Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pachinko Brain!

Sorry for the weird post title! (and the weird spacing-a blog friend actually told me how to fix this, but every time I try it seems to make it worse-so I will just leave well enough alone and not add any more pictures!) The way my mind has been working lately reminded me of this Japanese Pachinko game we used to have when I was a young 'un. It seems as if all sorts of concepts are flying around there at light speed (for someone with such a small brain) and that I just can't get them to stop.

During my life, epsecially since my late teens to early 20s, I have often found myself not only wondering about questions that I know deep in my soul may not have any answers, but may in fact be ultimately unanswerable. Sometimes I even get a bit aggravated with myself for not just letting some of these questions go-and go for good. I continually become entranced with thinking about things like this: Is human 3-D (or 4-D-time included as a dimension) the highest level of 'knowing' in the physical universe?-or are there beings (physical ones) who surpass us? Speaking of our 3 or 4-D, seemingly solid (although modern physics tells us that the solidity of objects in the universe is an illusion-as it turns many of our other ideas about reality on their collective heads) human reality--I wonder is this the only reality there is? At least on this question, even though the skeptic part of my being still gives me hell over it at times-I can answer this with a definite NO!

I feel that the levels (or dimensions) of reality may be as infinite as I feel the extent of our physical universe is-infinite. Isn't our universe 13-17 billion light-years across and finite in time also, you ask? It is kind of ironic that the man who coined the term "Big Bang" did so to make a kind of joke out of it. His name was Sir Fred Hoyle and he didn't believe in the "Big Bang" (now a TV show someone told me). Hoyle believed in the "Steady State" theory. This theory posits that the universe in infinite in space and eternal in time. The rate of "new" matter that has to be created in such a universe is amazingly small. The metaphysical questions that come to mind with the Steady State theory do not seem any worse -to me anyway-than the ones that come to mind with the Big Bang theory. I will give a link at the end of the article for both theories.

As usual I am digressing too much for the point I wanted to make. Regarding the other levels or dimensions of reality; even though my mind accepts what I consider the overwhelming evidence that they exist from hearing and studying reports from thousands of sources over the course of my life, my only problem is this: I haven't had a paranormal experience myself [unless a disappearing grocery list and a few odd dreams-one of which may have been 100 percent precognitive, but was of something so mundane it makes me smile to think of it. There is also the feeling I have which is quite strong at times that I have lived on good 'ole Planet Earth before. I'm keeping my "reincarnation" options wide open on this subject.] Two things get in the way of saying anything more definite: 1) Information gets around the world/universe in some pretty strange ways-could I simply be 'tuning in' to information permanently recorded in the holographic/matrix structure of the universe? 2) Saying something like "I have lived another life before" is also kind of difficult to talk about for me. I get hung up on the "I" part of it-because I don't know what it means to be an "I" except when I look out at the world with my baby blues-it seems that a world is out there and being reflected back to only me (which is another illusion, of course, the things we "see" are not "out there" in front of us-at least as far as the picture processing goes:-)that's all in our brains).

The world is reflected somehow back to me and an entity/being named Devin gets to process what information it can, and which is probably an incredibly small part of a huge total sum of "data bits or bytes" that are "out there." Perhaps a quote from horror fiction author H.P. Lovecraft would be good here: "the most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents." I guess I need to finally stop going in three directions at once about my belief in other levels or dimensions of reality. My belief in these "other" worlds seems to be based in the "mind" level of my being instead of the "soul" level of being/knowing-which as beautiful or terrifying as reading about these reports of encounters with the Other-big O there -it is still READING about them instead of directly experiencing them.

Speaking of taking in the world through our sense organs, there is a disease of the eyes called "macular degeneration" that in some cases has some very interesting side effects. WTF? am I on about now? Your're about to "see" -get it -hey I'm on a roll! Macular degeneration damages the central part of the retina, known as the 'macula.' This disease has side effects that involve all tasks in "straight ahead" visual tasks, such as reading, writing, driving a car, etetera. In some cases people with this terrible affliction have hallucinations (or maybe as I am going to suggest from ideas from another researcher-something else). Charles Bonnet was an 18th century Swiss philosopher who was the first person to describe visual hallucinations in psychologically normal people. Bonnet had noticed his grandfather who had cataracts, was pointing our things he could 'see' like birds and buildings, but no one else could see them. Charles Bonnet Syndrome was thought to be a very rare condition as recently as the 1980s. Research then showed that it was actually fairly common in elderly and visually impaired people. The factor that had kept this knowledge from the light of day is that folks were scared to mention what they were seeing, especially to their doctors, as they were afraid of being tagged as insane.

