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What are you going to call your book on the history of real and fake mediumship? When is it coming out? Will you leave your blog entries on the internet for people to read for free instead of buying them as the book?

There's no book. Just this blog.

Some of the spirits' statements are intriguing and possibly prescient. Distance, we are told, is illusory, and the entire universe can be found in – and reconstructed from – its smallest part. These ideas remind John Chambers of Michael Talbot's book The Holographic Universe, which explores the cosmology of David Bohm."

These ideas are also in 'Consciousness is All'. Before I read this, I'd just posted in the previous thread that I've only just realised that the Universe is actually without size -how prescient is that?

“But if we view them as Consciousness interacting with itself”

The reading I have done on this type of communication suggests that lower level spirits can come through and pretend to be someone else. As consciousness is not encased in concrete this could have been lower level spirits and sometimes the sub consciousness of the sitters.

These type of spirits would indeed consider earth a type of prison and have a gloomy outlook on life but then as you stated it also could reflect the mental outlook of the sitters.

Allan Kardec wrote in his book the spirits book that lower level spirits that claim to be famous give themselves away in time with inaccurate information.

I studied the course in miracles for three years and never could figure out if the information coming through Helen was her subconscious or a spirit pretending to be Jesus or who knows maybe it was Jesus that was coming through and he went shopping with her for a new pair of shoes and gave her advice on her shoe selection.

My best guess is that Helen was a very advanced spirit and her subconscious was revealing to her intelligence that she was unable to access in this life. If anyone wants to study how much control one’s ego has over their life then the course in miracles is for you.

But beware the interesting phenomenon I found was that many of the people in the course in miracles were very egotistical. The main message did not seem to affect the behaviors of many of the followers.

Also I have read that the level of consciousness of the sitters using the planchette may determine the level of consciousness of the spirits coming through.

Your a legend Ross. ;-)

Some of the spirits' statements are intriguing and possibly prescient. Distance, we are told, is illusory, and the entire universe can be found in – and reconstructed from – its smallest part. These ideas remind John Chambers of Michael Talbot's book The Holographic Universe, which explores the cosmology of David Bohm.
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If everything is infinitely interconnected to everything else and time and space do not exist than it is of no importance what name the spirit or soul chose to call itself. Names (which are just another kind of duality) are a "here" thing and not a "there" thing. No separation. This is why people who have NDE's routinely say that they saw Elvis or Einstein on the other side. Whatever one focuses one attention on is what one experiences. If one thinks about Einstein he will appear. No time and space. Like information in a black hole. A singularity.

In the final analysis, if we view the sessions as spirit communications, they are unconvincing and unsatisfying. But if we view them as Consciousness interacting with itself – Consciousness creating a kind of feedback loop between the sitters on the one hand and the planchette on the other – then things get more interesting.

I think this is the key to everything, Michael. If one considers consciousness as the ground of being, everything changes. Michael Tymn had a http://metgat.gaia.com/blog/2008/1>post a couple months ago in which he discussed the spirit communications of one Private Dowding, who stated, "Hell is a thought region," and went on to discuss an aborted 'rescue mission' that Dowding participated in.

Dowding also stated, "This hell is the hell of the illusions and is itself an illusion. I find this hard to credit. Those who enter it are led to believe that the only realities are the sense passions and the beliefs of the human ‘I’. This hell consists in believing the unreal to be real . . . Hell, apparently, or that part of it we are speaking about, depends for its existence on human thoughts and feelings.

This parallels certain descriptions in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, but descriptions of the heavenly realms are also described in terms of perception, especially in the Eastern traditions. It also occurred to me that the Anita M NDE (that we've discussed before here) describes our world as dependent upon the collective thoughts and feelings of humanity.

