Saturday, April 30, 2011

Experiment: an attempt to engage Spirit

Following the model of "self-science" described by Dr. Schwartz, I made an attempt today while working the Shriner's paper sale this morning. I was standing in the street, collecting donations, when I made the mental request along the lines of, "If there are spiritual presences around me that I can engage, who are aware of my request, send me an unambiguous sign." I then waited. I've done these sorts of things before, half-heartedly, and I don't remember receiving any sort of sign. But this time I was hopeful. What sign would I receive, if any? What would qualify as "unambiguous"?  Having a vehicle almost run me over and me being pulled out of harm's way by an angel?  A bird lighting on my shoulder?

A while later (maybe thirty minutes), my attention was drawn to the house on the other side of the street. I watched as the people who lived there milled around in their back yard, and I saw a balloon floating around them, which they had released. It was one of those helium balloons that can be gotten at Walmart, decorated with Disney characters, floating, but anchored at the bottom of its string by a red plastic star. I watched as it bobbed and floated over the fence, making its way slowly but deliberately across the front yard, and finally into the street, heading inexorably in my direction. It was caught by another solicitor, who tied it to a street sign to carry home to his children. It later vanished.

Was this my sign? Like much of this sort of thing, impossible to say, but impossible to not say.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Worth having listened to on Coast To Coast...

March 14, 2011, Kevin Malarkey's account of his son Alex's NDE following a horrific auto accident; six-year-old Alex returns with detailed descriptions of "Jesus," "angels," and "heaven." Do I believe him?  Yes.  But while I believe that he experienced what he experienced, maybe we ought to strip the religious terminology from his account to better understand it. Maybe? Perhaps the initial stages of the afterlife are like the physical life--symbolic. What we observe and experience is symbolic of something else.  I don't think that a Buddhist (or agnostic) NDE'er would see Jesus.  Or Allah.

March 19, 2011, Bart Ehrman on New Testament "forgeries." It's an open secret that most of the New Testament books were not authored by whom they purport to be. Mainstream Christian commentators neglect to mention this. Fundamentalists are too ignorant to know this. Does it matter in the grand scheme?  Absolutely--to the scholar. And peripherally, to the mystic. Jesus lived. What Jesus did, and what it means, we are still discovering.  I think that we can all agree with Dr. Ehrman that just because something is written down, it is not the final word.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

John Hogue's 2011 predictions, Dreamland

I am just now getting around to hearing this show, so I thought I'd jot down some thoughts before they evaporate.

Overall, Mr. Hogue's 2011 predictions strike me as more reasonable than Starfire Tor's, despite the fact that I've never seriously studied his predictions before, and I'm not too confident about his "oracular" method of divining the future. However, in a nutshell, this is what he is predicting:

He began by making a number of vague but not unforeseeable predictions about the weather for 2011--heat waves, tornadoes, and the like. Not only has this been the pattern for the past few years, it's also been the trend. However, he did specifically predict that a hurricane will hit Houston this year--so we should watch for this.

He then digressed by describing events within the coming decade. He foresaw a new source of energy being discovered and developed that would be sufficient to end our energy crisis and free us from the grid.

This is not a unique prediction; I've seen it elsewhere: Specifically, in Stephan Schwartz's 2050 project, as well as in the Robert Monroe books. But it is an unusual prediction, and I actually think that Mr. Hogue is on the mark here.

In 2005 I had a couple of dreams related to future energy production. The "peak oil" fear had become mainstream by then, and I think that my dreams were in response to this fear. In one particular dream, I was "attending a sort of tour/meeting by some higher beings. They appeared human in all respects. I can't remember much about the meeting." Inevitably, "ET" reared its anatomically impossible head, and the dream continued:

At some point, an awareness hit me about the reasons that the aliens were here on Earth. I called out to them that I thought I knew why they were here. They immediately came up to me and began looking me in the face. I saw now that although they seemed human at first glance, their eyes were a bit larger and darker than normal, like alien eyes. I told them that in ten or twenty years, the human race would develop a source of power that would transform our civilization, and they were here to monitor and control it. They immediately began to try to shush me, indicating that this was a secret of sorts, not to be disseminated as general knowledge. They confirmed that they were trying to put a break on this development until the human race was evolved enough to handle the discovery. The impression that I got was that they were "stopping" time in a way. This was also why, they indicated, there were random alien inspections in strange areas.

