Tuesday, August 07, 2018

New book by N. Riley Heagerty

Spectral Evidence Volume II has just been released. 

"Prepare yourself again for the mind-staggering eyewitness accounts of some of the greatest mediums who manifested spirit phenomena within the astounding records of Historic Spiritualism."

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Parable of the Angel

            A parable is told of an angel who came to visit the earth. He found himself in the usual stream of human activities and he listened to the conversations of people. For the first time he heard negative comments. Someone who was supposed to be an authority said that there might be a war and human life would be destroyed. And he read in the newspaper of a great epidemic of illness. And someone who certainly should have known explained in great detail that the financial hardships were certain to limit all of us. He heard that there was not enough good to go around, the world was not going to be able to produce enough food for everyone, and people were going to starve to death.
            He began to wonder if these things might not be true, and even as he entertained the thoughts of negation to which he was listening, the brightness of his angelic presence faded into dark shadows. His form seemed to shrivel, and looking at himself he saw that he was dressed as a human being, walking the earth in fear, doubt, and uncertainty.
            And so the weary years went by, years of unhappiness and impoverishment and dread, years so filled with anxiety that he wished he were dead, that some oblivion might forever swallow him up. And yet, even in the midst of all this, something within him remembered that he was once an angel of God, living in a heaven of Beauty and a place of Peace and Joy, living in a Garden of Eden which God had provided for him. And, remembering, a determination arose within him to somehow or other find his way back to this lost paradise.
            This determination grew into a great hope, and as hope was renewed, a Light seemed to shine in the distance; and he seemed to have the courage to travel toward the Light. And gradually a miracle took place. As he traveled toward the Light, he found that shadows were being cast behind him, until finally he so completely entered into the Light that no shadows were cast at all, and he realized that he had been asleep, that he had had a bad dream from which he was awakening.
            To what extent are we all dreaming, and in our dreams seeing the monsters with terrible forms that we have unconsciously built up in our own minds? And we too are asking these forms, “What are you going to do with me? What terrible future do you have in store? What awful experiences are to come now?”
            Perhaps we are still asleep and have not had quite the courage to ask these phantom forms what they are going to do with us, or to listen to the only reply they can make: “There is nothing we can do to you. What are you going to do to us? We are your own creations, you know.”
            St.Paul said, It is high time to awake out of sleep. So let us wake up, and let us be certain that we no longer drug ourselves with the sleeping potion of fear and uncertainty and doubt, but awake into faith and confidence, into peace and joy, into love and happiness. For there is something in us, too, like the angel in the fable, that has never forgotten. There is a Silent Witness at the center of every man’s being which evermore proclaims with the great and beautiful Jesus: Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

From Living in the Science of Mind, by Ernest Holmes

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Spiritual Ether & A Seance Invocation

Below are the opening and closing prayers we use for our circle, Inwood Experimental Portal Group.  

Regarding the idea and use of "spiritual ether", we are taking our cue directly from the wonderful book, The Mediumship of Arnold Clare, by Harry Edwards, (1942) which goes into great detail about such things as ether, ectoplasm, the astral, etc. as presented by Spirit Participators at various sittings. Here is what the Spirit, "Peter" says about ether and which inspired the Invocation below, as transmitted to August during one of the circle's past sittings. (pdf of the book accessed here) - there are some extraordinary photos of ectoplasm levitation of furniture and trumpets at the end of the book.

Other writings you may find of interest are available at The Risen Books website.