The point is, existence is always about perception, and until we learn that simple lesson, we are always captive to our personal thoughts and feelings. This is true here and in what we call the afterlife, but the very term 'afterlife' is also part of the illusion, and neither the mediums nor the spirits that they encounter fully realize that. Everything is consciousness, always folding back in upon itself. Anything and everything we can ever encounter is an aspect of the divine - there is nothing else. This is the simple truth that is at the foundation of the Hermetic tradition, as well as all of the world's religions.

Consciousness as the ground of being, though, is almost impossible for anyone to believe. In order to truly understand it, we need to see it, to recognize it, to experience it. And strangely enough, in order to get there, we need to move beyond all beliefs, including the belief that consciousness is the ground of being!

It turns back in upon itself once again, and on and on it goes.

Art: "No separation... Like information in a black hole. A singularity."

Yes Art - A singularity is the right analogy - nondimensional and without size. So presumably although we dream we have been projected by a Big Bang on to a cinema screen called the Universe, we are in fact still inside the singularity- which explains nonlocality, synchronicity, etc. In your view can there be other singularities? Presumably not – the Black Hole in space is merely a physical analogy, since our terms ‘Infinity’, ‘Omniscience’ and ‘Omnipresence’ imply nothing else outside, not even other universes. Or maybe we are just part of a Demi-Consciousness below the Absolute?!

Michael H: “And strangely enough, in order to get there, we need to move beyond all beliefs, including the belief that consciousness is the ground of being!”

I suppose you mean that any belief implies a judgement that something is true or false, and arises from the Aristotelian dichotomy that Michael P referred to, ie is simply an intellectual construct for analysing the illusory Universe of forms? So beliefs are really neither true nor false, but completely irrelevant, because beliefs are held by an ego, which is finite and therefore ignorant?

I suppose you mean that any belief implies a judgement that something is true or false, and arises from the Aristotelian dichotomy that Michael P referred to, ie is simply an intellectual construct for analysing the illusory Universe of forms? So beliefs are really neither true nor false, but completely irrelevant, because beliefs are held by an ego, which is finite and therefore ignorant?

Essentially, yes. But it involves looking deeper, past the intellect itself. The difficulty in communication has to do with language itself being an intellectual construct. It’s because of the limitation of language that direct realization of the universal consciousness can never be fully transmitted from one person to another.

The other difficulty has to do with how successful the intellect has proven to be. Western society represents the culmination of centuries of intellectual development – we are able to carry on these thread discussions because we’ve been able to harness electricity, build computers and connect them through the vast network of the internet. This is just one example of thousands. We’re surrounded by the products of Aristotelian thought, and it has occurred to me many times that it is the very success of this method of thinking that convinces billions that we are living in an objective reality. When someone like a Peter Kingsley suggests that there’s a deeper reality that we’re oblivious to, it sounds ridiculous until someone has glimpsed it themselves. And on top of that, there’s an implicit assumption that realization of the deeper reality is an either/or proposition, that ‘mystical’ realization leaves one impotent to live a productive life in the ‘real’ world.

In the previous thread, MP suggested that what may be needed is a ‘new way of thinking’. He’s right. The intellect has been so successful, that we assume it is the only way to think. So we apply it to everything. And that’s where we go wrong.

George Pransky, the psychologist who along with Roger Mills developed the school of psychology now known as Health Realization, suggests that there is another way to use our minds. He describes the data-driven use of the intellect as ‘process thinking’, but points out that we also have access to another way of thinking, which he calls ‘flow thinking’. We all experience flow thinking at various times, but we don’t recognize it as thinking, because it isn’t active. Flow thinking is when our minds are just free and clear, sort of ‘grazing’. Most of us access it regularly when our minds are quiet, those times when our thoughts just flow in an orderly fashion, coming to mind like bubbles floating to the surface. And even though we all experience flow thinking to various degrees, we don’t respect it, and we don’t recognize the deep intelligence behind it. We’re so convinced that processing data is the key to everything, that instead of just living in flow thinking, we seize onto a ‘thought bubble’ and plunge down into the depths of our intellect with it, thus drawing us back into process thinking. And we don’t even recognize that we’ve done so, because we don’t see flow thinking as thinking, we don’t see it as the proper use of our minds.

