Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Link and Thoughts for the New Year

Swami Agehananda Bharati was a professor of anthropology at Syracuse University and was considered one of the foremost western experts on Hinduism and Buddhism. He lived from 1923 to 1991 and by the time of his death had published 500 books-wow-just wow-I would be overjoyed to publish one book or short story:-) here is a link where you can learn more about this fascinating mans life.

I also wanted to wish each and every person that I link to and follow and each and every person whose blogs I comment on and those who comment here an absolutely splendorous, wonderful, exciting, joyful and awe-inspiring 2009! This is said from the depths of my heart and soul. It amazes me at times how someone with my paltry level of education can get such intelligent, thoughtful, insightful, funny, and just simply beautiful and majestic souls to comment here. I want to continue along the lines I have been going with my study of reincarnation and also want to introduce some new metaphysical and philosophical musings, have new posts about paranormal subjects, my writing, poetry and I am also trying to think of another subject along the lines of the Hadrian and Antinous series that I could work on-although at a much slower pace than the H/A saga. Rome continues to fascinate me and I was trying to think of interesting people both men and women from that time to do posts about, how Rome went from a republic to an empire and then fell and also about the timeframe of the 'Five Good Emperors' in which I could reintroduce Trajan, Plotina, Hadrian, Sabina and even Antinous again, although in much different form. The timelines of these events are so spread out I do not know how I could do this in a coherent form but am trying to think of a way. I think the study of Romes going from a republic to an empire would be interestin in and of itself because it reminds me so much of the USA's status in the last half century or more. Oh, the dude up there is not me-just some handsome bloke I nicked from somewhere-thought I would give poor Danny Nunez a rest-I actually tried to do multiple images here but it is not letting me. I will try again-maybe it will let me if I come back and edit post. Peace, best wishes and happy new year to anyone stopping by or passing through! Ok it let me but I thought the other image would be at the end of the post dont know how to do that I guess. The shirtless guy is Daniel Miagany nicked from Hot Men Appreciation.

Paranormal & Fortean : Reincarnation Part Eight

Here are some more questions and research I have done for my posts on reincarnation. This is really turning out to be stream of consciousness research and thinking so I hope I am not losing anybody-please feel free to comment if I am or am making anything unclear. First I would like to give a short list of 'musts' for my theory to be valid.
1) We must have souls.
2)We must have other bodies than the physical, the subtle bodies.
3) Our reality can not be a 'matrix' type reality where all we are is ones and zeros in some hugely powerful cosmic computer.
4) This bit is just some thinking I have found in my research and am 'synching' to in my own theorizing, so number 4 is not a must but I find this line of thinking intriguing. We may not be one but many souls even though to us it seems our lives are being lived sequentially. From a timeless standpoint-eternity-everything is happening at once. This leads me to wonder if along the lines of thinking how many people we are and how many roles we play that if we are in reality not one soul-but many. I think that looking at it this way each person may be composed of a 'group soul'. Who knows how many souls this might be and the number would probably be different for everyone and is not that important. From the standpoint of eternity 'I' might be alive in the days before agriculture, the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, the Bolshevik Revolution and an era even closer that relates to my own story that I will tell here soon-about why I think the ideas about reincarnation have some validity-although we may never know 'what' theory is correct. In this viewpoint 'I' would be alive at all of these times simultaneously. This thinking would explain some things and yet open up a whole other can of worms in other areas. I have also wondered if not only human souls or group souls reincarnate, but I wonder if certain periods in history are themselves 'reincarnating' in a way. I first thought of this when I looked at how modern day America has so many parallels with old Rome and also things like the bizarre coincidences and synchronicities between the Kennedy and Lincoln assassinations and other historical events have given me pause to reflect on this idea. Hopefully there will be more to come in the future on what I am starting to think of as 'timecycles'.

The transmigration of souls, the doctrine that after death the soul moves on to inhabit other bodies for as long as it needs to, until liberation from maya and samsara in the Eastern religions, in other words liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth into this world of illusion (maya) has been around for a long time. In both Buddhism and Hinduism samsara is the endless round of birth, death and re-birth to which all sentient beings are subject. Samsara is conceived as having no beginning or end. The overall determining factor of a soul's wanderings in samsara are determined by karma. In Hinduism, moksha is release from samsara. In Buddhism, deliverance from samsara is achieved by reaching the state of nirvana. The range of samsara goes from the lowliest insect, in some religions the vegetable and mineral kingdoms are even included, all the way up to Brahma, the highest of the gods. Belief in some form of reincarnation can be found in almost all societies, from the most primitive to the most 'advanced'. The belief in reincarnation is somewhat fashionable among the most materialistic and spirit-denying cultures and is a way of life in some of the oldest and most spiritual cultures.

From antiquity there is examples in ancient literature such as Ovid's, Metamorphosis, in which deities take on human and animal forms. This may have been an early forerunner of 'reincarnational' type thinking. The idea of reincarnation is thought to have emerged from the Nile basin and then spread as far as India and then westward to Greece. The extreme eloquence of the ancient philosophers made reincarnation a source of hope for people who longed for eternity and justice. It is important to note that the thoughts along these lines of the ancient Greeks are quite different in some ways from the Eastern religions. Among the major religions the doctine entered Judaism through Kabbalists, via Jewish philosophers into Christianity and finally into Islam through the ideas of religions and sects like the Sufis. Belief in reincarnation in Egypt, India and Greece could have developed out of a need for immortality of the soul. It again should be noted how different the Egyptian and Greek thoughts on the afterlife were from religions like modern day Buddhism and Hinduism. The ancient Egyptians clearly believed in a form of afterlife and other realms besides the earth plane of existence, but it is very obvious from looking at works like the Egyptian Book of the Dead that their main core of beliefs were to prepare for life on another plane of existence and not come back to this plane again in human form. The belief that the ancient Egyptians actually believed in reincarnation could have come from Greek translations of Egyptian work that had things in it like the transmigration of souls and souls being able to take the forms of other bodies after death. However on closer inspection the Egyptians were thinking of taking the forms in the earth plane from a higher realm of existence and not taking the forms by coming back to this plane of reality.

I think the ancient Greeks were much closer to what we now think of as reincarnation than the Egyptians. Pythagoras believed in metempsychosis, a philosophical term in the Greek language referring to the belief in the transmigration of the soul, especially in it reincarnation after death. It is also obviously a doctrine followed by the Eastern religions although there are many variations here, Jainism and Druzism, where a human can incarnate into the bodies of another human, animal or even plant. The term metempsychosis has also been used by modern philosophers such as Schopenhauer and Kurt Godel, the word also plays an important part in James Joyce's Ulysses and is also associated with Friedrich Nietzche. Pythagoras believed that souls reincarnated again and again until they became moral. His ideas of reincarnation were influenced by ancient Greek religion. He claimed to have lived four times previously and to remember them in detail. Pythagoras also claimed to hear the cry of a dead friend in the bark of a dog. Another of Pythagoras' beliefs that are interesting to think about in light of previous posts at MFM is that the essence of being is number. Being relies on the stability of all things that create the universe. Things like health relied on a stable proportion of elements; too much of one and too little of another causes an imbalance that leads to sickness. Pythagoras viewed thinking as calculating with the idea of numbers. The philosophy evolves into a belief that Knowledge of the essence of Being can be found in the form of numbers. If this is taken a step further one can say that because mathematics is an unseen essence, the essence of being is an unseen characteristic that can be encountered by the study of mathematics.

So just how old is the idea of reincarnation? I think the ideas and thoughts that led to the belief in reincarnation are very old, going back thousands and thousands of years. But in the current form that modern Hinduism and Buddhism believe in it, the idea is not that comparitively old at all. Paraphrasing Swami Agehananda Bharati, who is an Austrian by birth and was initiated into Hinduism in India in the early 1950s: Q How old is the doctrine of reincarnation? Bharati: "It is not as old as people would think. You only have marginal mention of something like transmigration in the older sections of the Vedas. There is the first complete mention, though brief, in the Brihadarankaya Upanishad which is quite old. But the real thoughts having to do with reincarnation come in the Puranic age (500-300BCE), at the time the Puranas were composed, and then of course through Buddhism. So it probably reached a state of common acceptance around 300 BC, so it is old but in its highly articulated form not that old."

