Welcome to the Group-Home called Archived Material. Yes, we are going to overwhelm you with information.
So, you think you know God? I demanded of someone. Only the, someone was no one. The young man I was addressing was a prop in a dream. Our memories are filled with props waiting for our theatre directors to call them forth in an effort to express those emotions milling about within us. Sometimes those supporting roles are actually representations of you (Hartman & Zimberoff, 2012). Thus, I was demanding myself to reveal what I thought I knew about God.
Everybody knows about God and plenty more claim to know even more. I am referring to ministers, televangelists, and fundamentalists. Wait a moment. I’m one of those ministers. Fortunately, I know about as much as you do, probably less. What I do know, I want to share. In case, I know something that may be of interest to you. The question is what do they know? What are they telling us? When my children were young, I told them to pay attention to what a person does not say. The words they avoid often speak volumes. What is it these people don’t want us to know? What parts of the bible are they not quoting? What frightens them?
A friend, stops by every so often for some friendly banter. He attends one of the many Christian churches in anybody’s neighborhood. Normally, this wouldn’t have any effect on the tale being imparted. We don’t discuss religion, we discus beliefs. The gap between the two is enormous. Religion focuses on doctrine specific to a particular denomination. Beliefs have no such limitation. They tend to reflect the ideas a person is comfortable expressing. Ours happens to include religious views and ideas pertaining to those views. Occasionally, he’ll bring an associate, and then we talk religion, more specifically his associate’s religion. During one of these chance meetings, at least, that is what I choose to think, his associate initiated a conversation about what God wants from us.
God, he began, only wants us to follow his laws. There are more than the Ten Commandments.
God, I say, wants automatons. God does not want people to think for themselves.
You’re wrong, he quickly responded, he does want people to think for themselves. Suppose I rented a house from you, he continues, and I tore it up, leaving it in shambles. Would you be happy with that? No, he quickly answered for me, you wouldn't. You wouldn't because I didn't follow the rules. All God wants people to do is to follow his rules.
So, I repeated, God wants automatons.
No, he insisted, shaking his head.
Okay, I decided to use his example. Suppose I moved into one of your houses. I move in and make some improvements. I knock out a wall here, build an addition there, and make some other upgrades improving the value of the house. Would you be happy with that?
No, he declared I wouldn't.
Exactly, I said, proving my point, because I didn't follow your rules. Thus, God only wants those who follow his rules. He wants automatons.
A scornful look twisted his face. The person who brought him chuckled. I was not trying to make him look foolish. I merely pointed out how narrow his view of God was.
I would like to say a majority of Christian denominations does not teach this philosophy, but I would be wrong. Not because I have attended so many, but because I met many who attend. They teach God's desire is for us to follow his rules explicitly like the robots many of us protest. Automatons do exactly as they are instructed, or more correctly as they are programmed. We are to follow one program, God’s program. Of course, what they don’t tell us is that we are to follow their version of God’s program, not God’s program. There version is separation. They want us to separate ourselves from those who are not like them. Never mind, they all use the same book. Forget God created individuals. Don’t think for one moment God intended for us to be exactly alike.
What Christian leaders do not teach, or even speak about, is what Jesus tried to teach in the Gospel of John. We are all Gods! Yes, We are all Gods. The problem is we don’t act like God. Why would Jesus say something like that, he who was a devout follower of his religion? That's blasphemy, they said, just as many do today. The only blasphemy committed is cursing, maiming, and otherwise maligning those who are different. The summation of the commandments given by Jesus was to love others as you love yourself. I believe the translation is closer to treat others, as you would have others treat you. After all, if we are to leave love in the equation, this leaves the door open for a variety of abuses in the name of Love. By adopting the words, treat others, we would not be allowed to hate Muslims, or Buddhists, or pagans. We would not be allowed to maim homosexuals, or to bully others into submission. We would not be allowed to ridicule those whose skin is a different color, or who see the world differently. When Jesus said, is it not written you are all Gods; he may have been referring to an event in Genesis where they, Gods (yes, plural) said, ‘Lo, they have become like us! To know good from evil.’ Think about this. We know good from evil. Yet, many claim another’s version of good and evil, when in reality they have no clue. Their claim of innocence is found in their pretense of ignorance. What about you, do you know good from evil, or do you prefer another’s definition? Are you good or evil? Perhaps you are somewhere in between, like the rest of us.
To know God is not to go within. To know God is to know you. Do you know yourself? Do you accept and claim the beliefs of others? Are those who call upon their depiction of God any less? Do you call upon another’s idealization of God? Is homosexuality a crime against nature, when God created them to be who they are? Is it truly a magnanimous gesture to belittle yourself, while mocking others? Does any of this disturb you? I hope it does, because more Gods need to be present. It’s not about what is right or wrong. It’s about being responsible and accountable. It's not about recognizing what is good or evil in others. It is about recognizing who others are. We are God. Accept it. Stop hiding behind someone else’s misconception. Get behind your own and be willing to shape it as needed.
Hartman, D., & Zimberoff, D. (2012). REM and non-REM dreams: "Dreaming without the dreamer.". Journal of Heart-Centered Therapies, 15(2), 27-52.
What is it like being an adult? Not the kind of question I would expect from a thirteen-year child whose main concerns were bullies and homework. He also happened to be my client. The question evoked all sorts of responses and images. Taking me to a time when I was a teenager daydreaming about it would be like being an adult. Walking home from junior-high school, I would say to myself, “I can’t wait until I’m an adult. Then I can do anything I want. No more school.” What a joke that turned out to be. I ended up going back to school several times. If someone wants to stay on top of their game, they needed to continue improving their skills. People become habitually unemployed. In the first ten years as an employable member of society, I would have to take off my shoes to count how many times I was without work. Often, people find themselves in this predicament is because they have adopted the attitude that school is out forever. This only works for Alice Cooper. When a person chooses to be this shortsighted, they are placing severe limitations on their potential. I had better take this young man’s question seriously, because I want him to reach his potential.
I could tell him as an adult, you can do what you want, only that is a myth. For someone to do what they want to do, they often have to do things they do not want to do. Paying bills and taxes are things no one wants to do. People don’t always realize that paying bills is a good thing; it means you are earning money. We pay bills because we want to do the things we enjoy. We pay taxes because we want protection. We pay taxes because we want to help those in need. At the same time, we don’t want to pay taxes because those in charge squander our hard-earned money. Is this what it means to be an adult? Is this what I wanted to impart to this child?
Then I began hearing some of the smart ass comments adults like throw out, thinking they are cute. ‘You pay taxes, and then you die.’ ‘Life’s a bitch. As some of these comments voiced themselves, I remember the one thing I tried to teach my children, to think. When one did something he or she knew was wrong, if the child could convince me it was the right thing to do, no punishment was given. If I was not convinced…well, you know what followed. I didn’t swat their butts or send them to bed without supper. I explained why I their explanation was unacceptable. No, the lecture was not the punishment. I asked them open-ended questions. This allowed them to arrive at a better solution on their own. This must have worked, because my son, who was eight or nine at the time, came up with a good reason for being late.
At the time, I lived in a mobile home community. Like any other kid, my three liked to roam the park and mingle. During the summer, night rolls in around 9:30 and they needed to be in by 8:30. My son, who is also the oldest, came home one evening around ten o’clock. As soon as he closed the door, he began his explanation.
“Sorry, I’m late, dad,” he began as he caught his breath, “but I couldn’t leave.”
He must have run home. “Why?” I asked.
“Mrs. Carlson asked me if I would watch her kids while she went to the store. She was late getting back.”
He was confident in his response. “Why didn’t you come and tell me before she left?” I challenged.
“She said she would only be gone an hour.” He offered. Then added, “She left around seven. I thought she would be back in time.”
“Couldn’t you have walked over here with them?” I continued. The park was only three blocks and isolated. I lived in the middle, which meant that traffic was not a problem.
“She had already put them to bed.” He said defensively. “They’re only three and four.”
I thought about it for a moment. “Good enough.” I decided. “You did the right thing. Next time someone asks you to watch their kids,” I added, “check with me first.” No punishment. I hadn’t forgotten what my kids were like when they were small. Even a short walk around the house can give them enough time to get into some mischief. I was impressed. Of the three, he was the only one who thought before acting. It didn’t stop him from making mistakes, but at least they were not as bad as they could have been.
