The Emerging Study of Intuition
March 5, 2013 § 12 Comments
“Cease trying to work everything out with your minds. It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration and let your whole life be Revelation”. ~ Eileen Caddy
“The only real valuable thing is intuition”. ~ Albert Einstein
Studies and anecdotes alike suggest that we have ways of gaining information beyond that which is readily available to our conscious mind. The word intuition comes from the Latin word intueri, which translates as to look inside or to contemplate.
Psychology Today relates an experiment wherein the subject is shown images which are either calming or agitating (an image of a lake, an image of a spider…) The order is randomly generated in the moment by a computer.
Electrodes that measure tiny changes in skin resistance are attached to two fingers on the subject’s left hand; plus, a third that monitors blood flow. Consistent with other test subjects, the body does not react to calming images, but does show response to the agitating ones. In this groundbreaking experiment, researchers discovered that the subject’s body reacts to the agitating image a fraction of a second before the image has been randomly generated.
I’ll give that a minute to sink in.
Implications of nonlinear time aside—which are, in themselves, awe-inspiring—this study suggests concrete proof that “gut reactions” are a genuine function of human processing.
“Today, cognitive science is revealing a fascinating unconscious mind that Freud never told us about,” notes David G. Myers in The Powers & Perils of Intuition. “Thinking occurs not onstage but offstage, out of sight. Studies of automatic processing, subliminal priming, implicit memory, heuristics, right-brain processing, instant emotions, nonverbal communication and creativity unveil our intuitive capacities. Thinking, memory and attitude operate on two levels: the conscious/deliberate and the unconscious/automatic. ‘Dual processing,’ researchers call it. We know more than we know we know.”
“The scientific evidence is now stronger than ever for commonly reported experiences such as telepathy (mind-to-mind communication), clairvoyance (information received from a distant place) and precognition (information received from a distant time),” observes psychologist Dean Radin. “Studies suggest that we have ways of gaining information that bypass the ordinary senses.”
This acknowledgement extends even to the United States Navy, who, The New York Times reports, has started a program to investigate how members of the military can be trained to improve their intuitive ability during combat and other missions.
“The idea for the project comes in large part from the testimony of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan who have reported an unexplained feeling of danger just before they encountered an enemy attack or ran into an improvised explosive device, Navy scientists said.
“’Research in human pattern recognition and decision-making suggest that there is a ‘sixth sense’ through which humans can detect and act on unique patterns without consciously and intentionally analyzing them,” the Office of Naval Research said in an announcement late last month,” citing numerous peer-reviewed studies in cognitive psychology and neuroscience.
The New York Times notes that people often “confuse” the concept of intuition with the supernatural—though many intuitive types would more likely call this a difference in perspective.
Whatever your personal beliefs as to the source of intuition, its existence is embraced by the world’s most celebrated thinkers. In Einstein and the Poet: In Search of the Cosmic Man, William Hermanns shares a conversation with the man whose name is literally a synonym for genius:
“Einstein nodded: he was a good listener. After a pause he said, ‘The cosmic man must be restored, the whole man who is made in the image and likeness of the arch-force, which you may call God. This man thinks with his heart and not with party dogma. As I’ve explained before, there is an order in the universe – a cosmic order – and humans have the possibility of understanding these laws.’
“Einstein leaned back in his chair; so did I, putting my writing pad on my knees. He added, ‘I have no doubt that the allies will win the war.’ I smiled, ‘Oh, you are my prophet again. ‘Prophet or not,’ he scratched his head, ‘what I say is more often felt through intuition than thought through intellect.'” (Einstien’s Intuition.)
It’s important, however, to remain discerning, and not to assume that every strong feeling we receive is operating on some higher, interconnected plane.
As David G. Myers points out in The Powers & Perils of Intuition, “The history of science tells story after story of challenges to human intuition. To our ancestors, the sun’s daily travels had at least two plausible explanations: Either the sun was circling Earth, or Earth was spinning while the sun stood still. Intuition preferred the first explanation. Galileo’s scientific observations demanded the second.”
It’s also possible to confuse the strong emotion of desire (wishful thinking) with the strong feeling of a potential “gut reaction.” We must always check our guts—and analyze our motives—first and foremost for self-deception.
“The first principle,” said Einstein’s fellow physicist, Richard Feynman, “is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.”
“Nobody can dictate my behavior,” said Diana, Princess of Wales, in her last interview before her fatal accident. “I work through instinct, and instinct is my best counselor.”
