Sunday, April 26, 2009

R U Sirius? More Dogon Zamora Thoughts

Here are some more thoughts I have in relation to parts or a part of the UFO mystery. I would also like to give a couple of paragraph sized quotes from my all time -can't live without-if I was forced to take one book only to a desert island exile-this would be it book-Jeff Wells splendid Rigorous Intuition: What You Don't Know Can't Hurt Them. I am also calling this a rough draft because insomnia struck yet again last night and I feel really, really slooow-so I would like to come back later and make sure it reads all right, the links work and maybe add more info and pics. How slow am I today? Well I just spent like an hour and a half trying to figure out WTF trans-Plutonic meant-and am still not quite sure. I think it just means outside the realm of our solar system-beyond Pluto. At first I thought it could be some mystical realm or even a level of "being" beyond the element Plutonium.

I think I should first say that I always wondered if at least part of the answer to the secret of the UFOs and some other paranormal phenomena is that a gateway or portal to another dimension or spacetime was opened, either intentionally or accidentally. That probably sounds very wild to many people but the high strangeness of many of the reports led me to consider that we were not just dealing with physical manifestations on our level of reality-but perhaps manifestations opening/unveiling beyond our three dimensional world and spacetime and also interpenetrating it. Jacques Vallee is one UFO researcher who has reported UFO encounters that seem to straddle the boundaries between the physical, non-physical, archetypal and even mystical. Over the years I began to think that the UFO mystery did indeed have some sort of meaning but I also wondered if humanity would ever be able to understand the meaning of the phenomena. I often thought of the analogy of a caveman trying to explain a 747, but a magnitude of difficulty in understanding beyond that.

Getting back to gateways and portals. In 1918 Aleister Crowley was working with a female partner named Roddie Minor using Ceremonial and Sexual Magick with the intent of invoking what he referred to as "intelligences" to manifest. If they are to be believed they had success with this and through Minor's psychic mediumship made contact with an entity called "Lam" through a tear in spacetime that created a portal between realities. Here is a quote from Jeff Wells', Rigorous Intuition from pages 292 to 293: "Remember Lam, and Aleister Crowley's "Amalantrah Working"? Using sex magick with his partner and psychic sensitive Roddie Minor, Crowley claimed to have opened a dimensional portal, through which passed Lam, whose portrait appears an archetypal grey, though Crowley drew him "from life" in 1918, many years before the greys entered our cultural consciousness. Before Lam appeared, Minor channeled messages from a spirit-wizard called Amalantrah, who told Crowley to "find the egg." Ian Blake, who has much of interest to say about Crowley, Lam, and the egg metaphor here, writes that "one of the earlier versions of the Amalantrah Working ended with the sentence, "It's all in the egg." During the final surviving version of this Working, in reference to a question about the egg, Crowley was told: "Thou art to go this way."

That was the first of two quotes I wanted to use out of Jeff's superb book for this post to hopefully illuminate what I am trying to say with my clumsy wordage. If anyone is having trouble following do not worry whatsoever-the story with Crowley and his entourage-perhaps I should say proteges is bizarre and it gets moreso by the time further on when two names are added to it. One of these names will possibly be familiar to you and one obscure. I won't go into them today but I will tell you the names: Jack Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard. Interesting to me is also the fact that Crowley recieved channeled information from his first wife Rose in 1904. Here is a quote about that event from of all things a newsletter put out by the sublime musical group TOOL: "A possible example of just such a Sirian communication is LIBER AL, better known as "The Book of the Law." According to Crowley, Liber Al was a received text, channeled through his first wife Rose (named Ouarda the Seeress by Crowley) while in Cairo, Egypt. The foreboding prophecy of the text was dictated in a rich timber by a higher intelligence which called itself Aiwass, an emissary from the Egyptian Neter, Horus. One passage in the book even asks "is a god to live in a dog?" A possible reference to the Dog Star Sirius."

Michael Bertiaux claims to be a more recent Lam contactee. He is supposed to have had much success in communication with the "intelligence." Bertiaux sees Lam as a "subterranean burgeoning of Lucifer-Gnosis." Gnosis which is higher or intuitive knowing would bring out the meaning of that statement to be that "knowing Lam is to know a welling up from the unconscious of an inner knowing of Lucifer." It is important to note here that Lucifer here is not to be thought of as the Christian devil but the "Light Bringer." "Lam" is also considered to be a class of entity-as opposed to an individual being. If a person invokes "Lam" they are asking an entity of that type to manifest rather than a particular being. Here is yet another quote by a man named Ian Blake who also discusses Crowley and the Sirius connection: "During the 1950s, Crowley's last disciple, British occultist and current Outer Head of the Typhonian O.T.O., Kenneth Grant, worked rituals with the NU-ISIS lodge that were designed to receive Maatian emanations from Sirius. In his remarkable Typhonian trilogies, Grant leaves a record of the lodges attempt to establish traffic with non-human entities from a planet that he describes as being trans-Plutonic."