My answer to my client was, “Being an adult is being accountable for your actions. Being an adult is being responsible for what you do. Unfortunately, many adults blame others for their situations when most of the time it was a lack of action on their part. At least," I added, “that has been my observation.”
In all of our discussions concerning the mind, we’ve assumed it is impervious to disease and other forms of debilitation. Through the history of religion and metaphysics, the mind is believed to be an extension of the brain, as it should be. We’ve taken the position that those we admire are released from their mental affliction when vacating the body. We conveniently ignore the belief when those we despise depart. Doesn't this manner of thinking create a paradox?
We assume much. When following the philosophy of as above, so below, we assume it is addressing a spiritual realm and our physical reality. The assumption is true, if they are mirrored realities. One example of this lies with the Mesopotamian belief if the social order of the netherworld mirrored the physical world. A paradox appears with this assumption. Which reality is being mirrored? For clarity, spiritual, which obviously refers to those realms of consciousness not pertaining to what we loosely refer to as reality, refers to spirit. Spirit, originally indicated breath, which is also connected to the life force. Thus, the spiritual realm is the realm of our life force because spirit is the life force or breath of life.
Many assume this is the common reality, the one in which you are reading this dissertation. This reality is the reflection and the true reality it that of spirit. Some claim we descended from the spiritual plane in order to have an experience. In order to experience, one must exist. Thus, the physical domain exists, but so does the spiritual one if we descended. Others propose we exist in misshapen forms, meaning our bodies are deformed, but our spiritual aspect is perfect. Physics suggest form gives shape to the intangible and that the intangible moves form. We may imply that the shape our bodies reflect is the condition of the spirit occupying it. What does this say about the spirit? Does this imply the spirit is diseased and the mind a reflection of spirit? Can the mind or spirit be diseased before entering a vessel?
We may continue to hold onto the belief that when we expire, we enter into a state of perfection. However, we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we did not consider the possibility of the existence of perfection being an illusion. Given our level of understanding, perfection may actually be the disease. The norm or the acceptable condition of existence at any level is based on a statistical equation of a majority of collective imperfections. We are imperfect because none of us is exactly alike. For something to be the same there must be something with which to compare. Therefore, the mind has the same possibility of becoming as diseased as the body it inhabits. The reason for this is nothing is perfect. All things are in a continual state of flux, or by our standard, diseased. Given this revelation, perfection is imperfection. Perfection, by our standard, is an unnatural condition.
Consequently, the mind can also be healed because the body can be healed. The true difficulty lies in discerning the disease from the natural condition. This is not as elusive as one may think. We know through observations in nature that Dobermans, Collies, Beagles, Tabby’s and the like can live together in peace. Observations also reveal homosexuality lies within the realm of nature. Yet, many chose to blind themselves of the natural order, in favor of their own. By substituting their form of a natural order, they create a paradox within their religious belief.
If this reality shapes the reality to come, then, as some suggest, we may have good cause to be afraid. We struggle to make sense of senselessness. We do not choose the common reality as the model reality. We do not choose to be exclusive in our beliefs and lifestyles. We are conditioned to accept as fact. I hope the common reality is not the definitive one. I believe a truer reality exists in blending what we term as the common reality and the reality of spirit, or life force.
For some, the inner reality is the true reality. Within this reality, no space is allotted to exclusive ideals, if we choose. The inner reality is the one in which each of us creates. Our inner reality is the reality we choose to express or to mask. We define our inner reality, whereas the common reality perceives a small portion of us. If our inner reality is the model, then the reflection is more accurate. What if our individual realities are the reflection?
In the Gnostic writing, The Hypostasis of the Archons, Samael created humankind from the Earth, with mud after a reflection. In this instance, Sophia Pistis was the model, she who emerged from the Absolute. This tradition follows a familiar path. We poor imperfect creations of a false god are trying to reach a state of incorruptibility. Every religion with Semitic roots follows this course. A very unsatisfying course, because incorruptibility is a myth. Perhaps I should say incorruptibility is a state of stagnation. Without change or evolution and devolution, a state of suspension exists.
There is the more naturalistic belief, which is more concerned with the continuity of life without our precepts of religion. Consider the Ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Mesoamerica. In all three societies, the continuation of life after the expiration of the body was natural part of the flow of creation. In the city-states of Mesopotamia, the inhabitants believed the social order of the netherworld mimicked that of world above. Ancient Egyptians believed life continued in the tomb. As they transitioned from the Old Kingdome to the Middle Kingdom and beyond, the City of the Dead became a continuation of this world. The Inca Empire, as it grew adopted the local practices of those conquered. They preserved their loved ones, included them in celebrations, and sought advice from them. This gives the adage of as above, so below a more accurate definition, but does not determine which is being reflected.
You may be wondering what this has to do with a diseased mind prior to transition; I know I am. In the scheme of nature, life is a continuous flow. In the eyes of the Hindu and Buddhist, we move from one bardo to the next or from one experience to the next. Bardos are conditions the soul experiences as it moves from birth to death and death to birth. Health is a reflection of our overall harmony or disharmony with the environment. Thus, once harmony is restored, so is the condition of the mind. Even when the brain falls out of harmony with the body and is beset by disease, upon expiration, harmony may be re-established. Does this mean that when a killer is put to death, they are no longer a killer while they journey towards the next incarnation? I do not believe so. The exceptions, I suspect, would be if the incident were enacted in a fit of anger. During that time, they are in disharmony with themselves. Once they calm down, harmony is restored. I do not believe guilt is extinguished upon death either. I suspect it follows until we have found a way to reconcile the deed.
Thus, a diseased mind is one in disharmony. A psychopath acting in accordance with their nature is not diseased. However, a person acting in a fit of rage is not acting in accordance with their nature. Which mind would be diseased?
 (Barrett, 2007)
 (Bahm, 1964)
 (Lipton & Bhaerman, 2009)
 Gender identity based on brain structure may be more accurate than physical anatomy (Vangerhorst, 2015).
 (The Hypostasis of the Archons, 1984)
 (Barrett, 2007)
 (Assmann, 2002)
 (Rosso, 2014)
 (Mishlove, 1975)
 (Lipton & Bhaerman, 2009)
We have been conditioned to the idea that success is dependent upon being different from the competition. While some aspects of this maybe true, the majority of it is false. Many in the service sector tend to pick a niche because that is what separates them from the rest. Separation is recommended. The idea they present is separateness. In order to be individuals, we must be different from the rest. This is only partly true.
Alice Bailey writes, “We must relinquish all that holds [us] away from the central reality (p. 41; par. 1).” Two questions come to mind. The first, what is holding us back from the central reality? The second, and more relevant is, what is the central reality? The central reality is what lies at the center of all realities. Yes, I said all realities because one reality imposes upon another and so on. The first reality that may come to mind is also the least important, which is the common reality. The common reality is something Charles Tart refers to as the consensus of reality. The common reality refers to the reality we all agree upon for communication. Meaning, we all agree that the substance jutting up from the soil is green, is comfortable to walk upon, should only grow to a certain length before being trimmed, and is called grass. Whether it is Kentucky Blue Grass or crab grass is irrelevant. This is what we have been conditioned to accept as the only reality that matters. As Tart said, this reality is only convenient for communicating with others. The more important reality is the inner reality. Here we determine if we have value, are able to accomplish an act, or are in need of assistance. This is not the central reality. The other realities enhance our experience of the central reality.
For much of our lives we have been conditioned to duality. I am not referring to the idea of good, bad, or any of its derivatives. Dualism is couched in an either or concept. A thing or idea being either this or something else is false, no matter how it is presented. This is the common reality and often the inner reality we contend with every day, but it is not the central reality. These realities form what Besant calls the great hearsay of separateness.
The central reality is the flow of life or of nature. Some may prefer to use the word God. Regardless of how you choose to describe it, the label has no bearing upon what it is. The central reality simply is, which is now. Unfortunately, before we can truly experience, we must separate ourselves from the other realities.
We must separate ourselves from the murmurings of society. Given the happenings in the world of today, or any day, some would claim these murmurings are from the media or political rhetoric from a dysfunctional system of government or a fragmented culture. They are wrong. These are not murmurs, but declarations and emotional evocations. Look beyond the obvious. A murmur is the voice of secrecy, implicit yearning, voices no one lays claim to, but all heed to. These murmurs lie within and without and influence our way of thinking. They are our beliefs. They are what hold us back. Our inner reality is composed of what others have told us and what our culture has led us to embrace.