The notion that the aliens/visitors/whoever are here to monitor and control human behavior is more plausible than any hybrid-creation scheme, and it makes sense that if these beings are shadowing our military and space vehicles, "they" would also want to study the backbone of our society--our energy production.

Mr. Hogue also predicts that in this century the human race will evolve into a new species which he called "homo novus," or the new human, which will be "at one with nature." While this is fundamental plank in the New Age platform, it's also cited by both Native American and other credible mystical authorities. In so doing, Mr. Hogue aligns himself with the non-catastrophic wing of the paranormal... and, as I like to emphasize, the New Age catastrophists have been predicting the end of our civilization since I've been studying the movement, and they have distinguished themselves only by being completely wrong every single time.

Toward the end of the episode, Whitley reels Mr. Hogue in and pins him down for the year 2011. Notably, Hogue predicts that President Obama will politically reinvent himself by serving as a mediator between the two political extremes in Congress. To an extent, this is already happening, and it's not unforeseeable. However, in 2009, Mr. Hogue was emphatic that not only would Mr. Obama be re-elected in 2012, but that the Democrats would retain their majority status in Congress in 2010. He was off the mark here, and he may well be off-the-mark about Mr. Obama's Presidential chances. Prognosticators make political predictions at their own peril.

Mr. Hogue also predicts that by June of this year, we will have avoided another catastrophic economic meltdown, something that he called a "cold depression." This prediction is neither surprising nor unforeseeable, but interesting nonetheless, so it should be easy to check in a couple of months.

I actually like Mr. Hogue and I think that he may have some ability to read the future. His predictions are specific enough to be fact-checkable, and he keeps himself grounded... in other words, no earth-asteroid collisions, no nuclear wars. However, I don't know that his abilities are all that exceptional--most of us could develop similar intuitive abilities with some attention and effort. And again, while I know that precognition is real, and that we can predict specific events, I'm not sure that this ability can be turned on like a light switch. Most of my best precognitive dreams are obvious only in hindsight. There seem to be barriers and safeguards in place to prevent us from absolutely knowing our collective futures. And this is probably for our own good.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Going through my OOBE journal

In the late '80s, I began having OOBEs regularly. While none of my experiences rate as spectacular, particularly compared to some of the other accounts out there, they were significant to me, and as usual, I kept a digital journal (stored on a 5 1/4" floppy in my Tandy 1000). The experiences were significant enough to convince me that the phenomenon was real.

Throughout the years, I'd occasionally encounter something during the OOBEs that I have always described as a "force." It might have been kundalini energy, or it might have been a discarnate intelligence. I've never identified who or what the "force" is, but I always know its presence. The "force" seemed to correspond to particularly strong OOBEs, almost as if I were being given an energy boost. On April 13, 1987, I jotted down this interesting account:

Yesterday I purchased Budd Hopkins's latest book, "Intruders." I read several pages of it and became very disturbed, as I usually am when I read UFO abduction reports. I was very restless upon going to bed and tossed for over an hour. When I finally did fall asleep, I felt the "force" come through me and begin saying something to me (not with words, but with "impressions"). I believe that the force was discussing Hopkins's book. I began trying to moan words in response to the force but finally ended up screaming.

I now believe that if Hopkins had approached the abduction subject with a more objective (and perhaps, even positive) frame a mind, he might have spared us all a lot of nightmares. Because I actually do believe that the phenomenon mirrors, abstractly, the emotional baggage that we carry to it. In the end, neither scary abduction stories, nor cheerful buxom Venusians, "explain" the phenomenon, but I would rather have a Venusian traipse into my room instead of a malevolent, undefinable something else.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Some tentative observations about engaging the spirit world

1.) In "The Sacred Promise," Dr. Schwartz poses the very good question: How do we differentiate communications of external personalities from our own subconscious thoughts?  For me, there are several clues... Do the ideas and images come from "out of the blue," in contrast to our accustomed observations, beliefs, and opinions, and are they salient to a significant problem or question?  If so, it might be a good idea to examine them as possibly spirit-related. My hunch is that when those from the spirit world want to communicate specific ideas to the living, they do so by slipping the thoughts into our normal stream of consciously as unobtrusively as possible.