HERE's WHY: not all of the 'hallucinations' are tame in nature. They can last from a few seconds all the way to several hours and can be of a very wide variety of things-known and unknown to the person experiencing them. Flowers, people, animals, inanimate objects (pretty much the whole gamut of 'normal' things) but still things that shouldn't be there. Then there is this: Some of these people see montsters, angels, transparent figures floating about from room to room. A small percentage of cases are where the visually imapaired person 'sees' deceased people who had been known to them. Most of the images seen are life-size but there are also reports of miniature people and objects! The hallucinated objects can seem to float in the air, but more often they merge with the physical surroundings, for instance an 'imaginary' person can be seen fitting perfectly into the contours of a real chair. There are cases where a person's whole surroundings can become altered, and rooms, even streets can alter their shape. This can make it very difficult for the impaired person to get around. There is one extreme case of a man meaning to walk down a flight of stairs, and had a very life-like vision of being on the top of a mountain.

No one knows what causes people to experience these hallucinations. There is much in the data of sufferers that is easy to think about i.e.,when writing words on a page or looking at someone they can completely disappear and then reappear. However, as this quote from Fortean/paranormal researcher and author Paul Deveraux in the July 2004 issue of the Fortean Times shows-might there be other strange things going on?: "I could buy the idea that patches of light in the central visual region could be related to pathological conditions in the macula, and could cause people and writing to apparently disappear intermittently, but faces at the window, and people dressed in various costumes walking towards churches or driving vehicles or holding street parties seem more of a push...I couldn't help but wonder, with these macular degeneration visions, whether we are dealing with hallucinations, spirits, or some sublte level of perception lying somewhere between the two. Although the actual mechanics are currently unknown, the basic official theory explaining the visions associated with visual impairment like macular degeneration is that the brain, on receiving incomplete visual data through the eyes "fills in" the missing elements as best it can-a kind of "best fit" process."

"In fact, there is evidence that it is only input of a constant visual stream through our eyes that prevents the brain making up its own imagery in any case. This has been demonstrated in sensory deprivation experiments in which subjects who are placed in total blackout conditions for long periods experience hallucinatory imagery to lighten their Stygian darkness. All of us experience this in another form, and to a lesser degree, when we dream. If this explanation is true, then a whole host of other issues are implied. If animated figures in costumes, shades of the dead, processions leading to physically real churches, whole landscapes and entire complex scenes can be rendered in intricate detail by the brain struggling to "fill in" gaps in sensory data, what then is "reality"? Could what we take to be concrete materiality be a kind of hallucination sustained by cultured conditioning? Are paranormal phenomena simply glitches in that illusion? Are the different, spirit-based worldviews held by tribal societies simply other forms of hallucination no less "real" than our own? Is the Hindu doctrine of apparent reality being but the "Veil of Maya," of illusion correct? Whatever the answers to such questions, one thing is certain-we do not see with our eyes alone." (emphasis added)

Spatial metaphors and actual reality: I constantly talk about realms, levels and dimensions. In my musings on the nature of reality I have found it impossible to think of another way of saying "where" these places/and or entities from the Otherworld or Otherworlds come from. One word I have run across in the literature but haven't ever used much is "frequency." Maybe this has been somehwhat of a mistake due to my need to put these places/entities on some sort of map, even if the map simply states "Terra Incognita." For here is one very important thing about frequencies-different frequencies can occupy the same exact space. Tuning into a radio station is a great way to look at this-if I become the "Anti-Devin' or a "Seinfeldian" "Opposite World Devin" and decide to tune into Rush Limpdick-oooops Limbaugh-I can turn the AM dial one way. If I stay myself in this little thought experiment I could choose to listen to Diane Rehm or Amy Goodman instead. But as effing miserable as these two ladies might feel about sharing "Frequency" space with a Nazi scumbag like Limbaugh (as to the "Nazi" part there is a part of me that questions whether the "erectionally-challenged" Rush really believes the crapola he spews or not-he may just have found an easy way to make a cool 40 million a year!) Sorry for digressing once again-rather stupid for someone like me to use a political metaphor for this.

Here is the deal-as much as Diane or Amy may hate sharing frequency space with Rush-they do not have much to worry about because they are on a different frequency (in more ways than one) than Rush and indeed from each other. Yet no matter-with their speed-their cycles-per-second or Kilohertz/Megahertz they can all occupy the same space. We make the choice of who to listen to by turning the dial and tuning the station that is broadcasting their "program" on their "frequency." I have always been fascinated by many things in this way of thinking-and I think it is my (maybe obtuse?) need to think in spatial terms that didn't allow me to think about different frequencies of reality more. Another interesting fact about frequecies is that you can pack an infinite number of them in a finite space. Here is something else I wonder: Assuming there are an infinite number-or we could just say a very large number-1 quintillion or 1x10 to the 15th power-of "frequencies" of reality, why are us humans usually turned to only one? Do (good and evil) spiritual practice "open" up "windows" into other realities? What about hallucinogenic drugs? or extreme types of experinence like the Near Death Experience (NDE)?

