Death and Discarnates © David J. Marsden

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Ghosts: Between Life and Death . Hawaiian Shamanism

Preface by Martyn Carruthers
David Marsden can bring mystery and magic into lives made sterile by technology. Many people claim to heal the symptoms that David describes here and some priests, intuitive healers and energy workers claim this as their specialty, and at every psychic fair are people who say they offer protection against these symptoms. Psychotherapists can be quite territorial; and physicians and psychiatrists may offer psychoactive drugs to manage these symptoms, while criticizing natural medicine, alternative therapies and native traditions.

Between Life and Death

Most people honor their dead relatives. In many old traditions, dishonored or ignored dead people can haunt the living. Ghosts are common in creepy tales, often called imagination, possession, obsessions or identification with a dead person, depending on your education.

Science declares demons and ghosts to be archetypes existing in the imaginations of the naive and childish. Priests are being replaced by therapists, and blessings by addictive drugs.

Dead Person Identification (DPI) exorcises medieval ideas of spirit possession. Entanglement with dead people is well described by Martyn Carruthers, who offers a systemic model for its causation, symptoms and resolution. Martyn demonstrates lasting solutions for these entanglements, with long term benefits.

According to Martyn, the symptoms of entanglement with dead people follow systemic rules. Systemic identifications, Martyn says, can be expected when a family member dies in a manner that creates so much guilt for the family that the death cannot be discussed or rationalized. Martyn said that in his opinion, the most common deaths leading to identifications are suicide and abortion in a family.

Some Symptoms of Identification with a Dead Person

  • Fascination with cemeteries
  • Chronic sadness and melancholy
  • Preoccupied with death and dying
  • Anorexia nervosa and addictions
  • May appear to have psychic sensitivity

(Personal notes from Martyn’s Soulwork training)

  • May risk life (no fear of death)
  • May fear that own children will die
  • May avoid becoming a parent
  • May have miscarriages and dead children



I tested Martyn’s methods and I confirm their validity. They work. Two challenges to helping people deal with relationships to dead people are the horror movies that people have seen as children, and ghost stories that seem to be part of every culture. Unresolved childish fears can grow into a full bloom of terror.

A common symptom of dead person identification (or spirit possession) is psychic sensitivity. Although Martyn seems to dismiss this as sensitivity to body language, I have frequently observed people with these symptoms describe secret past events in detail, current events elsewhere, and accurately predict future events of previously unknown people.

Discarnates & Undead Spirits

Human discarnates refer to the spirits, souls or energies of dead people. Some people attempting to play games with dead people later find themselves obsessed, possessed or disturbed in ways that psychotherapy does not recognize. Magical stories are full of warnings about entities that demand payment for their services.

Some examples from my experiences of discarnate people:

  1. Goodbye: Some discarnates want to say goodbye and leave. They know what has happened but cannot communicate their last messages, so they wait.
  2. Denial: Some discarnates do not believe or do not accept that their bodies are dead. They may be angry or jealous, and try to possess living human bodies.
  3. Fear: Many discarnates are confused and frightened, with little understanding about why they try to continue their lives using other people’s bodies.
  4. Protection: Some discarnates want to protect people – usually descendents. They consider their protection to be valuable.
  5. Let Me Go!: Some discarnates want to move on, but they are held … a living person (usually a relative) may cling to them. And sometimes they want to finish some last important task first …

Discarnate entities can include a variety of elementals and nature spirits – including dead pets. Many seem ageless and some seem to have accumulated wisdom. Some don’t care about human needs. Some appear to be local guardians or nature spirits.

Discarnates are everywhere! Martyn said, “Don’t spend the rest of your life helping the dead!” and “Just because it’s dead doesn’t mean it’s smart!” I often help people who have discarnates in their bodies, and I sometimes clear discarnates from haunted houses etc. (Martyn teased me about doing my daily exorcises.)

Finding a Happy Medium

Talk to self-proclaimed mediums at a psychic fair. Many mediums seem to have exactly the symptoms and sensitivity that Martyn describes as typical of identified people. This haunted archetype seems common and I would guess that perhaps 5% of all people may be emotionally entangled with at least one dead person.

Many mediums not only show symptoms of dead person identification – they boast about having spirit helpers – dead people who aid or protect them. Perhaps it’s wise to consider the consequences before enmeshing dead people. These consequences include identification (possession), early death, miscarriages and dysfunctional relationships. Stories of magic often include the payments expected by the hired entities. Martyn says that your principle payment is usually your happiness.

Ouija Board

My boyfriend recently died in an accident … my friends and I bought a Ouija board to see if he would come through and he did. We talk to him almost every night and he is always with us. He said he would never leave me and he will always wait for me.
An entanglement with a dead partner will likely influence future partnerships. Also, a future child may identify with the dead boyfriend … to bring him back into his mother’s life.
Systemic coaching can prevent and manage such consequences.


