Bottoming Out the Universe: Karma, Reincarnation, and Personal Identity (draft)

by Richard Grossinger on May 17, 2016

Bottoming Out the Universe: Karma, Reincarnation, and Personal Identity

 

Table of Contents

 

The Holes in the Materialists’ Universe

Turing Tests and Other Yardsticks

The Innate Intelligence of the System

The Brain per Ground Consciousness

The Brain as Tuner

Reincarnation and Past Lives

Transdimensional Physics and Biology

James Leininger and James Huston

Further Reincarnation Riddles

Souls

Spiritual By-Passing

Reincarnational Phases and Fusions

Cosmic Chicanery

Worshipping the Algorithm, or Dumbing Down the Universe

Multipersonhood

Personal Identity

The Space-Time Continuum

Dreams

Death

The Problems of Immortality

Is the Universe a Computer Simulation?

Why Something Rather than Nothing?

The Universe

Cosmic Formation

 

The Hole in the Materialists’ Universe

After centuries of deliberation, the peer-juried verdict regarding the astonishing event we are all experiencing in specified personal portals in space-time is a cascade of electrochemical aberrations ignited by and among molecules forming sovereign protein crystals. This master theater of beingness or selfhood—la sine qua non, da “first” person (“je,” “I,” “ich,” “yo,” “nuy”), what the average bloke calls “me-self” and “me brats” and “le dessein pour le jour”—gives the illusion of objective primacy to its bearers, but it is a brief and chance burst of pangs against an eternity of its own (and everything else’s) eventual nonexistence—and not just nonexistence but nonexistence without latency or teleological implication.

In Dark Pool of Light I wrote that science’s takeaway from its five-or-so-century inquiry into the matter is: “A light goes on, a light goes off, but it wasn’t even a light.” We become conscious, our consciousness exhausts its metabolic charge or is otherwise terminated, but it wasn’t really conscious to begin with—it was an electrochemical hallucination. That hallucination is alone what science currently recognizes as personhood and intelligent activity in the universe. Anywhere.

The action on the street—and there is lots of it on this world alone—arises as feedback from thermodynamic-metabolic-libidinal grids: networks discharged in their statistically arbitrated output. Every gun-toting cowpoke and bloviating commentator, despite deep insistences of “I am” and “watch out for me, that’s me, me, me” are neither “me” nor “I am” in any chips-down sense. Identity, purpose, and agency are likewise incidental by-products of the chemical synthesis of carbon crystals, stuff generated in cosmic bubbles by kinetics of molecular ingredients and temperature variations. Awareness, including self-awareness, is a side effect of those bubbles’ snap, crackle, and pop, generating deep-lying cellular systems. As these cybernetically monitor one another in ladder-like motherboard effects, the upward flow accretes in a surplus of energy and its discharge as egoity, animal and human alike (of course, humans are animals). Consciousness is both a hallucination and a mirage.

Our varied mind states represent algorithmic shuffles of subatomic skank. The original shuffle took place when a jumble of daughter particles and inherent forces followed the torrid and dense singularity known in these parts as the Big Bang. The BB occurred in the middle of nowhere for no reason—scientific liturgy—without purpose or gods in a zone that for some reason existed (or was created by the implosion). It could just as well not have existed, and the BB could just as well not have occurred. The universe is a blind detonation in the dark—a crapshoot, blind chance operating on a bevy of stuff that spilled in the middle of eternal blankness for no intrinsic gloss—just happened, spilled.

Something happened rather than nothing. But there could have been nothing, nothing forever—no interruption, no toggle or squeak of presence.

Not only that, the display platform we recognize as the galactic universe might not have occurred from the same cast of fermions and bosons, if the juggle had gone differently. The blather of sound and fury signifying something more fundamentally signifies nothing underlying everything “something.”

Ultimately even the fact that there is anything here (or anywhere) will be eradicated too. The current colloquy of “somethings” will turn into a single eternal nothing, which is what they were meant to be in the first place. And once again darkness will rule the abyss.

Or they will turn into something else.

There is no more sanguine way to put it, no lurking eschatological savior or last-minute turn-of-plot under wraps. Not in post-modern science anyway. According to materialist ontology, creature-hood and its rigmaroles are a splash where there was and is and should be nothing truly splashable. Creatures have arisen for no damn reason. They have no basis, no whyfor, no object, and certainly no pay-off. Elapsing adventitiously, they are wagered by those afore-mentioned subatomic effects that generate incidental atomic collisions that become molecular-cohesion events, and, a few layers up the assembly line, a discharge of polarization waves and their neural overload.

Everything that followed the Big Bang transpires in the space it created, remember, in the middle of nowhere for no reason. To what purpose could anything possibly be attached anyway but the blind chains of events arising from fission and fusion of particles? Do you see even the suggestion a lever or gear pointing outside Big Bang’s territorial sprawl?

Since the blast, it’s been fermions and bosons and combinations thereof. Brewed by nuclear chemistry in stars and transferred into seeds, these meteorized bursts of galactic particles and wave-forms impartially constitute pretty much anything in the extant universe. Despite plenty of lipstick on the pig, the universe we know and admire is babbling oink at source.

The series of embryogenic invaginations, folds, and fractal pockets and laminae that gave rise to and spawn continuous life forms on this planet represent series of thermodynamic and shear forces inaugurating, then feeding mechanical information or temperature-based data in certain idiosyncratic circumstances into heuristic chains bound in membranes.

Life here incubated in Earth’s primeval carbon- and nitrogen-rich pools. Canalized subatomic collisions transferred their combined and amassed properties and intrinsic elemental potentials into more elaborate qualities. In unchaperoned baths, cardinal configurations formed more intricate crystals that eventually tatted self-monitoring feedback loops from combinations of resting potential, excitatory potential, and loops of action-potential increments with their augmentations and inhibitions, including hyperpolarization and depolarization. That alone is supporting mind. Nothing else is supporting it.

“Being” is an interplay or sort of chemico-electric signal patterns channeled through hierarchical aggregations of circuits and low-threshold spikes hitting simultaneous charge overloads and default tipping points. Mind emerges from this melee.

Yet while effecting the pretense of innate meaning or personal identity, neural grids are meaningful only by default: they filter out exogenous static and noise that would otherwise cancel themselves back into gibberish. Cogent shapes and their imputations found themselves by their own redundancy, meaning that they represented not themselves first but the erasure or absence of other patterns and potentials and reinforced themselves solely by their brief relevance to each other.

As substrata accreting inside these living machines transferred informational patterns into each other’s context and matched templates, they developed the appearance of agency, purpose, and, ultimately, mind—not because they “knew” (or were) but because their incidental territories incidentally conformed. Autochthonous self-repairing units emerging from underlying self-similar motifs recognize themselves and everything else by pattern-on-pattern formations—bar-code-level stuff.

So an initially two-bit utility function, while ostensibly only monitoring itself, converted its systemic feedback—its check-ins and their progressions, superfluidity-like into broader, unreckoned and unexplored frames of reference, leading to more efficient function sets. Why efficiency? We can postpone that for now. Eureka, you have a viral fuzz, a bristling bacterium, a pseudopod-projecting amoeboid gel, a crawling slime, a chittering mouse.

Meaning is dragged along with mind like bubblegum on an unfortunate sneaker.

Modern creatures are self-regulating concentration and containment centers of (at crux) trillionfold subatomic quantum, atomic, and molecular firings into circumstantial discretionary pathways. Their gondola evolved from input-output sensory ladders of platyhelminths, crustaceans, squids, salamanders, and the like, as molecules. While traveling through banks of computing neurons, they generated phantasmagoria and stamped personalized existence on them and themselves. Their tangled central ganglion finally bloated into a feedback-loop monitor at the notochord’s spinal crescendo of strings of lesser and more diffuse feedback monitors, all of which coagulated similarly from proton and electron strings that puddled, transduced, redacted, and interlocked.

The homunculus climbed its own neural ladder by involuting, synopsizing, and invaginating its internal, environment-interfacing form with astonishing geological haste from lizards to tree shrews to monkeys and then Homo africanus, at least on this one sorry-ass planet. The mélange burst into the full-blown forest of symbols that surrounds us. The symbols swarmed into villages and cities and re-announced themselves as polities and civilizations. There they be to this hour, interrogating the crisis of their cause and origin, excavating an itinerary shrouded in fictions or mists. Philosopher Jacob Needleman summarizes basic formulations of Ludwig Wittgenstein, which, in his words, “circumscribe the central question that modern man faces in the overwhelming light and darkness of modern science”:

“What I see, what I know, is a universe of death. What I feel is life. Which is real—death or life?

“The world is a vast blind machine, an assemblage of inert facts. I am only another fact in that world. But I know this encompass the world that I knew with meaning and purpose. Which is real: What I know or that which knows?

“I do not see God in the world or in myself. Yet the world and myself exist. Which is real: the facts about being or the mysterious fact of Being?”

There is no innate or objective solution to the inexplicable, enigmatic state of consciousness in which we exist. The mysterious fact of being is Hamlet’s rub: “To be or not to be?”

Most scientists say “not.” “There is no ghost in the organic machine,” declared neuro-anthropologist Terrence Deacon, a deep analyst of the living machine, “and no inner intender serving as witness to a Cartesian theater. The locus of self-perspective is a circular dynamic, where ends and means, observing and observed, are incessantly transformed from one to another.”

This reality show goes on not because it is sentient or even provisionally sentient or even by pleading its case to a supernominal jury on the nature of its consciousness but “irrespective of making any claim about whether it is sentient. Intelligence is about making adaptively relevant responses to complex environmental contingencies, whether conscious or unconscious.” [Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter (New York: Norton, 2013), pp. 483-484, 492]. It is systemic and subconscious.

Consciousness is what consciousness does in establishing its own placeholder status. Its epistemological crisis—whether it is really conscious or not—has nothing to do with its actual consciousness and existential expression. The discussion involves only transitional maintenance plans and temporal survival modes of anomalous neg-entropic whirls within other whorls.

“Inside” and “outside” are “incessantly transformed from one another” because there is no real “in,” only fulminating heaps of inverted and extraverted façade generating the illusion of interior existence. As they interact, they hallucinate an epiphenomenal by-product.

Awareness is the least significant aspect of biological mind. Unconscious intelligence and its blind transfers of information supersede it on Earth (and presumably under the Europan ice if life breeds there) by a far margin, in philosophers as in raccoons. Cardinal systemic sets run any hawk or shark—internal network symbolings, rudimentary optics, involuntary nerve nets, and other autopilot functions as well as repressed or otherwise forfeit memory scalds.

Throw in everything else incipiently pre- and post-syntactic and semantic or that has been elided from consciousness adventitiously plus the meta-conscious, quasi-linguistic status and deep structure of DNA itself and you have an entire back-office operation with its own primeval depth of pagan alphabets and alphabetic structures. That is consciousness’ boiler room and control center: a hummingbird’s flapping wings and a rat’s alert sniff of carrion. It is not even subconscious in a Freudian sense; it is fully and eternally unconscious and intractable.

Its behavioral analogue stirs and says, “Bzzzz,” or “Quack” or “Ribb-ock, ribb-ock” or “To be or not to be”—or (in Hopi), “Úma hínok pas nui kitâ’ náwakna?” (“Why do you want me so quickly?”) Each of these oratory puffs erupts into a full-throated bleat, the mournful calls of loons and gulls included. In speechless spiders and their insect cousins and worms, it finds its epitome in motion, structure, and kineses. Whines and chirps, at par with one another and with the vortex generating them, emit the yelp or whine of a chemico-synaptic impulse that expresses or mimics an organ molded into an effort-shape that gropes and growls and pleads with the universe, from the imagined persona of its metabolism, to be and not to be. These plaints flow from nothing into nowhere because there is nowhere from which to originate them and no other place for them to go or deliver a message or message to deliver.

Bodies are temporary configurations of cells, which are temporary physico-chemical configurations of molecules, which are temporal quantum configurations of atoms and subatomic particles all the way back to those bosons and fermions. There is no other possible or putative source.

Philosopher Daniel Dennett announced proudly, “We’re all zombies. Nobody is conscious.” [LD 42]. Nobody is conscious because nobody is more than an algorithm processing its own equations, including the presumption it is “real.” These are all, in Dennett’s words, “free-floating reasons … not our reasons.” They arose through natural selection, in order to allow us to survive. They are our “desktop,” as it were. “What is actually going on behind the desk-top is mind-numbingly complicated, but users don’t need to know about it, so intelligent interface designers have simplified the affordances, making them particularly salient for human eyes … the ingenious user-illusion of click-and-drag icons …. Nothing compact and salient inside the computer corresponds to that little tan file-folder on the desktop screen.” [32]

Why bother to do anything rather than anything else? If all ends up in the recycling center—whether you go to the gym, work your butt off, tone your mind and musculature and philosophy or collapse into entropic couch-potato-hood—why make the effort? It all gets discarded impartially at the end of the round. Physician Larry Dossey mused that Dennett “was using his own free will to arrive at the conclusion that free will does not exist.” [LD60] And decades earlier, philosopher Alfred North Whitehead remarked, “Scientists, animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless, constitute an interesting subject for study.” [LD61]

Of course, he is being ironic. Such empiricists are no longer neutral parties or honest brokers in the universe game: they have capital investments and vested interests. They intend to trade solely in the house commodity, matter, and they expect everyone else to abide to it as the gold standard of reality. They don’t want rival priests printing other currency. At all points of the assembly line they want to be able to purchase mind and “being” with the singular coinage of matter. And like fellow religious millenarians, technocratic futurists. and transhumanists, they want sole license to sponsor the Future.

Having reserved the right to deliver their own utopian destiny, they continued to enjoy their hallucinations while they last. They may even preserve them in hardware someday—effectual immortality. Till then they parade like savants while deeming themselves rats—or smart rat-like apparitions.

 

Every day we “use” matter that was once parts of other creatures, perhaps cities in other solar systems and, every so often, other galaxies, because stray dust travels willy-nilly, swirling and sticking from the shove of any gravity or wind. Not very fast—at the scale of the dilating panoply anyway— but over epochal time atoms can go quite far if not pretty much anywhere.

What is a gull for a moment in a brilliantly white feathered heap of flying, feeding, screeching molecules disperses in the breeze into formlessness not long thereafter—and no proof of the gull’s prior existence after its carbon and nitrogen have blown away.

All stories here end the same way. Following the remission of each bubble’s metabolizing mirages, the lights go out for good, including the interior glow by which even you, poor reader, are processing these words. Extinction of beingness confers elision of all prior and present memory, all personal identity. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy’s imprimatur, the Whole Multigalactic Enchilada—Monsieur Big Boy, El Starry Circus, mismo—is going to chill, evanesce, dissipate, perish. Adios Reality!

The outcome of the ceaseless battle of the creative contrivances of chaos—Ilya Prigogine’s non-equilibrium thermodynamics and ilk—against the incumbency of entropy is a foregone conclusion, entropy will win out, decisively, otherwise known as the heat death of the universe. This providence applies to all bleats and bumps of design and cogitation in the universe as well as the universe itself—stars, bars, and everything in between. Those alive, conditionally awake, alert, and beating some drum or other, will be obliterated, and every trace of their visit will be eradicated forever.

What a universe! Welcome to the Show, Brother Man, Brother Bird. You are chemicals ghosting real things, offshoots of bound currents from antediluvian ponds snared in sheets imagining you savor and defend brief figments that interact in such a way as to cast reflections of your false self into continuous delusional states of self-recognition. This is meat undergoing psychedelic shudders, with about the same quantum of serendipitous leaven as mud or a thunderstorm. Biological life and creature identity mean nada to the universe and report to no final court. To any citizen who looks closely enough we are slime on “a small round planet inching its way through a terrifying void.” [viii]

In other words, we’re fucked, so get used to it. We have always been fucked. Our situation is real, damnedly real in fact, but meaningless.

In Justin Torres’s memoir of his upstate New York Puerto Rican childhood, a curious lad asks his father, “‘What happens when you die?’” El papá’s response comes from science’s deep-seated supposition that has been spreading to meet the universe that swallows it. As the macho Puerto Rican stares back at his son, dumbfounded (and more than a little peeved), he replies, “Nothing happens. Nothing happens forever.” [We the Animals, p. 99.]

Those who preceded us crossed hundreds of thousands of years of mountainous ice, sleet, wind, atmospheric turbulence, and saber-toothed predators to arrive at this sorry conclusion.

 

In case the usher didn’t hand you a program, the prime objective of science (these days) is to prove that truly conscious beings can’t exist and don’t exist; to remove all extraneous meaning, purpose, and consequence from an impersonal universe —and certainly to remove any rumor of nonlocal intelligence, to replace it with a splatter of effects

Centuries of court in session have led to an ideological progressivisim, the conclusion that there is no traction in the universe (or any universe) beyond its material domain. Humanity has yawed from an interim posture of trying to locate an individual spirit or soul—some form of a priori underpinning for the crisis in which it finds itself—to proving, ever more conclusively, that no such agent exists.

That wasn’t science’s objective in the time of Kepler and Newton or before the eighteenth century, but it has become the basis of a post-modern fundamentalist ideology that is its own anti-religion: scientism rather than science, nihilism as a stand-in for faith. But it worked.

Pretend for a moment to be a Stone Age hominid viewing the technologically remade native zone and you can see how fast and fully materialism feathered its nest—jets in the sky; supertankers on the seas; factories, transit mazes, habitation catacombs everywhere, folks scurrying hither, thither, and yon in all sorts of internal-combustion and/or pinion- and gear-driven shafts, whooshed up and down on pulleys in tubes—and taking them for granted. With such an exemplary superstructure and a concomitant collective hypnotic trance to its credit, the technocracy has spellbound Homo sapiens in its own projection. It has created the perfect palliation and recompense for doom: an arcade-like pleasure-dome with conveniences lacking in the Pliocene and Pleistocene.

Far better tools and sharper minds have been committed to assembling this superstructure and analyzing away stray epistemological static and paraphysical anomalies than to formulating a working construct for outliers. It’s an easier gig with quicker pay-offs. Kick da bums out!

Any inquiry into the nature of the universe and our own existence since the establishment of science as a civilizational religion runs smack into this belief system. It propounds, as noted earlier, that consciousness has no intrinsic cause or objective, no Aristotelian entelechy, is not its own engine, and cannot be an independent force at par with thermodynamics. It can only a chattel of thermodynamics, one of its secondary heat effects—an epiphenomenal effect of the quantum-based potentiality of subatomic particle-waves from the afore-mentioned fermions and bosons transmitted up the ladder through subcellular microtubules into an ascending hierarchy of binary-based synapses and synaptic events.

In unchaperoned baths, cardinal configurations formed more intricate crystals that eventually tatted self-monitoring feedback loops from combinations of resting potential, excitatory potential, and loops of action-potential increments with their augmentations and inhibitions, including hyperpolarization and depolarization. That alone is supporting mind. Or nothing else is supporting it.

“Being” is an interplay or sort of chemico-electric signal patterns channeled through hierarchical aggregations of circuits and low-threshold spikes hitting simultaneous charge overloads and default tipping points. Mind emerges from this melee.

Yet consciousness has no basis in elemental, molecular matter, so how could it be either lost or found for good there? As physicist Werner Heisenberg remarked, “There can be no doubt that ‘consciousness’ does not occur in physics and chemistry, and I cannot see how it could possibly result from quantum mechanics.” [LD49] He certainly understood quantum mechanics and its implications. Subsequent scientists have simply reified this sentiment in differently nuanced language.

“Nowhere in the laws of physics or in the laws of the derivative sciences chemistry and biology,” declared neuroscientist Professor John Eccles in 1984, “is there any reference to consciousness or mind. This is not to affirm that consciousness does not emerge in the evolutionary process, but merely to state that its emergence is not reconcilable with the natural laws as at present understood.”

Neuroscientist Sam Harris added, with equal traces irony and chagrin: “The only thing in this universe that suggests the reality of consciousness is consciousness itself.” [Opinionator, New York Times, September 7, 2014]. That is, without our experience of our own existence, the universe operates like an environment without consciousness, inimical to consciousness, and in which any incipient mode of consciousness must be robotic or zombie-like. The only thing that suggests the reality of consciousness is its reflection in its own mirror!

Harris’s observation could be rephrased less elegantly as “The only thing in the universe that suggests the reality of personalized states of awareness— entities aware of themselves and a universe around them—is the fact that our own thoughts and behaviors do not, to our view anyway, mimic the tropisms we’re supposed to manifest under the conditions proposed.”

Modernity’s crisis of meaning dwarfs and discards us as well as everything familiar, everything we recognize and know—and that includes scientific materialism. When we consider our actual dilemma, as alert and prepossessed as we be at this moment, we are clinging to a vanishing droplet that continues to dissolve into an infinite vacuum of desolation growing even larger and more casual and indifferent by the hour. Nothing ever existed or could exist in such a barren locale except brief, baseless sets of quadratics spilling their beans, heat forces curdling wantonly into pseudo-beings.

For modern physicalists, this is a point of pride such “that they actually prefer annihilation with physical death to any sort of survival. Longing for immortality as seen as a defect of character or a philosophical sellout in people too weak-willed to face their impending doom. In the face of certain extermination, one should simply man up and go quietly, proudly, and gravely into that dark night.” [LD53]

This nihilistic benchmark for reality with its lockdown paradigms is not only taught in every Western madrasa, it is reinforced implicitly by ferocious socioeconomic imperatives, as it is broadcast telepathically from the capitalist control centers of our species where they are reformulated by those who refute them well as enforce them—that’s how powerful and dominant the paradigm is.

We are all matching the same picture, generating a universe: you, the Dalai Lama, Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Donald Trump, the Pope, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, al-Qaeda, Joseph Kony, Boko Haram, Abu Musab al-Zarqai. We are in collusion to generate this shared reality—did you say, “May the best militia win?”). But that’s the way the game is being played. The military budget is the largest investment of all, no change from the reptilian Triassic.

Mainstream religious authorities reinforce the dogma by ideologically challenging it while operating otherwise in full and complete compliance with the technological bounties of modernity. The interdict against any more promising or meaningful cosmos is levied by social contract as well as ideological gendarmerie, but mostly by subliminal seepage from unconscious projections and their thoughtforms. The consensus telepathic signal injects its sallow program into long-haul truck-drivers, erotic dancers, dudes crunching concrete with steam shovels, and chaps laying pipe under the cracked stone, despite their honest day’s labor and hard-earned victories over entropy.

Consensus reality is just that, a collaborative design to which every human consciousness contributes, a reality that is designed by collective thoughtforms shared unconsciously as well as consciously. Everyone on Earth contributes to the reality in which we operate and shares everyone else’s contribution. Donald Trump, jihadists of ISIS, the Dalai Lama, Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, and Malala Yousafzai are all generating the collective hallucination. No one can put out a different signal.

It is generated as the summation of all spirits, souls, or identities breathing, singing, imagining, and vibrating together to convert their own latency. Politicians preach it to their constituents, no matter what else they burble: Make hay while the sun is shining (meaning the local hydrogen-helium aster).  “You only go around once, so grab for all the gusto you can get,” the beer ad for capitalism alerts the hoi polloi of the peanut gallery. Then say ta-ta forever. Might as well enjoy it while it lasts, whatever that could mean anyway to nucleic acids attached to a protein coat. It’s the booby prize for having discovered our bastard origin.

This dilemma may have arisen innocently via a twentieth-century catechism of extended Baconian dredging, but for those stuck in it the only recourse is hopelessness, nausea, and horror with a consoling bourgeois ethic.

 

The triumph of algorithmic analysis of the human state is a late-arriving overlay on our innate self-awareness. Though many Homo sapiens undoubtedly experienced existential crises of one sort or another along the Pithecanthropan highway, no clan throughout the Stone Ages, ancient times, the Middle Ages, or early Renaissance considered anything like a digital (e.g., empty) source for their own beingness. That is a recent event and, although it has escalated humanity to the status of penetrating the shell of its own manifest universe at both subtle and profound levels—a process more holistically carried out by Hindu and Buddhist ontologists who included mind with matter as prime functions of reality— it has simultaneously displaced that same humanity from the bore of its own immanence, encompassing and replacing meaning and possibility and setting the ground rules and terms for our existence.

 

Turing Tests and Other Yardsticks

There is no way to account for subjective reality and personal self-awareness, the source of ourselves and our identification with our own beingness. Science’s version of consciousness does not translate to the world in any ordinary sense—people fight for goodies and swill about in the urgency and meaningfulness of their own existences. Cognition, including their own cognition of neurogenic processes and electrochemistry, is itself a product of electrochemical events such that comprehension arises from the thing that it comprehends. [WCT 68] The mere fact that we have capacity for and interest in making such distinctions proves (in the sense of “dead reckons”) that the otherwise originless whirlpool that apexes in ego mind is deeper and more multi-faceted than the zombie-like exusion we’re presumed to possess. The material deconstruction of consciousness cannot ever quite ratify its own proposition.

Staring at this conundrum, physicist Max Planck concluded, “We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” [JH5]. A hole growing from itself can’t ever be filled; the shadow it casts over its unobjectifiable experiment can’t be eradicated or reduced.

Science has a single hole in it, and the hole is us. As long as consciousness exists—not only exists but is the reflecting pool in which all analysis, empirical and other, is performed—the model and its theory are jury-rigged mirages. The reflection has no intrinsic mirror, and the sourcless mirror no frame. Subjective states pop up like Topsy everywhere. Their eight-hundred-pound gorilla who gets his way because, remember, who’s going to argue with a googolplex-stone atavism that exploded onto the set like a dawn that only we saw coming? It infests Earth everywhere, reblossoming in the weeds a trillion seeds and eggs a day.

No one did, argue that is; no one quibbled with the reality provided or its terms for two-and-half billion years.

“I am” is pretty much what everything born on Earth believed for geologic time—and that included the gang from one-celled plastids and bacteria to lizards and hummingbirds: I am, I am, I am. I slither. I splash.  I eat, I fuck, I whelp, I command. I am, I am—until a nineteenth-century locomotive carrying seemingly heavier cargo—the evolution of forms solely from prior forms down to the denominator—came rumbling along the tracks and supplanted the reigning entelechy with its shiny new proposition.

The salvation for science is that, as long as there is only one hole, albeit a nasty, bottomless one, it can be business as usual—the show goes on. Scientists can impose countless provisional equations to disguise the gap—patch the paradigm wherever it begins crumbling, save the appearances of materialism, which sets the sole terms of engagement and “outer bounds of reality itself.” [Thomas Nagel, NYRB, March 9, 2017, p. 34 (“Is Consciousness an Illusion?”)]

 

But when there is no frame, no pier to which to anchor rafts, anything goes. The network and context emerging inside any paradigm become real only inside their own. A formulation attached to its own untethered status can neither identify nor handicap the tether, except peremptorily or by cheating; it is attached to nothing at all.

Science hasn’t the slightest idea what consciousness is. What it does, yes. What it is, not even “close but no cigar.” Neuroscientists are brilliant at dealing with consciousness’s attributes once they get inside and percolate through matter; they haven’t a clue as to how a fly got into the ointment, what the “fly” is, or how to propose forensics for an experiment.

Neither cognitive nor molecular scientists can explain the siphoning of consciousness into matter or kindle it from the sorts of compounds or filaments that transport it through cellular systems, they can only map its chemical and electrical properties once it has roosted there, once proximal molecules respond to its presence. And even if a biochemist did somehow ignite it, it would be like Donald Duck playing the sorcerer’s apprentice, unaware of how he set the brooms marching.

Here’s a thought experiment, imagine yourself a biotech dude stirring or catalyzing a chemical conglom into some sort of continuously self-arising, self-identifying hologram that acknowledges itself with a directional squirm. You would have no idea how they did it, what you activated to achieve the gloop’s pirouette in its flask.

You wouldn’t know to find the camelness of the camel, let alone where to begin counting the straws on its back.

How did any of this happen at all? How does “is” get centrifuged out of “non-is”? Componentially, even synergistically and emergently? What foments is’s transient glow? What causes its epistemology to ignite, what happens epistemologically when it is snuffed?

Is random, unmotivated accretion a sufficient explanation? Was Darwinian matter “hungry” (whatever that means), so did its atoms and molecules stumble into an enthalpic resolution of their own intrinsic charges?

Why, in a fundamentally lazy, entropy-up universe, should efficient consumption and conversion energy be more attractive than indolence? To random concatenations of chaff, why should existence be more delicious and comforting than nonexistence? The fish that doesn’t want to get caught and eaten by a larger fish, in fact frantically so, has no basis or rationale.

There is an uncrossable gap between atoms in entropy and the morphodynamics of molecularized matter, between thermodynamics and biological agency, and between robots and self-witnessing varmints. Life is an insult to ideological materialism because it is ideology’s sole source.

 

Several years ago my painter friend Charles Rasmussen, a keen observer of nature, noticed a bee tumbling ecstatically in the pollen of a wild rose. It got his attention because it seemed to be enjoying itself rapturously. Drawn by the appearance of happiness in a low-egoity system, he stopped for a look. It got better: a spider who had made his web in the same rugosa, perturbed by the intruder’s pleasure roll and entitlement, jabbed at the wanker, once, then repeatedly, with one of its eight legs.

As the spider’s pokes disrupted the bee’s nectar bliss, the Apoidean intruder became more and more agitated at its unexpected rose-mate, buzzing with what sounded like irritation. Finally it interrupted its stamen suck, shot out of the sweet petals, got up a running (or flying) start of a few yards, and dive-bombed the fucknut, whacking him so hard he was nearly plunked out of his own web.

If that’s not motive, and intent as well as road rage, what in Sam Crow is it?

An algorithm gone amok, chemicals under libidinal charge hitting tipping points inside boundaries containing trillionfold quantum switches? Atomic vibrations synapsing through their own uncertainty states into microtubules up the wazoo of myriad layered neuronal hierarchies into ganglionic grids?

How does materialism justify an item that was never ordered, has no inventory value, and simply appeared? How can you explain Café Zero: the menu, the entrées, the patrons, the waiter, yourself as patron? How could a glorified vector, however quark- and microtubule-thick, cultivate a connoisseur’s appreciation of pollen, let alone personal anger? How could a princess perceive a pea, let alone a bolus packed with symbols and metaphors, through a mattress as bottomless and diffuse as inert molecular matter?

Viewed from the other side, how exactly do quantum switches, microtubular tunnels, and chemico-electrically triggered synapses transfer incipient symbols from a layer ruled by entropy to another equally bound by random heat forces to full-blown, anti-entropic self-recognition? How and where does the illusion of existence anchor itself in order to apply an objective yardstick to its own mirage? Remember, there is no pier or sight of any shore.

In the favorite post-modern gerrymandered apology for consciousness, how do electrons transmit their uncertainty states into modes of awareness that identify not only their existence but the terms for uncertainty itself? It just doesn’t wash. A rambling, boundaryless algorithm somehow yields an internally self-knowing identity, even a delusional one, to serve its affidavit.

But how would a free-range quantum energy state get transmuted into dimer morsels of free-living microtubules discretely enough to become the charge or weight of a metonymy or ontological concept? How does the uncertainty state of a subatomic particle generate or become the uncertainty state of a desire or emotion—the euphoria of a pollen-bathing bee? I get it that yeses and nos, blacks and whites, create grays and other spectra, but I do not get how they blossom into self-referential beingness.

There are not enough neurons in a spider or bee to achieve “I” as we understand it, so who is poking its palp—who is having its reverie disturbed?

Even given three-billion-plus planetary revolutions of a sun-star….

Once again, the only thing that speaks for the presence of consciousness is its reflection itself.

I’m no physicist or biologist, but common sense tells me that electron states alone can’t depolarize themselves over the necessary ontological threshold or cross the girth and lesion impeding them by both structure and scale. They can’t command the microfilaments of a neural cell, let alone a creature, to dance to their tune while bearing anything like a meaning, a “hi there.” They have no way to translate that information further up the ganglionic-pod chain into full-blown Faulknerian narratives and Wittgensteinian philosophies by their madcap amok lonesomes.

 

Another spider, working on his web in the ceiling corner of my shower stall, is suddenly aware of the splatter and rise of steam. He scurries up the wall to the crack of the ceiling.

Who does he speak and act for except himself, presently a spider effort-shape? This long-legged mite recognizes my presence—that of another—and stands in relationship to it, intelligence plus persona.

He came out of the same muck, the same uncertainty field, as me. He could not have made itself, but he is self-made.

I could reach out and touch him if I wanted. He could crawl down the wall, extend a leg, and touch me. But it is not in either of our playbooks. Neither of us wants more contact, the misting stall is quite enough.

As I stare at him, I ask my question again of the space boinging between us—the crux of this text: our urgencies to defend our positions and seek information, the universe itself.

If we are mere machines, we would be oblivious, willing to have our motors turned off at any moment, to evaporate from self-knowingness in a poof with no more fuss than any other set of isobars giving way to the next in a weather system, much like the cessation of thunder and lightning during a storm (remember, they were gods once too). In principle, there is nothing real, no deeper rootedness, holding us together than it. There should be no angst in either of our pilot lights to cherish or cling to this life.

Yet every ounce and gesture of each of us clamors just the opposite.

Daily players who revive to Earth reality each morn identify totally with their awakening flows of body-mind beingness. It’s what they are and how they know what anything else is. Are these each and all pinball effects generating not only their own delusions but meaning itself to those delusions attach?

Who then is doing all that me-ing and mewing? If it’s dust to dust, how did “we” and those fully convincing and convinced leopards and intent toads and lizards and cobras and spring sparrows get inside it and start chirping? What is generating their selfhood, their survival tactics, a spider taking issue with an interloping bee? Are these each and all pinball effects generating not only their own delusions but meaning itself to those delusions attach?

There is no squirm by which a caterpillar gets a peek at its own parameters. “I” is a vantage that cannot be shaped from outside or by contigency. It arises from its own undesignated vortex and identifies with itself.

“What else is there?” most creatures drink to the bottom of the glass.

In fact, they don’t drink because reality’s detonation is so all-consuming they are not even aware of a separate cistern or brew, let alone a decision to be made regarding its status or theirs. Does a raccoon or crow worry about the ontological premise underlying its actions? Of course not. It pivots from its existence into the universe, the initial ontological premise on this planet. The loose cords coming out of a collective reality field and tying it to the flow of events are so much more statutory even than that, so much more profound than even survival instinct, predation, or territoriality. And those materialism’s famous triumvirate of innate drives—its false bottom to the barrel.

That’s what any turtle or tiger does upon instantaneously stirring from its genesis in a gastrulating heap of cells. It recognizes a radiant field, reads and evaluates cues, and responds with its best DNA-given chelonian or feline tools. It dead-reckons reality. That’s real pre-pre-Socratic philosophy. “The wolf is not a wandering scholar but a wandering minstrel—with the whole prairie for auditorium and worldfield to work upon. He can visualize a Platonic universe of sound as a field on which to conceive and topologize his personal statements.” [Michael McClure] The Earth is full of such minstrels from the sow bug to the octopus and eagle, maybe other worlds are too.

Homo sapiens’ intellectual freedom cannot elevate him above the existential status of wolves.

 

If awareness of reality is a computation proceeding through successive standing states—random input as it gets transposed into dedicated, depolarizing channels of output—then a wolf’s sense of beingness and art of living, is the most inexplicable and astonishing epiphenomenon in the universe—an autonomous “me” that recognizes itself recognizing itself down through the bottomless gyre of its own mirrorred beingness, a categorical anchor in a seemingly anchorless universe. This continuous, exigent impulse to beingnes is not just heat consumption. Personal identity and related states of non-negotiable presence that take their cues from profound underlying matrices (genetic or other) that support them continuously: alligators, jackals, and turkey vultures with their convictions, desires, and species plans.

It is not autopilot zombie-like self-recognition of machine functions trying to sneak past the Turing test. No computer-generated figment can pass the Turing test of personal identity and self-reflective consciousness, but then no computer can pass the Turing test either. All that happens is that people get cleverer at fooling themselves and imbedding their own gullibility in the system. Remember, a robot (or computer) is the referee to which all matters of value are finally referred.

Check out the only tool for science and philosophy that you have, your own body-mind or mind-body. Drop into it in its unplumbed depth, its capacity and sourcedness. You know how to do that. Dive in place. Explore your trajectory as exhaustively as you can.

What does it feel like? Does it feel like an algorithm splattering molecules and displacing neuron overloads up the ladder(as you follow it or is it a self-arising, continuously igniting burst of incandescence? Does it feel like a happenstance collection of randomly generated effects? Or does it seem to be rooted in an unknown dimension, a ground luminosity?

Reason through what either source would feel like and how either would be different the way you know yourself. Can you discriminate calibers of distinction? Then can one universe flip into the other through a trick of perceptual, phenomenological reckoning? Just asking….

Now go directly to the tourbillion of your own existence. Experience what it is. For a moment presume that it is not an algorithm or chemico-electric flow. Take it for a test drive. Ride it as it bucks.

I am proposing that this imaginal process is the beginning of everything in the universe—senior, even critical to the existence of matter.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. It’s where the legendary rainbow body and requisites of Tibetan Buddhist phowa practices and Hindu astral travel originate: the recognition of selfhood as an autonomous act with ontological as well as psychological implications, the notion that formulations of energy are thoughtforms that give rise to space-time itself, this space or any other space or dimension, that we issue actual cosmography as we think.

If you were a member of a Plains Indian warrior sodality or a Tibetan lama in training, you would start from the same premise—there isn’t another. To create reality means serious psychic practice not wishful thinking. Thoughtforms in Reiki or psychic exercises are the same thoughtforms used to contact spirits and to direct reincarnations. The former are the kindergarten versions; by comparison most shamans and lamas were doing advanced graduate work before they were ten. It doesn’t matter; you begin where you are.

The thought experiment we just did may be the tiniest of first steps—one that a prospective lama or shaman might take in his reasonably first year of training—but it is a necessary step because each more ambitious one roots in it and wends from there toward one’s wn source, the source emanation. I am claiming that only from a source emanation does the physical universe make any sense.

But within an ideologically and physically reductive universe an entelechy of mind never makes sense, so modern science rejects it.

The consciousness paradox finally yields two fundamentally opposing viewpoints of reality. The first is that, since nothing at large collateralizes the fount of consciousness, consciousness is nothing—a network distortion, an ephemeral epiphenomenon leading to brief trances that confer an illusion of self beingness on the phantoms it creates. That’s the going party view.

The second is that, since consciousness exists, it is de facto real, not only real but exempt from ordinances of science that exclude it. It is a self-arising luminosity and the ground of beingness itself.

But that can’t be right because nothing is exempt from the ordinances of science, rulebook of physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics. Nothing in a chemico-mechanical universe can arise without a physical sponsor, a hard initial substrate and subsequent notarized chain of substrate carriers, each proximal to the next. Every item has a skein of forerunners in the one-way march from the Big Bang’s dispersal of preons, quarks, neutrinos (or whatever) to atoms, molecules, globules and, eventually (at least here on Earth and probably in the Milky Way Galaxy at large): bacteria, amoebas, and their more cumbrous, ganglion-bearing successors.

If creature patterns are anchored and induced at a deeper level than that—if they are arising and acting from a more base emanation, then both the spider and I are plane-hoppers, shape-shifters, and the field between us is lodged in a sticky plasma by which the universe is also generating itself.

If beingness springs from a deeper pedestal, scientists are looking for consciousness in the wrong places and matter is the true stranger, matter with a capacity for consciousness.

 

The Innate Intelligence of the System

Earth’s nonhuman bionts—chickens, snakes or dogs and the like—are not stupid; that is, they are not neuron-deprived or less evolved than Homo wiseguy. Nor are they less differentiated or clever than humans. Each is a fully operational bastion of meaning with as much intrinsic targeting, specification, agency, and event closure as we have. Each is designed as what it is.

Any average earthworm or crustacean “is,” as “is,” as “is” gets, squiggling in their tidepools or muck. A mosquito reads nature’s transmission through a mosquito portal, a vole at vole frequency, a whale on a Cetacean channel.

What they know, they know—and we don’t. As little as we get of the time-frame and proprioceptive senses of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, we grok even less of insects, trees, or foxgloves, yet they are all in our DNA operating system, made of the same carbon-based modules. [175]

We have no neural equipment or context to know or understand many of the things Earth’s animals think or the way in which they think them—how they experience love, power, curiosity, intention, self. We merely project and anthropomorphize. What they don’t know—cultural schemes and propositions precious to us—are irrelevant to the way in which the universe is passing through their activating codes.

No matter its mode of manifestation, every phenomenology in the universe is complete. Every creature knows what itself and universe are too, not as knowledge but beingness that has emerged from the guts of matter wearing its fur or membrane or shell inside and out.

Every snake and owl and spider is the universe—the matrix and control center of a cosmos. In her channeling from the spirit-form Seth, Jane Roberts said that a creature’s “every motion is bathed in the knowledge of the rightness of [its] being…. [A] cat trusts the universe…trusts his catness—his leaping and chasing of birds, his appetites and desires. And these qualities of catness add to the universe…are reflected through it in a million unknown ways….” [194]

These can never be renounced or revoked because they can never be separated from itself. The porcupine’s cellulo-molecular congeries do porcupine things. That’s all they can do. It knows what this is—what is backing up its actions and beingness. Each creature’s thought range matches reality and, for all intents and purposes, extends into intergalactic space—the imprinting of the universe on its hologram. A frog or snail may experience water in the way we experience sky or philosophy. To bugs, the nitrogen of decay is a glowing cosmos, every bit a complement to our starry night. Wasps are not building a nest or tatting an unconscious object like a 3-D copier. They are constructing a city, just like us, on their own wavelength.

Dung beetles push their balls of poop away from competitors in efficient straight lines by taking and storing successive celestial snapshots and comparing them. They navigate by imposition of the Milky Way on their brains.

You cannot break any animal’s trance or train of thought, its attention and commitment to its species’ frequency. You cannot manipulate or use propaganda, behavioral training, or violence to get it to compromise its agenda. You may use Pavlovian training to get a dog or falcon to do your bidding, but they will do it as a dog or falcon not proxy humans. You cannot extract a possum from possumness, even if you provoke it, as some do. It lives and dies as a possum. You cannot violate the possum operating system; you can only damage it or shut it down. You cannot convince a bull that the bullring is a sham, a fiction it will charge the point of attack. The harpooned whale, the falling bullet-riddled duck, the picador-taunted bull, the bee confined in a carafe bend the universe along their own space-time-consciousness continua. That’s relativity.

The pity we exert on behalf of suffering creatures—for instance, factory-dismembered chickens and cows—is a projection of our own unresolved status. I am not talking about authentic compassion; I am talking about vague angst and pity. Creatures handle their situations when presented with them—the universe responds; it reconstructs itself instant by instant, creature by creature.

An outsider has no clue as to the opportunities being presented to members of a different species. As psychic teacher John Friedlander puts it, “Humans are not the only beings able to achieve enlightenment, they are the only beings needing to achieve enlightenment.”

Reality may not be “real”—the subatomic motifs at its base are obviously fugitive and empty of substance—but it is irreplaceable. You can replace a robot, but you cannot replace a self-arising vortex of beingness. You are stuck with it down to the short hairs. That’s the difference between consciousness and personal identity: “waz happ’nin’, waz going down, you know.”

Millennia ago Hindu philosophers called this status “self-authenticating.” The ground luminosity of our beingness is not only self-arising but self-authenticating. It doesn’t need an arbiter. It is its own witness and authority. Try to find a witness to corroborate it. That which exists through itself is meaning.

The paradox is, if we knew what consciousness was, if we even had a riverboat gambler’s chance in hell of knowing what it was, we wouldn’t be conscious, we wouldn’t know anything at all. Consciousness must be uncertain of itself. That state of uncertainty makes it conscious of myriad other states as it sets quantum waves collapsing through one another. By being fundamentally uncertain, consciousness is capable of depth and paradox, even at a snail’s level. Its query is so subtle that the universe does a pirouette and rolls over from end to end with each vector of sentient output, however modest the provider.

 

The Brain per Ground Consciousness

In modernity, phenomenal mind cannot exist separate of the brain’s sui generis figurations and effects, Scientists assume that if they can’t figure out material forensics at the present moment, they will someday by the same essential tasks, tools, and paradigm set, using new improved instruments leading to more comprehensive theories, eventually a theory of everything. This ignores ontological as well as epistemological gaps between nature and society, between language and meaning, and, more significantly, between those aspects of the universe that we can get at via our own operating systems and those we can’t. Or if it doesn’t ignore them, it presumes that they too can be lassoed in.

Given the prima facie evidence of conscious existence, researchers are frustrated that they can’t satisfactorily derive it from components and mechanisms of the cerebral cortex and aggregate ganglia or trace it from presynaptic circuits as they evolved in flatworms, newts, shrews, and the like. A bundle of damp coiled entrails does not look anything like consciousness nor does it have evident portals for the universe that consciousness projects. The sulcal curdles of the brain are fractally taut, highly specified, phylogenetically differentiated at multiple levels, neurophysically circumscribed, yet they show no sign of housing self-identifying, holographically ranging consciousness. “Brains and neurons obviously have everything to do with consciousness,” writes philosopher H. Allen Orr in admitting that how these objects can give rise to the phenomenology of objective experience is inexplicable.

Psychologist Steven Pinker’s response to the relation of consciousness to the brain was, “Beats the heck out of me. I have some prejudices, but no idea of how to begin to look for a defensible answer. And neither does anyone else.” [LD48] Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield opined that “it will always be quite impossible to explain the mind on the basis of neuronal action within the brain…. Although the content of consciousness depends in large measure on neuronal activity, awareness itself does not…. To me, it seems more and more reasonable to suggest that the mind may be a distinct and different essence.” [LD49]

Astrophysicist David Darling adds, “No account of what goes on at the mechanistic level of the brain can shed any light whatsoever on why consciousness exists. No theory can explain why the brain shouldn’t work exactly as it does, yet without giving rise to the feeling we all have of ‘what it is like to be.’” [LD51]

The list of aphorisms is endless. Science cannot derive mind from the electrical and chemical properties of the brain nor locate the inside-outness that it weirds into the universe. “Despite this [Orr continues], I can’t go so far as to conclude that mind poses some insurmountable barrier to materialism….” [In a review of Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwininan Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False” by Thomas Nagel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); The New York Review of Books, Vol. LX, No. 2, February 7, 2013, p. 28.] He can’t go so far only because that would forfeit the game. Yet he does go precisely that far in calling attention to the paradox: the brain is the sole proximal source of conscious beingness only because there is no other candidate.

Conversely protein analyst Jean-Pierre Changeux enjoins philosophers to reformulate their ontological positions to keep up with the latest advances in neuroscience, which must (to his and his colleagues’ minds) contain the ultimate determination of consciousness’s standing vis-à-vis its inferred chemico-electrical basis—so philosopher Colin McGinn accuses Changeaux of a disingenuous and “dubious reductionism and the act-object fallacy, adding (in line with Orr), “I think we know quite well what consciousness is; what I maintain is that we don’t understand how consciousness can arise from merely electrical and chemical properties of the brain….” [“Neuroscience and Philosophy: An Exchange,” The New York Review of Books, August 15, 2013/Volume LX, Number 13, pp. 82-83].

Cascading chemical and bio-electrical effects raised to the highest exponent in hard drives of increasing evolutionary capacity, cannot mitigate the fact that, at some point, an interloper seems to have crashed the party. Years ago a neuroscientist in an airport lounge confessed to me, as we sat out a delayed flight, “The brain is a black box. We can do amazing things with the stuff inside the box, but we can’t get into the box itself. It doesn’t have a true memory function and its data-recall is virtual, it’s everywhere.”

The brain’s operation of mind is sealed as impenetrably as Einstein’s space-time continuum wrapped around the illusion of space-time. That Einstein even put space and time into a continuum says as much about consciousness as it does about the universe. Relativity and a collapsed quantum wave come out of mind observing nature and then reflecting its observations back and wrapping them around each other.

They may come out of the universe too, the universe without consciousness, but the tree that falls in that forest can never be assayed or calculated because we can’t get at it without cerebral interference. Does the universe exist if no one experiences it? All we know of matter is our own psychic inference of it.

One might be able to juggle molecular ping-pong balls long enough and in deep enough parleys to arrive at materialistic consciousness by phylogenetic prerequisites, but it is another order to explain how they flip phenomena into phenomenology and that capacity is condensed, synopsized, and coded so that it repeats itself in self-similar ratios with immaculate precision routinely billions of times a second on this planet.

As long as scientism imposes its rigorously lineal obligation, consciousness can never be itself, can’t be innately and immanently “conscious” as its inherent state. It must come to every party with a physical sponsor—its passport stamped at every stop along the way. Even if the stamps are provisional or bogus…. It can do anything it wants and have a fine time of it; the only thing it can’t do is be nonlocal and self-generating. It can’t set up shop or spurl outside the official succession of molecular statuses, meaning chaos states specified by neg-entropy and driven by DNA-designated systems summarized currently by the cerebral cortex of the hominid brain.

If mindedness ever gets out of the box and gains a foothold, a separate, nonmaterial limen … there might as well be telekinesis, remote viewing, and psychic photography—the whole nine yards—because nonlocal consciousness is itself an outrage to materialism. A blackmailing intruder, a troublemaker, a rabid dog is a more unwelcome guest than even telepathy.

Nonlocal consciousness—consciousness that speaks for itself—is far more radical than any so-called psi phenomenon, for it sets a new yardstick for reality. Telepathy is at most a remote-control device that might get explained materialistically. Nonlocal consciousness makes reality what is paranormal. One material said, “This is the sort of thing I would not believe, even if it really happened.” [LD74]  

 

The lead article on the back page of the 2015 June 28 New York Times Sunday Review, called “Face It, Your Brain is a Computer,” was composed by a psychologist and neural scientist at NYU named Gary Marcus. Marcus argues that the brain is a computer because, to any reasonable observer, what else can it be? It links by computations, its neurons operate like ordinary computer hardware, it performs behaviors homologous to what a computer does. He apparently doesn’t perceive the fallacy of conflating cause and effect; he doesn’t seem to recognize that computers are modeled on brains, not the other way around. (But what are brains modeled on?)

The logic is bass-ackwards. Marcus has forgotten the Turing test or, more likely, assumes that it has been aced. He fancies that knowing himself as himself and conceiving and writing his article is somehow equivalent to a computer deriving the same ideas from its own programming, i.e., that someday we can program computers to know themselves too. If our logic-board and thought processes are lodged in our cerebral wiring’s self-monitoring hierarchies, that’s who we are.

Marcus’ article is full of semi-elegant matches between the brain’s operations and those various sorts of computers, with its author concluding that “field programmable gate arrays” provide the best current model for our brains.

The article seems less an essay reflecting the depth, complexity, and paradoxical nature of its topic than an unintentional self-parody: a pretend computer playing back prefabricated liturgy masquerading as ideas. The presumption is that it could have been generated by inputting its conclusion into a computer with language skills.

Of course by the premise, that’s all it should be—computation—so my imputing such is no insult at all.

Academic creativity consists of finding more clever ways to repeat house propaganda. I doubt that Professor Marcus thinks he performs like a computer in his personal world or that he recognizes the problem generated by the fact that he does not. Most mavens of modernity believe that you can think and be whatever you want in your private life without invalidating your professional belief system.

Marcus seems to be unaware of his essential paradox or self-parody, that the only reason he is able to make a comparison between brains and computers is because brains invented computers, and quite recently. He can back-engineer paradigms from cybernetic motherboards into cellular ones. Yet computers don’t have precedent or hegemony over brains. They are not even better machines even though they are manufactured and subject to quality control as opposed to living machines basted out of raw elements; they are more limited and less virtual.

Marcus is willing to play second fiddle to his computer doppelgänger who will someday write the same article and allow it to be as much a gentleman and scholar as himself. He doesn’t have to defer openly to a contemporary machine; he can play the role of dutiful servant. He can be as happy or sad as he wants without disturbing the paradigm or his peace of mind and personal agendas because at core he knows it is only ideology and he doesn’t have to take it home with him. His children don’t have to be robots, so he is free to love them arrantly (when the robot in him isn’t looking). The rest is supposition and presumption anyway.