“When you breathe in always through the nostrils, you are not only inhaling the air but also the ether stream - the free ether. Now that ether is characterless, it has no character of itself; but as it passes through the sieve, as it were - the 'sieve' I said - it receives its character impressed upon it by the mentality of the breather. This is important. As the nostrils are the filters for the atmosphere necessary for the wellbeing of the body, so are they the filters for the ether rejecting all things that are inimical to the individual, whilst passing on those things that are good. But it works both ways, for it rejects also those things which cannot be appreciated by the individual - that is, things spiritual.
 “Therefore in this practice with inhalation and exhalation the mind should be gently focused upon the ‘all-greatness’ of the spirit. It has the effect of creating those conditions which, individually, we have to create ourselves. “The way of achievement by this method, intelligently applied, ensures permanency and good health, which, you will notice, many mediums lack.” Peter was asked to give further information as to what is received and what is rejected as the ether stream is inhaled. Peter:
 “The best way to answer is this. The ether stream which is taken into the system through breathing is characterless in itself. When it has been breathed in through the normal act of inhalation, it is impressed by the thought and character of the individual. That is understood. Therefore by rendering that etheric content more potent, more vital, through control of thought in breathing, you can transform that stream of ether into a veritable dynamic force. We have already spoken of the etheric body and the soul body - they both depend upon the ether inhaled with ordinary breathing for their vitality and sustenance. The more it is impressed with noble thoughts consciously directed, the more will the sub-conscious mind be brought into line with things spiritual. Therefore instead of having a part of your ‘household’, as it were, against you, you make of the soul a strong ally - the three of you (physical, spiritual and soul bodies) working all together, as a whole. For it must be remembered that the soul is the repository of all the experiences to do with the natural world and that world only. Therefore its desires are primitive; it is selfish. It is controlled by two strict laws, that of attraction and that of repulsion - which is oft-times the progenitor of hatred. That is one part.
 “By breathing rhythmically, the physical body profits from the air you breathe because it is taken in steadily; and therefore the heart motion is more regular with the steady supply of oxygen. The ether which is inhaled with it does not go into the lungs. It is retained by a sieve. The sieve is contained at the root of the nose, and it is from there it is dispersed. There it receives the impression of the thought intention - so far as psychic work is concerned. That is most important. Not only is it important in the way of physical health, but it also gives a greater etheric vitality. I think this answers the other part of the question.
 “When you breathe, it is to breathe with intention and to say, ‘with each breath I breathe the spirit of life’, ‘Each breath makes me free’, ‘Each breath makes me stronger spiritually and physically’. It is not altogether what you would term auto-suggestion, although it is true there is an element of that; but the idea is to impress the breath with your character, your idea of the moment. You can use it for weal or woe.” 


We gather here now to join together for the purpose of development, to learn and communicate together in happy harmony and peace, and to help build spiritual portals between worlds.

We ask our Guides & Guardians in Spirit to watch over this place, protect this space with the highest of energies around us.

We invite and welcome all those who are interested in our highest good and that of the Universe, including Spirits of Nature and of Animal Beings. We ask that you make your presence and identity known in any way possible.

We breathe in the spirit ether of the innermost energies of the fiery core of this planet, Earth.
We breathe in the spirit ether of the geological pressures of the mineral kingdoms beneath the surface of the Earth
We breathe in the spirit ether of the ebb and flow of the crash and thunder of the ocean’s waves.
We breathe in the spirit ether of the ever enfolding light of the sun, the moon and the stars of the celestial.
We breathe in the spirit ether of the living energies of all plant life, germinating in the seed, sprouting from the soil, blossoming with leaves, flowers and fruit into the light of the sun, moon and stars.
We breathe in the spirit ether of the ever moving caress of the smallest breezes, the gathering thunder and lightning of the greatest of storms, and the billowing locomotion of the greatest winds of the North, South, East and West.
We breathe in the spirit ether of all vigorous and vibrant animal life in which we are immersed.
We  breathe in the spirit ether of all the seen and unseen energies that our loving friends in Spirit bring to us, now and in this coming hour.

We leave all our concerns and worries outside this room for now, knowing we sit in the warm and safe embrace of Spirit Love, as we ask you to help us raise our vibration in order to link with yours.

We thank you, friends in Spirit for your love, guidance and support, amen.


We close this circle and all portals now with joy, love and gratitude to our friends in Spirit, and ask that you continue to watch over and guide us as we leave to go about our worldly lives.

We thank you, friends in Spirit for your love, guidance and support, amen.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Grief can be so disabling ...

[Click on the image to enlarge]

The Paradox of Grief

[Click on the image to enlarge]

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Healing Aspect of Negation

[First posted 2/4/06]

 "All it takes to fly is to hurl yourself at the ground...and miss."
 (From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) Douglas Adams — Life, the Universe, and Everything

Years ago, in my early teens, I was given instruction by some Risen guides. This astral experience was powerful and impressionable, but it did not seem applicable to my life as it was then. The memory of the instruction faded, only to come back to me at particularly stressful times in my life. While it is quite true that, as a powerful, positive experience it gave me strength at such times, it has only been recently that I've come to see that it also played a role in eventually guiding me to comprehend "negation" and the use of it in my manifested earthly experience. The sharing of my comprehension here may be but a small, faint light in this veiled world, yet my wish is that I might be able to share this in some way that may resonate for others and aid them in their own transmutation and eventual transition.