When I write that we need to look past the intellect, or to see beyond our beliefs, or to see thought as thought, what I’m suggesting is that we need to spend more time in flow thinking. But before we can spend more time in flow thinking, we have to learn to recognize it, which is difficult because of its subtlety. Once we’ve recognized it, we have to learn to respect it and trust it. And once we’ve done that, we discover that we just naturally know when it’s appropriate to apply the intellect, and when it’s not. We also discover, (at least in my case), that we still get lost in the intellect more often that we’d like. The one characteristic of flow thinking that is consistent in my experience is that there is a positive emotional component to it. It feels good, and there’s an unconditional quality to those feelings.

I don’t know if this lengthy post properly addressed Ross’s question or not – it may just sound like nonsense! It’s so tricky. Accepting that beliefs imply a judgment that something is true or false is itself a belief, and accepting that belief keeps us in process thinking. And to see that beliefs prevent us from realizing our inner connection to universal consciousness requires that we shift into flow thinking, yet if we try to discover universal consciousness through flow thinking we are accepting the belief that flow thinking will lead us to universal consciousness, and that belief will send us back into process thinking. It’s no wonder no one can properly explain it. I think the idea is to just be, and look for positive feelings.

Nice reply Michael H -thank you.

“The difficulty in communication has to do with language itself being an intellectual construct.”

This reminds me of your super post in the Daily Grail about Idealism.
You were talking about Subjective Idealism, but at least two people assumed you meant political idealism and linked it to Fascism and Communism! Phew! In spite of your very careful use of language (and you are always very careful, Michael!), people got the wrong end of the stick. And if I recall correctly, it led you to another post on the insufficiency of written language compared to the spoken word and lack of attentiveness to what others are saying. Quite understandable! Still, I have to say: I like your style (as I like Michael P's style, and everyone’s style who contributes to this blog). There’s no doubt I’ve learned a lot from your written words these last 4 months. So Keep up the good words!

Thanks, Ross.

Somewhat coincidentally, I just received an email from WIE with a link to the TED Conference lecture given by Jill Bolte Taylor earlier this year. She's a neuroscientist who experienced a massive stroke in 1996, yet managed to maintain a detailed awareness of her consciousness as she was experiencing the stroke. Though she describes things in terms of the left and right hemispheres of the brain, while reading this I couldn't help but think of Pransky's description of process and flow thinking.

Our right hemisphere is all about this present moment. It's all about right here right now. Our right hemisphere, it thinks in pictures and it learns kinesthetically through the movement of our bodies. Information in the form of energy streams in simultaneously through all of our sensory systems. And then it explodes into this enormous collage of what this present moment looks like. What this present moment smells like and tastes like, what it feels like and what it sounds like. I am an energy being connected to the energy all around me through the consciousness of my right hemisphere.

Our left hemisphere thinks linearly and methodically. Our left hemisphere is all about the past, and it's all about the future. Our left hemisphere is designed to take that enormous collage of the present moment. And start picking details and more details and more details about those details. It then categorizes and organizes all that information. Associates it with everything in the past we've ever learned and projects into the future all of our possibilities. And our left hemisphere thinks in language. It's that ongoing brain chatter that connects me and my internal world to my external world. It's that little voice that says to me, "Hey, you gotta remember to pick up bananas on your way home, and eat 'em in the morning." It's that calculating intelligence that reminds me when I have to do my laundry. But perhaps most important, it's that little voice that says to me, "I am. I am." And as soon as my left hemisphere says to me "I am," I become separate. I become a single solid individual separate from the energy flow around me and separate from you.

So who are we? We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are -- I am -- the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form. At one with all that is. Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere. where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, intellectual, neuroanatomist. These are the "we" inside of me.

The full transcript and video are available http://blog.ted.com/2008/03/jill_bolte_tayl.php#more>here.