That is the way that he, like all scientists, fudges the hole in reality. It is a charade, but it is one of the most widespread charades on the Earth today—visitors from another solar system would see it as a collective, self-induced trance. The brain is a computer only if you slap a computer model onto it and then shoehorn it in, i.e., if you believe that the material sphere must be the control center of all proprioceptive linkages between consciousness and matter.

 

It must have been “Turing Test Sunday” because, in the same June 28th issue, the Times Magazine ran an article subtitled “Can Brain Scanning Help Save Freudian Psychoanalysis?”

In keeping with the materialistic model, drugs have already replaced Freud’s “talking cure”—and why not, they are more efficient, cheaper, and ostensibly more accountable for diagnosis of defective circuits and their biochemical remediation. However, argues the article’s author, Casey Schwartz, a so-called neuropsychoanalytic theoretician, if the effects of clinical transference can be mapped in the brain (the analogue being computer diagnosis and repair), then there might be hope for verbal doctor-patient interaction—and hence for treatments other than pharmaceutical intervention. Instead of drugs or talk, doctors could use circuits and inputs.

This is really the same article as Marcus’—the same reductio ad materialism.

Thoughts and actions do alter the brain—regular Buddhist meditation causes physiological shifts corresponding to nondual existence while criminal acts program a brain fur further crime. Though brain can be physicochemically changed by its own thought patterns, that would seem to prove the opposite of what Schwartz derives from it, at least ontologically as regards the interaction of mind and matter.

Neuropsychoanalytic jargon is a perfect marriage of science and capitalism with a goal of creating commodities for both digital and pharmaceutical markets. Its practitioners don’t seem to understand the degree to which its reductive materialism is not the acme of science but its detour into stage-four capitalism. They think that science always gains the upper hand over corporate greed, but it is precisely the opposite.

In ratifying that we aren’t real, in telling our minds that our bodies are molecular factories grounded in temporary respites of neg entropy, science tries control and license more than it has earned by inquiry and vision.

 

The alternative to materialism is that consciousness is fundamental to the basis and nature of the universe. All That Exists (anywhere in any form) is neither mind nor matter but ground luminosity, an interdependent co-arising of mind and matter. This is a common enough Hindu/Buddhist trope that one could lapse into picturing the opening of a Disney movie or the dawn of Narnia. The luminosity is of primordial purity, spontaneous, timeless, ceaseless, ceaselessly self-renewing, extraneous to cyclic events—any number of successive Big Bangs and universes or reality structures within a multiverse. Its cardinal glow appears, crystal-like, in contact with everything that arises from it and reflects back to its source, e.g., reflects at all.

When scientists turn with their sophisticated instruments to any dab of terrestrial matter and try to look inside the ’toms and ’cules at the basis of their reality, they find the dissipation of matter itself amid gateways to other dimensions that are simultaneously incomprehensibly large and inextricably small, and generate tautologies, contradictions, and uncertainty states at the core of the thermodynamic triumvirate known as space-time-matter. Nothing is there but mind contacting the self-arising ground luminosity. That thoughtform-generating glow is ultimately far more durable than photons or electrons it incubates. It is at the source and root of All That Is. It is where quantum physics meets its Newtonian predecessor.

 

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings and similar quasi-recreational killings are “trickle down” from the supposition that we are amoral chemicals discharging synapses. It’s not that far from “a light goes on, a light goes off, but it wasn’t even a light” to “they’re not real people, so who gives a shit! These toddler rats only think they’re alive. Otherwise, they’re clay pigeons.” Shooter Adam Lanza didn’t think that; it was in the air he breathed, the electrons he assimilated from the Internet. He was so dissociated that he was competing against a Norwegian’s sociopath’s shoot, to beat his videogame score.

His reality had dwindled to a videogame console. In that state his misery could be mortgaged, arbitraged, debt-financed, and shut down—the person oil-slick of space-time known as “himself” cashed in. The way out of Dodge was to shut off the game because the unspoken doxology of science assured him of a clean escape.

Ego extinction is indisputable in an already planned-obsolescence, deferred-maintenance universe. A dead person doesn’t exist anymore and isn’t coming back. So he can commit the perfect crime! Lanza expected to disappear—in essence and in kind—scot-free, unavailable to take responsibility. From an act of ultimate thermodynamic banditry, he believed that he would get released from the various fixes he was in, the legendary nightmare from which we cannot awake, because he could shut off the game. He expected that what would happen to him was what he told himself would happen to him—oblivion followed by more oblivion: Nothing happens. Nothing happens, forever.

Chemico-electrical compulsions have implicit license to run amok and kick ass. How can you indict a chemical reaction?

Science’s collective failure to realize the moral implications of a solely materialistic paradigm has been myopic. Whereas the hole in the paradigm was silent recognized and honored for centuries while science and technology went on successfully—steam engines and souls ran concurrently—it is now a requirement of professional science that the imperial robes covering the hole be honored as the final word on the matter.

This attitude is driven not by any reasoned-out cost-risk evaluation but by a vague, subliminal fog of mercantile commoditization. To enlisted scientists the only alternative to nihilistic materialism is biblical theocracy. They attribute in-between or subtler states of reality but variously to (1) endorphins reinforcing happy delusions and creating addictive mirages, (2) a default setting in the brain, (3) indoctrination, (4) positive selection (winning wars and gaining territory, good works leading to community service and harmony), or (5) a centuries-long Papal marketing ploy like Coca Cola with its secret sauce. The rejection of spiritual experience is that cynical.

In 1838, not all that long ago, Charles Dickens could write (in his novel Nicholas Nickleby) of the dread disease consumption “in which the struggle between soul and body is so gradual, quiet, and solemn, and the result so sure, that day by day and grain by grain, the mortal part wastes and withers away, so that the spirit grows light and sanguine, with its lightening load and feeling immortality at hand, deems it but a new form of mortal life….” [731] —and mean it. The reality of “spirit” was intrinsic and unchallenged by consensus belief systems. Nowadays a soul or spirit would be retro in mainstream fiction. Magical realism is the sole legitimized alternative to materialism.

 

In choosing suicide, Lanza, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and fellow hit-and-run killers closed their sprees by cashing out their chips. Each was wagering on science’s consensus belief system: mere molecules. Kill that shit, Goth brother! And leave a puissant message for the rascals, fools, and douchebags bugging your asses, those lording their virtue over you!

 Islamic jihadists like the 9/11 hijackers, the brothers Kouachi, Islam State suicide cells, and the Tsarnaev brothers believed that they were punching tickets to paradise not oblivion, the opposite strategy on the surface but really the same deal at core: capital manipulation of self. If you just go by the numbers, most people on Earth believe in a heaven or hell. How we get from here to there need not be resolved in a procedural sense. Believers do not need a credible path to elsewhere. You woke up one place, you’ll wake up another. What a deal!

Scientism is biblical theocracy, and preferential resurrection is as much a mirage as extinction—an ideological bait and switch. Neither ideological chimera has the staying power of ongoing experienced reality. In the quite different premise of martial-artist Peter Ralston:

“You’re going to die. What else is there to do but grasp what life is, what you are, and what Absolute Reality is before you die? Are you satisfied with just believing you are going to go to heaven, or wherever, or become nothing? Don’t be silly. Get beyond a childish relationship to this matter and become responsible for grasping it first hand. When you die, you will know what death is.”

None of these dudes got to that point.

 

If you are Adam Lanza or Eric Harris, you are gambling big-time a model of consciousness as signals through a central processor. If you are a jihadist suicide bomber, the same phenomenal chain leads to Paradise. By smashing or disconnecting the processor, you cancel out being on Earth and you get yourself elsewhere or nowhere. You are gambling that your experience of self is not just extinguishable but extinguishable at no personal cost. Painlessly too. Suicide bombers are taught that the moment of the explosion will be over faster than it can be felt, than neurons can deliver the unpleasant message. The discomfort is as fleeting and minimal as a pinprick. Then nothing—or eternal joy!

But that’s a a pure throw of the dice as long as neither science nor religion actually know what consciousness is, e.g., what turns on the light, what puts you inside its glow, and what happens when its cord is disconnected. You cannot change the fact that you do not know who or what you actually are.

When recreational killers assert, “I won’t exist anymore after I die,” who are they talking about?

When scientific materialists say, “I didn’t exist before this current lifetime which was molecularly conferred on random organic molecules, and it didn’t work out so badly, as I recall,” where were you, buddy? If you weren’t you, “who” wasn’t you, and how did “it” become you?

How did you get in the tub, bub?

If only your own solipsism is real, where is it coming from?

Who is its watcher or witness?

What self-respecting snail or vole would bite at this? What rightfully indignant woodpecker or turkey vulture?

That’s why no one said boo for two and a half billion years.

There is always the possibility that a matrix as gossamerly informational as beingness cannot arise from nothing or be expunged gratuitously.

What if instead of ending up nothing, the suicide bomber or killer drops clear to the bottom of what he actually is? And forms a fresh landscape from the karmic charge rooted in his or her acts.

What if death snaps the current narrative but not the vortex from which it is arising?

If the epiphenomena of consciousness ever prove real on their own terms, guess what? Everything presently “real” instantly becomes epiphenomenal.

If those chemico-electrical waves are themselves epiphenomena of absolute consciousness and beingness, then murder-suicide dudes are up shit’s creek without a paddle because ultimately each of them going to have to face his intrinsic reality as well as the consequences, which is a more a reckoning than that posed by Earth’s constabularies.

I believe that, contrary to their expressed and implied intent of achieving nonexistence, Adam Lanza, Eric Harris, .Wayne Lo, Cho Seung-Hui, Jared Loughner and countless others were giving voice to a different terrible and inexpressible thing: “Something is happening. It’s really big and it’s really real, and I can’t stop it. You don’t believe me? You won’t listen? Well, then let me show you!”

Under their petty, shallow narcissistic manipulations and gunplay, ran another ego thought-stream: “I am a big deal and I am real, so I cannot be destroyed. I cannot be silenced or voided.”

When they pulled various triggers to obliterate their selves, it was to get out of immediate pain and evade punishment. They intended to raze their raunchy social identity, not its feed. They meant to kill everything that could be identified as them or traced to them, but not themselves. They meant to slink off, destroy the perpetrator, and still exist. Because they did not believe in their own nonexistence.

They didn’t think that one through—no surprise there.

If karma is a thermodynamic-level force rather than a Hindu trope, suicide underwrites only its own underlying psychic potentiation. You can obliterate an illusion or conditional view, but you can’t cut off or eliminate what brought it into being.

 

The marriage of materialism and capitalism is, at core, why terrorists blow up commodities and bodies as well as their own bodies. It is virtually the only response equal ontologically to the attack of the globally privileged on the disenfranchised. Capital theft is the agenda of both imperialism and materialistic science, a symptom of which most scientists are blithely unaware, even thinking themselves benefactors of the poor with their famine- and disease-curtailing machines. Monsanto and Bill Gates are not benign.

The Boston Marathon bombers, the Brothers Tsarnaev, had zero terms for dealing with their own mysteriously arising energies and other thoughtforms. These visitations could have been harvested into anything, but a sell of jihadist propaganda, online and from immediate family turned into a personal narrative, convincing them that their visions came from Mecca and Lahore—even though rogue terrorism was not in their playbook.

Such is the case for thousands of youths, from Somalia to Yemen to Chechnya, in Belgium, France, and Germany, including those who joined the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant—no job, no honor, no way to celebrate coming of age, to discharge testosterone-fueled eros, to let them roam the prairies and oases with wolves and shamans and find their spiritual freedom and meaning.

Similarly, a seventeen-year-old North Carolina girl committed suicide after disclosing her plans on Facebook (2014), in the mistaken belief that she was a horrible person because of sexual fantasies. Southern Baptism in her family and community had misled her as to the nature of the energy behind her thoughtforms.

You can’t fight the universe, but the trick is understanding exactly what that means and doesn’t. Can you imagine a Dostoyevsky character shooting children at a grade school and then turning the gun on himself? Lanza, Dzhokhar, and Tamerlan were mere shoppers at the international cargo-cult mall.

I think that most modern political propaganda (Tea Party, Christian Fundamentalist, Zionist Settler, Sharia Law etc.) is a cynical attempt to hijack people’s deep energy and visions and put them to their ideological use, to distract them from their unrealized depth and individuation—cynical diversions to trigger compliance with unexamined racist, materialist, and capitalist agendas.

 

The Brain as Tuner

Charles Fort, an early twentieth-century amateur American scientist, collected oddities for which apparently “forced or bogus explanations [were offered] by the official intellectuals of the time. [95] There is no proof that frogs (or fish or periwinkles) ever fell from the sky and piled up on roadsides where they stank to high heaven; that what was photographed resting on a rock or washed up dead on a beach were mermaids, that sentient poltergeist states streak across iodide plates, that individuals spontaneously catch fire and incinerate themselves, etc.

The parallels between the assassinations of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, a century apart, an oft-cited incongruity, fall well within the statistical parameters of chance. Even so, something does seem to be holding them together. The two charismatic politicians were elected to Congress in 1847 and 1947, respectively; to the Presidency in 1860 and 1960. Both were involved in famous debates (Lincoln with Douglas, Kennedy with Nixon). Most strikingly, as if the cosmos were toying with us, Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy who warned him not to go to the theater that night, while Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln who advised him against a trip to Dallas; Lincoln sat in Box 7, Kennedy rode in Car 7.

No big deal: Lincoln and Kennedy are common enough names in the grand shuffle. Still, each had a secretary who….

What about Joseph Figlock, who in 1930 while passing a second time beneath a window, caught and thereby saved the life of the same rambunctious infant?

What about the 1920 train on which the only three passengers discovered that they were Bingham, Powell, and Bingham-Powell?

What about a man, his son, and his grandson who were all struck and killed by lightning in the same backyard in Tarranto, Italy, decades apart, a series beginning in 1919?

What about the twin boys separated at birth, both named James by their adopting families, both trained in police enforcement, both marrying women named Linda, both getting divorced and remarrying a woman named Betty. Both named their sons John Allan, though one used a single “l.” Both had dogs named Troy. These coincidences came to light when they were reunited in 1979 at age 40.

Again, with so many events and so much information flowing through semantic universes, some of it is bound to stick coincidentally. But “Betty,” “John Allan,” and “Troy”! Maybe another reality is being experienced through a glass darkly.

Subjective accounts of nonlocal ranges of consciousness run a gamut: “memories” of pre-birth existence, near-death experiences of tunnels through which a mind-form travels to a realm where its bearer is welcomed by relatives and guides before returning to the physical plane, ghost journeys through hospitals while in surgery during which a patient reports on objects and events viewed in the hospital. In remote-viewing experiments, consciousness seemingly violates the laws of time and space, travels on its own, and imposes its primacy on matter. Telekinesis—the dislocation of matter by mind—combined with remote viewing and quantum entanglement, connect us, at least hypothetically, to the far reaches of galaxies and quasi-stellar objects. Quantum collapse is nonlocality in spades.

These events and propositions are undesignated in their relation to mainstream science. They are ignored or blamed on inaccurate perception, error, intentional deception, lazy thinking, and religious or superstitious belief systems. Collectively anomalies place no weight at all on the scale of materialism. The hole is patched as soon as it forms.Science avoids having to jump its own paradigm.

As long as the basis of consciousness is circumscribed solely in a brain, there is no other reference point nts. A mind separate of a brain cannot travel through space. There would be nothing to generate bioelectrical impulses and cognition. While a body is on an operating table, its consciousness cannot wander down halls and look at waiting rooms, operating schedules, and name badges on orderlies. That’s ridiculous, absurd! Such illicit traipses are coincidences, contaminated evidence, or fake and coached recitals.

A personality cannot reformulate itself after the destruction of its brain; it cannot transfer its memories, abracadabra, to a new cellular matrix. There is no mechanism for a transfer or agency whereby thoughts, identities, or memories of one person can pass intersubjectively into the mind and of another. Reincarnation is not only unverifiable but impossible. Neurologist Oliver Sacks’ commonsense explanation for near-death experiences sets up shop where all serious quests for the artifacts of consciousness land these days: in the mirage machine of the brain:

“[T]he fundamental reason that hallucinations—whatever their cause or modality—seem so real is that they deploy the same systems in the brain that actual perceptions do…..

“Hallucinations, whether revelatory or banal, are not of supernatural origin…. [They] cannot provide evidence for the existence of any metaphysical beings or places. They provide evidence only of the brain’s power to create them.” [“Seeing God in the Third Millennium,” The Atlantic, December 12, 2012].

That is, nonlocal journeys of the mind seem real only because they run through the same neural circuitry into the same cerebral lobes as proprioception of concrete things—they read as real only because the mind is tricked by chemico-electricity into believing them. The brain erroneously validates them like a rubber-stamping machine that has stopped looking at the documents it is authorizing. Consensus reality constitutes a sealed loop.

By the same token, however, this entire reality, including the brain’s role in manufacturing it, has no ontological status apart from the provisional one we give it. The brain is not organized or positioned deeply and objectively enough to give a verdict as to its own objective existence or the existential basis of its flow of information. Why give its processing of information exclusive provenance? Who is some guy manning a piece of fancy machinery on a blue waterworld to proclaim, “Any and all outlier dimensions are mirages”?

When Dr. Sacks says that hallucinations are not of supernatural origin and do not provide evidence for the existence of metaphysical realms, only of the brain’s structure and its mirage network, he is either missing the point or taking ungranted prerogative. I get his intent and, within materialism’s boundaries, it is a sound one; the brain is creating reality—a single, cohesive phenomenon processed inside its own neural matrix—and there is no superordinate metaphysical as opposed to physical event.

Another possibility, however, is that neural membranes, matrices, and networks have evolved by natural selection and genetic parameters as conductors of a transcendental current, having evolved not to create but to intercept waves of information passing through the universe at the discrete frequency of protoplasm. Since atoms are mostly empty space and curvature, mind is a broadcast at the frequency of the electrical energy behind their configurations and thus is present (or incipient) not just in the brain but everywhere. The organ itself—in invertebrates a nerve net; in free-living cells a charged membrane—is a formation that has evolved in bionts to process reality in some fashion. To that degree, all forms are sentient in their way; even stones have elements of primordial consciousness, for they are composed of the same vibrating atomic states. Everything in the universe that isn’t animate and conscious is incipiently animate and conscious.

The brain’s lobes are not source originators and prime movers of consciousness but transformers, capacitators, and tubes in the manner of an old-fashioned radio. They elicit the stream of sensations that accrue as consciousness but don’t produce them. Consciousness is not a property of the brain but preexists as a universal force like gravity or heat. If you smash a radio, the music stops, but that doesn’t mean that sound waves no longer fill the surrounding air.

Meanwhile a subtler brain-like complex, located in Hindu cosmology at a chakra above the crown, is processing a fuller landscape of reality unconsciously. The brain that we know is that higher organ’s homunculus or shadow, so sometimes information from higher octaves seeps down into it.

Animals, plants, and even inanimate crystals tune esoteric information by their nature and placement in the universe.

Trance mediums and shamans in cultures that train higher frequencies believe unconditionally in their ability to exchange information with disembodied entities and channel spirits and higher intelligences, including their own friends and relatives who have passed. Some perform this operation as an intermediary for another person, becoming a conduit for information for which they require no cognition themselves. In these instances the medium is often asleep and does not experience the message and persona that is passing through his or her transmission of it.

In another set of protocols, contemporary shamans practice transferring their own subjective consciousness to a plant or animal or other form as a way of training nonlocal consciousness; that is, specifying the movement of mind with some degree of self-recognition and discrimination so as not to get tossed about at death at the whim of samsara’s surface winds.

Tibetan lamas burnish a specialized application of this art in phowa whereby an adept leaves his body while specifying where his identity-vector will attach next, not only in living exercises but after death. That’s nonlocal praxis. To the scientific establishment, it is an absolute hoax, but to those who hone such arts, it is the most serious fact in the universe. This division cuts through the heart of modernity.

Nikola Tesla, Sir William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge, and Lord Raleigh, all participants in the technology from which radios were derived, reasoned along similar lines, and each arrived at the notion that he was working with borderline psychic energy and his mechanical tuners were intrinsically occult. [p. 80]. This view has been marginally reinforced by the preference of nonlocal thoughtforms and spirits for electronic devices: televisions, radios, telephones, global positioning devices, computers, and the like. Telegraphy, telepathy, and the Internet converge as means for intercepting and transmitting information through the cosmos. A hawk or bear at large as much as an electrically charged console: they are all consoles to the greater cosmos.

I am not saying that O.Sacks isn’t right; I am just saying that other interpretations fit the same evidence.

Dead-reckoning is real; it’s where creature life begins, how a reptile cracks its egg and crawls out of its reality into the next.

 

Reincarnation and Past Lives

Reports of reincarnation originate in the late Stone Age and undoubtedly go back tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of years prior. As early hominid disciplines internalized ongoing rites, rituals, and ascetic practices designed to control life, death, rebirth, and nonlocal consciousness, notions of spirit-being were folded into art, mythology, and shamanic training.

A twentieth-century reincarnation thread, at least in the United States, began with Morey Bernstein’s hypnotic regression of Virginia Tighe, a Pueblo, Colorado housewife. To his astonishment Bernstein summoned Bridey Murphy, an ostensible past life of Ms. TIghe’s in Ireland, on his first try.

On little more than a whim or a dare, the hypnotist took Miss Tighe (who appears in his book under the pseudonym Ruth Simmons) through her childhood to her earliest memories, then asked her to go back further yet.

“Two years old, two years old, two years old. And now still farther back. One year old, one year old. Now go on ever farther back. Oddly enough, you can go even farther back.

“I want you to keep going back and back and back in your mind. And, surprising as it may seem, strange as it may seem, you will find that there are other scenes in your memory. There are other scenes from faraway lands and distant places in your memory.”

He held his breath for what would happen next.

Quite a performer this Morey guy! Wily chaperone and psychopomp, he used intonation and language to coax an elusive entity—elicit an unknown form or character, a memory or apparition from the depths of Ms. Tighe’s psyche. Though widely pooh-poohed as a naïve dabbler in recreational trances (usually set in motion by pendulum-like watches on chains), Bernstein hit the sweet spot between hectoring and enticement while providing a screen of safety. He was making an incredible supplication, pretending he was not asking Ms. Tighe to commit the crime of the millennium, while laying its bait for her unconscious mind.

Bernstein didn’t realize he was a natural spirit guide. He probably thought he was working with the same features of reality as the car mechanic down the street. Yet he had a light, sacred touch and didn’t activate Miss Tighe’s taboos or resistance. He spoke directly to her transpersonal aspect—and that’s why it worked! He was asking his subject to brook a major taboo and break into a cubicle sealed by a sacred encryption, to violate her religion and social standing as well as the consensus fifties American belief system that sustained her sanity. This was a big-time danger-zone.

Listen to the cadence and repetition as much as the words, the seamless breaking into ciphertext. If you wanted to lure even a nonexistent dragon out of even a nonexistent cave, Bernstein sure nailed the way. You could object that he was leading the subject, because he was.

“I will talk to you again. I will talk to you again in a little while. I will talk to you again in a little while. Meanwhile your mind will be going back, back, and back until it picks up a scene, until, oddly enough, you find yourself in some other scene, in some other place, in some other time, and when I talk to you again you will tell me about it. You will be able to talk to me about it and answer my questions. And now just rest and relax while these scenes come into your mind….” [pp. 133-134]

He was drawing his subject past the last protected outpost, into the darkness, the void before her own existence, where nothing should exist at all, at least for a citizen of the Eisenhower era, to go there anyway and see if she still had existence, existence before she was known to herself as Virginia Tighe:

“Now you’re going to tell me, now you’re going to tell me what scenes came into your mind. What did you see? What did you see?”

An entirely new being spoke in a changed voice.

“‘…Uh…scratched the paint of all my bed. Jus’ painted it, ’n’ made it pretty. It was a metal bed, and I scratched the paint off it. Dug my nails on every post and just ruined it….’

“Why did you do that?

“‘Don’t know. I was just made. Got an awful spanking.’

“What is your name?”

“ ‘…Uh…Friday….’”

“Don’t you have any other name?

“ ‘Uh…Friday Murphy.” [p. 134]

Just like that, Virginia Tighe had changed into Bridey Murphy, age eight, Cork, Ireland.

Bernstein later remarked that he was barraged with stuff like: “If this Bridey Murphy business, with all that it implies, is true, then why am I hearing about it for the first time from a businessman? How can it be possible that some psychiatrists are not running into the same thing.” [p. 252].

The answer is, they are, but they don’t admit it or want to talk about it—or interpret it as conversions of memories from this lifetime, vestiges of cryptomnesia (the term for old memories being mistaken as novel). Numerous psychiatrists “have had patients who have gone back to something,” but the docs weren’t inclined to call it a past life or were afraid to discuss it at all for fear of ridicule or career damage. [p. 22]. In addition, since they were not trying to regress people past birth, they didn’t construe what they got as a past life. Interpretation of similar flashbacks occurs quite differently in cultures receptive to reincarnation.

What was present in the case of Bernstein and Miss Tighe was the right relationship between operator and subject. As a threshold flickered between them, shamanic transference occurred. Bernstein put the matter this way:

“Some subjects simply have it; others do not. ‘It’ is the inexplicable something which, with the guidance of the hypnotist, enables the subject to pass into the trance state. True, a good operator can accelerate the process of induction, or he might be successful with certain refractory subjects with whom less skillful hypnotists have failed. Nevertheless, there are some people who just won’t be hypnotized.” [pp. 43-44]

Tighe was the flip-side. In subsequent sessions she was able to tell details of Murphy’s childhood, adolescence, and adult life. The daughter of Duncan and Kathleen Murphy, Bridey came into the world on December 20, 1798, her father a local barrister. She married Sean Brian McCarthy at age seventeen and then moved to Belfast. At age sixty-six she “‘fell down…fell down on the stairs, and…seems I broke some bones in my hip too…just sort of withered away…. I was such a burden. Had to be carried about….’” [pp. 143-144].

She observed her own funeral: “‘Oh, I watched them. I watched them ditch my body.’” [p. 171]. She stared at her tombstone, read aloud her full Catholic name, dates of her birth and death.

When Bernstein asked where she went afterwards, she said:

“I just…waiting where everybody waits…. It’s just a place of waiting.” [pp. 181-182]

There she experienced a profound disembodied lucidity from which she could distinguish night and day on earth. She watched Brian going about his life, missing her. When Bernstein asked her to recall her activity in the waiting place, she offered this compelling tidbit:

“ ‘I…remember…dancing…dancing.” [p. 183]. She was performing her round dance in a place where time didn’t exit, as passage of Earth time was translated into timeless solo motion.

The Search for Bridey Murphy became an instant bestseller and cultural sensation. It was as if Virginia Tighe were the first person on Earth to remember a past life. Yet throughout India, Turkey, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, and other Eurasian and Asian cultures where reincarnation is assumed, people routinely recall some aspect of a previous existence without hypnotic regression. These lives and past-life fragments often identify within the same extended family, clan, village, or general region. Remembering a former life in another country, as Ms. Tighe did, is relatively rare. Otherwise, Bernstein’s subject was having an ordinary set of reincarnation memories. Yet that quotidian experience is so repressed in the West that the story made headlines. How did such a state of affairs come about?

In the buttoned-down fifties, attention to reincarnation was all but blotted out in the drama of two World Wars and a Depression, then the enchantment, prosperity, and scientific legerdemain that followed World War II. Life on the physical plane offered so much pizzazz and immediacy that everything else paled beside it. This world was brilliant, vivacious, enthralling—senior and cardinal in every sense. Its spool of mundane existence washed out all spirits and poltergeists, and science provided ample reinforcement.

What event could be more vivid, mesmerizing, and laden with metaphysical richness and meaningfulness than the rise of the Third Reich, Hitler’s terrifying blitz across Europe, the surge of imperial Japan across the Pacific, and the epic battles that followed? These emanations, giving rise to J. R. R. Tolkein’s vision of Mordor, were deeper than reincarnation and for good reason. Each reality construct plays out exclusively and exhaustively during its engagement, and each has the same claim on our being as reality itself.

Despite twentieth-century amnesia the notion of reincarnation was firmly established in Western civilization before Bernstein’s splash. It was accepted in ancient Greece and Rome and through the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. In his lifelong attempt to contact the dead, nineteenth-century British philologist Frederic Myers documented interactions and conversations with ghosts of deceased people, experiments that had direct continuity with witness accounts from prior centuries. A founder of the Society for Psychical Research and broad-based researcher into the paranormal, Myers was reported to have sent fragmentary messages back to relatives and colleagues after his own death.

He was only one of thousands of nineteenth-century researchers into a domain that engaged not only scientists but amateur sleuths such as Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln. The Psychical Society’s inventory for its research platform included mainstays of the day: table tipping, spirit photographs, apparition trumpets and accordions floating in the air playing audible music, levitation, automatic writing (which gave rise to Ouija boards), crystal balls, spirit knocking, and telepathy (a term coined by Myers).

It is modernist provincialism to assume that all these witnesses were gullible, myopic, or unaware of scientific methodology. They conducted meticulous experiments while trying to untangle multiple layers of coincidence and document inexplicable transfers of information. Their trials were at least as thorough as those conducted almost a century later in a far more scientistic environment at Duke University. Not only were parapsychology’s nineteenth-century forerunners construed with respect to a priori skepticism, they were evaluated along impartial empirical parameters abandoned in the later twentieth century under protocols of scientism. Myers and his colleagues had open minds about how the universe might work.

Sigmund Freud played a separate role in reincarnational amnesia too; once he established the latency of the unconscious mind as well as an indeterminate conversion zone between layers of the psyche and the ego, a scientific mechanism was afforded for the transformation of even ordinary memories into distorted and sublimated versions as well as wholesale fantasies. This is along the liturgical and neurological lines of Oliver Sacks’ reality-manufacturing circuitry a couple of generations later. As dreams and trances were deemed brief psychotic episodes, breaks with reality, neuroses, psychoses, and fugues replaced poltergeists and past lives as favored explanations for just about every aberration and anomaly, from hypnagogia to recall of past lives. If the unconscious was unfathomable, enigmatic, and refractory, it could include just about anything. Other dimension of reality became superfluous.

It was never considered that past-life memories could be both psychological and psychic at parallel levels proceeding synchronically, yet the universe is exactly that complex and entangled.

At roughly the same time, quantum physics established an uncertainty basis for all phenomena at a subatomic level. This provided a materialist and quantitative basis for anomalous memory-like events.

Formulaic Christianity had its longstanding effect on reincarnational permission in the West. Papal protocol established a single lifetime followed by Judgment as its chosen commodity in an evolving mercantile system.

In this milieu Bernstein’s past-life regression of Virginia Tighe took the general public by storm.

After the publication of The Search for Bridey Murphy, newspapers and radio stations launched their own quests for the long-deceased Irish maiden, Tighe’s provisional former self. The New York Daily Mirror ran a front-page cliffhanger for weeks, detailing the findings of its investigative reporter in Ireland. If he could come up with evidence of Bridey Murphy, then reincarnation would seemingly be proved or at least put on a more credible footing.

But the conclusion of a patchwork of media investigations was that Bridey Murphy was nonexistent in the records of Ireland during the years of her proposed lifetime as read by Ms. Tighe off her own tombstone—born 1798, died 1864.

In truth, even the first half of the nineteenth century is too far back for anything approaching an exhaustive historiographic investigation. Locating Bridey Murphy is exponentially more difficult than trying to determine the identity of Jack the Ripper a few decades later, a gambit regularly attempted by amateur historians; it is more like trying to figure out if Shakespeare wrote his own plays. A roster of churches, addresses, and artifacts cited by Tighe were all deemed fictive or apocryphal. About the only possible smoking gun was that, as a young girl, Bridey had shopped for provisions at a grocer named Farr and there was a shopkeeper of that surname in her purported turf at the time. Statistically one random hit was par for the course.

Far more damning, key aspects of Bridey Murphy’s memories could be tied directly to TIghe’s childhood in Chicago, Illinois, including the name itself, for she lived across the street from an Irish immigrant named Bridie Murphy Cockrell. Most investigators jumped to the conclusion that this was a conventional memory, displaced and converted in cryptomnesiac Freudian fashion.

Neither the Daily Mirror nor other investigative media considered the possible occurrence of synchronicities or repeating anomalous configurations that might cause the former Bridey Murphy to incarnate across the street from a namesake in a succeeding lifetime—Lincoln/Kennedy, John Allan/Troy sort of stuff.

So Bridey Murphy entered pop culture somewhere between a freak and a hoax, a discredited diva, the topic of a bad movie (I’ve Lived Before), two popular songs (“For the Love of Bridey Murphy” and “Do You Believe in Reincarnation?”), and a 1956 satire, The Quest For Bridey Hammerschlaugen, in which comedian Stan Freberg hypnotized Goldie Smith (played by an actress named Joan Foray) and summoned her memories of different eras each of which Foray hammed up. Then she turned the tables and, in a spoof of Bernstein, hypnotically regressed Freberg, who quickly recalled being Davy Crockett. Foray told him that he wouldn’t be able to profit on the current fad of Tennessee frontier products, so Freberg declared that he would come back in his next life as Walt Disney.

The Search for Bridey Murphy also appeared later (and iconically) in novels by Thomas Pynchon and Ken Kesey as a telltale tome in the hands of a character, indicating less its partial rehabilitation than its influence over an emerging gestalt of disjunctive frames of reality—magical realism more than an ontological shift.

 

Since the days of Bridey Murphy, and without fanfare (for decades prior too), hypnotic regression has been used by physicians, hypnotists, and therapists to exhume mental fragments and psychic traces, including those of possible past lives, often with clinical intention, usually for a therapeutic goal.

In an episode echoing Morey Bernstein’s regression of Virginia Tighe, Brian Weiss, chief of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, after failing to relieve a patient of acute phobias of choking, drowning, and being stranded in the dark (even after, under hypnosis, the woman recovered an age-three tidbit of sexual violation by her drunken father), instructed her to “go back to the time from which your symptoms arise.” [p. 16]. Catherine’s response recalls Ms. Tighe’s:

“I see white steps leading up to a building, a big white building with pillars…I am wearing a long dress, a sack made of rough material. My name is Aronda. I am eighteen….”

She identified the year as 1863 BC. Aronda ultimately drowned during a flood.

In follow-up sessions, Catherine became a Dutchman named Johann whose throat was slit in 1473; a house-servant named Abbey in nineteenth-century Virginia; a Welsh seaman named Christian; a German aviator Eric; and a Ukrainian boy in 1758. [p. 17] After reliving the cumulative terrors and death traumas of each of these various men and women under hypnotic regression, she experienced mitigation of her phobias. Though the clinical success could not be definitively attributed to the past-life regressions, it was in stark contrast to the lack of improvement following her more ordinary recall of abuse by her father.

While no one in 1863 B.C. would identify their era by a prochronistic date and despite the fact that Catherine’s life as Ukrainian boy overlapped with her stint as a Spanish prostitute, the recall of these lives seemed to have worked therapeutically in the way that recovery of an actual traumatic moment often does in psychoanalytic transference. Similarly, when awakened from her regressions, Catherine not only did not remember any of her so-called past lives but, when informed of their contents, was mortifed and all but repudiated them. As a practicing Catholic, she did not accept past lives; nonetheless, she continued with the sessions because of the positive results. She dismissed the lives themselves as ancillary balderdash.

Past-life therapists tend to argue that symptomatic relief is proof of the validity of the memories or (antithetically) that it doesn’t matter if the “memories” are real because they tap into something primal and seminal in the patient’s subconscious. Here this discussion bottoms out at a deeper level of a dichotomy—real past life or past-life projection—that will become a key topic of this book. It will take substantial lead-in and preparation, but I will do a preliminary pass now:

Ailments that are unaffected by any other mode of treatment often clear spontaneously after a single past-life regression, though that denouement doesn’t require a past-life belief system. Stuck internalized energy—cathected trauma in Freud’s etiology— transcends any transitional content or form it takes. If the energetic basis for a cure is achieved during therapist-patient transference, the form or initiating circumstances of the energy is ancillary at best. This therapeutic model also accords with established spiritual views of the aura as the final repository for traumas and the only place where they can be released. In the aura, all lives of the spirit or soul run together and overlap. Furthermore, in the aura even unconscious events can be made energetically if not literally conscious. Once a shift is made to an energetic level, forensics and logistics cease to matter in the same way. Past-life veridicality finally takes a back seat to the priority of healing. In that regard, it is worth considering an episode I witnessed at the Berkeley Psychic Institute in 2009. I consider it paradigmatic:

Director Javier Thistlethwaite, a one-time stock-car racer in Mexico, enrolled in BPI initially because he heard it was a great p,ace to meet girls. He succeeded—he ended up marrying the founder’s daughter and was running the place when I briefly took courses there.

A playful and charismatic teacher, Javier liked to assemble an audience from the night’s various classes to demonstrate a psychic principle in the school’s common room. On one such occasion he performed a series of dramatic past-life readings of selected students. Each volunteer responded in turn with a combination of “Yo dude, that was incredible; that was so my past life” and “How did you do that?” After the buzz died down from Javier’s seeming tour de force of clairvoyance, he teased his audience. “Was that her real past life?” No one answered. “C’mon. Is any of this stuff real?”

After thirty seconds of scanning a caboodle of paralyzed nonresponders Javier answered his own question: “I haven’t the slightest idea. Her past life is past, and my reading is past. And the question is past too. We’ll never prove anything one way or another. The only thing that matters is that energy was moving energy in the present. Me as spirit was talking to her as spirit.”

That is the long and the short of it. All you can do is follow a charged thread wherever it goes—either it will become more meaningful or it will fade into irrelevance. If it continues to grow in depth and context, it will also become more real.

That’s all that anyone or anything does anyway: trace a flow of information in a broad enough context to peg its event-module. As you keep at the interrogation, usually unconsciously, you dead-reckon your way and its place in the universe and, remarkably, the universe itself. That’s how astronomers found us in a galaxy and the galaxy in the Big Bang. That’s how a newborn turtle or bear cub decides what to do. Reality is “view”—a trajectory of scenery, or cognitive framing, rather than the scenery itself.

 

Weiss handled verification regarding his patient’s past-life incongruities by acknowledging “the totality of the experience as such that these inconsistencies only add to its complexity. There is so much we don’t know.” [p. 20]

Catherine’s prochronistic chronicling of her inaugural past life indicates that most folks who recall previous existences log them in current frames of reference and, if queried, date them by contemporary chronology, from the view of the present rather than the past person. At the same time, they may occasionally lapse into words and expressions from a former dialect, such as switching to a foreign accent and while speaking in English, answering “nein” for “no” in the case of a Mediaeval Germanic character.

Xenoglossy is the term for displaced linguistic phenomena: young children babbling in a foreign language for which there is no ordinary explanation. His or her parents assume initially that their infant’s prattle contains nonsense syllables. The truth comes to light when the child seems to understand speech of strangers and responds to the satisfaction of native speakers, sometimes beginning a fluent dialogue. [p. 92]

In one instance, a family “only discovered what language [their son] was babbling when they were out with him and he saw some Japanese standing in the street and heard them speaking. He began shouting that he could understand, and he ran to them before his parents could restrain him. By the time they caught up, he was in deep conversation in Japanese.” [p. 119]. You can imagine the plight of trying to explain to the strangers how the boy (or girl) managed to learn another language at such a young age.

Children may also speak in an accent that is different from their own family and locale, replicating the dialect of another region or time. Lobsterfisherman Wendell Seavey, a longtime friend of mine, sounds like a vintage Downeaster to non-natives, but none of his peers speak like him. His accent from the earliest speech of his childhood has matched that of a speaker from Devon, England, a dialect to which he had no exposure in his childhood.

Two girls in a Southern California family, Andrea and Sara Forman, seemed to read the “wrong” side of their mother’s bilingual manuals for her Ayurvedic medical practice—the facing pages of Devanagari script rather than English. Andrea, the oldest exhibited this ability first; it came to light when she asked her mother which leaf she read.

Linda Forman assumed either that her daughter was teasing her or had such a severe reading disability that she couldn’t tell Sanskrit characters from English ones. Only months later, when she was cleaning Andrea’s room and discovered stacks of pages of a handwritten Sanskrit-to-English dictionary under her bed, did she realize that something more mysterious was happening. She and her husband plopped themselves in the middle of the floor and sorted through the voluminous entries as if “some key to this mystery could be found if we just sat and looked at the pages long enough.” The two of them dropped into silent perplexity until Robert commented, “I think we have a major problem.” [88]

Linda later summarized the quandary: “It seemed as though we had a daughter who could read an ancient dead language that clearly no one else in the family spoke, not to mention few other people in the world.” And she was doing it spontaneously, without years of training. [91]

The sisters eventually formed a musical group called Shanti Shanti and sang together professionally in Sanskrit for years.

How do we explain any of this? Like Fortean anomalies, each instance falls into or between the cracks. Washington Post journalist Tom Shroder, a long-time investigator of past-life claims, enumerates some of the most common objections to past-life claims:

“If there was a soul, why could nobody detect it? How did it move from one body to another? Did it enter at the moment of conception? Of birth? Why did such a tiny percentage of people remember previous lives? Why were those memories so fragmentary? If souls were recycled, how could you explain the population explosion?” [p. 89].

After viewing one of Dr. Weiss’s regressions, Shroder remarked that he saw nothing more extraordinary than “a contemporary American woman free-associating on a medieval theme.” [p. 21] She also, to his mind, revealed wishful thinking when he interviewed her subsequently and she told him: “It never made sense to me that we could be here for such a short time, and then…nothing.” [p. 21]

To him, that was a major red flag.

When experimentally undergoing his own post-hypnotic regression, Shroder experienced the same susceptibility in himself he observed in others. He was eager to cooperate and “supply the hypnotist with what she wanted.” [p. 21]. He concluded that past lives fell under a comparable tendency to that of UFO abductees and children reporting sexual molestations in pre-schools—false memories implanted by a combination of suggestive hypnosis and a desire to comply with an authority’s instructions.

When he sought his own past-life reading, a medley of unconvincing former personalities was paraded before him: an Australian rancher, a black Jamaican sorceress, and an arthritic Japanese sage. None of these had any resonance for him; in his own words: “no fading scent of jasmine or sting of gin.” [p. 22]. He wanted something that felt real and profound.

I had a similar experience early in my stint at the Berkeley Psychic Institute; my lineup of past identities included a Japanese monk, a bumptious cowboy, and a society woman married to a scholar. They were run before me by a group of senior practitioners in trance like a Greek chorus. It felt more like a Woody Allen parody of a séance.

Shroder confessed, after much soul searching, that he had “stared inward but never seen a ripple nor heard a whisper of any life but my own [and] seen people near top me disappear into death with an awesome and unappealable finality…. In my marrow, I could feel no trace, however faint, of a previous life. The universe before me was a void, a nothingness that flared into somethingness only with my earliest memories of this life.” [pp. 15 and 89].

But he was searching like the nihilistically preconditioned Westerner he in fact was, trying to push himself through the existential transparency of his own denial rather than neutrally and receptively opening to any channels that might be operating. Like SETI searchers with their radio telescopes, he assumed that the extraterrestrial broadcast would be in terms linearly transplanted to his imagination of alien circumstances. He was looking into his own nostalgia and resistance for a scent and tang. He did not consider that jasmine and gin might manifest differently and as something else.

If there reincarnational encryption, you are not going to just blow past it by pulling on its knot in exactly the direction in which it was tied or by the exact sort of thrust our biological system was designed to fend off—and I don’t mean that some high muckamuck designed it that way, just that it is intelligently designed for existential reasons. The universe’s operating codes are not easily broken; deep sublimation and reaction formation are designed to protect our trances and their filters, not undo them.

When people are presented with their own past lives by a psychic reader, there is minimal basis for identification by veridicality. Most of these biographies set in other centuries arise without the necessary whiff of first-hand authenticity or subjective resonance. If they are elicited under hypnosis, the subject doesn’t experience them consciously. Plus, as Shroder noted, their backdrops and events sound like what a person with an average high-school education and a reading of romance novels might summon up by a medley of suggestibility, fantasy, trance-induced pseudomemories, deference, and wishful thinking. When past-life readings play a role in healing traumas and other psychopathologies, they are considered symbolic displacements, recreational play-acting, and therapeutic theater.

Remember, Miss Tighe had no memory or remote foreshadowing of Bridey Murphy when awake; the character and her experiences arose only under hypnosis. Later in her life, she doubted the past-life memories, in part because she had never experienced them and did not remember them.

 

Ultimately Shroder shifted his focus to a different sort of past-life testimony: the explorations of Ian Stevenson, a psychiatrist and research scientist who, early in his career changed tracks from microbiology to parapsychology, in particular investigating and documenting people’s past-life memories and accounts of reincarnation.

Stevenson eschewed hypnotic regression, which seemed to him an unnecessary and potentially contaminating factor. Instead, he went straight to the action, covering tens of thousands of miles, traveling for decades wherever there was word of a child evincing a spontaneous recent past-life memory. Stevenson would get himself to the site as quickly as possible and then attempt to match the accounts of the child with the life of his or her so-called past persons (PP). His goal was to collect corroborating (or disproving) data before the evidence could be contaminated. This meant lots of road time in the rural Middle East and South Asia.

Again, Stevenson was seeking innate, unelicited memories, not induced regressions or past-life readings. While it was impossible for him to receive word, let alone arrive, before potentially some data-corrupting circumstances ensued, he got there relatively early in the game, and in a number of instances key details were been written down or shared with multiple witnesses before the PP’s family has been identified and contacted.

Stevenson’s cases “predominantly featured young children, ages two to five, who spoke of previous-life memories for a brief time, until they were about eight.” [pp. 102-103]. These memories were usually strongest when the child was young and dissipated as he (or she) became “more aware of his [or her] surroundings, more adept verbally, and enter[ed] into much wider contact with the world outside his home.” [p. 57].

In the words of past-life therapist Carol Bowman, young children “haven’t had the cultural conditioning, the layering over of experience in this life, so the memories can percolate up more easily. These memories tend to fade between the ages of five and seven.” In Western culture, where they are ignored or subverted, they evaporate even faster.

Stevenson filed reports of varying circumstantial completeness comprising more than 2,500 cases. There were no prior existences as Cleopatra or Napoleon or Alexander the Great or Pope Urban the Second; there were no memories of being in a Pharaoh’s harem or his palace guard. All of his reports involved ordinary people in mundane circumstances, a more likely PP pool by Earth’s demography. A disproportionate number did involve violent deaths, raising the possibility that memory carryover is traumatic—an unsettled death picture leads to an unconscious craving for resolution. In other words, profound emotional connections drew spirits draw to an antecedent residue. This would also explain why most “rebirths” took place nearby, within hailing distance of the previous life. The following biographies from Stevenson’s files are less significant individually than for their ubiquity and concurrence:

  • At an early age, a boy in Lebanon, Nazih Al-Danaf, told his parents that he had once carried pistols and grenades, was married to a pretty woman, and had many children. He said that his house was surrounded by trees and was nearby a cave. He repeatedly asked to be taken home and he swore that he knew how to find his former house. His parents delayed a search until he was six; then they followed his directions.

Once they got near the promised site, Nazih became more confident the rest of the way including which of six roads to take from the center of town. When interrogated by the widow of the man who had lived in the house to which he led them, Nazih answered each of her questions accurately. The woman was convinced that he was the rebirth of her husband Faud, the father of her five children.

When on a subsequent visit Nazih saw a familiar man, he cried out, “Here comes my brother Adeeb.” The wary Adeeb demanded proof, so the child announced, “I gave you a Checki 16.” Faud had indeed given his brother a pistol from Czechoslovakia, a model rare in Lebanon and unlikely to be cited by the boy from any cues. Later attempts to trick Nazih by maming misleading queries—for instance by asking him to “confirm” details about Faud that were false—all failed.  [149]

  • About a year before his death died in Angoon, Alaska, in the spring of 1946, Tlingit Indian Victor Vincent had said to his sister’s daughter of whom he was fond, ‘I’m coming back as your next son. I hope I don’t stutter then as much as I do now. Your son will have these scars.’ He then pulled up his shirt and showed her a scar on his back … a residue of an operation he had had … some years earlier.… Mr. Vincent at the same time also pointed to a scar on his nose on the right side of its base as another mark by which his niece would recognize his rebirth.”

Eighteen months later his niece “gave birth to a boy named after his father, Corliss Chotkin, Jr. At birth this boy had two marks on his body of exactly the same shape and location as the scar pointed to by Victor Vincent in his prediction of his rebirth.”

When Corliss, Jr., was old enough to talk, he rejected his name and said, “Don’t you know me? I’m Kahkody.” The boy had spoken the tribal name of Victor Vincent “with an excellent accent.”

In ensuing months he recognized and named several of Victor Vincent’s relatives without any prompting, including his son William and his wife Rose.

Excited to see Vincent’s stepdaughter one afternoon at the Sitka dock, the boy jumped up and down, calling out, “There’s my Susie.”

  • Chanai Choonmalaiwong, a boy born in Thailand in 1967, began talking incessantly at age three about being a teacher named Bua Kai who had been shot and killed while en route to school. “He gave the names of his parents, his wife, and two of his children from that life, and he persistently begged his grandmother, with whom he lived, to take him to his previous parents’ home,” which he identified as being in a village fifteen miles away. [55]

When they finally arrived there by bus, Chanai walked straight to the house of an elderly couple whose son Bua Kai Lawnak had been a school teacher and was murdered five years before Chanai was born. Upon being invited in, he recognized one of his Bua Kai’s daughters and asked after the other by name. Though the family accepted him as the reincarnation of their son, his “daughters” refused to call him “father” as he desired, so he stopped talking to them.

Additionally Chani had two birthmarks, a large irregular one above his left eye and a smaller circular one on the back of his head, both hairless and puckered, which matched Bua Kai’s exit and entry wounds.

  • A Turkish child, Necip Ünlütaşkiran, had numerous birthmarks on his head, face, and trunk. At age six he began speaking about having been stabbed repeatedly in the city of Mersin, fifty miles away. He also remembered being married, having children. One day he recalled cutting his wife on her leg with a knife during an argument. [58] By the way, he was not christened Necip but insisted on being called by the name of his PP.

After the PP’s family was identified and visited, Necip correctly recognized objects that he had owned. One of his PP’s widow’s legs bore a scar that she said had come from a stab wound by her husband. Also Necip’s grandmother in his present life turned out to be a local woman his PP had called “grandmother” too (though she wasn’t). Necip remarked that now she was a real grandmother instead of only being like one to him in the past. [57]

By the time Stevenson was able to examine Necip 2 at age thirteen and compare his birthmarks to those on the autopsy report of Necip 1, he found eight matching indications. [58]

  • In July 1951, a boy in Kanauj, India, named Ravi Shankar was born roughly six months after the death of another child, the six-year-old son of a barber named Jageshwar Prasad, in a different district of Kanauj. Munna “was enticed from his place and brutally murdered by two neighbors … and the motive for the crime seems to have been the wish to dispose of Sri Jageshwar Prasad’s heir so that one of the murderers (a relative) might inherit his property.… The mutilated and severed head of the boy and some of his clothes were subsequently found and clearly identified by his father.”

Between the ages of two and three, Ravi gave explicit “details of his murder, naming the murderers, the place of the crime, and other circumstances of the life and death of Munna. The boy … kept asking his parents for various toys which he claimed he had in the house of his previous life.” He also accurately recounted numerous events from the life of Munna, plus he “had on his neck a linear mark resembling closely the scar of a long knife wound across his neck.” He wasn’t born with it; it appeared when he was three months old.