“Does this mean we should ignore our hunches or intuitions?” asks Denise Cummins Ph.D in “Good Thinking.”
“Not necessarily. According to Dr. Daniel Kahneman, decisions are the output of two processes, a fast intuition- or emotion-based process and a slower, deliberative one. To Kahneman, intuitive activities are very similar to perceptual activities, such as seeing and hearing.
“Ask yourself this: When you glimpse something out of the corner of your eye, what do you normally do next? You probably direct your attention to the new stimulus, allowing your visual system to process it in more detail. As it turns out, that is probably the best way to think about the role of intuition in decision-making: Your gut reaction tells you this particular choice deserves further deliberation.”
Cummins also sites an experiment by Dr. Michel Tuan Pham of Columbia Business School, which asked people to make a number of future predictions, from box office success to presidential elections. The findings indicated that people did better in fields with which they already had some knowledge. But also, those who believed in their ability more, made more accurate predictions. This was dubbed “the emotional oracle effect.”
So how to cultivate your intuition? For one, start listening to that still, small voice. Like a muscle, it benefits from excercise. Make feeling-based predictions privately to yourself, which can be proven later. This way you can begin to get an idea of what your most successful hunches felt like in their nascent stages—as well as build confidence and trust in your abilities, thereby employing the benefits of that documented “emotional oracle effect.”
Remember, the subliminal self operates on a far subtler level than we may be used to paying attention to or even noticing.
Meditation—simply giving yourself time to cultivate inner stillness—helps quiet the mind and open receptivity to subconscious knowledge.
Paying attention to how your body responds to certain situations or people can tell you a lot.
Visualization exercises can be helpful as well. They give the subconscious mind a device with which it can present you with communication from its arsenal of symbolic wisdom.
Try imagining yourself in a beautiful, calming natural environment. Take the time to really bring the sights and sounds of your inner space to life. Once this has been achieved, take a little more time simply to enjoy your creation.
Then imagine a treasure chest in this scene. Ask a question. In your mind’s eye, walk over to the chest and open it. The subconscious will present you with an answering image. It may be clear or obscure symbolism, but more often than not you will find the image that appears carries metaphorical weight and is not random.
Have fun tapping into that buried treasure!
Starseeds, Cosmic Consciousness and the Galactic Generations ~ Part 1
August 11, 2012 § 22 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 that they have a mission to fulfill. The word “mission” seems to be a trigger word for starseeds almost without exception. 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 test, but this is a good one, composed by licensed psychologist Scott Mandleker, author of From Elsewhere: Being ET in America, which we’ll examine in the next installment of the Parallax starseed series.)
Technology of the Gods
July 25, 2011 § 19 Comments
“And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north and a great cloud, with brightness round about it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as if it were gleaming bronze.” (Ezekiel, 1:4)
The above painting, “The Baptism of Christ” by Aert de Gelder, was rendered in 1710.
Though religious scholars argue that such UFO-like representations in old works of art (of which there are actually quite a lot) are taken from the Bible’s many references to God’s showy appearance in bright clouds, whirling chariots of fire, whirlwinds and wheels, this protest only highlights the point that representations suggestive of ET presence date back further, and appear more plentifully, than many might imagine.
(Pictured below, Madonna with Saint Giovannino, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 15th century.)
(Pictured below, “The Annunciation with Saint Emidius” by Carlo Crivelli, 1486)
Ezekiel describes being visited by a“great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself ” (1: 4) from which emerged four living creatures with the “likeness of a man” (1:5), a wheel beside each living creature (vs. 15). “As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four(1:18).”
Each creature had “four faces and four wings” and “sparkled like the color of burnished brass.” One had the face of a man, the others, respectively, the face of an eagle, the face of an ox and the face of a lion.
Interestingly, we see similar animal-headed divinities depicted in far older mythologies. For instance, the lion-headed Sekhmet of ancient Egypt:
The bird-headed Horus …
….the bull-headed gods of Ancient India….
…and the Apkallu griffin from ancient Sumerian mythology:
Some Apkallu are depicted as humans with wings …
According to the Babylonian creation myth, these ancient Sumerian gods, known as the Annunaki (translating to “those of royal blood” or “offspring of the prince”) created humankind to serve them by tilling the land, but the humans rebelled and the Annunaki freed them because they were more trouble than they were worth.
According to the Sumerian tablets, which detail the culture’s religious beliefs, the Annunaki were said to have “helpers” which “acted as if alive, but were not.” In other words, by our terms, android/inorganic beings. The picture below are Sumerian artifacts said to depict “servers or helpers of their gods.”
