Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thick Skulls!

I've been listening to the recently archived recording sittings of the Yellow Cloud Circle of Physical Mediumship, where they were touring in Australia - fantastic direct voice phenomenon as usual, and dear friend John Sloan always a pleasure to hear. During one particular sitting, John confirms something Tim shared in The Risen, which is that there are skeptics in the afterlife, not just on earth! This can be heard about 5:40 minutes into the sitting. John speaks of how the now-transitioned skeptics still think they're right, because they still don't realize that the people they're now speaking to are Risen just like they are. About certain now-transitioned scientists, John says, "...they just can't get it through their thick skulls!"

This is what's noted in The Risen:

Not everyone is necessarily interested in contacting those left behind on the terrestrial plane after their transition to the Risen state. For one thing, it’s very difficult. And for another, the heightened reality of the Risen experience is so intense that many individuals quickly lose interest in earth and even forget they ever had a life there. Tim and others have told me that there are Risen who believe that their earth experience was all a dream—or a nightmare—from which they simply woke up. There are groups of Risen, including those who were once scientists on the earth, who maintain adamant skepticism that such a place as earth ever existed. When compared with their present reality, it simply doesn’t make sense to them and so they challenge others there to prove the existence of such a crazy-sounding place as “Earth.”

Gifts of the Spirit

August recently exchanged a few emails with a reader who, at one point, understood one of Aug's comments to say that if mediums abuse their abilities, their gifts will be taken away from them. This discussion arose directly from the recent blogging here about spirit art reality and hoaxing. It is hoped that the blogs did not give forth that notion, as it was not meant to imply that an abuse of abilities will result in them being "taken away."

As has been said by us and others, what losses (and gains) we experience are due to our own decisions. A medium's gifts are not given or taken away by anyone, including themselves or spirit guides or even Creator Source; indeed, the abilities we speak of are not extraordinary, as we all have access to such abilities, for Creator Source has placed no limitations on our immortal Self -- and so we choose to use them in whatever ways we will. Our book, The Risen, strives to help people access their innate abilities of  mediumship ("do-it-yourself"). There are immutable "laws" holding the universe together; they are the universe. While they are infinitely limitless and flexible, they exist while we exist and depend upon our existence, and thus respond to our word -- which includes thought, belief and action -- which is our form of "law" arising intrinsically with and from the Word of Creator Source (as above, so below.) The results are neither good nor bad, light nor dark, as there is only good, and only light. Anything else is a label and a fruitless attempt by ego-mind to create that which has already been created. The only "battles of light and dark" are in the ego-mind and therefore illusory and, if insisted on and crystallized through a belief system, delusional.

The phenomena of mediumship have changed dramatically in this 21st century, mainly in psychospiritual ways. While modern communication modes have increased the sharing of information, they have also increased  misinformation, which includes purposeful attempts to manipulate certain truths to appear as acts of self-creation. In most of the earliest academic-oriented books and reporting about mediums in the late 19th C. up until the mid-19th C., (i.e., Andrew Jackson Davis, Robert Crookall, William Crookes, Hereward Carrington, Leadbeater, et al.) it is always stated in some way that "as above, so below" when it comes to mediumship abilities. Some writers have unfortunately made it sound as if a medium will be "punished" in some way upon a negative judgment of their lives and actions, and more than a few seem to suggest that to refuse a Risen request to let them use a person for mediumship endeavours will also result in some kind of vindictive outcome, usually that the medium will become ill, languish, and die; but all that is clearly the deceptive manipulations of ego-mind. It does appear to be so that if the Universe has found an outlet through which to express Itself in some way - such as a person who can act as a medium between non-Risen and the Risen - but is prevented from following through, the person in question will not be "punished," but might end up stressed and weakened in some ways because they have knowingly or unknowingly diverted nourishing spiritual energy that would otherwise strengthen and transform them. Like any ability, "use it or lose it." This would be true for any kind of "gift" from the Universe, such as someone who has the gift for singing but is unable to express it, or even represses it, and thus languishes from the resulting spiritual malnourishment.

As Tim shared in The Risen:
"... Creator Source will not interfere with what one desires, for Its greatest pleasure is to give us whatever we want, not to withhold it. The so-called ‘Principles of the Universe’ are really more like suggestions or guidelines. No, that’s not quite right, they’re more than that—they’re gifts. And then it’s all up to us if we want to accept them, and in what spirit, or rather in what spirit form. We also have the option to refuse them with no questions asked. The wonderful, mysterious thing about these gifts is that because they are infinite and unlimited in nature, we can use them in any way we want. There might be a Returns Department somewhere, but I would never dream of giving back an unopened present!"