So I am wondering what is going on? Sirius-if I remember my astronomy correctly is of spectral type A1 (not like the steak sauce;-)-sorry for the "Lam" attempt at humor-I can always tell when I am getting tired. It is a very bright star, so the fact that it is mentioned from antiquity until the present day in all kinds of ways makes sense. However, my understanding is that this type of star is extremely unlikely (of course this is just by our "current" understanding of science) to support life. Yet certain ancient societies and a very old tribe existing today mention it as sustaining physical life. The Dogon in Africa is a very fascinating tale that I will provide a link for. This tribe "knew" things about the Sirius star system that by any conceivable means they should have had no way of knowing-first of all that it is indeed a pair and not just one star and secondly they seem to have knowledge of the physical qualites of the smaller star-a "white dwarf " that modern physics didn't even begin to describe until the twentieth century. Sirius-it seems to me anyway-not that I am claiming to know about all metaphysical systems-but in so many that I have heard of the status of Sirius is extremely important. The information about Lam and his image-which I will come back with. Coincidences do happen but I remember getting a shiver up my spine when I first viewed the Lam image and realized it was from 1918. And what is with all the egg stuff? So many thoughts come to mind with the word "egg" that I wonder if that is part of the "game" also whatever the "game" is. I think of creation myths, the big bang (which some scientists are starting to question), how everything from chickens to us homo saps are born, for some reason the "alpha and the omega" always come to mind when I think of the word egg. I am probably the only person weird enough for this! Well I am going to close the post out with a last quote from Jeff's book-I have probably been very much overly-wordy which seems to become worse the more tired I am. I am also going to be coming back to other subjects in Rigorous Intuition. There are so many varied and interesting subjects in this book it will be hard to choose which ones to work with-it is five hundred pages of paranormal, parapolitical and conspiratorial yummy goodness!

OK now more about the Zamora case and other thoughts from page 294 of Rigorous Intuition: "One final thought. Lonnie Zamora reported seeing "markings in red letters about a foot high on the side. It looked like the crescent and a horizontal bar beneath that." To those who regard UFOs as nuts and bolts spacecraft, perhaps these markings would be regarded as the designation of an extraterrestrial authority. Their "flag." But it's quite anthropomorphic to presume aliens would think in such terms.

If we consider ritual magick, the symbol resembles a "sigil," used for the invocation of angelic and demonic entities. I haven't searched yet for a crescent with a vertical arrow within it and a horizontal bar beneath it. But I wonder what the implications would be if one were found."

When I read Jeff's thinking about the "sigil" it really hit home how very odd and out-of-the-box this phenomena is, because that is indeed what the marking Lonnie Zamora saw looks like and also the marking on the "UMMO" UFO in the above picture. I am realizing I not only forgot "Lam's" image but also some links-like sigil-I will try to come back with these shortly. If anyone reading this post didn't understand it please let me know-I would much rather re-do a whole post and have people understand than people looking at it just saying WTF?! Anyone hearing of this for the first time may need to go to the links I will provide to get a better understanding. I am still trying to decide what to focus on next and have several ideas. I also owe Autumnforest a "thanks" for giving me the idea to start a new series to go along with the Mind, Soul and Reality series. I think I am going to call it "Prophets and Possession" and have no idea how quick the next post will be here-maybe not that long and I would also like to return to Rigorous Intuition and other sources for it. Here are the links-I hope anyone stopping by had a beautiful weekend!Finally got the image of "Lam" here at the top of the post.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lonnie Zamora Encounter 45 years Later

On 24 April 1964 a very important UFO encounter took place outside of the small town of Soccoro, New Mexico. The incident was very interesting because of the extreme credibility of the main witness, multiple witnesses reported it and physical trace evidence. At about 5:30 pm that afternoon police officer Lonnie Zamora had just noticed a black Cadillac drive past him in the other direction at excessive speed. The description of the car that was speeding is also interesting in light of the "Men in Black" reports around the world as they are often said to drive big black luxury cars! Thinking to catch the speeding vehicle Zamora quickly turned his police car around, and with squealing tires was in hot pursuit. He was on State Road 85 with the Cadillac still speeding ahead of him, when he heard a noise like a roar or thunder. Towards the southwest direction and about three-quarters of a mile away, an orange and blue colored flame shot across the sky. A dynamite shack was located in the area in that general direction and Zamora had hoped there hadn't been an explosion there. At this point Officer Zamora decided to let the speeder get away and go investigate. Once he had driven up the first hill he looked in the direction of the dynamite shack and saw a glowing white object at the bottom of a gorge about 500 feet away from him.

Now he was thinking some terrible accident had taken place there-perhaps a small plane crash or car wreck. Zamora radioed to the Soccoro police station that he was going to leave his patrol car and "check the vehicle." As Zamora got closer he realized that what he had thought of as a wrecked vehicle was something entirely different. Two "persons" in white overalls were standing near a white, glowing, metallic object that was shaped like an American football or egg and standing on four thin black landing struts. One of the humanoids looked in the direction of Zamora's car and was apparently startled by it an began moving quickly. Officer Zamora approached the object still thinking that whoever the occupants might be they might need help. As he got closer, Zamora again heard the noise of thunder and also saw a flame. The flame was bluish in color; accompanied by a loud roar and was coming from the underside of the object. Zamora noticed a sign or symbol on the object. It was painted in red on the white side of the object. It looked like a semicircle, drawn horizontally, about twenty-five inches long. Inside it was an arrow pointing upwards with the shaft cut off at the level of the barbs. Zamora was now quite frightened and thought the object was in danger of exploding and didn't hesitate hitting the ground running. Once he got to the other side of the hill he felt a little more safe and turned back to observe the egg-shaped object. He took shelter behind some rocks and bushes and watched the craft fly away at a low height of fifteen to twenty feet above the ground. It missed the dynamite shack by only about three feet. After gradually increasing its velocity the object finally disappeared in the distance.

Officer Zamora ran back to his car and radioed to a fellow officer at the police station, "Look out the window and tell me if you can see an object. It looks like a balloon." However, a moment later Zamora realized that it would be impossible for his fellow officer to witness the object as the window at the station faced the wrong direction. Here is a quote by Officer Zamora describing how the object took off, "After I fell by the car and my glasses fell off, kept running to north, with car between me and object period. Glanced back a couple of times. Noted object to rise to about level of car, about 20 to 25 feet guess-took I guess about six seconds when object started to rise and I glanced back. I ran I guess about halfway to where I ducked down -about 50 feet from the car is where I ducked down, just over the edge of hill. I guess I had run about 25 feet when I glanced back and saw the object level with the car and it appeared about directly over the place where it rose from. I was still running and I jumped just over the hill-I stopped because I did not hear the roar. I was scared of the roar, and I had planned to continue running down the hill. I turned around toward the object and at the same time put my head toward ground, covering my face with my arms. Being that there was no roar, I looked up, and I saw the object going away from me. It did not come any closer to me. It appeared to go in straight line and at same height possibly 10 to 15 feet from ground, and it cleared the dynamite shack by about three feet. Shack about eight feet high. Object was travelling very fast. It seemed to rise up, and take off immediately across country."