Briefly, the instruction was on changing my form from a human to that of a dragon. I wasn't shown how, or given advice, but simply told to "do." (Remember Yoda?) I did everything—from wrinkling my brow, to crossing my eyes, holding my breath, forcing my mind to "do it." Nothing worked. It seemed impossible.

I continued to receive the directive "just do it" over and over, stronger and stronger. The pressure became such that I forgot about the fact that I was not a dragon, which then ended the pressure, and suddenly, I had negated any thought — which as words might look like "*****" — and I was at once a dragon.

It was astonishing, exhilarating, and made me laugh and laugh and laugh with joy. I had uncovered the way to negate one assumed reality in order to affirm another! 1

"Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence." — Krishnamurti

The above is from a larger piece K. once wrote in summing up the core of his teachings, as subtext to the main idea that "truth is a pathless land."

"Negation" seems an odd concept, even a difficult one. His words above appear simple and easy to read. To actually negate something, especially if one believes that things exist, may not seem easy, and so one just reads and nods or wonders. K. refers to love, compassion and intelligence. These are not things, and exist outside or beyond thought. When brought together, like separate atoms to make a molecule whereby something else can then descend into the openness as new, they constitute wholeness — which could be said to be health and healing.

What is it that is negated? Thought. Thought is not love, nor can thought create love, for love simply is. Love is the same as I AM. Each of us, then, simply is. K. once elaborated:

"In love there is no attachment; if there is attachment there is no love. There has been the removal of the major factor through negation of what it is not, through the negation of attachment. I know what it means in my daily life: no remembrance of anything my wife, my girl friend, or my neighbour did to hurt me; no attachment to any image thought has created about her; how she has bullied me, how she has given me comfort, how I have had pleasure sexually, all the different things of which the movement of thought has created images; attachments to those images has gone.

".....So, through negation of what is not love, love is. I do not have to ask what love is? I do not have to run after it. If I run after it, it is not love, it is a reward. So I have negated, I have ended, in that enquiry, slowly, carefully, without distortion, without illusion, everything that it is not—the other is." (italics mine) 2

It's not my intention to analyze and explain what K. means here, but to emphasize those few things I italicized—"no remembrance of anything", "no attachment to any image", and "without illusion, everything that it (love) is not."

Regarding thought, K. has some guidance:

"So love means freedom from all conflict. It's not a negative state, but negation can lead to the positive....Through thought you cannot achieve the immensity of life."
(Question: So we have to move beyond thought?)
"Yes. Thought is necessary to learn language. To go from here to there, thought is necessary. But psychologically, inwardly, thought has no place."

I was not led to my particular solution of the problem of healing by negation by K., but by Risen guides and guardians. Their teaching was experiential and achieved by words. K.'s words, however, apply to my experience, and so they are purposeful here.

My particular healing problem materialized as a genetic and chronic neurological condition that was increasingly disrupting the balance of my life, and for many years. It was when the condition began to become disabling that I reached what Gurdjief and Ouspensky might have called the "shock to the next octave" and E. Douglas Fawcett and C. Raynor Johnson would have recognized as an "inducement to novelty". Essentially, I was "forced" (meaning some force pressured me) by having to make a choice between a life-long medication whose side-effects would have eventually created a new disabling— or no medication and endure the condition.

My response was anger, which gave rise to negation of the illusion of the condition — because I said "no." Not "no" to the medication, or even to the condition. I said "no" to the illusion. I negated the attachment, as K. says. The illusion that was my affliction did not exist in my mind anymore. It no longer had my permission to exist. Under the pressure of my anger, I forgot about it. Not only did it not exist anymore, it had never existed. It could never have existed before if it was not to exist now, or ever.

Of course, the illusion returned in a short time. Sometimes partially but usually briefly. If I said "yes" to this in some way, mainly by giving any attention to it, the illusion stayed. If I said "no" to it, it was not. Saying "it is not" also means "it was not," for even to let the ego-mind remember that it "once was" is to acknowledge its existence. "Negation" must be total across all psychological time. Until this approach to the use of mind within manifestation becomes familiar enough to become habitual, one must exercise hyper-vigilant self-awareness to catch the ego-mind's relentless tactics to reintroduce the idea of the condition—until the ego mind has truly forgotten its existence .

