Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hungry ghosts

Based on a recommendation from someone at the Paratopia boards, I'm going to pick up a copy of "The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts: A Riveting Investigation Into Channeling and Spirit Guides," by Joe Fisher. It was written by a journalist who set out to investigate, but then ultimately expose, a purported "channel." Per the descriptions that I read, Fisher was initially sucked in by the spirit, only to have his life ruined by the spirit's advice. Shortly afterward, Fisher committed suicide, feeling that his life had been ruined and that he had been cursed by the spirits who were angered in his expose'.

I guess that this is why I am universally harsh on channelers, particularly those who predict impending apocalypse: people actually believe them, and lives are ruined. Personally, I think that it's very unconscionable for anyone to be allowed to appear on "Coast To Coast," claim to communicate with spirits, then tell a million-plus audience (per George Noory) that their world is about to be destroyed. Simply wrong.

But Joe Fisher's story bothered me for another reason. It demonstrates that personalities, entities, consciousnesses, or beings of some sort exist in our world, entities that are quite malevolent--entities that have the power to destroy.

I do not quite know what "this" is. Though I came from a Christian fundamentalist background, I do not really "believe" in demons (just as I am agnostic about angels). I somewhat understand the New Age argument that "there's no such thing as evil," that our perception of evil is a distortion based on our limited perceptions in time and space--still, what do you call a thing that you cannot see, did not invite, do not welcome, but has the power to invade and wreck your life?

It is a reality that anyone who peers too closely into ghosts, UFOs, or any other paranormal subject begins to sense--there is indeed something there, and sometimes, that something isn't particularly nice. And it can follow you. This has happened--and is happening--to me. What is it? A projection of our own creation, a conglomerate of our own fears? Or perhaps a discarnate intelligence of some sort that feeds on fear? Is it some artificial, location-specific intelligence, a relic of a past civilization, that's triggered by, and then mirrors and amplifies, specific biological emotional responses? Or is it a spiritual gatekeeper put in place to scare humans who attempt to wander too far from consensus reality?

Seth (the only "channeled" personality that I think has any validity) argues that we are born here to learn the difficult lesson that we are powerful beings that create the reality we experience. We have chosen, at this stage of our development, an ego that sees itself as separate from the reality that it creates, in a world of dualities. We learn our lessons within those dualities.  Intellectually, intuitively, and experientially, I know that this is most likely "true." I just wish that, occasionally, reality wasn't quite so "real."


  1. Fisher's book is an underground classic and well worth the read; it's on Google Books if you want a taster. The last section in particular has subtly altered my own thoughts about the UFO enigma, consciousness and a lot more besides.

    It doesn't give any answers, but it leads the discerning reader to ask some awkward questions.

    Fisher tried to verify the existence of Filipa (the supposed 'lost love') and realised she hadn't ever existed. This led to disillusionment and a shift in his sense of reality that eventually led to the final jump. His earlier book on reincarnation was endorsed by the Dalai Lama and he had a belief in the consequences of suicide that makes his last act even more disturbing.

    I honestly don't know if the channelers had somehow keyed in to some latent mental weakness in Fisher's psyche. I don't even know if the 'hungry ghosts' are more of a metaphor for clinical depression. I suspect psychology played a large part in it all.

    Whatever the 'truth' of his experience-and their actions- it's hard to escape the cognitive dissonance that haunts the imagination in those final chapters.

    If souls exist and consequences have prices, I sincerely wish Joe Fisher well and hope that he found peace.

  2. What a great observation! I will get the book; I want the later edition. Lately I've been interested in the deceptive and destructive elements of the paranormal. Probably I ought to let it drop, though.

  3. My hunch is that some intelligences are being channeled, but I don't think that they are, for the most part, independent, sentient human-type personalities. Most paranormal phenomena of this sort seems almost mechanical in nature. The closest analogy might be our current attempts to train computers to emulate human intelligence. Computers can be programmed to behave in surprisingly human ways, but we always sense that "something" is missing--that we are interacting with a machine. Channeled material seems amazingly stereotypical for the most part--recycled themes and half-baked, second-rate mystical mumbo-jumbo. Some of the information is clever, and some seems insightful, but I always walk away from it thinking, "If this is truly from an elevated being, you'd think it would be smarter than this." This causes me to wonder if it's not generated from "fragment" personalities or from an artificial source that some people may accidentally tap into. As for the sinister or "evil" nature of some of these experiences, I have several hypotheses: This phenomenon is skilled at appearing to be what we most want it to be; if we project fear toward it, it will try to appear scary. It may take any aspect we project upon it. Or, it might "need" the energy we expend through extreme emotion, and so it would try to evoke an extreme emotional response. Or, the phenomenon might be something built into our consensus reality designed to prevent us from wandering outside our pasture. "It" would behave in any way necessary to keep us corralled. This is the hypothesis I lean toward.

  4. For a while now, I've been particularly intrigued by the 'humanoid encounter' themes in ufology. The messages are always deceptive with elements of the absurd. The final parts of Fisher's book reflect the same sense of deception.

    At the same time, if you've read some of the research on NDEs and reincarnation, your 'fragment personalities' are there too.

    Whatever the source of these experiences, it appears as if there's a link between UFOs, ghosts, consciousness and past lives.

    Like a Venn diagram, it's hard to avoid the speculation that some other reality/ies are overlapping into our consensus reality.

    Real or not, the speculation leads us down paths of thought we wouldn't explore under 'ordinary' circumstances. In that sense, it hardly matters how *real* it all is...