One of the drawbacks of a common reality is that culture ultimately controls it. Culture, family, and friends impart what is considered acceptable and what is not. Worse, the common reality is divided according to caste, career, religion, interpretations of lifestyle, and the list goes on. Reality has been sharply defined as what is acceptable and not acceptable, and at the same time, what is acceptable is often exchanged for what is non-acceptable. Yet, the division remains constant. This system of beliefs has remained in place since the first being declared themselves as being above all others.
Such declarations should not be confused with leadership. Leaders are needed to provide direction to what can easily become chaos. Those setting themselves above others are often not about direction, but about control. The control of others, often mistaken for leadership, but is not leadership. This is about recognizing what holds us back from the central reality.
Before we understand what is holding us back, we must determine if we are being held back. Annie Besant tells us we are preventing ourselves from experiencing the central reality. What is the central reality? Before a separation can occur, there must first be something in which to be separated. Let us once again gaze at the foundation of duality. Dual is a simpler way of expressing two. The best way to express dualism is through a balance. In order for a balance to occur there must be opposition. In the case of the scale, there is the weight and the item being weighed against it. If hamburger is $2.39 a pound, the weight is one pound and the hamburger must be equal to the weight in order to collect the $2.39. Apply this same concept to everything. In order to recognize an event as being bad, we must first have something to compare it with, which would be an event labeled as good. When we apply this to everything, we end up with a system based on either/or. The central reality or the center reality is one not divided.
A reality where there is no division is one in which all things flow. To some, this flow may appear to have purpose, and to others none is perceived. Purpose has no meaning in the center because everything is flowing outward. Everything simply is.
The next task set before us is how to experience the central reality. This is very difficult because we must separate ourselves. Throughout this writing, I have demonstrated how separateness is not very conducive, but in order to experience a single event, all that may deter us must be temporarily devalued. We must isolate ourselves from the illusions of the common reality. The illusion does not lie with agreeing what grass is, but in the concept of the division of everything. The illusion is our beliefs. They are the intangible boundaries exerting tangible limitations. After relinquishing these, we must look at the illusions we have created within our inner reality. Not only must we let go of the idea of worthlessness, but also the idea of being worthy. Only then can we understand we are true beings. Only then do we realize that all are one. The illusions of beliefs and false concepts no longer hold us. By experiencing the singleness of reality do we understand the tools used by others and ourselves while navigating our realities. Once we have experienced this do we gain “life more abundantly (p. 41; par. 1).”
We have been conditioned to believe this single source of all is unattainable in this life. This is wrong. We can achieve this connection with the source, with the Divine, or with God with effort. Disposing of those conceptions holding us back is no easy task and must be done with diligence. However, the rewards from such an endeavor are equal to what many of today’s religions suggest after we have expired.
The first step is to separate ourselves from tomorrow and yesterday. We must also separate ourselves from today. The central reality is that point from which all radiate. Everything radiates from the now.
While reading Andrew Jackson Davis’ The Great Harmonia, I was struck by his disagreement about our having free-will. He states, if this were true; free-will would be a natural part of humanity. We should possess free-will even before occupying this body; before birth. Many have implied we select the family we are born into and a course of development; much the same way a teacher lays out a lesson plan. This is reminiscent of public schools and parents desperately trying to condition children for a select version of reality. Namely, their narrow version. Davis asks the same questions I have asked. Why would someone choose to occupy a form that is not only burdensome, but also abhorrent? This is akin to saying I choose to be poverty stricken. I choose to be mentally disfigured. I choose to be despised and spit upon. If I chose these conditions, why do I struggle against them? I struggle, not because I chose events such as these as lessons in acceptance or tolerance. I struggle because I am conditioned to do so. Is there freewill in conditioning?
Davis suggests this philosophy came about due to a belief of superiority over nature. Humanity has asserted itself as the dominant species of the planet. Humankind is the only species living in disharmony with each other, with nature, and with what they call the Divine. Humankind separates itself from all it deems inferior.
The fallacy of free-will is firmly planted within the most conflicting institution ever created. Religion professes divinity, enforces conformity, and curses nature, all in a single breath. Religion created the concept of free-will as a means to capture us, to capture our imagination, and to capture our desire to be something other than what we are; children of the Divine, as are all creatures. Before determining what free-will is, we must remind ourselves what it is not.
Religious history, including the present, demands conformity to its doctrines because its progenitors understood power. Power is held in the means to influence others, even to the point of controlling them. Leadership is about the manipulation of others, whether covertly or overtly; whether it is beneficial or detrimental. We are all leaders and followers. We have all been manipulators and manipulated. We have all been conditioned to the same rules. Even the heretics and infidels have been conditioned to behave as they do. Religion has never been about God, just as politics have never been about serving the needs of the people. They have always been about wielding power. The wielding of power is not corrupt, just as power is not corrupt. If it were so, then Jesus would be the devil.
Never has religion praised anything as remote as divinity. In all instances, the representative of the Divine has always been the one making the rules. The doctrines they espouse are filled with naught but condemnations, demands, exhortations, and separation. Its authors boast of the need for the separation of man from God and of the separation from those deemed unclean. The greatest fallacy of all is the fall from grace. Theologians would have us believe perpetual blindness is blessedness. They would have us believe that utter dependency is far greater than any semblance of independence.
Consider this. In the beginning, God created all manner of creatures, at least those deemed as being good. The last creature formed was a human. We were the last. Does that mean we are his best creation, or did he know of our penchant for destruction? Perhaps, we were last because we were created in God’s image. Nay, I say. We were not the last to be created because God still creates, though not in the fashion many will admit. The separatists have deemed anything created through the hands of man as being perverse. Yet, in the same breath they praise the hand of God working through others.
If ever we fell from a state of grace, it would have been from the harmony of existence. Our state of grace would be one of harmony. The fall, if such a fall took place, was not in rebellion, because behaviors have not changed in any noticeable aspect throughout history. Hatred, fear, joy, and curiosity are still with us.
Our fall from grace, if we fell at all, was through jealousy. Our fall was not because of disobedience, but through the fear of others. Remember those words in Genesis. Lo, they have become like us; to know good from evil. To know good from evil a person must possess a sense of responsibility, a sense of awareness. Without such, we would not be able to judge our actions. We surpassed their expectations; their conditioning. If we attained freewill, it was through the refusal to conform; the refusal to choose ignorance. Ah hah, if this were freewill, then religion deters us from such a realization.
Did we have freewill while kept in the pen called Eden? Did we stumble upon freewill in our rebellion? Freewill came when we discovered choice. Hence the words, to know good, from evil.
Freewill is not such a fallacy after all. Freewill is evil; an evil we need to be purged of. Despite being marginalized for non-conformity, those exercising freewill have banded together to oppose the practice of conformity by gathering with those of like minds; by rejecting those who do not conform to their views, to their doctrines. They have separated themselves, just as the religious ones have separated themselves.
Through this exposition, I have discovered where freewill exists. Freewill thrives in those who follow no such doctrines of separation. Freewill harbors with those who do not anchor themselves in convention. Freewill exists within harmony. For harmony has no doctrine, no belief. Harmony simply is. Harmony responds and initiates simultaneously.
Earth, Terra demands from all a harmonious existence. She demands and enforces this simple rule in a variety of ways. The harmony of nature resides in the winds racing from high pressure to low pressure, pushing clouds harboring particles of water gathered from below, particles forced upward due to the heat of the sun, which spews out an influx of gathered debris drawn irresistibly to it, and so on. This is how the harmony of nature, of the universe, of the cosmos is displayed. However, in our esteemed wisdom and high intellect, we resist.
Nowhere in our history has mankind existed in harmony with the elements nor with his fellow beings. If they act outside of established norms, they are condemned and made examples. Their exercise of freewill is considered an abomination. Those who act without regard are exercising freewill. Those who do not conform are exercising free will. We may fail to understand their motivation, but they fail to understand ours. By our societal standards, they suffer from a disability. They are emotionally blind (Walsh & Wu, 2008). Beings who often possess great intelligence fail to understand the one emotion humanity has deemed superior. Even those who seek to condemn others do not understand that one emotion. Yet, those who fail to comprehend emotions according to society are condemned. They are not an anomaly of nature. They are not aberrations; for they have existed from the moment mankind (Walsh & Wu, 2008) asserted itself. Who are these bold creatures? We call them sociopaths. We call them homosexuals. We call them transgenders. We call them abominations. They exist in all races in all creatures. Their greatest crime is not a failure to comprehend love, because who does. Their greatest crime is not conforming to society’s maligned version of God. Their greatest crime is the same as the rest, failing to exist in harmony.