In time—meaning several chronological weeks—the condition's brief reappearances got briefer. Now, there are only twinges—which are tendrils of the old belief system—a belief system which was deep enough to have been lodged in my manifestation in such a way to have earned the label "genetic". My not disclosing the name of this condition here is part of negation. This is K.'s negation, which might make more sense now. This negation is also seen in Douglas Adam's quote about how to fly.

Anger is a great motivator, once we can get past judging it and judging oneself and others. It can be the dragon's fire that burns through beliefs that constrict us like vines, control us with guilt, or disable us with disease. Anger energy can take on any number of forms, which means it's up to an individual about how they want to use it. Anger is a message for us to read, a sign pointing in a certain direction; once it has our attention, we do not have to let anger control us; we acknowledge it and let it go. Once the issue is understood, as informed by our anger, we attend to the issue—either supplying nourishment if that's what's called for, or negation, if that's the message.

In the final analysis, negation is what some call "forgiveness"— although truly there is nothing to forgive, nothing to forget.

1 Even A Course in Miracles refers to the ego's "tiny, mad idea at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh" and which consequently gave rise to the world of illusions.
2 J. Krishnamurti — A Dialogue With Oneself — from a Discussion Meeting at the Brockwood Part Gathering, August 30, 1977.
3 Beyond Thought Meditation Mastery: A Dialogue with Krishnamurti(at New Dimensions Broadcasting Network, 1988).

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Risen Mayonnaise

[Originally posted 10/10/2010]

My relationship with Tim, after his transition, has been going for more than two decades — much longer than the time we spent together before his transition; and probably quite a bit more than most relationships on Earth these days. Many things happened in these past years between us that can scarcely be believed, and our book attempts to capture just a tiny bit of some of those events, interweaving them with the deeper implications. These happenings were brand new to me, and I had little solid footing to understand them, or explain them to someone else. As I strove to wrap my mind around those alien things and comprehend them, I was brought into contact with ideas that often made little sense, if any. Much didn't seem to have any connection to language that I used, or to any language at all, so I often ended up not explaining it, which would have helped my learning process.

Tim, as well as our spirit guides and Risen mentors, worked with me in various astral geographies while my material body slept, and I would awake with much more understanding and insight, instilled directly into my mind. As well, they orchestrated incredible amounts of material into my terrestrial sphere, mostly in the form of books. The books, being terrestrial themselves, often fell short at truly explaining what they were trying to say, but they still stimulated me and reinforced much of the astral learning. All this was a long and arduous process. Much of the astral learning involved direct experiences, where I would be immersed in actual events that demonstrated certain spiritual concepts and which required me to make decisions and take action. This still goes on, and there are days when I awaken back into my earthly life much more tired than when I left it the night before. 

Our bodies sleep not because they need rest, but because our spirits need a break from the heavy, gravity-laden principles of earthly physics and psychology that weigh them down. Once out of these bodies, we are free to fly and move, think and feel in ways rarely possible while in the terrestrial waking state. Upon return, we feel refreshed and energized. But if we've been working overtime and going to night classes in the astral, most likely we'll feel quite tired upon reentering the body. One of Tim's many activities is a kind of "archeological explorer" — involving exploration and observation while traveling into spirit dimensions that are relatively or completely unknown to the scientific team he works with on the moon-planet, "Borrowed From Angels." Tim has indicated that even as Risen, he needs rest at times, although for different reasons than ours on Earth, and that after particularly "long and distant travels" to these spirit geographies, he is required to take some R&R. (Interestingly, many Risen take their vacations in particular diakkan geographies, which are known for their immense physical and intellectual beauties.)

"Long and distant" are two particular words that we on Earth understand and seldom question, and are the best and only ones that can possibly be used here to convey, in a very, very loose way, what Tim means. But paradoxically, and simultaneously, they're not at all right; in fact, they're completely wrong, for what we know and experience as time and space are reflections of what the Risen know — meaning almost the opposite, like the reflection in a mirror. This gives much to ponder when considering the adage, "as above, so below." This paradox is mentioned in the book:

“Your geography is usually described on earth as an experience of Space-Time. Space appears to stand still while events are perceived to change by passing through it in a linear, timely way, manifesting impressions of past, present and future. Conversely, the Risen geography could be said to be an experience of Time-Space. Time appears to stand still, while space appears to change as I move through it. Just like on Earth—and a few of your scientists are beginning to grasp this—the Risen interpret and utilize these appearances, which are really just thoughts, as movement or modes of transportation. All time events are occurring simultaneously, reflecting the Risen understanding that Creation is finished and always available for manifested exploration. Space-Time and Time-Space, and other combinations of light and sound are the mediums of exploration, the finger paints of the cosmic playroom. You, the Yet-To-Rise, can and do experience Risen Time-Space via spiritual events and realizations, and states of altered consciousness—which also include pain and suffering." (p. 108)

Because of my own deep immersion over many years into Risen life and its innumerable variations of culture, beliefs, even rituals, it's been of vital necessity for me to be able to retain enough comprehension of at least some of it in order to maintain a healthy mind-body balance while still embodied in this current physical form. Otherwise, it would be like psychological oil and water trying to both occupy the same space, and the insolubility of the two would likely result in me not only sounding crazy, but possibly feeling and appearing crazy to others. Indeed, it's clear from my work as a psychotherapist that many people have obtained higher spiritual concepts though various ways, means, and agendas, but their actual  inability to understand them in ways sufficient to integrate them into their lives causes anxiety, stress, fear, and panic. It's fascinating to see that works such as Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy presents just this type of situation, over and over, in terms of dealing with being unable to integrate alien ideas and behavior, giving rise to its notable injunction, "DON'T PANIC." Exactly what we recommend in The Risen.

I feel it's important to share that many of the fairly intense books and other documents brought to me by Tim and other spirit friends — besides the deeply metaphysical ones — are strictly scientific writings, and fairly intense ones about current biology, genetics, and quantum mechanics. Like the many and various psychotherapy models, all use their own language, but most are not that hard to grasp, even the ones about DNA which require a good grasp of biochemistry. Many of these books prepared me for those that sought to integrate certain concepts, such as the complex work by Stephen Meyer, Signature in the Cell. *

But it's the ones about quantum physics that bring truly alien ideas to the table, ideas that are the most resonate with the worlds and lives of the Risen. Yet even the popular books for the lay person, such as those of Amit Goswami's, which seek to present these ideas in digestible mixtures of metaphysics with empirical sciences, largely fail to do so. Unfortunately, they end up making the authors sounding just a little meshugga.  This is not to say that Dr. Goswami doesn't know what he's talking about, or might be one electron short of a photon, but that it's extremely difficult to make the numinous luminous. And he's not the first scientist to try to do this. Other scientific disciplines have had their own prophets who sought to mix oil and water — Alfred North Whitehead's Process and Reality, for example, where he suggests things like, "Creativity is the principle of novelty. Creativity introduces novelty into the content of the many, which are the universe disjunctively. The ultimate metaphysical principle is the advance from disjunction to conjunction, creating a novel entity other than the entities given in disjunction. The novel entity is at once the togetherness of the 'many' which it finds and also it is one among the disjunctive ' many' which it leaves; it is a novel entity, disjunctively among the many entities which it synthesizes. The many become one, and are increased by one." (p. 26)

We have had our best chances of connecting with such luminosity in the works of the metaphysical poets, such as William Blake, who even draws picture to help us grasp the basics of the basically incomprehensible. Our own bodies can easily emulsify larger molecues in the intestines with acids as a first step in digestion, but trying to mix oil and water with our minds is an entirely different thing. Maybe rather than trying to find a Theory of Everything, the next Nobel Prize should go to the one that can come up with the perfect recipe for Risen Mayonnaise.

As a next step in my education, the Risen recently brought into my terrestrial world a special home course on DVD:  Quantum Mechanics: The Physics of the Microscopic World, a series of 24 lectures by Professor Benjamin Schumacher of The University of Texas. I recently finished what Dr. Schumacher considers the most difficult lecture, "States, Amplitudes, and Properties" which set my mouth to yawning but my mind to spinning — probably foreshadowing the next lecture, "Particles That Spin." Am I a geek or a freak, or what?

In this last lecture Dr. Schumacher introduced what he called "quantumese" — a new language that will be used to discuss the detailed workings of the submicroscopic worlds. And not just any language, but an abstract language. Because apparently there are no words in the macroscopic world that are useful for what goes on in the quantum world.  He even said, in plain language, that "even if you don't understand much of this — and you probably won't — don't worry about it."  – i.e., DON'T PANIC.  How can I panic when I don't know what I'm panicking about?