The image is of the Bodnath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. I forgot to mention the credentials of the just mentioned Swami Bharati-they were very impressive and I will come back with those once I find where I wrote them down. I hope you enjoyed this kind of detour and history and some ponderings on where and how the thought of reincarnation first got started. I want to do many many different things in January, so it will not be reincarnation all the time here at MFM. I have done a lot more(well comparitively a lot more writing for my book) and want to start new topics of discussion also. I still owe all of you 'my story' about how I came to be interested in the subject of reincarnation so that should be coming very soon. Here are some more links.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Paranormal & Fortean : Reincarnation Part Seven

The astral body in the 'theory' I am trying to develop would be the next subtle body after the etheric and higher up the ladder spiritually. There is an enormous variety of different placements of the subtle bodies in the religions and metaphysical philosophies of the world. I am just trying to set my own foundation in a way that makes the ideas of ancient times fit my ideas without having to use a jackhammer and a chisel to make them fit.

The concept of the astral body as it is thought of in western esotericism goes all the way back to the famous Greek philosopher, Plato. In the Myth of Er, Plato told an account of an afterlife that led to reincarnation after travelling through the seven planetary spheres. Plato taught that man was composed of a mortal body, immortal reason and an intermediate spirit. The word 'astral' means 'of the stars'. The late Neoplatonist Proclus (412-485 AD), who was one of the last major Classical philosophers developed an elaborate system of metaphysical thought and is credited with being the first to speak of the subtle planes. By the time theosophy came around the astral body was thought to be a desire body and am emotional body through which it was possible to experience all varieties of desire. George Gurdjieff referred to the astral body as "the vessel of the soul"; it is of the sun and all planets, just as the physical body is of the earth. In Gurdjieff's words while the astral body is not developed a person is a "human being only in quotation marks", who cannot be considered in any meaningful sense to have a soul and will "die like a dog". In depth psychology parallels between the astral and unconscious mind have been drawn. Carl Jung drew on alchemical and classical imagery to explore the dynamics and symbols of memory, dreams and religious initiation. Jung saw the astral journey as a paradigm of "modern man's search for a soul", and imagined a collective unconscious memory, driven by archetypal forces and knowable in the symbolic language of dreams and visions.

The astral plane is also called the Barzakh or inter-world of Islam, the world of Yetzirah in Lurianic kabbalah, the Spirit World in Spiritualism and the Fairy World of Celtic spirituality. As we can see notions of the astral body and astral plane or realm vary widely. In the system I am trying to develop I think of the astral body relating to the etheric body, as the etheric relates to the physical body. While the etheric body channels energies from the subtle realm to the physical body and is also the 'template' the physical body is based on, the astral body envelopes and interpenetrates the etheric body the same way and is also the 'template' the etheric body is based upon. The astral body in 'my' system can be a bit hard to explain, as it already seems we could have an infinite series of subtle bodies and the templates they are based on. However, in the ideas I am working with the astral body differs from the etheric by a large magnitude. Whereas the etheric has all of the qualities that the physical body needs to keep regenerating and also contains 'memories' of lifetimes lived before on a physical level, the astral body retains the emotions, desires, needs and wants of the soul. In my system the astral body would not need to mirror the physical body at all as far as appearance goes.

With the ideas I am forming the astral body has the ability to explore other planes of existence whereas the etheric body does not. The astral body in my view is a lot more important than the etheric and physical bodies when looked at in a certain way. The astral body in my world view would not only envelop the physical and etheric bodies, but would also inhabit a world a lot like the Imaginal World of Sufi mysticism. In esoteric Ishraqi, Sufi and Shaikhi Islamic traditions the Imaginal World or Realm is a region of pure forms (archetypes) intermediate between the region of pure spirits and archetypes totally unconnected to matter and physical reality. It would also be equated with the Egyptian Ba (a human headed bird). The Ba is the 'soul' connected with the Ka which is symbolized by a pair of upraised arms and represents the individual ego, character, and disposition of a soul and is created with or even before the physical being. The Ba dwells in or with the Ka. In many texts the Ba also lives with Ra or Osiris in heaven. The ba also plays a role in cosmogenesis. The soul, ba of Shu was the fire produced by Atum at the moment of the initial creative emission of semen. Likewise the Creator "made metamorphoses startting from this, his ba", the ba thus playing the role of the determining individualizing force, the first active principle, parallel to the first coagulation, the disruption of the inertia in the cosmic ocean."

In my view if we take a look at our psychic beings, but up a level from the plane where the etheric body has its being, this takes us to the astral body and the astral realm, which somewhat corresponds to the plane of occultism and esotericism that investigators of psychic phenomena are so fond of. The astral realm and astral body in my system closely correspond to the Imaginal World of the Sufis. the world of Yetzirah which is one of four planes of existence in Kabbalah and is also known as the 'World of Formation', somwhere between the World Soul and Divine Mind (Nous) of Neoplatonism and between the mental body (manomaya-kosa) and higher intelligence body (vignanamaya-kosa) of Hinduism.
The image is of the Hoysalwswara Temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva in Karnataka State in southwestern India. This was originally going to be one post but I have some more information I can hopefully put up today or by the 31st. I have a lot of things I am working on right now and have worked a lot more on the book I am trying to write and am working on ideas for posts to put in between the work on reincarnation that I am doing, as this will probably go on for some time. I very much appreciate getting all of the thoughtful comments and enjoy reading the blogs I link to and follow. Peace and be well everyone! Here are some links-more will be coming in the next post.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Galway Kinnell : After Making Love We Hear Footsteps

For I can snore like a bullhorn
or play loud music
or sit up talking with any reasonably sober Irishman
and Fergus will only sink deeper
into his dreamless sleep, which goes by all in one flash,
but let there be that heavy breathing
or a stifled come-cry anywhere else in the house
and he will wrench himself awake
and make for it on the run--as now, we lie together,
after making love, quiet touching along the length of our bodies,
familiar touch of the long-married,
and he appears--in his baseball pajamas, it happens,
the neck opening so small
he has to screw them on, which one day may make him wonder
about the mental capacity of baseball players--
and flops down between us and hugs us and snuggles himself to
his face gleaming with satisfaction at being this very child

In the half darkness we look at each other
and smile
and touch arms across his little, startlingly muscled body--
this one whom habit of memory propels to the ground of his
sleeper only the mortal sounds can sing awake,
this blessing love gives again into our arms.
Dear reader, I had hoped to have the next reincarnation post up today. I need to make sure I have written it as best I can and have all the needed links to go with it, so it will probably be tomorrow-the universe willing. It is about astral bodies and some ancient ideas of reincarnation and cosmologies. I will try to have the post up tomorrow as early as I can-peace and be well to anyone stopping by or passing through!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Links I Hope Will Help For Previous Posts

I had intended to add these much earlier and began having connection problems to internet again. Hopefully this will just be a problem that will go away for long times like it did before. If anyone would like to comment on anything please keep doing so-they will get here eventually with a response from me. I will add links into this post as I find them. Here are the first two

I also have a couple of more posts ready to go-one along much more traditional lines of thinking about reincarnation and a wonderful poem about the subject my mom found! I will wait a bit and see if internet connection looks like it is going to be steady, I might have to wait til tomorrow, but will try tonight if I am able. Also going to add some other links that will help me decide on future subjects here at MFM-I hope to be spending a lot of time on my writing-but I have found it is useless to 'catch' my muse, I am working on it tonight in fact but won't post anymore until I have something twice the length as the continuation from Nov 28 post.