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Reproduced here is the image referred to in some of the comments by a reader here, from a recent "spirit card" seance sitting with Rev. mediums Hoyt Robinette and Gail Hicks. We are grateful for the permission to show it and for this reader's diligence in revealing the half-tone image -- who believes it might be Fiorella LaGuardia -- which was then clearly covered over with certain pigments and possibly other chemicals used by illustrators in their work. Half-tone are those little black dots once seen in newspaper photos, for example, a technique that simulates continuous tone imagery through the use of the dots, varying either in size, in shape or in spacing. In this image, the half-tone doesn't appear to be modern digital, but maybe generated from an old 70's or 80's laser printer, but who knows?

Our reader notes: "A few believers and sceptics mentioned that they've seen the same photo images coming out of various events, just with different color treatments. Looks like they are running out of old photos in their library and have to recycle previous images!"

We find it of interest that Rev. Hicks shares at her website that she has a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art.

Because we have already discussed the many details, in great detail, about August's image of Boris Pasternak (who is actually now one of his guides in spirit), rather than revisit them, we refer readers to those blog postings, but sharing now that the image has continued to transition in macro and micro appearance over the years (including becoming increasing iridescent and sparkly, and what appears to be the face slowly turning to reveal more of an ear which was hidden in a kind of mist at one time.) Whether this is some kind of spirit phenomenon or the result of the aging of pigments and chemicals can't be determined without the help of a chemistry lab. I (August) just spent more time poring over the image with my Bausch & Lomb 7X Hastings triplet magnifier, which is used by biologists for viewing 3D objects. And oh my, the things not visible to the naked eye! Worlds within worlds, indeed. But perhaps I'm deluded as some might suggest. I am blessed to have close connections to a very special network of very smart scientists around the world, and am going to see if I can find someone who can subject the image to modern, sophisticated electron scanning, or whatever the thingamajigs are called.

All that being said, I have seen a fair amount of obvious flim-flammery over the years, and by some very well-known people in the spiritualist/survivalist community. I confronted them very quietly, of course, and must tread carefully where matters of privacy and confidentiality are concerned (and issues of slander and defamation as well) but not one of the confrontations turned out well. Some people are definitely deluded. And all that being said, anyone who has read The Risen about some of the things I've experienced first hand could not be faulted for their disbelief; however, in keeping in line with Risen do-it-yourself philosophy, open the mind, take a deep breath, and do it yourself.

Where is Moose & Squirrel?

[First posted April 26, 2007]

[This posting has given rise to some new comments now in March of 2011, and so is being reposted in hopes of stimulating more rousing good stuff!]

My apologies, to anyone who noticed, regarding my long absence from these pages. Rest assured, I’m still in the world, although still not of it. Life on this physical dimension increasingly demands more and more, while seemingly giving less in return. Perhaps this is as it’s meant to be, in life-long transition from this plane to the next. Life in a place such as New York City requires existence in an altogether different dimension as well. It is not the United States; it is not the American Prairie; it is a thriving hive of humans and aliens; some of us have cars, and some have spaceships. Many have iPods and other things stuck in their heads.

Tim has been far, far away – far off somewhere — time-traveling, studying, forging new alliances, translating the heretofore untranslatable. Like many relationships ours takes vacations. It’s been 17 years since Tim left the planet, and there is little on Earth, if anything, that’s still of interest to him – it’s in the past. The call of the Great Cosmos Beyond is too alluring for him to ignore. Love keeps us in contact in tiny rills, while our vastly different biopsychophysical situations keep us rivers apart. The heavens continue to spin, and centripetal forces spiral our personal time-lines in very different directions, while our shared psychological history becomes ingreasingly less intelligible to one another. We must live almost solely heart to heart now.

Consciously aware of ourselves as immortal beings, we tend not to worry much about time any more.

My mediumship concerns have been taking a backseat to life in the hive. But now it seems to be perking up a bit again, since a medium I’ve known for sometime, but never met until recently, contacted me. Sidney Schwartz, a medium and minister of Gifts of The Spirit Church, and recently back from studies at the Arthur Findlay College of mediumship development in England, was excited to tell me that finally he was able to schedule several séances in our area with the physical medium, Hoyt Robinette. Sidney is a delightful, sincere and earnest medium always seeking to enrich his skills.

Hoyt, also a minister, conducts trumpet séances. These séances take place in total darkness. While the medium goes into “death trance” (completely unconscious), Spirit utilizes his ectoplasm to create a kind of artificial larynx for disembodied folks to utilize for speaking. (Since they no longer have a material body on our plane, this is needed for them to speak.) Communication in their realms is primarily mind-to-mind, and not physically vocalized, so they often are challenged to make themselves heard and understood; the artificial organ also produces odd-sounding vocalizations. To correct for this, Spirit uses a “trumpet” – a cone-shaped aluminum device, to position in front of the larynx and amplify the spirit voice. The trumpet typically has strips of phosphorescent paper taped to it so it can be seen rising through the air in the darkness, supported and manipulated by ectoplasmic “rods” created by the spirit techs for this purpose. This is a rare form of physical mediumship, seldom seen these days, although much more common many decades ago.