These figures resemble modern day descriptions of “grey aliens” …
As do many ancient petroglyphs, such as the 5000 year old Australian cave wall renditions below:
The description of the Annunaki’s “helpers” sounds a lot like the Archons of the Gnostic Gospels, who were also described as being animated but without true life or spirit, inorganic by our terms. The Archons are said to be silent manipulators of humanity, whispering deceptive suggestions into our unconscious and feeding off the fear and confusion they produce with their psychological warfare.
As one alleged abductee on www.think-aboutit.com relates: “Our emotional adrenaline is like candy, or a drug to them. They can steal this from us by causing us to feel fear, to feel passion, hate, anger…” The same writer wonders if the ancient practice of sacrificing virgins to appease the gods was not perhaps related to this hunger for human energy.
Though admittedly speculative, it would explain an otherwise counterintuitive and weirdly prevalent practice of the archaic world.
Gnostic scholar and author John Lash relates:
“Physical descriptions of Archons occur in several Gnostic codices. Two types are clearly identified: a neonate or embryonic type, and a draconic or reptilian type. Obviously, these descriptions fit the Greys and Reptilians of contemporary reports to a T. Or I should say, to an ET.”
Other figurines of Sumerian deities depict distinctively reptilian types:
These tall, slim beings bare a marked similarity to some Native American petroglyphs (featured below) among whom stands, in this instance, a rather robot-looking individual:
Another Sumerian figurine depicts a very grey alien-like fellow:
The ancient Sumerian tablets known as the Lament of Ur describe an “evil wind” and a “great storm” as being responsible for the destruction of the great city of Ur. Many have wondered whether this does not describe dueling alien factions with advanced weapon technology. Certainly the “storm” described does not sound like your average man-to-man combat of the ancient world:
“Enlil [Lord of the Wind, a chief Sumerian deity] brought Gibil [Lord of Fire] as his aid. He called the great storm of heaven — the people groan. The great storm howls above — the people groan. The storm that annihilates the Land roars below — the people groan. The evil wind, like a rushing torrent, cannot be restrained. It attacks the weapons of the city and completely devours them…
“Alas, storm after storm swept the Land together: the great storm of heaven, the ever-roaring storm, the malicious storm which swept over the Land, the storm which destroyed cities … May that storm, like rain pouring down from heaven, never recur.
David Hatcher Childress, author of Technology of the Gods, suspects ancient atomic warfare, siting, among others, a discovery from 1947 (interestingly, the date of the alleged Roswell UFO crash,) which ran in the New York Herald Tribune:
“When the first atomic bomb exploded in New Mexico, the desert sand turned to fused green glass. This fact, according to the magazine Free World, has given certain archaeologists a turn. They have been digging in the ancient Euphrates Valley and have uncovered a layer of agrarian culture 8,000 years old, and a layer of herdsman culture much older, and a still older caveman culture. Recently, they reached another layer of fused green glass.”
“It is well known,” muses Childress, “that atomic detonations on or above a sandy desert will melt the silicon in the sand and turn the surface of the Earth into a sheet of glass. But if sheets of ancient desert glass can be found in various parts of the world, does it mean that atomic wars were fought in the ancient past?”
Childress adds that geological processes don’t account for the exact nature of these ancient sheets of desert glass:
“Lightning strikes can sometimes fuse sand, meteorologists contend, but this is always in a distinctive root-like pattern. These strange geological oddities are called fulgurites and manifest as branched tubular forms rather than as flat sheets of fused sand. Therefore, lightning is largely ruled out as the cause of such finds by geologists, who prefer to hold onto the theory of a meteor or comet strike as the cause. The problem with this theory is that there is usually no crater associated with these anomalous sheets of glass.”
Ancient Indian literature is rife with references to flying vehicles (called vimanas,) weapons of mass destruction and sophisticated technology.
The following excerpt from the ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata, details a blast that seems uncannily atomic:
“Gurkha, flying a swift and powerful vimana hurled a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as the thousand suns rose in all its splendor […] The cloud of smoke rising after its first explosion formed into expanding round circles like the opening of giant parasols…
“It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis [ancient Indian clan with royal/divine bloodlines] and the Andhakas [Hindu demons]…
“The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. The hair and nails fell out; pottery broke without apparent cause, and the birds turned white. After a few hours all foodstuffs were infected…A thick gloom swiftly settled upon the Pandava hosts. All points of the compass were lost in darkness. Fierce wind began to blow upward, showering dust and gravel….