Paranormal & Fortean : Questions About the Nature of Reality

Now I would like to take you on a tour of three other ideas of parallel or multiple universes. After discussing the Hubble volumes created in inflationary expansion in the post below, the next type of multi-verse that could be created along this line of thinking in some of the theories of modern astrophysics (believe it or not these ideas really do tie into the research on reincarnation I am doing), is a theory called chaotic inflation. In chaotic inflation, inflation ends in some regions of space time, making certain Hubble volumes friendly to the formation of life as we know it. However quantum fluctuations cause other regions to inflate even faster, one hyper-inflating bubble giving birth to another in a never ending chain reaction. The domains of this theoretical set of universes would not be possible to get to even if you could travel faster than the speed of light. This is due to the fabric of space time itself expanding at a rate faster than light. As this chain reaction of universes giving birth to other universes had no beginning in time and the exponential growth will go on forever there will be an infinity of these universe so large that it is not countable. Think back to Georg Cantor and his proof that there are higher degrees of infinity than the set of the countable integers-1,2,3,...and the set of the real numbers is of a higher degree than that of the integers on the number line. The real numbers are also known as transfinite numbers when their uncountabilty is factored in. I will come back with a link if anyone would like to see more about this topic. The number of universes that are spawned in chaotic inflation have the same degree of infinity-transfinite-as the set of real numbers. Also in the theory of chaotic inflation some of these universes would not necessarily have our same laws of physics, same dimensions of space and same particles. If this theory is correct we may share reality with some unimaginably strange places. The theory of chaotic inflation would also explain why there is life in our own universe. This is because with the number of universes or multi-verses being created being uncountably infinite, you would expect some of these universes to be amenable to the creation of life.

The next type of universe or multi-verse we will talk about is equally strange, if not stranger to most people as it has caused the most controversy in modern physics. Whenever a random quantum event occurs-according to the thinking of some scientists-all possible versions of this event happens, although the others 'happen' in parallel universes not accessible to us. Strangely enough there is a large body of scientific theory and knowledge that supports this idea! This set of ideas comes about because in quantum theory the state of the universe is not given by 'Newtonian' type physics (knowing the position and velocities of all particles), but by a mathematical object called a wavefunction. In the Schrodinger equation the wavefunction evolves in time in an infinite dimensional space called Hilbert space, named after the mathematician who 'invented' it, although as we shall see these ideas and mathematical ideas are not invented by human beings, they are discovered by human beings. This Hilbert space would be where the wavefunction 'lives'. There are very counterintuitive results that happen when the Schrodinger equations are taken at face value. Situations arise where an object could be in two places at once. In a thought experiment Schrodinger did he imagined a cat placed into a box that was connected to a device that breaks open a bottle of poison in the box and kills the cat. The device is set off by the completely random radioactive decay of atoms. The strangeness arises because if the scientist has no way to observe what is actually happening in the box, there is a superposition of states where the cat can only be thought of as alive and dead at the same time.
There is truly no way around the strangeness of this situation. Until the cat can be observed it is both alive and dead. The ways that scientists and theorists have tried to 'get around' this unexpected result have failed. The simplest yet strangest way of explaining the description of the wavefunction regarding the cat is to suppose that in one universe the radioactive decay occurs and the cat is killed, in another 'split-off' universe the radioactive decay does not occur and the cat is alive. As a cat lover I hope we live in the 'split-off' universe! In recent times modern physics has produced situations where particles in a quantum state are in two places at once-literally. The simplest description of this type of multi-verse is that when any random quantum event takes place in one universe, another universe is created where the opposite happens and indeed all things happen, as the wavefunction for even the simplest quantum event provides for an almost infinite number of outcomes, much less when you consider the vast number of quantum particles and events taking place in our universe at levels of time so small they are unimaginable to human beings. In this line of theorizing there is a universe where perhaps, the moon landings happened in 1968 instead of 1969, JFK and MLK are still alive, maybe the superpower in the year 2008 in the universe next door so to speak is on the continent of Africa. You can go on endlessly with speculation along these lines, including events in your own personal life. I know from talking to my parents that I easily could have been born in 1958 instead of 1965. This leads me to wonder if there is a universe with the 1958 model 'Devin' instead of the 1965 version:-). Every event that can possibly happen does happen as the wavefunctions evolve, although they are happening in universes or multi-verses unaccessible right now to us-maybe not forever.

The last type of parallel or multiple universes to describe is kind of hard -yet easy in some ways to explain and a link I will give at the end of this post might explain it better. For centuries scientists and theorists have wondered at mathematics ability to describe our physical world. Many have seen this as almost paranormal in itself. Why should mathematics be so good at describing nature and the universe? I have said many times I do not think math and science describe everything that exists, but it is truly incredible the amount of things that can be understood in the world using mathematics. This has led some to speculate: "What if the universe itself is a mathematical structure?" What if the reason mathematical equations are so good at describing reality is because they are reality? Mathematical structures are examples of formal systems. Formal systems consist of abstract symbols and rules for using them. They logically dictate how strings of symbols (theorems), can be derived from given ones called axioms. A mathematical structure would be a changless 'entity' beyond space and time. In our familiar perspective of viewing the world we see events unfold sequentially. If the mathematical structure were a movie, it would be the whole movie and not just a single frame. This is a direct quote from a paper the physicist Max Tegmark did in 2003: "Given a mathematical structure, we will say that it has physical existence if any self-aware substructure (SAS) within it subjectively, from its frog perspective, perceives itself as living in a physically real world." Tegmark also stated in the same paper, "Now suppose that our physical world really is a mathematical structure and that you are an SAS within it." If our reality is indeed a mathematical structure and we are self-aware substructures living in it, there is no reason to suppose that parallel 'universes' do not exist based on the same theory and also getting back to the other type of universe discussed with different physical laws, dimensions and particles etcetera, that other bizarre (to us) universes or mathematical structures exist based on different types of math. These theories are truly incredible if you think about them and as science makes progress there will even be ways to rule some of these in or out. I think this quote by John Fowles sums up the situation nicely, " Human territory is defined least of all by physical frontiers." I have thrown out a lot of ideas in this set of posts and will try to come back with more links that I hope will be helpful to anyone not familiar with these ideas. Here is the first link that might be helpful for anyone thinking about what it might be like to live in a mathematical structure
I hope to be back very soon with more on reincarnation and other things I am working on. Peace and be well to anyone stopping by or passing through!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Paranormal & Fortean : Questions About the Nature of Reality

The set of ideas I will start presenting in this post will turn into a 'series' even though I said I would not do a series while I was doing my thoughts and story on reincarnation. There are two reasons I have changed my mind yet once again on doing series. I feel that my research into reincarnation and the isssues that surround it will last for a very long time-the quality of comments I am getting are always leading towards new ways of thinking. I also think that some of the subjects I want to present touch on the issue of reincarnation itself in some ways as I feel this one does, although that might not seem obvious at first.

The ideas that I want to get into here relate to the 'fabric' of reality, the universe and will by the end touch on some things previously mentioned at MFM as to the nature of the soul. In modern physics there has been much speculation about where our universe came from and if there might be other universes and even if there are universes which do not obey the same physical laws as ours, have different dimensionality and atomic particles. In this first post I will try to get into some of the major ideas modern scientists are thinking about. I do not believe as I have stated before that the question of why there is something rather than nothing has been answered and may never be answered. Of necessity we are going to leapfrog this question and talk about modern research where there is very serious speculation that there are multiple universes and even infinite numbers of them. The first type of multi-verse to talk about is one that obeys our physical laws and has the same dimensions of space. Most modern astronomers believe that our universe began in a vast explosion of a primordial cosmic fireball-the Big Bang. For the purpose of this set of posts we will not get into whether this theory is correct or not-just into some of the intriguing speculation that comes with it. When modern astrophysics talks about the Big Bang, the theory works best when it is supposed that in the first infintesimally small slices of time (it would be inappropriate to even use miliseconds here-I have seen levels of time discussed as small as 10 to the negative 43rd power-thats a heckuva small amount of time) the universe underwent a period of extreme inflation. The size of the universe expanded exponentially and keeps on going to this day, some research suggests that the universal rate of expansion is accelerating.

This led some theorists to suppose that space may be infinite-and why not? It has always seemed to me that if we have something at all, maybe the only background that can explain this are philosophies and scientific theories that suggest infinite space and eternal time. The ideas that I am going to immediately talk about only need space to be infinite and the distribution of matter sufficiently uniform on all scales. After you reach certain immense distances, as we are dealing with infinity here, you would eventually come to another area in this expansion (scientists call them Hubble Volumes after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble who discovered the expansion of the universe), where you would have an area of space with the exact same likeness and history as 'our' area of space. This has even been calculated by astrophysicist Max Tegmark to be 10 to the 10th to the 29th power measured in meters-that is an incredibly huge distance and there is no way theoretically 'our' area and 'their' area could ever be in communication. What this means from a philosophical standpoint is truly incredible. It means that even the most unlikely events must take place somwhere and sometime. I find this very interesting when thinking about certain paranormal phenomena. It also means there are an infinite number of inhabited planets. This would include an infinite number of planets with infinitely many people with the same likeness, name and histories as you! In fact in this theory there are infinitely many regions that are the same size as our whole observable universe where every possible universal history and timeline occurs.

