September 22, 2012 § 28 Comments
“The whole universe exists inside you. Ask all from yourself.” ~Rumi
“And we, we who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos, we have begun at least to wonder about our origins — star stuff contemplating the stars, organized collections of ten billion billion billion atoms, contemplating the evolution of nature, tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet earth, and perhaps throughout the cosmos.” ~ Carl Sagan, Cosmos: Who Speaks For Earth
Ken Carey had been off the grid for a decade, living a simple farm life in harmony with nature, when, in a state of high fever, he penned the slim classic Starseed Transmissions in 1978. Carey’s description of the experience proceeding his dictation echoes the transpersonal state of transcendent awareness long reported by mystics:
“Everything that touched my senses, every nuance of sound and light, every object in the room felt as intimate to me as the lungs through which I breathed, as inseparable, as personal. Insights did not come as flashes but as things I had always known, truths so obvious it was hard to believe I could have forgotten them.” (The Starseed Transmissions, introduction, 1995 edition.)
The narrator identifies itself as a force that “comes from the Presence where there is no time but the eternal now,” describing itself as a member of a race of spirit beings who have been evolving alongside humanity in a parallel universe of non-form:
“We are you, yourself, in the distant past and distant future. We are you as you were, would have been and still are, had you not fallen from your original state of grace.”
The angelic messenger from the stars describes this falling from grace, not as moral corruption, but as the state of fear and disconnection humans entered as they became lost in the” materializing process,” forgetful of their spiritual counterparts and interconnected origins. In effect, the book purports to be a voice from the realm where our spirits wait, calling us home.
The narrator describes a state of harmonious connectivity in which humanity would flourish:
“In the fallen state of consciousness, each human being functions in disregard of the song of Life that is going on in others. There is no harmony, no direction, no arrangement. You are like the random notes of an orchestra before the conductor unifies the instruments in symphony. The Grand Conductor is calling everyone to attention, calling now to remembrance of unity and purpose, reminding all that the time has come to stop tuning separate instruments and begin to accept the direction of One who understands the whole.
“As you begin to pay attention to the direction of the Conductor within, you will begin to play to the rhythm of the Planetary Symphony, harmonizing with the others of your species and with all of life.” (Ken Carey’s, Starseed Transmissions.)
In many ways, Ken Carey’s Starseed Transmissions echoes Timothy Leary’s “Starseed: Transmissions from Folsem Prison,” published five years prior. Obviously, the names are similar, though it is unclear whether Carey had ever read Leary’s piece. It seems unlikely that Carey would have been exposed to Leary’s short, pamphlet-like work, as Carey was undergoing a decade long media fast on a farm in rural Missouri at the time of writing Starseed.
The central theme of both starseed works is that humanity’s destiny lies in the stars. Both imagine a future galactic human, evolved past our current point, who would ascend into the heavens and begin what both texts describe as our true quest…An image we see appearing even earlier, in 1968, in the last scene of Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
So according to Ken Carey’s angelic/extraterrestrial messenger, we are all Starseeds. We all have other worldly origins and the homesickness we feel is spiritual in nature, a longing for divine reconnection.
The primary criticisms lobbied against starseed-identified individuals is that it is escapist, and originates out of the desire to feel special. Though many starseeds keep their thoughts about their identity to themselves for that very reason, there are many who build elaborate sites detailing rank, home-world histories, etc.
Usually those who get into details of hierarchical order describe a “Galactic Federation of Light,” the “Galactic Council” or “The Ashtar Command.” Many channelers claim to be in touch with beings from other planets in our solar system, describing a leader named Sunat Kumara – details about which a surprising number of people agree. Personally, I don’t relate with these very specific renderings — but perhaps those people who do, have reason to do so.
Scott Mandelker, Ph.D. author of From Elsewhere: Being ET in America, notes ”… I found that within the group of people who recognized themselves as cosmic visitors were individuals both clear and confused, humble and grandiose, active in service or passive in self absorption. Like any other group of people, I found all types – yet those who I considered a bit off-balance did not detract from the genuine reality of extraterrestrial incarnation. Even ET souls are not perfectly enlightened — and even less so when they take human form!”
