Saturday, July 30, 2011

Not really a paranomalist

The recent imbroglio re: Phil Imbrogno has caused me to wonder about the whole "field" of the paranormal, in general. Lance Moody deserves credit for breaking the story and wrote a very succinct exposé of it. He did a good job.

I actually had an earlier blog (since deleted) where I deconstructed a number of paranormal investigators and their various claims. It got lots of hits... far more hits than this blog does. I thought that the popularity of my critical blog was interesting; it showed that paranormal consumers are more savvy than they are given credit for being. When they are introduced to a new voice in the "field," they do what I do--go online and try to find info, pro and con, before they decide whether to bother believing the person. Other hits were probably from convinced disbelievers in the paranormal, looking for support of their disbelief.

It's actually easy to deflate many paranormal claims, and "debunk" many of the guests on the paranormal circuit. Many of my early entries practically wrote themselves.  But I deleted my earlier blog because, over time, I began to notice a strange paradox: paranormal experiences, undeniably, are real. I've experienced them; most people have. Yet, a significant percentage of the public paranormal researchers have clay feet. Many of the most vocal proponents of the paranormal have some serious psychological and credibility issues.

This tells me that there is a larger dynamic at work that gives hints about the nature of our experiential reality. It reminds me of the UFO men-in-black phenomenon; we see or experience something anomalous, and just as soon as we do, something else steps in and warns us, "Don't pay any attention to that man behind the curtain."

While I follow the paranormal and listen to the podcasts (and yes) Coast To Coast, and often find some good stuff there, I'm not really a paranormalist; I'm really more interested in what constitutes the building-blocks of our reality.  I view human conscious life as a grand cosmic experiment. And I seek to know more about the experimenter.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The future isn't what it used to be

Let's pretend that we are back in the halcyon of Bill Clinton's second term; it's March 1998, right before the Lewinsky scandal... I log into my Geocities page and I write:

Predictions for the future

The 2000 Presidential election will be co-opted by a right-wing faction of the government, which, following a devastating terrorist attack on Washington, will launch two invasions of Middle Eastern counties; the wars will last over a decade and end inconclusively;

The cost of these wars will lead to financial ruin for the United States and will cause the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and ultimate cause the US to default on its federal loans;

China will become the preeminent economic power following the default and will begin to challenge the US militarily in the Pacific;

Earthquakes around the world will kill thousands and lay waste to many cities around the world, along with dramatic shifts in the climate that will destroy food crops everywhere.

The 1998 stumbler-upon of these Geocities predictions would probably find my predictions highly improbable at best, alarmist at least, and accuse me of sensationalism. There was little if any visible foreshadowing of these events; the press was preoccupied with Lewinsky's dry cleaning bill.

A reader in 2000 would view the same predictions with a distinct unease; he might think, "Well, he must be predicting someone other than Bush; Bush is a moderate."

A reader in 2003 might view these same predictions with a distinct air of panic, as it seemed that about half of them had already come true, and the other half were more terrifying that the ones that had been fulfilled.

Readers from 2011, however, would have very different opinions about these predictions. One might say that I was dead-on, one hundred percent accurate; while another would say that while some of my facts were somewhat accurate, I had distorted them to fit a left-wing political agenda; while another might say, "It's true that some of these things happened, but they weren't the *only* things to happen in these years; you focused primarily on the catastrophic events, but left out the positive things that happened during this time."

And this argument has merit. It's true that, in a manner, the events in my fictitious "predictions" did come true, to an extent. But for most of us who lived through these years, we got on with our lives. Some of us married; some of us divorced. Some gained income; others lost income. We moved; we changed religions; we lost friends and we gained friends. We lived our lives against the backdrop of these official tragedies, which, to lesser or greater extent, informed our personal realities.

These differing perspectives of what are seemingly solid, established, and fixed official events illustrate what Seth describes as the principle of probabilities with affect both our present and our future. Seth argues throughout all the Jane Roberts books that we collectively participate in, and contribute to, an "official" reality with agreed-upon events, agreed-upon interpretations, and established and fixed historical narratives. This reality seems to be, and in fact is, quite "real." However, beneath this official mass reality lie billions of personal realities, personal histories, and personal futures; and to the extent that we contribute to the official present, as we travel away from these events in time (or as we approach future events), our personal narrative and history begins to digress, bit-by-bit, from the official narrative, often, to such an extent that many of us will argue vehemently on what was, in fact, "real" in the past, and what wasn't.