This does pose some incredibly deep philosphical questions. If there are infinitely many copies of 'you' with identical histories and the like-'you' could still not compute your exact future even if you had complete knowledge of all these other universes-because all of the 'yous' feel that they are the origin, the real you and each of their lives will begin to differ eventually so the best that a person could do even if they had all this information is predict probabilities. This kills the idea of determinism. In some of my pondering on the nature of the soul and reincarnation I also thought that the possibility of an infinite number of 'yous' posed some very interesting questions, many people who read this can probably think of a few of their own! In a very real sense in this situation would your soul ever really die-in the most complete sense? Once you have an infinity of space to play with and an eternity of time things get strange indeed. A very fascinating scientific proof has been shown that cosmic inflation can produce an infinity of multiverses even in a bubble (Hubble Volume) of finite size and a flat universe with finite volume and the topology of a torus is equivalent to a periodic universe with infinite volume! If you think that some of the ideas talked about in this post are strange-just wait until the topics in the next post -or two posts if it is required. In some of the 'strangest' scientific thoughts and theories I think it is extremely intriguing that these theories are the ones where the science and what we observe in our reality 'works'.
The image is of the M101 spiral galaxy-a very beautiful example in Ursa Major. The galaxy is also huge with estimates of twice the Milky Way's diameter-170,000 light years across and a mass of between 100 billion and 1 trillion suns. The galaxy is famous for the huge number and brightness of its regions of ionized hydrogen, HII regions, these are areas of high density that are collapsing gas clouds that will eventually form stars.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Paranormal & Fortean : Reincarnation Part Six

Some thoughts to finalize what I thought would be a one-post idea. The ideas and theorizing I am doing borrow, as I have said before, from an enormous variety of people, religions, philosophies and some ideas in science. I do not consider the ideas I am trying to develop the last word on anything. As always I welcome any comments and criticism that people may have, I enjoyed tremendously getting the great number of intelligent, thoughtful and caring comments last night. I felt I just had to come back and put these final thoughts about the etheric body, life force and the soul here. I watched with delight as my cat began some exploring of her own while I was working on the ideas for this set of posts. I actually think she is a bit upset with me now for being up all night :-). While I was writing down some thoughts I watched as her hind end disappeared into a cardboard box. That caused me to think-isn't that what this post or posts is really all about? What causes her feline need to go exploring? Materialist science would tell me that it is simply instinctual curiosity -nothing more that caused Clementina to literally almost pry her way into the box. I am sorry-as an animal lover I have witnessed too many delightful, funny and awe-inspiring things dogs, cats and many other creatures have done to feel that there is no life-force or soul in those little heads of theirs.

Along with this line of thinking how many have heard of a medical miracle where someone who was supposed to die in a matter of weeks or months managed to pull at something both beyond them and inside them to survive. I wonder if they are somehow drawing energy from the template and foundation of the life force itself-the etheric body. Modern science itself tells us that within a year 98 percent of the atoms in our bodies will be completely replaced by new atoms and every seven years each one of us is literally by this time made of 'new' material. I have no doubt that there are scientific theories that explain why we are continually rebuilt into the same form against the forces of entropy. On an intuitional level I feel that the reason this happens is that energy from the foundation, the all sustaining life force of the etheric body is constantly renewing our physical bodies with energy from beyond the physical realm.

I think this is quite enough theorizing to look at for a bit. I will definitely break up the series the next time I post with something new and different. I hope that anyone stopping by or passing through has a wonderful holiday season and is getting ready to have a beautiful and awe-inspiring 2009!

Paranormal & Fortean : Reincarnation Part Five

For anyone stopping by to read this series-please read the post below this one first. I had meant to do the thoughts about the etheric body in one post. For a time I lost my train of thought and I realized it would have to go into a second post to get everything here that I wanted. Continuing on with my theory-and once again I am using ideas and thoughts by many other religions and esoteric traditions, so far I do not think I have wildly veered away from the major ones in what I am trying to get across about the etheric body. Lets say you are looking at an intricately designed snowflake or a glorious spiral galaxy. You can easily become enthralled with the beauty of their forms. The forms these objects take on are decided by the laws of nature in cooperation with the immediate enviorment they are formed in. As we move up the scale towards conscious sentient beings I disagree with the materialist world view that the forms human beings take are only decided by physical laws and heredity. Perhaps if you have been in the presence of the body of a dead loved one, maybe you have felt an even deeper 'absence' than the normal circumstances would dictate. I have been in this situation and felt not only grief-but I felt the 'void' left by the life-force of the deceased person. I can easily relate this experience to the etheric body because the etheric body is the foundation and the life sustaining force behind the physical body.

I also look at the ideas I am developing this way. As a gay man I very much enjoy looking at the faces and physical bodies of certain men who I consider 'good looking'. However, no matter how good looking some may appear to me, if they seem to be no more than handsome, empty headed beefcake dolls, if I happen to meet them in 'real' life I lose interest quickly-note to reader-in 'real life' yours truly doesn't get to meet these men, nor turn down any hypothetical advances they might make towards me very often :-). If I could 'train' my own handsome latin lover properly this would be no problem (joke). Here is where my ideas of the etheric body might take a slightly different turn than the major religions and philosophies. I believe some people have more 'essence' in their etheric bodies than others. On the surface this might seem obvious as people come with very different personalities, levels of energy and things of this nature. What I am proposing is a bit different however. I don't know how this might take place or why, but I am literally thinking that the etheric body is built up somehow. In other words-and this can be for the better or for the worse, in this area people are not created equally in this regard.

Lets go back to the example I gave of looking at very handsome men. I would rather, in a lot of cases, look at a woman who has 'substance' than an extremely good looking man who seems to be devoid of the life essence. However, this is not saying something judgemental about the hypothetical man, it just means to me that he lacks 'depth' and is more oriented towards the life lived without introspection. In my November archives I posted a video that someone uploaded as a tribute to Anne Sexton. I like to watch the video not only because I admire the work she did, but in the video the person used images of Anne displaying a symphony of personas. I see everything from outright anger, childlike innocence, thoughtfulness, vulnerability, a haunting sense of melancholy, a 'femme fatale' kind of pose and one image where she seems to be truly happy working at her craft. She appears to me to be a person of great depth and mystery. I could imagine Anne, along with many other men and women throughout history as having lived before. I have also met some people in my life who may be extremely intelligent, successful, happy and even kind-but I have almost felt -in some cases, like asking them: "Is there a you behind that face." Some of these people seem to be almost programmed in a way-you could very likely predict what they would say or do in a lot of typical mundane situations-this kind of leads back to my thinking under the 'Questions about the nature of reality post'. It almost seems like some folks are fill-ins or extras on the stage of life. What I would meekly-at first propose is that this is not because these people are being run as a program in a universal CPU-but their 'code' is new to the human level of existence. There will be many more thoughts and speculation along this line (I hope) in the future. What I am trying to say is not as mean spirited as it would first appear. These people are every bit as 'human' as you or me-the only thing that is different about them is that they have not been exposed to the human 'hamster wheel' existence before (this idea also gets a nod to another person or persons that comment here for its origination). In many cases this may actually be a good thing. The underlying reality of the universe that I am speculating on is so vast that literally every single code, combination, probability, time-line and thought that a person could possibly imagine will be in existence at some point. The ideas about some people's etheric bodies having more depth than others basically mean (in the most simple terms-there is a larger foundation for this) that they have been around the block more times than others in this human existence.