  • A New Delhi girl named Preeti told her sister: “This is your house, not my house. These are your parents, not mine. You have only one brother, I have four.” Preeti then identified her real family as living in a village twelve miles away. Her name there had been Sheila, and she had been hit by a car while running across the street. These and other details of her recital fit the story of a deceased teenage girl in the cited village. On a trip there Preeti immediately recognized her PP’s parents and began what would become an ongoing relationship with them in her new incarnation.

When asked how she knew that Preeti was her daughter’s rebirth, Sheila’s mother referred to Preeti’s uncanny resemblance to her at that age (despite no genetic link), a feature noticed by not only the family but the milkman and other locals; a distinctive birthmark on the outside of her right thigh where Sheila sustained an injury; and her instant recognition of family members. She explained: “When one of my sons pointed to Sheila’s younger brother and asked Preeti, ‘Is is older or younger than you?’ she said, ‘He was younger than me, and now he is older….’ One day, when I was taking Preeti in the street, she was afraid. She said, ‘Don’t, I’ll get run over again.’” [163]

  • Daniel Jirdi, a child in Lebanon remembered having been Rashid Khaddage, a mechanic who had died when his cousin Ibrahim committed an act of road rage, speeding after an offending vehicle and turning over the car in which they were driving, tossing and killing him.

At age two and a half, Daniel gave details of the accident and of Rashid’s life. His parents initially understood that something was afoot when he corrected their pronunciation of Rashid’s hometown Kfarmatta, explaining that he was from there.

At two and a half, Daniel recalled the name of the driver, that he had been thrown from the car, and where the accident occurred; he also knew “that Rashid’s mother had been knitting him a sweater.” [p. 74].

Later, as he parents drove past Military Beach, he put his hands over his eyes and began screaming and crying: “This is where I died.” [p. 50].

Daniel was born with a lump on his head in the approximate place of Rashid’s head wound, though Stevenson conceded that delivery during birth could have caused such a swelling and that he “wouldn’t want to take that lump to court as evidence of reincarnation.” [p. 74].

Soon word got out, and the Khaddages showed up at the Jirdi’s home, hoping to reconnect with their “son.” As they arrived unannounced, Daniel saw them at the door and called out, “Bring bananas for Najla and make some coffee, my family is here.” Bananas had been Rashid’s favorite food.

  • While investigating the Khaddage family, Stevenson found that Ulfat, the daughter of Muna, Rashid’s younger sister, remembered a recent past life. She had a vivid memory of being killed by Christians during the civil war, and her story closely matched that of one of the young girls massacred in Salina. She was twenty-three years old at the time. In Ulfat’s account:

“‘It was at night, I was walking. I was afraid to go through an alley, but had no other way. There about four men carrying guns.’” As soon as they saw her, they shot her in the leg. Then when they saw that she was clutching jewels to her blouse, they took them and tortured her. [p. 57].

She did not remember being torture or dying, only that it happened. Again, the tangs and scents tend to dissociate and transfer elsewhere. Their essence is not lost, but its attachment to a particular event is severed.

  • In another case in Lebanon, Suzanne Ghanem, a girl of sixteenth months old, suddenly pulled the phone off the hook and began trying to call her oldest daughter Leila. In fact, her first words were: “Hello, Leila?” [p, 82]. Suzanne was born in the late 1960s ten days after the death of a thirty-five-year-old woman in the area named Hanan Mansour. Hanan had warned her husband Farouk that when she was reborn, she would have “a lot to say about her previous life.” [p. 81].

Young Suzanne insisted that she was Hanan and promised that when her head was bigger, she would explain better. The older she got, the more she looked like Hanan. Eventually she remembered her old phone number (though with two digits reversed) and provisions for her jewelry she made in her will. She correctly identified twenty-five people from her past life.

She later took to phoning her PP’s widower Farouk almost daily, interfering in his marriage to a woman she identified as “the new wife.” [p. 91].

  • Süleyman Caper, a child in Turkey, declared, as soon as he was able to talk, that he had been a miller and that an angry customer had hit him over the head with a shovel. The back of his skull was partially depressed and had a dark birthmark on it. Suleyman was able to remember the first name of the miller and the village. Once again, there was a perfect match.

There are Western testimonies too, though not nearly as many:

  • Once Bobby Hodges, a boy in North Carolina, began speaking, he asked his mother why she wouldn’t let him live with his real family. By that, he meant his aunt Susan. His parents paid little attention, considering it as his way of expressing how much he enjoyed being with his cousins. One night at age four and a half, soon after his bath, he asked his mother if she remembered when he and his two-and-a-half-year-old brother Donald were in her tummy at the same time. She agreed that they had both been in her tummy but insisted that it wasn’t at the same time. After rethinking the matter, Bobby said it was when they were in Aunt Susan’s tummy and didn’t get born. Then, to his mother’s astonishment, he began yelling at his younger brother, blaming him for Susan’s miscarriage: “I told you I wanted to get born real bad, and you didn’t want to. How did you take me out of there, Donald? Why didn’t you want to get born?” His mother had to stop him from attacking Donald.

Donald took out his pacifier and yelled, “No! I wanted Daddy!”

Bobby shouted, “I didn’t want Daddy, I wanted Uncle Ron.” [165]

Seven years before Bobby was born Susan was pregnant with twins; they stopped moving at thirty-three weeks because one of them had rolled over on the umbilical cord.

  • William was born five years after his grandfather, a New York City policeman working a second job as a security guard, was fatally shot. William had birth defects corresponding to the wounds of his grandfather, including pulmonary valve artesia replicating a bullet that had passed through his PP’s back, lungs, and main pulmonary vehicle. The coincidence was more or less ignored, until William, age three, spoke out after his mother threatened to spank him: “Mom, when you were a little girl and I was your daddy, you were bad a lot of times, and I never hit you.” [2] He later remembered correctly that the name of his PP’s cat was Boston but that he called him “Boss.”
  • Samuel Taylor, who was born in Vermont a year and a half after his paternal grandfather died, startled his father, who was changing his diaper at the time, by telling him, “When I was your age, I used to change your diapers.” [141] Another time, when shown a family photo, he pointed to his grandfather and declared, “That’s me!” [142]

“Sam’s mother asked him he had any brothers or sisters when he lived before. He answered, ‘Yeah, I had a sister. She turned into a fish.’ When asked who turned her into a fish, he said, ‘Some bad guys. She died. You know what, when we die, God lets us come back again. I used to be big, and now I’m a kid again.’

“The sister of Sam’s grandfather, in fact, had been killed some sixty years before. Her husband killed her while she was sleeping, rolled her body up in a blanket, and dumped it in the bay.” [142]

  • In a somewhat similar incident Abby Swanson, a four-year-old girl in Ohio, told her mother after her bath one night: “Mommy, I used to give you baths when you were a baby…. I was your grandma.” [32]
  • Gillian and Jennifer Pollack, twins born in Hexham, Northumberland, (England) in 1958 remembered objects and events from the past lives of their older sisters Joanna and Jacqueline, who were struck by a car and killed while walking to church a year and a half before the girls were born. In fact, the two routinely talked about their sisters’ lives as though they were them. On several occasions their parents overheard them dispassionately reminiscing about the accident.

Gillian thought that she was Joanna, while Jennifer claimed to be Jacqueline. When dolls and other toys were out from the older girls’ collections, each one identified the objects belonging to her complement.

One day Gillian pointed to Jennifer’s birthmark on her forehead and said, “That is the mark Jennifer got when she fell on a bucket.” But it was Jacqueline not Jennifer who “indeed had fallen on a bucket, receiving an injury that required stitches and produced a permanent scar.” [130]

At age seven, the children seemed to forget their PPs and stopped referring to them.

  • When Patrick Christenson of Michigan was four and a half years old, he began telling his parents intimate details from the life of his older brother Kevin who had died of metastatic cancer at age two, twelve years before Patrick was born. He said that he wanted to go back and live in their former house, the one that was orange and brown. He also asked his mother about his surgery, pointing to above his right ear where his brother had had a nodule removed for a biopsy.
  • Ryan, a ten-year-old boy in Tulsa, told his mother one day, “I think I used to be someone else.” He remembered being an actor in Hollywood, dancing on Broadway, traveling to other countries, and being married five times. He thought that his residence was on a street with the word “rock” in it. He also mentioned preferring his old room and missing his swimming pool. Then, in a book on the golden age of Hollywood, he saw a man in a picture whom he recognized as himself—it was an obscure extra in a Mae West film, initially unidentifiable.

Research by a historian finally turned up the actor’s name: Marty Martin. He had been both a performer and agent, was married five times, and lived on Rocksbury Drive. His death certificate had the wrong age on it, and subsequent probing showed the document to be in error and Ryan’s memory of his own prior passing at sixty-one as accurate. A comment by the boy speaks poignantly to the heart of the matter: “Why would God let you get to be sixty-one and then make you come back as a baby.”

 

What stands out is each person’s full Identification with his or her PP, the intersubjective sense of having been and still being the past person, an expression of his or her unique selfhood and vantage. “They are the previous personalities, and they resist the imposition of a new identity…. they say, ‘I have a wife,’ or I am a doctor,’ or “I have three buffalos and two cows.” One boy told his parents, “See that rice field. It once belonged to me.” Another insisted on buying size-eight shoes even though they were absurdly too large for him. “He wouldn’t drop it,” his mother told Stevenson. “We actually had to buy him a pair and take it home and make him wear it to prove to him that it was way too big.” [223] The identification was that profound and intractable; it superseded what was before his eyes.

Children are similarly attached to their PP’s cultures and lifestyle.

A number of boys and girls born in Burma after World War II remembered having been Japanese soldiers; they rejected local food as too spicy and asked for raw fish and sweets. They wanted to wear Japanese clothes and relished playing battle games. [p. 120] Stevenson explained that some of the Japanese soldiers notoriously mistreated civilians during World War II and might have been drawn back to the scene of their crimes by guilt, attracted to Burmese rather than Japanese identities in order to pay karmic debts. Their abuses perhaps provided a singular formulation or tether in the void, so they came back to this world by melding with them.

One Burmese girl who remembered a previous existence as a Japanese soldier would play only with boys and craved toy guns. She insisted on being addressed by the male honorific and eventually moved to the city and sought girlfriends. [124] On this basis it is worth considering reincarnation as a cause for instances of gender dystopia. Most children, however, adapt automatically to a switch in sex and adopt the attributes of their present gender.

In some instances, a child may be upset at by the ostensible diminishment of his or her former social status. Jasbir Singh, a boy ostensibly reborn into a lower caste in India, insisted on having his food prepared for him by a Brahmin neighbor for a year and a half before reluctantly beginning to his family’s fare. [120] Suzanne complained that her real house was larger and more beautiful.

Other comments include: “You aren’t my mother. My mother was prettier and richer”; “You are not my family—my family is dead”; “You are not my parents. My parents live somewhere else.” [94] Children may point out missing and altered buildings and landscapes with dismay; some comment on how much worse things have gotten, for instance how unhappy they are that cars have replaced horses.

If their PPs died as adults, newborns may resist being children. In an account from Stevenson, one boy flirted inappropriately with his schoolteachers, adopting mature gestures and using crudely seductive language. Another refused to lie on his belly because it made him feel like a baby. Once again, there seems a lag time between the old and new identities such that the old one hangs on while the new one is not yet fully formed.

Children may be attached to their PP’s jobs; they ma be intent on revenging the circumstances of their deaths. Parmod Sharma, an Indian boy, was so wrapped up from ages four to seven in playing a shopkeeper of biscuit and soda water, the occupation of his PP, that he repeated this exercise over and over to the neglect of his homework. Ramez Shams, a child in Lebanon, “reenacted the suicide of [his] previous personality by repeatedly putting a stick under his chin while pretending that it was a rifle.” [123] This indicates either a metaphysical sense of humor or a compulsive counterphobic response. Maung Aye Kyaw, a Myanmar man who grew up to marry the widow of his PP, threw stones at one of the men who he claimed killed him in his former life. [118] Other children have physically attacked the alleged killer of their PP, kicking or punching them upon first seeing them. If this were a more common occurrence, all hell would break loose regarding crimes, laws, enforcement, punishment, and general jurisprudence.

While each self within a given lifetime is held responsible for his or her actions, even this assignment of liability is an inaccurate reading of the larger picture. After decades in prison, a murderer is no longer the person who committed the crime but another being in the former’s body. In the overall cosmic scheme, the killer is at large in another body to redeem his act or murder again.

At the same time, people who committed crimes in other lifetimes walk into this one scot-free, all links to their deeds erased. Yet energy and karma are still there to be dealt with. It is just not a matter of incarceration or secular punishment any longer. This relates back to the circumstances of recreational killers who assassinate themselves and suicide bombers. Reincarnation is another way to “punish” or absolve crimes.

To free the innocent and jail the guilty, psychic DNA is needed—likewise to catch the perpetrator before the crime is committed; see Tom Cruise and Samantha Morton in Minority Report, a cinema adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story, for a glimmer of how this might play out. By the same token everyone is guilty at some level or another, but everyone is also cleansed by death and rebirth and innocent. This displaced jurisprudence begins to approach the real intricacy of the universe and its view of reparation.

 

For a majority of the cases and phenomena discussed above, reincarnation is the most logical, rational explanation, even by Occam’s razor-sharp standards. What are other possible interpretations?

Some who accept telepathy but doubt reincarnation propose some sort of clairvoyance or super-psi whereby a person gains knowledge of another life spontaneously from some sort of at-large telepathic field or morphic resonance (to adapt Rupert Sheldrake’s term).

However, impersonal clairvoyance does not explain how the narrative of another life could engender such tenacious identification, though empathy does occur to a lesser and more temporary degree during a movie in which a spectator merges his or her identity with lives of extraneous characters played by actors.

It might also be difficult to distinguish a past-life regression from a neurotic fantasy or dream-like meld of present-life elements with unconscious memories and traumas or a montage of actual experiences and stories gathered from novels, movies, and television shows. The subconscious mind readily blends these threads together, in fact nightly in creating dreams—and some people have more active empathic imaginations than others.

However, events of a novel or a film transferring an imprint from the actors and the narrative they are performing to another person’s psyche are not as persistent or ingrained as reported past-life memories; they are brief and ephemeral, and the man or woman experiencing them is aware of their fanciful nature. In an extreme instance, someone with imperfectly developed ego boundaries might lose his or her identity and become confused by external projections, even without transfer of transpersonal information. Transpersonal information would be all the more disorienting for such a person. For seeming to come from nowhere, a disembodied information field, if such configurations even exist, might convince a susceptible recipient that he or she was experiencing an actual other lifetime, a prior identity of his or her self.

Other interpretations and rebuttals of Stevenson’s evidence are more ideological or diffuse, disdaining the specificity of the testimony and documentation. One of the more common alternative explanations is that fantasy-susceptible children might be engaging in over-active imagination and/or a parent might misunderstand or falsely construe a child’s intermittent but recurrent statements into a cohesive narrative and plot.

Both Daniel and Rashid were Druze, a sect that believes in reincarnation and soul transfer and presupposes such incidents. Because the Druze community is small and people generally know each other even from village to village, there is more likelihood of suggestibility and contamination. People hear a report, discuss it; children pick up the talk, identify with it, embellish, and weave their own fantasies. Then, if they supply compelling details, the parents are drawn into the fantasy and supply further cues.

The number of Druze cases of reincarnation in Stevenson’s files does suggest that belief plays a role, if not in reincarnation, then in receptivity to possible instances.

Cynics take this a step further, claiming that parents “in their eagerness to confirm the existence of the past life, find another family with a deceased individual whose life shared some general features with those reported by the child.” [39] The two families, as they meet and share details, delude each other or actively collude. In this scenario by the time Stevenson (or some other researcher gets there), the child already has been coached and brainwashed. Having picked up tidbits being bandied about, he has come to believe that they are memories of his own past life.

In an experiment to test (and perhaps debunk) Stevenson’s theories, Richard Wiseman, a psychologist in England, asked children to make up stories about their past lives and then searched through archives and newspapers to try to match imagined events with actual occurrences in the genre of Stevenson’s cases. Usually he could find something, more or less, though lacking fine detail.

I am not sure that Wiseman’s facile resolution—demonstration of fantasies inevitably merging with facts in a universe in which there is enough information flowing in all directions to make any story credible—is a viable fallback explanation or even the right interpretation of his own data. Wiseman might have hit upon a standing level of transpersonal clairvoyance or triggered a universal pattern of synchronous motifs (like Bridey Murphy being reborn across the street from her PP’s near namesake). He may even have committed the same mistake of which skeptics accuse believers: tailoring his interpretation of his data to his beliefs.

The more salient interpretation of this experiment is that something else is happening, something synchronicity-like that transcends reincarnation. It involves the status of information, both conscious and unconscious, in the universe. Unless science can tell us how nature establishes frames of reference, it cannot establish a distinction between omniscience and amnesia. Zen Buddhist texts are replete with recognition of this paradox. Consider the Heart Sutra: “Form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form…. All dharmas are marked with emptiness; they do not appear or disappear, are not tainted or pure, do not increase or decrease…. [There is] no origination, no stopping, no path, no cognition, also no attainment with nothing to attain….”

The fundamental emptiness of all intellectual positions—the nondifference between knowing and not knowing—might form an uncertainty-state/wave-collapse conduit, through which souls, subatomic particles, super-liquids (and anything else) might pass between reality states, dimensions, planes, and other semes for unknown territory. In a multidimensional, superstring cosmos, wide-ranging noncausal components might be as veridical as linear, causal ones. I know that that’s a tumult to consider, but just weigh it. I will come back to it later.

Skeptical explanations for so-called past-life memories finally tend to be more cumbersome than reincarnation itself and are incapable (as well) of addressing the inexplicable and precise information to which a child seemingly has access. What is left are routine, unfounded claims that he or she must have overheard information from the PP’s life or that the parent is engaged in fraud. [32] It is quite a stretch to imagine that a child of two or three could both learn and credibly perform complex biographies accurately. How did Suzanne Ghanem get twenty-five names right with no peripheral errors? Even if she had overheard these words, how did she remember and assign them properly? Was she an idiot savant? The notion that children “somehow learned minute details about deceased strangers in other places without their parents’ knowledge and then decided that they had been those strangers in a past life seems close to absurd.” [100]

Hoaxing makes very little sense either, as there is no financial reward for past-life proofs and claims often lead to unwelcome hassles and disputes over familial affiliation. We can’t dismiss hoaxing on that basis because people make mercenarily motivated blunders and delude themselves into expecting unlikely windfalls from scams, but we also can’t claim clear-cut ulterior motives such instant fortune or fame.

Another level of interpretation incorporates concrete evidence with subjective belief systems in a way opens the door to a hybrid solution wherein fantasy and wishful thinking produce not only the illusion of past lives but past lives themselves—a telepathic transfer of memories and identities. By the same token, some cultures repress such memories by not recognizing them or discouraging those who recall them. Indoctrination takes place at such a young age that children effectively become their own self-censors of not only past-life information but all transpersonal telepathic fields.

Stevenson even considered the bizarre possibility that people can talk themselves into either rebirth or extinction. Because past-life recall is unusual even among the Druze, he proposed that its occurrences may also be a defect in the system, malfunctions of obligatory universal amnesia. [p. 72].

These, however, are viewpoints of a Western scientist who, though investigating nonlocal consciousness, is still operating within a neo-Darwinian belief system. It is hard to believe that receptivity could play a role in whether people actually get reincarnated—that would imply a fickle universe as well as machinery operating at an overtly willful level. We know that this is a profoundly unconscious, entangled, and sublimated universe, so it is more likely that belief plays a role more in whether past lives are recalled than in whether they take place at all.

A tangential matter is whether reincarnation and reembodiment cycles are limited to one planet, Earth in our case, or souls here can reincarnate on other worlds, either in the Milky Way Galaxy or other galaxies? Are there different set-ups elsewhere equivalent to planets; i.e., do other planes utilize atoms, molecules, cells, matter, or do they vibrate at an entirely different frequency. Do they accommodate “refugees” to and from the physical cosmos?

Some skeptics, as noted above, try for a coup de grace last laugh by noting that there are too many people in Earth’s expanding population for past lives to account for all of their existences. Yet Dr. David Bishai of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health did the actual math and estimated that humans had been on the Earth about 50,000 years, hence calculated that there have been some 105 billion Homo sapiens so far, as against a maximum planetary population of ten billion in the late twenty-first century. [199] That would cover the necessary soul stock but doesn’t address the ontological problem of, if the inventory eventually runs out, people no longer getting born. It almost certainly not a quantitative matter or, if it is, it operates at the scale of the universe itself with all its galaxies and stars and also in the context of unity of consciousness.

In cosmic demography, there is also the possibility of souls forming simultaneous separate personae like Dr. Weiss’s patient with her lives in Spain and the Ukraine or various Tibetan lamas who intentionally choose “next” incarnations in multiple parallel individuals. I will discuss the fragmentation and fission of personalities in a later section.

One might more reasonably wonder why Stevenson’s research never made it into even marginally mainstream scientific discussion or received peer review, and so few people know about it. It’s not as though he has been directly refuted or that better explanations have been offered for his data.

The reason is simply the prevailing view that reincarnation is absurd—that bias overrides any contrary evidence, however compelling. The presumption of absurdity is taken for granted, as if we were discussing levitating clowns, witches on brooms, and Casper the Friendly Ghoul. Most scientists start out from the premise that these things couldn’t be happening, therefore they aren’t. In every single case, there has to be some other explanation. New School philosopher Paul Edwards’s critique of Stevenson’s work suggests that this assessment must be plain to all:

“Which is more likely—that there are astral bodies, that they invade the womb of perspective mothers, and that the children can remember events from a previous life although the brains of the previous persons have long been dead? Or that Stevenson’s children, their parents, or some other witnesses and informants are, intentionally or unintentionally, not telling the truth: that they are lying, or that their very fallible memories and powers of observation have led them to make false statements and bogus identifications?” [p. 36].

His implicit bias is dripping from this. If you believe in a materialist universe only—a what-you-see-is-what-you-get affair in which the entire apparelled cosmos popped out of a particle smaller than a pinhead and in the middle of nowhere for no reason—then Paul Edwards’s caricature strikes the perfect chord: the only conceivable mechanisms for past lives are patently absurd. Yet if you consider that what we know about the shape, meaning, dimensionality, and consciousness of the universe is far less than what we don’t, Edwards’s presumption is an indication of his own hubris as well as his susceptibility to the consensus trance and its ubiquitous propaganda.

 

Transdimensional Physics and Biology

Moles, scars, and other defects that match or parallel those of the PP are spooky, extraordinary indicators—game-changers. If wounds or traumas in one lifetime can transpose the energy of their formation and imprint into cellular activity in a subsequent incarnation, that tells you something crucial about the universe that physicists and biologists neither know nor suspect. It makes classic thermodynamic agency and identity in the universe patent pending while raising fundamental questions about the nature of the universe itself. There is no conventional explanation. One would need spontaneous telekinesis to account for the birthmarks and birth defects themselves, plus nonlocal consciousness to explain how the child bearing them would also know the identity of the PP whose indicators they were. For Stevenson, “Patterns such as birthmarks or deformities in the current lifetime that were correlated to experiences remembered from a previous lifetime… tied the past and present individual together. For example, a striking present-day birthmark running from ear to ear across the throat might potentially correspond to that person’s previous-life memory of having been murdered by having his throat slit.” [Klimo 61-62].

For starters, bodily marks replicating wounds and scars in a prior lifetime suggest that an experience powerful enough to leave a carryover death picture is also telekinetic enough to emboss a congenital imprint and telepathic enough to form a mental carrier image and memory surviving death. Reincarnational wound-transfer, if that is what is happening, by translating unconscious traumatic effects into DNA in sync with subliminal memory, suggests that our existence doesn’t evaporate but returns to a latency state that then reemerges not only psychically (as per Bridey Murphy et al.) but phenotypically with the inscriptions cellularized.

That’s a different universe from the one promulgated by scientists all the way up to Einstein and Hawking … more Alice in Wonderland.

According to Stevenson, wounds that were experienced most painfully or in states of terror reappeared. By contrast, wounds that occurred when the victim was unconscious, for instance senseless on the ground during combat or under sedation in surgery, rarely if ever left corollary indicia. [72] This implies that cells and subtle energies “communicate” in what osteopath John Upledger dubbed “cell talk” in an attempt to explain how healing touch, prayer, psychic energy, and affirmations can effect tissue activity. The unconscious mind breaks into the amino-acid algebra of the genetic code.

Jim B. Tucker, an M.D. as well as an associate of Stevenson’s, explored this possibility in his book Life Before Life. He coupled the appearance of traumatic birthmarks to the sudden appearance of heat blisters on a subject under hypnosis, at a spot where he was told that he was being burned but was not. When the hypnotist pressed [68] an unheated object on the skin while warning it was red hot, the “burn” wound produced was in the shape of the prop! If the mind can produce a skin blister, a mechanism for thought-to-cell transfer exists. Psychosomatic diagnosis and therapy rest on this assumption

Intuition of this principle is ensconced enough in Asian cultures that maintain a belief in reincarnation that the body of a dying person or a corpse is marked with a ritual soot and paste or a smear of butter in expectation that such an intentional indicator will seep telekinetically into a life imprint and show up on a newborn. In Tibetan Buddhist circles, the body of a dying lama is carefully so tagged, not only to identify his rebirth but to allow it to be confirmed. Of course, application of oils to a dead body contradicts a theory of traumatic telekinesis, but neither Stevenson nor the lamas have total claim on the mechanism of transfer, let alone its range or spectrum of variations, so we can give that paradox a free pass.

 

Some sort of psychically induced morphogenesis would necessary to transubstantiate traumas from a body that no longer exists into lesions on the skin of another body or, in graver cases, birth defects. Metempsychotic birthmarks may violate neo-Darwinian principles by crossing the barrier between experience and DNA in Lamarckian fashion, but consider recent lab experiments in which mice inherit aversions to stimuli generated by shocks five generations after the mouse in which the original trauma was induced! These animals must have etheric fields too, which is another way of saying that the universe is not only thermodynamic but embryogenic.

Consider the baseline. The entirety of information blueprinting an organism is condensed, synopsized, and transformed into DNA coding that then regenerates it in the form of another organism. Though interpreted only mechanically at present, perhaps such synoptic coding and translation is one of the universe’s operating procedures at a deeper tier. In an earlier book (Embryos, Galaxies, and Sentient Beings: How the Universe Makes Life) I proposed that an embryogenic as well as a thermodynamic set of laws operate throughout nature. The causal and energetic lines holding together the embryogenic set are synergized at a higher tier of energy to intersect the thermodynamic set in the physical plane. If so, the embryogenic set, operating transdimensionally, imposes teleodynamic overlays on physical and biological processes.

The universe is complex enough to maintain a full Darwinian appearance under stringent thermodynamic protocols and also run nonlocal telekinetic transfer across coetaneous thresholds, bringing the two systems together seamlessly and submicroscopically in living organisms and other physical manifestations. A multi-tiered, paraphysical embryogenic system could hide untold volumes of information in itself—a few billion years worth of placeholders and pathways—while leaving no telltale footprint or clue. In the nucleus of a cell, DNA coils and their so-called junk DNA could carry telekinetic-like information too.

Evolutionary ontogeny of life forms takes place observably via involuted chrysalises of tissue formations, shear forces, and epigenetic fields that incorporate relationships between individuals and gravitational, electromagnetic, thermodynamic environments. During such a process, karmic and etheric forces, if such frequencies are in play, would be at their most active and telekinetic. Traumatic memories in search of resolution would place their unresolved charges in fetal tissue after an initial wound created a psychokinetic rune. It would then get transduced in Lamarckian fashion into a corresponding physico-etheric layer of the germinal protoplasm of the embryo.

Despite all that we know about the relationship between thermodynamic principles, natural selection, and metabolic energy fields, molecules might just bounce around willy-nilly if there wasn’t some other, unknown subtle and cohesive teleodynamic force organizing them and imposing a predisposition to complexity, novelty, and energy consolidation. They are not just empty balls requiring emergence at higher levels to express intrinsic qualities. The principle that draws them into chemical and organic shapes and incubates conscious energy in these forms is not just Crick-Watson-brand DNA and its amino-acid double helix but a paraphysically corollary twin-helical complement to molecular DNA—a higher dimensional entity that supplies material DNA with its organizational and even karmic intelligence. Hence, wounds in one generation become birthmarks and unexplained scars in another.

Traditional Hindu and theosophical pundits who propose transdimensional planes identify seven ranges of vibration in our operating range, each divided into seven subplanes or finer differentiations of energy. Only the lower tiers of the densest three spheres are part of most people’s everyday reality. These include the Physical sector of the Physical-Etheric plane corresponding to our physical reality, the denser part of the Astral sphere corresponding to our emotional reality, and the Mental sphere of the Mental-Causal plane corresponding not only to our conscious thoughts but the physical organization of nature.

The Etheric aspect of the Physical-Etheric plane contains energies involved in the formation of our physical bodies as well as a transitional zone to other dimensions and frequencies where different sorts of intelligence and probabilities exist. The upper Astral operates at frequencies that refine emotions into landscapes inhabited by subtle beings described by humans as elves, fairies, mermaids, slyphs, etc. These entities have their own autonomous existences but come into being in our realm only as we think them, even as we come into being for them as they imagine us. That’s what a fairy or leprechaun is.

Nothing readily accessible to humans exists above the Mental. For instance, at the Atmic frequency, our reality harmonizes with other interstellar, intergalactic intelligence systems. At the Monadic frequency, the same signal harmonizes with interdimensional intelligence systems. The Adi plane corresponds to pure emptiness before manifestation, as it holds the potential of our entire range of reality.

It is possible that other forms of esoteric information get funneled by successive step-downs from higher planes, entailing metaphorical or actual superpositioning and entanglement. In the larger picture, there would be no difference between long-distance molecular telekinesis and evolutionary biochemistry because before there were zooids, or even chemical compounds, all substance formation was latent and, in effect alchemical. The distinction between chemistry and telekinesis is purely ex post facto.

A metaphysical, multidimensional universe constrains and is constrained by the local physical one in such a fashion that atoms and molecules form compounds and organisms, but only as their astral and etheric states transmit source energy for that physics from higher vibrations. Living plasma is held together by an unseen field as well as a perceptible genetic regulation of protein distribution—proteins are simply etheric and astral expressions at a denser frequency, connoting a crease in the fabric of a higher-frequency vibration. That blueprint is buried in the system’s tags, lesions, erasures, and redundancies.

We could view matter as a translation of etheric into physical shape constructs around a helicoid, circumvoluted seed, a vortex located in a deeper hyperspace-time continuum. DNA would be the physical side of an alphabetic code or gateway through which these subtler energies seep and are held in complementary origination by amino-acid ledgers. To carry this a step further, not only is embryogenesis a thermodynamically driven sheer state organized by algebraic-like transfer from a subatomic base but that algebra is simultaneously a download of a more fundamental numerology from another plane. Creatures—life forms—come into being as their cellular nuclei impose a qabalistic-like gematria on the breakwater between domains—Russian cosmologist G. I. Gurdjieff’s interface of octaves.

In this version of cosmogenesis, the Ray of Creation originated at a far subtler and higher vibration than the physical plane. As it transited zones of dormant information or unhewn spatiality and curvature, it ignited rubrics of manifestation, most of them at much frequency above the Big Bang universe. Those closest to us have acquired many names through the skrying of pundits, among them the Monadic, Atmic, Buddhic, Causal, Mental, and afore-mentioned Astral, Etheric, and Physical planes. “Planes” do not indicate places but frequencies of emanation.

The Physical plane is the densest the Ray of Creation has thus far penetrated. We know this because we cannot discern anything denser. Even the most gravitational compressed star or Jovian planet apparently does not crush its matter into a denser plane; it simply transforms everything electromagnetically and elementally into a more concentrated substance in this plane—metallic hydrogen—or into component energies redistributed elsewhere. There are likely untold ranges of subtler planes in All That Is, however many phases the Ray of Creation passed through and activated in reaching this degree of density. Most of these are beyond DNA operating systems and their comprehension and extraneous to their daily functioning. The matrix is more entangled and complex than this physical plane can absorb or explicate.

Scientists don’t realize that what they are seeing might be a higher dimensional version of the two-dimensional kinetic depth effect. Three-dimensional events cast shadows that are too complex to be explained in two dimensions or to have their entire entelechy expressed there. Likewise, the DNA helix and the embryo might be casting four- and higher-dimensional shadows.

From these levels we are filtered into physical temporal reality: three dimensions of space, one of time. Everything we do and experience is conditioned to this framework. If any of us was suddenly dropped into three or four dimensions of time, the set-up would change we wouldn’t know what to do. But we’d catch on soon enough like newly hatched turtles.

Meaningfulness alone connects each dimensional construct to another, as it reestablishes itself like a compass in every new matrix and field. All other rules, points of reference, and parameters change, but meaningfulness transcends dimensionality.

 

Plural causality has a long history in the West, going back to Aristotle’s four causes and including many detours and spins on the road to quantum physics, for instance Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s notion of matter and mechanism as states that cannot stand on their own but require extrinsic intelligence and spiritual substance. His version of matter could not operate solely on a material basis or by mathematical rubrics alone; it required a pre-established harmony of monads. Leibniz was talking about nature, and nature hasn’t changed. We tend to forget: nature is not just a rainforest or a display seen while snorkeling. It is also not only thousand-miles-per-hour gas storms on Jovian planets or volcanoes on their inner moons; it is the nature of things (rerum natura), whatever that is.

Outside of models suggested by quantum physics, designs operating by causal monads have no standing: design is correlative with the mechanical operation of the universe itself, a universe in which nothing is causal in the sense of a first cause. Yet the problem that materialistic science runs into with particle physics, all the way from quantum tunneling to uncertainty states and entanglements, is not physics alone. It is imbedded all the way through the history of causation from supervenient qualities of concrete entities among the Greeks and through the Middle Ages. Since properties cannot float freely in nature, how are they caught by objects? How does matter get bewitched by its own patterns such that thermodynamic states become causal in the sense of formal and final or teleodynamic effects? Aristotle understood, this is a big, big problem. You can’t go forward without resolving it—and we haven’t.

Just because biotechnicians can track trajectories of DNA and other molecules and can even manipulate them with pipettes and lasers doesn’t mean that they have tapped into their causation. Showing how a system works (e.g., how the Sun is fueled by the transmutation of hydrogen and helium and how life arises thence from thermodynamic information and heat constructs preserved in a heat-constructed double helix of amino acids) does not say what it is. The indigenous native American Sun Dance has something equally profound to say about what the Sun and its terrestrial creatures are—not because they are raising mythological metaphors but because they are reading discursive and discontinuous information.

By assuming that a random, chaos-based dynamic must underlie all expressions of nature—a watch made by a blind watchmaker—physicists and biologists forfeit the possibility of other flows of information into the same system leading to representation and function—and this is not Intelligent Design. It is simultaneously tidal, libidinal, quantum-gravitational, psychosomatic, and psychic. God is the name for ultimate source of forms, the basis of teleology, the immanent ultimate cause, not the exception but exemplification of physical and metaphysical forces, the conceptual realization of limitless potentiality, and the circumambient reality operating through the vectors of that reality while always surpassing them.

Theologian Gordon Kaufman puts it pretty clearly when he called God “the religious name for the profound mystery of creativity, the mystery of the emergence, in and through evolutionary and other originative processes, of novelty in the world.”

The instrumental effect of what that universe is conveying symbolically, while never actualized and always becoming, becomes co-creator with finite secular agents. These are present in while containing the cosmos and are its ground. They ontologically approach finitude without losing a divine aspect. God created the universe not ex nihilo but of itself. The cosmos is in effect a sacrament of a God who acts in and through it by natural laws—and not merely as a form of Himself, for then nature would lack its own reality.

By this token, nonlocal consciousness patterns can alter structures in cells not because action catalyzes chemical changes that become molecular changes (though this does happen) but because an etheric body (which is also a karmic body) is regularly transducing itself into the physical body through the aura, the organism’s subtle field.

 

Terrence Deacon, though a neo-Darwinian, hits near the sweet spot on this complex issue when he deconstructs science’s artificially imposed lesion between levels of activity in the universe. Mind, he says, doesn’t emerge from matter (nor a biological self from non-egoic components) by an incremental, ultimately linear flow of mutations under environmental feedback “but from the constraints (aka absences) that organize matter.” Absent features—unrealized potentials—are contained within and emerge from cumulatively reduced degrees of freedom in thermodynamic systems. In this sort of universe, information passes through nonlinear mathematical grids with aggregate functions cancelling out singular, linear pathways. That open a backdoor to nonphysical, e.g. absent, events. What looks like straightforward chronological autogenesis—the organization of life from non-living forms—is a complexity of effects producing an autogenetic appearance: John Keats’ negative capability: —“that is, when [we are] capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” Efficacy—Aristotle’s efficient cause—is limited to producing certain outcomes but, as positive active potencies bring random change, passive ones integrate it. Novel effects arise from their own collective blowback.  Deacon describes it this way:

“[C]onstraints in the world are intrinsically relational phenomena. They are reflected in relationships between degrees of freedom that are excluded and those that are not excluded. And these are always degrees of freedom of some physical process of change. So when we argue that the constraints that characterize autogenesis actively preserve themselves we are not mentioning the fact that this active preservation necessarily involves physical processes that by virtue of these constraints do the work of preventing these same constraints from degrading. And because these constraints are preserved, whenever thermodynamic conditions enable the resumption of chemical work, this energetic change is again channeled into autogenic catalysis and linked self-assembly processes. The chemical reactions that are thereby prevented are those that tend to degrade the capacity to prevent these deleterious reactions….

“Although it seems convenient to think of the DNA in a cell as being the source of these constraints, as though these are the blueprints created by some extrinsic influence like natural selection, this is too simple. DNA itself is replicated by this cellular machinery, as are all of its other components, and so it is also just part of this synthetic reciprocity. Moreover, it is because organisms are incessantly working to preserve their critical functional constraints (in themselves and in their offspring) that there is anything susceptible to natural selection. These constraints are not a consequence of natural selection, but its precondition.”

The constraint is not concomitant with the organism’s (the primal cell’s) physical and chemical composition; it functions teleodynamically as its outgrowth. “Emergent properties are not something added, but rather a reflection of something restricted and hidden via ascent in scale due to constraints propagated from lower-level dynamical processes.” What is potential is always potential even as parts of it actualize.

Whether constraints are imposed from outside of or generated internally by the system’s own dynamics, flexibility increases with dynamical depth. It is a relationship between signs and representations, a shuffling semiotics as opposed to a stolid biophysics. In this circular dynamic, outer and inner worlds, separated by “I” and “It” at the epidermal boundary differentiating intrinsic things (selves) from extrinsic things (environment) are an interchangeable gruel of permeable forms and instances permeating one another’s chemistry and natural cycles.

Personal identity introduces something “intrinsic and autonomous,” an entity dynamically mediating between its self and its environment. Like in a Klein bottle or Möbius strip, there is neither inside nor outside but a continuous reciprocal flow of information in accordance with constraints. The emerging consortium never has to disclose itself, for its continuously shape-changing identity emerges from within without a without. While situated inside this dynamic bubble, personal identity oscillates, in a continuous way, onto its surface, in each temporary milieu. The entity persists only insofar as it undermines the integrity of its own configuration, its metabolizing of matter and energy, by maintaining a far-from-equilibrium state of individuation. It exists by not insisting neg-entropically on its own existence even as its nonexistence continually arises and dissolves into its existence by maintaining its innate disequilibrium, advancing while preventing its own obliteration. Purpose, meaning, figure, and sign become spontaneous sequels flowing from a state of absence—whatever that finally comes to mean in a universe set at opposite poles by multidimensionality and dimensional reductionism

Aristotle’s formal cause denotes potentials of constraint present from the beginning of time that are manifested as each organism reaches maturity and explores the transitory teleodynamics of its hypothetical final cause. Ideological science and ideological metaphysics converge on the same dumbing down of the universe into a billboard for its own effects that operates at a direct level of the causes behind those effects. Though from an opposite position, I join Deacon in considering this far too simple a model for a universe that is anything but simple. For instance, in response to my drawing his attention to the Marcus piece in the New York Times, Deacon wrote me:

“Mind-as-computing is a classic version of the unconscious metaphysical propaganda that is implicit in much of modern science today. The result is that my work is sometimes treated as scientifically uninformed mysticism by one group and as reductionistic materialism by others. It exemplifies that we live in a sharply dualistic intellectual world….”

That neither mystics nor materialists can figure out whether a given paradigm is metaphysical or physical is indication of the ideological conflation of models as well as the underlying paradoxicalness of the thing that is being explained—in this case embryogenic organization and conscious agency. Deacon proposes that science’s biophysical regime shows not so much the shadows as well as the light forming them but the constraints whereby light is shadow and shadow is light:

“I believe that despite its counterintuitive negative framing [constraints on molecular vectors as opposed to vectors themselves], this figure/background reversal of the way we conceive of living and mental causality promises to reinstate subjective experience as a legitimate participant in the web of physical causes and effects, and to ultimately reintroduce intentional phenomena back into the natural sciences. It also suggests that the subtitle of [my] book [How Mind Emerged from Matter] is slightly misleading. Mind didn’t exactly emerge from matter, but from constraints on matter.

“I would add that a tendency to ‘substantialize’ the phenomena that are effects of constraints (absences) is also a danger for those who assume that consciousness, meaning, purpose, value, etc., reside in a parallel nonphysical realm. It leads to a tendency to prematurely abandon the scientific enterprise in favor of uncritical mysticism…. There are more things in heaven and earth than …”

There is not a separate spiritual universe; the scientific (materially reductionist) proposition operates everywhere as a spiritual (hyperspatial) proposition, and vice versa.

The same is true, only backwards, of my metaphysical paradigms. Just because desubstantialization of phenomena (like transmigrating birthmarks) point to a linear telekinetic progression does not mean that it is not camouflaging a more complex underlying process. Telekinetic birthmarks might be the way in which phenomena transmit not just their extrinsic manifestations but constraints on those manifestations. The entire physical world may represent subtle constraints on etheric and astral expressions, so much blocking them as validating them in a denser, more draconian field, disclosing other aspects: alchemy as the primal physics again. As skeptics continue to eliminate avenues of metaphysical intervention, the universe and its form ation become not less but more metaphysical. I summarized a few of these thoughts in an email to Deacon:

1) The parallel nonphysical realm, if it exists, is reflected and replicated both causally and counter-casually in the physical realm, and not just replicated but integrated in such a way that there is finally no difference between physical and metaphysical activity, and there shouldn’t be insofar as it is all happening in the same universe. It is not just that there is no difference: it is that, at the level of constraints, they come closest to intersecting.

2) Materialists who don’t examine the premises that led to their materialism are unintentionally metaphysical. Unexamined materialism—materialism that is unaware of its own ontological roots and unconscious dependence on rootless constructs (for instance, one arising from mathematics)—is metaphysical by definition. What else could it be, since its basis is always elsewhere, which is nowhere?

3) Intrinsic propaganda is built into either polar position. Blind idealists and spirtualists fail to appreciate, regardless of their lip service to materialization of “spirit” in classic hermetic texts like Pymander and Plotinus, the fact that the universe is operating as a fully self-contained mechanism in a highly concentrated physical zone; there are no exits or exemptions from physicalism down to the bottom or through the black hole of each item’s fate. Conversely, blind materialists fail to appreciate the unsupported presumptions, gaps, patches, epicycles, etc., in their own rigged assembly line from matter to mind. The statistical derivation of a Big Bang is not tantamount to the experience of an actual Big Bang.

4). Neither side seems to recognize that the phenomenological depth and transpersonal “poignancy” of the universe is already a measure of how complex and accountable a model of the whole enchilada has to be to stand a chance. I mean, you can’t have a paradigm of how you get to consciousness that is exponentially less complicated—back-looped and many-times-over synopsized and reimbedded—than the consciousness that is probing it. You can’t have a universe any less complex and implicate than us.

5) Constraints, absences, shadows, etc., as organizing principles for unexplained emergences at ascending tiers of matter are neutrally guided; they go into the “machine” and its interstices rather than out into materialist (or idealist) tropes pretending to be validatable threads and continuities. They make use of the unconscious negative feedback that is so obviously the catalyst behind much of what we awake to everyday. Such constraint-driven profundity is equivalent to the outside-in/inside-out shear fields that characterize both embryogenic gastrulation and philosophical concepts or poems. At Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley, the guiding mantra on each inhalation is “don’t know, don’t know, don’t know”… then on exhalation: “clear mind.”

There can be no wiggle room between two such domains: physical DNA is karmic “DNA” at another frequency or tier of expression. Life is the simultaneous purview of a complex thermodynamic body and the densest penetration of an etheric wave. As subtle bodies cobble gross bodies, etheric fields supply electromagnetic-like glue whereby organisms emanate, solidify, and ravel. Each one’s action/shape represents the total flow of creative information behind it: a mouse comes out of localizing mouse constraints, a bat a bat, a whale a whale. An etheric splash becomes a mitochondrial splash becomes an oceanic splash. In the darkness of a nest or hive is the quickening of an egg. I am not saying that these creatures don’t also come completely out of molecules, chromosomes, and cells; I am saying that etheric and physical emanations of the same notes arise simultaneously at equivalent frequencies and scales.

 

James Leininger and James Huston

James Leininger was a cheerful, unflappable toddler in Lafayette, Louisiana, unnewsworthy except to his adoring parents, Bruce and Andrea, until May 1, 2000, three weeks after his second birthday. That was when he began having super-nightmares: “[T]he screams came out of nowhere…his sounds were blurred and blunted inside the high-octane howl of a very young child who looked and sounded as if he were fighting desperately for his life.” [3, 5]] These bouts of terror occurred as often as four times a week.

Since Bruce was dealing with a stressful situation at work, he persuaded Andrea to troop down the hall to investigate and offer comfort. Night after night she became the sole witness to James screaming and kicking his feet in the air while emitting blood-curdling cries in a strange voice.

Andrea had been advised by her doctor that nightmares like these were normal childhood events and would diminish over time, also that it was better not to wake a child abruptly from a bad dream. Neither a yokel nor naïf—a former ballet dancer—she was a sophisticated, thoughtful mother.

Then one night something about James’s cries changed. As Andrea explained to a newspaper reporter: “In the throes of his nightmares you couldn’t work out what he was saying. But two or three months in, I was walking down the hall and I heard him saying, ‘Airplane crash, plane on fire, little man can’t get out.’ It chilled me to my bone hearing this.”

When James grew somewhat older and more articulate, he explained to her that his plane had taken off from a ship and then was shot down by gunfire; the little man was unable to escape the burning cockpit.

Andrea and Bruce took this to be in the ordinary range of childhood fantasy until one day while fully awake and being read a story, James rolled onto his back and began kicking in the air like in his dreams, as he told his mother without the emotion of his nightmares, “Little man’s going like this.” Seizing the opportunity in its moment, she asked who the little man was. He replied, “Me.” [55]

She fetched Bruce, and James repeated his assertion just as matter-of-factly.

When his father extended the conversation by asking him who shot down his plane, James flashed a disgusted look as though the matter should be obvious: “The Japanese!” he called out. Later he told his aunt that anyone could identify the enemy plane from “the big red sun.” [59]

The Leiningers recalled something that had taken place when James was a toddler in diapers. As he examined a toy propeller-driven plane that his parents had gotten him at Hobby Lobby, Andrea called his attention to a bomb on the bottom. Examining it closely, he countered exasperatedly, “That’s not a bomb, Mommy. That’s a dwop tank.” [16] A drop tank is an extra gas tank added to extend a plane’s range. This was beyond both his knowledge and verbal abilities.

Other foreshadowings got recalled. Before the nightmares began, Bruce had taken his son to an air museum. They finished looking at older planes and were headed to modern ones when James ran back and climbed into the cockpit of a World War II fighter. He would not get out even when bribed with ice cream, a generally successful lure. On a subsequent visit to the museum, he was so excited that he could barely contain himself as he ran to the WW II planes. Bruce described his behavior in the cockpit as having an intense adult-like focus, not at all like his playfulness on trampolines and jungle gyms.

At home James liked to buckle a pretend seatbelt like a pilot and put on pretend head gear, so Bruce built him a toy cockpit from an old car seat and made a helmet from a construction hard hat. The boy concocted his own parachute from old canvas bags and a backpack and, with these props, he conducted war battles for hours, chattering things like, “Roger…Zero at six o’clock…Hit him!” [110-111]

On a family flight east, he impressed a commercial pilot with his grasp of the instruments and later demonstrated intimate knowledge of aircraft structure and function at an air museum in Galveston.

Then at the airport one day during the nightmare phase, Bruce, a nervous flier, was being dropped off by Andrea for a business trip when, from his car seat, James announced: “Daddy’s airplane crash. Big fire!”

Bruce lost it, “Do not ever say that again. Do you hear me…? Airplanes don’t crash! Daddy’s airplane will not crash.” [33, 43]

Sometime not long after that, Andrea was spying on James playing alone in the sunroom when saw him pull himself to attention, strike the pose of a soldier, bring his hand smartly to his head, and declare in a deep sotto voice, “I salute you and I’ll never forget. Now here goes my neck.” [105]

This was chilling “Twilight Zone” stuff. However, her Judaeo-Christian belief-system—the Leiningers are devout Christians—did not support reincarnation and, anyway, modern Americans don’t usually interpret their lives or those of their children that way. “Having a past life is not the initial conclusion you come to, Andrea explained. “You try to figure out any other way he could have…. Did he see something? Has there been anything on television? Anything that we’ve discussed? There has to be some other explanation.”

While she was provisionally open-minded about past lives, Bruce emphatically opposed and repudiated them. Like Andrea he felt that, if they pursued the source their son’s behavior exhaustively and with a thorough enough swath, the airplane fantasy would be cleared up by a rational explanation that just wasn’t apparent yet.

The parents’ actions from that point on were schizophrenic: on the one hand, they interrogated James and researched his responses as though he might actually have had a past life as a World War II pilot; at the same time, Bruce was hell-bent on discrediting the story by proving that James was not describing actual people and events but making them up from his imagination. Either way, an analytical process had begun.

When Andrea asked her two-year-old son if he remembered the name of the little man, the boy answered, “James,” but that only led her to assume that he didn’t understand the question. So, adopting a different tack at a later time, Bruce asked what kind of airplane it was; James replied promptly, “A Corsair.”

This startled Bruce, who knew that Corsairs had been launched from WW II aircraft carriers. But how did James know?

Then while viewing a picture book on another occasion, James provided another insider tidbit: “That’s a Corsair. They used to get flat tires all the time! And they wanted to turn left when they took off.” [109] Both observations turned out to be correct! Still he might have picked that up by overhearing something on television.

Still intent to find flaws in the story, Bruce asked his son the name of the carrier, certain that he wouldn’t know it or make up something silly. James shot back, “Natoma.”

Bruce felt an initial triumph, sure that “Natoma” was a make-believe name. But a search on the computer revealed that the United States aircraft carrier Natoma Bay was stationed in the Pacific during World War II.

Long after the cat was out of the bag Bruce admitted that the weirdness was beginning to get to him. A little kid, his own son, was attacking his belief system, almost goading him toward a sacrilegious New Age view. The coincidences also frustrated him. A big-time problem-solver at work, he could not clear up child-scale enigmas in his own household.

Not long after the above exchange as he was tucking James in to bed, Bruce made an incidental comment, “No dreams about the little man tonight, okay buddy?”

The boy responded: “The little man’s name is James, Daddy.”

“Baby, your name is James.”

“The little man is named James, too.”

That response resonated with something else: James often signed his drawings “James 3” and, when pressed for an explanation, declared as though, like other details of his previous existence, it should be obvious to his parents, “Because I’m the third James. I am James Three.” [106]

Though James 3 could not provide James 2’s last name, when pressed for other ship personnel he was able to identify a pilot and shipmate: Jack Larsen. [68-70]

The road ahead now split into two very different directions. If Jack Larsen turned out to be a real person, it was “down the rabbit hole.” If he was shown to be a fictive figure, they were, at worst, still at a crossroads.