The earth shook, scorched by the terrible violent heat of this weapon. Elephants burst into flame and ran to and fro in a frenzy… over a vast area, other animals crumpled to the ground and died. From all points of the compass the arrows of flame rained continuously and fiercely.”
Could the “fire and brimstone” that God rains down on Sodom and Gemorrah have been a nuclear detonation? Abraham looked toward the city and “lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” (Gen. 19:28)
Interestingly, Genesis also describes a rather speculation-inducing incident, detailing the interbreeding of fallen angels (ETs?) with human women:
“When men began to multiply on earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw how beautiful the daughters of man were, and so they took for their wives as many of them as they chose. […] The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:1-4)
In The Book of Enoch (an ancient manuscript from Old Testament times, ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah) details the goings on of these fallen angels, called Watchers — as they were sent to “watch over” earth. (Enoch is cross-referenced in the Bible as a 365 year old man who “walked with God,” and afterward “he was not, because God had taken him” (Gen. 5:24).
According to the Book of Enoch, the Nephilim plundered the earth, causing great violence and perversion, at the height of which the great flood was sent to sweep the earth clean.
“The Book of the Watchers” and “The Book of Giants” (From The Book of Enoch) describes this hybrid human-Watcher offspring as giant savages who taught mankind about weaponry, cosmetics, sorcery, astronomy, reading and writing…interventions which displeased God.
This same idea of godly intervention vs non-intervention recurs commonly throughout the world in mythology…perhaps most famously echoed in the tale of Prometheus the titan (interestingly, also a giant), who gave mankind the power of fire, only to be punished by Zeus with the eternal torture.
Many Christians have begun to wonder if ETs are not actually demons, but few have asked the question: were the demons of old ETs to begin with?
Is it a coincidence that satan is described as “the dragon?” Could satan be a symbolic stand-in for reptilians?
Interestingly, the Gnostic Gospels describe a revisionist form of the Garden of Eden story, in which the true creator God is distinguished as distinct and different from the gods who interacted with humanity after their creation, none other than the Archons.
The idea that aliens have been among us since ancient times is known as the ancient astronauts theory. Exhibit A: a 5000 year old suspiciously spaceman-looking figure found in Kiev:
Exhibit B: Astronaut-looking fellows in an Italian cave, dating back to 10,000 BC:
I tend to see epics like the Bible the same way I see the mythologies of all great cultures: stories of our ancestors worth studying for clues to our history and existence, containing truths which may be more allegorical, or, just as possibly, more literal than we allow ourselves to contemplate.
All possibilities should be considered.
From tales of the Sumerian Annunaki to the Gnostic Archons, from the Native American Star People, who came down from the skies to teach their tribes knowledge, to the ancient Egyptian gods who showed the priests astronomy — from the gods of ancient India, who traveled on flying chariots, to the God of the old Testament, who arrived on blazing whirling clouds with rings of eyes….something is going on.
Perhaps the idea of a heavenly war is not so farfetched as many a secular skeptic has believed. As Alison Goddard writes for the Times Higher Education, there have been reports of a series of mysterious explosions in outer space:
“British scientists hope to solve the mystery of gamma bursts soon. When a burst of gamma rays was detected in the sky in 1967, scientists at the Los Alamos laboratory thought that it was due to covert nuclear weapons testing. The discovery was not reported to the world until 1973, by which time many such bursts had been picked up by satellites designed to look for violations of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The data showed that what could have been nuclear explosions turned out to come from outer space. More than 30 years later, gamma ray bursts continue to baffle scientists.”
The experts, in this case, have only theories.
Truth, as they say, is often stranger than fiction and, as science fiction author Arthur C. Clark said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
The Doppelganger Effect: Second Selves and Ghostly Doubles
June 2, 2011 § 28 Comments
Though pop culture references to “doppelgangers” (a German word translating to “double-walker”) are often used to describe people who resemble one another, the word has a rich and often eerie history, which has more to do with ghost stories than celebrity look a-likes.
Famous witnesses of the doppelganger effect include president Abraham Lincoln, the great poets Percy Shelley and John Donne, Goethe of Faustus fame, Queen Elizabeth I , and Catherine the Great of Russia.