Here's the most significant realization (and possibly only one) that came to me during this presentation. I realized that, from the way it was being presented, it was impossible to tell if this language had been invented to describe and discuss things that had already been observed, or if it it had been invented to talk about ideas that had occurred in the physicists' minds but that they had yet to observe, and wanted to have handy in case they actually observed these things, should they happen. There was the very strange and spooky sense that this abstract language had been invented with the hope that using it will somehow make quantum reality visible, comprehensible, and real to the macroscopic mind. That first they think about it, which then causes something that doesn't exist, to manifest. It would appear that quantum physicists are uncovering the spiritual properties of existence long known to ancient spiritual systems: that we manifest our world, and not the other way around. (See Robert Lanza's Biocentrism for another modern scientific disciplinary presentation about this.) I, August, have uncovered some things through my own mediumistic experiences, and it appears that many other people have also, or are beginning to. The Risen seeks to support and help validate those kinds of experiences.

And here is the same dilemma we have when it comes to presenting and talking about the Risen and the worlds-within-worlds existence they lead.  One of the many agendas of the book, The Risen, is to begin the process of introducing new language fit for the 21st century mind, or at the very least, to introduce the idea that new language is necessary, without coming across as incomprehensibly nutty. This includes using already known words and ideas but with new definitions. It might therefore be noticed that although the book appears to do this in some small but powerful ways, it really strives to stimulate the reader to take hold of their own experience — via Authentic Self — and discover, or even invent, their own language, which is the precursor towards the manifestation of a new culture, complete with concepts, beliefs, behaviors, and even rituals of reinforcement. The very abstracting nature of such hyper-personal, intimate self-discoveries draws the explorer deeper and deeper into what could be described as a super-submicroscopic metaphysical experience, and one of such exquisite self-intimacy that it seems to paradoxically make one feel even more included as a conscious aspect of one's universe, while feeling excluded from the aspects of the consensual reality universe. What this means, in plain mayo, is that one has begun to move — to transition — from the Great Wheel of Unconscious Material Existence to totally new ways of conscious existence via the Great Spiral of Novelty.

* Lest anyone get the wrong impression, I don't sit around and discuss and debate the masses of information I've ingested from my multi-discipline reading with therapist and medium comrades at the local cafe; this information is what I bring with me into the astral to assist me in my Astral Physics for Dummies classes, and my ongoing discussions with Tim and other Risen while in the waking state; although some of it has begun to find space in recent radio and magazine interviews about The Risen book. But I do manage to consume a lot of coffee anyway.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

From The Archives: Vulcan Purple Microdot Muskrat Love

[First Posted: February 5, 2011]

As a psychotherapist, I have developed what could be called increased, perhaps "extra-sensitive" skills of self-introspection from my own many years of personal therapy, clarified and strengthened by working with others to therapeutically help them discover, develop, and use the same kind of skills. I have been further blessed by such abilities because they have motivated and enabled me to deeply observe the strange and wonderful intimate processes that are part of my mediumship abilities. I've often felt alone in this aspect when it comes to other spirit mediums, comparatively speaking. In the several hundred books on mediums and mediumship subjects in my personal library, and over the course of many years of research, the almost total lack of anyone asking mediums how they felt, what they were experiencing from an internal perspective, or for their own opinions, has become so obvious and glaring that I sometimes wonder if there wasn't some kind of unspoken or even unconscious agenda to avoid or even purposely suppress such important information. If the mediums have been the authors of the books, even they fail to even begin to look beneath the surface of their own psychological processes — and if they have, never indicate it, other than maybe thoughts about certain spiritual processes or religious references. This kind of omission was briefly mentioned in my recent paper, The Disparity of a “Standards of Care” for Spirit Mediumship as a Permissible Behavioral Health Care Profession, as part of an exploration into the kinds of personal ethics mediums may or may not have regarding the practice of their skills. Regarding Carl A. Wickland's use of his wife's mediumship abilities to assist individuals possibly overwhelmed by spirit possession, I note:
There are no clear indications in his book (Thirty Years Among The Dead) regarding his wife’s mediumistic approaches in terms of her standards of care or ethics. This is not surprising, as historically mediums have been seen more as objective ways and means and less as persons within their own right, and so their own personal and psychological processes have often been overlooked.
It is this phenomenon of objectifying mediums as a ways and means to an end "in the name of science" while ignoring the humanity of the actual medium that raises questions in my mind, as well as feelings of sadness mixed with anger — combining into a frustration which speaks to the inhuman practice of transgressing the personal boundaries of another human being, as if the person were not a person, but a machine or gadget to plug in and then watch. Indeed, I wonder at the use of the word "instrument" many mediums apply to themselves when speaking of their work. I am sure that many mediums would resonate with my feelings when I'm approached by others to "do" readings for them, as if it's some kind of automatic process I can switch on and off, with no regard for me as a person. ("Just let me put my medium's beanie on, first!") Of course, I'm referring to the ego-mind's selfish demands for instant gratification. Never mind that the medium might have some feelings about it. A few modern mediums have sometimes reported how intense mediumship experiences affect them, and a certain part of the western cultures that support mediumship have developed their own set of ethics that have evolved safeguards against behaviours at seances that might interfere with ectoplasmic manifestations and endanger the medium's health and even life. We refer to this in The Risen:
These “side effects” have been observed by many medium investigators, including C. W. Leadbeater, a well-known figure and prolific writer of the Theosophical Movement. He noted in his research that the “feeling of lassitude and of having the life dragged out of them is naturally terribly common among mediums.” He also likened it to “a condition closely resembling the shock which follows a surgical operation.”  (p. 170)
It is from all this slight rant and rambling that I've often wondered, and still do, why few people ask me "what's it like?"  Most likely because they aren't really all that concerned. (And so few read this blog, anyway.) But of course, now hoisted by my own petard, I have to confess that I'm not sure how to put it into words if I were asked. I've no doubt that the few attempts made in our book do no more justice to the experience than someone trying to document an LSD trip. In our book, I even once referred to Tim's communications to me as "sounding like a Vulcan on acid."