That Christmas, as Bruce and James were leafing through a book called The Battle for Iwo Jima, James pointed to a photo and said, “That’s when my plane got shot down.” [91]

Upon checking, Bruce discovered that, yes, the carrier Natoma Bay had in fact been deployed at Iwo Jima.

In September 2002 despite all his misgivings, Bruce did what he knew he had to take a big step—he attended the Natoma Bay veterans’ reunion in San Diego. He explained himself to the other attendees as an amateur historian doing research for a book about the ship’s exploits. He hated the ruse but could think of no way to tell the truth and not be discounted as a kook. By then he wasn’t certain what he believed:

“If James’s nightmares were truly a manifestation of a past life—a proof of reincarnation—then, as I saw it, it would threaten the biblical promise of salvation. If the immortal soul can randomly transfer from person to person, generation to generation, then what does that imply for the Christian orthodoxy of redemption? What happens on Judgment Day if the immortal soul is handed off like that? It goes against the evangelical teaching of rebirth through a spiritually transformed personal life.

“The impact of James’s story on my spiritual well-being…well, it felt like spiritual warfare. My purpose for disproving what was happening to my son was to establish that this was all a coincidence, as astronomically remote as that possibility seems…..  [A]ll the while I was getting closer and closer to something…dangerous. It was like putting my hands in a fire.” [202-203]

During his weekend in San Diego, Bruce got corroboration on several key items. There had been a Jack Larsen on the Natoma Bay; he was still alive, in Arkansas, though he never came to reunions. But there were no Corsairs on the ship, only FM-2’s and TBM Avengers. The one “James” identified as a pilot among the Natoma Bay dead was James H. Huston Jr., a detail that could explain the “James 3” identity.

Phoning first and unable to resist hinting at the true reason for his interest, Bruce drove to Springdale, Arkansas, to interview Jack Larsen. After amiably greeting his visitor, Larsen described the day on which he and James Huston flew together. It was March 3, 1945, when they took off from the Natoma Bay to strike at Chichi-Jima, dubbed by one pilot “the hellhole of the Bonin Islands.” Their mission was to stop a “Japanese build-up of troop replacements and supplies.” [214] James Huston was not scheduled to fly that day but volunteered. It was to be his squadron’s last mission before being shipped home. They winged through heavy flak, which Jack presumed brought his shipmate’s plane down. He could provide no other details.
Later Bruce learned that James M. Huston, Jr. was the only pilot shot down during the attack on Chichi-Jima. Age twenty-one, he perished on his fiftieth mission, enough to build up knowledge of his plane, familiarity with aircraft lingo, and an attachment to the flying ritual.

Upon Bruce’s departure from the Larsen house, Jack handed him a present for his son, his old flight helmet with goggles and oxygen mask still attached. “‘I was wearing this on the day I flew off Natoma Bay,” he said. “On the day James Huston was shot down.’” [145]

Upon receiving the gift from his father, young James “put it on firmly, professionally, slapping out the air bubbles, shaping the fit, as if he were going to work.” [146]

Not long after his visit to the Larsens, Bruce lofted James in the air and declared how happy he was to have him for his son. James responded, “That’s why I picked you; I knew you would be a good daddy.”

An explanation was requested, and James said, “When I found you and Mommy, I knew that you would be good to me.” Then astonishingly the boy provided details: “I found you at the big pink hotel. I found you on the beach. You were eating dinner at night.” [154]

Bruce and Andrea stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel approximately five weeks before Andrea became pregnant with James.

 

James had named his GI Joe dolls Billy, Leon, and Walter and, when Bruce wondered why no Buzz or Todd or Rocky, the boy gave him his vintage you-idiot look and said, “Because that’s who met me when I got to heaven.”

Bruce later learned that his son had correctly identified by first name and hair color three men who died before him on missions from October 25 to November 17, 1945: Billie Peeler, Leon Connor and Walter Devlin. Billie Peeler had dark hair like James’s Billie doll; Leon Connor had blonde hair, as did the Leon doll; and Walter Devlin had the reddish hair of James’s Walter doll. These “accumulating flukes and strikes of accurate details connecting to the GI Joe action figures were dumbfounding,” especially for a four-year-old child. [170] Bruce was starting to believe the unbelievable.

About twenty percent of children who have memories of events before birth also recall some combination of their PP’s funeral, his or her existence in another realm, the interval between death and rebirth, choosing new parents, conception, gestation, and being reborn (e.g., “Bridey Murphy’s” account of dancing in the in-between place).

An obviously complex and baffling experience may be sublimated into juvenile iconography. One child reported that “God gave him a card to come back from heaven…. it looked like a business card with green arrows on it….” [172] A Sri Lankan girl recalled being an old woman in a village three miles from her home and “being lifted up, even though her body was buried, and flying like a bird.” She met “a king or governor whose reddish clothes and beautiful pointed shoes were never taken off, never dirty, and never washed. Her own clothes were also always clean, but they were golden. The king’s home was made of glass, and had beautiful red beds. As she played there, all she had to do was think of food and it appeared. She didn’t have to eat it, for its mere appearance satisfied her hunger. [173]

Marta Lorenz, a Brazilian girl who remembered having been a friend of her mother’s in an earlier lifetime, commented at the devastating death of her own sister, “Emilia is not in the cemetery. She is in a safer and better place than this one where we are; her soul can never get wet.” When her father retorted that the dead never return, she interrupted him: “Don’t say that. I died also and look, I am living again.” [134]

Brian Weiss’s patient recalled how when “floating in a shining void, she would become the host for disembodied spirit who revealed the mysteries of eternity.” [p. 17]

My own daughter, Miranda, at sixteen informed my wife and me at dinner out of the blue that she had picked us to be her parents and take care of her. We had done a good job, but she was able to handle things from now on herself. She underwent a dramatic change of personality and appearance. Her blonde hair turned black at the roots, and she matured into a precocious cutting-edge artist.

 

The out-of-place Corsair evaporated when Bruce Leininger learned that while most planes at Iwo Jima took off from the Natoma Bay, James Huston’s last flight had been off a different ship, the Sargent Bay. This information surfaced as Bruce continued to interview survivors in James Huston’s squadron and get descriptions of James 2’s death, for instance a pilot’s journal entry of the scene:

“One of the fighters from our escort squadron was close to us and took a direct hit on the nose. All I could see were pieces falling into the bay.” [214]

Another flier identified James Huston in a photograph. While recalling the 1945 day, he began to sob: “We were no more than thirty yards apart when the pilot deliberately turned his head and looked at me. I caught his eyes and we connected with each other. No sooner had we connected than his plane was hit in the engine by what seemed to be a fairly large shell. There was an instantaneous flash of flames that engulfed the plane. It did not disintegrate but almost immediately disappeared below me….  Mr. Leininger, I have lived with that pilot’s face as his eyes fixed on me every day since it happened. I never knew who he was. I was the last guy who saw him alive. I was the last person he saw before he was killed. His face has haunted me my whole life…. Now I know who he was.” [217]

He supplied a possible backstory for another mysterious detail in James Leninger’s behavior. The shell took off James Huston’s plane propeller, and “James’s toy aircraft were always left [by him] without propellors.” [222]

 

In a parallel quest the Leiningers hunted down and made touch with James Huston’s last surviving family member, his sister Annie. Bruce told her to sit down and pour herself a drink, then recited an incredible tale.

Annie had something to tell back: a number of friends and family including herself had had ghostlike visitations from James Jr. on the day of his death. His semblance had come to bid each of them goodbye. She felt that he did not depart easily or willingly.

After she expressed an interest in talking to young James, the four-year-old lad and his PP’s eighty-six-year old sister discussed family matters on the phone. James shared intimate details as if she were still his kid sister, telling her things that no one could have known except her brother or parents.

Seeing James Huston’s childhood picture next to that of her brother’s, Annie said that James 3 didn’t so much look like James 2 as radiate him.

The “reincarnation of James Huston” had gone public by then, and the Leininger family was interviewed on ABC Primetime. This meant that Bruce had to tell the men from Natoma Bay the truth about his research. To a one they were sympathetic and welcomed young James at their next reunion. As he walked around, he recognized many, greeting them by name. He responded to their queries with both and accuracy, for instance as to where a particular five-inch gun was located. [249] He did confide to his father later that it was sad to find them all so old.

After the show a Japanese production company flew the Leiningers to Tokyo, then took them by boat to Chichi-jima. As soon as he took in the scenery, James tugged at his father’s sleeve and pointed, “This where the planes flew in when James Huston was killed.” [254]

After they floated flowers over the site and conducted a ceremony for James 2’s soul, James 3 put his head in his mother’s lap and sobbed for fifteen minutes. “He seemed to be weeping for himself and for James Huston—and for all the world of woe that he had ever seen or felt.” [255]

Bruce remarked: “I had a kind of revelation. James’s experience was not contrary to my belief. God, I thought, gives us a spirit. It lives forever. James Huston’s spirit had come back to us. Why? I’ll never know. But it had. There are things that are unexplainable and unknowable….

“The secular culture demanded facts and proof, and I had done the heavy lifting. I had made a leap of faith. I believed—truly believed—in the story. I did not need a reason.” [225-226]

The professional skeptic Paul Kurtz, who considered it his sworn mission to debunk such claims whenever they arose, gave the ABC Primetime reporter his own “expert” opinion of the Leininger case:

“I think that the parents are self-deceiving, that they are fascinated by the mysterious, and that they built up a fairy tale…. He’s overhearing conversations of his parents, he’s looking at cues. He may talk to his little friends or hear from neighbors. And then this notion builds up that, yes he was this pilot, he will come to believe that himself.”

He nodded to emphasize his point and then smiled condescendingly.

“Little friends” indeed! Kurtz’s view was that this kind of phenomenon is impossible and it was his job to protect the collective trance. Along these lines, philosopher/cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett is reported to have said that “he would commit suicide if paranormal phenomena turn out to be real…. Special contempt is reserved for the possibility that humans might survive bodily death, for this would be the death-knell for the mind-equals-brain assumption on which physicalism rests.” [LD52]

Philosopher/mathematician Charles Eisenstein adds that “the debunker must buy into a world full of frauds, dupes, and the mentally unstable, where most people are less intelligent and less sane than he is, and in which apparently honest people indulge in the most outrageous mendacity for no good reason.” The witnesses seem sincere, so the debunker assumes “either (1) that this apparent sincerity is a cynical cover for the most base or fatuous motives, or (2) they are ignorant, incapable of distinguishing truth from lies and delusion.” [LD 46]

The issue here is not even that committed skeptics presume that out-of-body experiences and past lives are impossible, hence must be fake; it is their prior assumption that there is no meaning or purpose, no teleology or sentience-based complexity, in the universe. To seek it is blasphemy, to find it delusion. They are opposed to nonlocal consciousness or paraphysical intelligence per se—and would remain so even if a Cheshire cat materialized out of the gloaming and extended its paw. They dumb the universe down to their own human level, practicing a religion as fanatical as Fundamentalist Christianity or Islam: Fundamentalist Nihilism—the God of No God, the self-congratulatory transhumanism of “God is Dead.” Atheism has become the required faith, God the ultimate Infidel.

I am sorry, but that is not science; it is not Kepler’s science or Galileo’s science or Aristotle’s science. I’m okay with not believing in God as a personified deity, but that’s not what’s at play. “God” designates the convergence of focused intelligence at the vortex of a cosmic mystery [theologian Gordon Kaufman]. He or She is not a cosic person but an unknown preceding and giving rise to beingness. Gods made us, even if they are nameless, for they are a flow of information and pattern-forming influences that does not distort or alter secondary causality. He is subsistent being (ipsum esse subsistens), his essence (essentia) identical with his existence (esse). Skeptics miss the intrinsic nature of what this is: a self-creating universe, a teleology without teleology

What would have happened if Einstein had taken an equivalent position on relativity and the space-time continuum, phenomena which are just as fantastic and counter to experience as reincarnation? How about a cosmos spurting jack-in-the-box-like out of a single atom? Is that not a metaphysical flight of the highest order?

Kurtz’s comments do not address the Leiningers’ actual experiences, only his assumptions of what they must have been, that Bruce and Andrea are mistaken or deluded or perpetrators of a hoax. These are compelling explanations only if paranormal options are a priori excluded.

Bruce, initially a skeptic and disbeliever, responded to Kurtz via ABC Primetime: “We’re talking to a two-year-old. What am I going to do, sit him in a corner and say, ‘Now we’re going to concoct this elaborate scheme and you’re going to imagine that you went through those things.’”

A few less obvious things about the Leininger-Huston story stand out to me. James Leininger has access to a chunk of James Huston’s life within his selfhood, but he is not James Huston nor is he a zombie arisen from an airplane crash, lamenting his recent lost life and seeking more time on Earth. He has snippets of James 2’s memories and traumatic death picture but not the thread of his entire life. For the many indisputable details that James 3 possesses of James 2’s personhood he holds less than a hundredth thousand of one percent of James Huston’s total existence—and this is probably true of all who have experienced past-life fragments. He has no continuity with James Huston’s personality, belief system, desires, and lived life; he is his own, unique person—a happy, playful child except for occasional somber, poignant flashbacks.

Except in nightmares when he relives James Huston’s death, James Leininger does not participate in James Huston’s existence; he does not have his imperative. Other than in nightmares, he itemizes past-life details off-handedly and without emotional. They are intrinsically part of him in some fashion, like background noise or the color of the sky.

To remember dissociated bits is nothing compared to the vastness of James Huston’s life and vibration, which cannot be remembered or accessed by anyone else consciously.

People may experience upset, regret, loss, nostalgia, even a sense of ownership and rightness about a seeming past life experienced in fugitive or even lasting fragments—and sometimes an urgency to get back to it and lay claim—but they are fully embodied and incarnated as who they now are. Even James 3’s interest in the fighter-pilot routine dwindled as he got older. His memories remained but came to seem less vivid, less imminent and important. The nightmares ceased. He adopted his current life in full.

Why not? This is how the universe works. James 2 likely also carried incomplete fragments of yet prior lives, and the premature loss of his proximal one with its death picture was not innately more tragic than any of the others. Each had to be lived fully in its own time through its view.

Daniel was not Rashid. He had no mechanical skills and did not remember most of Rashid’s experiences. He had scraps, remnants—that’s it.

What was established by Stevenson is that “memories, emotions, and even physical injuries can sometimes carry over from one life to the next.” [211] But that’s it. The life itself doesn’t carry over. It is not like our waking from sleep the next morning as the same person with that person’s accumulated history and agendas.

Shroder likened such flashbacks to “a bad carbon copy—here and there you could make out a word, or even a phrase, but it was impossible to get a sense of the whole document.” [p.71]. It did not seem like a rebirth of a stable, complete personalities to him.

Even among those who have extensive past-life memories, the flashbacks come and go and are more and less intense at different ages and times of life. Some children stay preoccupied with a past life even after they grow out of childhood; others are indifferent to the memories, downplaying them, lapsing into reincarnational amnesia like most of us for long stretches. [94] The mind and brain are such that, as with a dream or brief, intense vision, a person may remember a past life intensely at one moment and forget it entirely a moment later. Favorite times for recalling ostensible other lifetimes appear to be after baths, during long car rides, and at bedtime and upon awaking from dreams. Past lives are primarily hypnagogic in the way that they interrupt the flow of ordinary consciousness with an alternative presentation that is briefly credible and often more vivid. When engaged intensely in current activities, one is not likely to recall events from past lives.

It is also worth noting that, in a typical life process called “early childhood amnesia,” children lose most of their childhood memories anyway by age six or seven—not past-life but this-life. This raises the question of what an identity and a remembered personal history are anyway? If childhood memories fade and disappear, one would expect exponentially greater amnesia relating to events from before birth.

Not only do people remember details of past lives best when they are young and then forget them later, but they forget even that they once upon a time remembered them. One child in the Stevenson files, when taken back to the of a formerly vivid past-life memory, remarked to his mother that his PP’s mother looked familiar. “Why is that, Mom?” [253] Yet he once knew exactly who she “was.”

 

In seeming to recall a past life, how can an affected individual discover if the biography is veridical (in whole or in part), a hallucination, a spontaneous psychic reading, or a dreamlike meld of engrams dispatched from some sort of cosmic commons or transpersonal information field? Can a detached life trace, record of a life, or memory of a creature’s existence travel and superpose itself autonomously outside the thread of personal identity?

I think that, first, we have to eliminate the simplistic duality. To deem past-life-like memory traces a pure linear reincarnational sequence like an actor taking on different roles in successive plays is as limited as a skeptical-doubt position. Conventional reincarnation is too simple a construct for this sort of universe.

The verdict comes down to this: Is James Leininger the reincarnation of James Huston Jr., the lineal legatee of his soul? If he isn’t, if he merely has a smattering of James Huston Jr.’s memories, then how and why did that leak-through occur? What is the relationship between the two people? Where is James Huston Jr. now if he is not James Leininger? Does he still exist independently?

There are no answers to these questions, but the rest of this book will explore their implications. Two footnotes for now:

One, there is a reason for our blinders. It is likely that the universe puts up barriers between reincarnate versions of the same person (if that’s what they are) and maintains tight encryption. We are supposed to have private, self-contained lifetimes. Jane Roberts refers to PPs and their relationships as deserving their own privacies, “not belong[ing] in our present lives…. [65]  The selves we know now … exist in bodies that bloom only for a personal time…closed to all other beings who came before or who will come after. We have the world, for a while to ourselves….. [T]he gracious focus of our physical senses gives us that privacy and protects the personal space we’ve made in a world of moments.” [117] The universe keeps them private because otherwise the self would be surrendered to a timeless, absolute entity and none of its experiences would have urgency or meaning.

If we could access all of time and self from every vantage, we would conflate every drama with every other, run them together, and lose the essence of the discrete threads. Our individual space needs to be protected in order for beings to exist at all; that is, in order for each to experience its full aloneness against which to encounter the depth of All That Is, by being cut off from all-abiding Unity Consciousness and dropped solo into the Ocean of Samsara. We are intentionally—that is, from the core intentionality of the entire system—kept separate from the private space of other beings and reincarnational selves, as we are infused into a hothouse to ferment and grow.

The system won’t let total simultaneity happen. Whatever is working itself out in the field of stars and galaxies needs separation to express itself. If it didn’t, there would be no stars and galaxies and worlds, only a jubilee of uncertainty states.

Our present purpose is not to become the universe, to meld and vanish into its omneity, but to participate in and spread and differentiate its existentiality, full texture, and absolute wisdom. When Alfred North Whitehead called the whole shebang “process and reality,” he meant process at every level and instant of its own formation and intelligence as well as the prima facie expression of an underlying Intelligence. That is reality. There is no linear, temporal, or working resolution to such a beingness; it is ceaselessly novel and paradoxical.

Two, the graphicness and durability of memories of James I may be the result of the intensity of the pilot’s death, the cascading field of his aura, its capacity to hold charge, and the cathexis of his regret of unfinished business. The way in which he left his body, manifesting to others as a ghost, kindled a will-like force that reattached elsewhere. Perhaps we are all ghosts in others’ waking dreams of return.

 

                           Further Reincarnation Riddles

When the medium Sali Crow did an impromptu spirit reading for me in Montpelier, Vermont (August 22, 2016), she began by inviting anyone who wanted to come in peace, love, and healing. Then she smiled and said that she didn’t have to call because a woman had been seated beside me the whole time. As Sali proceed to channel the entity, her lips moved while she herself was silent and listening, after which she tried to articulate what she had just received: a combination of the spirit’s thoughtforms, words, and images.  She brought forth a completely credible form of my mother, who had committed suicide by jumping from her window in New York City almost forty-two years earlier.

Sali relayed numerous, quite specific, accurate facts from my mother’s life, for instance that she was sent away to a boarding school at age twelve until fourteen and that something terrible happened to her there. More profoundly she captured my mother’s personality, style, and tragic sense of herself. The “ghost” filled in many unknown details of my mother’s life and spoke of events that had occurred since her death.

This version of my mother was too profound and compelling to dismiss, though I had started out dubious and with the usual “show me” skepticism. I integrated the spirit emotionally, but I didn’t change that my mother’s thread so much as create a separate thread, my mother’s ghost, which I give it its own identity. My carnal mother shifted slightly, but she remained essentially the woman she was. An internalized version of my mother shifted more substantially and profoundly. Meanwhile the fusion of my mother and Sali took on its own identity. The spirit did a heroic job of attempting to reconcile my mother with me, and that act transcended any ontological issue, so that the unknowable truth bottomed out before the universe supporting me did.

The same questions apply here as with James Huston? Was my mother’s spirit or soul continuing to exist in a form that recognized itself as itself and had cognizance of her own recent lifetime and subsequent events in this world, or was it something else, a state of quantum uncertainty or personality enigma?

For instance, the spirit could have been a figment of my internalization of my mother read telepathically by Sali and fused with Sali’s own personality. If Sali is telepathic, she could read etheric internalizations inside my aura and create a version of anyone with whom I have emotional issues. Perhaps information was deposited by my mother’s aura, aware of her own future selves, in my aura when she was alive. The thread of our relationship, existing over multiple manifestations and timeless time could be accessible to a spirit reader without my mother’s actual contemporaneous beingness there.

Sali could also simultaneously consult her spirit guides and other disembodied intelligences familiar with my mother and her soul picture and evolution and bolster her reading with information from them.

A disembodied informational field, a static thoughtform, could have been imprinted by my mother’s life pattern and made available telepathically in my presence. My mother, or an entity once my mother and continuing to know itself as itself, would have differentiated into multiple other states, each growing and learning and evolving in its own location. The thoughtform Sali evoked was left behind, meaningful in that it could communicate transformational information to me, new aspects of our relationship, though they were likely ones latent and unexpressed when my mother was alive. As a thoughtform, it was incapable of new action or interaction, which is how we distinguish any person in present time. A spirit aligned with my mother’s identity and current time in our dimension might say, “I know that I have been dead for forty-two years in your world and that I committed suicide, jumping out the window. Yet I have followed you from outside of time, and I have an experience of your life. I have also changed in relationship to you.”

A thoughtform can’t do that; it can only repeat the same notes like a Beethoven symphony. The performers can add creativity, but the symphony itself cannot. So it was not my mother as such; it was a thoughtform playing out fixed notes, though it still stood in a rich and complex relationship to me and the universe.

Sali could also have performed an autonomous reading my mother’s data-chip-like signature in the Akashic records? “Akasha” is an ancient Sanskrit term for not only “sky” and “spaciousness” but “luminosity” and “aether” and was used by nineteenth-century theosophists to refer to a nonphysical record/compendium of all thoughts, events, and their emotions throughout all of timeless time everywhere in All That Is, like a higher dimensional recording layer of the cosmos, absorbing everything from denser levels like a “kinetic depth” memory as large as the universe itself in space and time and on higher dimension.

If Sali were reconstructing my mother from the Akashic records, she could provide her necessary lines in the way a novelist creating a fictional character based on a real one is able to channel the person’s speech patterns and interests. Sali could fuse with the vibration and create a character much like an actress in a play.

To a degree it was each and all of those things, as it resolved in me at an unconscious level. As Javier Thistlethwaite proposed, all that mattered finally was spirit talking to spirit and energy moving energy.

It is not the memory of my mother, or the reality of that woman, born Martha Rothkrug, or even my own reality that locates me because all of those will gradually be dispersed and forgotten. Who was my mother in the first place as opposed to my internalization of her? Could Sali ever create a character that wasn’t a subjective internalization of someone else’s identity: mine, hers, or both of ours?

The issue of personal identity transcends that of the relationship of any person to any other person. The former is a cardinal aspect of the universe. The latter is a make-do placeholder for wandering ghosts meeting in states of mutal vibration.

Identity itself may be a localized function of a nonlocal multidimensional soul, itself a composite being in a higher dimension that recalls multiple lifetimes of many individuals simultaneously while making itself present to all of them? Such a soul could dwell in and express multiple entities at the same time.

Conversely how did my mother, on the other side of this equation, find me (or a medium to provide the connection) and then establish a link? Sali says that ordinary people are like candles, while necromancers are like lighthouses, and spirits are drawn to them in the company of those whom they wish to contact. Only my mother knows her own reality, and even “she” must vie with post-death amnesia and elision of mind-body continuity. From such a dislocation she may not even recognize her own identity, let alone those of others. She might experience post-mortem Alzheimers-like loss of specificity and context. That may be why Sali moved her lips without speaking, then spoke—she wasn’t taking dictation; she was reading an entity, a vibration, not entirely consciously aware of its own existence or the information it was carrying.

Later Sali told me, “Spirits of our beloved dead do not watch over our every move; they could care less whether we flossed or not; they have more important things to do. In fact, many spirits have more than one living person they are watching over. What they track is our evolution, the color of our flame, the tone of our vibration.”

Other than spirit communication, she added, they can only touch physical reality in odd, fragmentary ways like turning on an electronic device or moving an object. If a radio suddenly comes on or an object appears where no one could have moved it, consider the possibility of spirit telekinesis. No physics explains such a thing; it is like displacement by quantum entanglement.

 

Subjective phenomenological aspects are impenetrable to objective analysis. In our present form with our current wiring, platform, and operating system, we cannot experience other creatures’ internal validation networks, their witnessings of their own occurrences. That is, we cannot dead-reckon them in the way that we do our own.

Past lives show how complex, interconnected, and interdependent our being states, memories, and karmic trails are. Our minds can’t understand a meta-dimensional framework while our beings accept it. I don’t believe that these memories are “mere” clairvoyant signals or information bundles traveling independently of personhood or individuation, but neither do I believe that they are the full self-recognizing identities of other people radiating within a transpersonal configuration after life-and-death passages nesting in a new body-mind—though there are elements of both.

The mind’s interiorization and the world’s exteriorization do not come together in a unified topological field. At the same time, there is no budging from sheer depth and inquiry of existence itself. Beingness is a one-way sinkhole that is always in flux at the subtlest levels of its plunge through its own basis and nature. When the Big Bang took place, what was on its outside, if anything? You absolutely cannot ever read the local of a bunion from inside it.

 

A woman I know had a conviction that a ninety-five-year-old lady she befriended at an assisted-living facility returned two days after her death, as promised, as a dragonfly, her favorite animal as well as the motif of many of her brooches. The persistent insect hung around on my friend’s arm for an entire day, rode in her car with her, accompanied her into the kitchen on her elbow to the bemusement of her teenage children, and sat at dinner on her shoulder. The woman interpreted this as an unmistakeable sign of her mentor’s continued existence.

But “dragonfly validation,” albeit threatrical and compelling, was not anchored anywhere or to anything and, more to the point, it didn’t anchor anything else.

This is where our capacity to read the universe and our knowledge of ourselves (and who we are) falls short of any resolution. We have no way to determine if Virginia Tighe was Bridey Murphy, let alone if the “Ms. Murphy” of Ms. Tighe’s trance lived on the Earth and in the Ireland of Bernstein’s regressions, for there is no psychic Google Earth, no chronology or topo-map for the outlier plateaus and highlands of All That Is, no golden thread to track dimensionalities from zone to zone.

Bridey Murphy could have lived in an alternate Earth-like locale akin to psychonaut Robert Monroe’s “third space.” Consider the moving point of consciousness being on which you zip through the waters of your own reality right now. If you’re traveling through an eleven-dimensional hypersphere, to pick a number at large, for which you lack coordinates, husk parameters, grid, axis, and pretty much everything else, as well as between bardo states, you can’t locate anything major with certainty, even your own position—even how you know that you have a position and exist beyond a hallucination of a mirage. You certainly know nothing outside it. That dipstick is not in our operating system.

We have no idea how a physical platform, or any sort of platform, is created. Any “physical” emanation anywhere manifests to beings generated at the same frequency and matching it as reality, drawing their essentialism from frequencies at which intricately vibrating strings issue density. They are real because it is “real.” Change the frequency, and the reality changes.

Between the physical universe and other dimensions of space, nothing is fixed or stable except information itself—and by information I mean more than calories and digit bits, I mean curvature, vibration, and entelechy.

Ultimate verification of our own existence may take passages into, out of other plenary states to process and understand, presuming the basis of reincarnation in the first place.

“What or who the heck is ‘I’?” asks Nicole Keller on Facebook. “This bouquet of higgeldy-piggeldy conscious lifetime experiences and thoughts claiming to be the myself in first place?”

Even the person who began reading this paragraph, who used to be you, is already gone forever. The person who began this sentence is an artifact too. So what is the “I” that exists and where is “I” going in its choiceless trajectory? How is its continuity when the pebble of consciousness merely drops again and again into the pond of reality, sending its ripples through time?

Woman-to-dragonfly extension is beyond our range in every rubric: physical, psychological, spiritual, ontological, semantic, etymological, epistemological. Even if there were an after-death relationship, we don’t know that the old woman experienced, or conducted, an intentional connection that knew itself as itself as a dragonfly—or whether the dragonfly was something more like an archetypal rune arising from the deeper synchronicity of a cascading form. Perhaps a meta-dimensional spiral interceded, something that could launch a dragonfly-like manifestation, even a bona fide entomological bug, hitched on the greater flow of information and nonlocal consciousness across the universe.

The “dragonfly” could also have been (as most scientists would have it) pure coincidence, the human mind imposing meaning on a chance event—cognitive pattern recognition enhanced by wishful thinking.

I will come back to this issue in spades, but I want to make crystal clear what is at stake: a personal identity that remembers itself as itself. The sorts of past lives I have been discussing do so in one sense, yet in another they don’t. Shroder concluded that children who remember past lives “are less important for what they say about what happens after we die, than for what they say about how the world works—that it’s mysterious, that there are larger forces at work, that—in some way—we’re all connected by forces beyond our understanding….” He adds, “If [that’s] not science, maybe it should be.” [239]

I agree: ostensible past-life memories, whether self-recognizing realities or stand-ins, are clues to how the universe is constructed and operates and how personhood is positioned within it. They indicate at least that reality is not linear; it is more in line with uncertainty principle, string theory, and holography.

Giw else does a turtle emerging from an egg head instantly for water, a baby mole flee the shadow of a predator but not that of a cloud, a cub conduct the ritual moves of the hunt, or an eleven-year old guitar prodigy play “Eruption” at Eddie Van Halen level at a Steel Panther concert in Kansas City? We know stuff we shouldn’t know. Even if the connection of selfhood to something prior fades, its unconscious sway sustains its hold and sculpts a lifetime.

We each recall something from before birth or, more accurately, have a sense of our deep context and plan, how we are situated in Creation and our own  naked beingness. Everyone has the sort of transpersonal remembrances that James Leininger did, though usually not as vividly. All people experience moments of inexplicable déjà vu, odd feelings about particular individuals, images and feelings that flit through their minds and evaporate the moment they try to grasp or place them.

“Each of us,” writes Jane Roberts, “at some time or other is struck by a moment that is timeless, in which we ‘know what we know’ in a way that has nothing to do with words, in which the focus personality almost stands at the summit of itself and views the inner skies of its own soul.” [157] I will get to the issue of focus personality later.

Even the most hardened cynic or skeptic knows who he or she is. For various reasons he or she may not want to know. It might be religious or scientific bias, but it also might be that they subconsciously cherish their privacy and developmental sphere within this sub-reality and its life drama. The best way to accomplish that is to devise an alias that fools even them—and what better alias than that of a confirmed cynic! You don’t have to know to know. Even an Alzheimer’s victim retains his or her essential identity—we retain our cosmic identity without consciously having to know it or recall any of its panoply of events.

Roberts adds: “Since the focus personality can only handle so much data in its time system, it chooses from the field of the unconscious only those perceptions it wants to accept in line with its beliefs about its own reality…. We just actualize some of these and call them physical…. We choose physical events…from all the pre-perceptions of which the unconscious is aware.”

Sylvia Lucia, a Dutch psychic, reports being guided for decades by a spirit who told her explicitly that he was the English physicist Oliver Lodge (who had passed in 1940, a few years prior to her birth). She describes her initial encounter before she had language:

“I still remember I was lying upstairs in a cradle with white sheets and the sides covered with white lace and that I felt ‘that man’ standing behind my cradle. A man in white clothes and wearing a goatee. We talked with mind power and I did not even think that was strange. I was not a baby, I thought like a ‘spirit.’ I desperately tried to remember in that tiny body of mine where I had been living before. I had been somewhere, but I could not remember where and it had to do with the man with the white goatee.

“‘Let go of it,’ the man said, ‘there is a law saying your memories fade away and you make a fresh start.’

“For a moment I thought I would panic. Vaguely I knew that, where I had come from it was very comfortable and that I did not at all feel like making a fresh start ‘again’. But there was no way back. I realized I lived in a body but I also knew I was not an ignorant baby. But there was even something inside me sensing I still had memories from earlier times, that I had not made a fresh start. But I could not talk and so I was unable to tell people about it.”

I can remember lying in my crib at age two or three, witnessing part of me gradually coming to terms with the new reality. I could feel the presence of something else, the basis for my own being, though I couldn’t identify what it was. I saw glimmerings of extrinsic beings, both friendly and malign. I lost this vista entirely by age four.

I could also, according to my family, walk down the street and point to every car and identify it correctly: Pontiac, Studebaker, Olds. I named them in my child’s language, “Bluick, Cadiwack.” Not only isn’t this a skill I retain today—I can’t tell a Toyota from a Honda, a Hummer from a fancy Jeep—but there is no place I could have gotten such information. I lost this ability around age four.

My grandson Hopper at three told my daughter Miranda that he remembered when she and her husband Mike saw each other as children, something logistically possible since, despite their later relocations, they did briefly both live for a spell in the Oakland-Berkeley area. He also told her that he had already been to a particular restaurant at which they were dining for the first time and had seen cowboys there, not a character type she remembered discussing with him. When she asked if it was perhaps when he was very, very young, he answered, “Before that. Long ago, in the olden times.”

“Olden times” seems a perfect expression of how an intrinsic past-life or transpersonal experience might resonate in a child still trying to relocate himself in con entional space and time. Hopper’s recollections fit the sorts of basic confusions and conflations of age, time frames, and location that children have. To him the “olden time” was obvious because he experienced it that way. For the same reason James Leininger’s reaction to the adults not knowing who shot down his plane— “the Japanese, dummy!”—or who met him in heaven after death was an authentic experience of a phenomenology so fundamental that it did not need explanation. It was like saying, “Sky”—or “I am.”

Let’s also not confuse past-life surfing either with millennia-old practices of shape-changing, soul-shifting, and nonlocal-consciousness-superposition. Shamans and lamas practice traveling between bodies and identities, melding into other identities by phowa,incubating Rainbow Bodies to take with them after death to preserve knowledge from lifetime to lifetime. That is also how Christ reincarnated after the Crucifixion, his own Rainbow Body a function of an innate “divine” torque, a shape-changing capacity he cultivated or was bequeathed.

The Rainbow body subtly puts a finger on the cellular basis of the Eucharist and biophysical transubstantiation as well the infusion of a Divine Force into the molecular basis of all humanity. Christ was apparently involved in an ancient Eurasian esoteric practice, transmitting his energy and message into the human and planetary field at large. Papal authorities rarely consider that he have been an exemplar of nonlocal consciousness and a shape-changing phowa in keeping with the practices of Tibetan lamas and Syriac Christian adepts in the early centuries AD.

Making Christ a lama accepts all lamas and shamans into the body of Christ, opening the door to an ecumenical vision that could turn apocalyptic jihad back on itself and into a Rainbow Body too, conscious death its calling card. There is no simple way to understand any of this. Father Francis Tiso writes, “We no longer think of protoplasm in the same way that we did a thousand years ago; microbiology and biochemistry have completely altered our knowledge of bodily processes and even our idea of what a human body is; we now need to take into account microorganisms and even organelles, such as mitochondria, that have their own DNA and evolutionary history. From this perception what rises [as Christ] on the third day is in fact a community of living beings, symbiotically supportive of the self-emergence of consciousness, in accord with a physical, scientifically accessible genetic program.” [RBR318] As the King James Bible puts it: “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come…”

 

                  Souls

An orthodox Buddhist precept states that one personality gives rise to another without carryover of personal identity, which means something superficially less than reincarnation though something potentially much more deeply imbedded and imperishable.

Ego wasn’t real to begin with. At death it ceases to exist because it never existed. The Self either becomes enlightened, i.e., finds the basis of its own imaginal reality and enters a Buddhafield, or it evaporates back into its own essential nullity. But there is no correlated personal identity or continuity of personhood. Like a dying candle lighting a new wick with its last embers, the karmic charge of one lifetime and ego-state ignites a new identity without full intersubjective connection. The past person no longer exists to recognize the new person as him- or herself, though the new person inherits and, to a certain degree, identifies with his or her PP’s life: James 3 unto James 2. Zen master Shunryu Suzuki lays down this paradoxical formulation with precision:

“After some years we will die. If we just think that it is the end of our life, this will be the wrong understanding. But, on the other hand, if we think that we do not die, this is also wrong. We die, and we do not die. This is the right understanding. Some people may say that our mind or soul exists forever, and it is only our physical body which dies. But this is not exactly right, because both mind and body have their end. But at the same time it is also true that they exist eternally.” [25]

Gautama Buddha chose not to track personality of a deceased person through bardo realms beyond a limited repertoire of change-states. When the Self eventually shatters at core from its delusion of its own existence, it flies apart into pieces and no longer exists; it leaves consideration. And there is no Soul to recapture it.

Intimation of Soul is assigned to a combination of temporary physical and mental aggregates or forces (pancakkhandha), made up of body or matter (rupakkhandha), sensation (vedanakkhandha), perception (sannakkhandha), mental formation (samkharakkhandha), and consciousness (vinnanakkhandha) working together in fluxions of momentary change that are never the same for two consecutive moments anyway.

Orthodox scientism and orthodox Buddhism converge on the notion of mindedness as a mirage, but materialistic science also deems consciousness and the reality of which it is conscious random and meaningless, indiscriminate tosses of atomic and molecular dice. Buddhism replaces the electrochemical mirage with a self-arising ground luminosity: opposites that are functionally the same.

For creatures in this game, meaning all creatures, the issue was never mind anyway; it was always subjective beinghood—self-identified presence in a landscape: the little man or little woman (or little Gila monster) with his, her, or its sense of a sovereign self. When you come down to it, personal identity is what this is all about? Otherwise there would just be robotic pods gamboling about?

Individual consciousness must express the universe’s innate predisposition to individuated identity. While we are alive we can’t immolate selfhood, anymore than we can crush, calcine, incinerate, or otherwise rub out its karma. We don’t have a choice whether to participate or not. Suicide doesn’t change that; it is another form of participation. We have to see the process through as ego. Nonetheless, in the end it is the ego gets expunged.

In biology and physics, egoic personhood is a briefly organized configuration of chemico-electrical vectors under thermodynamic principles that infuses its hallucination of reality via nerve nets. In Buddhism, however, there is a transcendent reality that is not an ego-accessible state. In a direct antithesis of the view of science, the Buddhist “real” universe never perishes, for nothing real can ever disappear—where would it go if it’s really real? How would it repeal its essence? It simply returns to unity consciousness from its ephemeral dual state in an egoic entity, a transmigration taken as unerringly by a crocodile as by a human being. Plunk!—back into the underlying reality pond: interdimensional thermodynamics.

The dialectic between personal identity as a mirage and personal identity as self-arising and self-authenticating status marks the essential difference between Eastern and Western ontology.

In Eastern cosmology, Beingness cannot be destroyed without being changed into something else that is at least as real to itself. At death, the proximal life doesn’t go away; it shifts context according to what it actually is—its precise Akashic gram mass and energetic shape construct. It suddenly means a different thing and its experiences become different “memories” insofar as it is a different thing, though it was ostensibly experiencing its greater reality unconsciously on multiple levels all the time anyway.

When a prior lifetime is recovered by a future emanation of itself, it can’t recapture its former states with their reality because they are no longer available to it. Each creature’s present existence through which he or she (or it) is trying to establish a relationship to a past life (or even a present one), is transitional, changing both consciously and unconsciously in relationship to all others, real or unreal. Beingness is an expanding radix of possibilities, not a script with denouements, each leading to each separate finis.

Current-time consciousness flows through ganglia as an undulation flows through the ocean or electrons through matter. If a longship’s timbers are replaced section by section at successive landfalls in Greenland and Labrador until there are no staves left of the original knar in Vinland, is it still that ship? If the old timbers are stored in the hold and upon arrival another ship is constucted from them, which ship is the original one? I say, the original ship is the one with none of the original boards. And I say that James Leininger is not James Huston.

In its search for its own pre-lifetime self, ego is mistaken if it expects to discover other roles and creatures starring as its self, each with their own costumes, period pieces, and heroic (or anti-heroic) roles. These existences are more accurately viewed as simultaneous events, entering a shared quantum state from different time frames. The trail of personal identity is not a railroad track running forever into the great unknown but popcorn cracking in multiple dimensions.

Much as we access former selves within a lifetime through our fading memories of them, we access other selves from separate dimensions and lifetimes, as noted earlier, even more faintly through more veils, and usually not as what they are, only as what we are. In that sense, everyone remembers past lives, or remembers something that’s real but not of this world and time. For a few people, bits of this become foreground and play out as memories of past lives, or seeming memories of seeming past lives. Most remember the root and vortex of their own existence as background: faint, obscure, profound, haunting, vast, elusive, familiar, endemically what and who they are and how they have materialized as identity, knowing self as self each time. At that point past-life memory ceases to matter as much as the past-life actuality, which might be known as pretty much anything. This set-up underwrites the kōan: “If you want to know who you were in a past life look at who you are now. If you want to know who you will become in a future life, observe your present actions.”

The overall shape is spiral-like, timeless, and evolving like ripples from a stone cast in a pond, which flow out from the point of impact because that same point exists at every level and scalar configuration of its essence or existence. What would follow a final final act anyway?

The choice to be is not a choice. It cannot be renounced. Everything else, everything afterwards is a choice, but not the initial one. It is a choice, of course, but only at the deepest level of All That Is where personal identity gets shaped at its origin point.

Personal identity is the turnkey because it is how consciousness inserts its own key into a nature that does not does not express egoic agency or narcissistic depth otherwise. From amoebas to astronomers, atom by atom and cell by cell, the universe has a fervent desire to know itself.

This is why waking worlds exist. It’s how or why a ground luminosity ignited the atomic vibration or reality filter known to us as “matter.” We arise where something (that is somehow) becomes “us” as well and meets a particular fold in the curtain of its own innate condition. If our sense organs and operating systems were attuned to a different frequency of matter, one that isn’t physical, we would perceive that frequency and its objects as physical and also as reality.

 

Buddhist cosmology is underwritten by the concept underlying the word “karma.” Karma is a traditional Sanskrit term translatable into English as “action,” “work,” or “deed” and depicting a principle of causality and energy transfer. It is not a a causal principle, a baseline mechanism that works at a subtler caliber than electromagnetism, heat, or mass while inclusive of them.

Conscious acts have more leverage and are more powerful than gravity, which is itself an expression of karma. Stated otherwise, karma and gravity are the same force expressing itself at a range of frequencies at large by the same order that sets the Earth and Sun and Milky Way in orbiting curvatures in relation to other orbs. Unlike heat and electricity, karma is quiet, software with no drag or informational limit. It is immeasurable by the tools of science because it is simultaneously above and below the range of energy that registers on those mineral formations called instruments. It eludes detection—any toll placed on it thermodynamically—yet it retains and transmits its integrity at any phase of every manifestation.

The continuity of past lives rests on whether a karmic potential exists before a creature or egoic entity incarnates, which makes him, her, or it invariable and then goes on potentiating his and her future emanations in interrelated states and shapes. Like Aristotle’s formal and final causes, karma is a catchall device for any configuration that transfers information between lifetimes while delivering biographies from the Akashic records.

Under karma, a new entity can issue only from its own intrinsic nature and potential field state, its underlying prior substrates. Hence a traumatic event that is an incompletely resolved in one lifetime generates residual energy that seeks location and is picked up by another life. In lieu of a continuity of personality, there is transfer of energy. A fresh ego is shaped around its karma. In that fashion a dead person lives again. James 2 passes his life flame to James 3.

 

Psychic teacher John Friedlander puts a different spin on the matter. As a personality dissolves at death, it breaks into multiple pieces, fragments across the cosmic pavilion. Each is redistributed by its own intrinsic karmic charge, and any one of them may rekindle, flare up intermittently, and then fade, but at least one of those pieces continues to track the person whose life it issued from—and not only to track it but to know it as itself.

Buddhist ontology does not recognize an egoic piece continuing to self-track. Where formal Buddhist tracking stops, there is no discrete practice for what comes next. That’s the limit of our liability. The ego perishes for good and its energy returns to the reality of which it was an illusion. It transfers only its karma to the next illusory selfhood. In John’s system, personal identity is real too and survives mortality. This is a challenge to Buddhist nonduality, which proposes that forms, including egos, are empty of any existence on their own, that there is no separation between subject and object, and that the goal is enlightenment, recognition of the one essential reality of the universe. Egos—identities—only impede transcendent awakening, so there is no practice or accountability for anything except the present moment

Tracking is lost at death because once personal identity is obliterated, there is only primordial intelligence without subject or object, absoluteness or relativity. The real Self on which the ephemeral and transitory ego Self was based persists as the Monad or Atman it is.

Remember, in Buddhism as in Western science, consciousness is a bioelectrical mirage but one arising autonomously and karmically from a state of reality. This universe arises, as it were, from a false split of that reality: a lesion between the micro-particles of nature emanating phantom vistas and events and our epiphenomenal recognition of them under the delusion of ego primacy. Buddhist temporal Self, though illusory, is distinguished from Other, as one half of a mirage claims seniority over another. The goal of Buddhist practice is to dissolve that duality with its subjective states of urgency attachment, experience nondual reality as it actually is, recognize our condition as a string of illusions, and meld with nonegoic Unity Consciousness at the basis the universe. This is enlightenment as well as the cessation of all suffering, and it is also personal annihilation: nonexistence.

When applied in this way, nonduality as an operating premise or motive for behavior seems to throw away the egoic view of the universe without a regard for how profound a form and intention it actually might be. It is as though we want a more solemn, less absurd and painful reality than the one we have. We want, if not a priori enlightenment, at least official sanction that enlightenment is the universe’s senior agenda, as though “we” are synonymous with a more enlightened state already because we can conceive its possibility even in a state of duality and suffering.

Upon hearing my rendition of John’s ideas, one advanced Buddhist practitioner complained that “the guy is not equipped to understand nonduality; he doesn’t have the spiritual credentials.” My friend didn’t use these words. Instead, his tone was “Who the fuck is some dude from Georgia named John Friedlander who used to be an attorney to say anything significant about the universe compared to great lamas and Himalayan saints?” What he did say was, “The man is deluded.”

John’s admits that Eastern practitioners usually “assume that [my] argument simply misunderstands that the laws of the universe generate the ‘fact’ that nondual awareness retains all the advantages of human dual consciousness minus only the suffering…..” Yet nondual awareness cannot retain all the advantages of dual consciousness, nor is it meant to. Why should it? If it did, there would be no reason for dual consciousness.” There would be no reason for personal identity.

When I asked John about any drawback of personal identity breaking up into pieces at death, he replied, “It is not a problem. In fact, it’s more than just it’s not being a problem. It’s the whole point. It’s why anything works. It’s who we are. The Soul survives, and the personality survives. The broader your perspective, the more you see that this is how the universe operates and why we’re presently in this dual phase and also why we don’t see it.

We do not give enough consideration to the possibility that we conceive it, and the breadth and effort required to achieve, because we are in a state of karmic transmission and there is only “we” and how we got here—a status of beingness that scintillates with the universe itself. We have chosen duality over nonduality for a reason.

To pursue nondualism and enlightenment as our sole and singular goal is to misunderstand our situation. The universe did not locate us in this fix simply to see if we could get ourselves out of it—nor (again), did we get sentenced to conditional beingness from an original sin or misstep. Everything emanated at its own weight, mass, and intrinsic karmic charge, where it belonged and had to be, and proceeded from there to this or everything else.

The universe could enlighten us all in a heartbeat if it chose. It doesn’t. Think about that.

“There is nothing to evolve beyond,” John concludes. “The Soul has chosen to enter into a dualistic perspective.”

Jane Roberts put it this way, “We don’t become more spiritual by denying the flesh or…expand our consciousness by not using the kind of consciousness we have….” [192x]

Ultimately we have no choice but to place our voucher on mundane existrence because that’s what we are. It is setting the terms for how we came into being and why any of this is here too. It’s what’s determining our future, as it will in a different way a billion or trillion years from now.

There is no rulebook—no law of the universe that requires the abnegation of selfhood. Nondualism is not the operating manual for the universe, not for crocodiles or rabbits or wasps, not for consciousness or DNA. There is no operating system for the universe or for consciousness—no definitive view to the exclusion of all others.

 

For John’s spirit guides, mortal existence with its joy and suffering—hallmarks of duality—are an indispensable aspect of our being, the reason that any of this knows itself as itself. It is the potentiating of the cosmic particle from the Big Bang’s Zoharic alphabet and elemental table—the universe’s curiosity about its own nature.

Atman—Big Minded ego-less Intelligence—is incomprehensibly vast and entangled; yet the more gargantuanly complex we make our representation and practice of it, in rituals and religious iconographies, the less we get that our vernacular situation with its seemingly trivial incidents is the Divine. Our condition is that big, that close, that neutral. And that is another way to view nonduality.

If individual selfhood is an imprint of the divine, it is not an illusion to be followed by an annihilation or by a nirvanic merging and loss of individuality, however joyful. It is not conferred to be summarily rejected. It cannot be tossed back at God in dismay or recognition. It is the twin agency of God and his creatures to attract each actual occasion to appropriate its ‘initial aim’ as their own ‘subjective aim.’ In so doing, Creation merges with itself and its own unknowable internal source in coherence and wholeness. [123]

John proposes that the very fact that we can’t presently see beyond a dualistic mode is the way in which we are seeing it—the only way that it can be seen as what it is, not only by beings such as us but so that beings like us might exist at all:

“The innumerable constituent parts that we ordinary human beings lump together, such as bodies and auric energies, themselves continue, within and outside time, to grow, to expand subjectively, in all directions, together and separately, ‘forever’ (language fails, as time itself is only a form of consciousness). In a universe where no single consciousness arises by its self, it is nevertheless true that every subjectivity, from subatomic particles to universes and thus to the human personality, expands in all directions and thus retains an eternal, though ever changing and interdependent subjectivity that is divinely meaningful. (Again, language fails, because our concepts of eternality rely on time, which is itself, an energy construct, a particular form of consciousness that is just one of many others which are incomprehensible to embodied humans.) In this multidimensional world that ecstatically breaks outside human experience, our human experience of duality is something [to be] treasured, even though it involves suffering that can be avoided. It is humans’ gift to other dimensions of ourselves, a gift that they and we human personalities can luxuriate in and continue transforming forever.”

The Divine is not only capable of but adores and mass-produces kitsch, pop-cultural and sentimental states in mysterious profound ways even as it impel flying stones across stellar systems. All the dust-ups and sundry merchandise coming out of factories and into and out of sun-stars and stores in the eager appendages of customers are, individually and in totality, as profound as enlightenment, and for the same reason of Divine Emanation.

Any attempt to escape the labyrinth and its passages merely lengthens it. “Sometimes we’re so earnest, so intent and determined to know,” notes Jane Roberts, “that we cut ourselves off from our own inner knowing…. We expect mystic experience to be solemn, shattering, awe-inspiring…to fall willy-nilly into an overpowering solution of cosmic love in which all individuality is destroyed.” [158]

The fact that something so evocative of latent profundity is simultaneously so straightforward and commonplace and clunky, on buses and billboards, is reality’s most profound and irreconcilable aspect. Each vista is a glimpse into a mode of emanation, nothing less: Hopi entering their kiva to conduct a ceremony; a band having arrived with their instruments, sitting on Eighth Avenue outside Penn Station. The tags on the instrument cases and luggage (BOS) say everything and nothing about our situation in the cosmos, as December solstice turns Earth’s indigo vault an early back.