Now I am at a point where I think my so-called 'new' theory also starts to diverge from the mainstream. I think the levels of existence in this universe or multi-verse are literally infinite-transfinite even-going back to Georg Cantor's proof that there are higher degrees of infinity. That some people seem to have more soul than others -for the good and also very possibly the horrible (maybe Hitler, Stalin and the whole host of other human embodiments of evil were able to get as far as they did because they knew the human soul all too well)-is in my way of thinking a very neutral non-judgemental way of saying that for some of us our 'code' is very attracted to this one incredibly small slice of a vast multi-dimensional reality called the human realm. For some reason that maybe we can explore together some of us come back here again and again. Others among us maybe only pass through once and after their time in the human realm eventually find another area in this enormous sea of existence that fits their 'code' better. Also getting back to thoughts against making judgements about people who seem 'plastic'-perhaps these people seem this way because in the depth of their souls they are so horrified by what they see here that they are afraid to make the slightest mistake or acknowledge their predicament.

Paranormal & Fortean : Reincarnation Part Four

The above image shows how non-physical bodies are related to the chakra system. In this series I think it would be very valuable to talk about certain things even if they only touch on some of the ideas I am trying to develop about reincarnation, where humanity fits in the universe and of course how it relates to my personal story that got me started thinking about some of these ideas. One of the subjects that relates to the theory I am trying to develop is the religious, philosophical and esoteric idea that human beings are composed of not just a physical body, but also of non-physical bodies. In this post I will talk about what is largely thought of as the etheric body and is also known by different names depending on which religion or esoteric system a person follows. In this line of thought the etheric body would be the next one up, so to speak from the physical body. As you move outward from the physical and etheric bodies the next levels are less and less tied to the material universe and higher up on the ladder spiritually. This series is turning out to be very stream of conciousness for me and I hope I am making the ideas I am presenting as clear as I possibly can. Normally I would not think it would be wise to do a long series of posts this way, but again intuition is telling me to go this route. I am definitely going to try to tie all of these thoughts together by the end of the series and I would definitely appreciate any comments or criticisms if I am becoming muddled or unclear to any readers I may have. I can't put into words how much I appreciate the thoughtful and thought provoking comments I receive here at MFM-believe me as far as comments go-you can do no wrong here!

For the purpose of the theory I am trying to develop I will not be going into all of the non-physical bodies and all of the spiritual levels that they are connected to. Like I have stated before I am using the lines of thinking of a very large number of people, religions, philosophies and even science. The etheric body in the ideas I am developing which I think also agrees with the vast number of religions and esoteric thoughts about it, is the body that connects the human physical body to the vital life force. In the Kabbalistic system (here I give a nod and a thanks to one of the many bright people who comment here for this idea), the etheric body would be the sephira Yesod, the foundation. In the ideas I am thinking of it would be very appropriate to think of the etheric body as a foundation for the physical body. For the ideas I am going to propose I think of the etheric body as both enveloping and interpenetrating the physical body and also linking to the next body higher up the ladder spiritually that I will talk about in the next post. The etheric body is also the 'template' that our physical bodies are based on. This body channels the appropriate energies to the proper physical organs in our bodies. In the ideas I am working on the etheric body would also 'have' the wounds and 'have' the memories, both the beautiful and the horrible ones of a previous life. Drawing again on a huge amount of other people's work and ideas; in my imaginings-lets say -lets actually use two examples both male and female-because in my story the idea of both being female and male are very important.

First let us use the thought experiment of a woman during the French revolution who goes to the guillotine. I am thinking in her next life perhaps she has an odd birthmark on her neck-maybe a fear of public spectacles, perhaps even a fear of sharp knives. Let us also imagine a man is shot to death by someone he thought of as a close friend-in this man's last moments he realizes that for all these years this 'friend' was after nothing more than his wife-money -whatever and that in addition the man also realizes in his last moments in the previous existence that his 'friend' actually secretly hated him all these years and finally lets suppose that when the man is shot, he is shot many times. In my theorizing and ponderings maybe in this man's next life he has a very hard time trusting anyone, it is so extreme it causes him lifelong problems. I can also imagine in the next existence this man has a series of strange birthmarks, discolorations-maybe even moles on his skin. I thought of this last one example to use because on my body I have a large number of dark moles all over my body, they really stand out as my skin is very light colored, with this part of me it could be genetic-but no one else in my family is this way and I wonder if sometimes (not using this particular example in my story) that the etheric body 'remembers' where to put the information from the previous existence on the body in the next life-just not in the same way the 'information' happened in the first. I can even imagine that using our hypothetical woman who was beheaded, that if she went to the guillotine in her twenty-seventh year in 1793, that maybe on her next go around when she turns twenty-seven in 1993 that perhaps this is when the strange discoloration on her neck appears-in other words she is not born with it. The 'information' synchronizes in her life in the way the events happened in her previous life. We can even imagine that her fear of crowds and spectacles does not appear until she is twenty-seven or maybe appears earlier after she sees a painting of Jean Paul Marat that for some reason chills her to the bone and she has no idea why. I am going to see how this post looks and continue with my theorizing about the etheric body in the next post. I did not want to do two about it originally but I think I have some other thoughts I need to gather.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For Annie Jump Cannon, 1863-1941

Bright Star, Would I Were Stedfast by John Keats
Bright star, would I were stedfast as though art--
Not in lone splendor hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors:
No--yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast
To feel forever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest;
Still, still to hear her tender- taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.
Although this poem is done in the romantic style of John Keats, for some reason I thought it would make a fitting tribute to the woman astronomer I had mentioned earlier in my blog under the Adrienne Rich poem. I still plan to do a post or two about this fascinating and incredibly hard working woman. Annie Jump Cannon pushed the frontiers of astronomy outward a great deal in her time and in my opinion has never been as properly acknowledged as she should have been. More to come about Annie Cannon and her life later. Peace and be well to anyone stopping by or passing through!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Paranormal & Fortean : Reincarnation Part Three

The above picture literally breaks my heart. It was taken by a photo-journalist, Kevin Carter, who committed suicide some years back. The violence and degradation he had witnessed in his life, especially in Africa had become too much for him to live with. The above photo is of a Sudanese girl who had collapsed on the ground as she was heading to a relief station. I chose the image above for the main topic of tonight's post-karma. Before getting into that I would like to give some quotes and a link at the end of the post about prominent people who believed in reincarnation. As this series goes along I will continue to give links and stories about situations where the idea of reincarnation seems to work very well. There are two stories that I have lost among the magazines and books that I have that I thought were particularly interesting and hope to paraphrase here, quote directly or find links on the web to. Mark Twain said, " I have been born more times than anybody except krishna." Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, "The soul comes from without the human body, as into a temporary abode, and it goes out of it anew it passes into other habitations, for the soul is immortal." He also said, "It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again. Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead and endure mock funerals....and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some strange new disguise." These are just a couple out of a huge number of quotes by famous and not so famous people who had ideas about reincarnation. I included the Mark Twain quote because I thought it was funny in a way, knowing about his many other delightful quotes and I included the Emerson quotes because I thought they were beautiful and thought provoking.

The law of karma and ideas about it may need more than one post to talk about. Karma, broadly stated is simply a law of cause and effect. Most religions and philosophies that adhere to belief in karma believe that good deeds in this life are rewarded in the next incarnation and bad deeds are punished in the next life. I think one of the most intriguing things about the law of karma is that it is not administered by any god or deity in many religions and philosophies. The law of karma just is-much like the laws of nature. This makes me wonder then-how are good or bad karmic actions acknowledged? It seems to me that at some point a mind or consciousness-perhaps universal and cosmic would have to intervene at some point in the process of deciding how a soul's fate is meted out. I will give an example-a thought experiment really-there are probably many, many others people can come up with that just makes me think that at some point a consciousness has to weigh in on certain events. Say a man robs a bank to get money to buy emergency medicine for a group of children who will die without it. The man is very poor and has no time at all to start a charity drive or anything like that, the children will die long before he can do this. This man is generally perceived to be a good hearted family man with a strong character. The man's intentions are good. However in the course of committing the robbery things go terribly wrong. During the robbery a bank guard is killed completely by accident by another guard who is a friend of his in the confusion. The whole plan falls to pieces. The man whose motives for the robbery were noble in a way will now go to jail and his family will be destroyed. The children will die because in my thought experiment this man was the only one who knew of their plight and nobody else will do anything. The guard who accidentally shot his friend will live with the guilt for the rest of his life, even though it was a complete accident.