From the time we are conceived, we are conditioned to conform (Lipton & Bhaerman, 2009). The subconscious mind begins to form and receives its programing while still in the uterus. All those within the mother’s social group begin to shape the developing child’s view of the world long before entering it. What is considered right and wrong is not left up to the developing child. Rather, it is laid out before it. The only freedoms allowed are the nuances later applied. Rules are not exercises in freewill. Rules are abstract boundaries occupying the same space as the borders of country states. Rules allow us to exist in an artificial state of harmony. These abstractions allow us to progress as individuals and as a species.
The case for the fallacy of freewill among the majority of humankind has been laid out by John B. Watson, a founder of behaviorism (Goodwin, 2005). With the help of Rosalie Raynor, he tested the theory of emotional conditioning with a nine-month-old child called Albert B. Together, they conditioned the child to react with fear and possibly horror to objects having white fur on them. The process was so complete; the child had become fearful of Watson, who had grown a white beard. Of course, this unintended consequence cast a veil of doubt on the entire hypothesis. At the same time, its questionability encourages the idea of those able to resist such overt conditioning may possess freewill.
Regardless, the only act of freewill the general populace possesses is how they chose to react to stimuli and circumstance. The only freewill we have is the ability to change the conditions of our conditioning. When we realize the fallacy of freewill and recognize the power of culture and of society, we can choose harmony or disharmony. Harmony is not about me or you, or any other person or creature in existence. Harmony is not about conformity. We can exist in harmony with ourselves because no one else shares our body to cause us distress. Only when we become participants in social activities, do we have the power to achieve harmony. For it is only within a group or an environment can harmony exist. Harmony requires at least two persons. Harmony is us; you and I. Harmony is not balance. Harmony is the tide that comes in, washing away everything in its path. Harmony is the seedlings dislodging the soil. Harmony is the space in between storms. Harmony is the wind swirling about city buildings. Freewill is how we react. Free will is not a God given right. Free will is not a natural part of humanity. Free will is learning how to bend the rules.
Goodwin, C. J. (2005). History of Modern Psychology (2 ed.). Hobeken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Lipton, B., & Bhaerman, S. (2009). Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a way to get there from here). New York: Hayhouse.
Walsh, A., & Wu, H. (2008). Differentiating antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, and sociopathy: Evolutionary, genetic, neurological, adn sociological considerations. Criminal Justice Studies, 21(2), 135-152. Retrieved May 9, 2014 from Criminal Justice Abstracts database.
Duty demands serious analysis and investigation
of all conspicuous subjects. Truth may be found in the following Revelation:
Nature must be the standard by which all men may judge whether the truths
therein contained, are pure, practical, and elevating. This is from Andrew
Jackson Davis’ The Great Harmonia.
Science is about investigation and categorization. Life demands inquiries from those who partake of its sustenance. For only through understanding does one begin to come into the harmony of the subtle energies flowing about us. This has nothing to do with sunrise or sunset; nor the rains that fall from the sky and the winds that suck it up again. Inquiries should be directed at why we experience anger, why does one follow the sensual pleasures tantalizing the mind. Why do we lay blame at the feet of another while puffing our breasts with pride? Such experiences are those provided by Life. The first step in the process is the investigation of ideas, accusations, barbs cast upon us in attempts to belittle our personas. Such influences provide cause for protecting our self-esteem. Fortifications should not be in the way sarcasm or obtuse remarks that fail to pierce even the most fragile battlements. Such behavior offers little in the way of wisdom. Thus, we must seek protection through the skills of the investigator. We must explore the avenues of not only our thoughts, but also the ideas and disturbing claims of others. Such actions save us from the embarrassment of deception and misinformation of others.
I shall relate an example. A friend came to me with a grievance about the actions of the leaders of an organization of which we were associates. She encouraged me to write a letter of complaint. I did. This prompted those accused to discuss the incident. This was good. However, when the topic was broached, she and her friend left the meeting. Can you guess why they left? They had failed to provide the correct information. Their information was biased towards their agenda. I was embarrassed by my accusations. If I had taken time to investigate, I would have discovered the flaw of my endeavor and the purpose of theirs. My purpose was to chastise, I had not bothered to inquire after theirs. The lesson learned was mighty. The friend’s purpose remains hidden.
Ask questions. Do not trust the words of others, even if you trust the one speaking them. I trusted the friend. She was not wrong, only caught up in the desires of another. Investigating claims will not cause a trusted friend to turn against you, unless their purpose is deception. On the contrary, such inspection will confirm their trust in you. Those believing they are truthful are not afraid of scrutiny, and may welcome it. Those purposefully being distrustful will side step or avoid questions put to them. At the very least, they give the impression of answering while having said nothing at all. They may even become angry.
Andrew Jackson Davis wrote, (The Great Harmonia) we have a duty to investigate anything considered conspicuous. Anything considered odd to you, does not necessarily mean it is odd to others. You have no sway over what they hear or see, how they choose to perceive what they hear and see, or how they chose to react. You have an obligation to question and determine what is misleading, embellished, or correct the information being put forth. This is called due diligence.
Through observation, we determine what is true and what is false. I believe someone wrote, you will know others through their works. Many expound on topics they know little about, and fill themselves with self-importance through embellishment. We call them politicians, scammers, manipulators, and other more offensive labels. Observation is not only through the eyes, but also through the senses. Sensations of creepiness, nausea, distress, and unease are all indications something is amiss. Observation can reveal many truths, and you have an obligation to know truth.
Duty demands serious analysis and investigation of all conspicuous subjects and topics. Truth may be found in the following Revelation: “Nature must be the standard by which all may judge whether the truths contained are pure, practical, and elevating.” Nature does not have an agenda. Thus, nature will provide all that we seek. However, we must have a desire to know.
We know energy simply exists, because energy has no beginning, and no end. At least, nothing we can point at and say this is where it began. One might say energy is perpetual. Granting that energy and power are different, which they are, can power be perpetual?
What is power? Power is the ability to influence (Haug, 1999). Many of us have watched our peers rise to a status of power, then fall from status only to rise again. Therefore, power is not the same as energy; at least not in the social arena. However, the two are intimately related.
The fuel in our vehicles is energy. This we all know. When burned in the engine’s cylinders, part of the energy is used for power and the balance is ported out as exhaust. However, the engine power needs to be converted back into energy in order to move the vehicle. Thus, energy is again converted to power through the transmission and the process transferred through the drive train.
Our bodies are similar transfer systems converting energy into power. The exception is the mind because we do not actually know what fuels the mind. We know the nature of mind is to generate ideas, but we don’t know where the fuel comes from, barring philosophical and religious explanations. Is the mind fueled through the chakra energy system? Is the mind merely another functional aspect of the brain, making it almost an accident of nature? I seriously doubt this. We assume the mind receives its energy through the brain, and we will leave it at that.
The body has been labeled a vehicle, a vessel, and a temple. All of these descriptions are metaphors for something we should be looking after. As with their conventional applications, they are composed of conversion points. They transfer energy into power and back again until the goal is achieved. These conversion points do not identify nor define power. Power is identify by its application and judgment of the observer. A hammer transfers the energy of a swing into a force that drives a nail into a board. Without a swing, the hammer serves no purpose. It is not even aesthetically appealing. The mind, without the brain, serves no purpose; at least, not in the conventional sense. Mystics tell us mind survives the expiration of the body, but it requires a body in order to effect change within the physical plane.
Power lies not only with humans, but also within every spark of intelligence, including those intelligences not recognized. Only through intelligence can power be applied in a fashion considered purposefully beneficial or detrimental to humanity. Intelligence and perhaps wisdom dwells within every creature and virus, regardless of form. Even the Universe is alive; as is the Earth. The universe, and subsequently the planet, is both male and female, energy and power, creativity and destruction. This is the nature of life. This is the nature of power. Creation and destruction are of equal consequence. Every manner of intelligence creates and destroys in a single blow. Every living creature is a vessel of power. Creation is perpetual because it is energy, and because it is intimately connected with power. Without energy, power does not exist. Just as without power, energy has no purpose.