According to Seth, however, because we have indoctrinated ourselves so thoroughly that there is only one official reality (albeit with differing perspectives), we completely lose sight of the existence of what Starfire Tor calls "co-existing time lines," or what I have learned to call "probabilities." Admittedly, this is a very difficult concept to wrap one's mind around; and even though I have studied this phenomenon for years and looked at it inside and out, I can only intellectually conceptualize it. But everyone can see echoes and traces of this principle in the different perspectives to my hypothetical 1998 "prediction."

This is why there are very few predictions of the future in the Seth material; and this can explain why even people with genuine intuitive insight into the future have such a difficult time predicting future events. Just as our present is in flux, so is our past, and so is our future. We can only view the future in terms of probabilities viewed from the perspective of "now," and at best, we can give only probabilities.

Aside from the rise of the Internet, which allows any yahoo (myself not excepted) to post anything resembling writing on any topic at any time, I believe that one of the possible causes for the explosion of "conspiracy theories" is this principle of probabilities, past, present, and future. Just as we can barely agree on what our present, official reality is right now (just look at the U.S. government), we can no longer agree on what our official historical narratives are anymore. Perspectives are all over the map.

Assuming that probabilities are "real," that there are multiple versions of our reality which overlap, intersect, and, occasionally, contradict each other, a growing intuitive awareness of these probabilities by the evolving human consciousness might explain this apparent breakdown in how we, as a species, view this reality. While on the surface, we appear to be going crazy, Seth would argue that we are finally becoming sane by waking up to the true nature of reality.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Currently reading...

"I'm Not Dead, I'm Different," by Hollister Rand.  I enjoyed her on Coast To Coast. Though she is part of an association of mediums (a pay site with assorted New Age types) I really couldn't find any criticism of her.

My personal opinion is that most (possibly all) *public* mediums are not what they purport to be. Starting with the most notorious, Sylvia Browne (who labels herself as a "psychic" rather than a medium) and going up the scale of credibility, it's not hard to find substantial (and valid) criticism of most of them. The criticism is generally rooted in the a materialistic belief that mediumship is impossible; but I think that the skeptics have done a good service in outing the most egregious frauds.

My opinion is that mediumship is possible, but the true ones are not famous, and not very common. But I am open to being persuaded otherwise. Ms. Rand writes quite a bit about participating in mediumship circles and in learning the craft. She says that she was born with an innate ability to perceive spirits as a child, and unlike most, never lost this ability as she grew older. That's possible.  In fact, it's all possible--I've just never investigated it, nor have I been to a mediumship circle.

For a time, I listened to some shows by medium John Holland, who gave readings over the air. It quickly became obvious to me that he was engaging in a form of cold reading. His initial "impressions" that he verbalized about his callers were invariably wrong, but he quickly adjusted them following feedback. This sort of mentalist technique has been used by other public mediums, according to critics, particularly the famous ones like James Van Praagh and John Edward.  I don't doubt it. The technique of cold reading is fairly easy to spot, and if it appears that this is what the medium is engaging in, I have no problem accusing such mediums of fraud.

But it takes only one white crow. I am still open to being persuaded. I know that it is possible for the "dead" to communicate with the living. Ample, and convincing evidence of this can be found in the personal testimonies on Dr. Jeff Long's adcrf site, for example.  It is the convincing personal testimonies, by everyday people who are not seeking fame or money, that--in my opinion--can create a model or environment where the afterworld, should it exist, can be understood by the living.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finally located a key Seth quote...

"You are now poised, in your turms, upon a threshold from which your race can go many ways. There are species of consciousness. Your species is in a time of change. There are potentials within the body's mechanisms, in your terms, not as yet used. Developed, they can immeasurably enrich the race, and bring it to levels of spiritual and psychic and physical fulfillment. If some changes are not made, the race as such will not endure."