Lincoln saw a second face, exactly like his own but with a ghostly pallor, in the mirror on the night of his election. The face disappeared when he stood up, reappeared when he lay down. Though old mirrors have been known to cause double images, what would make the second face significantly paler? Writes Lincoln of the unnerving experience:
” [The memory] would once in a while come up, and give me a little pang as if something uncomfortable had happened. When I went home again that night I told my wife about it, and a few days afterward I made the experiment again, when (with a laugh), sure enough! the thing came back again; but I never succeeded in bringing the ghost back after that, though I once tried very industriously to show it to my wife, who was somewhat worried about it. She thought it was a “sign” that I was to be elected to a second term of office, and that the paleness of one of the faces was an omen that I should not see life through the last term.”
Incredibly, this turned out to be exactly the case. Lincoln was re-elected for a second term — assassinated in the theatre, where he had gone to celebrate his second win.
The vision of a doppelganger has long been considered a harbinger of death. Queen Elizabeth saw her own double laid out upon her bed shortly before she died. John Donne witnessed his wife’s ghostly doppelganger holding a dead child in her arms the same evening she gave birth to a stillborn child, though the couple were thousands of miles apart, and he did not learn of the event until many days later.
Percy Shelley, still widely considered the greatest poet of the English language, reported viewing his doppelganger while in Italy. The apparition pointed silently to the Mediterranean Sea, in which, not long after, Shelley drowned in a sailing accident.
The custom of covering mirrors with cloth after a death in the family has its roots in the superstition that the spiritual double of anyone passing by the mirror might be projected into the glass and carried off into the underworld.
The idea of a subtle, energetic body (or “spirit body”) within the fleshy corporeal form, distinct from the soul, is an ancient concept touched upon by philosophers from Plato to Aristotle, deeply imbedded in Ancient Eastern and Egyptian spirituality.
The idea finds its roots in the concept of the astral plane, a modern term to describe an ancient idea: that increasingly subtle energetic/celestial realms exist outside of our reality. The astral body then is the vehicle in which the soul can travel these otherdimensional planes. Ancient yogis and modern occultists have attempted to travel the astral plane while still living, a thing known in contemporary language as astral projection. Many report having achieved the feat.
Adepts at such a practice could allegedly project their avatar across many miles and appear in two places at once, a concept known as bilocation.
Though the Eastern yogis are most known for tales of teleportation, it’s also present in the Christian tradition.
In 1774, St. Alphonsus Liguori is said to have gone into a trance while preparing for Mass. When he came out of his meditation he reported that he had visited the bedside of the dying Pope Clement XIV. His presence was confirmed by those attending the Pope, despite his being four days travel away, and not appearing to have left his original location.
In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda describes how, as an adolescent, upon asking his guru, Swami Pranabananda, to locate a family friend, the swami went immediately into trance. Not understanding, the young yogi sat politely while his guru sat engaged in deep meditation.
Thirty minutes later, the swami emerged from his trance state and announced that the family friend would be arriving shortly. Astonished when the friend did indeed shortly arrive, young Yogananda asked his guru how this could have happened. The swami explained that he had simply “gone” to where the friend was bathing in the Ganges river and told him Yogananda wished to speak with him. As far as the friend knew, he had simply run into the swami at the Ganges.
Such phenomena was not considered miraculous in ancient India, but seen as a natural part of the development of yogic disciplines.
In her article, “The Art of Teleportation and Bilocation,” Mary Desaulniers elaborates on the scientific basis for such phenomena:
The discovery of the “biophoton,” a coherent, laser-like light stored and emitted by all living cells suggests that large scale, quantum states of coherent photons can produce resonant, collective, wave effects like telepathy and teleportation […]
[According to MIT physicist, Claude Swanson, author of The Synchronized Universe] the human body can be seen as a “quantum system, with a set of quantum states all vibrating in step.” [T]he human body can function as a coherent oscillating system in which each electron becomes synchronized with others behaving “in phase” and reinforcing one another.
When the human body generates a store of coherent energy which takes up a spatial pattern, it increases the probability of such a structure or pattern appearing in real life. It is this power of coherence or synchronization that makes possible exceptional human functioning events like teleportation and bilocation.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating documented accounts of bilocation occurred in what is now New Mexico in 1622. Father Alonso de Benavides had been assigned to the Isolita Mission to carry out a conversion of the local Jumano Indians. To the priest’s surprise, the tribesmen were already familiar with Roman Catholic rituals, had alters and crosses, and knew the Catholic liturgy — all in their native tongue!