Power, like energy is without duality. Only we decide if any event is of a positive or negative value. Power and energy are of a single nature.Works Cited
Haug, I. E. (1999). Boundaries and the use and misue of power and authority: Ethical complesities for clergy psychotherapists. Journal of Counseling & Development, 77(4), 411.
Nature is an Expression of God
2012 was supposed to be a game
changer in the spiritual communities. We were supposed to shift into the fifth
dimension, only a few people understood what that meant. An existence more
closely aligned with conscious awareness. The populace was supposed to experience
some great changes. Much of what was rumored went the same way as the computer
crash of the 2000 New Year – lame.
I’m not sure what 2012 signified. I only hear stories. A prominent tale is the reconciliation of female energy, more like its return to power. Periodically I attended a metaphysical group. The women exclaimed how male energy is vehemently opposed to such an event. As I sat listening to the discussion, they defined male energy. Male energy is me. Male energy is the horrible deeds men bestow unto hapless females, children, and non-aggressive males. Oh, they say present company excluded, but am I? They spoke of some form of abuse at the hands of men, and blamed all men for their torment. I remained quiet in my somberness. Not a word of the torture experienced at the hands of their sisters. Not a word about the verbal and emotional abuse inflicted upon me by female counterparts. Not a whisper of what their ilk has taken away. For them, the troubles besetting the world are due to the actions of men. I don’t deny their claim; only question their validity. They, who speak of being non-judgmental passing judgment based on their experience. The stance taken by these women put men at odd with them because of the distrust they hold onto. The question I would put to them is, if this is a time to reconcile male and female energy, why do they cling to the assertion of female power. What if the idea of reconciling gender energies took a more visible format?
Many of the creation myths indicate a single source as the progenitor of human life. From this single source came another. From this other source came awareness, came self-awareness. Up to this point, nothing existed with which to compare itself with, and even then, the first source remained oblivious of itself. Only the second source was aware of itself because of the first source. Most automatically assign the second source the role of female and the first source male. They are wrong. The first source remains intact, even today. The second source, I shall refer to as Sophia, after the Gnostic creation myth, withdrew herself from the first source, which, according to Gnostic tradition is the Absolute. A third form was created. With the aid of the Absolute, Sophia brought forth a third being, which is actually the second. The second entity to extract itself was called the Thrice-Blessed One; also known as the Logos. Through this, thrice blessed one all things are created. The Thrice-Blessed One is better known as Jesus, or the word, which is Logos. This is, of course, according to legend, and may also, incorrect. From the source, did Sophia and the Thrice Blessed One (whom we shall call Michael) create. The source contains both forces, supporting Sophia and Michael. The source is of both sexes and no sex at all. Thus, having mo thing to compare itself to, Sophia would be male and female. Sophia, having only the Absolute to compare herself to, created Michael, who also would have had both genitalia. Even if God created man and woman, if male and female were not already present, Adam and Eve would be of dual sexes. This would mean that God was/is not alone.
Continuing with the myth, suppose life, meaning intelligent life, descended from a single being, or more precisely, beings possessing both sexes; both energies. Suppose they were hermaphrodites. From this race of dual sexuality mutations occurred. The mutation would have been a being of only one sex. We will call this first mutation, Seth. Having no one to partner with, Seth mated with the hermaphrodites.
Take a moment to steel yourself as this image invades the dualistic morals of a conditioned mind. We have presented a male participating in sexual play with others who not only possess vaginas, but also sport penises. Perhaps the very idea of such beings having existed turns the mind against itself. Imagine people resembling our neighbors exhibiting a mixture of male and female attributes moving about as though nothing were amiss. How would they be able to tell each other apart? More precisely, how would they refer to each other? Perhaps they would not need such identifiers as sir and madam. What could be more troubling than this?
Eventually, a second mutation occurred, we’ll call this one Lilith, who, most likely, also partnered with dual-sex beings. Perhaps they were the first of many to exist who were not hermaphrodites, but were androgynous. They appeared as a mixture of male and female attributes having only one sex. Evolution is not about growth, but change. These changes occur in the form of mutations within energetic systems. In regards to organisms, the alteration of cells does not necessarily end in failure or death. On the contrary, the result is an altered version of the original (Sheldrake, 2009). Thus, we can assume that after the second, they became a more common occurrence. Humans, today, are born with anywhere from 50 to 100 mutations not present in parents (Holmes, 2014). This may also explain the rise in genetic diseases. As the fetal mortality rate falls and healthcare improves, more people with these mutations are surviving and passing them along.
Another explanation may exist. Some species of amphibians are able to change their sex. Perhaps our progenitors were able to change sexes as the need arose. They could also have been so evolved they could alter their sex at will. In this instance, I am not referring to genitalia, but to fertilization. The practice of an egg requiring a fertilizing component has not been dismissed. A variety of mollusks and fish are capable of self-fertilization. If a race of beings were to have this capability, copulation may not have been necessary.
Imagine beings such as these traversing the energetic realms. Beings not bound by the roles of female and male. Yet, a mutation occurred resulting in Seth’s existence. He may not have possessed the ability to alter his sex and Lilith would not have either. They were mutations. The ability to alter their sex would have required an attribute that may have failed to develop. Such individuals would be able to exist within their society forming a sub-culture. Of course, they may have suffered similar social ills as we. Any who do not conform to conditioned expectations are ostracized.
A division of genitalia is something easily detected. Changes within the body are much harder to discover. Brain structure and chemistry are covert alterations, escaping scrutiny. If not for their behavior, none would notice the subtle shifts in their demeanor. We must recognize these changes. These alterations carry the most weight. A penis with the brain chemicals of a female is akin to a turkey disguised as ham. It may look like ham, but it is still turkey.
The homosexual male’s brain structure is more like a female (Vanderhorst, 2015). This is contrary to the person’s physical appearance. For the ignorant, appearance is all that matters. If it looks like a man, then it must be a man. Not only can the brain structure influence a genetically related lifestyle, but hormonal saturation can as well. Women considered overly aggressive, may have been exposed to excess androgen in the womb (Servin, Nordenstrom, Larsson, & Bohlin, 2003).
What many people assume to be choice may be natural to them and preferred. A same sex lifestyle is just as natural some as a heterosexual lifestyle is to others. Both are a normal condition of life. Can any successfully ignore their genetic programming? Can a person choose not to be allergic to peanuts? Perhaps some can, but most likely only to a degree. Heterosexuals can choose to engage in homosexual activities just as homosexuals can choose to engage in heterosexual activities, but forcing them to do so may be debilitating, mentally and emotionally. Lifestyle, like traits, is more stable. Some can successfully blend lifestyles. For a growing number of people, this is inconsequential. For those indoctrinated in certain belief systems, this can be horrendous.
The physical signs are what doctors and parents have relied upon for decades. In a hermaphroditic society whose culture is similar our own, those presenting with only one sex apparatus would be the equivalent of those presenting with both sex apparatuses, marginalized. At first, they would be considered oddities of nature. As their numbers increase, the general population becomes fearful and those oddities become aberrations of nature. What happens to such oddities? The ruling population attempts to destroy them until their numbers begin to equalize and they begin to accept each other.
In our society, those presenting with both genitalia are arbitrarily assigned a sex. In some part of the world, hermaphrodites and chimeras (those with varying degrees of mixed genitalia) are common. Hermaphroditism occurs within around ten percent of the Western population. However, chimeras are more prevalent in Africa (Krstic, Smoljanic, Vukanic, Varinac, & Janjic, 2000). Some are allowed to live their lives without gender assignment. They often fill the role of females, including childbirth. The ovaries are often fully developed, while the testes are not (Krstic, Smoljanic, Vukanic, Varinac, & Janjic, 2000). Who’s to say there will ever be a hermaphrodite with testes fully developed as well as the ovaries?
As suggested at the beginning, a single progenitor of male and female energies– meaning a race of hermaphrodites – may have been the progenitors of humanity. They may have developed here, or have been visitors, depending on your pool of information. In any event, the odds of both ovaries and testes being fully functional is good; which in turn means the chances of it occurring again are good also. Presently, at least in the in United States, the population presents itself as being polarized. I say presents itself because the existence of transgenders has always existed. Early Native American societies used the term Two-spirit for those whose behaviors were outside of their obvious gender roles. In Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, those who did not seem to conform to their gender roles were called hajira (Vanderhorst, 2015). When certain characteristics were recognized, the parents adjusted the environment to accommodate them. Transgender/intersex acceptance in society existed in various cultures throughout early Europe, Middle East, Thailand, and the Dominican Republic to name a few (Vanderhorst, 2015). Only when a special interest or fundamentalist group came into power did this change.