As I've previously mentioned, I've read about ninety percent of the Seth material, much of it, more than once, and practically all of it (that which I can understand) useful. However, some bits and pieces have haunted me for longer periods, and the above quotation is one of them (from The "Unknown" Reality, Vol. 1). "Seth" is not the most linear speaker; the material is extremely right-brained. So it's hard to draw direct correspondences between the material, with our everyday world. But he makes a number of pointed allusions to our current era in The "Unknown" Reality, and I've tucked those quotes in my mind, waiting, as it were, for them to either manifest, or not. And this is the paragraph that I immediately thought of when the "Arab Spring" emerged, quite to the surprise of everyone:

When, at this point now, of mankind's development, his emerging unconscious knowledge is denied by his institutions, then it will rise up despite those institutions, and annihilate them. Cult after cult will emerge, each unrestrained by the use of reason, because reason will have denied the existence of rampant unconscious knowledge, disorganized and feeling its own ancient force.

Also alluded to is the increase of religious extremism in both the Arab world and the west and (though barely reported in the West) in India. We have, within the span of a couple of decades, moved from waging wars of political ideology, to what are essentially religious wars; and while the invasion of Iraq in '03 was probably motivated by a number of underutilized oil fields there, I think that George Bush truly believed that he was engaged in some sort of crusade, as misguided and dangerous as his discussions with "God" on the matter turned out to be. And presently, we are seeing the emergence of political forces there that seek to annihilate the current status quo; and while the West is applauding, I predict that when the end result finally arrives, these forces will not be particularly nice to the West.

Ego consciousness must now be familiarized with its roots, or it will turn into something else. You are in a position where your private experience of yourself does not correlate with what you are told by your societies, churches, sciences, archaeologies, or other disciplines. Man's "unconscious" knowledge is becoming more and more consciously apparent. This will be done under and with the direction of an enlightened and expanding egotistical awareness, that you can organize hereto neglected knowledge--or it will be done at the expense of the reasoning intellect, leading to a rebirth of superstition, chaos, and the unnecessary war between reason and intuitive knowledge.

When it comes to the paranormal, I tend to place more weight with the skeptics, since the skeptics have tended to be more "correct" about the phenomena in the long run. Indeed, with any paranormal experience, I think that we should trust only our own personal experience, and even then, just barely--because we do not yet have the experiential vocabulary to describe and objectify it. However, these phenomena may just be effects, not causes; indications of something else, signals, warning us that a general change of consciousness is needed. Seth's model predicts an era in which the conscious resistance to previously unconsciousness awareness will result in both distortions of our perceptions of unconscious reality, concurrent with clashes between religious extremism and institutional rigidity. This may explain why paranormal events seem to represent something other than what they purport to.

So while the world currently looks like a big mess, Seth would argue that it all stems from a single source--the failure of our species, as a while, to "evolve" and incorporate previously "unconscious" awareness. When we resist this process, distortions result, and instead of seeing this new knowledge for what it truly is, we see alien abductors, angels, demons, various Ramthas and other assorted "elevated" spiritual saviors.

So what, then, is this new unconscious awareness that we should be incorporating? I don't pretend to know. I'm not in communication with anyone or anything, and I tend to be skeptical of those who claim they are. (Not necessarily because I think that they aren't, but because I don't trust the sources that claim to speak through them.) But I have a few ideas that I've been tossing around lately.

One, it's apparent that humanity is connected intuitively and psychically in a way that we cannot yet scientifically explain. Because of this, we experience premonitions; we pick up indications of what someone else might be thinking. Two, it's apparent that time and space are merely formalities that our consciousness uses to organize data. Because of this, the remote viewer can describe physical objects and events outside of time and with only a longitude and latitude number to identify place. Three, when people pray to a higher being, sometimes Jesus shows up; other times it's Allah; angels appear, and, often, entities resembling ancient spirits pop in. In a single universe ruled, theoretically, by one anthropomorphic supreme being, this should not happen. But it does. These anomalous experiences all seem to point to new models of awareness that it would be beneficial for us to follow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Further refections on Joe Fisher and his hungry ghosts

I am planning to get Joe Fisher's book (right now I have about a half-dozen books piled up, at various stages of readedness), but in the mean time I found an article online that I found quite interesting.. It's an excerpt from New Dawn magazine entitled "Hunted By Hungry Ghosts: The Joe Fisher Story."