Mystified, Father Benavides wrote both Pope Urban V11 and King Phillip of Spain to find out who had been there before him. The reply was that nobody had been sent. Unsatisfied with this answer, Father Benavides began asking the Jumano investigative questions regarding their knowledge of the Catholic rites. The Indians told him they had been instructed by a beautiful “lady in blue” who came among them for many years, teaching them this new religion in their own language.
Knowing that the nuns of the Poor Clare order wore blue, Father Benavides found a painting of one of the nuns and brought it to show the Jumano. Was it she? he asked. Yes, they said: the dress was right but the woman was different. She was young and beautiful (where the woman in the painting was portly, plain and mature.)
When he returned to Spain, Father Benavides was determined to solve the mystery and went to speak with the Poor Clare nuns (who were a cloistered order, never leaving the nunnery after taking their vows.) He found his answer at last in Sister Mary of Jesus in Agreda, Spain, of the Poor Clare order.
Sister Mary, as it turned out, had been falling into a cataleptic trance during her prayers for years, after which she recalled “dreams” of traveling to a strange, wild land where she taught the gospel. Amazingly, she was able to offer detailed descriptions of the appearance, customs and dress of the Jumano, which was impossible for her to have known about, as they were a newly discovered tribe.
When asked how she had communicated with them, she replied that she had merely spoken in Spanish, and “God had let them understand one other.”
Whether one believes it was the work of God or the power of Sister Mary’s conviction, the story — and like phenomena — remains simply fascinating. Such is the mystery of human consciousness.
The Mystery of the Masons
May 2, 2011 § 22 Comments
So far as I am acquainted with the principles and doctrines of Freemasonry , I conceive it to be founded in benevolence and to be exercised for the good of mankind . ~ George Washington
What do Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Mark Twain, Volatire, Oscar Wilde, Buzz Aldrin, Nat King Cole, Aleister Crowley, Winston Churchill, Duke Ellington, John Wayne, Mozart, and Isaac Newton all have in common?
They are all great men, most of them polymaths, adept in multiple disciplines. All famous, admired (with the exception of the controversial Crowley). And they are all Freemasons.
So what is the origin of this “secret society,” so wildly speculated over, which has secured the favor of such diverse and fascinating men?
Though the official origins of Freemasonry are a blurry and much debated matter (the first documented reference dates back to a 1390 poem, and the first Grand Lodge was founded in England, in 1717, ) the spiritual roots of the fraternity are often linked with the ancient Egyptian mystery schools, a pagan tradition of esoteric knowledge handed down from generation to generation, which included astronomy, astrology, geometry, and spiritual teachings.
32nd degree Freemason, Thomas D. Worrel, affirms that the fraternity’s “roots are dug deep in the Mystery Schools of Antiquity,” detailing:
“Freemasonry continues an initiatic tradition whose beginnings are lost in antiquity. This statement cannot be proven historically.Yet the more you study Masonic rites and its symbols, the more you become convinced that you are dealing with something ancient, maybe even primordial. It becomes clear that this tradition is much older than Masonry’s institutional beginnings in 1717, older than the cathedral builders and medieval guilds, older even than King Solomon’s Temple or the Egyptian Pyramids.
It is not easy to define what Freemasonry is. Any definition would be inadequate, because Masonry has a deeply individual meaning to each member of the fraternity. No doctrine is expounded inside the lodge; there are no sermons, no interpretations. Even though teachings are incorporated within the rites, the meanings and interpretations are for the most part left to the candidate, whose task it is to integrate them into his own past and future life.
An initiate’s personal involvement with Masonry may change during his lifetime as well. For some it may be just a social club, a charitable institution, or a way of promoting education and the arts and sciences. For others it may also be a way of probing for the deepest truths.”
The Lodge initiation for the third degree (the first inner circle by invitation only, the beginner levels are open to all,) consists of a ritualized allegorical reenactment of the murder of Hiram Abiff, the priest-architect of King Solomon’s Temple. The Hebrew bible corroborates this basic story, relating a formal request from King Solomon of Jerusalem to King Hiram I of Tyre, for workers and materials to build a new temple. King Hiram responds:
And now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman […] skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, purple and blue, fine linen and crimson, and to make any engraving and to accomplish any plan which may be given to him, with your skillful men and with the skillful men of my lord David your father (2 Chronicles 2:13-14 )
The story goes that Hiram Abiff, a keeper of ancient mysteries, was constructing a temple for King Solomon to house the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem, now reconstructed as the Temple Mount or Mount Zion (check out PARALLAX’S investigation of some very strange UFO activity surrounding this sacred shrine in “Spaceships Over Jerusalem“) when his own workman murdered him in a failed attempt to extract his priest-architect secrets.