When something new comes onto the market, the first order of business is how to handle the competition. The popular method is to crush the competition. A review of recent or ancient history demonstrates when ignorant people assume power; all that does not fit their limited view or poses a threat to their identity is destroyed without regard. Lifestyles may be one of those ideals not fitting within certain paradigms. The choice does not always reside with the individual. For some, homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality. If nature is an expression of God, then the problem resides with people, not God. The challenge people face when encountering gays, lesbians, and transgenders is the challenge to their belief system, which has little to do with God. There is no reconciliation of male and female energies. There is only the line. There is only the sand at the base of a crumbling system. There is only the struggle against change.
Combs, A., & Holland, M. (1996). Synchronicity: Science, Myth, and the Trickster (2 ed.). New York: Marlowe & Co.
Holmes, B. (2014). Stalled. New Scientist, 223(2983), 30-33.
Krstic, Z. D., Smoljanic, Z., Vukanic, D., Varinac, D., & Janjic, G. (2000). True hermaphroditism: 10 years experience. Pediatiric Surgery International, 16(8), 580-583.
Lipton, B., & Bhaerman, S. (2009). Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a way to get there from here). New York: Hayhouse.
Rumbaugh, D. (1995). Primate language and cognition: Common ground. Social Research, 62(3), 711-730.
Servin, A., Nordenstrom, A., Larsson, A., & Bohlin, G. (2003). Prenatal androgens and gender-typed behavior: A study of girls with mild and severe forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Developmental Pschology, 39(3), 440.
Sheldrake, R. (2009). Morphic REsonance: The Nature of Formative Causation. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.
Stephens, C. (No Date). List of Hermaphrodite Animals. Retrieved March 6, 2016, from Pets on mom.me: http://animals.mom.me/list-hermaphrodite-animals-2829.html
Vanderhorst, B. (2015). Whither lies the self: Intersex and transgender individuals and a proposal for brain-based legal sex. Harvard Law & Policy Review, 9(1), 241-274. Retrieved June 10, 2015 from Legal Source database.
Ever wonder why some people dream and others don’t? Sometimes I do, especially when they say, ‘I don’t dream.’ Dreams, it turns out, is something everybody has a theory about. So I decided to find the real story behind dreams and the role they play in our life.
The main ingredient to dreaming is sleep. One would think we just go to sleep and that is it. No, we go through stages and sleep in cycles, like everything else. The first stage we experience is when we transition from being awake to sleep. This stage lasts only a few minutes and occurs regularly throughout the night (Soldatos & Paparrigopoulos, 2005). Each time we get up to get a drink of water or had to use the restroom, we are in one of those transition stages. When we lay back down, we are off to sleep as though nothing had happened. The second stage is characterized by theta and beta waves (which are types of brains waves) and play a role in slow wave sleep (SWS), which is deeper and longer. During SWS heart rate, blood pressure, and other bodily systems slow down (Wickens, 2005). This is a very uneventful and restful sleep known as non-REM sleep: no dreams yet. Dreams begin about 90 minutes from the time we begin the transition (Wickens, 2005). Dreaming occurs during rapid eye movement or REM, when suddenly, everything changes, facial muscles begin twitching, our heart rate increases, and we may even thrash about. As far as the brain is concerned, we are awake and our mind sends the appropriate signals to parts of the body.
Some may ask. That’s because I’m dreaming, right?
Well, yes, but not all dreams occur in the same stage of sleep. Most dream activity takes place during REM, but dreams can also occur during non-REM sleep. Non-REM dreams tend to go nowhere, repeating themselves several times (Wickens, 2005).
So, why do I thrash around at night when I sleep? Another may ask.
In 1953, Aserinsky and Kleitman discovered the brain was active during sleep and these periods of activity occur about every 90 to 100 minutes. During these periods REM occurs; heart rate and breathing increases (Wilkinson). Today, neuroimaging shows activity in the visual and emotional centers of the brain (Dixit, 2007). The amygdala, one of the central figures of the emotional (limbic) system and key to the 'fight or flight' response, is very active. Emotions such as fear, anger, and anxiety are telltale signs of impending danger. Thus, emotions may direct our dreams.
One may wonder; why am I afraid of things in my dreams that I am not afraid of when I am awake?
The same neuroimaging that shows an active amygdala also shows a mostly inactive executive center. Most of our executive center is disconnected while we sleep, leaving us to the mercy of our emotions. The executive center, located in the prefrontal cortex, is where our problems solving and decision making processes take place.
Dreams begin at the simplest part of the brain, which is the brain stem and then move through the emotional system. During this process, our dreams are a collage of images - images that make no sense. As our dreams move through the brain they begin to make sense because they enter the only part of the executive still functioning – the medial frontal cortex. Here, they become somewhat organized (Wilkinson, 2006). The medial frontal cortex is tied to social behavior. Most social activities are bound by some form of social etiquette, which allows us to react to embarrassing events (blushing), praise, and points in between. I suspect this is why we suddenly awaken in a cold sweat, a racing heart, or, ahem, one of those embarrassing accidents.
This is really nice, but some may thing, but what good does this do me?
I like to understand something before working with it. What we have learned is the focus of the dreaming process is emotions. Thus, it would be wise to direct our attention to the underlying emotions of our dreams. Margaret Wilkinson (2007) quotes Carl Jung as saying, “Dreams do not deceive, they do not lie, they do not distort or disguise, but naively announce what they are and what they mean… they are invariably seeking to express something that the ego does not know and does not understand.” You may be asking some of these questions. What are my dreams telling me? Are my interpretations correct, or are they just guesses? What is it about me that I do not understand? Let’s consult some authorities.
Everyone has a theory about what dreams about. The most infamous is Freud, who saw dreams as twisted paths allowing us to fulfill forbidden desires (Dixit, 2007). For him dreams became wishes in the guise of nightmares. Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D. clinical assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School believes the “purpose of dreaming is almost the same as the purpose of waking and thinking: to solve problems.” (Honchman & Walch, 2004) Antti Revonsou, a Finnish psychologist believes dreams allow us to practice survival skills (Dixit, 2007). Allan Hobson, a Harvard dream researcher likes to say dreams are the “noise the brain makes while it’s doing its homework.” (Dixit, 2007) We have choices, and any one of them is correct – correct for you while I select something different. In any case, what are our dreams trying to tell us?
Consider this sequence of events. I see a group of people fire upon some pedestrians. Their leader gets out of the vehicle and says, “I have to do that because everybody wants something from me.” Wilda Tanner, in her The Mystical Magical Marvelous World of Dreams dream dictionary tells me I have a desire to kill an aspect of myself. 10,000 Dreams and Their Traditional Meanings tell me that I will experience a loss of livelihood. Then again, if I look at what the emotional undercurrent may be, perhaps there is an indication of needing to be careful about shooting my mouth off in public, or bragging too much. I could also be the leader and there is something I need to say.
As anyone can see, interpreting dreams is risky business. Fortunately, when it comes to interpreting our own dreams, some easy suggestions exist. First, if you are going to use a dream dictionary, use only one. More than one promotes confusion. The mind is pliable and will adapt to whatever system of definition you choose. Clichés are often considered useless, but in this instance become handy. For instance, if the shooter were firing into the night, the cliché would be, ‘he’s shooting in the dark.’
Go with what feels right for you. Don’t just accept what someone else tells you, or what you read in those dictionaries. Last, if you meditate and experience visions, the same suggestions apply.
When it comes to interpreting dreams, the most difficult aspect is determining what kind of dream it is. The most common response is that all dreams are messages. This is true, just as all events are news worthy events, but are they relevant. That is up to you. I find that some dreams help us work through challenges, some dreams hold messages, and other dreams are just dreams.
Before interpreting any dream, I always ask what a person watched or read prior to going to sleep. Plenty of times, I have gone on adventures with Dr. Who, solved mysteries with Leroy Jethro Gibbs, or studied behavior with Aaron Hotchner and Dave Rossi. Obviously, these dreams are just dreams, but not always. The secret is in the emotional content. Entertaining dreams will leave us refreshed in the morning, while troubling dreams will not. Most of the time, those entertaining dreams are forgotten. The more serious ones tend to stick with us a bit longer; not much longer.