This very hypothetical scenario leads me to some speculation. Was it wrong for the man who robbed the bank in the first place to have empathy for the children? If he had not cared a whit about them the whole chain of events would not have begun. Did the children who will now die and the guard who was killed do something in a past-life that has led to their fate? What about the guards friend and the family of the man who will now go to jail-did they do something in their past existences to deserve such a fate? In the way karmic law is administered was it wrong for the man to have even considered robbing the bank-even though had it gone as planned it would have been taking paper money to save human souls? Could the universe possibly be this cold? Certainly in our hypothetical story here no one is aware of anything they did wrong in a past life, so how are they supposed to learn any lessons in this web of events? Perhaps the guards friend will now kill himself over his guilt at accidentally killing his co-worker and buddy. Maybe without the man who is now going to jail his whole family will completely disintegrate with the subsequent possibilites of some of his kids becoming homeless, drug addicts and the like. It seems to me that if the chain of events I just described really took place, I can see so many more possibilities for regression and an endless cycle of new bad karmic actions taking place where no one learns a thing, much more than I can see a tale of hope and good karmic actions taking place. Maybe people who will read this will disagree and I completely respect that. It just seems to me that in real life very little good can come from a string of bad events.

This is where the new, quote -un-quote ideas I am trying to develop may or may not be of help. When I look at the human realm I so often see instances of incredible cruelty and magnitudes of injustice. So often I wonder what the hell am I or anybody else supposed to be learning from this? In some instances of people who believe in karma and reincarnation-note to reader here-I am not knocking anyone or any religion or any philosophy, but I think this must be added here for future reference. I actually find many beliefs of Hindu, Buddhist, pagan, theosophy, African and indigenous cultures who believe in some form of reincarnation and karma extremely pleasing and in so many cases I find the belief systems of these cultures and religions much better descriptors of universal reality than western beliefs. That is why I am using these religions and philosphies as a background for the new set of ideas I am trying to work on. There is one area I have seen that I would like to take a glance at because I think this is where some-obviously not the majority of people with these belief systems are getting things wrong. In some instances there seems to be the view that when a person is found to be in a state of disease, starvation, agony, addiction, poverty-etcetera-that that person deserved everything life is throwing at her or him, due to the past-life actions of people in this state. The person who is playing god so to speak when looking at the troubled other and deciding to do nothing to help is in my humble opinion wrong. I think were the more capable person to lend a hand or heart to help the troubled one, it would begin a situation where some soul-learning could actually take place. That is the reason for the above image-can anyone viewing that look at that helpless little child and say 'oh that is just her karma-deal with it'?

Dear reader, I know I said I was not going to do this as far as putting anything else besides poetry and my writing (assuming my muse comes back) while this series is unfolding, but the ideas I am trying to develop may take more time than I originally thought and access to information I do not have readily available. I will not start another 'series' as this one is in progress but as I am looking through massive amounts of material, I have discovered many funny, scary and thought provoking stories I could do as one-posters in between under the subject of the paranormal and if time starts to get lengthy between developing my theory I will start putting some of these in between. To me some of these tales are solid gold so I would like to share them with anyone interested in these subjects. Here are the links this one involving quotes and beliefs of well known people's thoughts on reincarnation
Here is one involving African beliefs in reincarnation
This is a link to wikipedia about Ian Stevenson's work involving reincarnation

This link is to various other religions that believe in reincarnation

Paranormal & Fortean : Reincarnation Part Two

Some of the issues I would like to talk about in a set of posts are the varieties of experiences where reincarnation is a possible explanation for. The previous series about Iris Farczady (Two Souls-One Body) gives an excellent example of post-natal reincarnation. This would be where the soul of a person is taken over, sometimes almost completely, by the soul of a person who is no longer in the human realm of existence well after the birth of the 'possessed' person. In the case of Iris Farczady she was eighteen years old when 'Lucia' pretty much took over her whole being. Deja vu experiences are well worth mentioning-even though reincarnation is no the only plausible explanation for these. However, in the body of literature that covers both paranormal phenomena and others there are just to many cases where the person having the deja vu experience felt that this was the only explanation. Here at MFM I do not want ever to go much by 'the only truth' or 'the only explanation', but I can't express how important I think it is to take a person's word or intuition when they talk about their reincarnation or perhaps UFO, mystical, time-slip-really any of the wide variety of paranormal phenomena experiences. I get very angry at people who scoff at folks who have the courage to speak of any paranormal events that happened to them. In my own viewpoint humanity isn't at a stage where it understands even one percent of the universe or 'reality' and maybe never will be.

The great investigator of the psyche and soul, Carl Gustav Jung, had a deja vu experience that moved him deeply. This experience happened to him when he during a visit to Africa in the 1920s-in Jung's own words: "The train, swathed in a red cloud of dust, was just making a turn around a steep red cliff. On a jagged rock above us a slim, brownish-black figure stood motionless, leaning on a spear, looking down at the train. Beside him towered a gigantic candelabrum cactus. I had the feeling that I had already experienced this moment and had always known this world which was separated from me only by distance and time. It was as if I were at this moment returning to the land of my youth, and as if I had know that dark-skinned man who had been waiting for me for five thousand years. I could not guess what string within myself was plucked at the sight of that solitary dark hunter. I knew only that his world had been mine for countless millenia." I wanted to include this quote by Dr. Carl Jung not only because I greatly admire his work, but I also thought this quote was very beautiful and it brought me back to my ponderings on eternity (maybe time really does not exist and only our puny human perceptions make us think it does). The quote also made me think of how deeply at some level humanity is connected and in the 'theory' I am trying to develop this is very important.

Many other experiences exist that I think are important to mention that may suggest reincarnation. Some of these I will pay more attention to than others. Some children are born into this life with vast talents in many different areas, from music to mathematics and beyond. Though reincarnation is not the only explanation for their amazing abilities, it seems like it should at least be mentioned among the possible explanations. I think that the other 'explanations' for this and other areas I want to get into are also very fascinating and I am drawing on many of them for my so-called 'theory'. One of these would be the scientist Dr. Rupert Sheldrake and his theory of 'morphic resonance'. This theory directly ties into non-locality discussed in the 'Questions about the nature of reality' post. I will give a link to his website at the end of this post. Note to reader-although I am putting a lot of effort in the exploration of my experience and developing a theory that I hope has some validity, it is very important to note I think that -and I think delightfully so-human knowledge will always be incomplete. The quest for an understanding of our universe and where human beings fit in it will go on for a very long time, if not forever. The theory or hypothesis I am trying to develop is only a map-NOT the actual territory.

Here is a 'tricky' one to talk about and not get misunderstood-or in my case perhaps-Miss Understood (joke). This is the idea that some have that nations and races have certain characteristics that departed spirits are attracted to and souls will reincarnate, even in groups into these countries and races. I will give an example from a book I am reading as I do research for this series, it is one of many. This book is called Reincarnation: A Critical Examination by Paul Edwards. This quote is from page 49: "Many other puzzling facts seem to lend themselves to the same treatment. How are we to explain the characteristic differences between the English and the French? According to one of my favorite theosophists, Irving S. Cooper, the English display "a tendency toward colonization", a "lawmaking instinct", a "thoroughness in every undertaking", and a "massive style of architecture". These admirable characteristics, it must be noted with regret, are accompanied by a "sacrificing of beauty to utility and strength" and a "lack of imagination in art, religion and philosphy." In France it is just the opposite. There is very little interest in colonization and no lawmaking instinct worth mentioning. However the French have an "imaginative touch", a love of beauty, a "worship of form and expression", and a special "intellectual keenness". There is only one way of accounting for these differences in "racial" characteristics. May it not be, writes Cooper, in what is purely a rhetorical question, "that in a mass the egos of Greece have taken incarnation in France, the egos of Rome in England?"

Another note here. I was wary of putting this quote here because many of the points in it I completely disagree with and some I think are great over-generalizations. Theosophy itself, in my opinion, although I am by no means taking issue with all of it, had some founders and followers who were outright racists. Perhaps Mr. Cooper had not ever heard of Shakespeare or William Blake, and obviously not heard of Algeria, although perhaps he was not alive at the time.
As always you have to separate the wheat from the chaff and come to your own conclusions. I very much enjoy the work of Rudolph Steiner who was a theosophist. I think you have to look at the work of each individual carefully and use your own mind and take the best and leave the rest so to speak. I will also be looking more into Rudolph Steiner later in this series. I included the quote because the theory of group soul reincarnation is out there and mentioned by people in many different fields of study-going all the way out to Jane Roberts and the Seth material, some of which I also found very interesting and worth mentioning later in the series and of course some not so. I am no world traveller by any means, but I have noticed differences in the various countries I have been to, in the people and the culture. These differences are beautiful to me and are part of what makes each human on this planet a precious resource. Some countries I very much regret never having had the chance to visit (these are not the only ones by any means) are as diverse as Russia, India, the east European nations, the nations in Africa both in the moslem north and the heartland of the deepest rainforest and savannah, the south American nations, New Zealand and Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan-heck take me anywhere!

