Have you ever questioned your reality?

After having watched the first episode of Westworld, one of the more thought-provoking ontological lines from the show was “Have you ever questioned the nature of your own reality?

For a large part of my life I often wondered about the vastness of space and the beginning of the Universe without going further down the rabbit hole. After reaching what I have come to know as my spiritual epiphany a few years back, searching deeper within myself and questioning the true nature of reality revealed something quite special, that there was something beyond what we perceive with our senses and believe with our minds.

true-reality

Once a connection with the inner self and wider collective consciousness has been established, materialist layers start to peel away to open up a brand new way to perceive and understand the reality we live in day-to-day.

I have of late not watched much TV during my downtime after the kids have gone to bed, on the basis that the schedules are truly awful and lacking in both quality and substance. One only has to cycle through the channels to see that, from Booze Britain to The “Real” Housewives of Someplace, all cheap TV showing humankind at its worst and most shallow.

So Tuesday night came and tired after a day at work and household chores, I gave the “magic moving pictures box” another shot and of the four-hundred channels of abject garbage, the only programme of note was The Himalayas: Natural World, narrated by the wonderfully calming voice of David Attenborough. The scenery was breath taking, the accompany dialogue just as impressive, on display a majestic and remote ecosystem devoid of greed and ego (no humans present), just the animal kingdom in all of its glory showing its own primal need to exist as individuals and co-exist with others.

snow-leopard

By stark contrast, take the human kingdom; here we have a catastrophically dysfunctional ecosystem, rank with the fetid stench of ego, greed and extreme aggression. Switching channels I watched a programme called The Lost Children of Syria, a harrowing account of several children dispersed across Greece living on the streets with no security, no hope and no future, evidently. Our external reality it seems is destined to implode sometime soon based on this evidence and other events going on all over our little blue dot. What these kids have seen and experienced will stay with them forever, some will die even (perhaps soon), some will never recover yet some will go onto use their experience to help others and do some good in a chaotic world.

aleppo

Closing down the TV for the night made me feel both sad in what I had just witnessed and helpless as an individual who seemingly has no real impact in what goes on in the world. Sure I have my own political opinions and the right vote. Sure I have some designated charities which help out in a small way. Sure I have this blog which reaches out and propagates to both like-minded individuals and the collective consciousness but what real impression does any of this have? All that I know now is that what I am doing as an individual is positive, and by sharing that with family friends and the internet is the right thing to do. I can and will do more when the time is right.

All of that said there is magic in this world and whilst there are atrocities that occur on a daily basis, one must not give up on humanity. We are reminded on a daily basis how majestic and humbling just being in the here and now can be, like every morning when my daughter climbs in to my bed for morning cuddles before school.

As Dolores Abernathy says in Westworld episode one (my favourite quote of the show): “Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty”.

monument-valley

There is no doubt there is a shift in the world with writers like Eckhart Tolle, Ervin Laszlo and Anthony Peake who are rightly bringing into question the whole materialist-reductionist paradigm and with that the questioning of reality itself, and the follow-on action for change. If their words reach out and resonate with growing millions then so should we share those words via the means available to us. If we all have a book in us, then we should make it happen, especially if it the content changes the materialists mind-set.

Something further to ponder on is a question I’ve been asking myself for a while now: Are we living out a mundane and meaningless existence; are we living in a mystical and evolving era which feeds and evolves a hidden stream of consciousness or are we living in a virtual reality simulation our futures selves have created.

That my friends is the topic of my next blog…

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In darkness, look to the light…

We can guarantee that as each day dawns, the darkness of the night will inevitably give in to the light of the day, and with it the opportunity to refresh. Photosynthesis would simply not exist if the intergalactic “F5 button” wasn’t pressed every twelve hours and as a result nor would we (on the basis that life is not an illusion of course).

Conclusion: We need light.

I have recently started to re-watch the nineteen-eighties cartoon Dungeons & Dragons with my daughter as it was a personal favourite of mine many decades ago, and the first sitting saw us take in three episodes:

  • The Night of No Tomorrow
  • Eye of the Beholder
  • The Hall of Bones

As a child I looked forward to coming home from school (can’t remember which day of the week it was) knowing that a new episode was on. I would later go on to develop a love affair for Gary Gygax (his creative outputs rather than his physical form) and took up pencil, paper, maps, dice and lead figures – all accompanied by his trusty Dungeon Masters Guide and Monster Manual. Days would go by where my friends and I would get lost in Forgotten Realms, setting forth upon quest after quest, gaining experience points and magical items at speed, all suffering real-life bouts of depression if any of our party was killed by a gnarly beast.