Pay attention to how you feel during the dream. Describing how one feels when something significant occurs is difficult, but you will know when you have a dream you should pay attention to. Whenever a dream raises questions, jot it down. Whenever a dream leaves an impression, write it down. If you feel pain during a dream, wake up, because something is going on in your waking world. While dreaming, the mind will alter the dreamscape to accommodate outside stimuli.
I would like to touch on lucid dreaming. During the 1980s, I stumbled on an article the science magazine Omni. The article was brief, but made an impression. Lucid dreaming is that state of mind we sometimes slip into just before dozing off into nap. Think of them as preambles to dreams, because you are not quite asleep and not exactly awake. These episodes don’t have the feel of a dream. They are crisp as is reality and are often called premonitions. One may see them as prophetic because we believe we are catching glimpses of future events. These dreams have fluid quality to them.
Another aspect of lucid dreaming is the ability to control dreams. These preambles allow us to recognize the shift into a dreaming state. When we aware we are dreaming, we can exert some control over them. This comes in handy when experiencing a disturbing dream.
Dream states are mental states driven by emotions. This piece of information is valuable. If you are unable to control your emotions, you will not be able to influence your dreams states. The medial frontal cortex is the only part of the executive center still functioning. From here, we can influence the dream by exerting what is logical to you. Making your way through a meat locker may be disturbing. However, a junkyard may be less distracting.
Before you can control your dreams, you must be aware you are dreaming. This is not an easy feat. Keeping a dream journal will help you develop awareness of the dream state, and interpret those dreams that hold meaning.
Remember, we have a dream almost every 90 minutes or so. They begin as a confusing menagerie of images and sounds. Slowly they move through the brain and begin to make sense. This may be the only time we listen to ourselves. Everybody dreams. Some don’t remember because they wake up at the wrong time or they dream at the wrong time. If you meditate, just listen and watch.
Dixit, J. (2007). Night school. Psychology Today, 40(6), 88-94.
Honchman, A., & Walch, A. (2004). Solve problems in your sleep. Health, 18(6).
Soldatos, C. R., & Paparrigopoulos, T. J. (2005). Sleep, physiology, and pathology: Pertinence to psychiatry. International Review of Psychiatry, 17(4), 213-228.
Wickens, A. (2005). Foundations of Biopsuchology (2 ed.). Essex, England: Pearson Eductaion Limited.
Wilkinson, M. (2006). The dreaming mind-brain: A Jungian perspective. Journal of Annalytical Psychology, 51(1), 43-59.
The Fallacy of immortality
In many of the metaphysical and religious writings, I’ve read, immortality appears to be an intense desire of humanity. What form of immortality is desired? Do people wish to live forever as a physical being, or as a ghostly image such as a spirit? Is it life they crave or something else? Perhaps it is the fear being forgotten, the idea that all they strove for during their lifetime was for naught.
Immortality is an unnatural condition. Longevity can be such that a creature appears to have lived forever, but they don’t. Some animals live as long as one hundred years or more, but eventually they expire. We, on the other hand, are not animals and benefit from decades of technological advances, prolonging our lives. An increased existence in our society can be problematic, let alone advantageous. Life insurance policies become void at the age of one hundred. Technology cannot replace the need for individuals to adapt to their environment, be able to establish new friendships, engage in an ever-changing culture, and even expand one’s worldview. Despite all of that, life is still extinguished like a flame when nothing is left to burn. Nothing continues forever, not even the ancient monoliths standing in mute witness. The great statues of Easter Island, the centuries old temples of Greece and Italy, even the massive pyramids of Egypt are not immune to the vacillation of creation. All are in a state of decay, despite numerous restorations. Decay is a natural occurrence for all things. This is the way of creation.
In order to create, nature requires raw materials. The process of death provides the building blocks of tomorrow (Steiner, 1972). Hence, the cycle of life includes the demise of all that has been created. If the process were interrupted, nature would reach a state of stagnation. Growth becomes suspended, and decay a mystery longed to be experienced.
One may say this process only applies to physical matter. If this were true, then the concept of ‘as above, so below’ would be false. We are beings of energy, and spirit is energy. Therefore, we do not die because energy knows of no beginning and no end, at least as we understand. Beginnings and endings do not preclude the dispersal and recombination of said energy. Energy exists in paper, gasoline, bodily tissue, and more. The Spiritualist believes the personality survives death, but this does not indicate immortality. The personality may survive the demise of the body. How long it remains intact is unclear. However, this murkiness does not deter the theories of mystics and religious counselors. Some suggest the personality remains intact until the next incarnation. Others propose the personality remains whole until it chooses another body, another life. My thoughts have always been that with each birth and death sparks of our personality combine with other sparks, creating a new personality. While the core may retain much of what is has become, it is not the same as before. In each case, the personality changes or is recreated, not restored.
Immortality is not possible, and perhaps is not even the goal. The greatest fear any person may face is being forgotten. The greatest fear a person may have is that all they have done has been for naught. Perhaps, the greatest fear is having been less than useless. The fear is not knowing. Fear is a great motivator. Fear may prompt the introduction of wishful thinking, such as becoming immortal.
While some may seek immortality, it is a vain pursuit. Just as the falsehood of all things come to an end. In both cases, endings provide beginnings. It’s not about our immortal soul, because the soul is part of the universe. It’s not about surviving death, because death is a means of transformation. It’s about not knowing what we become. Immortality is a lie we tell ourselves because we need purpose and purpose is motivated by tomorrow (Bernard, Mills, Swenson, & Walsh, 2005). We do not know what becomes of us after the change called death. We speculate and plan accordingly. If we know what happens, then we would not waste time seeking immortality. The real fear is not dying, but no longer having control. Knowing what occurs after the change called death imparts true immortality because we would remain in control.
Bernard, L. C., Mills, M., Swenson, L., & Walsh, R. P. (2005). An evolutionary theory of human motivation. Genetic, Social, & General Psychology Monographs, 131(2), 129.
Steiner, R. (1972). An Outline of Occult Science. Anthroposophic Press, Inc.
Beyond the Change Called Death
I often find inspiration in what I read. Sometimes the material sparks inquisitiveness, connections are made, and sometimes I need to update information. In this particular instance, I was reading Andrew Jackson Davis, The Great Harmonia; Being a Philosophical Revelation of the Natural, Spiritual, and Celestial Universe. The section I am drawing from deals with the immortality of the spirit. Within Spiritualism, the spirit is also considered the personality of the individual and that it remains intact after the change called death, which may or may not be true. Davis addresses a question put forth by an admirer. The admirer is not convinced of the soul’s immortality, specifically the intellectual faculties and memories remaining intact. I too am curious about this concept, particularly after having to investigate a church making connections with followers of John of God, which is popular in Brazil.
Joao de Teixeira de Faria, better known as John of God is a full trance medium (one who allows possession by a spirit(s)). Through him, doctors and surgeons (up to 33 entities) perform healings. The principal spirit is St. Ignatius of Loyola (Dom Inacio de Loyola, 1491-1556) founder of the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits (Unknown, 2009-2015). Another chief spirit is identified as Dr. Augusto de Almeida. The entity claims to have been a doctor in a previous incarnation. No further information is provided nor can be found through a cursory search of the internet. Dr. Oswaldo Cruz (1872-1917), unlike the other entities was well known. Dr. Cruz was a bacteriologist who became director of the Federal Seropathy Institute, and later appointed Director-General of Public Health (Unknown, Oswaldo Cruz, Unknown). He eliminated yellow fever in Brazil through changing sanitation practices and took this to other parts of South America. With the exception of St. Ignatius, the spirit entities walked the earth during the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. The medical skills they demonstrate are appropriate to that era.
In 2009, I was a member of the board of a Spiritualist organization. An emergency meeting was called on account of a quarterly gathering would be taking place at the church in question. We had to determine if the leaders had broken any of the by-laws of the organization. After the meeting, a board member questioned me about the report. Trance mediumship is an accepted demonstration of spirit influence, though it is not recommended. Her question dealt with the methodology of Faria’s healings, which include making incisions upon those asking for healing. Individuals are given a choice between spiritual (psychic) operations or physical operations (Amey, No Date). Physical operations consist of making incisions, which is performed without anesthesia or antiseptic (Cumming, 2001).