Yet many “men and women…never spoke about being from such and such planet, unless somebody directly asked them. They had no need to impress anyone with rank or title… They made no big deal about being different; they were too busy teaching, writing, healing, counseling, creating, planning and organizing activities that might be of benefit totheir community.” (SOURCE)
Lately, ET culture has gone so mainstream that Katy Perry is singing pop songs about alien abduction: In “E.T.” she describes the ambiguity, fear and romantic draw surrounding this newest of cultural obsessions: “You’re so hypnotizing/Could you be the devil?/Could you be an angel?…”
The chorus is particularly troubling: ”Kiss me, kiss me/Infect me with your love and/Fill me with your poison/Take me, take me/Wanna be a victim/Ready for abduction…”
While most likely just a sign that the fringe-dweller’s sci-fi fascination has reached mainstream status and is currently “on the collective mind,” many find the weird romanticization of abduction propaganda-esque.
Predator/prey imagery, featuring wild carnivores chasing and consuming defenseless herbivores, are spliced in among eroticized alien-human relations, resulting in Perry appearing, in the last scene, with goat-legs. She is also notably featured as a romanticized Gray alien being flung through the far reaches of the cosmos, imploring Kanye West, playing an alien, to “take her, infect her with his poison, abduct her,” etc.
Perhaps the somewhat grotesque portrayal of cosmic themes in videos like Perry’s is due, less to nefarious connections, and more to the inevitable sensationalism and debasement of consumer-based production.
However, imagery like this, combined with the perceived onslaught of alien invasion films in the past decade, have many wondering if they are being brainwashed or desensitized in preparation for a coming ET event. There are numerous online sites dedicated to keeping an eye on the progress of this theory.
It is possible that both the creepy, conspiracy “alien agenda” angle and the love-based-starseed-in-service-to-the-planet slant are two sides of the same coin. Perhaps the love-based starseeds have come in special numbers at this time as a line of defense. But it’s easy to get lost in labyrinthian conspiracy theories…
Panning back from this micro-focus, we see that it is not so odd that we should be culturally obsessed with our identities in relation to the larger galactic picture…
We are the first waves of humans, that we know of, to have come of age in an era where space travel is a natural part of life, and images of our place in the universe, via Hubble Telescope photography, is available for everyone to see.
Whether or not you believe the surrounding mythos, it seems significant that sites like www.starseed.net has 7000 + members; www.ashtarcommandcrew.net boasts a community of over 10,000 members! The shared goals of those identifying with this burgeoning movement of cosmic consciousness is consistently transformational in nature. All feel innately within the core of their being that we live in a time of great change, great potential and certainly, also, danger — though it is the possibility upon which most choose to focus their energies.
People associated with transformational culture invariably feel that they have a mission to be of service to the planet at this time. Inevitably there is a call towards compassion, justice, harmony, community, freedom, self-expression, environmental awareness, personal growth, the presence of the divine within all things and the connectedness of all humanity. Whether these worthy goals are fulfilled, or remain intentions only, the inspiration behind them seems culturally progressive.
Whether these galactic generations feel the affinities they do because their souls are truly extraterrestrial, or because the stark gap between their ideals and the reality of the world makes them feel alien to modern culture, seems less important than the fact that this is a genuine, far-reaching movement with apparently positive ideals.
In many ways cosmic language has replaced religious terminology. People will say “one with the Universe” in the same way that they used to say “one with God;” terms like “universal love” replace phrases like “God’s love.” This is just semantics. Understandably, many in the cosmic generations feel the word God has been abused in the name of unloving principals. In these cases, secular language feels more fresh and personal, but it is no less mystical a statement to assert one’s connection with the universe, particularly when most mystical traditions agree that God is within all.
On a personal note, as a child I had never heard of of”star children” or “starseeds,” yet I felt instinctively that I was from elsewhere and that I was on a mission. I also saw a UFO as a child, in broad daylight; a slim silver disc, which appeared not horizontal but upright and emitted a beautiful rainbow contrail. The sighting was serendipitous, as I only saw it fly over my head because I had slipped on a rock. I’ve had other paranormal experiences throughout my life — clairvoyance, seeing energy and auras. So in light of this, I do find this subject — which I can easily imagine seeming totally “out there” for many people — fascinating.
Whatever the details, we find ourselves now in a unique position: the first series of human generations to grow up knowing what our galaxy looks like; knowing there are more galaxies than grains of sand in all the worlds beaches, and as many possible worlds. We feel ourselves in the growing pains of transforming from what humans have been, to all we seek to become.
*Parallax Give-Away: make a comment on this post (click on “comments” under the title) and win a copy of Ken Carey’s Starseed Transmissions. (Names of all who comment will be placed in a drawing, one name selected.)