2.) The spirit world, in my experience, never tells me what choices to make, even when I repeatedly ask for such advice. However, I've received specific warnings about the consequences of certain choices.... And I do believe that we all receive such warnings, in some fashion or another, so that we can make informed choices.

(This is in contrast to much conservative religious teaching that states that "God" or some other spiritual authority orders or requires certain behaviors to fulfill some divine mandate.)

3.) Spirit communications in dreams are often expressed in emotionally significant and vivid visual images, rather than in words.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Does the spirit world intervene in our lives, and if so, how? (Part I)

I am continuing to read Dr. Gary Schwartz's "Sacred Promise" and will probably have to go back over it to see if his evidence rises to the level of proof... But I'm enjoying the book because I largely already agree with what he is saying.

Despite being a lifelong student of the paranormal, with a degree from a locally well-known Church Of Christ university, plus a stint in my teens as a youthful "preacher," I really haven't believed in a spirit world until fairly recently; I believed in it theoretically; but not as a reality. For most of us, "spirit" is too intangible and remote from our daily physical grind to be of much use.

I remember a discussion I had years ago with a dear friend when we were both starving grad students. I think I was talking about how I always managed to have enough money to pay rent ($75 a month) and buy some food, plus have some left over to get beer at the local market.  He startled me by saying, "See? God is taking care of you." My thoughts at the time were, "Why would God bother to take care of me when there are four billion other people who need taking care of also?"

(More about this friend later.)

Three decades later, I finally understand what he really meant... mostly because I've taken the time to pay attention to things that escaped my notice when I was younger.

My awakening began six years ago when I was in the middle of yet another job-and-life crisis; powerful people were out for my skin, and were determined to destroy me. Out of the blue, I felt compelled to request a transfer to another office, for a position that had just opened up. To my surprise, my director agreed. Later, I was told that he approved the transfer because he expected me to fail in the new job, which involved setting up a call center in a large urban office on a very accelerated schedule. A lot of overtime and physical labor was involved.  The director thought I was too old and stupid to survive.

Instead, after months of overtime and back-breaking labor, and despite all his attempts to trip me up, I succeeded in both setting up the office on time and winning the support and protection of some powerful and politically-connected people.

When it was over, I realized that "something" had prompted me to uncharacteristically request that specific transfer. Because the idea didn't come from me. It was clearly external. In words that we all use over and over without thinking, "'Something' told me to make this decision." And this "something" had saved my skin.

After this experience, I realized that this "something" had intervened at other critical intersections in my life, steering me down specific paths. I began to see the outline of a presence and a consciousness that was not mine, exerting a slight but decisive touch at critical moments.

I should emphasize at this point that I do not believe that this "something" was God, or even an angel (I'm still agnostic on the subject of angels), but it was evidently a personality or consciousness that was not me, was external to me, but one that had always been there, in one form or another.

I believe that this presence manifests with everyone, but most people ignore it; and when they do, misfortune usually results, and continues to result so long as the individual persists in making poor choices.

After that awakening six years ago, I made a conscious decision to attempt to engage this "something" on a regular basis.  I decided to act as if this "something" was truly there, and to see and analyze what followed.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Enigmatic dream of the mid-21st Century

The mid-1980s were an unusually sharp time for me; I had begun my OOBE journal and had begun recording some tentative experiences. I had started my dream journal ten years earlier and had compiled a number of precognitive dreams. However, it was in 1985 that I first was introduced to the "alien abduction" phenomenon in Budd Hopkins' Missing Time. And it was in 1985 that I first found Seth Speaks at a local used record and book store. Before this discovery, however, I wrote down a dream of a future incarnation in the middle of what is now our present century. In the dream, I was enrolled in school, and I was investigating a strange growth of trees in a forest; some of the trees had grown zigzagged, while others were bent at right angles. My co-investigator argued that the cause of the phenomenon was something that originated in the distant past, whereas I argued that it had occurred in the Twentieth Century.