The image is of a statue of Shiva in Bengaluru, southern India sitting in meditation. Here are the links. and

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Paranormal & Fortean : Reincarnation Part One

Here I go. Ready to start a new series, one that I hope will have some things in it that everyone who visits here regularly can enjoy, learn new things-as I am at the same time I am doing it and hopefully will comment on with their own views, experiences, opinions-really anything! I am learning so much from the people that I link to and that comment here that it is truly amazing to me. The only things I will break up this series with are poetry and if the muse ever comes back to me examples of my writing. In this series there will be a chance for me to hopefully show a bit of my writing when I get to the part of it that is 'my story' and experience. I do have my experience written down already on paper, but not written in the style that I enjoy when my 'muse' comes for a visit. I definitely agree with wise woman-you can't rush or even beg for creativity to come-it just comes-no sense at all in fighting it. This series might end for a bit after awhile and return as I am also developing a theory or hypothesis as to the nature of the 'human reality' and the human soul. Even if 'my' hypothesis takes flight with anyone as I go along, I would never claim it as 'mine'. I am drawing on the work of a vast number of people, opinions, philosophies and religions-both in the mainstream and from the borderlands of our world that I take such delight in. I would also like to apologize for not having more examples of my writing here for folks to enjoy or criticize-I have a ton of 'bite sized' as in the previous examples I gave, of work done but have resolved not to post any more until it is as lengthy or longer than say my longest post in the H/A series. There is just -to me anyway no sense in posting writing I have done until it is a lot more polished. I am working on this also as I will work on this series.

The developing thoughts on my experience and that of trying to develop a 'new' theory of human reality and also thoughts along the lines of how big and incredibly strange, yet beautiful the universe or perhaps multi-verse we live in started coming to me in large parts from reading the men and women who blog under the category of synchromysticism. They also started developing when I began pondering on things like, 'what does our human reality look like from a higher dimension of space time', or from a timeless dimension. What constitutes a human soul? Are cycles of time (historical) in any way reflections of other historical periods? Perhaps the historical eras are 'spiralling' in such a way that 'time' to us is speeding up? Is there an archetypal realm, maybe the 'pleroma' talked about by the Gnostics and Carl Jung, that somehow projects itself into our daily three dimensional space and time? Are there different-maybe unimaginably so, realms of existence? Maybe there are an infinite number or 'planes' of existence? Do the psychic, synchromystic, UFO and paranormal experiences people have come from these other realms or planes of existence? Do the various religions and philosophies that believe in reincarnation and a multi-level view of reality provide a good 'map' to go by when talking about things like this? For tonight's kind of 'introduction post' I would just like to lightly touch on two or three of these questions.

What makes up a human soul or spirit? I have almost lived 15,000 days. During this time I have been so many different 'people'-indeed in the course of a day I think people can see they play many roles and their thoughts and moods change wildly, sometimes from hour to hour. How is it that I view myself as a continous being? I am a greatly different person not only from say 10 or 15 years ago, but even from a year ago. I only remember very little of those 15,000 days, some of the memories being wonderfully positive and of course some negative. With all of these gaps in my memories and the vagueness of some of them I can almost start to think that maybe people as different as the science fiction author Philip K. Dick and some modern philosphers and scientists might be on the right track when they talk of tales or theories that our memories 'lie' and that indeed that we only think of ourselves as continuous souls or beings based on these misperceptions. How do I know, going back to thinking on an earlier post-'Questions about the nature of reality', that I am not some 'program' that is run in a universal CPU-maybe named Devin version 2.0 :-). Maybe all of my thoughts, experiences, dreams only came into existence this very second? In my almost 15,000 days I have very few memories of my very young years and my life viewed over the vast panorama of human history-if indeed human history is 'as advertised' covers an immensely small portion-not to even speak of astronomical and geological time scales. Yet there has been this one area of feeling-maybe memories maybe not of perhaps being 'here' in a different historical period of perhaps 17 to 5 years before 'I' was born and in a greatly different culture than the one 'I' currently identify with.

In regards to other realms, levels or planes of existence I would like to give a very brief overview of one of the major religions that believes in reincarnation-yet very interestingly-says that there is no actual 'self', soul or person that is reincarnated-just a set of 'karmic' tendencies. I find this extremely intriguing because it gets back to issues that deal with the nature of the soul and personality. Tonight I will just touch on the different levels of reality this religion believes in because this is also central to my developing theory. Note to reader: There are different schools of thought in Buddhism-this is only the most generalized look at the belief structure.
1) Naraka beings, these beings exist in the hell realm or lowest realm in Buddhism. There are many different types of 'hell' in this religion and also levels. I wonder-could this realm be where we encounter such paranormal subjects as possession, 'bad' near death experiences and cases of malevolent hauntings, maybe this realm could even account for many UFO experiences that an abductee has that they consider terrifying. Also very interesting to me, in the UFO literature there have been encounters with occupants who tell the contactee that 'they' have no souls and are very curious about the human experience because humans do have souls and personalities.
2) The animal realm. This is pretty obvious and self-explanatory. Some sects in Buddhism think the animal realm overlaps the human realm but is obviously a different level.
3) The Preta or 'hungry ghost' realm. This level is sort of self explanatory. It should be noted that this realm to some schools of thought overlaps the human realm, but the beings are usually invisible to humans. It should also be noted that this level is only considered to be slightly above the hell realm and is a terrible one to be re-born in. In this level of reality the beings are always hungry but never sated. This can be with issues in the previous life such as addiction, emotional and psychological issues and the like. I wonder if many paranormal phenomena humans detect come from this realm also, involving hauntings, electronic voice phenomena, images of 'ghosts' on video and photos etcetera.
4) Human realm. Very obvious here-our realm. The human realm as good or as horrible as it can be depending upon the immense varieties of human experience is considered a very good one to be born in if the human uses it to break the cycle of suffering and re-birth, samsara. I will get much more into the topics of karma, samsara and maya later in the series.
5) The Asura realm. I have always found this realm to be somewhat confusing as to exactly what it is supposed to represent. This realm is not recognized by Theravada Buddhism. This is the realm of the demons, titans, low deities and 'gods' who are always fighting. As much as this realm is sometimes confusing to me it also fascinates because I wonder if many synchromystic and archetypal phenomena could emanate from here and I also wonder if some of the vast variety of experience in the UFO/abductee literature might be explained by this plane of existence. Many people who have had ultra-terrestrial contact have felt they were in the prescence of beings not completely friendly to human beings and also some who have had these experiences appear to be in contact with an archetypal realm. I have wondered if this could be the realm that the archons and demiurge of Gnosticism have their foundation and being in. Perhaps this realm could also be were the ancient gods of Egypt, Greece and Rome emanate from.
6) The Deva realm. This is the highest and most glorious of the realms. The 'heaven' plane of existence. This realm would include brahmas, gods, high deities and beings and what we would think of as angels. Reincarnation into some of the various heavens or Pure Abodes can only be attained by beings who have conquered being caught in the constant cycle of death and re-birth.

The image is of Salvador Dali's, Gala~Abraham Lincoln. I included it in this post because in this series I want to explore how deeply we may all be connected to each other and various other places in our own and other levels of reality. I hope to anyone reading the first post of this series I did not throw out too many things at once and that I made some subjects as clear as possible. Believe me by the time I am done with the series I hope to make everything I post about into as seamless and connected a 'theory' as I can. I would greatly welcome any comments about anything I talked about in this post or any experiences people who read it may have had and any criticisms also. I also want to give these two links to wikipedia because I will be returning later to these religious philosophies and others as I go along.