Reverend Robinette also conducts séances that produce “precipitated art” – see The Bangs Sisters for the ultimate example in this also very rare example of physical mediumship (as reported by my colleague, the spiritualist historian N. Riley Heagerty.) Simply explained, Spirit causes images – paintings – to materialize onto some surface – canvas, paper, silk or even walls. No brushes, pencils or other such tools are directly used; rather the actual molecules of pigments are dematerialized from their source, such as a pastel crayon, and then rematerialized onto the surface. Because the pigments are deposited in this way, they are said to be “precipitated.” These works are quite phenomenal, and no brushstrokes or pressure marks from drawing implements are evident. The surface is said to resemble the coloured “dust” on a butterfly’s wings. Sometimes, pigments are taken from unknown sources. The finished work takes little time to produce. The Bangs Sisters were able to facilitate the precipitation of large canvases in broad daylight, in front of audiences of hundreds of people. Rev. Hoyt lives quite close to one of the larger collections of their paintings, and Rev. Schwartz has seen them several times, describing them as “indescribable.”

The trumpet séance was disappointing. Perhaps I'm totally mistaken, but it seemed me, with my rich background of many years in music and vocal studies, that the voices coming from the trumpet in pitch blackness all belonged to the medium – male and female. There was no mistaking the easily-identifiable vocal cadences and phrasing patterns, (including his deep Southern accent) -- which are next-to-impossible to erase without years of professional study, as any actor will tell you. Also, in every one of the many accounts I’ve read, the trumpet is always manipulated by Spirit with amazing speed and deftness, bringing it up to the top of the ceiling, and sailing it about the room without once bumping into anything, in order to show the impossibility of the medium having anything to do with its movements. The trumpet in this séance never went any higher than the shoulders of the seated medium, who was supposedly dead to the world. Sometimes it would point towards the particular sitter being addressed. There were two trumpets for this séance, but the other trumpet never moved. This was also strange. Spirit people tend to like to show off, but they didn’t take advantage of the opportunity this time.

The messages that came out of the trumpet also seemed trite and predictable. Of the 13 sitters, nobody, as far as I could tell, received any information from a deceased loved one. All of the “spirits” were Indian chieftains and child-like spirit guides. This is not surprising, since the majority of the sitters were all seasoned new-age spiritualist/metaphysical seekers, and had sat at Hoyt’s séances before. Everyone knew everyone’s guides, so it was quite clique-y. My spirit messenger was the exception to the lot – an “Ascended Master” – St. Germain: no small potatoes! He informed me that he had been working with me for many years, and would continue to do so, and “great things” were in store for me, including a trip to France and then to England. “Not on my budget,” I informed him back, “So unless one of us wins the lottery, it will be a true miracle indeed.” This caused a lot of laughter (and I thought I detected nervous laughter from Saint Germain.) When asked if I had a question for him (every “spirit" asked this) I answered briefly: “Nope.” Nervous silence this time. I did add that I would be glad to work with him, and was his humble servant, etc., etc. just to give it a nice and discomforting twist of a questioning nature. Everyone else was oo-ing and ah-ing because of the supposed high status of St. Germain (or "Ol’ Germy," as I now like to call him.

One of the sitters, a serious developing medium in training, questioned her “guide’s” assertions, and asked, in the traditional matter of confirmation, for her guide to give her two signs so that she could validate what he said. Her guide got all uppity and defensive: “Well, if you don’t want to work with me, there are plenty of others who would be more than happy to.” The sitter stood up to him a bit, and asserted that as a developing medium, it was the correct procedure and so wouldn’t apologize. But then she backed down a bit and said, “but of course I will work with you, don’t get me wrong.” This exchange was also very odd to me – as someone in spirit, especially a learned guide – and historical documentation backs me up here – would never get defensive or abusive, but rather would say something like, “You’re absolutely right, I understand this need and so will do my best to find a way to give you little or no doubt that I am who I say I am, because truth and trust are essential.” Validation is of the utmost importance in these matters, and many people have been very mislead by people in spirit who are not who or what they say they are.

As a special treat, we were given apports, which are objects materialized by Spirit as gifts. We each received a tiny little polished gemstone, and one person was told that the little gold cross was for him. They came rattling out of the trumpet and onto the floor in the dark, making an impressive racket as they shot through the tin cone and bounced off a small table in the center of the room. I leave it to the reader to think about whether these objects were true apports. While I'm not outright suggesting fraud, I am suggesting the clarifying power of doubt and healthy skepticism.