Almost immediately upon the object leaving the area, State Police Sargeant Sam Chavez arrived having overheard Officer Zamora who had radioed wildly to his dispatcher hoping that someone else might be able to see the object. Together they noted the evidence in the arroyo: a half-burned bush, four angular impressions in the soil where the "legs" had been and several small footprints and other impressions.

Hector Quintanilla, Jr., the former head of the Air Forces Project Bluebook writes in a declassified CIA document from 1966-"Studies in Intelligence" that: "There is no doubt that Lonnie Zamora saw an object which left quite an impression on him. There is also no question about Zamora's reliability. He is a serious police officer, a pillar of his church, and a man well-versed in recognizing airborne vehicles in his area. He is puzzled by what he saw, and frankly so are we. This is the best documented case on record, and still we have been unable, in spite of thorough investigation, to find the vehicle, or the stimulus that scared Zamora to the point of panic."

The first image is a drawing Lonnie Zamora made of the "insignia" on the craft. The next iimage is a sketch Zamora made of the craft itself. The last image is an artist's conception of the encounter. Best to anyone stopping by and thanks again for all of your considerate, insightful and intelligent comments! PS-I may be back with a bit more about this case soon-not sure yet- may have some more thoughts and information about it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't Look Now!

Many cultures around the world believe in the power of the "evil eye" and certain ways people can hope to ward off its evil essence or curse in their lives. These five images contain symbols used as protection against the evil eye's influence. The first image idea comes courtesy of commenter "foam". It is of an Owl Butterfly and shows the "eyes" on its wings for protection. The second image is of a Turkish airliner sporting a blue- eyed symbol of protection on its tail. The third image is of a batch of the blue-eyed symbols (nazirs) for sale-although I do not know the location this picture was taken at. The belief in the evil eye is so widespread it could be from many different places. The fourth image is of a Sheela na Gig on a 12th century church in Herefordshire in the United Kingdom, protecting the church from various evil influences. The fifth image is of a "Hamsa" hand. This is called a Hand of Fatimah by Muslims and a Hand of Miriam by Jews-also used be devotees of both religions to ward off evil eye influences. The last image is a gargoyle guarding the splendid Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. I was going to try post something with a bit more substance today-but didn't like the way it sounded so I saved it to drafts. Some people that comment here have given me wonderful ideas for some ideas for articles in the future and I really appreciate that! I had the misfortune of seeing a new (I think) Burger King commercial the other day. Now I have a stupid song stuck in my head. Sheeesh no doubt the lyrical phrase "My anaconda don't want none unless you've got buns hun!" will ring down through the ages right along with Shakespeare and William Blake. I do suppose I would be safe from any hypothetical advances Sir Mixalot might make towards me-even if he were bisexual. My derriere-backside whatever is so flat a game of chess could probably be played on it -althought its rather small so it might not be large enough-perhaps Tic-Tac-Toe-Not that anyone reading this blog really needed to know that! Best to all of you and thanks again for the great comments!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mind, Soul and Reality-The Mothman Un-Prophecy

At the very beginning of John Keel's book, The Mothman Prophecies, he tells the story of a couple awakened by a bearded stranger at the ungodly (unless you are an insomniac like me) hour of 3 AM. The morning was wet and cold. It was late November in 1967. This was a place where strangers were rare and suspect. The stranger who had hammered at their door was described as over six feet tall and dressed entirely in black. His face which was barely visible in the darkness sported a neatly trimmed mustache and goatee. The flashes of lightning behind him added to the eerie effect. "May I use your phone?" he asked in a deep voice that didn't have the familiar West Virginian accent. The woman who answered the door was so frightened that she backed away, said, "Talk to my husband" and closed the door. Some minutes passed and a rugged young man returned with his wife and said through a crack in the door, "We aint got a phone here," and slammed the door. The stranger disappeared into the night. In the days following the encounter with the stranger the young couple told their friends about the man and the strangeness of the encounter. Bearded, men in black formal suits with muddy black dress shoes and strange accents appearing at people's houses at three in the morning were-needless to say-an extremely uncommon occurrence in the poor back hills of the Ohio Valley

The couple concluded that the man had been a fearful omen-maybe the devil himself. Three weeks later this couple was killed in the worst tragedy to strike that section of West Virginia. They were driving across the Silver Bridge, which spanned the Ohio River, when it suddenly collapsed. The friends of the couple remembered the story of their friends strange visitor of the weeks before. This confirmed their religious beliefs and superstitions. Perhaps the devil himself had visited Point Pleasant, West Virginia before a terrible tragedy. There turned out to be a very prosaic explanation as to the identity of the "devil" in the rain that night. Paranormal investigator and "dedicated nonconformist" John Keel's car had gone off the road and he had been searching house to house in search of a telephone to use so he could call a tow truck! He had driven up from Atlanta, Georgia where he had delivered a speech to a local UFO club. By the time West Virginia was almost a second home to him. He had already visited the state five times investigating strange events and had many friends there. One of these friends, Mrs. Mary Hyre, a reporter for the Athens, Ohio, Messenger was with him that night. The pair had been out talking to UFO witnesses that night, and earlier in the evening had seen a very strange light in the sky themselves.