The banal and ordinary are far more profound, for occurring at all, than the most profound thing in all of Creation.

A form of karmic-level intelligence spent trillions of kalpas outside space-time designing, assembling, and filtering the present mode, creating a reality that would be subtle, complex, fathomless, compelling, emotionally powerful, and provisionally and contingently real— Elena Ferrante’s “infinitesimal particle through which the fear of every thing becomes conscious of itself.” [SNN 289]

In the middle of the night I awoke with Jung’s proposition posing itself in the echo chambers of a dream: Modern Man in Search of a Soul. In search of what? Why are we having to search for the one thing that connects us to everything else? Why do we manage only provisional ethics of detonating ball bearings or amoral exploding devices deposited on random roadsides?

Because we do not actually feel connected to anything. The profundity of Jung’s proposition—and Jungian lore—is that we are connected, that we know we are connected, that we can’t get unconnected. We know that the tuck is unfolding from somewhere close to proximal roots in a different soil; but we can’t enact it or break the counter-hallucination. And that is a big deal, a very big deal.

According to John Friedlander’s guides, duality—a personal-identity fog—is our current operating system not because the cosmos made some mistake or shunted us into a lesser, more conditional state, to be transcended ASAP, but because our actual transcendent beingness—our Source Intelligence and Soul essence—chose such a conditionality and produced its mirage.

“Why?”

Probably because that alone gave it entry to stuff it couldn’t experience any other way, those oppositions, contrarieties, and paradoxes; not only to access but to realize ecstatically and tragically. The only way that the universe witnesses its depth and subtlety is by peregrinating its maze. The reason that we feel texture, depth, richness, rhythm, profundity, euphoria, and tragedy is that there is texture, depth, richness, rhythm, profundity, euphoria, and tragedy in the universe, prior to the Big Bang and other carpeterias. Various creature frequencies including the human platform were fabricated not only to express and explore the depth of the standing universe, but so that the universe could attain its shape and premise and transmogrify, as required, into each next absolute form and emanation of itself.

In Hegelian terms, the Absolute Idea become conscious of itself in us. Being immersed, isolated, tragic, cruel, ecstatic is how we sink into the texture of a universe that, in its phenomenological depth, is anything but actually isolated, damned, or tragic. If we were to go at the universe’s complexity directly, it would thin out and lose its girth in its absoluteness and we would confuse it with lesser soundings and melodramas (all of which are essential to profundity in their way). We are being filtered into this reality and depth away from all others in order to have a temporal spiritual and material experience in its depth of electrons and atoms. The mirage-illusion is the very glue of an inner spiral creating the different portals and realities and passages through them, holding them together with the necessary gravitas, profundity, and immanence.

Intelligence made this rubric to plumb its own contradictions, paradoxes, and depths. That is why life cuts so deep and causes such pain and grief, but that is also why it is capable of such joy and delight. It is glamorous and elusively meaningful to every organism alive, for it was designed by the core intelligence behind all of them. It is their exquisite mirage and consummate truth-mystery—a meticulously designed reflection of their collective soul and psyche, macrocosmic and microcosmic, everywhere and nowhere.

“Our soul incarnated as us,” John submits, “because of the limitations of being human. These limitations then provide a very specific context in which we develop stories, and our stories are what the universe gets out of us…. You are your soul, not added on to you but as a center of awareness. We don’t own our soul, nor does our soul own us.”

The trance, the illusion, the unreality of beingness in the context of a profoundly meaningful experience of it, is what the universe is presently showing us.

Thus has the gravitas and existential integrity of an actual cosmic situation established itself in a so-called mirage without forfeiting an iota of its latent depth and sumptuousness. Keats’ negative capability: we know by not knowing. We see through a glass darkly into a universe of fathomless information, energy, and metonymy that somehow presents itself, on our plane anyway, as if circumscribed and concrete and configured.

Temporal identity is likely the fate of sentient beings in other planes and dimensions too, each probing and experiencing and unconsciously calibrating, karmically and quantum-gravitationally balancing and distributing an aspect of reality.

Meaningfulness trumps reality because it gets internalized in a way that a meteor doesn’t. It is finally more real to be meaningful than it is to be real. To be real, under a scientistic regime of mere corporeality, is to be mere congeries generating mirages.

Real is relative and flat—flattened out—because it can’t handle the deep uncertainty state of what it really is, what is really real.

To be meaningful is far more “real” than that. We are in a painful, euphoric meaningfulness of a mere transient reality.

Existence doesn’t have to be real, or more than chemicals in entropy, to be meaningful and for its meaningfulness to bottom out somewhere that is not ever somewhere else but is both real and eternally incipient.

Stated otherwise, nothing is real except the sense itself of existing, of self-identified beingness and the views it encounters along the way as it evolves through phase-states. Each of these views is a stab at the absolute profundity of something that is beyond ordinary experience and comprehension.

Even if each portal is an illusion, it is made real as it is encountered by luminous vortices: creatures. Then the pure richness, complexity, and mysterious satisfactoriness of experience reflects its actual depth and the integrity of beingness.

 

Spiritual By-Passing

Where self-inflated gurus err is by “spiritually by-passing” myriad ego states and the participation of their own psyches in them. Selfish actions deemed dualistic and demoted to irrelevance but not as what they actually are, so they seat themselves more trenchantly in delusion. The guru imagines that he (or she) has eclipsed his ego basis and dual condition, so everything he does is selfless. Buddhist philosopher Dustin DiPerna repositions these issues from both an actual and ideological perspective:

“[S]hallower vantage points do not disappear once transcended. However, in a pathological awakening to nondual identity, shallower vantage points can be denied, disassociated from, or left unattended. Integral practitioners should be wary of failing to include all the vantage points that have been transcended at every level of practice. Leaving behind shallower vantage points creates unhealthy dynamics for others and for oneself. It also leaves room for massive amounts of shadow to flood into one’s life. The first and most immediate problem arises as a simple disconnect from reality. If I deny an aspect of one of the shallower vantage points, or worse see it as illusionary altogether, I fail to honor the relative realty of duality and separation. To be sure, Absolute reality is absolutely real, but relative reality remains relatively real.

“Even if one is awake to a nondual identity, he or she still has a unique perspective on the world according to his or her particular gross-body coordinates. In a similar way, one’s perspective is also made even further distinct as a result of the personality (and altitude and typology, etc.) that the deeper vantage point penetrates through. Interacting with others in the relative world happens through the prism of individual personality, physical body, etc. This means that functioning through shallower vantage points is necessary to engage in the relative world. If a person assumes that the shallower vantage points of the relative self cease to exist upon realization of the deeper Self, there is an obvious disconnect.”

DiPerna is addressing the way in which some deluded gurus come to believe that their enlightened state permits any transgression and deems any behavior of theirs intrinsically enlightened. Crazy wisdom is promoted as legitimate because it is resonating at the craziness of the life dance.

“This type of disconnect can quickly devolve into full moral catastrophe. If this pathology is active, one may be under the mistaken impression that his or her actions are arising from awakened awareness when in fact they are coming from the wants, needs, and desires of the relative ‘self.’ This can lead to individuals trying to justify selfish actions through nondual claims.” [In Streams of Wisdom, unpublished manuscript, 2013]

A willful ego, expressing the agency of its own desires and fantasies, attempts to control—as opposed to “create”—reality. This egoic impulse may be based at source in the Soul, but it is subject to the transient personality’s inherent blind spots, unhealed wounds, yearnings, etc., plus archaic character traits acquired along the paths. Old kinks, the farther back the more powerful, are healed and transcended only by actual shifts of energy.

If a spiritual teacher is telling disciples that he’s God, and (to boot) the only such emanation of the Divine, and he’s also taking other people’s wives and girlfriends into his harem, perhaps for all the best reasons, and he’s an honorable guy—even more than just a guy— and he’s got psychic powers whereby to startle and terrify, then there are going to be repercussions.

Among contemporary gurus, too much emphasis is placed on conscious attunement—having a charming personality, exuding a charismatic presence. Everyone is not going to just “lighten up” because the teacher ordered them to and then flashed siddhis.

American spiritual teacher Adyashanti (formerly Steven Gray) explained, “Spiritual people can be some of the most violent people you will ever meet. Mostly, they are violent to themselves. They violently try to control their minds, their emotions, and their bodies. They become upset with themselves and beat themselves up for not rising up to the conditioned mind’s idea of what it believes enlightenment to be. No one ever became free through such violence. Why is it that so few people are truly free? Because they try to conform to ideas, concepts, and beliefs in their heads. They try to concentrate their way to heaven. But Freedom is about the natural state, the spontaneous and unselfconscious expression of beingness. If you want to find it, see that the very idea of a someone who is in control is a concept created by the mind. Take one step backward into the unknown.”

There is no authority except the universe itself. The only teacher is the mystery of existence, the primordial, primal cauldron from which All That Is arises.

 

Reincarnational Phases and Fusions

In light of these discussions, let’s explore another reincarnational excavation, one conducted under hypnotic regression like Virginia Tighe’s “Bridey Murphy.” Morey Bernstein’s part here was played by Dolores Cannon, a military housewife and freelance writer in Arkansas who began practicing hypnosis in her late forties as a tool for recovering past-life memories. Much like Bernstein, Cannon was an amateur with a psychopomp’s gift. She previously regressed hundreds of volunteers and successfully, at least by her benchmarks, elicited their recall of previous existences as well as healed their phobias and traumas through the recovered memories. In books like Five Lives Remembered and Between Life and Death: Conversations with a Spirit, she documents some of her more auspicious regressions.

In another book, A Soul Remembers Hiroshima, Cannon spotlights a woman named “Kathryn Harris,” who recovered her past life as a Japanese man in Hiroshima at the time when the US warplane Enola Gay dropped Earth’s first atomic weapon in warfare on the city. Memory of this apparent past life was spontaneously arose in Harris about six months before she met Cannon. During a chance viewing of a documentary in which a Japanese woman who had survived the attack was being interviewed, suddenly Katie recalled being there too. No footage of the blast or its aftermath was shown, but the interviewee recalled a blinding light, people running and screaming, and things crashing down. “She said that something just ‘clicked’ inside her head and suddenly she could see what was happening. Horrified, she turned the TV off, but she couldn’t turn off the pictures and scenes that flooded into her mind.”

Harris described her sudden, unexpected recollection as if of a second being inside herself: “I knew I was an old man and was watching from his viewpoint. I was feeling his feelings and thinking his thoughts. As I watched the scenes in my mind of the horror after the explosion, I knew that he was thinking, ‘This can’t be happening.’” [p. 43] The switch of identity was impromptu and lucid, as real as her own world, if not more real.

After the initial bolt of memory, the floodgates opened on this other identity; Harris could not make the reality of Hiroshima or her personal view of it stop. Twenty-two years old at the time, she was a junior-year high-school dropout from Texas. Her father, like Cannon’s husband, was in the military, so she moved around a lot while growing up, changing schools regularly before finally deciding that she didn’t couldn’t deal with the continual adjustment to new teachers and friends and bailed on the educational gauntlet. Though she subsequently earned a high-school-equivalency diploma and worked for the Air Force, she was not otherwise educated and had not traveled outside the United States—relevant facts in assessing the source of her recollections under hypnosis.

Described by Cannon as short, blonde, buxom, blue-eyed, and naturally charismatic, at the 1983 party Katie expressed curiosity about past lives without tipping her hand. Like James Leininger, she grew up in an orthodox Christian family—Pentecostal in this case—and reincarnation was considered a taboo topic Cannon also took steps to disguise her subject’s identity—her name is not Kathryn Harris.

In Cannon’s initial regressions of the young Texan, she noticed that her subject had an innate receptivity to past lives, the same sort of sympathetic attunement that Bernstein identified in Virginia TIghe. As the girl slipped into trance, she quickly adopted the “I” of several former beings, crossing the gender line effortlessly when the situation called for it. Cannon noticed that Katie flowed into her prior identities with all five senses. When first experiencing a lifetime before her current birth, she described a white house “‘sitting up there all lonesome,’” in a landscape of hills and valleys, a place she later identified as Colorado Territory before statehood. The girl named Sharon could smell her mother’s bread baking in the oven.

Only after a degree of trust was established did Harris surprise Cannon by confiding her Japanese flashback.

Using Sharon’s dating of her death as the late 1870s, Cannon subtracted the Colorado timeline from Katie’s birthdate of 1960, clearing a gap of about eighty years for another incarnation. Both women agreed—let’s go for it!

Not wanting to plunge her subject abruptly into the traumatic events of World War II, let alone Hiroshima on the day of the attack, Cannon picked 1935 as a neutral starting point. Instructing her subject to go back to that year, Katie landed as hoped in Japan. She became Nogorigatu Suragami, “a man in his late fifties making pottery at a kiln in back of his house. He was at his small farm located about 20 miles south of Hiroshima in Nippon (the Japanese word for Japan.” [p. 49]. With her subject’s five senses bristling with Nogorigatu’s reality, Cannon recalled getting the chills at how real the man was.

In the course of several hypnotic excursions, Harris drew a detailed representation of herself as a Japanese male. His world was rich and flavorful, filled with oxen, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, charcoal heaters, primary school with scrolls, brushes, and calligraphy, thousands of characters, procedures for growing rice, differences between water gates and water wheels in the irrigation of fields, uses of animal dung for fertilizer, two sons (ultimately aged twenty-nine and thirty-three), a primer on how to cast traditional Japanese pottery, actual designs and kinds and sources of herbs used to dye pots, meticulous architecture of a seven-room house with a sod roof and pagoda gables, Japanese clothing of the era (caps, sandals, sandal straps, names for gis, kimonos, obis, and other costumes), plus other museum-quality relics and vestiges.

Needless to say, neither Cannon nor Harris had any background in these rituals, objects, or styles prior to the hypnotic regression.

Nogorigatu eventually reported being married at fourteen; he saw his wife only once before their engagement—his parents had picked her out. They were wed in the late 1800s. He described dressing for the big event in his ceremonial kimono, “I am scared! It is strange…to know that I bring someone else into our house…I don’t know this person.” [p. 63] He depicted a Japanese wedding in striking detail: ceremonial knots in his bride’s hair, his wife-to-be’s white pan makeup and cherry-blossom silk pink kimono, musical instruments (harps, kotos, drums, and flutes), sake, rice cakes, honey cakes, etc. When asked whether the woman’s pale makeup looked strange, s/he said, “I think it looks nice.” When asked whether his bride was happy, s/he said, “Who can tell with girls?” [p. 67].

Whether this Japanese man existed or not, Katie was performing a memorable character like a master thespian bringing a being of opposite gender to life. His energy filled the room, whatever its source.

When Cannon regressed her subject to 1920, Nogorigatu described taking his pots to market twenty miles to Hiroshima. He explained that by then he had sold his share of the family farm and bought his own plot south of the city. Upon request s/he enumerated the different roads leading to the Hiroshima metropolitan area as well as the bridges in the city across the separate branches of the river that runs through it.

Nogorigatu/Katie subsequently gave a nuanced account of the pre-war era of the late 1930s: the feng shui of house and land; the isolation of rural Japan through the events leading up to World War II; the spiritual equivalence of the Emperor to the Sun; the melding of Shintoism and Buddhism in religious training and practice; the tea ceremony and other popular rituals; then, later, the effects of militarization in the countryside, i.e., how soldiers took over fields and other property, putting citizens under virtual gang rule:

“Many strangers and soldiers come through and they take what they want. So we are hiding things…. They took our oxen and our goats and destroyed the fields. It was a shortcut. They marched right through them, and then they laughed…. Because they are in power and they are soldiers.” [p. 93].

In another description he commented wryly, “No one ever sees the orders but them, if there are any orders.” [p. 99]. (I will let Nogorigatu become “he” from now on.)

None of this resonates as fantasy or fabrication, and it is certainly not the world-view or speaking style of a blue-eyed girl from Texas:

“Probably kill [our goats and oxen] and use them for food…. Whatever food stores they could lay their hands on easily, that they could take with them, they took. Things like salted fish and rice, things that would keep…. Now we have no way of plowing except by hand and I am too old. But they don’t care about this…. Every time we start to grow things, something happens. Either the soldiers run through the fields or there is nothing to plant with….” [p, 100]. This is real war, real deprivation.

In the course of Cannon’s regressions, a philosophical elder discoursed on the fallacies of war as well as the illusion that you can gain honor or dignity from military power. He explored Japanese feelings of inferiority, of being played down by the rest of the world, and how the warrior class thought that they could exhibit their superior skills and bravery and demonstrate what it means to be courageous and victorious in battle to the Americans, who had become weak and effeminate.

About the military cult of kamikaze missions Nogorigatu remarked, “I think they are a little crazy, maybe more than a little crazy.” [p. 96] He added, “Who knows what they have filled their minds with. What hopes of paradise. How can anyone promise something that they themselves have never seen?” [p. 97].

Later he lamented: “We are at war…. I cry for Nippon. She is fallen, she is losing her majesty.” [p. 95].

Against Nogorigatu’s advice, one of his sons ultimately moved to Hiroshima with his family to take a job in a factory; then he thought better of it and tried to return to the homestead. Too late. But the farm was already in ruins. Soon thereafter, soldiers in trucks strong-armed both of Nogorigatu’s sons into military service.

When Cannon counted Katie forward to 1944, she was stunned to hear, “I see the grave of my wife.” [p, 103] When she expressed shock and and offered sympathy, Nogorigatu said simply, “She was walking along the road in the village. And the jeeps came by and ran her over. They didn’t see her and didn’t care to. None of them stopped…. She was trying to get things for us to eat. Anything.” [p. 103].

Katie’s voice shifted profoundly, as it matched Nogorigatu’s grief, becoming sad and soft, almost inaudible at times as if she were about to cry. When Cannon asked what happened next, Nogorigatu described leaving the farm and moving into town with his grandchildren. “We must all walk our own path. If this is mine, so be it.” [p. 105].

Could all this drama and tragedy be faked by a subconscious, previously suppressed performer self in Ms. Harris’s subconscious brain? Of course. People diagnosed with multiple personalities (but not past lives) evince just as convincing alter egos, ones that are even stranger and more discrepant from the central personality than Harris’s “Nogorigatu.” His narrative is not proof of Harris’s reincarnation; it is evidence of the depth and complexity of the personal ego and human psyche.

At the conclusion of Nogorigatu’s session regarding the death of his wife, Cannon observed, “He was exhibiting such deep, deep sadness and sorrow, it was overwhelming. I felt so sorry for him, this man I had come to know so well, that I could not leave him there…..

“I could not, in good conscience, end the session on such an unhappy note. Maybe it was more for my benefit than Katie’s, because on reawakening she would have no conscious memory of the events she described.” [pp. 105-106]. Cannon quickly counted the Japanese potter back to 1930. He went there at once and became a different man, in a festive spirit:

“They’re having the procession through the village. It is the celebration of the blooming of the cherry trees. They have the priests at front, throwing the rice and calling blessings, hoping that this will be a good year for prosperity. And we have the young men and women of the village all dressed up in their most beautiful kimonos. They are wandering through the streets singing…. [There are] paper streamers and they have kites flying from the houses.” [p. 106].

Wow, just like that, from abject grief and misery to joy and celebration, though no matter how many times Nogorigatu would be returned to earlier happy states, they would inevitably lead to later sorrowful ones.

Note the juxtapositions implicit in Cannon’s explanations like “leave him there” and “count him back.” If time is a linear flow on which personal existence is a raft borne irreversibly in its one-way current, how does one travel back and forth between identity states? Likewise, how can the state be simultaneously present and accessible?

Where does one identity go when another is evoked? Where was it prior to hypnotic regression? Does each moment with its events have an autonomy which expands out into the universe forever? Is each reality preserved and explored on its own? Do the realities, moments of happiness and sorrow, meld at a deeper level into a beingness that subsumes all of them and transmutes their fusion alchemy into a more complex cosmic awareness?

If these are real memory traces of a real person, consider what their juxtaposition means and what it might be telling us about not only past lives but the structure of consciousness and personal identity in the universe, let alone the universe itself. One can explore multiple phases of being at different levels of consciousness and subconsciousness  simultaneously. Each of the separate personalities is a feeler like pseudopods of an amoeba or arms of an octopus with more than eight, in fact limitless, appendages. Our Soul can send out various secondary selves to experience aspects of its overall identity, into frequencies of different realities and manifestations, even in different universes or temporal frames, none of which negate or nullify the others. In Jane Roberts’ words, “Our greater consciousness or ‘source self’ dips in and out of time and has existences in other dimensions, showering aspects of itself out in all directions. These aspects are alive, active, but latent in each of us, where their abilities help form the stuff of our own personalities.” [90].

This is not a minor matter; it may be the single most crucial issue in the universe, at least for sentient beings, because each of them will suffer and die and will also have happy, euphoric moments. How does the universe protect joy against subversion and obliteration?

Cannon’s offhand ontological jumps violate space, time, identity, and personal sovereignty. Was Nogorigatu awakened from dormancy or does he dwell forever in his own timeless narrative? Was he in Katie, of Katie, or an extraneous signal picked up by her aura and enacted there? Was he a real person or a fusion of clairvoyant engrams in Katie’s psyche, a contrivance of her unconscious?

If Ms. Harris’ recall of a life in Japan is more than an unconscious dissimilation, it would appear that each ego’s discrete lifetime, let alone any composite of multiple and past lives, is discursive and variant in a series of shifting states of consciousness and unconsciousness in relation to one another. While Freud hit upon a gold mine, he did not perceive how vast the unconscious was or how manifold the aggregate personality. For instance, from Katie’s access to Nogorigatu’s life, it would seem that every focal reality is discrete, is arising from its own underlying conditionalities and expanding from there with self-contained integrity, no matter what will follow, no matter what came before, no matter how quarantined, encrypted, and succinct each phase is. 1944 does not gobble up, supersede, or erase 1930. They remain independently differentiating, exploring themselves and their separate richness, evolving discretely in the universe while supporting each other and each other’s narrative. We do not know whether every minute or second has the same integrity or how the finite the bubbles of identity get. It is like asking whither and whence Heraclitus’s river (into which no man—or wart-hog—can step twice) actually flows?

Likewise Katie does not gobble up Nogorigatu, or does Nogorigatu have any claim to Katie’s life. Out of trance, Katie does not remember Japan or Nogorigatu. He does not exist in her ego structure, though he apparently resides in subliminal relationship to her. Cannon struggles with all three of their crises of identity.

“Upon awakening from a session, Katie would feel fine. Because she was virtually asleep, she had no ill effects. I was the one who was troubled. I could not shut out his suffering…. This man had begun to actually haunt me. His pain was my pain. I would hear again his words as I tried to sleep at night. He filled my waking thoughts as well as my dreams. He became very real to me and it was as if his turmoil was happening now instead of 40 years ago.”

What karmic force was driving the persona inside the girl? Cannon opines: “He seemed to be pleading with me to tell his story, to give his death meaning.”

Then who was Cannon to Nogorigatu? What did “he” see or imagine as she queried and drew him out of slumber through Katie? Was he asleep or in dormancy. As whom and where was he located as he used her voice? From what agency and intention was he able to extend into the present and visit his interviewer with evident patience and charm? “This was no cardboard imaginary character,” Cannon insists. “I came to know Nogorigatu very well. I liked him and he became my friend. I often wonder what he thought of me. Was I just a still, small voice in his head asking questions?” [p. 56]

Indeed! There is this guy Nogorigatu, once perhaps alive and real, responding to the vortex named Cannon, an American addressing him decades after his death, a phantom in the void.

I can’t picture him being a mere figment or artifact in Kathryn Harris’s unconscious mind, but I can’t picture him as a mere golem or ghola either. He seems whole and real somewhere. The question is where.

Cannon’s supposition—“a still, small voice in his head”— is probably the tip of the iceberg. Each entity is to another creature, even one with whom it is intimate, a voice crying out from shadows, an instrumentality arising from the adumbration of a single life with its temporal memories.

Nogorigatu is calling out for recognition, support, and affirmation with the apparent capacity to recreate any time of himself as present time. His range honors the theosophical definition of the aura as timeless and comprehensive as opposed to time-bound biological memory or mind.

We might listen more closely to whom we address our future dialogues with our selves. Who is the real “I” and audience? To whom are we speaking when we address ourselves day after day? Which of us is conscious and which is unconscious?

 

In subsequent sessions, Cannon edged Harris closer to the actual attack. She had promised to approach the bombing slowly and then visit it only once. As she counted deeper into 1944, she feared that Nogorigatu would appear as a broken man. She was correct; he had no idea what to do next as he stoically described the situation:

“I can see the troops. They are moving. They have decided that they want the headquarters closer to town…. They are all in their trucks and have their guns and they’re moving…. [p. 112]. Sometimes I stay in the village, sometimes in Hiroshima.” [p. 109]

In town he roomed with his daughters who, by then, helped make jeep parts in a factory. “We spread the mats on the floors and we sleep on them, and there is enough room for that…. We have a brazier, which is a charcoal one, that is in the one room…. This is no life to bring up children in.” [p. 119]. When Nogorigatu traveled between his farm and town, the journey took him three days by foot: “One does what one must. A man can do anything if he sets his mind to it.” [p. 111].

Food was rationed. Those who toiled for the government received larger portions, the allotments dispensed at factories. It was mostly rice, occasionally bread or grains. On occasion they found beans and grew their own sprouts. Workers were paid in scrips, an emergency currency that could be used to purchase items only at government centers.

Cannon opened the next session with, “Let’s go to the spring of 1945. It will be spring when the earth is waking up and things are beginning to grow again. What do you see?” The shift in tone is dramatic:

“I can see the planes flying overhead. It seems like they are stalking us…. There are…four or five of them…. They are not ours…. It’s just as if they watch us. They do not drop bombs …. I wonder if they are looking for a good place to drop their bombs. I don’t know.” [pp. 117-118].

Though to that point Hiroshima had been spared from aerial attack, regular drills were conducted, sirens requiring people to clear the streets:

“I do not desire to go to the shelter. I would rather see what is coming at me than run like a frightened squirrel into a tree and hole up. If I die I would like to see what kills me.” [p. 119].

Progressing toward the fateful day, Cannon counted forward to July 1945, and asked Katie/Nogorigatu to describe what he saw. He was watching his daughters arrive home from work. His three grandchildren were playing on the floor. When queried as to how things were going, he said, “Extremely bad. There are many problems. They’ve had bombings around the city and everyone is worried and tense…. Two of the outlying factories have been hit, no serious damage, some deaths. They manage to keep working.” When asked what the bombs sound like, he says, “There is a shrill whistle before the explosion. They say you never hear the one that hits.”

The soldiers fired at the planes. “[T]hey almost treat it as if a big game is going on. As if nothing serious.” [p. 120].

Nogorigatu’s daughters had been told at work that “the Americans don’t wish to bomb us, or something…I don’t know. They say they are not strong enough to fight us…that the war is almost over because we are no longer fighting with them. Who knows?” [p. 121].

As Cannon counted Katie forward to August 6, 1945, she noticed an abrupt change in her complexion and posture. “She turned white as a sheet and her body stiffened. When she tried to talk, only gasping sounds came out. She had great difficulty forming the words…. She seemed to be in a state of shock and when she did manage to speak, her voice trembled. Sometimes her body would shake. I had never before heard such heart-rending emotion and pain in a voice. It came from somewhere deep inside her subconscious memories and had no connection with Katie at all…. Phrases came out disjointed with pauses between them as Nogorigatu confusedly groped to find the words for an experience that words were useless to describe.” [pp. 122-123]. The subject took deep breaths as Cannon asked her what was happening; she could barely form the syllables at times. Cannon had to reassure her that this event was no longer in present time and she had the capacity to terminate the session and wake herself up whenever she wished. She, that is, or he….

“‘There was…there was a great flash…a blinding white light. And…then a great…boom. And…and…a giant cloud. It went straight up, and…and…it went out….  And then the winds rolledthey were like fire…. The people, they fell down, and they…and they just lay there, and…and…. (the voice was full of utter disbelief). The screams! …People are dying everywhere. WHY?

“It was a cry from the depths of his soul, and it sent shivers down my spine.

“‘People are…those who can run are running. Some just stumbling around, holding their arms out… Everything is gone! It’s been destroyed! Buildings are as if they’ve never been. There’s nothing left! WHY?!

“‘I am alone. (Bewildered) I don’t know where anyone is. Everything is gone. The city is as if…there is no center to the city! IT’S GONE! The buildings have …disappeared! There’s nothing but rubble…and the screams!’”

Is this Hiroshima first-hand? Or is it Katie’s hysterical imagining of the event by cathartic theatrics? Who is witnessing what here?

If the view is Hiroshima under atomic attack, is it the actual historic event somehow reenacred timelessly in current time or a traumatic engram echoing and replicating itself across space-time?

Is it a vestige of the actual occurrence, a vacant doppelgänger placeholding a long-dissipated event and issuing replica semblances?

Is Nogorigatu still in Hiroshima, at least that Nogorigatu? And are there other Nogorigatus in separate simultaneous existences, each with full existential awareness of his situation? How do conscious and unconscious realities envelop and get enveloped by each other?

Unquestionably the actual bombing was starkly and searingly real, down to a cellular and atomic level. It probably left a lesion in four-dimensional space-time with ripple-creases through other planes of Creation, perhaps crossing dimensions with a malign thwack. How, though, did its psychic bow wave proceed into the cosmos and get retrieved? Can image formations and physical and chemical changes that are taking hold on one plane and apparently dissipating there have karmic essence flowing onto other planes within a timeless vortex, to be resolved only in a vaster cosmos.

“‘My…hands! My hands…are black…. My…face feels as if there is nothing…no skin. (He moaned.)

“The planes this morning… Could they…? They…must have…dropped…some horrible…thing! (Gasp) How could anyone do that? How? Don’t ‘they know what they have done? Do they care?… How could we get to such a point where anyone would want to do this? Even think of doing something like this? How could anyone?’”

“The words were like a forlorn voice crying in the wilderness.

“‘They’ve killed the town! A whole town! It’s gone! (Suddenly he moaned.) I feel like my insides are on fire. Everything is…it’s…as if…someone struck a match and placed it inside of me, and it’s become a bonfire. And it’s ablaze!…

“‘My daughters…my grandchildren! (He sobbed that word). …they are probably dead… All dead!’”*

Does this sound like play-acting?

Cannon knew at once she had to get Nogorigatu/Katie out of there. She quickly counted him back to 1930; he transitioned smoothly:

“‘I am working on my pots. I have taken them out of the kiln and they are cooling…. They are very beautiful. Each unique in their own way. I take care in my work. My love shows in every piece that I make.’”

Another being instantly replaced the devastated man, a being in happy, full blossom, proceeding into the universe eternally as who he was.

So, again, who did Cannon find working his pots: a man who had never experienced Hiroshima, a man who would experience it and contained it potentiation or a man who, at some level, had already experienced it and was subtly marked? Which is the chronology here, Harris’s and Cannon’s or Nogorigatu’s—and which Nogorigatu?

And what about Katie herself? Even though she remembered none of what she recalled in trance as Nogorigatu, she exhibited full relief after the series of regressions and the reliving of a past life in Japan (or whatever it was), as if an actual weight had been lifted from her. The memory would not trouble her again; like other past-life “patients,” she began to change and mature in a new way. Energetically it worked, whatever the underlying story.

Later, Cannon recalled a memory trace she had recovered from Katie before summoning Nogorigatu. During a home delivery while entering this present lifetime, the girl had been declared stillborn—dead. The doctor had given up; only an aunt working on the lifeless body drew a feeble cry, bringing the child into this life. Presuming that the clue to the Japanese man’s genesis in her life lay there, Cannon put Harris into a trance and regressed her to the moment of her birth in order to discover what happened on a Soul plane:

“Instead of preparing to enter the body of a newborn baby, I found her standing at the foot of a bed getting ready to enter the body of an adult. She was preparing to exchange places with the spirit that had inhabited the body of Katie for 21 years. That entity had taken on too many problems to be worked out during this lifetime and when she found that she was not strong enough to handle them, she had asked to be relieved of the situation. Because the two entities had known each other previously and had very similar personalities, they agreed to swap places for the remainder of the physical body’s life.” {p. 45]

When Katie was told that she was a walk-in and had acquiesced to an exchange of souls in her body to avoid committing suicide, “she was startled, to say the least. She said definitively that she could not believe that. She felt no different and knew that she was still the same person.” [p. 47]

Did Nogorigatu adopt the body-mind Katie at a given point in space-time and hitch a ride with her through the rest of her lifetime? Did his Soul replace hers or did it continue to share a body with hers? Or did she and he share the same Soul all along?

In Cannon’s diagnosis, Nogorigatu was a walk-in with Katie’s permission. If he hadn’t gotten her permission, she would have been possessed by him, her life stolen. Perhaps souls routinely contend for bodies in wombs and take over existing bodies in medias res.

The concept of walk-ins could explain why some people begin remembering a past life at a relatively advanced age: it is not the past life of their original personality but of a newly arrived guest, though both could be aspects of the same greater Soul.

If possession takes place before birth, is that not effectively reincarnation? [46] Given the fragility of personal identity itself, for instance in amnesia and Alzheimer’s, and the provisional basis of ego itself, the gap between possession and rebirth may be semantic. Multiple-personality disorders axiomatically generate parallel subjective ego-realities within a single individual in a single lifetime. These too might be separate energetic frequencies of the same Soul.

Can a Soul shift take place without the personality noticing it? Does that clarify or muddy the distinction between a Soul and a personality? Did the tension between her Soul and her personality activate Katie’s capacity to travel between lifetimes and characters? William Blake put it eloquently, And when thy heart began to beat. / What dread hand? & what dread feet?”

Cannon interrogated Nogorigatu’s experience after his death in order to gain insight into the transmigration from his standpoint:

“I learned during later sessions that ‘she’ had entered the spirit resting-place on the other side for a while after the traumatic death at Hiroshima. This is a special place that is reserved for deaths such as these. She felt she had gotten rid of a lot of karma by the lingering death she had experienced. She then attended the school on the spirit plane where the masters and teachers helped with the evaluation of that life. That was where she was when she was called for this assignment and the exchange of the souls with the entity that had previously occupied Katie’s body.” ([p. 130]

We will need to take a different route to get back to this place with more clarity.

 

Cosmic Chicanery

Thoughtforms, are as ultimately as real as snow on Pluto or runaway trucks on a Mongolian highway. They are capable of creating realities. Not controlling realities but creating them—and that is a huge difference. Reality is not controllable and to try by magic is a fool’s errand. As John Friedlander remarks, “You work to change yourself not the universe because the universe can’t be changed. But then sometimes, once you change yourself, miraculously the universe changes too.”

Every event and act, no matter how incidental, not only has psychic and psychospiritual resonance but means exactly what it is—there is no way out.

Even gambling addicts stationed before slot machines are engaged in transubstantiation, feeding gods and the universe. Hitting the jackpot is only their cover story.

As Dustin DiPerna puts it: “We are always in some sort of state. States are an ever-present part of our experience.”

 

The overall mind-matter interface involves “the transformation of energy into physical form” according to ideas and beliefs. [103] These “objectified mental states,” according to Jane Roberts, “[are] constantly interacting, formed automatically by conscious energy’s intercession with the three-dimensional field.” [129] Just look at how fast Homo sapiens went from the Wright Brothers to Boeing and Airbus. That is only not mind manipulating matter; it is mind creating forms from the Big Bang and before. Phenomenological events “have their own equivalent of atoms and molecules—the million unseen probable actions within, upon which they rise to the surface as definite physical acts…psychological objects placed in the inner rooms of the mind. They are always there, always encountered, particularly memories of past events that indubitably happened it seems….” [123]

In the millennia-long competition between technocrats and shamans, it is a mistake to presume that technology automatically wins because it superseded shamanism, historically and operationally—and gets better results. Yes, it gets better results when applied to matter directly: you can’t summon a jet plane into temporal existence by chanting. There shamanism is out of its league. You can’t ride thoughtforms across oceans or translate yourself into whatever shapes and realms you desire. Yet over time they create cities and nations. They affect reality more slowly, indirectly and subconsciously than physical forces, for they work as underlying signifiers, and transfer both subliminal intentions and conscious agendas, each in their way.

But you can summon objects if you chant for them long enough, for hundreds thousands of years. In that sense shamans did summon cars and cities. They did not try to override the distinction between mind and matter, a misread that leads present arbiters to decide that they failed at their own agenda. You can only alter matter by other matter in the short term. It takes a much longer time to convert thoughtforms into material forms. You first have to develop shamanic physics and chemistry, and our species collectively did.

Industrial and post-industrial modernity are realizations of the Stone Age shaman’s deepest dreams, his prayers and chants. He, she evoked this landscape from a profound desire to protect and feed themselves, and to explore nature.

When the various shamanic systems on Earth were in their ascendancy during the Stone Age and to some degree right up to the scientific revolution, there was no expedient technology for addressing human needs. We call it the Stone Age for a reason: its vibrations as well as its raw materials were stone and wood. Shamanic invocation filled the gap between mind and matter, providing if not food, shelter, medicine, and energy in terms we expect now, their equivalents on psychic levels.

Those possibilities continue exist with contemporary shamanic arts: travelling in hyperdimensional space, healing etherically and astrally, remotely viewing nonlocal objects. We have no idea what the actual range of shamanism is because we are not practicing it or observing its operation in an epoch before analytical science and mechanical technology changed our perspective. Belief plays a huge role in effective transmutation and voodoo. You can’t enter a universe you don’t believe in—that is, you can’t absolutely enter a universe you do not believe in absolutely.

We have lost an innate sense what thoughtforms can accomplish, what their basic context was in environments in which shamanism arose or the precise issues it arose in response to. Other than in abstract mathematics we have lost a sense of the navigability of multiple dimensions and with it the contactability of spirit forms elsewhere as well as the useful applications of various voodoos, tonglens, affirmations, and reikis.

Seth remarks that “the psyche contains within it other programs than the one in which you are acting—other plots, environments, and world situations.” If we want we can change this reality or walk out of it into another one. “[E]ach of your thoughts and actions exist not only in the manner with which you are familiar with them, but also in many other forms that you do not perceive: forms that may appear as natural events in a different dimension than your own, as dream images, and even as self-propelling energy. No energy is ever lost. The energy within your own thoughts, then, does not dissipate even when you yourself have finished with them. Their energy has reality in other worlds.” [357-358]

Some thoughtforms take thousands of years to manifest material; others do so instantaneously. If you look around you at the planet we now inhabit, you will see the fruition of a massive collective thoughtform. Earth during the Neolithic and Pleistocene has been utterly transformed. Of course, it could be argued that what you are looking at is the cumulative result of evolving technologies and empirical application of scientific principles to complex molecular configurations with unrealized potential for organization. It is both. The application of thoughtforms to matter has complexly designed the civilization and global city we now inhabit.

Operating across the planet and unknown to one another, shamans imagined through a glass darkly, built, and disseminated a seed form. It took millennia to sprout and blossom, through Egyptian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Eurasian worlds, into the manifestation we have today. Civilization is a projection from the Stone Age. What future landscape are we generating now?

 

Shamanism shifts consciousness, allows one inside the mind of a jaguar or crow (or cactus or vine)—not inside the crow’s or cactus’ thoughtstream but inside a hybrid human-cactus intelligence and informational flow at a human-accessible vibration. In machine- and technology-dominated cultures, humans gain exterior powers—they change the extant landscape on the physical plane—but they lose corresponding interior powers, modes of divinations, and conduits of transpersonal information and healing.

There is a difference between an FDA-approved drug and a shamanically derived drug in terms of not only efficacy but qualities, meanings, long-term effects, and depth of mind-body-spirit penetration. While diagnostic tests seek the external signs of a pathology, modern shamanic tools like homeopathy, osteopathic palpation, and acupuncture attempt to arouse vital forces from an etheric vibration before their blockage manifests pathologically. This is “cell talk”: the healer breaking into a system that lies at the heart of embodiment but which is integrated beneath our capacity to access except by such proxy. A full MRI after the treatment would show nothing different from its equivalent before the treatment, but something critical would have changed, something invisible in a material sense.

Most shamans admit that they use chicanery in order to treat illnesses. An indigenous healer told a professor friend that he regularly used sleight of hand and duplicity, yet he insisted that it didn’t matter because it was only a ploy to change a client’s stuck mindset. “Western doctors open people up like car mechanics,” the healer explained, “and then they try to fix them by putting in new parts. We heal them by changing their belief systems.”

If biological disease is created by the stubbornness of a particular belief, transduced through cellular messaging into tissue pathology, it is critical to trigger and change the underlying energy, sometimes with a prop. Blood-stained feathers, a jaguar’s paw, a piece of quartz from the “body” of a Dreamtime serpent take on a transference-like role are and also catalyze enzymatic activity—likewise the sudden impact of a painted face, a costume, a chant. These events do not merely startle, they are transubstantiatonal.

Quesalid, a Koskimo shaman interviewed by anthropologist Franz Boas late in his life, told the ethnographer that he understood that that the bloody down he pulled out of the sick person’s psychic field and aura and then presented to him as his concrete disease was a sham, but over time he had arrived at a more profound understanding of the situation—something else was happening on another level. The sleight-of-hand and blood and feathers constituted transformational theater on behalf of spirit forms. Each of his patients understood these totem powers in their own ways as they activated a chain of symbols and meanings. A well-chosen prop could be converted psychically into parasympathetic or psychosomatic healing energy. The tipoff is that, even knowing that the bloody down is chicanery, a medicine man would still call on a fellow practitioner to treat him in this manner if he became sick.

Like shamans we trick ourselves, regularly in fact, moment to moment in doing the unconscious work necessary to sustain our subtle beings.  Religious scholar Jeffrey Kripal explains the underlying paradox:

“It is almost as though the real needs the fake to appear at all, as if the fact relies on the fiction to manifest itself…. It is not as if the appearance of the sacred can be reduced to a simple trick, as if the shaman is just a sham. It is as if the sacred is itself tricky. Even the well-documented medical placebo, after all, is a fake that has real effects…. [P]sychical researcher Russell Targ…first became aware of the reality of telepathy when, as a young stage magician in New York, he realized that he was receiving genuine telepathic information from within the mentalist trick he was performing on stage. The trick was a trick, but it was also, somehow, catalyzing the real deal.” [p. 52].

Targ later became skilled enough at remote viewing that he was hired by the Pentagon to locate Soviet military installations telepathically. And those folks don’t mess around with New Age twaddle: if it works, it goes into the arsenal. Targ’s remote viewing worked, so military officers wanted to be taught how to perform the same “trick.”

According to Kripal, hoaxes by phony fortune-tellers and staged séances can lead to “accurate and veridical information, [for instance] about the time, nature, or details of the death, all unknown and unknowable to the supraliminal self until the subliminal or telepathic communication occurs.” [p. 76].

There are no spiritual cons as such. Spiritual hoaxes are first steps only. If Science-fiction and fantasy tales, narratives that are meant to be imaginary, represent “the greater reality from which we spring [and]…send messages from there to the selves we know.” [162]

Far from being boggled by flimflam, the universe is immeasurably enhanced. Hoaxed and delusional transmissions deepen and fructify it. Remember, the poltergeist is operating at simultaneous quantum and psychic levels as well as in uncertainty states. Katie and Nogorigatu are not only tied together at unconscious and subliminal levels; they are engaged in a series of feints and cons, renegotiations and plots, in order to trick each other, in this case into identity itself like Harry Chapin lines in a pop song: “I found you a thousand times; / I guess you done the same; / But then we lose each other; / It’s like a children’s game.”

It is all one grand hoax.

 

Death Pictures

The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There’s Life After Death centers around Annie Kagan’s dialogues with her brother after his sudden passing. The power of her receipts lies not in their plausibility or originality but in the nature of the information and, if authentic, Billy’s higher-dimensional permission to break the seal between the living and the dead.

In life, Billy (nicknamed Fingers by himself at age sixteen after he lost the tip of one finger while working in a welding factory) was a petty criminal, drug addict, and chronic jailbird when he was struck by a taxi while crossing the street after leaving the emergency room of South Miami (Florida) Hospital, his hospital ID cuff still on his wrist.

Billy reassures his sister that the universe is good and that happiness beyond imagination awaits us. He tells her that he has been granted a high order of clearance to transmit sacred information. His bad-boy act was a phase in his dawning of self-recognition. Without it, he could not have arrived at his present state. He needed his wasted drug withdrawals and moments of despair in order to cultivate a frequency that could receive and transmit esoteric facts.

Before him flows magical stream, fluctuating with the colors of the chakras. Though only a few yards wide, it seems to wend forever with sounds that are a mixture of electric chimes and a gong. Billy senses his selfhood blending with the water-like flow. The sounds in the background begin organizing into a sacred music that he realizes he always heard during his recent lifetime too but at an unconscious level.

The stream gradually replaces his Earth body and its vestigial memory, and a new corporealness is grafted by a blue-white sphere, as he is re-lit by the original candle or sun in the healing chamber after death.

In vast stellar-like space Billy sees his first wife Ingrid as a constellation, a of a woman doing “a feminine dance of love.” Ingrid’s stars and planets tell the stories of the different stages of her proximal life: a blonde baby digging sand, a teenager dancing on stage, a young woman strung out on cocaine, a doleful hag doing time in prison. Billy sees the vivid strands of her anger blended into an energetic pattern such that at a Soul level they are harmonious and, as their Souls circle each other in galaxy-like displays, he understands why he loved her in the first place.

This vision is operating at Billy’s level of perception as well as his sister’s capacity to receive his vibration. Before you discount it as New Age glitter, try gauge if it describes a possible experience. What else might another soul look like after death? It is probably less a ghost or pneuma than a solar system or even a galaxy at the full scope of its multidimensional fields viewed collectively through their Akashic summation. Novelist D. H. Lawrence provided a similar perspective:

“There is only one clue to the universe … the individual soul within the individual being. That outer universe of suns and moons and atoms is a secondary affair … the death-result of living individuals.”

 

Psychic Ellias Lonsdale’s transmission from his partner Sarah after her death from metastasizing breast cancer depicts her meeting with the Lord of Death and passage through myriad different forms of death based on various myths and imaginings. Though Lonsdale and Fingers are experiencing and transmitting radically different death pictures, they each ring true. As channeled by Ellias, Sarah reports:

“When the time was ripe, I was guided to take the world’s heaviest karmas into my body and transmute them to the point where I felt ready to embrace my innermost destiny. Just before I died, all the circuits started to click in and show me what I was to do, how I was to do it, and the exquisite rightfulness in what looked like a tragedy. Among the instructions was the core message: You are now to dive through death, sink to the bottom of the death realms, and pull up to the surface the living soul who is your own vast and limitless self awaiting you there. When you have her, bring her to the ones who sent you out upon your journey. They shall bring you towards the ultimate event for which you have always been preparing to meet.

“I did as I was told. The death sharks could not get any grip on me. I was far too slippery for them. I was all water. I dove far under their vigilant guard and came to the living soul, the vast one awaiting me so expectantly and joyously. [p. 24].”

No floating among celestial party lights for this girl, she is headed for the great alembic: crucifixion and transubstantiation: “I died ready to die. I eagerly looked forward to starting my greater work. My surface consciousness was whittled to almost nothing, so I pierced right through it in the birth moment and became the breath of the deep. My subtle awareness bubbled to the top. My outer-mind permanent split open, and I walked onward with far clearer awareness and more open space into the unknown.

“Immediately the threshold encounters of every previous death ever experienced were there with me, flooding through my soul, and lighting up the death path into a multicolored path. I was literally taken by the light into a place peopled with my previous deaths and divine beings. The Veiled One, at the center of them, more vivid than the rest, escorted me to meet those whom I karmically needed to encounter first.” [p. 55]

Billy Fingers captures the overlay of euphoria at continuing to exist, and projects that onto the cosmos. His celebration recalls soul singer James Brown: “I feel good, / I knew that I would now / So good, so good.” Brown was celebrating cosmic existence too.

Sarah reports the sheer complexity, gravitas, and depth of ongoing beingness. From where she is, transit into a beautiful, angelic, and fun-filled theme park could not sustain its illusion beyond an initial dose of enchantment. To be trapped in paradise—in a light that casts no shadows—is to be mired in an inert state without possibility of depth, substance, or creative transformation, be cast into the abyss of sacred unity and its self-contained infinity.

Only after passing through many false Death realms does Sarah confront the Lord of Death Himself. How does he operate? He matches each person’s picture of him, each Death Image transposed into its own reality. The fetid corpse, the loathsome rot and decay, the maudlin funeral parlor, the merciless pyre consuming molecular residue, the irreclaimable loss of a cherished being both by herself and by those who knew and loved her—are powerful representations of the negative projection of Death.

But the Lord of Death is not any one of these forms; he is the concurrent vibration of all forms that separate the living from the dead—a conditionality casting an array of Death pictures. Even a soul that becomes a zombie-like ghost eventually begins to experience its real death—its transmutation into another phase of itself. The damned in hell realms wander outside a soul shift only as long as they remain in thrall to the Lord Master of Illusion Himself.

If a professional skeptic expects his death to be eternal nothingness or annihilation, he or she can probably veg in pretend non-existence for eons of Earth-time, denying his own continued psychic activity and pulse, until it becomes impossible to refute the obvious persistence of his own beingness. Some people’s journey is conditioned by the fact that they would rather endure nullity or eternal pain than who they actually are. They need to lose all that before they can have anything because the universe supplies the necessary resistance and negative capability to settle through its texture into its true roots and profundity.

The profundity of the universe, once the universe is bottomed out in all platforms, is that the difference between a nihilistic view that we are happenstance concatenations that will be obliterated without a memory or trace and that we are part of unity consciousness that will be absorbed back into that unity is negligible or in fact no difference at all. Since all belief systems arise from the same vortex, they all source back into that vortex and pay their final dues there. But it is even more irreproachable than that: the belief that death is final and ends all is the belief that existence is eternal and eternally changing through countless bardos in another, more profound form.

A person who is denying that he still exists (because conscious beingness is impossible without a body and a brain) may take century-equivalents to recognize that something is denying the possibility of its own existence. Eventually he must respond to the fact that he is not not.

 

Worshipping the Algorithm, or Dumbing Down the Universe

This reality, scientists believe (and by way of summary) is a bioelectrical mirage—both as viewer and view—generated by the random break of particles following the original “pool shot” (which might be one of many Big Bangs that routinely destroy and create universes s from their own debris). Conscious awareness and personal identity are created solely by algorithms. There is no other bottom to things. My Amherst College classmate Sid Schwab expressed the neo-Darwinian liturgy articulately in a class-chatroom debate on the topic:

“Nowadays I barely have a concept of yesterday. Who can grok billions of years? I can’t, but I’m pretty sure it’s enough time for evolution to make a brain. It can make MRSA overnight, after all. There are billions of planets in billions of galaxies. There may or may not be life somewhere else; and if there is, it may or may not resemble ours. That we are who we are is remarkable, but demands some sort of non-physical explanation only to the extent that we’re unable to see ourselves as a very unlikely result of random happenings. The chances are one in who knows how many billions of billions that life (whatever it is) happened here, of all places? But it did, and here we are. If it hadn’t, we wouldn’t be. That’s the least and most of what there is to it. That there are, presumably, countless non-life-bearing galaxies serves to confirm that, rather than a result of intent, we’re a happy accident. All the reason we need to enjoy it while we can, in whatever way we can, without adding more mystery. Unless it’s what you need. In which it’s cool. Part of the mystery.”

If the algorithm can make MRSA overnight, it can make a brain in a billion years. Abillion or three billion years can jiggle the most complicated biological phenomena out of just about anything, even bosons and fermions.

Sid is nuanced and clever and quite compassionate in his nihilism. He says that we can play and fuss and celebrate all we want without violating the basic paradigm. He even read Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi to entertain the opposing view but rejected it.

If you are a committed algorithmist, you can assign any nuance to three billion years of natural selection and, if need be, to quantum or systemic effects. The universe didn’t have to make apes or Einsteins, here or anywhere, but as long as it did, it played by its own rules, so we have no argument.