(This image of a strange growth of trees in the middle of the forest is a recurring image in my dreams, always associated with a time and space anomaly, but I have no idea what it means... though it might mean something in the future.)

(All well and good, aside from the fact that in 1985 I figured that the time depicted in the dream was "2040-2050," assuming that I would die in 2020 and be immediately reincarnated.)

But the dream had one unusual observation: "I had reached a state in my development where I could freely remember my previous incarnation as myself." I was, essentially, dreaming of a future self remembering my present self. And this was not seen as unusual.

Months later, when I picked up Seth Speaks, I would the same enigmatic observation about events later in this century:

In the next century, the inner nature of man, with these developments, will free itself from many constraints that have bound it. A new era will indeed begin - not, now, a heaven on earth, but a far more sane and just world, in which man is far more aware of his relationship with his planet and of his freedom within time.

* * * *

Human personality will reap benefits that now would seem unbelievable. An open-ended consciousness will imply far greater freedom. From birth, children will be taught that basic identity is not dependent upon the body, and that time as you know it is an illusion. The child will be aware of many of its past existences, and will be able to identify with the old man or woman that in your terms it will become.

A couple of things stood out when I read this in 1985. First, it contradicted what was then the conventional wisdom of the New Agers of the time, which basically said that the world would a.) flip on its axis, or b.) usher in the New Age, in the year 2000. So I made a mental note at the time to made a quick check of my environment in 2000 to see if the New Agers were correct on either score. Second, I realized that I had dreams what Seth essentially predicts for the mid-21st Century.

What happens to the world to cause such a transformation? Seth is, characteristically, reticent. However, he does go out on a limb, so to speak, and suggest that the "Christ personality" will re-manifest in the world in mid-21 Century. He will "return to straighten out Christianity, which will be in a shambles at the time of his arrival, and to set up a new system of thought when the world is sorely in need of one." By this time, "all religions will be in severe crisis," but the new Christ figure will "will clearly state methods by which each individual can attain a state of intimate contact with his own entity; the entity to some extent being man's mediator with All That Is." In other words, a world-wide spiritual transformation will concur with a political crisis, and may perhaps be the vehicle by which humanity navigates the future.

Pulling in some hints from the work of Dr. Stephan A. Schwartz, whose work I find credible, and remarks by Whitley Strieber, there is a suggestion that the planet will (and must) experience a population decline; our current population growth is unsustainable. We will reach a wall; we can go no further. We will have gone as far as we can physically go on our present path of development. Where will we go? Seth provides some significant hints in other writings.

In any case, my dream predicts that "I" will be around, in some fashion, to witness all of this.

Friday, April 8, 2011

What I Did During The Tennessee Power Outage

Semi-serious storms knocked out electricity (or, as it's colloquially known here, "power," or simply, "lights") for several days this week. Fortunately, the nights were cool, and though a lot of my food spoiled, I had nothing to do except read by lantern-light. I found a book that I bought some time ago; why, or where, I can't remember. It's "A Psychic in the Heartland: The Extraordinary Experiences of a Small-Town Doctor." It was "endorsed" by Robert Butts (the scholar behind the Seth material), which is probably why I got it. (Seriously.) I've read about a third so far. It is what the title promises: the diary of mid-western osteopathic doctor who recorded his OOBEs in a journal, which he later presented to his niece, who spent several years editing the material for publication. Dr. Hout was affiliated with Spiritualism, and the influence is apparent. But it is his OOBE journal that I'm most interested in. I also kept an OOBE journal a few years ago, and I've studied the phenomenon for a long time. There is a remarkable consistency to valid OOBE accounts, and I personally believe that there is much that the OOBE experience can teach us about what I call the "physics of the afterlife."

I'm also picking up Jeremy Vaeni's "Urgency" and am looking forward to reading it. When I read esoteric literature (and I think that "Urgency" would loosely fit into the esoteric, rather than the paranormal, category), I do what I always do: look for common threads that appear in other works.