The next night was the séance for precipitated cards. This was in a small, brightly lit room rented from a small church in the city, and we sat in rows facing a lectern. We had to fill out small slips of paper – known as “billets” in spiritualist parlance – with our name on it, a few names of deceased loved ones or guides, and a question. The billets were folded on half once only and kept on the lectern in plain sight. Then Hoyt took a brand new pack of 3x5 blank white cards, which he gave to a member to unwrap and examine to confirm they were blank. These cards went into a “snake basket” – a tightly woven fibre-basket with a lid, which kept any light from entering – and layered with all kinds of coloured pencils, crayons, markers and oil pastels, and then the basket set off to the side in full view. The very bright fluorescent lights overhead were kept on at all times while the medium taped his eyes over with 3 strips of some kind of white sticky tape – based on all his experience, I would think he should have used surgical tape, but I believe he chose it to distract us. When he took it off at the end, he made a big show of how difficult it was to painfully peel off. Surgical tape would not do this.

He then spent the next hour “discerning” the information on the billets, holding each one in his hands, each billet fully open, stroking and creasing them in his fingers, holding them at arm’s length below his nose - and demonstrating that he was picking up the information on them while blindfolded.

Sometimes, I could tell he would actually go into genuine direct trance because he would suddenly have a hard time standing and speaking, while some Spirit would come through in a rush of words and phrases, often hard to catch.

Finally he finished discerning for everyone (about 15 people) and brought the basket over to the lectern, opened it and immediately began passing out cards - each person’s name was on the back of the previously blank card. He did not hesitate or fumble around with this, and did not do anything that suggested he was substituting already made-up cards for the blank ones.


My card was first to come out, and is simply, beautifully, awesome.

Keep in mind that this is a 3x5 inch card. That's pretty small. This turned out to be one of the most spectacular of precipitated cards in the group, although my companion’s was quite beautiful as well. I hope to get a scan of it at some time. All cards where photographed by Sidney for the archives. There have been literally many hundreds of these cards to emerge from the basket over the years. It is impossible to portray in words the realism of the pictures – they look almost like Polaroid photos, but with great depth and texture.

On the back, written in different colors, and in similar but still different looking hands, were names: St. Germain, Dr. Yorio, Chief Wise Owl, and Golden Feather. I glanced at them briefly, because I wanted to just gaze at my amazing card. Because of something the medium had said, everyone assumed this was a picture of one the guide named Dr. Yorio. [Later, I did an internet search and immediately came up with the NY Times 1989 obituary for Dr. Carlos Alfredo Yorio, a linguistics professor in NYC. Although the obit listed his death due to organ failure, it was clear he died from AIDS (few, if any obits used the term then) but it did note that he was survived by a long-time male partner, something only the NYTimes did in those days.] So this seemed a very plausible candidate for a guide for me – rather more than coincidental, given that Tim had died of AIDS in 1990. Even more telling – Dr. Yorio had lived with his partner just a few blocks north of me. Unfortunately, because there the Internet had barely accessible by the public in 1989 -- if at all -- there was next to nothing about Dr. Yorio, and of course, no photos.

I finally turned the card back over to look at the names again, and this time there was a new one, which hadn’t been there before, but was now there, in bright neon yellow, and very difficult to read, in tiny letters. Finally my friend was able to make it out: Boris Pasternak. Who the hell is that? I asked. A few people knew who he was, mainly as the Russian author of Dr. Zhivago. I also later learned that he was a well-known part-time composer and honoured Nobel Prize-winner poet of Russian-Jewish origin. I was barely able to take in that the name had appeared by itself while in my hands, and had no idea why Boris’s name was there!

Some quick research yielded much information about this famous person, as well as photographs. And it was immediately apparent that my card was unmistakably a startling photo-realistic rendition of Boris Pasternak, not Dr. Yorio. The little blobby thing of light next to the portrait still remains a mystery to me – it looks almost as if it were the result of some kind of process in art known as “resist” where the surface rejects pigments due to waxes or oils on the surface. I have a feeling it’s significant in some way, and might even be one of the other spirit guides who is developed to the point where they are beyond pictorial representation, other than some kind of light.

As an artist, and professionally trained in many methods and materials, especially painting and drawing, I have an especially keen eye and understanding of the process of producing a detailed, 2-D rendition. I examined my card with a magnifying glass for hours, and was frankly startled by the detail in such a small space – the pupil of the eye was so detailed that it quite freaked me out, I couldn’t imagine how it was done, especially because it appeared to be done with oil pastels, very difficult and messy things to use. Or rather, I should say, with the pigments of oil pastels. If anyone tried to produce such a brilliantly, heavily-rendered portrait on such a small piece of thin paper with pastels, the paper would surely be creased, wrinkled, work-worn and marked with indentations pressing through. Not so with this card. It is as if pigment was literally, somehow, dusted – precipitated is really the right word – in layers and layers, carefully building up a micron-thin image. Under the magnifying glass, it looked like sediment, as if the card has rested underwater and microscopic, coloured mud particles had settled, layer by layer, until a face appeared. There were no brush marks, no crayon marks, no pencil or pen marks. The surface was mysteriously smooth and slightly shiny. The backs of the cards were basically untouched but for the names and a few light coloured scratches as if they had rubbed lightly against the pastels while in the basket.