It has been said that the ritual serves as a reinforcement of the idea of loyalty, because Hiram died because he would not share the secrets entrusted him.
The single eye, known as the “All-Seeing Eye” takes its meaning from the ancient Egyptian “Eye of Horus“ an emblem of protection and inner sight. The legend goes that Horus, depicted most often as a falcon, lost his left eye in a fight defeating Set, god of the underworld. This left eye (The Eye of Horus) became the moon, (representing occult knowledge/hidden wisdom,) while his right eye, called “the Eye of Ra” became the sun.
The symbolism of the pyramid traditionally represents man’s climb towards higher knowledge, the evolution of spirituality upwards. However, at the same time there is an undeniable suggestion of caste system symbology, with the masses as the wide base at the bottom, and the select few, elite initiates, represented by the tippy-top, closest to heaven.
Though we are taught in school that America was founded on Christian tenants — and this is not necessarily in conflict with being a Mason — it is beyond conjecture that the founding fathers also incorporated a massive amount of Masonic imagery into the architecture, symbolism and signifiers of our country. It wasn’t hidden — newspaper accounts from the day ran descriptions of Masonic ceremonies in Washington as naturally as they reported any other governmental activity.
The most famous example of this type of symbolism, of course, is the all-seeing eye and pyramid displayed on our one dollar bill. Supposedly, the detached top symbolizes the heights we have yet to reach.
But the most widely identifiable symbol for Freemasonry is the “square and compass” — architectural instruments used to calculate the movement of the heavens. The G is most often ascribed to God, or The Great Architect of the Universe, to use the secular, builder terminology of Freemasonry. But it has also been connected to Geometry.
The two triangles are also said to represent the star of David, or “Seal of Solomon,” which signified the union of opposites, embodying the alchemical/hermetic axiom, “As above, so below” — a concept, denoting the microcosm within the macrocosm, first laid out in The Emerald Tablet of Hermes:
That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.
Although Freemasons are often accused of Devil worship, to become a Mason, one must first profess faith in an undefined Higher Power/Supreme Being. In an attempt to foster brotherhood and tolerance within the fraternity, matters of religion are prohibited from being discussed within the Lodge.
One of the primary accusations of conspiracy theorists is that the Masons worship the devil, specifically a goat-headed humanoid figure called Baphomet. The Knights Templar were accused of worshipping the same creature, and ultimately persecuted for non-Christian activity. Though the confessions — extracted under torture — are considered dubious by scholars today.
Originally a symbol of Christian folklore representing pagan idolatry, Baphomet first appeared in 11th century Latin as a corruption of “Muhammad” (‘Baphomet’ = Mahomet = Muhammad). Later the terms shows up in trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar in the early 14th century.
Crusade scholar Helen Nicholson writes that the charges were essentially “manipulative,”and typical of witch-hunt-style smear campaigns. Medieval Christians falsely believed that Muslims were idolatrous and worshipped Muhammad as a god, with mahomet becoming mammet in English, meaning an idol or false god.
In the 19th century, the name of Baphomet became further associated with the occult when Éliphas Lévi published Dogmas and Ritual of High Magic, in which he included the now-famous image of Baphomet, a depiction he had drawn himself. Levi explained the figure in symbolic terms, the goat-head representing “the sinner,” while the fire above his head represented man’s potential to obtain higher knowledge.
The Baphomet of Lévi was then further utilized in supposedly symbolic terms by occultist (and Freemason) Aleister Crowley in the early twentieth century. Crowley described the goat-headed figure as representing the Union of Opposites, and hence spiritual perfection.
Baphmoet’s connection with Freemasonry, however, remains dubious, as the first accusation — by Christian evangelist Jack Chick, who claimed that Baphomet is a demon worshipped by Masons — was based on a 1890’s hoax by Léo Taxil. Taxil employed a version of Lévi’s Baphomet on the cover of his sensationalized paperback “exposé” of Freemasonry — which, in 1897, he revealed as a hoax satirizing ultra-Catholic anti-Masonic propaganda.
Misunderstanding another creed or culture’s symbols is a common source of prejudice. While a human skull on a scholar’s desk might strike some as morbid, even death-worshipping or evil, to an old-world alchemist, or even a modern day occultist, it can represent a meditation on impermanence, and the inevitability of death; the goal of which is to better live one’s life.