Which Witch is Which?

My studies into “Can the dead communicate?” brought me to spiritualism, parapsychology and psychic research. Most people were well-meaning with good intentions, although for a few groups and cults, however, you are prey. If you have difficulty leaving an occult group – read Exit Coaching.

Shamans of many cultures claim to use spirits of dead people to harm the living. Resolving such attacks can be wild rides, involving people’s fears and beliefs.

Cross Cultural Horror Show

All over this planet, people use similar ways to honor the quiet dead – and have similar stories about the unquiet dead – or undead. Central European vampires, werewolves and Egyptian mummies may reflect Hollywood films, but my talks with native Canadians and with immigrants from Cuba, Africa, Vietnam and Afghanistan included eerily similar stories.

While Martyn says “Preoccupation with death and dying” is a symptom of identification with a dead person (DPI), there are other, less scientific, explanations. What is the difference between a dead person and a ghost? Between dead person identification and possession? Between dissociating a dead person and exorcism? Or between a systemic coach and an exorcist?

Here are a few of my cases: Haunted House . Curses . Black Magic . Ghosts . Demon

Death and Dying

As I investigated the lives and family histories of people who appeared to be identified with dead people, a deep concern arose. These symptoms provide doors between the world of the living and a world of the dead. Some of these doors can be easily opened … and not so easily closed.

The symptoms of dead person identification seem to predispose people towards melancholy and depression. I met many people with these symptoms who tried psychiatry, spiritualism, psychotherapy, energy work and religion without lasting success, but I helped people gain lasting relief using Martyn’s systemic work.

I helped several people who had identified with dead parents. One woman, whose mother died when she was four years old, had identified with her dead mother, which required that she become her father’s partner. Another woman had identified with her dead father, which became a basis for her lesbian lifestyle. In these and many other cases, resolving the identifications had enormous impact on people’s daily lives.

Ghosts, Ghosts & More Ghosts

Since I retired, I collect and research ghost stories. I have many first-hand descriptions of ghosts – and my memories of the people who told me the ghost stories. A haunted person archetype might include wide-open eyes, a fixed downward stare, dark skin under the eyes, slack facial skin, lowered shoulders and down-turned mouths. Interestingly, these are some of the non-verbal signs that Martyn Carruthers associates with dead-person identification.

To go beyond second-hand stories into first hand experience, I needed a bridge; and I found it in lucid dreaming. With that I can do more than listen to ghost stories. Martyn teaches ways to join people in their dreams that he learned while living in Hawaii (see Hawaiian Spirituality). He calls it ho’omoe or Dreamwork.

It seems that shared dreams can overlap onto objective reality! Changes made in the dreams seemed to cause, or at least be related to, rapid changes in the reality in which we live. I ask, “Where do dreams stop and reality begin?

Entertaining Demons

Dead Person Identification concerns dead people. Yet our human world includes many never-living entities that were once recognized as alive. Can something die that was never born? How would a dead deity be different to a dead person? And how can we recognize a group or organization of people who are identified with a dead person or an undead entity?”

It has been said that man creates gods in his own image. If so, the gods of identified people might appear to demand, or at least request, that symptoms of dead person identification be perceived as normal. Could Martyn’s systemic symptoms (of entanglements with dead people) become recognizable belief systems?

Dead Person Entanglement

  • Chronic sadness and melancholy
  • May have psychic sensitivity
  • Preoccupation with death and dying
  • Fascination with cemeteries
  • Visits places where people died
  • May avoid having children
  • Fear that own children will die

Dead Person Identified Cult

  • Suffering and melancholy are holy
  • Psychic sensitivity is sacred
  • Preoccupation with death is holy
  • Cemeteries are sacred
  • Places where people died are holy
  • Celibacy is sacred
  • Childhood deaths are holy

Do these rules only apply to the darker esoteric cults and occult societies? Can whole cultures be influenced by dead people? Can entire communities be haunted?

Answering these questions opened some strange ghost stories … how the dead can influence businesses, organizations and cultures! CEOs who died of heart attacks in an office over an abortion clinic. A religion based on identification with a dead person … I may write more of my stories if asked.

Haunted House . Curses . Black Magic . Ghosts . Demon

Afterword by Martyn Carruthers

Your willingness to walk across a cemetery at night may expose how close you live to a world where not all dead people rest in peace. Trespass into other realities may be fun at first – but the consequences can be unpleasant. Entanglement with visitors from separate realities can disturb your health – and that of your family.

Do you want to safely access, explore and change these phenomena?


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