Sid gets that there is a mystery, but he doesn’t dawdle there. In this unexplored elision the Newtonian-Einsteinian universe bottoms short of in All That Is. Whether mind can form from a dynamic disequilibrium of billiard-ball effects—whether life or even a universe can arise for solely thermodynamic reasons in the middle of nowhere—is both an epistemological and ontological question because it is where the two converge and become one kōan. Can there be a thermodynamic reason or disposition without an ontological and epistemologicall counterpoint? Where the ontological issue collides with the epistemological response and both engage the teleological riddle, every option and interpretation generates the others at a deeper level. The Buddhist ground luminosity does not oppose the Big Bang or evolution; it ties ontology and epistemology together at a level that is cognizant of our cosmological role in a universe we view only through our own existence.

Once you commit your entire devotion and idolatry to the algorithm, everything manifested, known, or imagined must lie therein: every feeling, every feeling about every feeling, every product of every assembly line, every work of art and response to every work of art, every passion, every pang, every design and hope, every intimation and whisper in the dark, even the derivation of the algorithm, even the mystery comes out of the algorithm.

Grasp the full scope and implication of this! Everything is fundamentally rootless, contextless, and causeless. Everything you are and believe and know, as well as the thoghts of Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, and Einstein, paintings on the caves of Lascaux and Chauvet, Bach’s organ music and the Tree of Life all rose in the middle of nowhere for no reason. There is nothing holding them to existence.

They show that algorithm is clever enough to reflect back every subtlety that it generates at deepening infinitesimal levels of depth and nuance, recognizing them as themselves. That should be no surprise because the algorithm invented itself and its capacity for exactly such depth and recoil. It is not just an algorithm but an algorithm’s algorithm. Through it inchoate chaos becomes choate, though there is no difference in an algorithm, except that the nondifference, like a binary sequence of zeros and ones, can create everything out of nothing.

Blind analytics is the database of modernity, the capital owed to the shareholders of the corporate takeover of reality as well as payoff for the debt financing that has underwritten it. Consciousness is a commodity of molecular shuffling ex nihilo. It didn’t exist previously in any way, shape, form, or foreshadowing. It is an unlikely royal flush without predecessors, bridesmaids, or wardens.

Human existence is a collateral side-effect of entropy. Any assertion of telepathy, reincarnation, God, or a Soul encounters not only the ideological resistance of materialist reductionism but commonsense extrapolations of educated, rational folks like Sid. His portfolio of logical skepticisms summarizes modern atheism’s cross-examination of the defendant:

“Why, for example, if past lives/reincarnation are a thing, do so few people—mere handfuls, compared to all the lives lived and living—think they know of them? Why only under “hypnosis?” What would be ‘the point,’ if there’s no recollection? I watch my grandson discover the world and find it wondrous; but I see no evidence of influence of a prior life. (Why not, at least, be born knowing how to use a toilet?) If everything must be relived and re-acquired and re-learned, is there a point to it? Doesn’t seem like part of a larger truth. And I can’t help but be tied to the notions of self and brain function. I suppose reincarnation is a gift given only to a few. Do all of those have access to their prior lives? What distinguishes them from the billions and billions who don’t and didn’t? If my mom’s in heaven, did she go there in her final state of dementia? Or did she unwind to a certain point? Age 60? 20? Did she get to choose? If not, how does it work? And what of children who die agonizing and premature deaths at the hand our our loving god?  Do they stay three years old? Or do they age like bottles of wine? It’s pretty clear, neurophysiologically, that who we are is intimately related to what goes on in our brains. Does metabolism have a heavenly form? If our souls are that which is independent of such matters, in what way do we relate, in heaven or wherever people like me will find themselves, to who we were? If it’s an entirely different existence lasting for all of eternity, what’s the point this immeasurably brief time in physical form? If it’s a test-run to determine our level of reward, isn’t it a little disproportionate? It’d be like having my two-year-old grandson take the SAT and determine the rest of his life from that. Only a billion trillion zillion times more unfair. If god has a plan for us all, why not just plunk us into heaven and get it over with? Less than the single vibration of an electron, in cosmic time, to determine all eternity?”

All reasonable, logical challenges by an intellectually organized retired surgeon. In modernity, they are how you have to play it. Otherwise you are asserting opinions from pure faith. You are bullshitting. It won’t pass muster in a scientific forum and court of law.

In ancient times, direct contemplation of the vortex that gives rise to self was acceptable. Revelation and shamanic trance were legitimate forensics. No more.

I don’t think it’s possible for an intricate, differentiating eddy to form in the middle of nowhere from extrinsic thermodynamic effects without root or basis.

Does Sid not think that the universe is complicated enough to handle all his contradictions and still run the machinery that gives rise to them? Couldn’t All That Is be considerably more complex than All That is Materially Manifesting? If so, Sid’s brief of contradictions, absurdities, and paradoxes might define the universe’s complexity as well as limitations inherent in our view. In dumbing down the universe, he assumes that it is less complex than it is and bottoming out reality short of its actual ground.

In assuming that his are the right questions to ask of a universe, Sid is missing the distinction between the logic he expects reality to follow and the logic actually being followed.

Prescientific peoples used mind to reflect gods that, to post-scientific empiricists, weren’t there. Yet that didn’t mean that, once their method of reflection was deconstructed, the mirror went flat and there was nothing there.

Pawnee, Ojibwa, Dogon, Zulu, Yahgan, and Mandinka philosophers don’t put the same spin on our situation, hence encounter different paradoxes. Instead of taking place in the middle of nowhere for no reason, the Apache universe begins with space indistinguishable from time. Then “there appears a spot, a thin circular disk, no larger than the hand, yellow on one side, white on the other, in mid air.” This is a statement of consciousness about itself.

We are inside something so complex that we can neither comprehend nor depict it, and an aspect of its complexity is that fact that we are both conscious of it and inside it. Without that paradox, the universe would be hard-put to sustain a capacious reality without distorting internally or collapsing under its own weight. Ask the universe what’s going on. There is no downside. We are doing anyway all the time in fact.

The downside to stringent materialism you are forced to live in a universe that is less complex and rogue than it actually is.

 

On one side of the class chatroom were the confident scientists; on the other, advocates of the Bible as a senior source. In the middle ground is the actual vastness and complexity of the universe, from nebulae and oceans to the orbits of electrons and jellyfish, from which arise all gods and algorithms.

My reference wouldn’t be the Bible, it would be the Tree of Life and the Hebrew alphabet, Whitehead’s “process and reality” or a Hopi Creation myth. Because reductionists have no idea how the skank got here, they presume it is nothing. Though I reject the religionists on just about every fundamentalist claim, I agree with them that there was always something. We are the conspirators in the dark behind our own denials. the counterspies we are keeping out in the cold.

At the bottom of materialism’s algorithm, reality dissolves into the nothingness that gave rise to it, an erasure that is so total it erases even itself. There was nothing there to begin with, so the something that replaces it is circumstantial, in effect nothing too. Everything of meaning, profundity, and moral value ultimately tracks back to bosons and fermions and not even them, so meaning, depth, and moral order are no different from their antipode.

There may be nothing, but it is a very fertile nothing because we can build meaning, value, freedom, and morality from it. For the existentialist, there is nothing at all, the something that is nothing. For the Buddhist, the something is an illusion so, whereas the universe, or more properly All That Is, is not fundamentally nothing, our existence is, so it is functionally the same.

By worshipping the Algorithm, you pretend you have found a substitute for God that is just as powerful, in fact even more powerful, for it can do everything He can without any of the imperious stagecraft or vulgar theocratic oversplash. The Algorithm is the God of modernity: slick, efficient, cybernetic, minimalistic—microsoft.

In a truly complex universe, worshipping the Algorithm is the same as worshipping God. An algorithm generating roses and galaxies and cobras and tardigrades out of debris and baling wire is a God generating them out of innate intelligence in a nonlinear, nonarchivable manner, each writing the flap of every butterfly’s wings and amoeba’s flow on its ineffable hard drive.

To build a universe of meaning, depth, and spiritual freedom when none of it was given, to build it essentially from the products of bosons and fermions, atoms and molecules, interstellar dust and hydrogen, is as essential as to have God do it, if not more so—of course it depends on Whom we designate God.

A universe that arises from a vortex of intelligence refracts that intelligence in every aspect of itself. A universe that develops out of fermions and bosons invents a novel thing that has no basis except in itself.

But that is why Aristotle provided four discrete versions of causation—material, efficient formal, and final, each at the scale the universe itself—and he dead-reckoned them. We haven’t gotten beyond his matrix. Even Stephen Hawking can’t account for the full range of Aristotelian causation.

You don’t need a godhead for Divine Presence. Divine Presence imbues everything—every event and every thoughtform. If you banish it, you are still practicing idolatry—idolatry of the real, the concrete real, the Divine Algorithm.

If you come at quantum physics not by way of entropy or through the legalistic side of Plato to Newton, but by way of Aristotle and Aquinas, Lao-Tzu and Parmenides—efficient cause, motion that can only be caused or stopped by other motion—you stealth through the backdoor but you enter. The backdoor is Intrinsic Nature, First Cause, implicate nonseparability of cause and effect, a multiplicity of causes that combine in shapes, differential equations, functional relations, even noncausal correlations.

So if the universe must, by definition, arise in the middle of nowhere for no reason, which “nowhere” and what “no reason”—of what prerequisites or sine qua non? Trouble is, the Algorithm needs selectivity as well as principles of design; else why make anything out of nothing? So there is at least one intrusive intelligence: quantitative depth—through the mask of which absolute qualitative complexity is viewed by creatures who are complex enough to perceive a hegemony masking everything more complex, e.g., the intrinsic depth of their own mindedness.

Another class scientist, Dusty Dowse, nailed the essential irony:

“You are a fluke of the Universe. You have no right to be here, and whether you can hear it or not, the Universe is laughing behind your back. Therefore make peace with your God whatever you conceive him to be, Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin. With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal, the world continues to deteriorate. Give up.”

You’re here. You have to fill the void with something. Like the Big Bang. You have to bottom out your own latency while whipping up any cream you can.

 

Multipersonhood

The theory of Multipersonhood could have come to Earth from the Pleiades for its disparity from most belief systems arising in our late Piscean field of DNA-based operating systems on Earth. The proposition as I learned it was systematized by John Friedlander from a model developed by Jane Roberts through her own studies in consciousness and channeling of Seth, a higher dimensional Multipersonhood. From childhood John seems to have cultivated and refined the proper frequency—he was practicing the modality before he came into contact with Ms. Roberts.

In the early seventies he studied with Berkeley Psychic Institute founder Lewis Bostwick, a spiritual teacher who integrated Hindu, Buddhist, theosophical, and shamanic methods with techniques from the early human-potential movement: EST (Werner Earhardt’s boot camp) and dianectics/scientology (L. Ron Hubbard’s transdimensional psychology).

Afterwards John joined the Ithaca (New York) group that received Roberts’ transmissions. Since then he has put a Sethian spin on his own system.

He has also studied with a number of Eastern masters, lamas, and psychics, and integrated their visualization and energy techniques of Tibetan lamas. He experienced Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), the Indian hugging saint, and received her direct transmission.

Fourth, he assimilated the theosophical thread of Helen Blavatsky, C. W. Ledbetter, Annie Besant, and Alice Bailey, and tailored it for modernity. As Victorians, the founders of theosophy viewed their system, as they developed and applied it, through a strong cultural filter, limiting the range permissible even as they restrained other “appetites.” Blavatsky, Ledbetter, and crew were blind geniuses, nailing the metaphysical essence of a high transmission that goes back far before the Vedas in India, aspects of which apparently eluded its Hindu and Buddhist originators. The theosophists didn’t grok the nature or scope of what they had landed—its intergalactic and meta-dimensional potential. These aspects didn’t fit their subconscious biases any more than Philip K. Dick have flown a UFO across Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby.

By maintaining the fundamental Hindu matrix of chakras, layers of the aura, and planes of reality and applying Bostwick’s synthesis, a Sethian perspective, Dzogchen Buddhist practices, and the teachings of his own spirit-guides, John tuned theosophy to a vaster, subtler vibration.

Think of the Blavatskian system as comparable to string theory when first proposed by mathematicians. John’s version is a glimpse of the shape that string theory adumbrates, an origin-point multiverse that led mathematicians to induce its topologies in the first place. In John’s system, consciousness is bundled into the core, not an outlier or epiphenomenon.

Vedic precepts are present at at least four levels of John’s synthesis: as direct transmissions via teachers like Mata Amritanandamayi; secondarily through its Blavatskian makeover; indirectly adapted by Louis Bostwick; and via Buddhist practices at their Hindu roots.

John’s goal is not to make an eclectic fusion but to make use of all available soundings of the cosmic elephant. It doesn’t hurt that he also trained at Harvard Law School and practiced the legal art professionally for almost two decades. Jurisprudence might be a sophistical trade, but in a spiritual universe, everything is spiritual.

 

Multipersonhood is an umbrella term for the concept that each of us is part of a greater entity of which our present egoic configuration, though exclusively and temporally real to itself, is a single thread, one refraction inside a multidimensionally-flowing Lotus that continues to explore, expand, and differentiate its experience and structure at multiple levels consciousness and unconsciousness simultaneouslt. Think of it as as the liquid terms of a crystal, a transmolecular gemlike form that arises outside of time while distributing its flows along various temporal trajectories in each petal and axis of itself, a superpositional quantum-entangled amplituhedron. Multipersonhood, says Jane Roberts, “was not created in some dim past, but is newly recreated by our own thoughts dreams, and desires, so that reality happens at all possible levels at once.” [21] She further sets its basis:

“The known self perceives its reality in creaturehood. It focuses its attention upon the physical world, which is the three-dimensional reflection of its own kind of consciousness, a consciousness deflected and sifted through a molecular lens.

“The conscious self is only one aspect of our greater reality, however; the part that springs into earthknowing. It can be called the ‘focus personality,’ because through it we perceive our three-dimensional life. It contains within it, however, traces of the unknown or ‘source self’ out of which it constantly emerges….”

The source self is not just the Soul in an extended field of emanation but the Soul’s interaction with other Souls and other entities in various phases of being and becoming. Our interactions and collaborations with varied aspects of our own Soul and with these extrinsic entities percolate subconsciously and unconsciously into our individuating ego-selves and inform and direct them through intimations of other things. On the present Earth, most people know themselves in isolation and not as nexuses of creation or consciousness in collaboration with other consciousnesses.

“[O]ur consciousness,” Roberts/Seth proposes, “is energy interacting with other fields of energy…some that hover around the living area, and others that exist adjacent to it, in which all earth consciousness from our species and others exist despite their time periods.” [136] The living personality intersects the space-time field that supplies the strongest signal. Different frequencies “appear as meaningless ‘static,’ so these other perceptions color or tint our usual experience.” [145] The ego intuits exogenous entities without knowing what they are. [108] The Soul has omniscience that we lack, though we are an aspect of the Soul.

The mysterious, otherworldly vastness we sometimes experience is the design in which we are entangled and through which we transcend the confines of our ego boundaries and conditional metabolic expression as living fragments of a larger field that is conducting itself through many concurrent phases of consciousness. The world’s strangeness and nostalgia and the sense we have of fathomless, impenetrable complexity are inherent in our greater Soul nature, the residue of our archetypal and collective existence in the cosmos. Recognition is processed not by our brain but our aura and subtler organs; the brain was not designed evolutionarily for such a task.

We experience elusive flickers of refracted insinuations. Some moments feel different, as if experienced through someone else’s identity, as if the Earth were seen by an alien creature. At other times, bursts of information—faces and moods, wisps and fragments of “something else”—flit by. Their allusions lack context; their facets come and go too quickly to grasp and identify. Or we may grasp them but can’t hold either them or their context; we discard them as meaningless because nothing frames them: unknown faces, figures, diffuse intaglios. When these anomalous events and unknown characters appear momentarily, they exist but “in reference to something else, some other reality that we translate into sense terms or pseudo-sense terms in order to perceive it at all.” [144]

Any entity’s Multipersonhood also includes its own past and future selves, in this lifetime and others. In this life alone, our selves at different ages are separate beings in a complex defined by its own trajectory of birth, growth, development, maturation, and senescence. Each moment of existence and age-range functions as a node or multi-nodal point within the Multipersonhood and coexists interdependently with the other selves.

From infancy through childhood, adolescence, and adult years, we are no longer the same person, yet have a profound and special relationship to our prior and future selves. “[W]e savor our memories, secret from all others; recall in old age, for example, the endless lost Mondays and Tuesdays when we tucked our children (now grown) into bed, or talked through a thousand separate suppers.” Where did all of these go? They had unique, sovereign existence, yet they vanished into something else not long after they arose. Meaning was generated by the fleeting primacy of moments; yet we continually “fear losing that small but brilliant focus that makes events and memories so real…..

“The mother may envision the future man or woman in the child who sits in the highchair; and the old woman may see in the face of her grown son or daughter the child that was. In greater terms, each exist at once—young, old, born, dying—in an ‘at once’ or space present that happens to be large enough to contain our lives.” [118]

Our seemingly authentic memories of our own past are replete with blanks, faux recollections, revisions, cryptomnesias, and fictions. These amnesias provide instances of memory erasure within a lifetime, but the same principle operates on all the phases of Multipersonhood.

When James Leininger recalls elements of a past life, it is the “human personality getting a glimpse of its own entire nature…for there are bleed-throughs, when we almost see who we ‘were’ in a past life or who we ‘will be’ in a future one.” [127] As Tulsa-reincarnated Ryan mourned, it is weird and more than a bit disconcerting that someone should have to learn how to speak and write all over again, rediscover the existence of a Sun and Moon, night and day, and go through grade school in order to get anywhere near the status of knowledge they already had. And yet creatures accept the challenge willingly, come back as a whelp of what they are or as something else, here or somewhere else. At a cosmic, reincarnational level everyone has Alzheimer’s-like loss of content and context.

Each newborn is a twin being: his or her cells, visceral organs, and brain are new; his or her aura is ancient. Yet information residing in the aura is not accessible to the reincarnated being; its past lives are not preserved in terms of the present life. They exist timelessly.

Billy Fingers explains that human amnesia comes in a big pop that accompanies birth. His comment reminds me of “all around the mulberry bush  / the monkey chased the weasel. Half a pound of tuppenney rice, / Half a pound of treacle, / Mix it up and make it nice, / Pop! goes the weasel.”

The loss of memory may be a shame, but it solves a logistical problem: there is not enough memory on the physical plane to store everything that happens there in every language, historical context, and galactic system. No ego could sort and handle even its own components in an ongoing, cumulative phenomenology. Instead, the information, the experiences, the lives are synopsized in the aura in their essentiality. Ryan is still Marty Martin at the level of his aura; he has MM’s accumulated innate moral growth, cultivated intuition, and basic orientation to events—and that is what counts in the journey of the Soul. And if MM is not in Ryan’s Soul, he is somewhere in his Group Soul or the information field of his Multipersonhood.

 

Seeds and pictures of subconscious energy get dispatched through Multipersonhoods, each with its own abilities and predilections and expressions of karma—each free to program, Roberts/Seth proposes “its own journey, choose [its] dimensional spot—the time and place of [its] growth…seeds of which we are usually unaware, dreams and thoughts that escape from us as easily as leaves from an autumn tree. These live in dimensions apart from our being, yet they are aspects of us and carry our potentials within them. Perhaps they are future ghosts of ourselves, mental patterns that will some day be filled with form and walk this earth or a different one, in a space and time that will be theirs, not ours.” [117]

Paranormal investigator Anthony Peake writes: “While going through some old photo albums I came across a photo I had totally forgotten. It is always strange when you come across such a picture … especially when it was taken over thirty-eight years ago. You can look into your own eyes at that time but they are window on a foreign country. I remember the photo being taken (Sunday 19th June 1977) and, because of my diaries I know what issues were on my mind at the time. However…at any one moment in time we are simply a slice in a time-line of the Linga Sharira (the “long body”) that is all of our life and all of our time perceived from a location within the fifth dimension.”

Then he quotes J. B. Priestley’s play Tim and the Conways:

“Like at this moment, or any moment, we’re only a cross section of our real selves. What we really are is the whole stretch of ourselves, all our time, and when we come to the end of this life, all of those selves, all of our time, will be us—the real you, the real me. And then perhaps we’ll find ourselves in another time, which is only a kind of dream …. You know, I believe half our trouble now is because we think Time’s ticking our lives away. That is why we snatch and grab and hurt each other… I think it’s easier not to … to take the long view.”

Peake goes on:

“But what happens to the people who share times and experiences with our ‘long body’? The photographer who took this photograph was my then girlfriend, a young woman called Jane Scot-Baker. She was to die tragically young less than four years later. The image you see in the photograph was what her eyes saw through the camera lens: an image frozen in time and processed by a retina and a visual cortex that no longer exists in this space-time. Death is the great mystery….  Is it the cessation of everything or is it a transition to a location beyond our senses?”

Multipersonhood leads us to view the tragedy differently: only across a narrow slice of time are these events and people lost, and we intuit that, so we feel an extra sense of loss, not just the loss of the person and the connection, and not just the person’s loss of his or her life, but the loss of Cosmic Whole.

 

Our many selves orbit our source self outside of time, creating a perception of past, present, and future within each particular trajectory. There is only what Roberts’ husband Robert Butts calls “a great spacious present that’s a manifestation of a sublime, indescribable All That Is.” [56] Time is not intrinsic; it is a frequency, an energy, like everything else. Getting outside the time continuum involves shifting our psychic (dimensional) perspective. As Seth, Roberts explains:

“We are particles of energy, flowing from the source self into physical materialization. Each source self forms many such particles or ‘aspect selves’ that impinge upon three-dimensional reality, striking our space-time continuum. Others are not physical at all, but have their existences in completely different systems of reality. Each aspect self is connected to the other, however, through the common experience of the source self, and can to some degree draw on the knowledge, abilities, and perceptions of the other aspects. The source self and every focus self are enriched, enlarged, and transformed by other aspect selves and their experiences.

“Psychologically, these other aspects appear within the known self as personality traits, characteristics, and talents that are uniquely ours.” [95-96]

Our collaborators are known and unknown, experienced and unexperienced, conscious and unconscious, even nonconscious. Sub-entities in a Multipersonhood include other human beings linked to oneself in collective Souls or Group Souls across lifetimes and at increasingly higher and more highly integrative (including meta-galactic and interdimensional) levels; parallel or different-frequencied intelligences that are not human or even anthropomorphic (angels, devas, stars, planets, etc.); other meta-biological vibrations of personalized energy fields like spirits and elementals (undines, sylphs, fire salamanders, and the like), cryptozooids (yetis, sea “monsters,” E.T.’s); psychoids which require our own projections onto them to express autonomous existences in this world (including aspects of afore-mentioned angels, devas, and elementals), and so-called auras associated with so-called less cerebricized intelligences like plants and stones. That provides a lot of unconscious density and heft to beingness and is the basis of our abilities, desires, and true nature.

Like lamas who reincarnate in multiple individuals within the same lifetime, our separate simultaneous selves do not have to feel affinity or harmonize with one another. They can be enemies, business rivals, infantrymen in opposing armies, competitors for the same romantic partner—or romantic partners. Opposition is what supplies the source entityhood with comprehensive information about the universe, assisting its becoming whole.

Not only are we supported in existence, but that support is immeasurably vaster than anything we otherwise experience and more discretely aware of our overall situation than local assistance and triage. It is more compassionate and forgiving than we give it credit for insofar as we mistake our local conflicts as dissonances, transgressions, and ultimate battles rather than in terms of higher-level collaborations.

Even in daily mundane settings we are exchanging esoteric and Soul information. Wild animals transmit meanings as they pass and interact, sometimes violently, in their auras and bodies. Murderers, rapists, soldiers, and their victims likewise exchange Soul information and meanings like the Golgi bodies, mitochondria, and other organelles recruited unwillingly into a primordial cell. Each person of whom we take account, even if not contacted outwardly, provides information to our greater Soul and stellar body.

Interdependence comes to recognition in fleeting but conducive circumstances. A given crow, on a wire looking down at you may also be you or a close associate of you in a past or future life, and that is why it is looking at you in that way and you are noticing it. Or not. At the heart of the universe again it actually doesn’t matter. Nothing is incidental just as everything is only incidental. After all, there are a lot of crows and beetles to account for.

Multipersonhood also includes worlds experienced by us in other states of incarnation and frames or probability states experienced by other phases of our overall being. Past lives are no more real (or unreal) than any lifetime in relation to ego existence on a particular world.

Animals, crystals, stars, zooids, and other entities and members of our existential aggregation are each channeling one another at their own capacity and karmic status. Each is attuned in some fashion to its greater configuration, some of it constellated as Group Souls just above the human platform, some of it in the form of higher-dimensional consortiums of Atmans, some of them clouds of collective beings—Multipersonhoods with individual personhoods and life cycles. These metagalactic memberships and affiliations receive and send, interpret and spread information and meaningfulness throughout All That Is.

At the same time that we experience our Multipersonood unconsciously, other beings, entities, yetis, and carrier waves are experiencing us remotely too, while expressing themselves and their beingness through their own egoic identities and also through interdependence and unconscious recognition of us. They know and suspect us as much or as little as we know and suspect them, each of our personae radiating in unconscious and conscious packets through our own psyches and theirs, partially individuated by us, even as we evolve more consciously in terms of our unique personhood.

We each probably have stones and cats and dragonflies in our Multipersonhood, as well as their equivalents on other worlds, and we are continuously investigating, invigorating, and interrogating one another’s experiences and integrating them with ours. If it is not exactly stones, cats, and dragonflies, then it is energetically and totemically equivalent to them. Each of these entities or its aura is resonating with us at its own scale or frequency, thus vibrating in our fields grossly or subtly and at calibers of duration and pulsation.

Entities as vast as the Earth and the Sun as well as continuities expressing their existences and expanding in tenth, eleventh, or higher dimensions, participate with humanoids intelligently as peers. One-celled mites—primitive forms of bottom-feeding DNA in droplets of terrestrial water and ponds—participate in their own lotuses of higher consciousness too that meld with ours in a pantheon that stretches from subatomic particles to galaxies to universes.

A Multipersonhood is not sociable gathering. Is the Sun friendly or well-disposed? Who knows! Its state of consciousness is at such a higher frequency than ours as to make geniality irrelevant. The Sun supports our life (and death) every moment with generosity, neutrality, and empathy beyond anything we know. Yet it is no more or less autonomous than a beetle—each node in a Multipersonhood is interdependent with every other.

All realms and entities are themselves and others differentially in various states of being and manifestation simultaneously, our evolving identities fluctuating between uncertainty states of other existences. Full consciousness is intersubjective, as its phases of identity meet, merge, and share the psychic version of DNA. In fact, this is how physical DNA interacts with karmic factors to imprint reincarnational as well as familial attributes.

Just imagine the psychic mass-potential of all those meteors, asteroids, and planets throughout the cosmos just on the physical plane: the unconscious gravity mind of stone. Consider the uncountable galaxies in the known physical universe and their trillions of planets. We are tucked in a far corner of the Milky Way, a cluster on the fringes of the Laniakea supercluster of 100,000 galaxies stretching over 500 million light years. The potential range of customs, ideas, artforms, works of art, and civilizations in the mapped universe boggles the imagination. It does more than boggle it; it leaves us flabbergasted that our specklet of brainstuff and consciousness can grasp that such a thing is happening and reflect it. Yet not only does it, if through a glass darkly, but these various forms of consciousnesses are already woven together and gravitationally and karmically bound interdependently, so the real mind-bogglingness is that we know them intimately without knowing them. We reflect their intricacy and scope while reflecting how incomprehensible it is.

Jane/Seth remarks, “It would take a multidimensional consciousness to experience all the aspects of one event; being aware of its probable variations, seeing each as real as the other. Such a consciousness would literally have to straddle realities unknown to us in order discover what was happening to which in what when.” [135].

We don’t have to know, and can’t—it’s irrelevant in the greater picture—how much of our experience at any moment is our own pure beingness and its tapestry and how much is the effects of actual “Others” in our Multipersonhood evolving in their own matrices and providing information. We find them and their truths by not by looking for them. We cannot resolve their reality by efforting in what we imagine to be their direction We find them in our own individuation and dead-reckoning, having faith in our own and their reality, receiving input and succor at every moment.

It will take any being many life cycles and states of being to fully explore the scope of our origination and being. Multipersonhoods comprise Souls and Group Souls that have completed not only many incarnations and incarnation cycles but have chosen to constellate and mull their collective experience and wisdom in a single superconscious stream or signal. These currently include “Seth,” “Michael,” “the Pleiadian Council,” “Kryon,” “Jesus,” and Yahweh or “God.”

Multipersonhood may seem exorbitant, but interdependence is universal and expresses itself both physically and metaphysically. No life form can exist on its own outside its ecosystem without creatures in the same biosphere participating with and sustaining it, e.g. the plants and animals it consumes and the bacteria in its gut that digest them. Every organism is likewise made up of once free-living cells, each of which maintains its own vibration of intelligence and lineage. Each cell is a composite of autonomous free-living organelles that conduct its metabolism. Paradoxically as we assimilate the greater unconscious universe—as we individuate—we become more intrinsically and discretely ourselves, pulling along the vibrations of our component atoms, molecules, and cells, which also remain autonomous, independent and evolving within their own spheres. [103] Cell Life becomes Soul Life; Soul Life becomes Cell Life. Animate or inanimate status is irrelevant: everything in the physical realm is incipiently molecular, and all molecules are incipiently sentient.

Each unit of local sentient life participates in Earth consciousness much as the cells of our bodies independently collaborate in our existence. On another level, sentient beings throughout All That Is form an evolving, psychically linked unity. There is no such thing as an independent organism. Every creature in the universe is a collaboration. That not only connects us to putative life forms on Ceres, Callisto, and Enceladus but connects them to one another—even biologically as the precursors of amino acids travel between worlds on meteors and comets.

At a higher frequency the universe is a coalescence of interdependent consciousnesses arising from and giving rise to one another. You don’t need a metaphysical perspective; Jean-Paul Sartre dead-reckoned its negative shadow from the catacombs of World War II in France:

“A vast entity, a planet, in a space of a hundred million dimensions; three-dimensional beings could not so much as imagine it. And yet each dimension was an autonomous consciousness. Try to look directly at that planet, it would disintegrate into tiny fragments, and nothing but consciousness would be left. A hundred millions free consciousnesses, each aware of walls, the glowing stump of a cigar, familiar faces, and each constructing its destiny on its own responsibility. And yet each of those consciousnesses, by imperceptible contacts and insensible changes, realizes its existence as a cell in a gigantic and invisible coral. War: everyone is free, and yet the die is cast. It is there, it is everywhere, it is the totality of all my thoughts, of all Hitler’s words, of all Gomez’s acts; but no one is there to add it up. It exists solely for God. But God does not exist. And yet the war exists.” [252]

Sartre was on cue in that regard: the issue is only existential. Translate his existentialism to the cosmic frame and you get an intimation of the vastness of Creation as well as the specificity and resilience of creature identity. Clerics and knights of the Middle Ages existed on their own terms, in coexistence with God without a glimmer of the forthcoming Darwinian algorithm or emerging Dzogchen Buddhism to the east driving the cosmic machinery. It didn’t matter. It still doesn’t matter. A universe speaks for itself at every moment in every vestibule, collapses its own wave function in every ocean on every shore, Jovian or terrestrial. Each separate reality makes its own terms but is interdependently balanced with and subconsciously aware of every other entity while compensating with and for it.

 

While writing this text (June 7, 2015), I found a beetle in a goop of tamari and maple syrup with which I had cooked string beans with pecans earlier; it was crawling among a few stray beans and nuts as I began to wash the dishes and pans. Obviously I hadn’t cooked the beetle, so it must have wandered in by crawling up the slippery side of the porcelain serving-dish while we and our guests were having tea.

I managed to extricate it by flipping it onto its back on the counter. Watching it flail in distress, I tried gently to wash off the sticky sauce. That was misguided help, or maybe the creature’s fate was already determined. I am haunted by those prickly thin legs waving, trying to gain purchase and locale.

I silently told it not to be in a hurry; that is, I dispatched my anthropomorphism its way. Only as I took its motionless shell out to the herb garden and set it there, did it strike me that those frantic legs were connected to the universe in the same way everything is and that, at a deeper subtlety, I was handling a humungous hologram, sensing not a separate bug but my own existence in relation to and inseparably joined to it. It was not a minor even to the beetle: the whole universe was flailing at its point of attachment.

It was not minor to the universe either.

 

When an entity calling itself Seth manifested to Jane Roberts in the early 1970s —that is, made “his” entry into her temporal consciousness, initially through a Ouija board, in Ithaca, New York—she was tapping into a higher-dimensional intelligence field whose name was undoubtedly not Seth, or Seth at every level of its own diverse and manifold self-identification. But when presented with the entry probe of her personality as well as the frequency of her intelligence and position in Earth history, it attuned itself, reformatted, and took on an identity and secular biography. Seth is but “one multidimensional aspect of many; one characteristic in the nature of a kind of entity we can hardly comprehend.” [103]

“Seth” became Jane’s tag for an Earth-entrained aspect of a larger field’s collective persona, transpersonal history, and vortex of transmittable knowledge, an aspect that could be assimilated by her own ego-narrative’s configuration. In this form an unimaginably vast complexity packaged and transmitted information that serendipitously matched Jane’s own vibration. When she channeled Seth, she was in effect channeling an aspect of herself. [100]

Was Jane creating Seth or was Seth creating Jane, or were they co-creator, making each entity available and real to the other? To put it differently, was the external channeled personality (“Seth”) separate from the recipient (Jane) or latent in Jane’s psyche?

Within Multipersonhood, Jane was becoming Seth, or already had become Seth in another probability or future state, thus was simply contacting or emanating a dormant and evolving aspect of herself. [51] Seth was a future self not only broadcasting to her present identity but pulling her toward the constellation of which “plain Jane” was part. As Seth manifested to Jane, she was, at another level of her beingness, returning from a future form of her existence to address Jane 1970. That was why the frequency of their energies matched: an extrinsic personality was germinating and dispatching information meta-Jane already knew.

Jane addresses this matter this way, “Would a Seth, experiencing a Jane, think of her as a lesser developed personality…? He would be me in my present time, developing abilities that would later let him be him.” [90]

Seth answers in part: “Jane is not myself now, in his present life. He is nevertheless an extension and materialization of the Seth that I was at one time.” Seth, Jane, and Jane’s husband are also deemed “offshoots of the same entity.” [60]

On receiving information from Seth, Jane commented, “Either it feels as if I’m trying to pick up a dialogue spoken at an incredible rate of speed, or at a rate so slow that it would take a century.” [77] When Don Juan and Don Genaro attended to the speech of insects and lizards according to Castaneda’s texts, fast or slow depended on the listener’s focal point of attunement to the signal. The intercession itself was direct and present as if nothing was happening. Channeling is not listening; it is transmission without listening.

 

Do transmissions through an unconscious medium, unaware of what he or she is saying, come from another discrete entity, incarnate or disincarnate, with autonomous intent and agency? And if so, is that entity who it says it is?

If a source identifies itself as Seth or Abraham or Jesus, is that reliable in the same way as the local postman or bartender introducing himself? Is it the same mind-form, known as well to itself, on each occasion? And is it telling the truth, the same truth, to everyone?

What law of physics (or paraphysics) establishes a relationship between a channel and a channeler? What is the ontological status of the transfer of information between them? How does its transmission transcend space-time as well as cosmological limits imposed by the speed of light?

What does a spirit “do” when it is not being consulted or channeled? In order to speak, does it halt another activity, or is it always available, existing timelessly, on multiple levels simultaneously?

Are we unknowingly sending out esoteric information too, delivering messages at other tiers and frequencies of reality?

Multipersonhood provides a model for such messaging whereby each entity receives information from its general intelligence-configuration according to his or her own attunement as well as the field status of the information itself. The universe functions a hologram with every portion of it enfolded into the whole. As physicist David Bohm proposed, “[W]hatever part, element, or aspect we may abstract in thought, this still enfolds the whole and is therefore intrinsically related to the totality from which it has been abstracted.” [177] Channeling is not exogenous information or action at a distance; it is accessing the essential shared identity and entanglement, that “all information is available at all locations within the universe.” [172]

Channeling is a re-attunement within a larger conscious-unconscious flow. Like consciousness itself, it is self-authenticating: both relative and absolute and, in any case, a collaboration between an unknown source intelligence and a subliminal receiving one.

When Jane intercepted speech from a different dimension of reality, Seth told her that she had contacted the Sumari, which he described as “a psychic family or… guild of consciousnesses who worked together through the centuries.” [64] Sumari itself is one of the cosmic encryptions, but it is also a signal. It “is not a language, since it was not spoken verbally by any group of people…. [I]t is a language that is at the base of all languages, and from which all languages spring…. The living vitality of the cordella rises out of the universe’s need to express and understand itself, to form in ever-changing patterns and take itself by surprise.” [79-80] “Cordella” is, Seth says, a Sumari word for Multipersonhood, a composite entity of thousands of individuals (and personhoods) and all their life cycles and interdependent intelligences.

When (and if) another person (not Jane) channels the same Sethian Multipersonhood, the entity might or might not identify itself as Seth. Seth himself intersected Jane not only as Seth but Seth II, the Sumari/Cyprus complex (“musical dramas that communicate by disrupting usual verbal patterns”), and entities named Helper and Seven [208-209]. Of course, each name is an alias to begin with. Take a look at this universe on the next moonless night: does it look like a realm navigable by parochial names?

Finally Seth is Jane’s own multidimensionality—[105] a configuration projected by her source self, her “higher dimensionalized ghost” on the one hand “and on the other…consciousness united and whole drawn from the earth’s entire existence [including] other earths, probable to us, with different intersections with space and time; other living areas and other historic pasts than our own.” [136].

Within our ego reality, Seth is a multidimensional consciousness reflected through Jane’s psyche as well as a representational personification of what Multipersonhood might feel like to an ordinary person. [106]

Seth says, “I am what I call a bridge personality, composed of a composite self—Ruburt [his transgender name for Jane] and I meeting to form a personality that is not truly either of us, but a new ones that exists between dimensions. Beyond that is my reality identity…. [NPR 338]

The actual Seth is “a ‘trans-world’ entity, a personogram…[with] separate existence in his own dimensions, and his existence as it is reflected in the psyche.” [204]. He put the matter in his own words (April 17, 1973/January 29, 1974) in two addresses to Jane’s classes:

“So I ask you: ‘What is your name, each of you? My name is nameless. I hae no name. I give you the name of Seth because it is a name and you want names…. You believe that you cannot speak to me unless I have a name, so I am Seth. I told Ruburt from our earliest sessions that he could call me Seth. I never said, ‘My name is Seth…..’

Who is Seth?  …On the one hand I am someone you do not know, lost before the annals of time as you understand it….

“On the other hand, I am yourself…so through me do you view and meet the selves that you are, and so I rise, in your terms, from the power and antiquity and glory of your own being, projected outward into the world of time from a universe in which time is meaningless….

“Each of you…project upon me those characteristics that are your own in other terms, and so I am a multidimensional being as you are multidimensional beings….

“I speak with the voices that, in your terms, come from centuries yet unborn. Yet these are the voices that you, yourselves, have whispered from the fossils of your being, when you were (in your terms now) unthinking selves on sunlit cliffs in worlds unknowing. And projected by your desire, these voices then speak to you and urge you to your own fulfillment….

“For there (in the deepest reaches of your being), is a greater reality that knows your present existence and looks upon it with the fondest, the dearest, the most familiar of memories; a reality that has grown, in your terms, into entities indescribably vast; realities that form worlds more complex than the one in which you now dwell.

“And yet also, through that channel of being you will also find fossil cells that are not yet selves, that have not yet grouped into complex organisms, but that lie filled with the desire of being, filled with the desire of God, for fulfillment and thought and complexity…selves that will become entities; fossils of yourselves that still, in certain terms, contain memories of the selves that you are.

“As they wander in what seems to you to be a dark world; as they seek toward a sun that is your brain; as they journey over unknown cliffs, seeking recognition; so do you wander within worlds of greater selves that you are, seeking for the rays of other suns that are the brains of your own greater being. So are you all one, and so is my voice speaking from your own greater being—from which you are forever born and always reborn….

“The smallest cell in your toe dreams of your reality and helps to create it, as you dream of the smallest cell’s reality and help create it….

“You move your hand and touch your face, and what realities do you stir, and what seasons do you cause to fall upon other worlds—and how, as you lift your finger and touch your face—do you stir ponds of reality? What frogs sit by the ponds that you have stirred, and what winds blow with the power of your thoughts? …Your lips curve and tremble, and the muscles move across your face, and as they do the wind blows in other universes.” [200-203]

Pretty beautiful, isn’t it? Universe is running so close to our beingness, and our beingness is arising so tight to it, that we do not experience true heft or anything much beyond our fragile existential beingness and the shadow of Cosmic Unity. The hierarchy is limitless, but so is the possibility of knowledge, transformation, and growth.

Personal Identity

Personal Identity: The Space-Time Continuum

Let’s assume for a moment that Brian Weiss’ patient Catherine had prior existences as Aronda in 1863 BC, a Dutchman named Johann in the fifteenth century AD, a house servant named Abbey in colonial Virginia, a German aviator, a Ukranian boy, etc. Catherine herself and each of these other folks—presuming their reality—are fully independent beings. They are discrete, self-contained, and self-complete, though psychically related, immune from invasion by the claims of others, including own ostensible past and future selves.

In a timeless lotus, past lives are tantamount to future ones because the present is a future life to any past life we are able to dredge; likewise, that same present is a past life to any future being who recalls some aspect of it. Not only is James Huston a past life of James Leininger, James Leininger is a future life of James Huston.

“[W]e experience birth first and death last,” says Jane/Seth, “but this may have little to do with the basic phenomenon involved…. [97] Each phase is timelessly and eternally alive to itself as well as exclusive to their views in conditions like ours.

What would it feel like to have a future self of yours show up and declare that you were a past life of his (or hers) that was already finished and dead? You would have no way to join your future entity in a timeless present. James Huston cannot impose his meaning or values on James Leininger; they are independent beings psychically connected, not chronological forms of the same personality; likewise the various phases of Nogorigatu via Kathryn Davis.

Past lifetimes can be viewed safely from the citadel of present existence without risking submergence into the past person’s physical and mental reality or impending death. In that sense, past deaths, however traumatic, have already been integrated and absorbed. To remember a past death while alive again is nothing like pondering the future death of a current being who clings to his/her personal identity like a life raft in a storm.

If we subconsciously remember future selves as well as past selves, we don’t recognize them or their stories intact because we have no terms for dealing with an annihilation of not only the present but all futures flowing into it—no consciousness into which to integrate such a multifocal reality. [56-59] “The search for detail,” says Jane Roberts, “leads us further away from the larger sensed dimensions in which those facts must lie.” [64] One inherently embraces his already complete futures in such a way that he doesn’t even know he is doing it. A past or future or alternate life has the same status and relationship to a oneself as an exogenous entity in another dimension. Each person or creature is centered in and solely experiencing himself/itself as that. At the same time, he/she is “fully engaged as that consciousness knowing itself simultaneously as each of the others,” subliminally exploring all its other actualized and probable existences, “not only through time but what could have happened at particular moments of time and in other probabilities.”

Alternate existences potentiated by a life play out in different universes (or dimensions) that intersect this one along transdimensional strings or psychic wormholes. Each purely or unexperienced event, each path not taken, as long as it has karmic potential, gets expressed somewhere at its degree of partial realization.

The way this reels out, according to Jane/Seth, is that “each present action changes the past, for those past action changes the past, for those past events were only the mountain tops or three-dimensional tips of far greater happenings. Each act causes the surface crust of time and space to shift slightly. Probable events are the psychological pre-acts from which physical events emerge: the creative inner stuff from which actions take earth form…. We come from within, not from above. We also seed other earths with our probable selves; these never happen at our intersection point, though they may spring off it. [124-125]

“At any time we can pick another line of development from all of the probabilities available to us….” Such probability points already exist within our time and space: “concentrations of energy formed unconsciously by us adjacent to our living areas.” [119-120]. Each individual, confronted by probabilities, makes unique decisions, defining who he or she or whatever is. [122]

“This means that every possible outcome of every event will happen in one or more universe. In turn, this means that every possible event that can take place will, or has already, taken place somewhere within this rapidly inflating ‘macroverse….’ [T]here is a version of you that has lived every possible outcome of every possible decision you made, from the moment of your birth to the moment of your death.” Furthermore, these decisions and outcomes interact with those of other creatures, both in your immediate realm and in other realms.  [183-184}

With an unlimited number of event horizons, “probable events are actualized and experienced.” Elsewhere these generate “alternate earth histories still happening, and as real as our own. Any number of consecutive years, say, from 1900 to 1980 are experienced in infinite ways,” reversing the sinking of the Titanic or snuffing the rise of the Third Reich in Germany—they are “endlessly growing out of the medium of the system itself.” They are creating a greater meta-reality.

The inhabitants of each probable world remain unaware of their “neighbors” and their dilemmas and resolutions because the event horizons of each are so different. “[T]here are countless versions of you living countless variations of your life and they are all enfolded within you.” [183-184]. Roberts “is convinced that in some probable earth-like world, I am not writing this book. I may not be a writer at all or I may live in a civilization where reading is unknown. My potential as a writer, there, would remain latent.” [136]

Personal identity feels different from consciousness and is what the universe is investing from outside the system, meaning that it is the greater design that determines the subsidiary design it finds itself ensconced in.

Personal identity may in fact bottom out with the universe, in precisely the way that these words proposing such a thing bottom out the meaning set projected by the notion. It confers immortality in no other way, but it doesn’t have to in any other way.

Personal identity puts a profound, game-changing spin on reality. It is what makes consciousness conscious. Without personal identity, consciousness would exist as an abstract agency in a universe that never became discretely and individually aware.

Personal identity cannot arise by random, adventitious events in a universe that contains it—a lucky break after the cue ball hits the subatomic fuse and the one-in-a-billion sperm wiggles into the single plush egg and imbeds its software there. If that is what happens to create life, as the marriage of astrophysics and biology proposes, then it is not personal identity—and it is not real.

Remember, it’s important that the universe, not you, set the terms. Even though it’s your personal identity, the universe established it. I don’t mean the universe in the sense of an Einstein-Hawking rigmarole out of an initiating cosmic flare but All That Is, which includes the outside of the Big Bang. All That Is set the terms for you and me. Those are the terms. It’s not personal identity on our terms. It’s personal identity on terms so abstruse and fundamental that the I-ness you take for granted (more or less) is anything but. And the big surprise is not how much but how little is required. The situation may be remarkable, but what is even more remarkable is how unremarkably we take to it, like proverbial ducks to a pond. All animals take to it, including ducks on ponds.

Seth explained esoteric reality to Jane’s group:

“[T]his dimension [e.g., source realm] nurses your own world, reaching down into your system. These realities are still only those at the edge of the one in which you have your present existence. Far beyond are others, so alien to you that I could not explain them. Yet they are connected with your own life, and they find expression even within the smallest cells of your flesh.”

These other dimensions are neither obscure nor incidental; they are forms of which we are realizations. We glimpse complex shapes and the depth of our own consciousness because we ourselves are an outcome of their complexity and play an indispensable role in their origination and evolution. That means “us” right now, as we are, not in some more evolved state. While these beings are creating our reality as we know it, we are creating theirs and cannot be extracted from it without the entire universe vanishing. [34]

In this regard, all knowledge and beingness in the universe supports all other knowledge and beingness. We are not alone. No entity would exist or could exist if it were not both created and supported by a greater field of transpersonal consciousness everywhere.

All of a Multipershood’s independent narratives, wherever and whenever occurring, coexist and interface, even those one-celled creatures that don’t have stories as such, arising both independently and interdependently while their own expressing desires and meanings through each another. We potentiate and support one another’s existence. It little matters finally whether we also are one another—whether consciousness is a singularity. The universe is able to operate from a place that is both ego-centered and multicentric, for all its modes are driven toward par.

This confluence of lives and identities, while lived outside of time where it is timelessly complete, continues to invent itself anew through novel experiences—free-willed, undetermined. This is a paradox. If time doesn’t exist, everything has already happened; yet every moment hangs in the balance. The cosmos is a cliffhanger, but a cliffhanger that has already occurred within a timeless lotus shape—the afore-mentioned quantum-entangled amplituhedron. While moving immeasurably faster than the speed of light, it hangs motionless as it flows transformatively across itself in various dimensions of space-time.

In a black hole, a billion years is condensed to an instant, yet their essence is emerging elsewhere in the universe, a fresh bubbling spring, from the white hole that the black hole forms, creating “the slow-motion cognition of consecutive time” as well a sense of selves. At death, “consciousness is ‘born back’ into the same probable system. [186] Just as when atomic matter disintegrates, space and time lose their frames of reference, we emerge “retaining our individuality and memories…into … a new system of reality.”

Every act and choice is rife with possibility, as it ravels and unfolds from all valences and vectors in dimensions and distributes itself in all directions, ripples forming ripples forming ripples, petals unfurling from petals unfurling from other petals. “All times, experiences, and dimensions can be changed transformed, rewritten, re-experienced, because the universe is regenerating itself every nanosecond. Since we are conscious participants in the living universe, we can enter the Akashic fields of memory and shift elements of our own history.” [JH18]

Australian Aborigines read this cosmology implicitly in the stark Outback: giant stones, oases sand dunes: snakes, kangaroos, emus. We are looking at “eternity…as a conceptual continuum of partially interconnected dimensions…clumps of meaning as temporal expressions of a nonlocal, timeless superconsciousness.” [259] A mountain or a waterhole may be a beetle or an echidna in another aspect of its Multipersonhood.

We may not even perceive an entity’s primary personal identity or mode of existence, for what may be a dolphin or a squirrel to us may be a dream body, one of many dream bodies, of a creature elsewhere. Sea mammals may be higher intelligences dreaming in Earth density while, interacting with our reality by astral transposition within their Multipersonhood. Yetis may also be dimensional outliers with telekinetic manifestations that deposit hair and other forensic evidence.

The real intelligence of each of these animals lies elsewhere, but their the intelligence of their Earth embodiment resides in their organs and instincts. An insect or mollusk is wise in shape and behavior, as it transfers its subtle body and into matter. Look at a bee or mouse. Watch astral intelligence operate!

The apparent raison behind personhood and individuality is to give the universe portals into its own lost landscapes, some of them so deeply unconscious as not to exist yet, so deeply tragic and painful as to have been repressed for eternity. Life, death, and the incarnation of personhood provide platforms for excavating and exchanging these views and add wisdom to the auras and subtle bodies of spirit forms, as native peoples across the planet have divined since the Stone Age.

When an eagle descends from the sky and rips a poor prairie dog off the ground short of its burrow, there is a blood price and suffering but, insofar as both entities are in partial dream bodies too, attuned to other fields, it is not irreconcilable and not an obliteration of the prairie dog’s potential for future happiness, beingness, and spiritual growth. Both creatures will work the matter out in the vastness of All That Is. They will find joy again and they will lose their mortality in acts of predation again. There is intimacy and immeasurable intimacy and value in predation, in absorbing the physical-etheric field and DNA of another.

The cat tormenting the mouse is playing with the universe, as is the mouse. They are teaching the universe how to suffer profoundly and excruciatingly—how it already suffers but doesn’t know why and how. They couldn’t be teaching the universe unless the universe were teaching them precisely the same thing. Conversely, the tiger that adopts an orphaned lamb into her litter, the wolf cub that chooses a rabbit as a playmate, is unconsciously acknowledging Multipersonhood. Christian etiology has long proposed that the Eucharist and suffering represent a compassionate deity in communion with his own creatures. The lion does lie down with the lamb, all the time.