Here are some quotes about spatiality from Patrick Harpur's Daimonic Reality: "But in order to talk about these models at all, we are forced to fall back on spatial metaphors, to talk about realms or domains, worlds or realities, oceanic repositories or storehouses of images. These invite such prepositions as "below" or "behind"--they "underlie" consciousness or "lie behind" our world--because the preferred metaphorical dimension of soul is depth...The non-spatiality of the Otherworld is repeated by multi-spatiality, it is, so to speak, everywhere and nowhere--and this is what the compelling theories of UFO origins support."

Here is some more from the same book as Harpur closes our "The Otherworld" chapter: "Students of the daimonic-Spiritualists, ufologists and so on-excitedly invoke subatomic physics as evidence that other dimensions, other worlds are possible and real. They are encouraged to believe that one day their own favorite daimons will be acceptable to Science. But the subatomic realm is not a literal world of facts from which they can derive support for the literal reality of their own. It is simply another metaphor for the Soul of the World. It is not even an especially good one: daimons prefer to appear as persons, not as impersonal quirky little particles. The subatomic Otherworld has its own elegance and a certain stark beauty, as the physicists are keen on emphaszing, but it is gray and meaningless compared to the world William Blake saw in a grain of sand. Indeed, while special instruments, such as the microscope and the telescope, extend then quantitative range of perception beyond ordinary sensory limits, they do not increase its qualitative depth. They produce an ersatz vision, a shadow of that true imaginative vision which alone reveals meaning." A last question and I think this is quite enough for one night: Does the new physics or reports of the paranormal suggest that reality is primarily metaphorical not literal or factual?

If I add much to this article I will probably start a new one-I might be adding links to this though as the days progress. There were some ideas from Rigorous Intuition and other places that I wanted to add, but perhaps that should be in a new article after giving people a chance to look at this one. I am not really sure where I am even going with this yet-somehow it just "feels right" to talk about this stuff right now, I don't know why. The so-called joke I deleted was a bad one about an "Orgasm" by the "big-O" statement. Pay me no mind, that one was too bad for even yours truly to leave up:-) The first image is of a painting called Anima Mundi which means "world-soul." The next image is of a 1970s era "Pachinko" game. Peace and be well to anyone stopping by!

Steady State Links HERE and HERE

Big Bang link HERE


X. Dell said...

(1) I've read about the Winchester House about ten years ago. I never saw a photo until I looked at the one you just posted.

(2) I've played my share of pachinco, so I understand where you're coming from. Oftentimes when we try to explain something that's so complex as to be "iffy" we ping-pong (my personal term), or bounce back and forth over these strange tangents. Been there, so I sypmathize.

And like you, I've been asking such questions all of my life. Nowadays, I keep them to myself as friends and family usually don't want to hear about such things. Oh well, at least there's blogging.

(3) It's funny that you haven't had what you call a paranormal experience. First off, I don't believe that anything is paranormal, just as nothing is supernatural. If you've ever seen a normal curve, then you'll know that the bulk of events happen between two values closer to the middle. In popular parlance, this is what most people conceive of as "normal," and by extension, "natural." But as Carl Jung wrote (The Undiscovered Self) the analyst really doesn't have the luxury of induction. Just because events one through 'n' might yield a certain result, event 'n+1' could wreck any theoretical understanding you might have.

Thus, the normal, or the natural, is actually a totality of the curve, the mundane and the extremes.

As such, how could you begin to see the events of your life as anything but normal. Perhaps a better way to look at it is in terms of the less frequent types of things that have occurred in your past.

A second thing about the popular conception of normal is that what's 'normal' to some folks, isn't normal to others. My grandmother, for example, had special mental gifts (some would call her psychic--I call her a genius at unconscious induction). For my family, her precognition was so frequent that we didn't notice it anymore. Others would think of her abilities as something that's beyond normal.

In your own life, there are things that to you are normal, but for most people aren't. Most people don't live in the desert, for example. Most people haven't attended your high school, or college. And only you have walked the path that is your life. It has to deviate from all others at some point, right? Who knows? There might be some deviation that others would think of as paranormal. You, on the other hand, would think of them as normal.

(3) I find the example of the eye illness hallucinations interesting. For a lot of people, when they think of hallucinations, they think of visual stimuli. Maybe that's because we tend to use sight (those of us who can see, at least--although there are some fascinating ways in which blind people use the working parts of their vision) as our primary sense. To that end, we often use the verbs "see" and "understand" synonomously.

(4) I've been thinking about this question for the past ten years. I don't think that the existence of other dimensions is a strong possibility, but rather has to be true, and I've seen a lot of scientists describe this as true. So the fascinating realization is that there's stuff happening all around us, of which we'll never be aware. Sometimes, I wonder if what's around me is aware of me, or can be. Sometimes, I wonder if I too exist on a dimensional level that I cannot perceive--I would kinda guess that I can, actually.