That being said, to a Theistic Satanist, it could also represent the Dark Lord. Such is the mercurial and fascinating nature of symbols. Considering the men who have been involved in Freemasonry (Einstein, Franklin, Washington, Twain,) I am inclined to personally disbelieve the Baphomet accusation.
With all the conjecture and speculation about the Masons, it is rare to have any personally verifiable fact relating to the fraternity. And so, to close, the author will share a true family story about an experience her mother had with a bona-fide Freemason occult ritual.
My maternal grandfather was a Freemason. My mother does not think he was very “high up” and remembers him only involved to the extent of a newsletter correspondence course (though how many little girls know the full nature of their father’s nocturnal activities?)
As my mother remembers it, she was around nine years old, when her father asked her to come “help him with something.” She entered his bedroom, which was darkened by closed blinds, a single candle lit on the left-hand corner of his vanity mirror. Without further explanation, her father sat down in the corner of the room and asked her simply to gaze into the mirror.
Fifteen or twenty minutes later, my mom was bored out of her nine-year-old mind. Just as she was thinking about how much she’d rather be playing outside, her reflection in the glass suddenly transformed from a freckly nine year old visage into the head and shoulders of an unknown black woman in a turban. The image, she said, was as clear and real as her own reflection had been a few seconds before.
She screamed with surprise to see her own face replaced with a stranger’s. Her mother came running into the room, crying, “What are you doing with my child!” and with all the commotion, the image promptly disappeared.
My mother found out later it had been a Masonic exercise to see past lives — her father had been trying the exercise without success, and decided to see if it would have a better affect on a child without expectation.
*Addendum: I have been informed by a Mark Master Mason who read this post that this mirror exercise is not strictly Masonic. He himself has never heard of it, adding that there are some unsanctioned lodges, of which it may be a part of their catalogue. Also, he says, often the same type of people drawn to Masonry will dabble in other aspects of the occult. See comments.
Spaceships over Jerusalem
February 1, 2011 § 4 Comments
“To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational.” ~ Stephen Hawking
Although NASA’s recent discovery of a new kind of life (a bacteria that survives in conditions previously thought uninhabitable) was somewhat less “alien-life-y” than the rumors prefacing the announcement, talk of UFOs has been in the news lately, to an almost eerie degree, starting with Stephen Hawking’s recent announcement that we should not go looking for (or trying to contact) alien races, because:
“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach. If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”
Then, this January 28th , some remarkable footage emerged — extremely convincing, if you ask me, and yet to be debunked — videotaped by four separate witnesses.
The footage captures a light hovering oddly for some minutes over Jerusalem’s sacred Mount Zion & The Dome of the Rock, then quickly descending in a vertical drop, disappearing from sight & exiting in a shock of light. (In watching the video, the action starts after the first 55 seconds, so watch it for at least a minute plus, it’s worth it, I promise; very odd.)
According to Revelation, Mount Zion is where, at the end of time, the Second Coming of Jesus begins —and where the Kingdom of Heaven is supposed to be established as “The New Jerusalem” comes down out of the heavens onto the earth.
The Dome of the Rock is an ancient Islamic shrine, the significance of which stems from The Foundation Stone within its walls.
Also known as the “Pierced Stone,” this ancient enshrined rock has a small hole on the Southeastern corner that enters a cavern beneath the rock, known as the Well of Souls.
It is believed by some to have been the location of the Holy of Holies in the Temple, and is the holiest site in Judaism. Jewish tradition views it as the spiritual centerpoint of heaven and earth, and Jews, currently and historically, traditionally face the stone while praying.
Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad ascended heavenward from the Foundation Stone, and Jewish legends has it that the Ark of the Covenant is being stored there.
A veritable feast of conspiracy material! Substantive of theories connecting yesterday’s religious gods with today’s UFO sightings.
The place is charged & significant for the world’s most dominant religions. Quite a fancy place to make a show. And the question arises, since the place is so steeped in spiritual/paranormal legend: is it the first time?
“…As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.” Ezekiel 1:4 – 1:24
In a weird twist, Chinese National television Xinhua reported on January 4th 2011 that the Obama administration may be preparing to disclose government contact with extraterrestrials, on the eve of China President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the United States.
Online sources speculate that a cold war may be developing between leading nations in regards to who will disclose alien contact first, detailing that, while no leader wants to admit ET knowledge, they also may not want another nation to beat them to the punch.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Technology of the Gods!