I have a couple of other Joe Fisher books in my paranormal library, bought many years ago. Fisher is a rarity in the paranormal field--a professional who did real field work and original research. It would have been easier (and perhaps safer, in the long run) for him to merely have played armchair researcher and written a mediocre volume examining "channeling" (which is simply old school mediumship, dressed up for the New Age crowd). But instead, he chose to become personally involved, with himself as the research subject, with tragic results.

I don't think that we know (or can know) the whole Joe Fisher story; but it should disturb anyone who dabbles with the paranormal--be it by "ghost-hunting," channeling, the Occult, or obsessive UFO-chasing... Some of these forces, spirits, or beings seem quite capable of driving their human inquisitors to madness, and even death.  They managed to drive an objective, professional investigator and writer, to madness and suicide.

Our ancestors believed in the reality of the non-physical; though they were cloaked in folklore and superstition, they had procedures for dealing with non-physical intrusions; they had a basic sense of "bad" interactions and positive ones, and they knew how to handle both.

We've lost much of the ancient knowledge of what once was called "discernment"--mostly, because we've spent the last hundred years pretending that the non-physical is not real.

As Fisher demonstrates, however, it certainly seems very real, and non-physical entities can have measurable physical effects. Filipa would signal "her" presence to Fisher by causing a loud "buzzing" noise in his ears--an effect that's identical to the initial stage of an OOBE.  In my opinion, Fisher was dealing with a real non-physical being that was both sentient and aware of the physical.

To those whose knowledge of the paranormal extends no further than having read a couple of Shirley MacLaine books, "Filipa's" stalking of Fisher might not seem so malevolent, but it reminds me of the accounts detailed in Brad Steiger's "Haunted Lovers"--and if even half of those stories are real (I'm being generous), I'd consider any reader to be forewarned.

The most interesting aspect of Fisher's research, however, is how similar the channeled material is to much of what is produced by other dabblers in the paranormal.

While the stories spun through the "channel" Aviva Nuemann seemed very detailed, historically credible, and quite plausible, they proved to be completely "false"--none of them corresponded in any way with recorded physical history or fact. This reminds me of much of the information retrieved by hypnosis, either for the purpose of past-life regression, or for uncovering hidden memories, particularly of UFO "abductions."  Hypnotically retrieved information, in other words, has the same character of Nuemann's channeled material--surface plausibility, a certain internal consistency (it is self-referential and seems to build a complete, coherent story), with detailed historical narratives--all which, on investigation, proves completely unverifiable.  It would make more sense if: a) some of the information was wrong, and some right, or b) if the information was incoherent and internally inconsistent. To me, this suggests that what "channelers" and regressionists are accessing is some sort of psychological gestalt that is both real, intelligent, but completely disassociated from our consensus reality. This gestalt, or intelligence, may be quite skilled in mimicking human behavior and incorporating our information, but because it is not really a part of our world, it cannot--either by design or by inherent incapacity--completely conform to our official historical narrative. Interacting with it would prove quite corrosive, and potentially tragic.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Should a prophet have a college degree.

I discovered recently via the website that John Hogue lacks a college degree.  I don't know if this report is correct, but the charge has some resonance in light of the controversy involving [ ].  Does having a college degree matter in the paranormal field?  Maybe, if you plan to make a career writing books that attempt to explain the anomalous to an audience that is likely composed of a cross-section of people, including scientists (as Hogue and [ ] seem to be doing). But if all you are is a prophet, probably not.

Generally, a certification of functional literacy, obtainable in any one of our fine public schools, should be sufficient.

My reasoning is simple: it is unlikely that either a doctorate or a certificate of minimal competency will help anyone predict the future.

My personal experiences with precognition have convinced me that time simply does not exist as we perceive it, which is as a discrete sequence of events, with effects following causes. Our experiential reality is far more complex than we currently understand.

I don't pretend to understand the nature of that complexity, and it's likely that as long as we are immersed in the physical, we can't, and we won't.

We may experience premonitions and glimpses and even complete probable futures which we can actualize, but the nature of time--and our immersion in it--precludes any real "prophetic" ability, in my opinion.  Basically, our world--past, present, and future-- can't be reduced to simple predictions that may or may not come true.

This does not stop me from trying to understand it. I think people like Hogue are interesting because their apparent successes--and obvious failures--give hints of possible models that might help us expand our understanding.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Update on John Hogue's Dreamland predictions

In April I wrote:

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.