“This is why people who have NDE's routinely say that they saw Elvis or Einstein on the other side. Whatever one focuses one attention on is what one experiences. If one thinks about Einstein he will appear”

Art would a soul on the other side be able to communicate with this Elvis or Einstein? Would Elvis be able to tell this person personal events that happened in his life? Or does the soul just see Elvis and does not or can not communicate with him?

And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are -- I am -- the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form.

YEah, right. It takes an embolism to do this, right?

YEah, right. It takes an embolism to do this, right?

While it's true that Jill Bolte Taylor's insights came about as a consequence of a massive brain hemorrhage, what interested me were the parallels between what she has to say and the understanding of human psychology as advocated by the school of Health Realization. I think Taylor is suggesting that she learned (through her stroke) that she can access what she calls her 'right brain' at any time, - it seems to me that this is essentially the same idea that HR practitioners suggest when they say we can access 'flow thinking' whenever we choose to as well. We don't need to suffer an embolism to do it.

As I wrote in the earlier post, most of us don't even recognize a quiet, passive mind as using our minds - so we don't respect it, or see it as desirable. We are convinced that using our minds analytically is the only method that has validity, and until we have accessed flow thinking ourselves, our analytical mind imagines that accessing a 'passive' mind is suggesting an aimless, drifting approach to life. Yet, as Taylor says, the 'right brain' is the key to discovering the moment, allowing us to be present, while the 'left brain' keeps our focus on the past and the future - neither of which are happening now.

Anyway, the idea isn't to believe Taylor, or Pransky - and certainly not me. Just look within and decide for yourself.

As Taylor closes her lecture, "Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be. And I thought that was an idea worth spreading."

I agree with her.

I agree with her.

You believe her.

I have never been much of a believer in right brain left brain controlling our mode of being in the world. Of course I have done little research into it and for some reason this has not been an interest of mine so that qualifies me for stating an opinion.

Although many years ago I took a course in college on the brain and its functions. Very interesting course. But I have noticed that many people that have lost some area of their brains it appears “often” (not sure about often comment) the other side of the brain is able to replace most if not all of those functions.

I think recent research is showing that the brain is a lot more holistic than previously thought. But the peace in the world part of her presentation sounds good. But then where are the profits in that?

But then where are the profits in that?

Perhaps we need a new definition of what constitutes profit, William.

I agree that using the left brain/right brain analogy can be clumsy, but as a neuroanatomist, this is the terminology that would be comfortable and familiar to her. What struck me was the parallel to the process/flow dichotomy described by HR professionals.

I think that anyone who has read my contributions here would know that I consider consciousness to be a spiritual phenomenon, and not something that emerges from the brain. I see the brain as involved in, but not the source of, conscious experience. As I read it, what Taylor suggests is that it is the 'right brain' that is the pathway to our connection to universal consciousness. HR calls that 'flow thinking'. While HR suggests shifting to and from 'process' and 'flow' thinking at will, Taylor suggests shifting from 'left brain' (analytical) thinking to 'right brain' (passive) thinking at will. They both suggest that for those who grasp it, the latter will be seen as preferable to the former.

I think they're both trying to say the same thing, and are just using different terms to do so.

"Perhaps we need a new definition of what constitutes profit, William."

that was my idea of humor.

The unconscious mind seems to be a huge region, responsible for such things as automatic writing, the planchette behavior discussed, somnambulism, "channeled" entities, maybe multiple personalities with different allergies and needed eyglass correction, it goes on and on. Our conscious personalities are presumably just the tip of this iceberg.

I have always wondered about this relative to the state of consciousness after physical death or temporarily out of body during an NDE. Is the vast unconscious realm able to manifest itself even in this state? In other words, it would seem even a detached spirit could theoretically still experience manifestations from an unconscious level. But I can't recall an NDE account mentioning anything like that. Perhaps during an NDE state a person's consciousness expands to encompass all these levels that were formerly hidden, but the accounts generally don't imply this.

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