As we sat on the sofa, her eyes were fixed on the TV (enjoying Uni the Unicorn’s air play time when he (or she) bounded joyfully on to the screen), my crusade to bring “K” along with me on my trip down memory lane an easy and triumphant one. As each episode played out, I couldn’t help but thinking that Dungeon Master (DM) was an on screen majestic, medieval and magical Buddha (albeit with a red cloak, not orange).

DD-DM-screenshot

It appeared that DM’s long list of quotes were resonating with me on a different level now; quotes taking on new purpose, new meanings, such as:

  • The right road is not the left…
  • Evil energy is like evil force. Change its direction, and it changes to good…
  • In darkness, look to the light…

As we watched The Hall of Bones, it was the last one that grabbed me. There I was sat on the sofa next a true beacon of light, an innocent beautiful creature whose caring and sharing nature was guiding me through a rather difficult time (not that she was aware of course). Earlier in the day, I had been to the hospital for a rather uncomfortable MRI scan on my brain, as the headaches I’ve been suffering from the last four weeks had not subsided; my ENT consultant had booked me in to get a scan to see if there was an underlying issue that needed immediate attention (my current tinnitus spike possibly acting as an energetic cranial early warning system).

“K” is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and she is only eight, and I am lucky to recall having similar thoughts of my two boys when they were younger before taking their own paths to maturity. She really is a positivity magnet, who also possesses what they called in the film industry a “Paul Newman Smile”. It is pretty impossible to spend any time with her without being uplifted and forgetting about the troubles of the self or the world. I guess I am lucky to have someone in my life so special, but concur that good parenting probably has a part to play in that too. I get the results of the scan tomorrow and no doubt “K” will be close by whatever the outcome.

We all live with the subjective reality of our own existence (shared or otherwise) each day and I have of late often questioned the true nature of reality itself.

In describing what reality was, Einstein once said:

  • What is reality? What we have called matter is energy (light), whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter. Matter is Energy. Energy is Light. We are all Beings of Light…

So here we have one of the most brilliant minds of our time confirming from a scientific perspective that we are all beings of light not darkness, no more so than my daughter.

We went walking with the whole family yesterday, during which my wife and I were having a conversation about her complementary therapy business, which she said gave her a lack of confidence in succeeding this time around as her two previous opportunities crashed and burned rather disappointingly through no fault of her own. I consoled her by saying that she was doing great in her new venture and told her not to worry as everything would turn out just fine.

As we made the bed this morning, we found this:

IMG_9041

Without knowing, two little ears were listening in attentively to our conversation and took it upon herself to place her Guatemalan Worry Dolls underneath mum’s pillow before she retired for the evening. It’s not surprising that my wife wept, almost as much as I did. “K” really is does banish the darkness.

In darkness, look to the light…

Cogito ergo sum…

Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum. I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am.

Rene Descartes coined this phrase to assert that the very act of doubting ones existence is proof enough that we must be thinking entities and therefore be. Although the external reality that we experience (sometimes in solitude and sometimes in unison) is internally generated based on the five senses that we have (or six in some cases), the true nature of reality lies beyond what the material self can perceive.

who-am-i.jpg

When we deconstruct the phrase above and relate it to the present, something strikes a real chord, with me at least.

  • Dubito – I doubt
  • Cogito – I think
  • Sum – I am

The geo-political scene is becoming increasingly fragile and recent events across Europe and Africa have gravely concerned me. Whilst the carnage in France, Nigeria and Kenya is truly horrific, I can’t help thinking that the problem is self-perpetuating. On the one side, we have the religious zealots who advocate thinking as a collective and not as individuals, but thinking without independence or impartiality, under a forced doctrine to live under totalitarian “sharia” law. On the other side, we have the political zealots who advocate thinking as a collective and not as individuals, but thinking without independence or impartiality, under a forced doctrine to live under totalitarian “democratic” law.

We are increasingly being told that we should not be doubting these rules and regulations; this is put in place for the greater good. We are increasingly being told that thinking should be best left to those in power and not the individual; this is put in place for the greater good. We are increasingly being told that “we are we” not “I am I”; this is put in place for the greater good.

All of these things done under the auspices of “we” are done for the wrong reasons. If the world was truly at peace and the individuals could collectively think together through love and not fear, through light and not dark, then our evolution (spiritual and otherwise) would indeed be gestalt; the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts. Under those conditions, I for one would be more than happy to operate under the “we” mantra”.