Other participants had very amazing pictures as well – there were quite a few Native American images, mostly all very small, perfect miniatures, sometimes several faces on one card. All presented with incredible precision and ultra-photorealism, with exaggerated, brilliant fauve-ist colours. My friend had a rendition of Chief White Eagle, the largest of all the Indian paintings, and hauntingly beautiful.


My beautiful painting, now framed and resting against a lamp on the dresser at home, haunts me. No pun intended, (I think.) Why the hell would Boris Pasternak cause his spirit photo to materialize on a little card for me, I asked myself yesterday morning while brushing my teeth. I don’t even know anyone named Boris, and never have. So I challenged – “Ok, Boris – if you’re for real, and this is for real, and for some reason you’re insinuating that we’re connected, or going to be connected – I need a sign – doesn’t matter what, just something that will get my attention and I can attribute to you. Over and out.”

I then completely forgot about this request to the air, mainly because I next went into the bedroom to discover that Fiona & McHenry (aka Satan’s Little Helpers) had cornered a big, fat bumblebee on the windowsill. I quickly got them away and was able to catch the bee and release it unharmed outside. I checked the little imps to make sure they weren’t stung, and as far as I could tell, they were fine. Whew! An hour later, though, McHenry came and showed me the right side of his face, swollen out like a golf ball (see his photo above - awwwww, poor boo-boo!) Completely panicking, I threw on some clothes and sandals and the got us in a cab to the vet. It was fortunate it was a bumble bee, since their sting is less toxic than that of a honeybee, and also, unlike a honeybee, don’t imbed and lose their stinger in the stingee. Still, McH.'s face and neck were quite swollen, but his heart was fine and no deadly allergic reaction was indicated. He received a shot of benadryl for his efforts, and I a few more stress lines for mine.

Back at the ranch, I rested in bed with McH. at my side, keeping him under observation for the next couple hours. I rarely keep the phone ringer on at home, nor the volume of the answering machine, but had turned both on in case the vet called later. I’m also never home at that time, but at work. When the phone rang, I assumed it would be the vet or a friend concerned about McHenry. Instead I heard some man leaving a message on the machine, someone I didn’t know, but I picked up anyway. He said hello and continued to talk about himself, his mother, and other things that made no sense. The connection was also strange, and I could hear my voice echo back whenever I tried to speak. Finally I was able to get a word in edgewise: “Who is this?”

This is Boris.

(It did not occur to me to connect this with the card. This is the usual amnesia-like stuff that goes on when something spirit-numinous is occurring.)

— Why are you calling me, Boris?

Because my mother told me to.

The short version of a very long and stupid, insensible conversation is that this young man was harassed by his mother to call me because I was a therapist who specialized in gender and sexuality issues. However, he did not have any of these issues, and was a happily out and partnered gay man. He didn’t want or need therapy (but clearly his mother did.) It seems he was calling just so he could tell his mother that he called, to get her off his back. He added:

That is how we Russian Jews are.

— Well, yes, ok. Whatever. I have a sick cat who needs me. Good luck. Goodbye.

I was never able to ascertain how Boris’s mother got my number, as it was my home, not office number. He had no idea either and really couldn’t tell me exactly why he was calling, and seemed rather puzzled about it himself.

Later, while on my way to work, it suddenly struck me that this was Boris Pasternak’s witty way of meeting my condition. Somehow he had orchestrated to influence a total stranger to influence her son, Boris, a Russian Jew (like Pasternak) to call me and say “This is Boris.” I’m not a statistician, but I imagine the odds are quite steep here. Especially given the fact that I’m never home at that time or even have the ringer turned on.

My world would appear to be changing radically again, and I’ve really no idea what’s going on.

I have asked Boris to provide me with at least one more, or possibly two, signs.

Stay tuned.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Universe Is Haunted

"Night" by Edward Robert Hughes

From The Universe Is Haunted: Reflections on the "Nature of Nature" 
by David Klinghoffer in Evolution News and Views

" ... The universe is haunted.

"Haunted not by ghosts but by a source of ancient, unseen, immaterial agency. Whether agents or one Agent, you simply can't tell from the scientific evidence. Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), co-discoverer of evolutionary theory with Charles Darwin and no one's idea of a Christian, ultimately concluded that the directing activity of what he called cosmic "intelligences" or "angels" was needed to fully explain the origin and development of life. Their role was to give natural selection something to select. The idea that angels perform such a function goes back to Maimonides, who integrated Aristotle with rabbinic tradition on the subject, and to other, later medieval theologians.

