to press them to explain, which would work sometimes but not always. This is not a criticism, because as we have seen they were sometimes struggling to put difficult non-human concepts into a language we could understand. But it does mean that some material of this nature had to be omitted.
3 How likely is it that any prior knowledge has influenced the information?
Our list of questions was sufficiently broad and general that it would have been almost impossible to find subjects who had absolutely no prior knowledge of any of the topics covered. However we did apply a number of controls. First, in order to try to eliminate the possibility of their conscious minds ‘second-guessing’ the answers, we did not show them the questions in advance. Second, we subsequently gave them transcripts of their sessions and asked them to identify any sections that surprised them – either because they contradicted previously held views, or because they had no prior knowledge of the information they gave. Third, we subsequently asked them whether they had read particular sources of information that I regarded as being of relevance to particular answers, which therefore might have influenced them. All of this feedback has been incorporated into the analysis in the main chapters where appropriate.
This latter was in addition to ascertaining the following information about more general potential influences. Virtually all of our subjects had some degree of previous exposure to Michael Newton’s interlife research. Only Veronica had not read his first book, Journey of Souls, although only half of them – Amy, Alva, Katrine, Naomi and David – had read his second and more detailed book, Destiny of Souls. However his research is only relevant to some of the questions, and these are primarily in the first two groups. By contrast, very few of them had read The Book of the Soul before their research sessions. Most had never seen it and, although Claire, Denise and Nora had briefly flicked through especially the early parts, only David had read it properly. Moreover none of them had read Genesis Unveiled. This is important because, as already indicated, these two were far more ubiquitous sources for all four groups of questions. Nor had I met or corresponded with any of our subjects before the research sessions, apart from a brief meeting with David.
It is also worth noting that when, for example, a subject has read a particular book a long time ago, they might not consciously remember all its contents, but a significant proportion will almost certainly be logged somewhere in their subconscious mind. And clearly it would not be impossible for such details to emerge under regression. So any discussion of conscious interference must sensibly include potential subconscious interference as well.
4 Does the subject’s ego seem to be consciously interfering?
If we now turn to the extent to which personal ego might have interfered in the research process, the three original sessions that we deemed unreliable were replaced primarily for this reason. In all three the subject responded using ‘I’ and talked very much from their own human and sometimes ego-driven perspective.
By contrast, in our finally selected sessions the subjects consistently although not exclusively talked from the perspective of the elders or other beings of light with whom they had linked, rather than from a human or earth perspective. So they often responded using ‘we’, and referred to ‘humans’ or ‘you’, and to ‘there’ for earth and ‘here’ for the light realms. All of this suggested they were acting as a relatively objective channel for the information. Indeed, Katrine specifically confirmed our supposition about the perspective used:
Some souls have more ability to be channels and have access to higher spirits of light who then talk directly to you, whereas when that does not happen it’s easier for the soul to interfere.
Was the question asked?
There is one other factor that came into play in the answers presented here, and that is whether any given question was actually put to a particular subject. Andy found that it was important to let the session flow and, by not sticking rigidly to the format of the secondary questions, let the information coming from the subject guide him. Coupled with our fine-tuning of the questions especially during the first few sessions, this does mean that not all subjects were directly asked all secondary questions – although sometimes they volunteered the appropriate information themselves. In addition, occasionally even a primary question was missed with a subject, purely as an oversight, although sometimes Andy then asked a relevant secondary question that effectively answered the primary question as well.
To sum up, the decisions about the research information to present in this book were made as follows. Three sessions were discarded completely, primarily because of significant, conscious, ego interference. Then, with the remaining ten sessions, the following procedures were used:
· If a question was never asked, of course the answer could not be included.
· If an answer, or part thereof, was not relevant or simply made no sense, it has been excluded.
· If a subject’s conscious knowledge was obviously interfering in an answer then it has been either fully or partially excluded. This would tend to be because it exhibited a combination of other factors. These include, for example, being significantly at odds with any majority opinion; making only partial sense; contradicting something they had said elsewhere; or if they admitted in their feedback that they had significant prior knowledge of the topic that figured heavily in their answer.
· By contrast, if an answer was markedly different from majority opinion but there was no other reason to regard it as suspect, it has not been excluded.
The result is that all relevant and sensible answers to both primary and secondary questions where conscious interference was not strongly suspected have been presented here, even if only the key points have been taken rather than presenting them in full. For completeness if any subject was not asked any of the questions in a primary section this has been noted, but this only happened on seven occasions. But every subject who was asked at least some of the questions in a primary section went on to provide some sort of relevant response. This means that, at a primary level, 203 answers have been included either in full or in part. This represents 97 percent of the potential maximum of 210 – or 21 primary topics across 10 sessions. Generally speaking this extent of inclusion of answers is testament to their quality and to the process being used.
As to the potential accusations of selectivity that might still be made, in general it should be clear that answers have been included even when they contradicted any majority view – provided they were coherent or at least interesting, and there was no obvious reason to suspect conscious interference in that particular area. Moreover they have also regularly been included even when they contradicted my own previously held views. I trust this will go some way towards deflecting potential criticism of this nature.