Keel writes in The Mothman Prophecies, "Since there was a heavy, low cloud layer it could not have been a star. It maneuvered over the hills, its brilliant glow very familiar to both of us for we both had seen many such lights in the Ohio Valley that year. Mrs. Hyre waited in the car while I trudged through the mud and rain. We had been trying to climb a slippery hill to a spot where we had seen many unusual things in the past. I found the telephones in the houses closest to our location were not working, apparently knocked out by the storm. So I had to keep walking until I finally found a house with a working phone. The owner refused to open his door so we shouted back and forth. I gave hima phone number to call. He obliged and went to bed. I never knew what he looked like. My point, of course is that Beelzebub was not wandering along the back roads of West Virginia that night...But from the view of the people who lived on that road, something very unusual happened. They had never before been roused in the night by a tall bearded stranger in black. They knew nothing of the reasons for my prescence so they were forced to speculate. Even speculation was difficult. They could only place me in the frame of reference they knew best-the religious. Bearded men in city dress simply did not turn up on isolated back roads in the middle of the night...So a perfectly normal event (normal that is to me) was placed in an entirely different context by the witnesses. The final proof of my supernatural origin came three weeks later when two of the people I had awakened were killed in the bridge tragedy.

Some future investigator of the paranormal may wander those hills someday, talk with these people, and write a whole chapter of a learned book on demonology, repeating this piece of folklore. Other scholars will pick up and repeat his story in books and articles. The prescence of the devil in West Virginia in November 1967 will become historical fact, backed by the testimony of several witnesses." I wanted to include this bit from Keel's book because I think it is very instructive as to how easy it is for people to misconstrue events and misinterpret facts. Also I didn't want to 'waste' the research I had done when I thought I might be doing an actual Mothman series;-). I think no matter what one's stance is on the paranormal, that anyone objectively looking into the events going on in Point Pleasant, West Virginia and its environs from late 1966 until the Silver Bridge collapse on December 15, 1967 will agree that something very strange was happening. Some folks are saying there are "aftereffects" going on until the present day-but I don't want to delve to much into this in case I come back to the story-and also know more about what these more recent people are saying. The story of the "Mothman" has everything from, of course the mothman itself-himself -whatever;-), Men in Black or MIBs, UFOs, Poltergeist phenomena, odd phone calls and seeming other wordly contact-very spooky contact at that. Thanks again so very much for all of your thoughtful, intelligent and insightful comments. I had a "nice" surprise this morning when I got an email and comment-I say this not to bitch-but just because some of my surprises of late haven't been of the nice variety. I hope things like this continue in my life as I do in all of the people I am in contact with -through emails, blogs or "real life"-Best wishes to all of you! The top image is the "best" rendition of the Mothman according to the two young couples who witnessed it on 18 November 1966. I better double check-but I believe the drawing was done by the fantastic Loren Coleman himself. The next image is of a very handsome man holding a ball-I think that image is courtesy of stevo's Hot Men Appreciation Society. Someone kindly send the man with the ball to my address and I will do something nice for you! Here is a link

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mind, Soul and Reality-My Life of Spiritual Crisis & Other Stuff

In his excellent and thought-provoking book-Breaking Open the Head-Daniel Pinchbeck talks about the deepening spiritual crisis that led him to explore the psychedelics and modern day shamanism. A note here -I am wondering if I should call this a rough draft as about an hour ago my back started acting up and I am in a lot of pain -plus I took some pillz for the pain. I just don't think modern folk-least of all yours truly are made of the same stuff in relation to fighting off pain. There is an beautiful thought -from the Buddhist religion I think-that says when you are in a lot of pain you should pray that your pain can take away the pain of other sentient beings -so this is my prayer for the moment. And if this post doesn't make any effin sense whatsoever I will re-do it and aplologize beforehand if it is unreadable. The spiritual crisis he was going through had or has some echoes in my own life-and perhaps many of you have felt the same way at one time or another. At times the emptiness I have felt in my own life has been so overwhelming that I am somewhat surprised at times to still be here. I think one of the reasons for my survival is that I come from a strong loving family and at the times of the deepest darkness I have been lucky to come in contact with exactly the right friends and people who have helped me get through.

These feelings of otherness and alienation came to me quite early in my life-even before my teenage years. Compared to a lot of other gay women and men I have talked to over the years I don't think my particular "spiritual crisis", alienation-whatever you want to call it was born much at all from my very early in life realization that I was homosexual. I don't know exactly why this didn't add to my sense of disaffection with the world-it could have been that as a lifetime member of a club called "Bookworms", I realized from an early age that I was not the only gay guy in the world. A man I talked to in the 1980s told me that he actually felt he was the only homosexual in the world back when he was growing up in a small Kansas town.

One of the ways I remember feeling that did begin as a teenager after I had begun to know just a little about what the adult world was like was along the lines of "Gee-if I work hard and behave all my life will I get something resembling a big fucking hunk of cheddar cheese at the end-like a mouse or rat rewarded for running through a maze?" The 'values' and 'enchantments' of modern life seemed horribly empty to me. It seemed -to me anyway-that at the ass end (or would it be the mouth?:-) of capitalist consumer culture that there was this wide chasm of terrifying proportions. It appeared like the maw of this beast of 'wants' and 'needs' (needs have always been somewhat confusing to me-for I have known people who consider a Mercedes-Benz or a Mont Blanc pen a 'need' like a man dying of thirst needs water) would never be fulfilled. Perhaps this was the whole idea? So many people seemed hypnotized-entranced by this ravening beast of desires -but I only saw an unspeakably horrifying abyss and emptiness that would never be sated.

The situation in consumer-mass production society reminded me a great deal of the realm of the "Hungry Ghosts." These hapless beings (also from Buddhist thought I believe)that are supposed to inhabit this most unfortunate level of existence have huge bellies to fill, but only tiny mouths and long thin necks. So they are never full and without want. I actually wonder if some people when they pass from this life that are addicts and the like are where the reports originate of some ghostly and paranormal behavior. I think the "out of body" or OOBE investigator Robert Monroe claimed to have seen many departed spirits who were in places like bars trying to pick up a 'real' glass which they found they couldn't --but it didn't stop them from trying-and he also saw other spririts frustrated in their attempts to smoke cigarettes and other things that cause addictive behavior.