Sadly that appears not to be the case and it appears that we are heading down a very dark path to Orwellian oblivion.

As I was watching the horror of Paris unfolding on one of the UK news channels last week, my eight year old daughter came into the room and within minutes started weeping. “Will that happen here Daddy, I’m really scared? Will you not go to London next few week because you might die and I’ll be sad”. I gave her a massive hug and told her she would be safe here and I would stay safe on my travels. The truth was that right there and right then, to the sound of sirens and flashing light coming from the TV, a small part of me died; hope. She asked me if we could stop watching the news on TV when she was around, which of course I agreed to on the spot.

What world are we bringing our children into? Our cart has one wheel which is seriously out of kilter and unless we pull over for immediate repairs our journey will be over.

What is the solution? It starts with the self, propagating out to our children and beyond, sharing the wisdom and experience of key players from humanities evolutionary stage thus far (Buddha, Gandhi, King, Mandela, Lennon), and seeing beyond the propaganda peddled by so called “independent and impartial information services” like the BBC.

Will it be enough and is there time to change before it is too late?

Dum spiro spero. Whilst I breathe, I hope…

Cloud consciousness…

Logic dictates that as an IT professional and a cosmic crusader on a constant quest for the truth, evidence is sought across all forms; science, technology, philosophy and religion.

In work recently, we have moved our solution to the cloud and as such the vendor pitches presented diagrams of the benefits of moving away from in-house infrastructure and applications.

Whilst listening to the sales spiel, my mind drifted away from the corporate patois and focused in on the on-screen diagram depicting a typical overview of cloud computing, instantly taking on a whole new angle.

Take Drop Box. I currently take pictures and videos from various mobile devices and store them in my local cache (local cache being RAM when I’m viewing them, hard drive when my computer is turned off). So that such “memories” are not lost, I log on to the Drop Box cloud via a user name and password (personal to me) and upload the said pictures and videos. All such “memories” are materialistic, physical.

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing

Brain Function

Take your brain. You currently take pictures and videos from your senses and store them in your local cache (local cache being the limbic system, a store which lets you recall memories during conscious awareness when you are awake and also during unconscious awareness when you are asleep). All such “memories” are non-materialistic, metaphysical, but where is our esoteric ethereal Drop Box?

Cosmic Consciousness

Take the Akasha (or cosmic consciousness). As individuals, reality or existence is a subjective experience for each and every one of us. There is a growing body of (noetic) science which posits that all human experience is captured and uploaded to a central core which exists outside the space-time-continuum (though a Drop Box style upload is replaced with an entanglement to the source), a belief held dear by ancient Hindus.

The previous skeptical me would have laughed that off a while back, putting it down as a work of fiction. Now however, the evidence for such a mechanism grows exponentially. Near Death Experiences, Out of Body Experiences, After Death Communication, Medium Communication and Past Life Recall all point to a premise that not only does conscious experience appear to exist beyond the brain, but that under certain circumstances the “consciousness cloud” can be accessed.

Let’s take a look at the example below, and in particular Derek:

Akasha

Like ourselves, Derek logs in and uploads his personal data to Drop Box so it doesn’t get lost in case he has a local hardware failure. Additionally, Derek works for the Drop Box Security Management Team and as such has universal access (via the Admin user name and password) to see the photos and videos of others.

Derek’s skills do not end there. Derek is a medium and has the ability to tune in to the cosmic consciousness and obtain the memories and experience of others. He has in cosmic terms been imbued with the ability to both upload and download to and from the cloud.

If we are to believe that such growing “alternative” evidence exists and it’s sources can be trusted (including our own non-materialistic experiences), then so it will be that the cosmic consciousness will continue to evolve and mature.

Whether our not we are simply perception transmitters or whether our consciousness continues to exist beyond our hardware failure (physical death) remains to be seen…

We are equal. We are One….

When one possesses the wisdom of the Buddha (in part of course, not in whole), it is easier to empathise with others, especially when confronted by aggression and anger.

When one truly understands that aggression and anger in others is merely a by-product of suffering, anxiety and disorder (dukkha), then the path to forgiveness is but a small step.

It is easy to sound self-righteous when when one is in a position of wisdom, so it is wise to choose ones words carefully when suggesting potential paths for others to take to potentially overcome what pains them; sensitively is required (and perhaps explaining to others that your are free from suffering is best kept to oneself).