August 11, 2012 § 17 Comments
Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself. ~ Carl Sagan
We are stardust ~ billion year old carbon. We are golden ~ caught in the devil’s bargain. And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden. ~ Joni Mitchell
Long before man went to the moon, he looked up at the stars and pondered his place in the cosmos.
Many a soul has looked up to the shimmering panorama of the night sky and felt a kinship, perhaps with a certain star or constellation. Many experience a sense of longing, as if some key to their existence might be hidden there.
It’s not just a poetic line. In a very real way we are made of stardust.
All the elements necessary to create life — carbon, nitrogen, iron, to name a few–were first forged in the nuclear furnace of a stellar explosion. And so every atom in the human body came, originally, from a dying star, propelled outward into the universe.
Countless books, movies, songs and legends reflect our sense of kinship with these burning bodies of celestial light, so seemingly different from our own bodies of flesh and bone…From radio hits about being “all made of stars” to Native American oral traditions, which describe human origins and helpers from the heavens.
In the past century, we have witnessed a renaissance of human thought, now aided by the information age. At the same time, we have seen an incredible amount of bloodshed and suffering. Is it getting better or getting worse? Apocalyptic prophesies abound. But so does talk of an awakening.
Over the past half century, connected with this idea of awakening, the terms “Starseed,” “Starborn,” and “Star Children” have become a part of the fringe cultural dialogue.
The idea has formed within this multi-generational conversation that some souls are “not from here.” Many mystically inclined would argue that none of us are spiritually “from here,” and the starseed concept is compatible with this idea. The theory goes that these souls, the starseeds, have incarnated more often in other solar systems; that earth is not their home planet.
According to Scott Mandleker, Ph.D., author of From Elsewhere: Being ET in America, recurring themes among starseed identified individuals include feeling alien to contemporary human culture; disconnection from, and even disgust with, accepted norms…a deep spiritual longing and the sense that, not only is there more to life than meets the eye, but they have a mission to fulfill. Many have had extra-dimensional or ESP encounters, which have affirmed their sense of differentness and sensitivity.
There is usually a strong connection with nature and the stars, an interest in space, science fiction, other worlds, ancient cultures, environmentalism and human potential…perhaps even homesickness for a place they’ve never known in this life.
Many starseeds feel they have chosen to forget their other worldly origins in order to grow up on human terms and blend into the culture — though most feel the intention was to eventually “wake up” to their true calling as paradigm-pushers and ‘spiritual beings having a human experience,’ (as the Pierre Teilhard de Chardin quote goes.)
Though in some rare cases, starseeds feel they’ve been exiled to earth, the majority feel their intergalactic mission stems from the compassionate desire to help nudge humanity onto the path of its destined awakening.
Starseeds, without fail, intuit the civilizations from which they’ve come have moved beyond earth’s current state of divisive turmoil into a phase beyond war, disconnection and bloodshed. For this reason, starseeds invariably find themselves looking to serve humanity, choosing vocations which center around healing, teaching, human potential, the arts, environmental assistance and social outreach.
Most feel their own path of awakening, their spiritual journey, is of utmost importance in order to truly live the new paradigm they wish to exemplify.
Though the stuff of science fiction, and many would say wishful thinking, the phenomenon has been felt by so many isolated individuals, unprompted – only later to be united by a website, a conversation, or a book — that it truly deserves some investigation by the open minded among us. And it could be science fiction itself is a product of productive starseed types, exploring inner worlds which lead them inevitably to worlds beyond their own.
The most common take on this intuitive knowledge is that these interstellar souls have come as artists, visionaries, dreamers and pioneers of thought to assist in humanity’s impending rebirth, to act as midwives through the inevitable labor pains.
Psychedelic icon Timothy Leary may have been the first to use the word “Starseed” in his short work, “Starseed: Transmissions from Folsom Prison.”
He penned “Starseeed” while serving time on charges of marijuana possession, for which he was issued a 95 year sentence — an unheard of amount of time for the crime committed. While officially held on drug charges, at the hearing the judge remarked: ”If he is allowed to travel freely, he will speak publicly and spread his ideas.” (Jesse Walker, “The Acid Guru’s Long Strange Trip.”)
President Richard Nixon had earlier labeled Leary “the most dangerous man in America.” (“Tim Leary, Pied Piper of Psychedelic 60′s.”) To have the president of the United States call a pacifist author-philosopher by this title should tell you something about the repressive state of affairs in which free thinkers find themselves.