As to what people would call 'parnormal activity' (there goes taht #$@! phrase again), it would obviously be more real, perhaps in other dimensions than in the ones we can perceive. In the Cosmological Constant, Einstein guessed that material from other dimensions sometimes collides with our own dimension. That could be a possible source of what people call paranormal activity. In fact, Jacques Vallee cited this scenario as a possible explanation of UFOs.

Autumnforest said...

Wow! That was a great post. I like when you just fly with it. I like to hear Dev and his mind working. It was wild that you mentioned the 3-D thing. I was writing a post recently that I've saved and haven't finished. When my son was hitting junior high age I wanted to give him a bit of wisdom. He had a wall on his room with sayings from famous people but I wanted my own up there. What do you tell a son about life that should sum up everything you want to teach him (as if you'll be gone tomorrow and this is what he remembers you impressing upon his character?) Here's what I wrote on the wall after much thought, "I'd rather be a 3-dimensional person in a 2-dimensional world than to be a 2-dimensional person in a 3-dimensional world."

You have paranormal experiences all the time, no doubt, but never realized it for what it is. When you just know who's on the phone when it rings, when you go to sleep at night and dream, when you meet someone and feel immediately you can't trust him. That moment when you suddenly start thinking about a relative and later find out that they were having a hard time, or when you sense someone who passed on is near you, trying to comfort you in a moment of anguish. It's all around you in every way, but mostly it's in your mind when you travel through text and absorb a world inside your head that isn't real, it's imagined, it's concocted, it's an alternative universe--called the human mind.

Okay, I gave you more to think about. I just loved your post. I could sit for hours and talk about philosophy and politics, religion and the paranormal. You'd be the first one I'd have in my think tank.

Oh, and Dev, don't get the answers to those questions. They should be open-ended. I always said if I found out what ghosts are, I'd be so disappointed. The fun is in the conjecture and theories and searching. Once it's found, it loses its magic. Don't lose the magic, keep asking, never find answers...

Devin said...

Xdell and Autumnforest thanks so very much for your excellent comments -i will try to respond more intelligently tomorrow -haha if that is possible!! The reason i managed to get these is that i fell asleep during the virus scan on my puter (it usually takes half hour to 40 minutes and i musta been asleep an hour at least so I am still in that disoriented stage

I am so glad someone else has heard of Pachinko -i thought that might be a one-off or whatever they call it
I am also like the both of you with the question asking and who I ask them with -some people would rather not hear the paranormal and especially the conspiratorial "Good" news-as if you could call it that by any standard- after I learned what I thought and still think is kind of the truth (a big truth) behind 40 years of deep state ops i was gonna tell it on the mountain!! sheeeesh what a joke - anymore i dont force anything -sadly even try at all except in blogland

again i hope i can get back to both of you tomorrow when i am a bit more awake (not that that will help anything:-) best to you both as always!!

Devin said...

btw i very much agree with you about the finding out part Autumnforest-thats the beautiful mystery with some of it is NOT knowing the answers!!

and xdell i couldnt agree with many of your points more-always you two have a fascinating take on things -i will hopefully be back tomorrow online and until then thanks for the beautiful comments both of you!!

benjibopper said...

I find the multi-dimensional stuff particularly interesting, but hard to fathom, which is probably why it's so interesting. Do you recommend any good books on it (for dummies perhaps)?

Devin said...

benji-thanks so much for stopping by-this aspect has also fascinated me for a long time!! some good books to read would be Michael Talbot's Holographic Universe,Jacques Vallees Dimensions-A casebook of alien contact, Patrick Harpur's Daimonic Reality,Jeff Wells Rigorous Intuition, for the purely scientific angle probably Talbot's book and books by Cifford Pickover and Michio Kaku would be the best-but I also like to think about the Fortean/parapolitical aspect of what might happen if humans or other beings can access each others realities-best to you as always benji and thanks so much for stopping by!!

Alex Robinson said...

Hi Devin
I nearly missed this great muse.

There can be few things sweeter to the ear than the sound of one person wondering - it's like opening a door on a stale room & letting fresh air sweep thro' it.
Funily enough I was just reading about macular degeneration yesterday.
Thanks for all the fresh air, interesting ideas (& hard typing).
Best to you & Clementina as always xx

Devin said...

Hey Alex-so glad you saw and enjoyed this one!! that is very interesting about your reading about macular degeneration yesterday-until the article I dont think i had ever heard of it -and certainly not the odd side effects -those i find very fascinating -I hope you are also enjoying a beautiful weekend my friend-we are having a real great break in the weather here-simply gorgeous for this time of year-i am really soaking this in and of course hoping it lasts all the way through until our "cold" months of 65 to 75 F for the high temp haha-hugz to you and yours my friendxx!!