And added to this was the hugely 'introspective' 'intellectual' and 'questioning' nature of modern culture itself (sarcasm)-especially in the United States. Of course I will admite here and now that I was guilty of partaking of its 'insights.' I can still remember watching the "Who Shot J.R." episode of Dallas. I had always thought and hoped it would be Sue Ellen, played by the lovely actress Linda Gray-but this is probably a topic for another post:-)

However, I wasn't without ideas or notions of what i could fill my empty soul up with. The names of the two 'friends' who came to my 'rescue' in this matter I will call by the pseudonyms Stoly and Dick. I will say a bit about these two vacuum filling entities in the next post. Before going I would like to give a quote from Breaking Open the Head from page 15 that I feel is very relevant to the feelings that started me on my spiritual journey: "As I wondered the streets in a desolate funk, I would ask myself the impossible, the embarrassing, the ultimately childish question of Why?-Why this city? Why this life? Why anything? Of course I knew that why was a question you were supposed to stop asking around the age of ten, but I couldn't free myself from it."

I would love to hear from any readers who may have felt they have gone through a kind of spiritual "emergency" in their lives and if they were able to remedy the situation. I do not have any idea when the next post will be here and don't worry it will not be so much about me-but it may contain examples from my life about the theories of the soul and reality I am trying to bring forth in this set of posts-anything from near death experiences, reincarnation, psychedelic experiences, ghostly encounters-you name it. For some reason I feel a great need in my life to be surrounded by the ineffable, magical and the unexplained. Thanks again for all of your thoughtful, insightful and intelligent comments! OOOPS I did it again. I am trying to edit HTML to take out stupid space at top-there are two "div" thingies-when I try to delete these blogger gives me the message: Your HTML cannot be accepted: Closing tag has no matching opening tag -and then it gives me another "div" symbol I am afraid to put here to mess it up even more haha-O well its not as bad as some of my other multiple image efforts:-)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mind, Soul and Reality

One of the most brilliant mathematicians (and physicists) who ever lived was a Hungarian born man named John von Neumann. He calculated that over the course of a human lifetime the brain stores about 280,000,000,000,000,000,000 bits of information. This is an incredibly vast number. Scientists have thought about the ways this immense amount of data could be both stored and retrieved by the brain. Could the holographic theory explain this? Remember that holograms have an enormous capacity for information storage, and as far as retrieving the information goes, with the part containing the whole perhaps this makes it much easier? I wonder if there is a law of the conservation of not only energy-but also information and memory. Maybe all of the things the billions of people (and other species too) have experienced down from the dawn of time are never lost. I wonder if there might be some truth to the universal library or Akashic records. The great investigator of the human soul, Dr Carl Gustav Jung had a fantastic "synchroncity" event that happened while treating one of his patients. The woman Jung was treating at the time had a very stern, materialist and rational approach to life. This was a woman who simply had no need-and maybe want of the ineffable and sacred dimension of human existence. The woman's attitude was severely hindering her progress in therapy.

She had a series of frustrating sessions with Jung, but one day told him of a dream she had that involved a scarab beetle. Jung knew a great deal about mythology worldwide and this was hardly the first time a symbol from ancient mythology came up in a patient's dream. In ancient Egyptian mythology the scarab was a sacred representation of rebirth. As he believed dreams were greatly influenced by the collective unconscious, Jung wondered if the dream meant that she was about to go through a psyhcological transformation-a rebirth. Jung had just started to tell her of his interpretation, but before he could he heard a tapping on the window from outside. He was astonished to see a gold-green scarab beetle on the other side of the glass. Keep in mind, he was in the mid-European latitudes and sightings of scarab beetles were extremely rare to non-existent in these climes. Jung opened the window and let the scarab fly in as he presented his interpretation of the dream. The entry of the scarab beetle both in the woman's psyche and then physically amazed her and she was able to let go of some of her excessive rationality. From this day forward her response to therapy improved.

Quoting again from Michael Talbot's The Holographic Universe: "Jung encountered many such meaningful coincidences during his psychotherapeutic work and noticed they almost always accompanied periods of emotional intensity and transformation: fundamental new insights, deaths, births, even changes in profession. He also noticed that they tended to peak when the new realization or insight was just about to surface in a patient's consciousness. As his ideas became more widely known, other therapists began reporting their own experiences with synchronicity." Talbot also gives another example of a synchronicity involving an associate of Jung's based in Zurich named Carl Alfred Meier. A woman surgeon, who had headed a mission hospital in China for twenty years was suffering from serious depression. She traveled from Wuchang, China to Zurich, Switzerland to be treated by Meier. In the course of her therapy she told Meier of a dream in which she had seen the hospital she worked in with one of its wings destroyed. She was originally from America but had become involved in Chinese culture and was an expert in Chinese philosophy. Meier thought that her dream meant she was losing her sense of self, her American identity and that this cultural dislocation was causing her depression. Dr Meier advised her to return to the United States, which she subsequently did. After her return her depression ended quickly. This woman had also given Meier a detailed sketch of the crumbling hospital in her dreams before she left. Years afterwards, the Japanese attacked China and bombed Wuchang Hospital. The woman sent Meier a copy of Life magazine that had a double page photograph of the partially destroyed hospital. The photographs and her drawing of nine years previously were identical!