His prediction is vague, but is, as it turns out, accurate: he might well be referring to the impasse over the U.S. debt ceiling. Since he predicts this catastrophe will be "avoided," it looks like the issue will be resolved.

I doubt that there will be a grand deal, however. Congress will probably just vote to let Obama raise the ceiling unilaterally.

Though I'm a social progressive, I'm a fiscal conservative. Many Americans are. Somehow, both the Democratic and Republican parties have come to exemplify the worst aspects of their respective constituencies, so there's little hope of reconciliation. In the end, however, I think that Obama's stance may well appeal to Independents, in a way that will validate Mr. Hogue's overall prediction that Obama will succeed by forging an ideological consensus.

For the moment, however, Democrats are pretty angry at Obama's strategy, and the Republicans are apoplectic, suggesting that they recognize that they are being boxed into a corner by the billionaire-financed Tea Party movement on one hand, and a sly Obama who is proving to be more clever, and more capable, by half, than their worst fears. They cannot win, though when the dust settles, they will have plenty of time regretting not accepting that grand compromise cooked up by Obama and Boehner on the golf course.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A dream about my iPhone

I had yet another anxiety dream this morning involving being late for work, and finding myself incapable of making a phone call. This type of dream is universal; self-professed dream analysts insist that such dream "mean" that the dreamer had an underlying anxiety about (fill in the blank).

I had an extended version of such a dream this morning. I found myself hours late for work, and needing to make a call to someone. And in the dream I pulled out my spiffy-looking iPhone and found myself completely incapable of using it.

My dream self at first attempted to invoke a Windows-like Start menu on the left bottom corner; it would not come up. I stared at the assortment of icons on the screen. I could neither comprehend them nor make them work. I tried to launch some sort of voice-activated feature, which, somehow, I intuited was a feature of this device.  It failed to respond.

I spent what seemed like hours attempting to make this phone work, without any crumb of success.

I've had the same dream through the years. A decade or so ago, before mobile phones were ubiquitous, my dream self could not make pay phones work. My dream mind was usually incapable of dialing the correct sequence of numbers--or being totally lost as to what buttons to push to begin to make the device work.

I've recorded these dreams over the years, not really thinking about them, until this morning, when I wondered: Why can't my dream phones "just work"?

In my physical life, I'm employed in a moderately complicated technological job involving both systems administration and telephony.  I've worked with computers, either professionally or as a hobby, obsessively, for  over twenty-five years. I'm only comfortable when I'm in front of a computer (which is why television does not appeal to me).  So why is it that my dream self is such a techno-dunce?

The iPhone is really a masterpiece of both high tech and simplicity, but my dream self was utterly lost in front of it.

It is just possible that such dreams illustrate what some metaphysicists suggests is an over-specialization of our physical-based consciousness with the minutiae of physical processes; my dreams often straddle decades, centuries, weaving complex patterns of causality into succinct metaphors, expertly pinpointing specific events years into the future, while tying them to current experiences.  And yet, this same dream self cannot make a simple phone call.

Or maybe the significance of such dreams is more prosaic: when Steve Jobs (or his successor) finally makes the device that my dream self can use, we will be one step closer to the unity of spirit and matter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Overall opinion of Joe McMoneagle's "The Ultimate Time Machine"--positive

I have basically finished reading the complete book, doing my usual skip-around method, and I found the book to be much better than McMoneagle's critics led me to expect.

As expected, many of his predictions appear at first glance to be incorrect, but since most of them are still in the future (and will continue to be after we are gone), it's impossible to say if he is, overall, wrong or right.

Many others, on the other hand, are very correct. And since McMoneagle goes on record with very specific predictions, this is even more impressive.

On the whole, the book more closely resembles a staid report from an academic futurists conference rather than a psychic manifesto; many of the events that McMoneagle foresees are, in fact, foreseeable, if you carry our current trends to their logical conclusion. So his predictions are actually on the conservative side. He sees automobiles improving on their current design; highways getting better; aircraft flying faster; banks becoming bankier, and governments continuing to do their usual. In other words, life goes on, albeit with incremental improvements and problems caused by our current bad habits.

What professional psychics try to do when they "see" the future is actually much different from what McMoneagle has done--they are usually looking for disruptive events or technologies, and building from there. McMoneagle seems, however, to be forecasting trends. There are a few disruptive events that McMoneagle does see, but mostly he stays middle-of-the-road.