"Whatever its nature, such an intelligent force must have set in motion the 13.75-billion-year history of the cosmos and guided the unfolding of life from its origin 3.7 billion years ago.

"As astrophysicist Guillermo Gonzalez argues here, the formation of a habitable universe, and a planet fit for scientific exploration, required extraordinarily high degrees of what he calls, respectively, "global" and "local" fine-tuning of physical constants and environmental conditions. Speculative cosmologies have sought to avoid the theological implications of this -- that something had us in mind from the beginning -- by spinning fables of a "multiverse" where the existence of an infinite number of universes explains away the seeming miracle."

To read the entire article, go here.

Also see "The Nature of Nature", a new book worth looking at.

"The world’s leading authorities in the sciences and humanities—dozens of top scholars, including three Nobel laureates—join a cultural and intellectual battle that leaves no human life untouched. Is the universe self-existent, self-sufficient, and self-organizing, or is it grounded instead in a reality that transcends space, time, matter, and energy?
The intellectual and cultural battles now raging over theism and atheism, conservatism and secular progressivism, dualism and monism, realism and antirealism, and transcendent reality versus material reality extend even into the scientific disciplines. This stunning new volume captures this titanic clash of worldviews among those who have thought most deeply about the nature of science and of the universe itself.
Unmatched in its breadth and scope, The Nature of Nature brings together some of the most influential scientists, scholars, and public intellectuals—including three Nobel laureates—across a wide spectrum of disciplines and schools of thought. Here they grapple with a perennial question that has been made all the more pressing by recent advances in the natural sciences:Is the fundamental explanatory principle of the universe, life, and self-conscious awareness to be found in inanimate matter or immaterial mind?The answers found in this book have profound implications for what it means to do science, what it means to be human, and what the future holds for all of us. "

Saturday, March 19, 2011

From The Archives: Zerdin Recognition

First posted December 20, 2009.

Rosalind Pearman of the UK Zerdin Phenomenal Organisation, which is globally recognized for its many years of supportive work in the area of promoting safe and healthy physical mediumship and manifestation, writes us that they recently acquired a copy of The Risen, and that “it will be read with much enthusiasm” — one of their members will write up a book review to publish in their bi-monthly subscription based magazine, The Zerdin Phenomenal. Thank you, Rosalind & Dennis!
[The image above, “Universal Healing Symbol” is a painting by our dear Healer-Artist friend, Maruata Atahu - a pure channel and an energy imprinter. Her paintings are physical manifestations of higher energies, including Ascended Masters, and are portals to these higher energies. Her work is available as posters and cards to help bring one into contact with higher vibratory geographies. Contemplating the Universal Healing Symbol has a calming effect, and can be kept on your computer desktop for viewing at any time, or placed on a chakra for blocked energy flow.]
Reader Michael Prescott comments:
I've been enjoying your book very much, August, but I have a question about your chapter on reincarnation. I'm not a great fan of the idea of reincarnation myself, since it would probably mean going through high school again! Nevertheless, I'm inclined to think that some (maybe not all) people do reincarnate. Reincarnation seems most common when a life is unexpectedly cut short, or when there is a strong emotional tie pulling the deceased back to earth.

Some of the more interesting evidence for reincarnation consists of strange parallels between present-day birth defects (or birthmarks) and injuries suffered by the previous personality. For instance, a person whose fingers are stunted on a diagonal line may find that his past-life personality's hand was maimed in just this way by an industrial accident. (That's an actual case.)

Such congenital features would seem to imply that the connection between the present-day personality and the previous personality extends to the moment of conception. Wouldn't reincarnation be the best explanation of these cases "where biology and reincarnation intersect" (to quote the title of Ian Stevenson's book on the subject)?
August and Tim reply:
We’re so pleased there has been joy in your experience. As mentioned in the book—and in many different ways—the human ego-mind has evolved to be extraordinarily driven to brilliantly solve puzzles/problems, and especially to create puzzles/problems when there aren't any. Much like the way a dog loves to chew on something, anything, everything. This is because the ego-mind is also deathly afraid (literally) that its own survival is not ensured (it's not) after the terrestrial body ceases to exist. It knows this. It knows that it will not survive into an “afterlife” but that Authentic Self will. (Ironically, Authentic Self often doesn’t know this, thanks to the ego-mind’s machinations.) Ego-mind also knows that in order to feel safe, it needs to convince sleeping Authentic Self that its own demise is also that of Authentic Self. The most rational solution to the puzzle is to suggest a return of some kind to the earth - which is all that ego-mind knows - thus the ego-mind, which evolved rationality (as an “intellectual defense” in its opposition to intuitive wisdom of Authentic Self,) will do anything and everything to convince us that there must be a way to survive, and that the evidence for a return to the Earth is all around. Evidence about reincarnation at the intellectual level is easy to fabricate, and so also easy to accept, given the drive to avoid the fear of non-existence as quickly and easily as possible.