I thought this synchronicity of the woman, the hospital, her dream and the eventual bombing of the hospital was a fascinating-though tragic in ways-example of a synchronicity that had a deep personal meaning (via the interpretation of the dream) and also because the dream image had gone beyond the boundaries of the woman's psyche and became a part of physical reality nine years later. "Because of their striking nature, Jung became convinced that such synchronicities were not chance occurences, but were in fact related to the psychological processes of the individuals who experienced them. Since he couldn't conceive of how an occurrence deep in the psyche could cause an event or a series of events in the physical world, at least in the classical sense, he proposed that some new principle must be involved, an acausal connecting principle hitherto unknown to science." The Holographic Universe, pg 79. Leaving synchronicity for a bit and going to some ideas I have talked about here before-how is 'reality' created? -does 'reality' exist independently of conscious observers? Most physicists ignore the implications of the theory of quantum mechanics. They accept the theory and standard interpretation of it, however, they also insist on the reality of quantum systems (in other words the deepest level of 'reality') even when they are not being observed. However, in experiment after experiment pertaining to quantum physics it has been shown that the best description of a quantum state when it is not being observed is an infinite superposition of states. Without an observer nothing is concrete. And of course you can go beyond these deep questions to ask-what constitutes an observer?

"Human consciousness may not be the only thing that participates in the creation of reality-fields. Remote viewing experiments have shown that people can accurately describe distant locations even when there are no human observers present at the locations. Similarly subjects can identify the contents of a sealed box randomly selected from a group of sealed boxes and whose contents are therefore completely unknown. This means that we can do more than just tap into the sense of other people. We can also tap into reality itself to gain information. As bizarre as this sounds, it is not so strange when one remembers that in a holographic universe, consciousness pervades all matter, and "meaning" has an active prescence in both the mental and physical worlds." The Holographic Universe, pg. 145.

In his book The Spectrum of Consciousness, Ken Wilber has some excellent thoughts and information about just who and what the 'observer' in all of us is at the very core of our beings. "Now in speaking of Reality as non-dual consciousness, most of us conjure up ideas of consciousness as somehow being connected with subjectivity. That is, we feel consciousness belongs not to "objects" such as this page but rather to myself as the subject who is supposedly "conscious" of this page. This is of course dualistic to the core. But since consciousness is Reality, and Reality is actually non-dual, it would be much more accurate to view consciousness not as a relative subject confronting objects but as Absolute Subjectivity above the dualism of subject vs. object. Consciousness, as Absolute Subjectivity, belongs exclusively to neither subject not object, but embraces both. In this sense, Absolute Reality is Absolute Subjectivity...Every individual habitually feels that his ego, his self, is the subject of his own experiences, feelings, and thoughts, that his subjective self is now reading the words on this page. And this he expresses by saying "I am aware of myself reading." But the fact that something in me can look at my subjective self, that is, the fact that there exists in me right now an awareness of my "self" reading this page, should show me clearly that my supposedly subjective self is really an object of awareness!" Ken Wilber, The Spectrum of Consciousness, pages 70 and 71.

I was going to say some extra things here about other aspects of our souls and personalities, things along the lines of how sometimes I wonder if the "dumbing down" of the world and also its surfeit of mundane sensual pleasures (such as the Oreo cookie I am eating now) are intentional? I wonder if there is some part of the human personality that some forces or aspects do not want to go any higher. Sound insane? Yes I know it must to a lot of people-and if you have an opinion against this -please by all means comment. Perhaps these thoughts are best left to be developed in the next post. I am a bit tired and I do not like to tread so much terra incognita when I am not 100 percent wide awake. I would like to leave you with this bit from the always magical and masterful William Blake: To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.

Thanks again everyone for your thoughtful and intelligent comments! I hope to have the next post here in two to four days. The image on top is Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World and the beefcake is Jae Garcia from stevo's Hot Men Appreciation Society blog. What a hottie! You have great taste stevo! I will try to include an image for my straight guy and lesbian readers next time;-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mind, Soul and Reality

It's very easy. Instead of thinking of things as things, you have a habit. We all have a habit of thinking that everything around us is already a thing, existing without any input, without my choice. You have to banish that kind of thinking...Instead you really have to recognize that even the material world around us, the chairs, the tables, the room, the carpet, the camera included, all of these are nothing but possible movements of consciousness. And I'm choosing moment to moment out of those movements to bring my actual experience into manifestation. This is the only radical thinking that you need to do, but it is so radical. It's so difficult, because our tendency is that the world is already out there, independent of my experience. It is not. Quantum physics has been so clear about it. Heisenberg himself, codiscoverer of quantum physics, said atoms are not things. They're only tendencies. So, instead of thinking of things, you have to think of possibilties. There are possibilites of consciousness.--Amit Goswami Ph.D.

In study after study, whether the person suffered from a psychological disorder or not, Grof found the same general levels of the unconscious were uncovered a step at a time. Again from page 70 of The Holographic Universe: "It was almost as if LSD provided the human consciousness with access to a kind of infinite subway system, a labyrinth of tunnels and byways that existed in the subterranean reaches of the unconsciousness, and one that literally connected everything in the universe with everything else." In the 1960s Grof coined the term transpersonal to describe the experiences where the person "tripping" would visit territories beyond the traditional boundaries of the personality. In the late 1960s, Grof joined with Abraham Maslow and other professionals to found a new branch of psychology called transpersonal psychology. One theory that would explain transpersonal psychology is the holographic model of the universe. A holographic image is created when a single laser beam is split into two seperate beams. The first beam is bounced off the object to be photographed. Then the second beam is made to collide with the first. The resulting interference pattern is recorded on film. The image on the film doesn't resemble anything like the original object. The image looks more like the colliding waves and troughs that are created when a handful of pebbles are thrown into a pond simultaneously. The magic happens when another laser beam (sometimes just a bright light is used) is used to illuminate the interference pattern on the film. A three dimensional image of the object will appear.