I would like to go back (when I have time) and analyze his remote viewing of the Christ personality, and compare it with what Seth said, because he does corroborate one of the predictions mentioned in "Seth Speaks": that the Christ personality will return to initiate a new "religious drama" and found a new world religion, while simultaneously referring to the original First Century event and, somehow, changing that event:

The emergence of this third personality will directly affect the original historical drama of Christ as it is now known. There is and must be interactions between them.

(The whole discussion of the return of the Christ personality in "Seth Speaks" is far too complex for me to summarize, but I encourage anyone interested in the subject to check it out.)

McMoneagle makes a cryptic remark at the end of his Christ remote view that makes sense only when put beside the Seth statement:

I just keyed into something else now that's really interesting. The coming together of two realities, isn't too far off in the far-flung future. It's not too far off and that is apparently one of the reasons why this cogent Being has been going and coming over the years. There are two time tracks intersecting soon.

I've spent the better part of two decades puzzling over what Seth meant. I don't really think that it's comprehensible at our level; human personalities do well to follow one existing timeline (if they're lucky). We can, theoretically, conceive of probabilities and "time shifts" and multiple timelines, but I don't think that we can truly comprehend them on a functional level. However, according to Seth, we are due for a major junction in this century, and this will involve the return of the Christ figure. And McMoneagle seems, tentatively, to corroborate this. If this information is valid, I would regard this as a disruptive event.

A dream from 1978 looking to the end of the century

August 3, 1978. Thursday
During a nap I dreamed that the world was entering or would soon enter troublesome times. I saw several graphs that displayed the amount of discord in the world (inflations, arms race, wars, etc.). During the early part of this century the line of the graph was near the bottom, indicating a low presence of evil. In recent times, however, the line has skyrocketed to the top, indicating that the world is going through a transition to a disturbing period. I felt an ominous sense of doom at all of this.

[Reconstructed world temperatures, Wikipedia]

Removing all references in my blog to [ ]

Unfortunately, a rather well-known and prominent paranormal investigator has been accused of fabricating his academic credentials; he was outed by what is probably a debunker, rather than someone in the paranormal field. I don't know the details, and as far as I know, outside of the debunker, no one has independently verified the information, but [ ] has so far refused to respond to the allegations and has in fact dropped out of the paranormal "field" (if it can be labeled as such).

This is significant, because anyone who self-associates with the paranormal field stands totally on his credibility; there are no outside institutions to validate, vouch for, or otherwise credit an investigator's paranormalibility. (I won't even mention "peer review," since, as another prominent paranormal investigator has asked, "Who are my peers" in the paranormal field? Does this make him peerless, like the faucets?) So if you lie about something so basic as your education, we pretty have to throw out every thing you have written, said, or opined on the subject.

Speaking of the "paranormal," as I was driving home this afternoon and listening to my usual assortment of podcasts, the issue came up, inevitably, about whether paranormal phenomena such as hauntings, "aliens," or whatnot are "evil." Are aliens evil? Is the UFO phenomenon evil? What about malicious hauntings? Psychic attacks? Energy vampires?

Speaking personally, I will say that if you turn your attention to certain aspects of the paranormal, you will definitely feel a pronounced negative vibe that seems to be not-of-this-earth. It's difficult to articulate, but it is there, and, I suspect, it's "real." For this reason, I really don't interest myself in most paranormal topics. There is a level of the phenomenon that is definitely tricksterish at best, and if you dabble in it, you run the risk of messing up your life. Why, how, and by what mechanism, I don't know. The stuff that I'm interested in probably is more defined as classic mysticism, which, to the outsider, might seem to be paranormal, but really isn't. Paranormal phenomena are, by definition, events that intrude into the physical that don't conform to the known rules and expectations of the physical world. I define mysticism, on the other hand, as an inquiry into the non-physical realm, which most of us believe exists and has an influence on our physical lives.