Rigorous Intuition-What You Dont Know Cant Hurt Them

I was delighted to receive a copy of Jeff Wells new book, Rigorous Intuition: What You Don't Know Can't Hurt Them. I have wanted so long to get my mitts on this book! I wanted to do a short post about it, as I think this book would make an absolutely wonderful addition to the library of anyone who has any interest in deep state operations, conspiracy theories and the wild world of the paranormal. This book would also make a wonderful last minute Christmas present or gift to anyone who has any interests in these fields. The book is available through Amazon and Trine Day publishing at The book is available for a very low price-especially considering the fact of how much hard work went into producing the book and the fact that it runs to almost 500 pages. The book is wonderfully indexed, in fact as people who read a lot know an index is a huge part of a book and considering the huge amount and variety of subjects Jeff covers this really adds a lot to the book. The book also has images-I call them pictograms-from Jeff's blog-I have really enjoyed these over the years-I have been hanging out constantly at Rigorous Intuition since I found it in 2004. Really how many people can cover everything from so called 'normal' conspiracies and deep state ops to the darker 'background' that these seem to be taking place against. Anyone who has any interest in the subjects of UFOs, psychic phenomena and what I think is so very very important-and want to cover so much here-the 'fabric' or 'backdrop' that all of these events are taking place in will be greatly impressed. Modern fascism and the NWO corporotocracy and agenda that comes with it is covered in great detail. Also a great deal of attention to the whys, hows and mysteries of September 11, 2001 is given throughout the book. How much more can I say? I am so impressed with the book that were I able, I would offer refunds to any readers I may have that purchased the book and were disappointed-because I think this is extremely unlikely if anyone has any interest in the previous subjects mentioned. It is so nice to have a 'blog' you can read in comfort in bed! You can also be sure that if many of the other bloggers I link to such as too long in this place, The Hidden Agendas, The X Spot, aferrismoon and others had published work that their blogs covered I would also be happily trying to come up with the money to buy their books! I love how Jeff Wells weaves subjects under what I call the paranormal and fortean into his work. Peace and be well to anyone passing through!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Barbara Kinsey Sable: Insomnia

We fight sleep
We, the insomniacs
Who use the dark to create
The fragile tendrils of daydreams.
That weave screens to seclude
Those worlds sacred to ourselves.
We lift our long fingers of thought
Into the deep blanket of night
That covers our singularities,
And we are alone.
Away from troubles, from demands,
And become what we wish to be;
The image is of Claude Monet's Water Garden and the Japanese Footbridge from 1900.
I hope anyone passing through enjoyed this delightful poem. I was getting ready to put the computer on standby to do research or perhaps off, as I have indeed suffered from insomnia. The poem was found courtesy of the most important woman in my life-my mom!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hadrian & Antinous: Voyage Into Eternity Part 3

Returning to our story and Royston Lambert's, Beloved and God: " 'He fell into the Nile'. Such is Hadrian's own written account of the death of Antinous-at least as it has come down to us in the abbreviation of Dio Cassius' history. Even if the Emperor's original words, in a letter of his autobiography, were more profuse, they evidently satisfied no one at the time and the telegrammatic brevity of what we now read has satisifed no one since. Hadrian's laconic and vague words merely describe, they do not explain. How, we immediately ask did Antinous fall? And why?-by accident or design? Hadrian's phrase is almost dismissively abrupt; as though he was testily repudiating other explanations being proferred by contemporary gossip without giving anything away himself. From this, the suspicion has always lingered that Hadrian knew more than he was prepared to tell. Perhaps, however, he knew less than posterity is inclined to assume. His few words may reflect nothing more than his own scanty information. Antinous' last moments may have been as much a mystery to him as they remain to us."

Now, as this series heads into the home stretch I would like to make known what some ancient and perhaps modern historians have believed or disbelieved about the death of Antinous and will tell you what I think happened and also what I believe Royston Lambert believed-at least the way I am reading him. I will use both my own words and Beloved and God at the end of this post. We are still not quite finished with the series and I definitely want to get to all questions asked by commenters. Theory number one seems to have been that there was a court conspiracy against Antinous-maybe involving Sabina or perhaps Commodus acting together or alone. I do not think this is what happened although we will never know. The reason being is that there was no need to get rid of Antinous, especially as a mechanism for keeping the imperial throne. The star of Commodus was already rising fast and Antinous could not have gained the throne even if he had desired it, which I think is extremely doubtful. Sabina and Antinous may have even got along just fine, thinking especially of the earlier days of Hadrian's reign. They had both been subjected to the emperor's whims-on the surface of things Antinous came out much better than Sabina, but I beg you to look deeper. We will never know, but was the all embracing and perhaps suffocating adoration of Hadrian that much to be treasured by a very young man, who as I think the previous posts show, could more than think for himself and fend for himself.

Theory number two is that Antinous died during a voluntary castration performed in order to save the qualities that so endeared him to Hadrian. I think we can chuck this one out the window too. First of all would Hadrian have subjected his beloved to that barbaric practice? Thinking back over the previous posts and the research I have done I think this is very unlikely-with a probability of maybe 0.0005 percent! Hadrian had extended the ban of castration begun by Domitian and even extended it to circumcision. Secondly, why would he have waited so late to do the procedure as it was most likely too late to affect Antinous' appearance by now.

Theory number three is that Antinous simply fell accidentally into the Nile or drowned on an outing on a papyrus skiff. There is absolutely no evidence for or against this theory that could throw it into the dustbin for all eternity. Think about it for a moment though, with everything that was going on in the background. Would a religion that could compete with early Christianity have started with something as simple as an ooops or in the words of Scooby Doo, ruh roh!? Who knows? I do not like this one and think there is a better explanation. Certainly accidents in history do happen and to me anyway seem to have an effect on very major events, but stay with me.

Theory number four is of a forced procedure called hierougethesis, whereby Antinous would have been sacrificed and his entrails inspected-extispicium, to determine Hadrian's future. Hadrian did have occult leanings. There is absolutely no evidence for this and think again-would he really have subjected his beloved to this horrifying ordeal even with Antinous' ok? Remember just a matter of weeks before Hadrian had put his own life on the line to save Antinous with the situation with the great lion in Libya. There is no historical evidence to support that Hadrian's fear for his own life or reign superseded that of his love for Antinous at this point.

Here is what I think happened that day or eve in October 130 AD and I think Royston Lambert and others were or are thinking along the same lines so it is not just an unemployed, homosexual peasant with minimal education who always tends to think along romantic lines and has a tendency for hero and heroine worship. I think Antinous was looking at the future and any possible role he might have once Hadrian passed from the scene. I think he found this future wanting. I think the many stories of death, resurrection and subsequent deity had affected his mind, at the very least since participating in the Eleusinian Mysteries. I do not think that Antinous was vain in any way-an incredible accomplishment with all that had been thrown his way. I believe the sometimes overwhelming stress he had to be under-both from his relationship with Hadrian and thinking about future potential enemies and possibilites maybe coalesced in his mind during those final weeks. I think Antinous did actually love Hadrian in some way-maybe hugely and realized his life would have been much different had Hadrian never crossed his path. This story has tugged hugely at my romantic and idealistic heartstrings and not just because it is a quote unquote 'gay' story. I have found 'straight' romantic stories from history and even platonic and Sapphic love stories almost equally endearing. I can't possibly go into these in the scope of this post. I think Antinous voluntarily gave himself to the Nile-definitely to help his beloved, Hadrian. Antinous also may have done this because he was thinking not vainly of being a god, but to truely be able to walk through the veils of life and death.

Once again from Beloved and God: "Though this explanation of a sacrificial death most comfortably fits the facts, the mood and the traditions of the time and place, subsequent events and the psychological probabilities, Antinous' death must always remain a mystery, and the faint possibility that it was an accident after all can never be completely obliterated. It must have been as much a mystery at the time. It is likely that no one, including Hadrian himself, fully saw and knew all that transpired in the final moments. Perhaps Antinous, along with Hadrian and others, heard the advice and admonitions of the magicians of the temple and brooded on their implications. Then the young man disappeared. Later his body was found in the river near the township where Bes was worshipped. The Emperor, his jabbering courtiers and bemused posterity were left to deduce what had happened."
The image is of a bust of Antinous from Greece at the National Archaeological museum of Athens.