Regarding a seemingly "biologically-induced reincarnation affect" (I just made that up, for the record) – read on into the reincarnation chapter. This is one of the most challenging chapters of the book, so if you feel like throwing it out the window, just put it down, and step away for a while. Greatest Mind, of which we are each part and parcel of—so Mind is our mind—has no limitations. We can manifest anything within and without any limitations we so choose to impose or release. You will hopefully begin to see how the exquisitely complex dynamics of interrelationships with other individuals on astral levels can influence not just our present psychology, but the very beliefs that can impact and manifest even our very physicality before, during and after birth. Does this mean that from such relationships, the affects you mention can be imparted to a mother carrying a fetus, whereby such influences can imprint upon the body of the developing child? I leave that question unanswered, because the Risen Collective has the agenda that you the reader gradually cease looking outside yourself for answers, and look inward instead. The truth, regardless of how it may contradict what Tim or I or the Risen Collective or even the Risen Assembly says, will be your individual truth. This particular agenda also requires that you continue inward from that answer, that truth, to begin uncovering just what “worlds within worlds” is.

All that being said, as a psychotherapist I’d be very curious about what makes you ask the question—is your ego-mind attempting to misdirect your Authentic Self’s attention, which has finally begun to stir awake from the raising of vibrations as brought on by your reading? “Devil’s Advocate” can be fun, but in whose service? But do read on, as you will see that you can have your cake and eat it too. No need to get too serious here!

Michael comments further:
"is your ego-mind attempting to misdirect your Authentic Self’s attention ..."

Maybe, but I wouldn't be too quick to write off critical thinking. There's a lot of channeled material out there, and it seems to me that some degree of critical thinking is necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff.

"... which has finally begun to stir awake from the raising of vibrations as brought on by your reading?"

I've read many books on this subject over the past 13 years. The Risen is a very worthwhile contribution, and I appreciate the chance to read it, but I'm not sure it is "raising my vibrations" to a greater extent than some of the others. Geraldine Cummins' books The Road to Immortality and Beyond Human Personality were particularly meaningful to me. (A Google search will bring up the full text of both books online.)

Much as I enjoyed Cummins' books, I would still say that their claims need to be examined critically. Cummins herself believed that parts of her communications originated in her subconscious, and I would guess that this is true of channeled material in general. Even in the best cases, channeling seems to involve a mixture of authentic communication and subconscious confabulation. That's why we have to tread cautiously when assessing such material.

At least that's how I see it. Thanks for giving me the chance to comment. Best wishes for a joyous New Year!
August and Tim reply:
Yes, let the mind be critical, examine what you see as the facts for for yourself, do not accept what we say or suggest as authority. Then take it up a notch, to rest under the gaze of Authentic Self. You are the only authority in the final examination.

Geraldine Cummin's work is very worth looking at for vibrational change,to get an idea of the complexities involved -- thanks for mentioning it -- Swan on a Black Sea is just amazing. Likewise Arthur Findlay's works. N. Riley Heagerty's invaluable compendium, The French Revelation -- on E.C. Randall's investigation of the direct voice medium Emily French, is another that comes to mind in terms of Randall's intensive investigative process.

We are not energetic supporters for what passes as "channeling" these days - much of it is ego-mind talking to itself. August was able to attend several Seth session with Jane Roberts back in the mid-late 70's, and would still hesitate to label Seth as being "channeled". There aren't any words, really, for something like that, or even for the experience between August and; Tim, although it has been utilized for lack of a better word. The medium, George Anderson, specifically uses "discernment" in his work; August often does as well. Dr. Melvin Morse, who wrote the foreword for The Risen, recently suggested to August something more on the lines of quantum physics, specifically the term "entanglement", when discussing the way Tim and August engage. Combined with the idea of "interpenetration", we can see a different kind of conceptualization emerging that is finding validation in quantum physics, especially in the newer theories presented by Dr. Amit Goswami - his book, "Creative Evolution" (2008) seeks to offer such revolutionary resolutions between the sciences.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

NDEs and Biology - Dr. Eldon Taylor Explores


Dr. Eldon Taylor asked us to submit some questions for his upcoming guest, Neurologist Dr. Kevin Nelson, scheduled for March 15 at Hay House Radio. Dr. Nelson, a near-death experience skeptic, claims that his new book – The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience – is the first comprehensive, empirically tested, and peer-reviewed explanation of the biology behind near-death experiences. Eldon tells us that by using brain scans, Dr. Nelson claims he has mapped the borderlands of consciousness concluding that spirituality is a part of our biology  – nothing metaphysical going on, just strictly a biological phenomenon like any other. As such, he argues that spirituality and religion are not much more than throw backs to superstition.