I see now all this blather does have a purpose, as I do want to try and share something that recently happened from which a few others might find some kind of understanding arise — or at least to try to reveal some of the wonder of it all. While sitting in session with a patient last evening, who had my attention firmly fastened on some very intense issues of past trauma and present relationship dramas, I was suddenly aware that Tim was standing to the right of me. While there would have been no room for a physical person to be there, he had no problem occupying the same space as a plant stand and a floor lamp. I felt something "shift" in my own space so that I was with him in his own space while he was in mine, and this juxtaposition seemed to bridge any gaps in our dimension so that we were creating a new one, just for the two of us. Somehow, I could now see, hear, touch, feel, and even move in this new dimension with Tim, while I also continued to sit facing my patient, with whom I also continued to see, hear, emotionally feel and interact. All this happened in less than the time it took for an eye to blink or even its pupil to dilate.

Tim was just standing there, next to me, with me, and said, "Hi, you."  And I said back, "Hi, you." And within those four words exchanged, such depths of love, comfort, peace, joy and ecstasy suddenly flared that I thought I would faint (all the while interacting with my patient) while my physical body reacted by crying two huge tears that ran down each cheek. Fortunately, because it was evening and the room was in its usual dimly lit state, my patient couldn't see that I was crying from across the room — but saw or felt something, and suddenly stopped and asked, "Did it just get lighter in here? I'm seeing light on your face, where's it coming from?" and all I could say was, "I don't know ... that's strange." And then just as suddenly my patient seemed to forget what was just said, and sat back and continued talking on as if nothing had happened — a clear demonstration of psychospiritual amnesia if ever I've seen one.

Tim was still there, and acted as if only he and I were the only ones in time and space, and the only other intelligible thing I can share is that for some indeterminable amount of time, we basked in the sheer joy of being so closely joined by one another's presence — a closeness that cannot be experienced by two people in material human bodies on earth. Then we would "dim" as a light would dim, but then flare up again, over and over, as if we were dialing our feelings up and down for the sheer orgasmic spirit of it all. Finally I had to reach for the box of tissues and pretend  to blow my nose, because the tears were flowing down my face with total abandon. And then Tim dimmed, and dimmed some more, and I was left with the unmistakable afterglow of just having made love.

Maybe that's why mediums don't say  much about what's really going on. Never mind.