Yet the irrepressible psychedelic spiritualist continued his work from jail, writing in 1973:
“This signal is being transmitted from a cell in Folsom Prison, which is the Black Hole of American society [...] Some cosmologists suggest that Black Holes [...] may be passageways to another universe, just as the manholes in Paris lead to a world beneath the street. Well, the maximum security prision is a fine place from which to scane the universe [...]
“Out here, beyond good and evil, one sees America in pain, injured nervous systems propelling robot-bodies in repitiuous, aimless motion along paths labeled rights and wrong…”
Yet Leary remained fiery with optimism:
“The entire universe is gently, rhythmically, joyously vibrating. Cosmic intercourse. This is a message of hope and interstellar love from the Black Hole. Irrepressible optimism. Yes, it is true that repressive pessimists now control planetary politics. This is a larval phase.”
At this time, Leary had begun receiving what he believed were telepathic messages from outer space, presumably the genesis for “Starseed.” He began to see man’s true means of spiritual transcendence as coming from the stars:
“[...].certainly the anticipation of ‘saucers’ transporting humanoid bodies is naive. It is more likely that extra-planetary contact will be received by the instrument which was designed over three and a half billion years ago to pick up electro-magnetic vibrations. The human nervous system itself [...]
“This message of neurological resonance can be censored, imprisoned but cannot be crushed because it comes from within, from the DNA nucleus inside each cell, from the evolving nervous system. The Higher Intelligence has already stepped on planet earth and its script is writ within our bodies, emerging in every generation.” ( Click this link to read the full piece online.)
(He did end up getting an early release, after five years, and resumed his energetic career, this time with emphasis on man’s place within the cosmos.)
To take the Starseed Test, click here! (Normally, I don’t put much stock in these, but this is a good one, composed by licensed psychologist and writer, Scott Mandleker, author of From Elsewhere: Being ET in America, which we’ll examine in the next installment of the Parallax starseed series.)
April 8, 2012 § 5 Comments
That men may rise on stepping stones of their dead selves to higher things.
There are two days each year when the daytime and nighttime hours are approximately equal — each being 12 hours long. One occurs between March 19 and 21 (the Spring or Vernal Equinox) and the other in September. These dates have strong ties to religious celebrations throughout the world.
“The Christian Easter is destined to fall roughly around the same time as the Pagan Easter [vernal equinox] due to its association to the Judaic Passover [marking the liberation of the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage] which is also fixed by the lunar cycle,” Andy Paciorek explains in Strange Lands.
“Both festivals could be said to reflect new life, either Christ’s return from the dead or the blossom and birth of Spring. So it was not much of a stretch for the ascending Christian Church to merge both festivals. This is known as ‘assimilation’ and was a habit frequently employed in those times … to ease and encourage rather than force the conversion of heathens. ”
The modern English term Easter can be traced back to the ancient pagan goddess, Ēostre for whom the German month of April is named. Eostre represents the sunrise, springtime, fertility, and new life, as do her symbols — hares and eggs. Hares because of their plentiful reproductive capacity, and eggs because all life starts with an egg. And so the tradition of eggs and rabbits as symbols of Easter is rooted in emblems of European folklore.
“The Easter Bunny is not actually a ‘bunny’ or rabbit at all, but is actually a hare,” details Andy Paciorek. “The hare was the sacred animal of Eostre (or Oestra or Ostera), the ancient Teutonic Goddess of the Spring Moon. At the time of the vernal equinox (March or April) the hares are famed for going ‘mad’…”
“The association of rabbits, hares, and the moon can be found in numerous cultures the world over,” notes Terri Windig in “The Symbolism of Rabbits and Hares,“ ”ranging from Japan to Mexico, from Indonesia to the British Isles. Whereas in Western folklore we refer to the ‘Man in the Moon,’ the ‘Hare (or Rabbit) in the Moon’ is a more familiar symbol in other societies.
“In Chinese folklore, female hares conceive through the touch of the full moon’s light (without the need of impregnation by the male), or by crossing water by moonlight, or licking moonlight from a male hare’s fur. Figures of hares or white rabbits are commonly found at Chinese Moon Festivals, where they represent longevity, fertility, and the feminine power of yin.“
In Iran the Spring Equinox is celebrated with Nowruz — known as “the Persian new year” and meaning “new day.”
As with Passover, house cleaning is a part of the preparation, stemming from the old belief that cleanliness helps keep evil away (quite sensible.) On the day of Nowruz everyone dons new clothes and families visit one another. Along with other symbolic items, such as sprouted barley representing rebirth, painted eggs signifying fertility and abundance are prominent in Nowruz traditions.