The struggle between good and evil in this solar system is a bare passing façade in this greater crusade of being and nothingness, of a grunge universe sputtering beneath the runes of its planned jubilee.

There is no difference finally between our state of being with its capacity for joy and suffering and the palette of the universe. We are because it is. But it is because we are. The seamless circuit goes all the way to the bottom, whatever that turns out to be, whoever we turn out to be when we get there. Sentient beings are the eye of the hurricane from which the universe is emanating.

The system is vast enough to accommodate everything, everything that is in existence, everything that has gone from existence, everything not yet in existence, and everything that will never be in existence.

The universe knows precisely what is happening, who we are, and the nature of our beingness. Of course it doesn’t—it simply is, which is a more profoundly bottoming state. Picture the mega-octopus in multidimensional space-time, each of its arms reaching into zones, dipping in their syrups, experiencing their flavors. At the heart of its “cephalopoidal” reality, there is only timeless exploration of the nature of being, of self and reality. Each of the arms—and eight is but a metaphor—tastes a different reality.

 

Personal Identity: Dreams

Dreams are daily vibrational shifts, trance-states, and hypnagogic interludes that combine a battery of personal, biophysical, symbolic, and archetypal information while translating it from one energy state and encryption to another. While delivering messages from unconscious to subconscious parts of oneself, they enable neural blow-off of excess energies, distributing quanta of their load, not because the dreamer unconsciously intends such but because energy can’t help but deliver its libidinal and psychic charge. Seth says that “in dreams…we tune into probabilities and literally organize our daily lives over their entire range…according to our conscious desires and beliefs.” [184]

Dreams include not only the collective unconscious but karmic trails of countless individuals from the dreamer’s Multipersonhood through their multiform manifestations, including entities, landscapes, and events from other space-time continua. These get sublimated, transmuted, and otherwise converted according to Freudian dream-formation principles. This includes visitations to other worlds and probability states of oneself, which get displaced into vaguely familiar scenes and landscapes. When multiple persons become conflated or combined with one another in dreams, it may also be that they are one another. One proceeds in a trance as if everything were normal except for that classic UFO-abduction cue: missing time.

There is a motel somewhere around Nevada that I visit regularly, I know the proprietor, his family, and the surroundings well. I have hiked in the nearby desert and skirted the edge of vast forests. Yet it is not Nevada; it is not even North America. A shoreline around which I occasionally walk or drive is nowhere on Earth. Thoroughfares that approximately match its streets are not those streets.

An island in the Pacific is really in a much vaster, remote ocean.

Anthropologist Michael Harner explains how spirit guides encountered in other worlds and dimensions on shamanic journeys could be the spirits of plants, animals, ancestors, devas, gods, or people who have died, even spiritual teachers. These ancestors or gurus do not even have to know consciously that they are serving as guides in another state of their being. And their essential beingness is so large that, from their timeless status, they can be many places at once.

In a universe operating at multiple levels simultaneously, we are supported, guided, and sustained by beings of which we have no awareness and likewise support many beings without knowing consciously of their existence. Events in waking life may draw a person to his or her nonlocal guide in bodily form too. Harner provides several instances of this sort of intersection from the files of his Shamanic Institute. These spirit guides both are and are not the actual historic entities they resemble. can be presently living people, known or unknown to the paraphysical journeyer.

In one such account a seeker regularly received instruction from “an old man in the Upper World who inhabited a cabin in an unknown countryside.” One day in ordinary reality, the aspiring shaman was driving along a road in California when he came to a beautiful canyon and pulled over there on impulse. Drawn to follow a path, he “arrived at a cabin almost identical to the Upper World one of my spirit teacher. There was even a similar fence around it.”

He felt compelled to knock on the front door. The young man who answered graciously invited him in. After entering, the traveler saw “in the dim light an elderly man half-reclining on a couch. He turned his head toward me and smiled…. I recognized him as being my teacher in the Upper World or, rather, being an aging ordinary-reality version of my teacher in the Upper World.”

They talked for a while, and the visitor discovered that this version of his guide was a landscape painter who had been forced to stop his work because of an incurable illness. Furthermore, he had been suffering from the illness for almost exactly the time period in which the initiate had known him as his teacher.

“I did not tell him about my teacher, but on some level he seemed to know something. He said that I seemed familiar to him, and he gave me a print of one of his paintings haltingly inscribed, ‘To My Old Friend.’”

After the painter died some two years later, he continued to serve as the traveler’s Upper World guide. [Cave and Cosmos: Shamanic Encounters with Another Reality (North Atlantic Books, 2013), pp. 150-151].

 

Personal Identity: Death

The loss of communication with the dead in our reality represents an absolute break with something and someone once real. It is a core meaning, for it indicates that existence itself can be extinguished. The barrier between the living and the dead is the most salient construct of this zone of the cosmos under Piscean cosmology.

In the movie Café Society, Woody Allen scripts an exchange in which the husband tells the wife he’s not afraid of death and the wife says, “You’re too stupid to understand the implications.”

Allen began as a comedy writer. It is funny, but it has two meanings: that the husband is too stupid to realize that his whole existence vanishes for good and he doesn’t get to schmooze anymore; two (my meaning in this book, not Allen’s), death opens him to the greater range of his Soul’s pictures, constellations, and lifetimes.

Though an ego-identified life seems short, as even a Big Bang universe does—anything less than eternity is short—it may be one in a sequence of views, as if we were beholding paintings in a museum. After getting totally lost in the details of an image, even dissolving through it like Alice down the rabbit hole, we move to the next, perhaps from an entirely different era, nationality, and style, as if from an Egyptian or Mediaeval landscape to a Rembrandt to Edward Hopper to Andrew Wyeth, each real and engaging while wrapped in its façade. One is the Crucifixion; one is pumping gas in 1940; another is an electrical concatenation sipping light along the sands of curvature in another dimension.

The meaning of biological death changes in the context of Multipersonhood. At each temporal death the Utimate “I” reemerges through the galactic/astral veil into a different View, which was there before its life and ego identity—probably before the Milky Way. Death involves a transfer within a Multipersonhood such that only the view changes. As egoic pieces fly apart, they retain essential integrity and entanglement and, as John Friedlander posits, at least one of them continues to know itself as itself, as who it was in the last incarnation. You can annihilate anything except View itself. This is where alchemy is the senior science to chemistry. In alchemy chemicals are archetypes as well as elements—and you can’t destroy archetypes, you can only transubstantiate them. You can’t destroy anything real. It transfers, along with what made it real or seem real, into the transpersonal collective. In fact, it is already located there.

For a particular personality, the universe does go black, but the personality was only a form of the Soul and aspect of the Multipersonhood. It is absorbed back with its essence. Its knowing itself as itself changes context. This life is not lost; it has a prior and greater reality.

Past-life memories can depict entangled states of personhood and information itself, including blocks of information or synoptic events lodged in Group Souls and Multipersonhoods from multiple people’s experiences that, in certain instances, come to seem as real as one’s own. Philosopher William Irwin Thompson told me one day at lunch, “I think of Soul as the fractal monad of the Divine Consciousness. Sri Aurobindo’s “Psychic Being” is the sum of all our incarnations.”

When deceased creatures fold back into the universe, they need not reincarnate or transmigrate to survive; they move from one state of consciousness and identity cubicle to another. A given “past life” need not even be one’s own singular possession but melds with a shared narrative of one of millions of human and sentient-being Group Souls formed in the last fifty thousand years in the Earth’s noosphere. Billions of mortal individual personae find and match each other’s pictures in this hall of mirrors. James Leininger can tap into the experiences of James Huston.

It is not reincarnation; it is a change of vibration, value, and plane of manifestation. In the Physical plane you need a physical body to get around, but that’s all it is, a plane, a body, a cycle, and an ego: you, You. The physical body is not so much real as it is vibrating at the frequency of the plane. The plane is not so much real as vibrating at the frequency of the body.

Immortality is a tautology. Every creature and personhood is already immortal, outside of time.

“Past life” is the wrong answer to the wrong question: a question to ask of a simpler, more linear, time-ridden universe. The present lifetime always stands in relation to its cosmic interdependence.

Past-life memories are more like concurrent oscillations of a multidimensional crystal, reflecting through each other. Past, present, and future scintillate because the crystal is beyond space-time. Identity itself scintillates. Conscious unity scintillates. The oneness of all being scintillates, as do individual group souls and personhoods in their various states of incarnation.

As realities of your past lives support you while radiating through your current existence, your lack of memory of its events is irrelevant and negligible. Because we are cut off from the full reality of our existence anyway, the limited peephole that each lifetime forms seems profound and absolute such that nothing else exists. When a brief window opens into our actual vastness, we pay attention. For beings cut off from their basic reality, a clue in the darkness, a brief flash of ground luminosity, is paradigmatic, even if the present lifetime quickly washes it out and reimposes itself.

 

When the dead communicate with their living beloveds, they do it at the frequency of their location. That means they speak in a different language in a different time frame. We usually cannot distinguish it from the rustling of the wind or ringing in our ears. They may be outside our range, but they have information critical to our situation. Being recent to our world, they have an objective perspective on the maelstrom we are generating.

Even if we discerned the dead jabbering away, we would not know what they were saying or even that it was they. That allows them to all but scream everything we need and refuse to hear, everything that we subconsciously stop our ears and minds against, everything we most need to hear and will have to hear someday.

They are telling us what ISIS and 9/11and climate change really are. Our not listening is what is creating our world. The very nature of our own reality is that we don’t hear. In the words of Seth II, a higher octave of the Sethian Multipersonhood: “We do not understand the nature of the reality you are creating, even though the seeds were given to you by us. We respect it and revere it. Do not let the weak sounds of this voice confuse you. The strength behind it would form the world as you know it and sustain it for centuries.”

The jihadist attack on modernity is a direct attempt to break its trance, its narcissistic reflection in its own mirror. It does this by eradicating commodities and lives, randomly and ruthlessly, excoriating the death pictures of the capitalist transnational city-state and replacing them with those of its own. They are ugly and horrific, but what rock into an seamless mirror isn’t?

Would that the next jihad (or 9/11) some fifty or a hundred years from now be at the brink of unity consciousness in the noosphere rather than a battle of tribes and species.

The spirit forms that govern this Earth plane are plummeting as deep as they can into their own paradoxes and oppositions until they can bottom out the universe—All That Is—the immanent source of nature itself, the ontology and intrinsic disposition of Creation governing its epiphenomenal and dimensional states.

When Ellias Lonsdale sat at Theanna’s bedside before her death, he watched her very closely, with his third eye, and glimpsed where she went—not out but in. That’s where the “rest” the universe, the missing universe and dark matter are, not out there and superior but in and interior to our own interiority, just where string theory says it should be.

 

In September 2016, while trying to get to sleep, I tried astral projection in the sense of imaging myself outside my body and blending my second chakra with the resonating fields of the other chakras. Nothing happened, but as I did fall asleep, I entered a large rowboat that was supposed to have other passengers and a captain like the one that had just left the shore before it. Instead, the moment I got in, it began moving and I realized I was the only passenger and it was being pulled on a rope by the boat in front of me, the one with the passengers. I knew we were going to go over the falls and I braced myself as my boat very palpably bucked. Then I was outside of it and it was tiny and I was hugging it for dear life as I fell. Instead of crashing into the water at the bottom, it began to float like a parachute. Everything inside me changed. I was penetrating a structure, initially solid and boulder-like but then flaking, flake after flake after flake falling away in fractal fashion. As I penetrated this space, I understood that not only was it infinite, but I was the same infinity, and I would continue to sail through it intact, even as it fell away, long after I knew anything.

 

Personal Identity: The Problems of Immortality

Backers of technologies for immortality feature Silicon Valley billionaires who don’t want death to interrupt their sprees of wealth and power in this vibration, among them: Larry Ellison (Oracle), Pierre Omidyar (eBay), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)—all reported to be funding experimental cryonic freezing for defrosting in a future epoch with a death-cure.

Transhumanists, as they are called, also believe that exponential increases in computing power will lead to a map of all the connections in a person’s brain—a Connectome—that can be used to rekindle selfhood. We transcend our bodies by uploading our minds onto computers. Eventually machine intelligence will replicate and surpass human intelligence. a technocrat’s dream: Consciousness Singularity.

This presumes that a person is a pattern of electrical signals, that “mind” is what the brain is computing, that memory is the same as “being,” and that our patterning is purely quantitative and can be simulated. For instance, post-Singularity fantasy is to inject nanorobots into bloodstreams to scan folks’ brains and transmit their electrical pattern wirelessly to hard drives.

No ground luminosity, just tin and silicon.

In the view of transhumanism, the algorithms generating personal identity, self-awareness, and their memory structure arose from mud through a random sort, and they are merely using properties, adventitiously given to extend their term. But if intrinsic meaningfulness cannot be captured in a Connectome, the reconstruction is of little value. At best it will produce zombie-like replicas of defunct fluctuations. It will miss anything stored in the aura and Multipersonhood.

Some scientists set the data expenditure of one brain at about the level of half the world’s current digital storage capacity, so cybernetic space is an issue. Technocrats acclaim miniaturization, frombuilding-size mainframes to personal cell phones in less than a generation as a demonstration of expanding memory while reducing storage size. From there they extrapolate forward.

Putting one’s eggs in the basket of artificial intelligence and cryopreservation combines machine worship with an over-valuation of our mortal phase. Who needs the resurrection of Christ or reincarnation of lamas if souls can be transferred between hardware.

This robotic by-pass is predicated on a technology to keep the brain’s holograph intact in such a way that it can 3-D copied and resurrected with its personal identity. Freezing a brain or body for controlled defrosting in a later epoch depends on a hypothetical industry’s capacity to perform preservation and reconstruction of a mind and to recover it without fatal damage from cryonics and thawing as well as rebooting it with a conscious sense of its own identity. A tall order!

Presuming success at these—a big concession—there remain ontological quandaries. If you can copy a personality, it is not unique. While each clone may have the memory and identity of the original to the point of transfer, it would have a separate existential reality. One person would fission into “different” people.

Then what can you “do” in a world in which “you” have become a computer file—certainly not pilates or yoga? All you can do is think.

 

In the words of Clint Eastwood (as William Munny) in Unforgiven, death takes away everything you have and everything you’re going to have. So technocrats want to avoid such a shakedown. In reality, though, death gives you everything you have and everything you are going to have. For the ego it is curtains, but for the essential being it is the beginning of regaining itself forever, as returns the self its soul and the hive of Multipersonhood.

To be anything, any one thing, forever would not only become tedious and cause dementia, it would run out of memory. Immortality doesn’t work.

To be imprisoned in any one emanation is to derogate the vortex that injects one there. If reality is a series of esoterically designed pavilions, attempts to stay in any one platform are like trying to stay in a dream: a reversal of illusion and reality. “Birth and death,” writes Jane Roberts, “may be doors into three-dimensional activity, and death the way out of what would otherwise be a dimensional dilemma in which further development would be impossible. Instead, we’d be locked into one time-and-space slot.” [122]

Those who seek to preserve their existence are not only deluding but incarcerating themselves. Mortality prevents eternal servitude or millennia of captivity, confinement, or pathology. As it is, every creature escapes its provisional trance through death and transubstantiation, the ultimate liberation.

It is worth noting that no one will be here anyway when the Sun novas or the universe get sucked into its own Mega-Ton Crunch. You may say that it is a long way off, but to develop a device for self-perpetuation that will be immolated by the demise and extinction of this solar system is a stalling tactic. Even if our descendants construct ships to get members of our species to a habitable planet in another solar system—a very unlikely project too—we are up shit’s creek without a battle when the Big Bang contracts, leading to the destruction of all technology in all galaxies. Well before that, humans are subject to workplace accidents and the daily spinning of the blind goddesses Atropos, Lachesis, and Clotho.

Hundreds of millions of years is a long time, but it is not forever.

 

Ray Kurzweil and fellow technocrats are reading the invention of computers and digital terabyte technology as if it is an improvement on the invention of personal identity and creaturehood rather than what it is: a mere reflection of the synaptic process whereby personal identity is being created in the universe at large. We are already uploaded (or downloaded) from a vibration into life—and by a technology so elegant as to make the imitations as paltry as they are impractical.

The whole scientific enterprise is addressing solid objects at only one frequency—from a portal much like Plato’s cave. But atoms, molecules, cells, and bodies are vibrations, phase states, shadows not absolute objects. The hegemony of the materialist enterprise is too much fuss over one frequency of emanation of meta-forms that have other frequencies. Cryopreservation is the inevitable delusional outcome of that obsession.

We live in a universe of light and its by-products: perishable, mutable photons and neutrinos. These are pure, utter erasure. We build castles of light, write books and laws in light and water, building cities out of vibrating strings and curvatures. We create philosophies and religions of quarks. Nothing of this will and can last, not the most indomitable concrete edifice or cathedral, made of electrons and protons, nor the most magnificent poem or sculpture. All will vanish with the sun and all sun-stars and atoms. The universe will get to the bottom, the bottom of itself, beyond all these mirages and ghosts. For now they represent the universe in exile and everything about it. Something is indelible and real, and it looks exactly like thius in some totally other way.

The universe doesn’t want us hanging around forever. And the universe is not a dumb squatter; it has a say in the matter.

The agenda should be to attune to a subtler vibration, not to sink consciousness in a denser metals and other ephemera. If we are already being cloned and transferred timelessly within Multipersonhoods, there is no need to artificialize immortality. Relevant immortality is imbedded in the “hard drive” of the aura. Singularity already exists: in prayer, in shamanic traveling, in psychic healing, in Rainbow Bodies and other advanced meditations, and in interdependent beingness throughout All That Is.

In All That Is, the death of the Sun and heat death of the Universe no longer exist. The Akashic book doesn’t lie.

 

If nothing physical is real—and it isn’t because it will be one day liquidated, crushed, or obliterated in some operation or other—the only thing that can escape obliteration, the only thing that can perceive and depict its own immolation, is the thing that the forces of materialsm cannot get at. Otherwise if it fits in the garbage disposal, it will be disposed of. If it can be tossed into a fire, let alone fires trillions of times the size of the Sun, its ass will be immolated to less than a neutrino, and then not even that.

But if it can’t be found to be put into a garbage disposal or tossed onto a funeral pyre—and personal identity can’t unless you tie it to the electrical output of microtubules and axons—then it can’t be calcined and annihilated.

Consciousness is always looking, even after everything else has been destroyed. In fact, when everything else has been destroyed, karma recreates its own unresolved status anew. Its designs seep back into this universe or another one as atoms, molecules, views, whatever. Quite different frequencies of minded reality and self-recognized beingness seed themselves and blossom in other cosmological venues, following karmic mass.

The innate reality of anything, galaxies and stars as well, is the ravelling of view after view of an externality that is internally projecting itself back into different internalities externalized on myriad platforms in different sorts of worlds.

 

Personal Identity: Is the Universe a Computer Simulation?

What about the proposition that the universe with its myriad views is a computer simulation in which we have been located by super-beings located elsewhere: something like the Matrix write large? This is no idle speculation. Current erosion and tattering of the supergalactic display platform unraveling atomic debris at the edges, to somes, betrays zones where the super-technicians forgot or neglected to tuck in the naps. Futurist Elon Musk lays the baseline metaphor:

“So given that we’re clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would probably be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds that we’re in base reality is one in billions. Tell me what’s wrong with that argument. Is there a flaw in that argument?”

Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson concurs: “I think the likelihood may be very high.” Citing the gap between human and chimpanzee intelligence while the sharing of more than 98 percent DNA, he proposes that somewhere in the cosmos is a being whose intelligence is greater than ours along the same scale. “We would be drooling, blithering idiots in their presence,” he added. “If that’s the case, it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just a creation of some other entity for their entertainment.”

“If I were a character in a computer game,” observes MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark, “I would also discover eventually that the rules seemed completely rigid and mathematical. That just reflects the computer code in which it was written.”

A cosmic computer simulation presupposes that the present trajectory is maintainable not only technologically but politically and ecologically, and that the intelligence imbedded in computers is just about the highest form in the universe or at least greater than the intelligence designing reality without computers.

Computer simulation does not adequately address the matter of personal identity. Is our recognition of ourselves as ourselves—our capacity to contemplate our own existence and surmise that reality is a computer simulation—built into the simulation too by its designers? If so, does it have personal identity as a by-product of codes they have written into their simulation or does it arise spontaneously on its own once the simulation is run. Same question to ask (by the way) of test-tube created cells or artificially intelligent robots: how do you know who you are?

How do the simulation-creators acquire their own personal identity? What fashioned the cognitive wiring, memory, and identity function in them?  How do they transfer it into simulations? Do they transfer their own state of identity or an invented one? Can there be more than one mode of personal identity? You can the same question gravity and mass transdimensionally. Are your quantum selves the same as your chain-gang selves? Where would the mega-creature be located? Is its origin Darwinian or something else? Does our simulation take place by the laws of that creature’s universe or a science-fiction-like trope of the sort that Philip José invented in The Maker of Universes? Writing in a mostly pre-cybernetic world, Farmer used clunkier modes of transfer and reembodiment.

That the universe looks like a computer game says something about the mathematical nature of the universe and of our mode of consciousness but not about an infinite regression or progression of computer games on the level of “turtles all the way down.” Even that doesn’t require that our universe is coming out of some creature’s computer.

Our computers vaguely and incompletely simulate the design of this reality insofar as they are a product of it and can reflect nothing else. We have no capacity to imagine a different reality, though different realities likely exist a dime a dozen throughout All That Is.

 

Transhumanists grasp an essential truth without grasping its relevance. It was never a matter of whether this is a simulation. It is. The issue is the nature of the intelligence behind the simulation.

All reality is already virtual, a simulation written in vibrational motifs and uncertainty states of electrons and probability states of neutrons, protons, and electrons. The rind of reality is an electro-physical hologram, so metadimensional fields assigned to chakras and their auras is a far better dead reckoning of personal reality than Connectomes. Auras are true cybernetic carrier waves of information.

This is a computer simulation—our own—just as all those mini-computer simulations are our own, our own minded response to not only matter but the intrinsic capacity of matter to become anything that mind can turn into its own conscious projection onto matter?

The universe is an abacus or zodiac on which to calculate the intricate possibilities of action and matter. It is a simulation—the projection of consciousness, of intrinsic intelligence, through its own nature, from outside of time into time.

There is no functional difference between a simulation at one level and a reality written in electrons and cellular holograms at another. Just because a simulation is natural—molecular—does not mean it’s not virtual. Mind, electrons, and quantum collapse express different levels of reality even as they express the resistance density of consciousness in its own gravitation and curvature.

Each reality is formed by an intrinsic collective intelligence underlying it, honed into, vibrations matriculating into landscapes, a complex mirage it takes cosmic aeons (kaplas) to create. It is a simulation insofar as it expresses its own depth, paradoxicality, and dialectical nature by spinning out programs that represent what it is in what they are: immaculate, meticulous renditions of its own freefall through the utterness of itself.

Look at the night sky with the Milky Way smashed against the dome, worming its way across cosmic dimensionality like a Dreamtime snake, an illuminated smithereens quark. It is local scenery, no less than a tree rustling in an ocean breeze, no more expounded than most of the glittering molasses in the display. It is Pure Mind.

How could you tell computer simulation from Divine Intelligence anyway? A computer is a machine constructed by creatures. Every leaf on every tree is a computer made of computers, every dead leaf on the ground a defunct machine.

“This all seems so much like a dream,” a dying elderly woman told her six children—her last words. She had no psychospiritual training or intellectual education. She had been a potato farmer in Aroostook County, Maine. Then she made a gentle transition from potato farmer to something else in the Universe. Clearly there is more than one tier of Intelligence designing computers.

One day, believe it or not, everything about the universe—everything—will be different. A twenty-first-century physicist dropped into it would not recognize anything. He would not even recognize that it existed because he would be looking for a different universe (if he even knew how to look).

Everything will be different— phenomenologically, existentially, walk-out-the-door different, only there will be no door, no walking, and nowhere to go. But the part of you that knows itself as itself will still be there. And it is this remote yearning now that defines the present and draws its landscape over stark molecular bones.

Pick any song you want, and it begins sounding like Seth’s Sumari after a few bars. For now I’ll take Jo Stafford singing, “Poor Wayfarin’ Stranger.”

“I know dark clouds will gather round me,
I know my way is rough and steep,
But beauteous fields lie just before me,
Where men redeemed their vigils keep.”

 

Personal Identity: Why Something Rather than Nothing?

Why is there anything anywhere? In a legendary (or apocryphal) final exam for a philosophy course at Harvard, the professor skipped the expected list of topics and simply asked, “Why?”

A student in the class grabbed his test, scribbled for a moment on the front page in his blue booklet, and left in five seconds.

In the same legendary (or spurious) account he got an A for his effort. He wrote, “Why not?”

I heard that story in high school in 1960. I never liked it. The answer is fashionable wise-guy and, if the event wasn’t apocryphal, the professor was rewarding the guy’s nihilism with an equally nihilistic A.

In order to grok what “something rather than nothing means,” you have to understand what “nothing” means. I have been over the proposition throughout this tome. It means that atoms, quarks, preons, strings, the Big Bang, whatever exists, just occurred, ostensibly because there was a thermodynamic basis for them. That is all they are rooted in. What thermodynamics is rooted in is apparently the tendency of particles to follow laws of heat, frequency, placement, curvature, and shear, etc., to juggle until a mechanical object begins to dream and search for its own existential basis. It finds none: the ambition is an illusion much as it would be an illusion for a robot to think that it had a purpose and meaning rather than a function.

For there to be “something” means that those quarks, preons, strings, and the Big Bang, etc., have to be grounded in something else like the letters of the Hebrew alphabet or what those letters stand for in alphabets and other iconographic systems reflecting origin: a thoughtform emanating from a higher vibration. Just about any indigenous Creation myth comes closer to a universe based in something rather than nothing than the scientific paradigm it is the effect of something trying to grasp its location directly without microscopes, telescopes, or data processing units.

For the all the celestial fire and rocky surfaces in the material universe, there is more darkness than light, more emptiness and shadow than solidity, more mirage than evidence.

Even the vast galloping thermodynamic “something” that has squatted on eternity like a Giant Hen with its unruly egg splatter is a miasma in which physicists struggle to corral and position quantum-entangled particles that link instantaneously across distances of light years, nonlocally interacting photons, dark matter, and consciousness collapsing electrons to “create” realities—all “spooky action at a distance.” For instance, physicist Richard Feynman once remarked “the whole universe may consist of one electron moving at infinite speed.”

Erstwhile physicists point to the fact that nowhere in macro-reality do you find wave-particle dichotomy, quantum uncertainty states, or collapsing waves, but they are missing the thief in their own attic. Every view of their own is a wave collapse, every thoughtform is creating the reality they have designated an algorithm monitoring system overload. Every gull crying out, every monk meditating is surfing the physics of collapsed waves.

Talk about the elephant in the room!

Consciousness’s reflection is too infinitesimal, superpositional, and deeply internalized against the infinite, outer, merely positional universe that reflects in it. The entire display is a vibrating, wave-particle illusion. Reality doesn’t exist if you are not interfacing with it.

The current brand of Penrose-Hameroff collapse based on the so-called quantum free will of electrons is an anointed metaphor. Electrons do not (and could not) generate thoughts by transferring their quantum states through microtubules into nerve nets. Their “language” is not on a molecular frequency. If it it were, there would be nothing here. Quantum uncertainty and wave collapse carve a different, back route into nerve impulses, values, and meanings. “The quintessential quantum effect, entanglement,” physicist Vlatko Vedral posits, “can occur in large systems as well as warm ones—including living organisms….  These effects are more pervasive than anyone ever suspected. They may operate in the cells of our body.” [LD68]

Free will flowing from electrons to microtubules does not get you an A—at best a C+.

We have no idea what the actual geography of beingness is. The capacities for perception we have—sense organs like eyes and tactile nerve clusters—originate within their own evolving grids. We are formed to see the Sun the way a flatworm does. That is our baseline, although we have been refined and dimensionalized well beyond flatworm status. Our observatories probe the Sun’s corona toward its core while spewing out esoteric data; yet we do not have a find a different meaning from that scintillating through a flatworm’s ocular spot or better instruments than a slug’s sensory patches and rheostatic and gravitational receptors. We cannot see the multidimensional Sun or the true dimensions of reality.

 

Quantum reality translates itself across the zone of very tiny things only into other quantum states; likewise quantum entanglement. You can’t quantum-entangle horses; meteors never get uncertainly entangled.

Yet paradoxically you don’t have to quantum-entangle horses for them to be quantum-entangled. A quantum universe is not safely tucked behind subatomic barriers in cocoons where it sizzles away without effect on Newtonian reality. Its state is intrinsic and underlies all of Newtonian reality. They are taking place in every atom in every molecule at every instant. They proceed far beneath any metaphor—so far beneath that for all intents and purposes it is not quantum collapse, and the forms they generate are irretrievable.

Quantum mechanics is what makes the Newtonian universe Newtonian, though it was a real dark horse at the time of Newton and Darwin. You don’t need nano-physics, algebra, positional topology, or string function to know that a universe that collapses its own wave function to arrive at definitiveness of event or locale is a universe that arises from the collapse of a wave function. That means that the difference in scale and information between a galaxy and a mosquito, when posted against the greater Void—nothing rather than something—palls by comparison. Likewise the ontological difference between psi effects and quantum entanglement is nil.

Every mosquito is at par and in balance with every galaxy because neither could exist without the other.

You can’t just slap the bug away because there will always be another emerging, a soft legged and minded crystal from its egg, if not here then somewhere else.

Peer through the Milky Way at the fuzz of Andromeda in the starry overlay. That’s the nearest galaxy to ours. Then look at a gull in flight. We can weigh them on each other’s scale. We can place an entire starfield on one ballast, and they hang in mysterious par.

Our souls are not dwarfed by the size and scope of the universe, for the universe is a simulation and souls are not.

Matter and mind are faces of the same riddle. The Big Bang platform is an apparition, a thoughtform simultaneously internalized and externalized into a spackled display. It is galactic but no more so than it is phenomenological, a flowing display of performance art. Its power, essence, and validation is in our viewing. Consciousness explores itself in all directions, dimension, and potentials. That’s all consciousness is: expansion and knowledge.

Mind is what arises to reconcile ballasts—mind that can weigh a galaxy and a mosquito on the same scale—mind that can measure isotropic and anisotropic forces simultaneously. Mind is the function that makes the galaxy depend on the mosquito as much as the mosquito depends on the galaxy.

The spiraling vortex of the Sun trailing its planets, asteroids, comets, meteors, centaurs, etc., through the Milky Way Galaxy translates into the same spiral vortex as a gull’s spiralling wings. One becomes the other, and both hang in the equilibrium of the interdependent motion of all galaxies in their supergalactic mass-gravitational dance. A primal form penetrates from the margins to the core in a single collapsing wave.

The sparkling night and our position in it dead-reckons into one giant mosquito, crystal, bloated ’cule: a holographic reflection of its own superpositional, synchronistic, quantum-gravitational entanglement at multiple levels simultaneously. “The universe is alive and interconnected through this quantum reality…. [I]nformation transmits through the bridges or wormholes connecting all points with all others in an indefinite number of possible patterns, constantly changing and turning on and off at incredible frequencies of up to 1,043 times per second. Either that, or we exist in a quantum hologram projected from beyond space-time, and within which we are all entangled and resonant with each other.” [JH14] Holographic codes are projected transdimensionally across All That Is.

In such a universe each portion enfolds the whole as it is being enfolded in the whole—and “if everything is linked to everything else, then consciousness is not constrained to the brain but can travel within its own ‘inner space,’ which in turn contains the whole universe.” [179] At each quantum event, not only does a particle split, but the universe itself splits, giving rise to multiple parallel cosmoses. “[T]here are literally trillions of universes, and these universes are all splitting continually into more and more universes….” [183-184] And this “is a kind of quanta…a kind of indeterminate potentiality that ‘collapses’ or becomes determinate through our individual decisions and beliefs…our collective cultures and religions.” [317]

Just because there are galaxies, stars, and planets in this plane of the universe, and a universe with its own seeming trajectory of implosion, evolution, and death, does not mean that they are also the ultimate reality and lay of the land—All That Is. When astronomers chart extra-solar planets by measuring their blips in front of their local sun-stars and come up with only super-Earths, Jovian behemoths, and massive rapidly moving or eccentric kettles of gases, it is true that they have not scouted anything like the full galactic or extra-galactic census, but they also haven’t considered the fact that any of these worlds could be inhabitable and inhabited at different frequencies or in other planes. Rudolf Steiner’s vision of Earth progressing through Lemuria and Atlantis en route to a physically habitable biosphere is antiquated astrophysically and geologically but serves as an intimation of a greater, more complex universe and different pathways of cosmographical, biological, anthropological, and psychospiritual evolution.

Seth offers a direct view of how the greater universe spawns and is camouflaged by the galactic universe. As we look into a display, we read it according to our operating system:

“Your idea of space travel … is to journey over the ‘skin of your universe.’ You do not understand that your system is expanding within itself, bringing forth new creativity and energy.” [NPR 344] He means expanding interdimensionally and from every point of consciousness, not expanding from the thrust of a Big Bang.

“Your universe is only one of many. Each one creates probable versions of itself. When you journey on the earth, you move around the outside of it. So far, your ideas of space travel involve that kind of surface navigation…. When you think in terms of traveling to other planets or to other galaxies … the same kind of surface travel is involved … going around space rather than directly through it….

“Your own coordinates close you off from recognizing that there are indeed other intelligences alive even within your own solar system. You will never meet them in your exterior reality, however, for you are not focused in the time period of their existence. You may physically visit the ‘very same planet’ on which they reside, but to you the planet will appear barren, or not able to support life.

“In the same way, others can visit your planet with the same results…. Some intelligent beings have visited your planet, finding not the world you know but a probable one. There are always feedbacks between probable systems….

“If you understand … inner coordinates having to do with the inner behavior of electrons … then such travel could be relative instantaneous. The coordinates that link you with others who are more or less of your kind have to do with psychic and psychological intersections that result in a like space-time framework….

“‘Effective space travel, creative space travel on your part, will not occur until you learn that your space-time system is one focus. Otherwise you will seem to visit one dead world after another, blind to civilizations that may exist on any of them. Some of these difficulties could be overcome if you learned to understand the … multidimensionality of even your own physical structure, and allowed your consciousness some of its greater freedom….

“You do not understand as yet … that in a way you can move through time as you move through space—and until you understand that, you will not know the meaning of a true journey, or be able to thoroughly explore any planet—or any reality, including your own.” [345-347]

He goes on to say that real; space travel would involve using points in our space-time continuum or universe as entry points into other worlds—dimensional cues to where those are and how to navigate through them. They exist simultaneously within and outside the psyche because nothing can exist outside it without a correlate existing within. Even a near journey to the Moon comes from the psyche attempting to reproduce “the inner freedom of its being” [360]. There is no world or universe so remote and alien that it doesn’t already exist in our individual and collective psyches, but the coordinates that unite them are imperceptible to us, so we are stuck in our reality, “simply flying like an insect around the outside of [a] television set, trying to light on the fruit, say, that is shown upon the screen—and wondering … why [we] cannot.” [357, 359]

We take vacations and siestas, but the universe never leaves a micron of slack anywhere for even a millisecond. That absence of slack is the reason why there is something rather than nothing.

The universe reconstructs a new reality moment by moment as individuals make decisions and commit acts. Mediaeval theologians proclaimed that God re-creates the world from one moment to the next. What humans perceive as a cavalcade of changes according to natural laws of cause and effect is how God breathes. John Friedlander puts it this way:

“Moment by moment your individualized dharma changes. No matter what decision you make and no matter how horrible a decision you make, at that moment the universe immediately reconstructs itself to optimize your chance of developing spiritual freedom or spiritual meaningfulness. I’m not saying it makes it easier because you may have made enough bad decisions that it’s really pretty hard, but given the context you have created, the universe always changes every aspect of itself to optimize your ability to make meaning in that moment. If you make great decisions, the universe immediately recalculates and is available in the next moment.”

The worst decision that any creature makes still enhances and enriches the universe and optimizes that creature’s potential for growth. The universe takes all of the information into account as it breathes out its truth-mystery, reconstructs itself from end to end, moment to moment. John concluded, “The universe is always listening to you; it never goes unconscious…. I might gather wool for a minute or two, but the universe never does that.” It doesn’t lose track of anything or miss a single beat, as it adjusts and reconstructs itself simultaneously from every view of every sentient entity everywhere.

Every time an eagle dives on a lower-flying gull or a fisher cat claws open a rabbit, the universe is maximizing meaning and spiritual freedom for both. This is closer to the missing unified  cosmicfield than any theory of astrophysics on any world. One doesn’t have to nail it as an exact point of Newtonian/quantum physics to intuit its intrinsic basis. Each reality encompasses a convergence of energy, intelligence, and motion toward growth meaning in accordance with its concomitant physical expansion after the Big Bang or Primal Flaring Forth. The silent background of all existence unfolds in harmonic, hermeneutic vibration via its many rippling, expanding centers in cosmic and microcosmic domains. There is something rather than nothing because whatever is wants to know itself, and it has countless ontologies and dimensions across which to explore. The physical “something rather than nothing” display platform is a cogitation in process, not an audited document.

Watch an osprey try to lift an enormous trout out of a stream while the trout struggle to spiral it downward into the Heraclitean waters. That pulse, that core cosmic dance, flows from galaxy to galaxy, dimension upon dimension, in the transitionally severed field between the personal identity of the bird and the personal identity of the fish, as the bodies they presently inhabit are stretched across the spider-web of galactic forces in which they manifested from embryonic eggs.

The exquisitely balanced lotus expands like what Herman Melville recognized in the aftermath of a whale’s breach: “Silence reigned over the before tumultuous but now deserted deck. An intense copper calm, like a universal yellow lotus, was more and more unfolding its noiseless measureless leaves upon the sea.”

In the depths of the Freudian unconscious, beyond Jung’s collective or species mind, perhaps converging with Einstein’s space-time continuum at a paramer of superstrings, is a transdimensional network of independent intelligences and information systems interdependently fluctuating with one another—a vast Dzogchen-like web of emergent visualizations: And the Earth was without form, and void; and Darkness was upon the Face of the Deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the Face of the Waters.”

Where the Dzogchen universe meets the subatomic and astrophysical universe, every Jovian world is a sangha in dormancy. Each pinwheeling sun-star field is an intricate, dense focal, intelligence as well as a hydrogen-helium alembic for the biochemical transfer of consciousness into matter. The two come together to make sentience and life on planets like ours. They come together not because of random mutations and survival of the fittest but because of the intrinsic intelligence. That’s why life bursts out everywhere from polar ice to torrid water vents.

An organized intelligence was corkscrewed transdimensionally, hylomorphically, into every atom. That’s the quantum uncertainty state. Science’s shells and vibrations hold their forms and landscapes under the attention of Big Mind, a transpersonal intelligence and archetypal ordering principle that is rooted where the cosmos is rooted and moves from platform to platform accordingly.

“Why not?” Take your A and leave before the professor changes his mind.

Did scientists forget Aristotle as their forebear? At bottom, there is always consciousness—conscious consciousness and unconscious consciousness, which goes where it is rather than where it is assigned. Always has, always will.

Can nothing ever produce something?

“Why something rather than nothing” is a bogus riddle because the mere asking is the answer. “Why not?” is not a real answer. At one level the kōan addresses a universe in which mind is a mere interloper, an epiphenomenon of matter; in the same universe the question gets asked, so sentience is self-arising, and the real question is what role matter plays in an overarching kingdom of mind.   The tables are turned because there can’t be matter without conscious dimensionality.

In the end, materialism itself requires an algorithm, an algorithm that arose in the middle of nowhere for no reason, in order to refute its own reductio ad absurdum.

 

Personal Identity: The Universe

Physicists cannot admit that mind has to be in the equation, and they cannot get it there by the rules of their lodge. Statisticians argue that there have been countless “failed” universes in eternity. We’re just in one where all the parameters happened to be correct for “something” and the tree that feel in its forest got heard. The greater entity is the multiverse: a hypothetical set of possible universes, whether finite or infinite, including the universe in which we dwell. Together, these universes ostensibly comprise everything that exists, meaning the entirety of space, time, matter, energy, the physical laws and constraints that define them, and everything else too and the laws and constraints that define and describe it in its totality. All of it could just have not existed if the wrong predecessor droplet of nothing snapped the wrong way.

When astrophysicists and cosmological topologists seine the cosmos and its objects, they hook concretions or expressions of absolute things, but they do not get the actual nature of either appearance or article. For one, they are confusing a mere measurement, and one taken at a great distance in space and time, with a verisimilitude. That is the first problem with the Big Bang. The second is that they are continually failing to evaluate the weightless mass of their own consciousness floating in the medium of not only their view and sampling method but itself as an aspect of the starry field they are assaying.

They come to believe in their own experimental world of “precisely controlled, highly contrived circumstances,” ignoring the fact that every substance and reaction has arisen on its own, independent of human knowledge and understanding and is absolute, at par with its own essence and evolution.

Human consciousness is creating these definitions and parameters ex post facto at its own boundary state. There mind and matter dovetail so exquisitely and immaculately as to be ontologically indistinguishable.

“The long sought after Theory of Everything is really merely just missing one important component that was too close for us to have noticed,” notes biologist Robert Lanza (no apparent relation to Adam). “Science hasn’t confronted the one thing that’s most familiar and most mysterious—and that is consciousness.”

Practitioners of scientism don’t get it. Anything else would be unworthy and beneath our dignity. Physicist Roger Penrose stated it years ago: “Consciousness is a part of our universe, so any theory which makes no proper place for it falls fundamentally short of providing a genuine description of the world.”

“More than 200 parameters [of the Universe] are exactly right for life to exist,” observed Lanza. “If [the Big Bang] was one part in a millionth more powerful, it would have rushed out too fast for galaxies and worlds to be here. If the strong nuclear force were decreased by 2 percent, atomic nuclei would not hold together … hydrogen would be the only element in the universe. If the gravitational constant were decreased just [slightly] … just a hair, stars, including the sun, wouldn’t ignite.”

Who arranged that “something” jubilee?

Lanza is amused by the reaction of most physicists to his considering a teleological line of thought—they don’t take it seriously as what it is: “Their response has been much how you’d expect priests to respond to stem cell research.”

However, one reviewer, Richard Conn Henry, a physics and astronomy professor at John Hopkins University, notes: “What Lanza says in this book is not new. Then why does Robert have to say it at all? It is because we, the physicists, do not say it—or if we do say it, we only whisper it, and in private—furiously blushing as we mouth the words. True, yes; politically correct … no!”

We have known it since the Stone Age, since the Middle Ages, and have not forgotten it. We have just stopped telling it to ourselves.

It is not possible for nothing-only-and-ever to have appeared in the middle of nowhere and then become a manifestation ignited moment to moment by thought. As consciousness ignites the universe, that universe must generate phenomenology as well as phenomena. The spark at the basis of both phenomena and phenomenology is as unutterable as the secret name of God, and not because some taboo proscribes expression but because we bottom out far short.

Otherwise there is no merely provisional “something rather than nothing” universe, there is no whirlpool as big as a galaxy or universe pinwheeling in the middle of nowhere for no reason. Gravity didn’t just happen upon itself and impose curvature on nothingness—it needed mind, flatworm “mind” as well as Newton’s mind.

The notion that conscious existence can be solved entirely from atoms, subatomic particles, and their qualities is sociopathic. What ignites reality as well as stars is incomprehensibly subtler and more profoundly and intrinsically entangled than matter or cells.

If a Divine Unity generates realities from its own greater thoughtforms in hyperspatial time periods that dwarf those of the present hydrogen universe, then atoms and molecules might be what those realities look like by now: succulent, dense, emergent complexities—everything that was there in the cream and the cow that brewed the cream.

Science and religion are two metanarratives for the process that gives rise to both of them.

There never could have been nothing rather than something because something preceded the hypothetical emergence of “anything” at a depth and latency that blows the appearance of quarks and preons out of the water—a pre-Socratic, pre-Western, pre-Mediterranean, pre-hydrogen Heraclitan stream. Mind ends up grasping the fundamental nature of a vast starry universe, its intricately tatted atomic carpet, and its own situation within that eddy, and creates intelligent machines, not because the algorithm has gone ape and a hundred monkeys typing away on hopscotch machines finally found nirvana and consciousness but because it is expressing its innate essential nature.

Souls transmute out of the ground plasma of cosmic intelligence and foundational luminosity of All That Is, the forerunner of atoms, photons, and neutrinos within a transpositional sun-star-like vortex: “Space itself was born from within,” a within that is “literally endless and capable of all kinds of expansion. There [is] no outside!” [162] Reality brings together worlds and phenomenologies that cross and create each others’ identities. Galaxies, sun-stars, and planetary orbs form where they do because they have to.

Intrinsic is extrinsic. Matter could not generate mind if mind were not already implicit. Einstein doesn’t say that but he says, “The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which the field strength or the energy density is particularly high.”

The universe did not, and could not have, come upon—or to— a conscious force at the center of its own self-reflecting whirlpool by rolling dice, quantum or other, or by random heat effects that could have as expediently, if not more handily, missed it entirely. Every ’cule on Titan or Europa screams that, as well on every passing meteor and centaur laden with the pre-organic gruel of latent, unhewn mind. It is all Intelligence-sparked, a Divine Intelligence.

The problem for physics is, it is a conscious universe. A universe that has consciousness in it is a conscious universe. A universe that can crenellate mind out of a popcorn of immaculate inanimate heat effects is telling us and itself that it is conscious.

A universe in which consciousness coexists with matter is universe that knows itself—in which it is far more likely that matter arose from mind than the other way around. If this is a conscious universe, consciousness came first. Mind preceded matter. That’s axiomatic. Intelligence precedes and supersedes material existence. Biologist George Wald put it this way, “Mind, rather than emerging as a late outgrowth in the evolution of life, has existed always…the source and condition of physical reality.”

Everything that materializes, whether into machines, sun dances, sand-paintings, or atomic bombs, is a translation of thoughts into forms they essentialize. None of them is ultimate or real, but all of them encompass meanings that become real. Consciousness is creating a thoughtform that looks like matter and is filled with things (like planets and stars and soils and DNA) that provide a dais and staging for explication, hence cannot precede and give rise to it.

That’s a game-changer. Science says that consciousness is an incidental, adventitious effect of an algorithm; it is not really conscious of anything, or anything real. It is a counting/sorting mechanism simulating what real consciousness—real durable veridicality—would like if it existed, but it doesn’t.

The alternative is that consciousness is veridical; it arose independently, autonomously, and primordially, and the algorithm merely runs into it like hitting the broad side of a barn that can’t be missed anyway.

Consciousness designed a universe of—more consciousness. It looks like matter at our frequency. But it can’t be matter because it’s emptiness with vibrating potentialities. It’s a different state of consciousness even as a dream is a frequency of consciousness too.

Jane Roberts puts it this way: “All consciousness creates the world, rising out of feeling-tone…. Everything that you experience has consciousness, and each consciousness is endowed with its own feeling-tone. There is a great cooperation involved in the formation of the earth as you think of it, and so the individual living structures of the planet rise up from the feeling-tone within each atom and molecule….. Because of the creative cooperation that exists, the miracle of physical materialization is performed so smoothly and automatically that consciously you are not aware of your part in it….. Nature is created from within.” [NPR, 3, 14, 15]

In the real physics of the cosmos, nothing is actually physical. It all looks, in the words of Sir James Jeans, “more like a great thought than a great machine.

Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.” And he was the member of the lodge who first calculated the critical radius of an interstellar cloud in space dependent on the temperature, and density of that cloud, and the mass of the particles composing it as well as the instability factor of its collapse. He helped discover a law relating the energy density of black-body radiation to the temperature of the emission source. He certainly understood the physical plane and material reality. He still saw it as a great thought.

Max Planck spoke to this condition as someone who helped part the actual quantum veil:

“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about the atoms this much: There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together.

“We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.” [from a speech in Florence, Italy, in 1944, entitled “Das Wesen der Materie” (“The Essence/Nature/Character of Matter”)]

Mind and matter are more than quantum entangled and superposed—the physicists’ high bar for baseline weirdness—they are the same thing at different frequencies. There is no matter as such.

Buddhist seers propound that if this planet were destroyed by nuclear bombs or climate it would be recreated elsewhere in the universe, but that doesn’t automatically mean another planet in another galaxy; it means that the thoughtform generating this reality will continue generating it at some frequency within All That Is and that all the rest will follow, as whatever “it” actually is.

The universe was simultaneously designed from inside-out as consciousness and from outside-in as matter: Aristotle’s “hyle,” a primary substance that can neither be predicated nor attributed to something else and which transduces its own intrinsic nature into becoming extrinsic. In an undumbed-down model, the universe is operating with multiple decks of transdimensional, quantum-entangled, superpositional “cards,” is dealing them millisecond by millisecond on an intergalactic, interdimensional basis.

The greater universe incorporates ego-mind’s consciousness with thermodynamics, relativity, quantum entanglement, string topology, karma and the like. It takes form like the designs of trickster animals: coyotes, wolverines, lynxes, spiders, guinea pigs, and crows. Its construct is so complex and multicentric that the so-called unified field theories of Stephen Hawking and his peer cosmologists can’t hold a thimble to it. The relationship of their paradigms to a true model of All That Is is less than the energy deficit to Jupiter of an Earth-launched satellite using the planet’s gravitational field for a boost to the outer Solar System by comparison to the entire Jovian mass—about one electron.

The body of each lifeform is the present state of unconscious mind, the unconscious mind of the universe as well as the unconscious mind of its soul and ego. Unconscious mindforms and energies diffuse everywhere in nature along uncharted trajectories. You cannot exclude innate consciousness without excluding us. Everything we are, materialism included. It began with mind, with intelligence. That’s the hole in science’s reality. Such a universe cannot be measured, weighed, or localized.

 

Imagine all the stars in all of the galaxies in the known and imaginable universe. They ostensibly came out of a single mote that could fit on your pinky nail.

The original particle, that tiny atomic pip that would fit inside a modern pinhead, gave birth to the entire universe to get its inside out. That wasn’t a mote.  It was the shadow, or negative space, of an illimitable object of indefinable dimensions. Every particle cloned from it is a portal to the same dimensions

It was like a sacred alphabet writing itself on its own infinite permutations, whether it was also a white hole whooshing the contents of an entire other universe from its own ouroboros or a tuck of inverted vibrating strings realizing their full dimensionality while unfolding in a lower dimensional zone.

The reason that the theosophical-Hindu Mental-Causal plane is vibrating at a higher pitch than the starry, fairyland Astral or the prana-field of the Etheric, is that our present carnal attunement of the thoughtform is being generated out of a higher Causal realm as mentations, then mentations becoming particles. The shape of an atom, molecule, or DNA helix, each transmitting information, arises from Causal grounding of higher energies and thoughforms. That is why the Soul cannot penetrate below the Causal: it has no basis in such a diffuse, conditional realm; it can no more get in than we can bring our bodies into a dream. We can make the dream more lucid, but we cannot incarnate in it.

 

Look at the night sky internally. Sense not only its vastness and patterning but its signature of intrinsic intelligence.

Imagine blue-green Earth glittering in multidimensional splendor in a black void, lit by a guardian avatar Disk. Scientism is too involved in forces and forms of externalization to recognize Creation unfolding, pouring, from Big Mind, how internalization is an equal and simultaneous function in the universe.

Blue Earth is a vortex, a subtle suctioning whirlpool in the effluent through which Etheric, Astral, and higher energies flow like honey into an alembic. There they continue to spurt with information.

The attack against consciousness, modernity’s post-Socratic jeremiad, is actually (paradoxically, secretly) an attempt to root consciousness deeply enough that it blossoms in its full-lotus, trillion-sunstar, quantum cascade and can never be excoriated from future universes or realities. Materialism is a lure to draw mind out of fascination with its abstraction into its own muck, the muck of an undisclosed universe and obscure intelligence—a stipe holding a multidimensional mushroom.