See some reviews (including ours) of Dr. Nelson's book. Also, see Victor Zammit's recent newsletter which has a fair amount of significant information about NDE.

Here is what we sent off to Dr. Taylor for his consideration:

1.    In August's recent paper, "The Disparity of a “Standards of Care” for Spirit Mediumship as a Permissible Behavioral Health Care Profession" it’s noted that increasing numbers of doctors (and patients) of the Western realms— especially scientists of the quantum mechanics assembly—are openly acknowledging and encouraging the exploration and use of non-visible energies that may contribute to and maintain mental, physical, and spiritual health. Due to remarkable achievements of science, medicine, and technology—notably quantum mechanics, neuroscience, and neuroimaging, respectively—major changes are rapidly occurring in the ways in which health issues are perceived and addressed, while transforming interdisciplinary attitudes.
“Non-visible energies” includes those evidenced by NDE’s and the various ranges of psychic abilities and phenomena. The vast range of the light spectrum and the phenomenon of dark energy matter also apply here. Is Dr. Nelson able to envision a future where technology has advanced to allow detection, measurement, and analysis of currently non-visible energies for researchers from many disciplines, to explore non-visible energies and previously unknown aspects of physical and mental aspects of the human experience?

2.    The following quote is from our book, The Risen:
“While materialistic science is a process of discovery, noetic science is one of recovery — recovering that which we already intuitively know. This is not to say that materialistic scientists are discovering new things. Rather, the nature of their discoveries is that they are uncovering things which lead to intuitive knowledge.” 
What is Dr. Nelson’s response to this idea?
3.    Maslow saw the Western worldview as typically deficient in its perception, due to limited judgments resulting from researchers not sharing the experience of the subjects they study. In science this results in a kind of “single vision.”  Having similar experiences to those they study could result in “double vision,” where the world can be seen from inside the experiential paradigm and from their own limited viewpoint as well. There are scientists who maintain a healthy measure of skepticism about skepticism, and remain open while questioning. This openness has led to emerging, revolutionary scientific models, such as R. A. White’s Experiential Paradigm, which asserts that there’s a form of knowing that can only come from having been immersed in a particular experience. This means that the worldview of one who has experienced near-death can only be objectively analyzed after the analyzer has also subjectively experienced it. We suggest that because NDE experiences often take place outside the constraints of space and time, they may therefore pose serious challenges to those scientists who have always relied on the space-time matrices in their laboratories. Does Dr. Nelson feel he has a single vision approach? Has he had any interesting experiences, and does he rely only on such matrices to process them?

4.    In his book, Dr. Nelson suggests that the term “spiritual” refers to direct personal experience, regardless of social context. He states that “an implicit and essential feature of spiritual experiences is that they are exclusive to individuals and are not shared directly with others” (p. 26).  Tim and I would suggest that to attempt to reduce any spiritual experience to essentials and exclusivities is the futile action of a mind that seeks to separate itself from the Whole. Does Dr. Nelson profess this conclusion in separation from the culmination of his own experiences with his spiritual self and shared experiences with the spiritual selves of others?

5.    Pin van Lommel, a well-known Dutch cardiologist, just published his book, Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience. [A great book! AG]  He states that current surveys show that the 93% of today’s leading scientists do not believe in God or an afterlife, while 91% of the U.S. population does believe. He notes that generally, contemporary science seems convinced that consciousness, including the conception of numinous experiences, is exclusively a product of the brain, and remains rooted in a picture of reality based solely on physically observable data. Dr. Lommel asserts that “true science does not restrict itself to narrow materialist assumptions but is open to new and initially inexplicable findings and welcomes that challenge of finding explanatory theories. Science equals asking questions with an open mind and ought to be based on curiosity. Abnormal findings offer the chance of modifying existing scientific theories or replacing them with new insights that do offer an explanation.” Does Dr. Nelson agree with Dr. Lommel’s attitude that, “ … contemporary science ought to review its implicit assumptions about the nature of reality because they have led to the neglect or denial of important and as-yet-unanswered questions about consciousness”?

6.    Quantum mechanics theories are proving to have major significance in researching and describing spiritual experiences, including the nonlocality that is often reported in NDE’s.  In his book, Dr. Lommel speaks of a hidden or non-visible reality that, at the quantum level, exerts a continuous influence on our physical world, which is the complement of nonlocal space. While interpenetrating the local consciousness of the physical brain, nonlocal consciousness expands unbounded beyond it, and is believed by many to support perceptual reality. This concept underlies theories about after-life survival, remote viewing, and other out-of-body experiences. There appears to be a noticeable omission in Dr. Nelson’s book about quantum systems – was this intentional?

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Mazel Tov, Evelyn!

We wish to extend belated congratulations and a tardy mazel hallelujah tov to our good friend, Eveyln, on the publishing of her book, Jairus' Daughter. It is hoped that there are more on the way!