Hindus celebrate the Spring festival of Holi, known as the Festival of Colors, at the end of the winter season, on the last full moon day of the lunar month (February/March).
Marked by bright colors evoking springtime and fresh life, Holi has roots in Hindu mythology associated with good triumphing over evil. Social caste taboos are relaxed, joy and mischief are encouraged, and no one expects polite behavior. The rich and the poor, the young and the old, women and men all celebrate in the streets together, dousing one another with water and colored dyes.
“Taking the superstitions and rituals of the spring festivals as psychological symbols, we can appreciate the importance of personal renewal,” muses Jonathan Young in his article “Symbolism of Spring.”
“Putting on new clothing could represent the possibility of developing a new aspect of identity or finding a fresh sense of purpose. Spring might well be the appropriate moment to don new clothes, in a figurative sense, and claim an underused side of ourselves. A personal ritual for this month could be deciding what crops we want to develop in our lives so that we have a flourishing summer ahead.”
In Winter, we cocoon. We hibernate; dream. Symbolically, in Winter we gestate, go inward — a metaphorical death. In Spring, new life sprouts forth from the dormant earth and we are reminded of our own capacity to bloom.
What bulbs have been dreaming in the dark earth of your subconscious? What behaviors do you want to shed like winter runoff? What creative, personal or spiritual fruits would you like to bare in the upcoming year?
March 29, 2012 § 9 Comments
“The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas.” ~ Terence McKenna
The creative spark — that incandescent flash of insight known as a breakthrough — is known for being unpredictable, elusive and mysterious. Yet over the past few decades, cognitive psychologists have been studying the various neurological processes behind creativity.
“In the seconds before the insight appears,” explains Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, “a brain area called the superior anterior temporal gyrus (aSTG) exhibits a sharp spike in activity. This region, located on the surface of the right hemisphere, excels at drawing together distantly related information, which is precisely what’s needed when working on a hard creative problem.”
“If one particular style of thought stands out about creative genius, it is the ability to make juxtapositions between dissimilar subjects. Call it a facility to connect the unconnected that enables them to see things to which others are blind.
“Leonardo da Vinci forced a relationship between the sound of a bell and a stone hitting water. This enabled him to make the connection that sound travels in waves.”
Researchers of brain function have found that certain factors increase the likelihood of receiving an insight. For instance, subjects exposed to a short comedic video boosted creative solution performance by 20%.
Interestingly, studies conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that drunk test subjects given word problems outperformed their sober peers by 30%!
The insight puzzles given were ‘remote associates,’ in which a person is asked to find an additional word that goes with a triad of words. For example:
Pine Crab Sauce
(the answer is below the picture)
(The answer is “apple” — pineapple, crabapple, applesauce.)
Why would subjects exposed to comedy score higher than peers not treated with a laugh? The same reason drunk subjects outperformed their sober peers.
“The answer,” according to Lehrer “involves the surprising advantage of not paying attention. [...] We might be focused, but we’re probably focused on the wrong answer.”
Creative blocks occur when the logical left hemisphere of the brain has reached an impasse with its linear, systematic approach; interrupting its frustrated obsession with the wrong questions can free up the right hemisphere to supply the essential fresh connection. Relaxation helps.
“This research,” expounds Lehrer, “explains why so many major breakthroughs happen in the unlikeliest of places, whether it’s Archimedes in the bathtub or the physicist Richard Feynman scribbling equations in a strip club, as he was known to do. It reveals the wisdom of Google putting ping-pong tables in the lobby and confirms the practical benefits of daydreaming. As Einstein once declared, ‘Creativity is the residue of time wasted.’”
So next time you’re hitting your head against the wall of some creative problem, give the left brain a break and take a shower, play a game, drink a beer, watch a comedy video, take a nap or take yourself on a walk.
Studies show, this is a bona fide part of the creative process! The insight hiding in the superior anterior temporal gyrus of the brain needs a chance to offer its fresh connection.
“If you’re trying to be more creative,” concludes Lehrer, “one of the most important things you can do is increase the volume and diversity of the information to which you are exposed. Steve Jobs famously declared that ‘creativity is just connecting things.’ Mr. Jobs argued that the best inventors seek out ‘diverse experiences,’ collecting lots of dots that they later link together.
“Instead of developing a narrow specialization, they study, say, calligraphy (as Mr. Jobs famously did) or hang out with friends in different fields. Because they don’t know where the answer will come from, they are willing to look for the answer everywhere.”
“Original ideas,” agrees Michael Michalko, “inevitably are created by conceptually blending subjects from different universes into something new.”