Plus, I've discovered that practicing the Masonic ritual--which is not very different from esoteric rituals practiced by different societies through the millennia--has a very grounding effect. So I don't have any fear in my investigations, and I have less and less fear in my physical life.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Surprising accurate predictions in "The Ultimate Time Machine"

I have been doing my usual skip-reading of Joe McMoneagle's "The Ultimate Time Machine," and I thought I'd list a few of his predictions. The reviews on were largely lukewarm; most reviewers faulted McMoneagle for not predicting the 9/11 attacks, or whatnot. (On the other hand, to my knowledge, none of the commercial psychics did, either.) But he does predict a few other things during this time period which raises some interesting questions.

Here are the ones that I saw that stood out:

A prediction of temporary tattoos in 2005 (158). I mention apparently minor prediction, first, for a reason. The current Wikipedia edit on McMoneagle disparages this prediction ("a 'temporary tattoo' craze that would replace the wearing of clothing"). However, as an editor on the Talk page of this entry correctly points out, this prediction actually came true. If you need a break from my tiresome blog and instead would rather spend an entertaining hour or so researching this, I invite you to do an image search on "bodypaint."

By 2010 a "new drug for improving sexual activity well into the seventies" will be developed. (160) Viagra was introduced shortly after the book was published.

Regarding television, by 2005 a new network using a "new technology that transmits a signal three times higher in quality" will start. (170) This can only be HD channels, which I've read about (I don't watch television).

GPS will be standard in most autos by 2012 (177)

Climate change: Within our present decade, "Summers will begin to get even hotter; as a result, they will become even drier, with little or no rain. Winters will become much wetter, with heavy snows." (182)

"By 2028, the average world temperature will have risen two degrees." (182)

"Water will become a major issue for farmers beginning 2008 to 2014." (182)

"By the year 2006, you will be able to purchase a television/computer screen that can be molded to a wall surface." (240) (Those flat-screen TVs that people go on and on about.)

"A major effort at 'greening' the planet will begin around 2015." (194)

The war in the Middle East, and just why *didn't* McMoneagle predict 9/11?

"There will be three major historical drops in the American market over the next hundred years. One will begin to occur late in the year 2006. The primary reason for this fall will be a war in the Middle East." (188)

"There is a war brewing. Within five years, 1998 to 2003, there will be a second war in Northern Iraq." (232)

"The coming war in the Middle East will add to the problem. Costs will be devastating. By 2010 - 2012, most Western economies will be suffering economically." (180)

The United States will face the possibility that a foreign government will use a biological weapon "inside the United States" (235)

"We can expect to see a long slide in the stock market. . . starting around September of 2001" (179)

These are interesting (and accurate) predictions, which I've presented as a set, for a specific reason. McMoneagle predicts the current Great Recession, linked to the Mid East war, the threat of a WMD attack, pins the date of the beginning of the down-slide in September 2001, all occurring in conjunction to the war in Iraq, but he does not specifically predict the 9/11 attack. To me, this set of predictions is actually more interesting than would be if McMoneagle HAD predicted 9/11.

There are a few reasons why I think McMoneagle did not "foresee" the 9/11 attack.

The first possibility that comes to mind is that, in fact, he did foresee it, but chose not to publish this. I think this possibility is remote, but possible.

Second, he was not allowed to see it. Predicting this event might have altered the future significantly to prevent it. I do believe that some future events might be unalterable. This might have been one of them.

Third, and I think that this is the most intriguing, is that, circa 1997 or prior, the attack on the World Trade Centers had not been "thought of." In other words, it was not a probability at that time, but became a probability later, after the book was published.

Circa 1998, in other words, the firm probability existed that there would be a war in the Middle East, that it would involve Iraq, that it would affect the economy, but the trigger to these series of events had not yet been selected.

I actually think that this is how much of our "future" reality is created. We have the ultimate effect, we have the end goal, the event, but the "causes" of that event have yet to be worked out. As I dreamed once, "Effects create their own causes."

Another interesting aspect of McMoneagle's predictions is that they tend to mirror the political propaganda surrounding 9/11, which deliberately sought to conflate the World Trade Center attacks with the problems involving Iraq. So, another possibility is that McMoneagle was foreseeing, not the actual events, but instead what the mainstream perception of those events would be. To me, this is quite significant... because, after all, what is reality? What it is, or what we, consensually, think that it is?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Update on "something strange that's been happening lately"

I was perusing my dream / OOBE journal, and I think that I know the cause of the "presence" phenomena. It seems that, as far back as my notes go, the "presence" (and the associated physiological reactions) seems associated with my semi-regular OOBEs that occur in the early-dawn hours.... something that I don't pay a whole lot of attention to, and I document only when I have a clear memory of the event. My wife is used to all this; the dog, on the other hand, isn't.