These images are so life-like that you can actually walk around them and view them from different angles. If the photographic plate with the holographic interference pattern is broken in half-either of the halves will still contain all the information to recreate the original three dimensional image when illuminated by a laser. The plate can even be broken into fourths and eighths and so on, and will still produce the image when illuminated, although the detail and clarity of the three dimensional image will be compromised. The reason this happens is that unlike normal photographs, every small portion of the holographic film contains all the information recorded in the whole. This reminds me somewhat of a bit of Hindu (I think?) mythology. There is a saying that in the heaven of Indra each pearl reflects the infinity of other pearls -the part does indeed contain the whole. I wonder if this is the way our brains, souls and universe itself are constructed-or at least encoded? The holographic model would explain a lot.

I think one of the most fascinating areas that the holographic model would explain are synchronicities-meaningful coincidences. A great example of a synchronicity that I always think of is from UFO researcher Jacques Vallee's life. In the mid-1970s he was trying to look up information on an obscure group called "The Order of Melchizedek." He hadn't been having any luck in his search. He was in downtown Los Angeles at the time and at one point needed to take a cab. The driver's name of the next cab he got into-A. Melchizedek. Surprised, Vallee later looked in the Los Angeles phone directory to see how common this last name was. There was only one Melchizedek listed in the whole directory for Los Angeles-his cab driver. It was as if Vallee had asked the universe for a Melchizedek and the universe offered him the closest one on hand!

Getting back to Stanislav Grof and transpersonal psychology, it would be a good idea to go back to Michael Talbot's, The Holographic Universe. From pages 70 and 71: "If our current way of looking at reality cannot account for transpersonal events, what new understanding might take its place? Grof believed it is the holographic model. As he points out, the essential characteristics of transpersonal experiences-the feeling that all boundaries are illusory, the lack of distinction between part and the whole, and the interconnectedness of all things-are all qualities one would expect to find in a holographic universe. In addition, he feels the enfolded nature of space and time in the holographic domain explains why transpersonal experiences are not bound by the usual spatial or temporal limitations.

Grof thinks that the almost endless capacity holograms have for information storage and retrieval also accounts for the fact that visions, fantasies, and other "psychological gestalts," all contain an enormous amount of information about an individuals personality. A single image experienced in an LSD session might contain information about a person's attitude toward life in general, a trauma he experienced during childhood, how much self-esteem he has, how he feels about his parents, and how he feels about his marriage-all embodied in the overall metaphor of the scene. Such experiences are holographic in another way, in that each small part of the scene can also contain an entire constellation of information. Thus free association and other analytical techniques performed on the scene's miniscule details can call forth an additional flood of data about the individual involved.

The composite nature of archetypal images can be modeled by the holographic idea. As Grof observes, holography makes it possible to build up a sequence of exposures, such as pictures of every member of a large family, on the same piece of film. When this is done the developed piece of film will contain the image of an individual that represents not one member of the family, but all of them at the same time. "These genuinely composite images represent an exquisite model of a certain type of transpersonal experience, such as the archetypal images of the Cosmic Man, Woman, Mother, Father, Lover, Trickster, Fool, or Martyr," says Grof. A final quote from Grof's Beyond the Brain, that is given in Talbot's book would also be good to end this post with: "Bohm's concept of the unfolded and enfolded orders and the idea that certain important aspects of reality are not accessible to experience and study under ordinary circumstances are of direct relevance for the understanding of unusual states of consciousness. Individuals who have experienced various nonordinary states of consciousness, including well-educated and sophisticated scientists from various disciplines, frequently report that they entered hidden domains of reality that seemed to be authentic and in some sense implicit in, and supraordinated to, everday reality."

I didn't realize when I started this that I was going to begin a whole new series. I had actually thought of keeping this blog "lite" for awhile as I tried to get work done at my other blog. I am going to have to come up with some sort of schedule for when I do work for the two blogs-maybe two days on one-and then two days on the other? I am also not sure how soon posts will be appearing here as I am working from 4 main books and 2 others here and there and do not want to get the information and thoughts hopelessly confused. Still and all I am happy about the new series-one of the books that I will use later down the road brought up a new (to me anyway) idea of how NDEs and encounters with poltergeists and ghosts have so much variety and yet so much the same. The two books by Stanislav Grof that I used to own and wish I still did were Beyond the Brain and The Adventure of Self-Discovery if anyone reading these posts would like to look more into transpersonal psychology and the depth and the variety of the experiences people who were undergoing various forms of transpersonal therapy reported. Thanks again for your extremely intelligent and thoughtful comments!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mind, Soul and Reality

Stanislav Grof has a successful life in the United States these days, however he wasn't always a US citizen and earlier in his career he could not have foreseen the new areas he would explore. Grof began studying nonordinary states of consciousness in the 1950s in his native Prague, Czechoslovakia. Starting out in his career Grof was a believer in the tenets of Marxism and thought that there was no reality beyond the material world we see around us. Many scientists and psychiatrists felt that the unusual states of consciousness induced by LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and other psychotropic drugs were nothing more than the brain's way of reacting to a foreign substance. Of course, many scientists probably still feel this way. But while Grof continued his research at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, he began to feel there was a continuity of experience in his patient's records that was hard to explain by the brain reacting to noxious chemicals theory. "Rather than being unrelated and random, the experiential content seemed to represent a successive unfolding of deeper and deeper levels of the unconscious," stated Grof in his 1976 book, Realms of the Human Unconscious. What Grof and his colleagues discovered is that serial LSD sessions jumpstarted the psychotherapeutic process and greatly shortened the time needed to treat many psychiatric disorders.