It is the first salvo of the gambit to survive the death of the local sun-star, the dissolution of the marriage of Earth and Gaia, the built-in obsolescence of the Big Bang; to survive it not by cryonics or space migration to other solar systems but by neg-entropy and negative capability.

All That Is is arising for no apparent reason in the middle of nowhere.

As Albert Einstein put it in “On the Generalized Theory of Gravitation”: “The physical reality of space is represented by a field whose components are continuous functions of four independent variables—the co-ordinates of space and time….” That is also how (and only how) the ground luminosity proceeds karmically from its ultimate primal immanent state and extends its lumination through platforms it generates. That’s why we are here and why it looks the way it does here; a starry pageant qua multidimensional mirage: mind reflecting through the curvature of emptiness like a Dzogchen moon reflected in water.

Yet starry night is more than a mathematically expounded mirage. It refracts the degree of texture, intelligence, and dimensionality in our locale, also the depth of shadowing and resistance throughout Creation. As a truth mystery, the stars convert every internal contradiction into a glittering paradox.

The very fact of being able to hoist matter, in fact the whole universe, onto the scales of consciousness and bob it there for analysis and evaluation, suggests a profound equivalence and commensurability. Plus there is the poignancy of the act, meaning any act: the expression of self-aware existence, personal identity, and view, for which the luminous display is also a refraction, a through-a-glass-darkly design warped by many lenses and layers of lenses. You are just as percipiently gazing into the ten sefirot on the Tree of Life, or the underside blanket of the Monadic plane, or the splatter splash of G. I. Gurdjieff’s Ray of Creation, or Wilhelm Reich’s shimmering field of orgone in overlays of cosmic superimposition. As long as consciousness is involved, inside and outside are unriven and interdependent. When there are no anchors or baselines anywhere, only stars, stars inside and stars outside, how can we determine what we are looking at or what is doing the looking?

Starry night is not only a mirage but a perfect mirage, the absolute demonstration of itself: a blazing panoply. It is the design that made its own platform.

The goal of liberation or enlightenment is to differentiate one’s self, the core energy or luminosity giving rise to personal identity, from the undifferentiated supergalactic display. This is possible as long as our own cardinal focal plane propels itself through a dreamlike design as fundamental, autonomous, and sovereign as itself, as long as it remains as perplexing in its persistence and capacity to disguise and camouflage what is disguising and camouflaging it.

 

Cosmic Formation

In 2009 I helped publish a book called The Angel of Auschwitz by a woman writing under the name Tarra Light, who recalled a past life as Natasza Pelinski, a prisoner in a concentration camp. Her privately circulated version had a cult audience, mostly in Idaho where she lived, though I was told about the manuscript in Machiasport, Maine. I can’t vouch for its authenticity; only Ms. Light knows what she experienced and what she meshed it to make a viable story. The narrative is certainly within the range of what could be improvised from a modest knowledge of history and literary imagination—and there has been no lack of Holocaust memoirs, novels, and movies from which to draw characters and scenes. Light explains briefly that a past-life regression by a therapist when she was experiencing “physical and emotional afflictions…became the catalyst that unlocked the floodgates of my soul memory.” [xi]

I take Light at her word. Yes, she could have made the whole thing up or cobbled a few hypnogogic flashbacks into a novella. I participated in the book’s publication, so I was not deterred by the possibility of fabrication. The text bears an inherent validity beyond any issue of authenticity. Light also draws deeper meanings from a universe that produce carbuncles like Nazi concentration camps. Her book is also a tableau for reincarnation within a Judaeo-Christian context, infusing the science of karma with the religion of rabbis and priests. Nastasza is a spirit child of Joan of Arc and the Course in Miracles.

As Light progressed through her past-life regression, multiple selfhoods flooded back into her mind. In lifetime after lifetime she found herself locked in a Manichean battle with an ambitious, deviant soul known to habitants of the twentieth century as “Adolf Hitler.” Before Atlantis the two were rival magicians, seeking the key to the universe—one believing that it was the force of love; the other, absolute power through a blend of magic and technology, complementary modalities in Atlantis.

In his incarnations, Light tells us, Hitler “studied metaphysics and the occult sciences…the chants of Atlantis, the mystery schools of Egypt, and the pagan rituals of the Celts and the Druids.” [24] He appropriated rituals from those traditions, including ones forbidden to unauthorized practitioners. Drawing on racial memories in the Aryan bloodline, he established an imperium fed by subconscious greed and envy. [27, 31] In his lifetime as Hitler, he drew on his Soul memory of ancient rites, as he “reformulated them into the new state religion…based on the magical properties of blood.” [28]

The Nazi High Command inaugurated their Reich in the Bavarian Black Forest, using satanic rituals and replicating protocols of diabolism. “Like a mystical order, they donned hooded black robes and lit shining black candles. Standing side-by-side in a circle, they recited ancient incantations, then sang Atlantean chants.” [29] Animals fled the scene en masse.

According to Light, Hitler was only secondarily trying to exalt the Nordic race, he was mainly trying to restore an Atlantean mystery school and its warrior guild from another plane.

In her lifetime as Natasza, Light dreamt of the Führer inspecting her concentration camp in person. She saw him lucidly and transdimensionally and read “the magnitude of his power as an adept black magician” trying to penetrate “her shields and defenses.” Banishing fear and opening her heart, she released a surge of energy within her aura. In response, “Hitler turned to face me and pulled open the front of his trench coat, revealing the truth of his inner being. White light as bright as lightning burst out from within. The radiance of his True Self dazzled my eyes.” [125] He could have been a great teacher and served humanity—he still might in a future lifetime—in 1930s Germany he chose a different path.

Hitler’s successive lifetimes opened a conduit to the darkness in the bedrock of All That Is. If that shadow wasn’t there, he couldn’t have emanated it. If he hadn’t emanated it, its energy wouldn’t have begun to be redeemed—Daesh and Boko Haram likewise. The gunk and evil at the bottom of the universe has to be experienced and dredged in order to be expiated. Otherwise it will stay there forever, an unknown and unknowable slag, radiating sterilely and coldly in latency.

Until we admit Hitler’s place in our collective Soul and absolve him, he will continue to incarnate. In a nondual universe, someone has to take responsibility for dissolving or, more accurately, tranmogrifying, the toxic cloud.

 

As Light’s chronology begins, fourteen-year-old Natasza is forcibly separated from her family by operatives of the Nazi war machine, her belongings snatched from her, along with them a magical stone through which her mother taught her to communicate with higher powers. On her own in a disintegrating world, she is placed in a drab building inside a large interment camp.

Soon she was contacted by a voice. “It entered my mind as a stream of pure thought with neither pitch nor timbre.” [48] As she used her inner sight to focus on the source and her telepathy to illuminate its words, a faint ghost annealed from the murk, introducing himself as Boris Brozinski, until recently a professor at the University of Warsaw. Boris told her that he had ignored his colleagues while they were being arrested and did nothing oppose the Nazis when he had the chance; now he was cumbered to the Earth plane by the weight of his guilt. To atone and pay off a portion of his debt, he was offering to serve as Natasza’s guide in the camp, to teach and protect her and to enable her to aid others in their distress. He explained that he had been drawn to the lodestar of her psychic power—a vortex of healing energy in the gloomy landscape. She couldn’t be missed.

Then, Natasza reports, he “focused his mind and projected into my third eye simple diagrams of the organs and systems of the body” [73] to the end that she function as the camp’s unofficial nurse and medicine woman. After that, he got down to guerrilla tactics: “I have a repertoire of stratagems to outwit the guards.” [56] These included spying on their conversations and revealing their plans to her, projecting alter egos into their minds to confuse them, and merging with her own energy field in such a way that light would pass through her and they might see but not recognize her.

Boris was both invisible and telekinetic, so could steal medical supplies from the camp infirmary. “Being transparent,” he joked, “has many advantages.” Whenever Natasza sought his participation, she directed telepathic energy into his subtle body of his ghost-being by the force of her mind—and his astral form appeared.

Next Boris explained that he had “enlisted the aid of our airborne allies [because] they want to serve as members of the healing team….” [55] After she made two runes of stones on the ground while sending telepathic messages to the high-circling messengers (“Greetings to you, birds of the great sky”), two crows landed on either side of her rows. One projected telepathically through its caws:

“Hail, child of Light. Many animals would like to serve humans but are unable to break through the interspecies communications barrier. We are here to offer our assistance… We can carry messages from one part of the camp to the other. We can spy on the Nazis and tell you their secrets.” The bird then taught her the flying symbols and calls by which they would transmit urgent information. Three caws in a row meant “All is well,” while four followed by a pause and then four more was a general “All Clear.” Loud and repeated caws with pauses between them meant “Warning: danger.” [102]

On his next manifestation, Natasza was astonished. Boris appeared with thousands of tiny faces floating within clouds above each of his shoulders. “I looked into their eyes,” she says, “and they looked back at me. My heart broke with compassion to see the faces of the fallen ones. They were the spirits of the dead who had attached themselves to Boris. He walked hunched forward because he was carrying this astral weight.” These beings were “confused and disoriented…bound to the earthly plane by desire. At the moment of death they did not claim their freedom. They were unprepared for the journey into light…. They are still in shock and do not realize that they are dead.”

Boris’s guilt was what attracted them to him, for he was the only recognizable object in the bardo, the only landmark to which they could fasten in their restless fugues. [57] They continued to guide themselves by attaching their memories of who they had been to the karmic cloud generated by his remorse.

In the ensuing narrative, Natasza conducted many acts of both espionage and insurrection, including subversions of Nazi schemes and healings of other prisoners.

Boris recognized something dangerous incubating in her heart. The young girl was witnessing too many crimes and violations for her gentle vibration to absorb—acts of bodily, mental, and spiritual violation, violent sexual abuses, humiliation, even necrophiliac mutilation and murder. [120] She was turning cold and bitter.

“Anger and hatred dam up the flow of your healing energy,” the professor explained to her. “They lower the frequency of your transmission…. An angered healer is a crippled healer. These soldiers whom you hate, whom you call ‘enemies’: do you know that their minds are programmed, that they are being controlled. They too are prisoners of the Nazi war machine…. They wield the power of the world; they command with muscle and might. But you have the greater power, the universal power of love. Imagine how they suffer because they do not know love.” [91]

When the girl asked Boris for an explanation of the death camps, wondering why, if a Soul has a choice, it would select such a life and fate, he told her:

“Before a soul incarnates on Earth, it makes many choices about the nature and circumstances of its now life….  The soul has karma, debts to pay off before it can be free….  It…chooses the lesson to be learned that can resolve the karma…. Decades ago, a clarion call was sounded in the heavens. Millions of souls heard and answered the call. They lined up at the Karmic Gates, volunteering for this mission. They said, ‘We will sacrifice our lives so the world will choose a higher way to live.’” [146-7]

His lessons clarified her mission and reoriented her. She became a healer and angel for guards too as well as a lover of one of them, Captain Otto.

The captain initiated the relationship by bringing the still virginal girl to his room and raping her like an animal while, in her words, she was “unprepared to receive the male energy.”

During encounters as his lover for more than two years (age fourteen to sixteen), she gradually awakened his Soul and transformed him via their carnal ritual. “Due to the bond of our sexual union, I was empathic to his feelings, telepathic to his thoughts.” [127]

She called it her “pathway into womanhood…as moon shadows [nightly] marked my footsteps.” [115] Lying in Captain Otto’s sheets, she prayed that his young wife in a bedside photograph would forgive her.

 

Ultimately Natasza emitted so much luminosity that she came to the attention of the camp’s commandant. Initially bemused by the presumptions of a girl, Herr Schuller was increasingly troubled by her fearlessness and growing charisma. He discerned a foe. After ordering her brought to his office, he issued an ultimatum: renounce her mission—cease her services—or die. She had become, he said, a danger to camp security.

Sending daggers of psychic light from her eyes and infusing her syllables with sacred power, she held her ground defiantly, telling him she was married to the truth.

“Brave words fly like sparks from the mouth of a child,” he declared as he rose from behind his desk, clicked his heels, and saluted her—a parody rooted in deeper recognition, for “the Commandant of Auschwitz was not free…. Even the Führer was a prisoner of his own madness and fanaticism.” Then he declared, “‘I admire you for your bravery, rebel child, but I am not free to let you go…. I am obligated to follow orders…. I order you to death by the firing squad.’” [160]

After his sentencing, Boris reached out to her telepathically, “This is not your first life,” he promised. “It is not your last. Realize that the memory of this life is imprinted on your soul. You will be born again, to Jewish parents in the United States, before this war is over. When you awaken to your innate divinity, you will write the true story of your life.” [161]

Prodded along by soldiers with rifle butts, she saw Boris again at her side as he projected a blue ray of peaceful energy into her field. She heard boots crunching on ice. Her mind filled with the caws of crows gathering overhead. She descried a choir of muffled voices calling out her name and they chanted, “We love you.” Boris disclosed her sacred errand:

“Now is the time for the full truth to be revealed to you. Thousands of lost souls saw your light like a beacon in the night and attached themselves to you. Through your grace, they hope for their own salvation. You are the Atlas of Auschwitz, carrying thousands of souls on your shoulders…. It takes a great soul to carry the weight of the multitudes. You would not have believed yourself capable of this noble task. Your doubt would have undone you.” [168-9]

Natasza’s life ended, and Tara’s seed was sown. “Seven shots rang out.” [170] As her Soul flew heavenward, freed, she saw with her spirit eyes “the fallen body of a young woman, lying on the frozen ground…curled up in fetal position…a pool of blood collecting around her body. Her abdomen was ripped open. A pair of black crows landed by her side. With tender care, they rearranged her hair, strand by strand, pulling it out of her eyes and away from her face.” The Angel of Death arrived, announcing, “The moment of death is the birth of spiritual life. Now you shall know the truth of who you are.” [171]

She saw a sphere of light and felt a presence within her, as she discovered that she was pregnant with Otto’s child. There had been no way for her to bring this soul into the world. It addressed her telepathically in a voice that resonated like temple bells:

“I am Meesha, spirit of your unborn child. I have come to accompany you in your last moments. I shall be with you during your time of passing. Do not fear. The love of God is with you always. The power of God is everlasting.” [164]

Natasza projected the karmic seed and primal etheric force of the Soul vestige of her liaison with Otto into an epoch far beyond their current lifetimes. Then she crossed over:

“The celestial wind swept me along, past dreamlands and fantastic worlds, carrying me to the gate of a heavenly amusement park. A trumpet sounded, and the gate swung open. I heard to music of the spheres playing from the loudspeakers. Bears danced gaily to a lively tune, acrobats performed amazing feats, and jugglers swallowed balls of fire. A sky-blue angel with gossamer wings handed me a ticket for a ride through time. Like a revolving wheel of time, a giant Ferris wheel turned around and around. As each seat passed me, I saw an aspect of myself as I was in a previous life.” She glimpsed the shape-changing shadow of an Inca healer, the incarnation disciple of the living Christ—and an Egyptian student of metaphysics, who in one of his lives would become Adolf Hitler. [175]

 

In 1974 in one of his last papers, psychotherapist D. W. Winnicott wrote about patients who so dreaded their own anxiety states, traumas, and/or psychotic breakdowns that their actions were dictated by phobic avoidance patterns. What they needed, he proposed, was counterphobically to experience the events behind the fantasies and fears. The usual treatment, psychiatric drugs, merely numbed their healing crises and took away their capacity to recover freedom and personal autonomy.

The inability to resolve past scars and forgotten events in present time led to these people maintaining ritualized defense mechanisms, which over the years became more painful in their repetition and silent bondage than the original assault instilling the trauma. Their imagination of future danger overrode and distorted present reality, as there was always a way to imagine a more dreaded apparition on the way

Compared to such a threat, reality was a piece of cake. For example, a traumatized patient who happened to be near the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks, remarked to his therapist how calm he was, helping strangers cope, leading them to safety. As horrific as the event was, it couldn’t hold a candle to his more gruesome fantasies.

I accept Winnicott’s contention as stated in conventional psychiatric terms while at the same time considering how it might apply more fundamentally to past (or future) lives of the individual and soul and its group soul. I wonder whether there is a karmic reverberation of trauma as well as transpersonal avoidance pattern and defense mechanism enveloping and potentiating the egoic one. This leads to reliving events from past lifetimes, death pictures, and cycles of death and rebirth as reincarnational trauma is encountered. It means that all of humanity might be dealing with remote, amnesiac traumas of the collective species, planet, and cosmos.

This model resonates with the trans-generational healing system taught by German psychotherapist Burt Hellinger as “Family Constellations.”  Mini-dramas performed in sessions of group theater, radiate back through past epochs in an attempt to incarnate and clear some of their unresolved karma. Any recruit into the group-therapy ritual, even if unrelated to the sufferer, plays a critical role in reenacting a lineage inaccessible to ordinary memory. In that sense the theatrically performed constellation attains a runic function like a Navaho sand-painting with its accompanying ceremony, drawing in icons and operatives in other guises to specify and conduct its energy: “ritualistic items such as the medicine bundle with its sacred contents: prayer-sticks, made of carefully selected wood and feathers, precious stones, tobacco, water collected from sacred places, a tiny piece of cotton string; song, with its lyrical and musical complexities; sandpaintings, with intricate color, directional and impressionistic symbols; prayer, with stress on order and rhythmic unity; plants, with supernatural qualities defined and personified; body and figure painting; sweating and emetic, with purifactory functions; vigil, with emphasis on concentration and summary.”

Hellinger’s therapeutic reenactments did not reach back only to near generations or accessible historic figures in clients’ lineages. Some of them took some individuals back to the Middle Ages, others to Stone Ages and beyond, in the form of clan matriarchs and patriarchs whose karma was still active and had come to life among descendant group members. Whether these events were real or imaginal, they functioned therapeutically as if real like the past-life regressions of Javier Thistlethwaite and Brian Weiss.

Shamanism and psychoanalysis converge here. Psychoanalysis provides an emotional catalyst through link of doctor-patient transference, but the process often gets bogged down in the shifting back and forth of reductionist stories—trauma reconstructions that are themselves inertially stuck and remain so despite skilled psychiatric encouragement. Patients and mentors go in hackneyed circles for decades, productive to a degree but bound in their own frozen energy. The therapy, while churning up juicy, indicative material, becomes a neurotic seal between the pathology and its own avoidance cycle and resistance motifs.

Where the patient should look for the fear of breakdown is in the aura. He or she should consider any “story” legitimate, no matter how supernatural or fantastic. That is how past-life therapies heal present-life traumas regardless of whether the past lives are “real.” The stories are real; the meanings are real; the energy is real. Authentication is up for grabs, but then authentication is always up for grabs. In the words of the Sethian intelligence field, “In that larger picture, there are no errors, for each action, pleasant or unpleasant, will in its fashion be redeemed, both in relation to itself and…to a larger picture that the conscious mind may not be able presently to perceive….” [54-55].

 

When an initiating traumatic occurrence gets transferred energetically to the timelessness of the aura, it radiates into other planes and is incorporated back in the body, sometimes as disease, sometimes as resistance patterns. These form a karmic trail between lifetimes.

Even though blocked flows of information in an aura trap their victim in past time, they provide a neutral, energetic vehicle in which to transubstantiate and release pain and recoup quanta of personal freedom. The trauma exists in order to be released, to transmute and cast its healing power into the universe.

Psychic energy-transfer and intervention are necessary to shatter their motifs and settle, as it were, old accounts. A psychic exercise such as dissolving pictures or activating stuck energy can perturb a standing karmic pattern and frequency and comvert a regressively psychological or recursively emotional process into an energetic one, often instantaneously—though it sometimes takes multiple attempts over days, months, years, or lifetimes.

While most folks can’t hope to call up the relevant matrix on the spot, by their fifty thousandth try they may get it. This may be the fifty thousandth try, this lifetime.

One doesn’t have to locate or name the precise traumatic lesion, the cause or trajectory within a multidimensional backdrop; one only has to provide the quantum of energy needed to transform its representation, to get the karmic flow moving in a direction in which it is potentiated. Each constellation has too many facets and semblances to specify in a single story or configuration. The originating event has become allegorical and alchemical.

Freud came to psychological cathexis by ritual recall and transference for historical reasons; he too recognized that any symbol will do, as long as it stores and releases a charge—a libidinal predecessor with capacity for internalization—because all representations converge on their deepening aliases. The most successful therapist acts as a shaman and shifts into a Dreamtime context.

Freud was analyzing Cosmic Intelligence as well as the human egoic psyche. He was getting both readings simultaneously and his genius was melding the disjunctive elements of them together without realizing it. When we said, “There is no time in the unconscious,” he was also saying, “There is no time in the universe,” i.e., in the cupola of All That Is. Then Jung took cathexis to a cosmic, transpersonal level.

 

I believe that transubstantiation of ancient trauma is the singlemost purpose of psychospiritual practice. Yoga, t’ai chi, past-life therapy, dreamwork, color healing, chant, prayer, cranial osteopathy, and the like are contemporary modes of shamanism, enantiodromias—ritualized reversals by unconscious opposites. It should be no surprise that Hellinger drew his “family constellations,” at least in part, from interactions with Zulu shamans in South Africa.

Buddhist Tonglen practices provide an equivalent formula: you breathe in the physical agony and mental anguish of all sentient beings—soldiers on battlefields, dying people in hospices, children in slavery, animals in slaughterhouses—you breathe out an intention of compassionate healing, comfort, and seeds of transformation to those folks, creatures, even nations. This is the ritual that Tarra Light was practicing. It doesn’t work like forest fire, it works like a butterfly’s wings.

No medicine, and certainly no pharmaceutical, is as healing as narcissistic anxiety and private agony converted into selfless empathy and love.

Winnicott described each “underlying primitive agony” as literally “unthinkable”—that is not able to be thought and of such a horrific nature that is inconceivable that one would try to think it. It is flat-out too dangerous. Yet thinking it is exactly what one needs to do in order to get past its block into neutral cosmic energy.

Rituals of truth and reconciliation provide a parallel process. Bringing victimizer and victim together not only allows reliving of the trauma in present time but provides a venue for each party to disclose to the other what actually happened and to recognize Self in the mirror of Other. The victimizer, as Boris explained to Natasza, is also acting under the force of a trauma.

Those who were casualties of child abuse become abusers as a result. Under the pull of karma, the Soul seeks the polar aspect of its own current picture. [220] No one gets off scot-free; everyone is participating vitally and viscerally in every act, on both sides of it, unconsciously more dysfunctionally than consciously. In timeless time, whatever is happening to any creature already happened to you or will happen. The esoteric meaning of alternate and fantasy lives, unlived potentials is that they are being lived somewhere else, and not just by others. Moralists are the very transgressors, despoilers, and criminals they purport to decry.

Unless given an opportunity for absolution, the abuser proceeds in a septic cloud like that around Boris, seething until it explodes or forms some meteor in some cosmos to pick up the pieces and kindle all over in the galactic tinder. It’s that broad and abstruse a field. Karma is stronger than gravity, powerful enough to create planets and galaxies to transfer the unresolved energy of lost worlds, realms that were destroyed or destroyed themselves long ago.

In cosmogenesis, what is not remembered—the lesion at large—creates lifetimes, egos, worlds, births. Matter is congealed trauma—the passage from unconsciousness into consciousness, from water onto land, from sexual latency to erotic/embryological manifestation. See Freudian disciple Sandor Ferenczi’s Thalassa for the seminal text on that.

We have no way of knowing what sort of primeval karmic event led to the emergence of Earth out of the local Solar swirl of cosmic dust, but whatever it was, modern Earth is expressing and redeeming some aspect of it.

Torturers and their victims reconciling with each other, against massive resistance, capacitate the universe. Executioner and martyr enact a shadow play to be followed by another, and another, whereby each party to the event tries to get the universe to bottom out instead of asking, “What are your intentions, God, for we suffer?”

Evil may be an Daesh soldier raping a Yazidi girl he claimed as his war-prize sex slave, but evil is a water lily in a pond that already contains cells, organelles, microbes, and parasites that will cannibalize each other in expression of their basic nature. The water lily (like the cell or the mitochondrion or the molecule), like us, is the chrysalis of every dialectic and paradox the universe contains.

Somehow, by existing, we made a bargain a long time ago and in another setting that we continue to honor. We continue getting situated in reality, in All That Is, and will, until every quantum of possibility is expiated, absolved, exhausted, or made meaningful in the way it is actually meaningful.

Suffering is excruciating to personhood, but the universe has no choice or dispensation: it is an irreconcilable portal of knowledge and information, and transmutes every event and thought through nodes of untold richness and fulfillment across spectra of trillions of years. Those experiences get subsumed in the marrow of their emerging beingness. In future states and universes they turn into gifts, talents, even superstar capacities.

Who knows what antecedent events or suffering in the space-time continuum produced a Michael Jordan or Johann Sebastian Bach. Their own moves (or chords) express these events remotely.

Imagine a universe complex enough to bottom out and optimize the possibility for spiritual freedom and meaning simultaneously for the Daesh executioner and his victim. The universe is tracking and managing at both levels in both directions commensurately.

Nothing can suffer permanently or be put into a state of hell or damnation. Each experience continues to change into the next, and the next. And here we are today, forebear and aftermath. In other words, we have to solve the unsolvable, cure the incurable. Or try. That’s how universes come into being, what salamanders and snakes and quartz crystals are: unresolved traumas on multiple planes of All That Is, seeking resolution and redemption, creating kingdoms, worlds, and nations.

“You do not understand the dimensions into which your own thoughts drop,” says Seth, “for they continue their own existences, and others look up to them and view them like stars. I am telling you that your own dreams and thoughts and mental actions appear to the inhabitants of other systems like the stars and planets within your own; and those inhabitants do not perceive what lies within and behind the stars in their own heavens.” [366]

Those butterfly’s wings in Tokyo not only change weather on Earth but in other galaxies. That is why the Four Great Vows of Buddhism declare that, though sentient beings are numberless, we vow to save them all, and though the dharma in unattainable, we vow to attain it. Only theim possible is worth this profound state of embodiment and the work and hope that went into designing it. Only the impossible is honorable.

“I contend [writes Winnicott] that clinical fear of breakdown is the fear of a breakdown that has already been experienced. It is a fear of the original agony which caused the defence organization which the patient displays as an illness syndrome. [italics mine]

“This idea may or may not prove immediately useful to the clinician. We cannot hurry up our patients. Nevertheless, we can hold up their progress because of genuinely not knowing; any little piece of our understanding may help us to keep up with a patient’s needs.”

Experience is sacred and in the long run can never be diminished, no matter how despondent, evil, or mechanical it becomes, no matter what acts of desperation and depravity it commits. It cannot help but convert each of them into meaning and feed it back to the field from which it arises. This is what we are avoiding and why we keep reincarnating—those who do.

“There are moments, according to my experience,” continues Winnicott, “when a patient needs to be told that the breakdown, a fear of which destroys his or her life, has already been. It is a fact that is carried round hidden away in the unconscious. The unconscious here is not exactly the repressed unconscious of psychoneurosis, nor is it the unconscious of Freud’s formulation of the part of the psyche that is very close to neurophysiological functioning. Nor is it the unconscious of Jung’s which I would call: all those things that go on in underground caves, or (in other words) the world’s mythology, in which there is collusion between the individual and the maternal inner psychic realities. In this special context the unconscious means that the ego integration is not able to encompass something. The ego is too immature to gather all the phenomena into the area of personal omnipotence.”

That is the definition of a “young soul”; it thinks that it has committed no sins or suffered no significant traumas not because it hasn’t but because it doesn’t yet know what they are. Every grub is turning into a butterfly and providing the eggs for its next emanation.

When the Dalai Lama received the news of a mass slaughter in Tibet, he wept for the Chinese soldiers, not for the nuns. It wasn’t lack of empathy on their behalf. It was because, in his system, nuns had been freed from samsara, whereas the Chinese soldiers were condemned by their acts to hell realms. Winnicott again:

“It must be asked here: why does the patient go on being worried by this that belongs to the past? The answer must be that the original experience of primitive agony cannot get into the past tense unless the ego can first gather it into its own present time experience and into omnipotent control now (assuming the auxiliary ego-supporting function of the mother (analyst)).

“In other words, the patient must go on looking for the past detail which is not yet experienced. This search takes the form of a looking for this detail in the future.” [“Fear of Breakdown,” International Review of Psychoanalysis, Volume 1, pp. 103-104]

You either act on faith or stand at the starting gate, awaiting confirmation and proof before action, a burning bush or golden skink, a tap from a god. The god himself is waiting to be born, waiting for you to act and breathe life into him so that he can breathe it into you.

 

Comments

 

For me, the topic of Bottoming Out is captured here. As explained by Hsuan Hua, Center is all-pervasive. Everything is center, and once you experience the Center of anything, then you’re in touch with all Centers. And Center is sometimes described as a billion suns at one point. So the energy/awareness behind every point of the universe is more than what most of us think.

When it comes time to die, often there’s a tiny glimpse into the nature of things. Then the karma takes over, and if we’re on a hellish path, we sink into the hells. And if we’re on an upswing, then that may tend to continue, unless we shift it. There are apparently a few individuals who maintain centeredness in life and continue it into death. Sometimes these folks are called buddhas.

Anyway, your “Bottoming Out” is an amazing literary task. And it will help some people who are never going to quiet their minds and see the Nature of things, to understand it as best as possible with concept. What you do is about as far as one can go with concept, in my opinion.

Paul Pitchford, dharma teacher and author of Healing with Whole Foods

 

 

 

*It is difficult in terms of punctuation to distinguish between Cannon’s dots, which signify breaks in speech, and my own gaps and discontinuities in excerpting from there. Yet I figure that it doesn’t matter. I am aiming at the overall effect and have taken some liberties with the order and text.

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ed December 2, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Enjoyed your writing about Grossinger’s Hotel. I worked there in the mid seventies as a night auditor. It was a great experience living and working there. I especially recall with gratitude how well employees were treated. I felt like a guest. I lived on the top floor of Milton Berle Building. Employee dining room had great food and even waiters. I went on from there to manage and now own my own hotel. Your family business taught me how to treat employees. It was a great lesson that I went on to learn is rarely copied. I would love to visit Grossinger’s one day. Great memories indeed.

Polly Hough November 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Thanks to Richard and responders for an interesting dialogue, some of which seems helpful, but too much seeking to blame Hillary for losing, when she fought as hard as she could to continue what she could of Obama’s Legacy, which has benefited many, though not enough. Thanks also to Congress! I do wonder about her handlers and advisors’ thinking. Trump’s smoke screen of scandalous comments has obscured our view, and perhaps obscured the complexity of the problems. Hillary has apologized for her errors, and had the right to her point of view. I do wish that she had embraced more heartily Sanders’ populist approach and even chosen him to be her Vice Presidential contender, but I think they still might have lost. She had a workable platform, he had charisma and slogans. With work, they could have unified their vision. But neither addressed the “rigging” that I see Republicans do every day here in Utah. Is it so common that we don’t see it?
I suspect the truth of why the Democrats lost lies in the systematic cheating that the Republicans set up long ago, which was not sufficiently revealed and decried. It is time to read Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman’s,” The Flip & Strip Death of American Democracy…”, (www.freepress.org/www.solartopia.org). and look into the rigging in each state, particularly those key ones that lost her the election. She didn’t lose by that much if you face up to the weak democratic institutions we have going, and the way it allows the Electoral College system to malfunction without corrective. Let’s quit grieving and get to work fixing the damn thing. Too much is at stake. Trump’s finger should not be on the Nuclear button.

Linda November 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm

I just finished Ron Sieh’s book and would love to take lessons from him. Can you tell me where is and if he’s teaching?

Peter Beren September 11, 2016 at 1:55 pm

I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing. Peter

Vegeko December 2, 2015 at 12:05 pm

You can find pictures of here. Should I aemttpt to preface the city of a hundred spires, its lovely architecture cannot be forgotten. Search in your memory for a name of any style you can think of. Prague will almost certainly have some landmark to offer – be it from hundreds of years ago such as Romanesque rotunda or from numerous eras spanning centuries. The latter can be represented by the picturesque Prague Castle with its truly magnificent St Vitus’s Cathedral or the tiny (and that is probably one of the reasons why) fairy-tale like Golden Lane. The same applies to architectonic landmarks “remembering” merely several decades such as the precious Cubist pearls scattered here and there in Prague’s winding streets, buildings, , theaters, museums.

Richard Grossinger August 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Thanks for the comment. It was meant to serve a healing function itself, as there is not really a general cure for optical migraines. But no, I don’t have a lot of specific or topic-oriented feedback. Most of it is on the same level of yours: general usefulness of the book. As probably goes without saying (from my quotes and bibliography), I consider Oliver Sacks’ book Migraine very useful, but the best one is a book that our press published for which Sacks wrote the preface: Migraine Art. It is more than a picture book; it goes into great detail on the categories of auras and their effects. Richard

Jackie Perkins August 16, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Hi Richard,
I read your book about migraine auras several years ago and have reread it several
times. Thank you so much for writing it as it helps me when I have a bout of
auras with very little headache. I was wondering if you have had a lot feedback
from fellow sufferers and if you have learned anything more about them since
the book was written. Can you refer me to any other sources to help me make
peace or get rid to them completely.
Any comments will be appreciated,\.
Jackie

Jacqueline phillips December 29, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Thanks for sharing. Raised in the village of Liberty. Worked the switchboard at the G as a teenager. Went to school with Sandy. Sad it did not continue.

david hovey August 27, 2014 at 9:40 am

my mother and aunt were bauer sisters..founder of lpga golf association..i spent many summers up there..great..miss it

Richard Grossinger May 22, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Dear Jim, Thanks for writing. You were really there at the core of my time, a rare thing. I don’t specifically remember you, though. Let me know if you want the two books, New Moon and/or Out of Babylon, as I can send them for just the cost of the postage. Richard

jim blankenship May 22, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I enjoyed reading about your family and experience at Grossingers. I worked there, along with Teddy Howard, as the house photographer from 1958-1961. It was quite an experience meeting and photographing many of the celebrities and sports figures. I had been on the staff at NY Daily news in the city prior to this so I enjoyed the life in Liberty and Sullivan Co. My wife and I live in Atlanta now. We were married in Liberty in 1960……. Jim Blankenship AP Photographer,retired

Richard Grossinger January 6, 2014 at 11:10 am

Thanks, Kris. I have send the review around to our staff, and there is even some tentative thought about including it as a foreword to one of the two 50th-anniversary Io anthologies that we are releasing next year (2015). If we were to pursue that, would you like to rewrite it or perhaps punctuate it more conventionally (close open parentheses, etc.)?
I’d be curious to know your actual critique of my political statements. You don’t actually say, taking it for granted that it is obvious, though part of your point is that it isn’t obvious to me, and it isn’t. I can guess, but I could easily be wrong. For instance, it isn’t actually clear that you are not the Australian (or other) offended equivalent of a Conservative Republican.
Although I do pose those arguments seriously, they are also at the level of myth, and I speak to that occasionally. I have no special insight into political matters, but I do throw myself into the mythology for what it expresses. I think that one can be literally “wrong” and still mythologically accurate. For instance, in the case of Obama, he is not literally who I have portrayed him as, but the myth is still authentic. In that regard, you might note my Facebook post on him recently, also on this website.
Also ironically enough in this regard, enough people are ONLY reading the political parts of my writing, enough so that Andrew Harvey has urged me to collect them in their own book as part of his Spiritual Activism imprint. This doesn’t make me any less off-base any more than that that refutation is obvious.
No complain here. I’m just interested to know what you are actually saying. I have spent most of my life in America, whether in compliance or reaction.
The whole “Ken Wilber” thing is an interesting story of its own, far too labyrinthine to tell. The very short version of it is that a writer friend in Maine with whom I occasionally hiked and whose work I supported and helped get published suddenly went ballistic against me and not only made those comments about me and Wilber, which I paraphrased, but wrote such, strong threatening emails that friends I showed them to urged me to take them to the police. They were what mafia might write.
The thing that set him off was that after a hike I naively wrote a piece (like many of the other pieces in 2013 and Bardo of Waking Life) about the events on the hike and our dialogue and then sent it to him (from NYC en route back to California) with the idea that he and I might collaborate on a piece about our experiences that day. Making him a character in my piece, even though it was informal and unpublished and I was offering him an edit and a collaboration, had the effect of triggering a response so extreme that I didn’t actually believe he was serious at first. I apologized profusely, trashed the piece, and yet the emails kept coming, up to the “mafia” level. What made this all the more inexplicable was the fact that prior to my transgression in writing the piece, he had been a good friend, and I had been pretty much his main supporter in the larger world, finding him a venue in which to publish.
Now that’s the shell of the story, and the piece you comment on came out of that, is my displaced response to it. I didn’t want to repeat the original error by being any more specific and singling him out in any way. The underlying issues are probably of a whole different order.
Since then, we have mellowed out, though are no longer friends and don’t hike together anymore. Meanwhile I have had a lot of indirect contact with Wilber in the sense that two of his main students who live in the Bay Area have read Dark Pool of Light and consider it relevant to the Wilber tradition and thus have spent time with me, talking. So right after I declared myself completely separate from all that, I got brought back into it in more benign and pleasant terms.
I hope that you take a look at Dark Pool, as what I began in 2013 is brought to its culmination in there. Really what my work is about, and what I make my stand on, is not the political ideology or even the literary voice so much, but the cosmic vision, and then putting it into viable literary form. I will post this on Facebook too. Richard

Kris Hemensley January 6, 2014 at 12:47 am

I’m amazed & humbled at yr reprinting of my review… Thank you. Looking forward to reading you anew in 2014! Cheers, Kris Hemensley

Richard Grossinger September 16, 2013 at 4:21 am

They have not been updated, but I have started work on a fourth volume posted on this website. Also the fourth volume is really now the “fifth”
volume because I have rewritten The Night Sky as a de facto fourth volume. It will be out next spring. See the home page of this site for a table of contents. Also I will continue to post interviews with me about the books, audio, video, and text. Thanks for reading them and for inquiring.

Jim Weddington September 16, 2013 at 3:31 am

I have all three volumes of “Dark Pools of Light” in nook book format. I recently heard that this trilogy has been up dated. If so I would like to recieve the update in the nook format. If this is possible.

I have been having some problems with emails. So if you can’t reach
me by email try.

Jim Weddington
105 LaGrange St.
Newnan, GA 30263

Thanks,

Jim Weddington

105 LaGrange St.

Richard Grossinger July 20, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Dolores, thanks for the touching thoughts. Time does move remarkably fast, especially because it never stops, even for an instant. But it may not be linear, so those times are still alive somewhere in the universe, as you will be.

Dolores Levine Seiler July 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Dear Richard, I enjoyed reading your piece. For me it was nostalgia and sadness, not only for Grossinger’s but for my life which is also nearing its end. My father was Lazarus Levine, and my husband, Seymour Seiler, married me at the hotel in 1953. He was an architect and worked with Harry. My son, now 56, had his Bar Mitzvah celebration at Grossinger’s. My daughter learned how to ice skate and ski at the hotel. I am sorry that my grandchildren could not particpate in the “Jewish” celebrations that were so wonderful there.

Richard Grossinger May 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Well said. Thanks for the comments.

Carol Malloch May 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Hello Richard,
I enjoyed reading your article. I moved to the town. of Liberty NY. in the early 70’s .
I grew up on the West coast up to that point. Liberty was culture shock . For your family to build a world class resort was a testament to their abilities . Your aunt Elaine. was a respected member of the community . She was head of the school board
in Liberty . She handled out the diplomas at the high school graduations every year.
When your grandmother died, the town lined the main st of town for her procession.
Grossinger’s was the castle on the hill and the jewel of the catskill resort.industry . Your cousins Michell and Mark went on in the hotel industry to make their mark . The problem was the weak economy and decline of the whole hotel industry that ruined Grossinger’s . Your father and Aunt Elaine did what they could do to keep people employed . Despite how your parents turned out, they are still your family and you are apart of them . Grossinger’s will be always known for it’s great hospitality . It’s just a shame how she ended up. The Catskill Mountains just reached up and took back what was their’s .

Richard Grossinger May 17, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I have no knowledge at all. The property was sold almost 30 years ago and has been re-sold many times since then.

Monique DeCicco-Jones May 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I am a Family Nurse Practitioner with a few ideas on the restoration of this facility via Health Care grants. Who actually owns this property and what is their contact information? My phone number is (845)292-9114. I am a resident of Liberty and often don’t read my email because I am extremely busy pursuing a PhD in nursing so please feel free to phone.

Monique DeCicco-Jones May 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I am a Family Nurse Practitioner with a few ideas on the restoration of this facility via Health Care grants. Who actually owns this property and what is their contact information? My phone number is (845)292-9114. I am a resident of Liberty and often don’t read my email because I am extremely busy pursuing a PhD in nursing so please feel free to phone. I pass the facility everyday and have great visions for it!

Richard Grossinger May 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I am moved by your bringing back the past, and it rings true about my grandmother whom, I always felt, had a dignity and grandeur beyond her public image, and also a kindness and generosity, though she also had her own hauteur and corruptness. The generation that followed just didn’t get it, not that it would have changed anything in the end. I’m not sure that “Peter” isn’t a wrong memory. It’s more likely Michael or James, my adopted half-brothers. Also possibly Jerry or Freddie. No “Peter Grossinger” in that era.

Ron Erich May 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm

So glad and sad to come upon your story. I , and my sister, worked at Grossinger’s for two summers as a waiters, earning money for college. I think it was 1965, 1966. Jennie G. offered us the jobs when she was in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and my father was her Physical Therapist. I remember the two great fun summers there. I did hang out a little with Peter Grossinger one summer and it was always a thrill went Jennie would come into the dining room and give me a hug. It made me feel important and kept the maitre d’s off my back for a few hours, at least.
So sad to see the pictures of the property in its state of abandonment. I saw that the Concord is gone also. Here in southern California one seldom sees beautiful properties going back to nature.
Thanks for your story and bringing back memories that I had almost forgotten.

Shirley March 31, 2013 at 7:23 pm

My father worked as a waiter there during the 70s. Sometimes he would take us there and I would remember swimming, skiing, or just roaming around the hotel with my sister and friend. We loved going there and my father still talks about his wonderful years there. When the hotel was closing down my father salvaged a few things, including a painted porcelain plate I believe that was hung in the dining room. I want to return these items to the family. Let me know if you would like for me to send you a photo.

Richard Grossinger February 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Last I knew, he was teaching at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco in the Somatics Program.

William McKeen February 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Quantum

The double slit experiment prove that with observation you can improve the probability of making a certain thing happen. The negative aspect of this is if focus on the particle you lose sight of the momentum. Focus on the momentum, you lose sight of the particle. Another example, focus on the tree you lose sight of the forest. Focus on the forest you lose sight of the tree. Even better one, focus on God you lose sight of reality. Focus on reality you lose sight of God.

The extreme differential of the last example can be explored in the writings of both Schopenhauer and Swedenborg.

MN February 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Hello Richard, I used to know Ian Grand a long time ago in Berkeley. Wondering if you have any idea what’s become of him. Thanks!

Richard Grossinger November 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Great WorK!

Richard Grossinger October 4, 2012 at 9:14 am

Thanks for the nice note. I think that the warts ARE history, always. Nothing exists as an idea(l) or in a vacuum or as its mere prototype.

Wes Gray October 4, 2012 at 8:54 am

Dear Richard,

You are an extremely talented writer. A wonderful story indeed. As the internet goes, you end up stumbling upon things you never knew. I learned a great deal about a piece of American history, warts and all. Your grandmother’s legacy is secure for eternity.

ann September 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Regarding, Dark Pool of Light, Volume Two: Consciousness in Psychospiritual and Psychic … By Richard Grossinger, I would like a preview copy. I grew up with Kimmie Ross and we just today discussed Ontology, and her future with that concept. So it was quite a surprise to read your bit on her. Though a sceptic, your writing style keeps me reading….and your education…my grandfather went to Amherst and my mother went to Smith then Univ. of Michigan to join my father (a fourth generation U. of Mich grad). You seem to have fun with your life and family so that is why I am requesting the preview, which you offered.
Thanks, Ann

Barbara Sparhawk September 3, 2012 at 8:39 am

Hello Mr Grossinger. Found you googling Goddard and there were so many cross references historically between us I feel compelled to halloo.
Goddard student in ’62, classmates Charlie Ponce, Eric Saarinen, Peter Pilafian…acted in Charlie’s moody plays, there were many and he was stark drama, the only one I remember the title of is The Cistern, me posed reciting in spotlight over faux hole center stage. I attended Riverside’s Encampment for Citizenship summer prior to Goddard, Ethical Culture Society but as a child, and took Tai Chi in the ’60’s with Professor Cheng M’an Ching on West Broadway. Lived in Chinatown, Brooklyn, bits of the states and world; only female billboard painter; still write and still paint; gallery in Big Sur 3 years, now Carmel Valley.
Interesting to find you and read your history. Goddard produced activists, something that never entirely left the molecules electrified there.

Paul D. Mendelsohn August 24, 2012 at 6:44 am

Hi Richard:

I loved your piece. We must have run in parallel universes. My dad had the jewelery concession at G’s in the 50’s and early 60’s, so I spent a lot of weekends up there as a kid and have great memories. My dad was a good friend of PG’s, Jenny and Elaine and he mentioned the other day that he still runs into Elaine down in Boca. The ruins remind me of looking at the wreck of the titanic, which I also had a fascination with as a child. At G’s I had so many great memories of wandering through the lobbies, watching Jenny on “this is your life” in the lobby in 1954 (I was only 7), the ice sculptures, Lew and Simon Sez, skating with Irving, watching them break gound for the “new” indoor pool, the malts in the coffee shop, the great toboggan rides, but mostly I enjoyed watching the people. It was a great time to bond with my dad in a Camelot environment. In the late 60’s I also worked with my brother Hank in the dining room, but G’s was changing and was already not the same. I also got hazed at the one year I spent at Camp Chipinaw. But I did enjoy the horseback riding, fencing and lake area. Athough I did not like having to carry out “rocks” every time we left the lake to clean out the swimming area. I currently live in Charlotte, Vermont and would love to hear from you.

Richard Grossinger August 20, 2012 at 5:25 am

Thanks, Greg. So great to hear from you. You were my room-mate in Phi Psi at the beginning of sophomore year, a crossroads time. And you were my first stop on my flight west in 1965, the seminal summer of my life. That’s no doubt when I “performed” my orange-juice disaster. I can be very dyslexic with half a chance, and certainly back then. I am still grateful you provided that “safe house” when it counted. I’d love to hear more about your journeys. Is there a way to contact you?

John Prentiss (Greg) August 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Hi Rich. While googling “Sam Lipskin,” I stumbled on your “Best Friends” list and am glad I did. In addition to news of Sam, you shared info about other classmates like Jeff Tripp and Greg Dropkin I’d lost track of decades ago.

You remain one of the most talented, delightfully eccentric people it has been my pleasure to meet. (I still remember my father looking on in disbelief as you tried to mash a 2 1/2 inch wide can of frozen orange juice into a jar with a 2 inch top and his saying to me later, “So how come you’re telling me he’s genius? He can’t even make orange juice.”)
Take care.
Warmly,
Greg Prentiss, former screenwriter, bum, and Chief Deputy Prosecutor for Adams County, Washington, now living in the Ozarks with 6 cats

admin April 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Thanks, Harlan, I appreciate the comments. Probably the only thing further I’ll do on this is rewrite Out of Babylon for an ebook to come out in 2014.

Harlan Friedman April 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I loved this story. My father worked at the G during the 70’s until the parental units decided it was time to take the pilgrimage to Long island and set up shop there. I remember many fun days there. My first “print ad” was a shot they used of me on the playground for a brochure in the late 70’s. Please keep the stories and pictures coming!

admin March 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Thanks, Michael. Are you still around Bar Harbor? Lindy and I plan to be there around July 1 through at least the end of September this year.

michael flahetty March 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Hey Richard! We first met on Mt. Desert Island when we swapped a pizza for Somme of your books(great trade).Hope you and your family are well.Saw your son on t.v. and felt a strange sense of pride considering how little I know you or your family.Hope to see you in Maine!

admin February 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I really don’t remember or, more to the point, don’t think I ever knew. The number “$26,000 a day” sticks in my mind from some discussion in the mid-seventies.

Nick Pjevach February 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Richard,
couple of quick questions on Grossinger’s Resort
would you by chance remember any of the operating costs of the resort?
I would be interested to find out what some of the costs are to operate such
a large complex. (just think of the gas bill for those two boilers).
Very sad about Paul losing everything. Grossinger’s $1.8 mm loss in 1985 was
probably (or eventtually) covered by Paul personnally. That kind of loss is hard
for any one person (or family) to cover. (my father also covered losses for a
business and it ruined the last 10 years of his life-he died broke also covering
personally guaranteed debt of a business)
also enoyed your writing above
nick

admin February 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm

It’s from the 1970s, well before PDF days. Ann Arbor Microfilms made a version in the style of the day, and I know that that’s available in Maine libraries, perhaps by interlibrary loan. Some of the material appears in my books Book of Cranberry Islands and The Provinces.

Deborah Confer February 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I’m a research assistant to someone writing a report for the National Park Service on the traditional histories of Otter Cove and Isle au Haut. I would be very interested in reading your dissertation, The strategy and ideology of lobster-fishing
on the back side of Mount Desert Island, Hancock County, Maine. Is it possible to get a PDF version? Thanks so much.

Geoffrey Brown January 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Moving and sad and at the same time delightful. I grew up in Liberty, enjoyed Grossingers mostly from the outside but still able to see the place from my bedroom window. Your aunt Elaine was very kind to me when I was doing some grad school research on migrant manpower in the resort industry. Thank you for writing this.

Magdalena Ball September 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Thank you so much for these detailed and richly presented recollections. I’m writing a novel (as you so beautifully put it, “for curios and mementos, for jewels and heirlooms, and for memes of the elusive and illusory American paradise”) partly set at Grossinger’s in the 1940s, when my grandmother worked as a young singer (family mythology was that Jenny chose her from a competition in Central Park and brought her out to the hotel, where she subsequently met her husband, my grandfather, and changed the course of her life). Every piece of information I can find helps me to better reconstruct the setting and also illuminate my own history. Of course I would love to travel back in time and sit in the audience to verify memory, but your notes are almost as good.

David Gitin July 24, 2011 at 9:09 am

Richard, I love your ability to articulate the ‘dilemma’ (even if that articulation, including the capture as ‘dilemma’ is itself part of the issue). Snyder’s discussion of Buddhism and the Coming Revolution decades ago gave hint of this, forerunner perhaps. Andrew’s responses closely echo the talk we heard him give the other night, but good to have them here as part of the conversation. Thanks for pointing me to your website!

jonah mark bekerman June 4, 2011 at 11:16 am

wonderful reading

thankyou

elliot was going to give you a copy of breathing in the infinite

did he?

Anita Wolfenberger March 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. In 1964, after marrying (in Puerto Rico) to a Army man, I purchased a cookbook of Jewish cooking put out by your parents hotel. The Introduction is by your father.

I have no idea of the name of the book. The cover long ago gave way to white paper and scotch tape, the pages are missing corners and frayed all around, the book is only partly attached to what is left of it’s spine. In short it is well used.

I don’t know why I feel compelled to tell you this. I just read that the hotel is closed and am sorry to hear that. I believe I was there when I was about five or so, which would be around 1948. I have vague memories of a “talent” show of little kids.

(Mrs) Anita Wolfenberger
New Market, TN

Larry Olsen February 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Good Evening:
My brother, nearly 40 years ago, attended a technical competition that was held up at Grossinger’s in Upstate New York. The night before the competition, the hotel had a number of very talented people who put on various skits and songs, including “The Ballad of Irving” and a song about Washington at Valley Forge. One of the few lines that I remember was something about, “If Washington was Jewish, instead of Valley Forge, The Army would have wintered up at Grossinger’s with George!” Is this the same as the song you list on this site?
W/R,
Larry

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