I'm not sure if "something" or "someone" comes to get me during those times, or if this is simply an energy manifestation associated with the phenomenon. Since this is something that's been going on in my life for many years, I don't consider it remarkable. My very protective dog, on the other hand, seems to object to the whole business and tries to put a stop to it. I'll probably have to start putting the dog out at night--for the dog's psychological well-being, and so that I can get some sleep.

As far as I can remember, I've never visualized a presence or a being during these events--simply sensed it. Years ago, after reading Hopkins and Jacobs, I thought that all this was associated with "aliens," but I seriously doubt that "aliens" would bother to abduct me (or anyone else, for that matter).

Lest you think that any of this is bizarre or "woo-woo," keep in mind that this happens to most people at night. Most people travel out-of-body; few remember these events, and even fewer bother to record them.

I won't debate anyone who insists that there's no such thing as an OOBE. Personal experience is really the only thing that will convince the skeptic. Medical science at present denies that OOBEs are possible--they are explained away as "sleep paralysis" or, lately, as electromagnetic manipulation of the frontal cortex, which causes the sensation of being dis-embodied. So, until science catches up with the mystics, I'll continue to believe that what's happening to me is an OOBE.

While going through my notes, however, I found an interesting OOBE that I had many years ago. During the experience, I decided to see if it was possible to "possess" someone--in this case, my wife. I tried to dive into her body, but I found myself blocked by some magnetic-type force emanating about three feet away from her physical body. After waking up, I asked her if she had sensed anything during this time (she was half-asleep with her eyes closed), and she remembered seeing a bright flash of light, and then a neon-type light spel,ling out my initials.

I've read tons of stuff that purport to describe spirit visitations. Some of the spirits are good; some are evil. Personally, though I think it's a bad idea to dabble in this sort of thing; whether the spirits are "real," or simply projections of the percipient, is irrelevant. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it's hard to get it back in, and everything that I've read is that once you conjure something like this up, all sorts of unpleasant things start to happen.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Something strange that's been happening lately

While I'm waiting on my invitation to join Google+ to arrive (can't believe that I haven't already been invited), I thought I'd mention something strange that's been happening to me in recent weeks.

At around 3 a.m. on many mornings, I've been getting a visitation of some sort. I haven't yet seen it; in fact, I'm usually not even awake when it's here. As best as I can describe it, I'm in a sort of trance state (not unlike the stage just prior to an OOBE), and the "presence" manifests as some sort of energy. There are a number of physiological effects of the presence. I can't tell whether the presence is "good" or "evil"; it seems neither familiar nor strange.

I have vague, distant memories as a young child of similar encounters. I remember being terrified of those encounters and have a vague sense of being chased, out-of-body, by "monster" type energies that plagued me for a long time.

Whatever "this" is, I get the sense that it's a return of that same energy or presence. Why "it" has decided to return is unknown, except, perhaps, the fact that I've been blogging about the paranormal, and when you focus on the paranormal, paranormal effects begin to occur.

None of this would be remarkable except for one distinctive feature: I've just recently gotten a shepherd, which has been sleeping inside at night. And this shepherd is able to sense when this presence is in the room. The shepherd invariably comes into the room, nudges me awake, jumps onto the bed and onto me, and refuses to leave. Twice I've had to pick the dog up and carry it out of the house. The dog becomes agitated a few moments before the presence arrives and attempts to protect me from whatever it is.

The dog's actions have had the affect of warning me, and causing me to remain semi-awake for some time, so that I'm always conscious (though in a half-sleep state) when the presence arrives, which is usually around 3 a.m.

I've tossed this around in my head for a while. Until now, I've dismissed these experiences as coincidences, a skittish dog, and a tendency to impose a paranormal interpretation onto normal bumps in night, but I'm now leaning toward assigning it a supernatural explanation.

I'm going to start making the dog sleep outside at night, and I'm going to take some careful notes about what happens from now on.

In the mean time, if you have a Google+ account, and would be willing to extend me an invitation, I'll be happy to accept it.