Repressed traumatic memories that had disabled the patient for many years were brought to the surface and the terrible hold they had over the patient was diminished or banished completely. Sometimes such crippling disorders of the mind were even cured including one of the most terrible of them all-schizophrenia. More incredible was the fact that many patients moved beyond personal issues into transpersonal areas that had never before been explored by Western psychology. One common experience was the reliving of what it was like to be in the womb. The following is from page 67 of Michael Talbot's, The Holographic Universe: "At first Grof thought these were just imagined experiences, but as the evidence continued to amass he realized that the knowledge of embryology inherent in the descriptions was often far superior to the patient's previous education in the area. Patients accurately described certain characterisitics of the heart sounds of their mother, the nature of the acoustic phenomena in the peritoneal cavity, specific details about the various cellular and biochemical processes taking place. They also described important thoughts and feelings their mother had during pregnancy and events such as physical trauma she had experienced." There were occasions that Grof could directly question the mother and other people involved in the experience the patient was reporting and was able to verify them.

Even more astonishing, patients began reporting experiences that extended far beyond the boundaries of the ego. They would report what it was like to be other living creatures and even inanimate objects. Patients were also able to explore ancestral memories. Again from page 68 of Talbot's book: "One woman experienced what it was like to be her mother at the age of three and accurately described a frightening event that had befallen her mother at the time. The woman also gave a precise description of the house her mother had lived in as well as the white pinafore she had been wearing-all details her mother later confirmed and admitted she had never talked about before.. Other patients gave equally accurate descriptions of events that had befallen ancestors who had lived decades and even centuries before." Racial and collective memories could also be accessed by the patients. Patients of Slavic descent relived the experience of what it was like to participate in the conquests of Genghis Khan, to undergo tribal initiation rites, and even to die as a human sacrifice of the Aztecs. Once again both the quality and quantity of the historical facts they reported contained a degree of information that was totally at odds with the patient's education, race, and previous exposure to the subject. An uneducated patient gave a very insightful and detailed account of Egyptian embalming and mummification procedures-all the way down to what certain amulets symbolized, the materials used, the sizes of those materials and other esoteric data about Egyptian funeral services. Certain patients with no knowledge or connection to the Far East and other areas of the world were able to describe what it was like to have an Asian psyche and also had esoteric knowledge of Hindu, Taoist and Buddhist teachings.

There didn't seem to be a limit to whatever source the patients were acquring there knowledge from. The patients described so many different aspects of reality that the whole array of existence seemed to be with their grasp-knowing what it was like to be a plant, animal, a blood cell, an atom, a star-even the consciousness of the entire planet and even the cosmos itself. The patients would gain eerily accurate precognitive information. At times they also encountered many different types of nonhuman intelligences. Every now and then subjects would seem tto transcend "our" level of reality and perceive other universes and levels of reality. From page 69 of The Holographic Universe, "In one session a young man suffering from depression found himself in what seemed to be another dimension. It had an eerie luminescence, and although he could not see anyone he sensed that it was crowded with discarnate beings. Suddenly he sensed a prescence very close to him, and to his surprise it began to communicate with him telepathically. It asked him to please contact a couple who lived in the Moravian city of Kromeriz and let them know that their son Ladislav was well taken care of and doing all right. It gave him the couple's name, street address, and telephone number. The information meant nothing to either Grof or the young man and seemed totally unrelated to the young man's treatment. Still, Grof could not put it out of his mind. "After some hesitation and with mixed feelings, I finally decided to do what certainly would have made me the target of my colleagues jokes, had they found out," says Grof. "I went to the telephone, dialed the number in Kromeriz and asked if I could speak to Ladislav. To my astonishment, the woman on the other side of the line started to cry. When she calmed down, she told me with a broken voice: 'Our son is not with us anymore; he passed away, we lost him three weeks ago.' " I am calling this a rough draft because as someone whose dance card isn't what you would call full-I forgot a social engagement this afternoon-so I need to get off the puter. When I am back on tomorrow I want to check and make sure the post "reads" right and that I have credited Michael Talbot's book properly. I used to own two books by Stanislav and Christina Grof that had a huge variety of experiences in them in regards to psychotropic and holotropic breathwork therapy-sadly I don't anymore, but I would like to see if any of these experiences are mentioned on the net. I haven't done anything new here in a while and I hope to start a new series soon about many different theories and experiences of the mind and reality. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Anne Sexton: The Inventory Of Goodbye

I have a pack of letters.
I have a pack of memories.
I could cut out the eyes of both.
I could wear them like a patchwork apron.
I could stick them in the washer, the drier,
and maybe some of the pain would float off like dirt?
Perhaps down the disposal I could grind up the loss.
Besides-what a bargain-no expensive phone calls.
No lengthy trips on planes in the fog.
No manicky laughter or blessings from an odd-lot priest.
That priest is probably still floating on a fog pillow.
Blessing us. Blessing us.

Am I to bless the lost you,
sitting here with my clumsy soul?
Propaganda time is over.
I sit here on the spike of truth.
No one to hate except the slim fish of memory
that slides in and out of my brain.
No one to hate except the acute feel of my nightgown
brushing my body like a light that has gone out.
It recalls the kiss we invented, tongues like poems,
meeting, returning, inviting, causing a river of need.
Laughter, maps, cassettes, touch singing its path-
all to be broken and laid away in the tight strongbox.
The monotonous dead clog me up and there is only
black done in black that oozes from the strongbox.
I must disembowel it and set the heart, the legs,
of two who were one on a large woodpile
and ignite, as I was once ignited, and let it whirl
into flame, searching the sky
making it dangerous with its red.

This wasn't really a very light hearted poem for April Fool's Day-to say the least! I need to let go of a relationship and this has been hard for me to contemplate-much less do. "The Inventory Of Goodbye" reminded me of the detritus-both emotional and physical that surrounds all of these partings. My emotional mood has been going from not-so-good to depressed as hell when I think of the inevitability of this parting. However, great kindness was sent to me today in the post and I was once again reminded of the very goodhearted and kind people in my life-I am not a very strong person-but I will make it. OK-break out Gloria Gaynor now[~ ;-)