Nature is My Medicine

[First Posted May 2010]

How strange that Nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!
~Emily Dickinson
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded
to stay out till sundown for going out, I found, was really going in.
~John Muir

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station,
Through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.
~ George Washington Carver

Early last evening as the sun was setting, while snuggled on the couch with the little monsters and talking with a friend on the phone, I could see out a window overlooking the forest that runs along the Hudson river to the west. The night sky was quite clear with only a few clouds, and some stars were just visible. But what really caught my attention was the very large, very bright twinkling light just above the trees, which I thought at first might have been a hovering helicopter's spotlight. But it continued to stay still for way too long, and when I saw the much tinier light of a plane go by it, I had to mention to my friend on the phone that I was seeing something very strange. I'm in Manhattan, and although my friend lives in Queens across the East River, he could also see the very large light in the sky. We both saw it as a brilliant golden white, which was flickering so much that it appeared to be moving, but actually wasn't. Some of the shafts of light streaming from it were of the most beautiful bluebird blue and emerald green.

Were the Three Magi heading towards it on the Staten Island Ferry? Hopefully not, if they got the same idea and googled it on their iphones to discover it can only be the other divinity —Venus — sometimes called the Morning Star, but at this time of the year, it's known as the Evening Star. It will appear as a brilliant yellow star in the evening sky, right after sunset, until late September 2010. Located 20° above the western horizon one hour after sundown, it will remain on view until after 10 P.M. local daylight time. This gift of Nature was the most perfect ending to any day I could ever imagine.

But the gifts of Nature don't just come out at night. This morning, although I slept fairly well, I had a difficult time getting up. Tim mentioned that the electromagnetic fields of the Earth are very active right now, switching polarities, and moving around, which affects how people and animals feel and think. I could see it was a glorious day and had a few hours before I had to begin work, so forced myself to go for a run in the woods; it wasn't easy. I was glad to finally rest on a bench at the top of a slight hill overlooking some fields and the river. The sun shining on the grass made it a brilliant green, and there were lots of birds and bugs hopping around in it. I noticed what looked like a very tiny, brilliant yellow bird in the grass about 25 feet away, and I could see its little head bobbing up and down — but unlike the other birds which were very busy swooping and landing and taking off, it stayed in the same spot, not moving around, which I though odd; I feared it might be hurt. Or maybe it wasn't a bird. After five very long minutes, I carefully made my way closer, and could see that it was indeed a little yellow bird - a finch - and that it was carefully but joyfully sipping water from the dew still wet on the blades of grass. It continued to drink, and I marveled that such a little thing could be so thirsty and drink so much water.

I then noticed just how wet the field was, which was waving slightly in the breezes, and the drops of dew were lit up and twinkling, very much like miniature Venuses in a sea of grass and flowers. The whole expanse seemed alive, and the dew drops grew larger, somehow, and I fell into an altered state of consciousness that had no sense of time, only of the glowing points of light glittering all around me, and of the sounds of birds singing in ecstasy in the background. When I finally headed back to my home, I felt I had been transported to a new level of life, energized and at peace. Nature is my medicine, as Sarah Moss-Wolfe once said.

As it also says in The Risen — and which directly reflects my experience of just being quiet and still, waiting, and achieving a transformation —

Modern humankind has largely forgotten that we are an integral and inseparable part of Nature—that we are Nature. People listen more to the simulate self’s artificial instructions instead of the indwelling natural ones that arise from the awareness of being an inseparable component of Nature. Animals, birds, trees, flowers, and butterflies do not have an interfering ego-mind. “Survival of the fittest” does not mean that certain beings have to destroy others in order to live, although that is how the ego-mind justifies its own beliefs. It means that all components of Nature are in a continual process of experiencing how all living things fit together. The Energy of Nature, which is also our energy, does not play any mind games in order to survive, for Nature simply is—and we simply are, too.

The ego-mind’s misdirecting chatter can be softened by quietly resting within Nature—walking in a meadow or gazing up through the trees at the stars. In joining Nature, we join as Authentic Self. Allowing the inner-dwelling Authentic Self to quietly emerge and observe and take in the surroundings of Nature will calm and soothe the ego-mind, which especially malfunctions when it perceives threats coming from other ego-minds. If we sit quietly and long enough in some setting of Nature, the ego-mind will be unable to continually perceive a threat. It will then subside in its negative ways, at least temporarily, and be still for a while.

The more we allow such quiet sitting, the more familiar we’ll become with the feeling of the ego-mind receding. Spend this time quietly observing a tree, for instance. The ego-mind will not be able to get a tree to play mind games with it. Our Self-As-Nature—Authentic Self—can then emerge, and from there we’ll begin to re-identify with the rest of Nature around us. Feelings of alienation, loneliness, and abandonment will begin to become lighter.