After explaining that he does this while in a trance and other spirits perform the operations through him, she asked another question. Why, she asked, didn’t they grow? The belief in Spiritualism is that a person retains their identity after death and continues to grow. Why, indeed had these spirits not continued to expand in their respective fields?
Several years later, I stumbled upon an answer from one of Spiritualism’s pioneers. “These are no inferences, no conclusions based upon hypothetical reasons, but they are the universal testimonies and absolute demonstrations of creation – indeed, they are simply Nature’s own instructions (Davis, 1851), p. 241, par. 1).” The universal testimonies, I assume, are pieces of information provided by spirit in much the same way as people provide testimonials for services. The Harmonia is a work dictated by spirit while Davis was under hypnosis.
Davis goes on to explain the process of human creation as beginning with the body, which forms the brain, which gives shape to the mind. This is contrary to what we know now. Creation is top down process. If we were to apply this to Davis’ theory, it would be the mind creating the body. Matter is merely the compression of energy fields giving them shape. Energy provides cohesion for matter as a means of retaining its shape (Lipton & Bhaerman, 2009). Rudolf Steiner also suggests an incorporeal existence prior to a physical existence (Steiner, 1972). Cosmologists suggest matter gives space-time form and space-time moves matter (Bousso & Polchinski, 2004). I do not dismiss validity of Davis’ writing as it is relevant to the period. What I question is the idea of the supremacy of spirit.
A belief exists that the spirit of an individual continues to grow, and that there are schools in the spirit realm for them to attend. Unfortunately, beliefs are often generated through preconceptions (Myers, 2008). Religion is riddled with beliefs regarding what happens when we die. Such beliefs range from transitioning to heaven or hell to a dispersal of energy to reincarnation, with few having any real basis to them. Reincarnation, at least has some form of evidence outside of conjecture to support it (Stevenson, 1997). With the exception of energy dispersal, the rest of the information is provided through divine beings and spirit entities.
Davis explains it this way. “The passage from this sphere into the next is no more a change to the individual than a journey from America to England, excepting the almost complete emancipation consequent upon the change, from rudimental misdirection and earthly imperfections (Davis, 1851) p. 241; par. 2)).” Clear indications of a lack of significant personal growth are indicated. An almost complete separation from misdirection due to alleged earthly imperfections – being human, meaning we are subject to our own ignorance. Davis goes on to say the physical change called death imparts no significant alteration to the personality. At long last, answer to the board member’s question; even if it is several years late. Why did the spirit doctors working with Faria fail to progress any further? If the person is not in the habit of taking it upon themselves to grow – expand mentally, emotionally, or even spiritually, the person is most likely not going to experience any progressions in the sphere of spirit life. However, given Dr. Cruz’s reputation as a leader of innovation, he should have continued his growth. His failure to progress lends doubts to the idea of progression as a spirit being, unless, the entity falsely identified itself, or possesses and egocentric personality.
The spirit entities working through Faria insist upon making incisions because it is what they knew. “The experience, character, and progress of an individual in this life is recorded upon, and will be, to a modified extent, manifested by, that individual in the life to come (Davis, 1851) p. 241; par 1)).” Is this further indication of a person’s ability to continue their growth after expiration or an allusion to reincarnation? The latter is a topic previously covered. If it is not in the nature of a person to inquire or exercise their intellect while serving the physical world, they will probably not do so in the spiritual realm. Perhaps we should take heed of Andrew Jackson Davis’ words. “Duty demands serious analysis and investigation of all conspicuous subjects.” Life is a conspicuous subject and the philosophies meant to provide comfort are calling upon to investigate.
Amey, E. (No Date). Healings by John of God. Retrieved February 25, 2009, from Healing Brazil: http://www.johnofgod-brasil.com/Healing/
Bousso, R., & Polchinski, J. (2004). The string theory landscape. Scientific American, 291(3), 78-87. Retrieved June 10, 2008 from Academic Search Premier database.
Cumming, H. (2001). John of God. Retrieved January 10, 2016, from HealingQuests.com: http://www.healingquests.com/
Davis, A. J. (1851). The Philosophy of Immortality. In The Great Harmonia; Being a Philosophical Revelation of the Natural, Spiritual, and Celestial Universe (Vol. 2, p. 233). Boston: Benjamin B. Mussey & Co. Retrieved January 10, 2016, from https://books.google.com/books/reader?id=a_A3AAAAYAAJ&num=13&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA233
Golog, N. (no date). Oswaldo Cruz. Retrieved from SJSU Virtual Museum: http://www.sjsu.edu/depts/Museum/aamenu.html
Lipton, B., & Bhaerman, S. (2009). Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a way to get there from here). New York: Hayhouse.
Myers, D. (2008). Social beliefs and judgments. In Social Psychology (p. 76). New York: McGraw Hill.
Steiner, R. (1972). Outline of Occult Science. Anthroposophic Press, Inc.
Stevenson, I. (1997). Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
Unknown. (2009-2015). St. Ignatius Loyola. Retrieved January 10, 2016, from Ignatian Spirituality: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-voices/st-ignatius-loyola
Unknown. (Unknown). Oswaldo Cruz. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from Fiocruz: portal.fiocruz.br/en/content/oswaldo-cruz-0
All experiences are good. This does not mean I enjoy watching others experience theirs. By theirs, I mean their rough patches. A short time ago, a friend had to be rushed to the hospital for some poor choices. She had become overwhelmed by current circumstances. She was striking out on her own and learning about the inhabitants of the world – inhabitants who are not always nice. I could say she is young, but age has nothing to do with what happened. Experience does. While I consider my life relatively satisfying, it was not always the case. I too have experienced overwhelming circumstances and have done things not entirely beneficial, but I survived them and I am confident she will too.
On our journey, we come to cruxes, which amount to turning points in our lives. One such event occurred around 2000. The crux occurred during a team-building event sponsored by the company I worked for.
While several events led to enlightening experiences, the event I want to talk about was called ‘The Wall.’ The Wall is a manufactured wall about the length of a gymnasium. Like all opportunities, there are the customary easy, difficult, and near impossible choices. Ours was where to climb. Our facilitator instructed us on the use of safety ropes, and then told us to choose a portion of wall and begin climbing. The two extreme ends were the narrower of the three, with the difficult having the most climbers. Being the person I am – always challenging myself – I selected the one I was the most unprepared for. This particular section was more like an outcropping of fiberglass rock. Barely six feet into the climb, I was forced to retreat, and I failed at that, dropping the last two feet or so.
Immediately upon my failure, the facilitator rushed to my side, not to inquire about my wellbeing, but to send me to the opposite end. I stood at the foot of what is best described as a gentle hill – the kiddies’ end of the wall. Without preamble, I embarked upon my climb, which amounted to stair climbing. At the top, I sat and contemplated what I had just learned. A flaw in my decision process had been brought to my attention. The continuous struggles I experienced were due to my choices. I was responsible for the torturous path I had travelled and responsible for in the future. From that point, a conscious effort was made not to repeat those floundering mishaps. However, like you, more challenges awaited.
When we chose to alter the course of our lives, we must deal with the wake behind us. Events are merely interactions of energy, in our case they are the interactions of our energy upon the environment and upon others. That energy is part of us, in much the same way as the results of this article are a part of me. In the case of past events, the energy from our wakes will find us because it is part of us. Some events will bring beneficial consequences, while others….well you know what I mean. As those other events find their way back, we must experience them, and change their frequency so they will carry beneficial events back. It took me several years to work out those detrimental results.
The lesson being shared is, no matter when you decide to make changes in your life, the effects will take some time to be felt. While today, my life is very satisfying, it did not happen overnight – not even within a year. Perhaps there are still bits of a wake laid so many years ago that have yet to return. When they do, I shall absorb them, re-shape them, and release them into the stream. In the case of those who are making changes in the course of their life, don’t give up. Another insight gained was that someone is always waiting to support you. You are not alone. Do not isolate yourself. Surround yourself with good deeds, good people, and ride the leading edge of the turbulence. When you come out on the other side, you will look back and say, ‘that wasn’t so hard after all, maybe even a little fun.’
Athletes have coaches. Why not everyone else?
Even small changes in personality traits have an overall effect on a person. Areas affected may include well-being, inspiration, resilience, and longevity. This is especially true if a person's extraversion level were increased even a little bit.
Lesley Martin, Lindsay Oades, & Peter Caputi (2012). What is Personality Change Coaching. International Coaching Psychology Review
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