Boldly sharing our own negative experiences and explaining how we obtained serenity and peace can often help in such situations.

We all learn by our mistakes and there are always solutions to resolve the root causes of such pain, one just needs to open ones eyes and see the reality of the situation and understand that the solution lies within. Nothing external can fix root cause problems; no pill, no drink, no drug, no advice can eradicate the suffering. Understanding our internal landscape is the key to peace and the gateway to a better life.

A situation happened in work yesterday which made me put in practice what I had learned from the Buddha (via the sage words of Steve Hagen). I had scheduled a meeting in a room at work, but when I arrived there were three occupants in the room. I very politely asked them to leave as I had booked the room in advance and the male turned around and started verbally abusing me, followed up by an aggressive confrontation whereby marched right up to be, putting his face in mine, staring deep into my eyes with such venom. I was in shock at first that such a thing had happened in a global corporation such as mine, promptly apologised to my guest (new customer) and advised that his actions were not representative of the attitude or principles of the company.

Initially I was livid, angry that someone had tried to use their authority / loftier position in the organisation to intimidate me and gain advantage (and my meeting room). After a moment of calm, I soon realised that the confrontation was a reflection on him and of his evident dukkha, so forgiveness was instant. Whether I seek out an escalation to make sure he is aware that his behaviour in our organisation is totally unacceptable is yet to be determined.

I could have given him confrontation back (and a previous version of me probably would have done that and then some) but instead chose not to. I am not a better man than him and he is not a better man the I. We are equal. The difference between us is that I am awake, I understand that it is dukkha that creates such situations, I am understand that dukkha exists and I am aware and in control of mine and he is not. Just because someone has received a better education (him being a privately educated attorney (so I found out) and me being comprehensively educated IT geek), just because someone is further up the chain of command (he being several grades above me (so I found out) in the organisation), just because someone is paid a significant amount extra (a + b = c) does not make him a better person. We are equal.

We. Are. All. Equal.

We. Are. All. One…

The Descent of Man…

Reality itself may well be an illusion, be it optical, aural or otherwise. Reality itself may well be a hologram, a projection from or of the singularity, the one true source.

If you (like me) believe in the theory that there is a central existential core that resides beyond the confines of the space-time-continuum, then what we currently experience as individuals and as a collective (both good and bad), continues to evolve the cosmic consciousness.

It seems that “humanity” is fast reaching a point (not in “time” nor in accordance to Arthur Eddington’s “Arrow of Time”) of high entropy; disorder. Each periodical or TV news bulletin displays the shock and horror in glorious Technicolor each and every day. There is a new publication in town and it’s called “The Daily Dukkha”.

On an individual level (another reference to the self I know), I am fortunate enough at the moment to not be suffering any dukkha at all; entropy is currently very low with me; order. One look outwards though and the world is full of dukkha and in particular the refugee crisis in the Middle East. By all accounts, Aleppo has been destroyed, the symbolism of the first ever civilisation on this planet ceasing to exist not lost with me.

Social evolution (in the modern “Ascent of Man” sense) truly began with the Neolithic Revolution (aka the Agricultural Revolution) which saw the development of farming practices, drastically changing “human” lifestyle, permitting far denser populations which in time formed towns and cities. Cities were centres of trade, manufacturing and with it varying degrees of military control and protection. Thus in 10,000 CE, Aleppo, the very first civilisation was born.

Before Aleppo, man lived a largely nomadic hunter-gatherer existence and a much simpler way of life. Before Aleppo, skirmishes were tribal, often over a patch of ground or natural resource. There was no greed, just a simple need for sustenance. As with things, it is desire that leads to greed, to dukkha, and Aleppo really was the origin of human desire, the metaphysical concept of wanting not needing “planted” firmly in the psyche of homo sapiens.

Over the millennium, desire has increased exponentially and as a result so has conflict, and today we see this conflict all too often. For me, the solution lies neither with geopolitics nor within religious doctrines, but within the self; if we all could see this and follow the principles as suggested by Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha), then things would really change (remembering that Buddhism is a philosophy and way of life not a religion). Too often these days do we seem to apply geopolitical band aids to resolve self-perpetuating situations, invariably making matters worse, much worse in fact. The descent of man seems somewhat inevitable.

However, where there is darkness there is also light. Many local projects have started to make a real difference to the lives of those affected by such dukka in Syria, Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq and there has been an outpouring of peace, love and understanding here. Sadly the government here in the U.K only took action once the British public had took matters into their own hands. That my friends will be the answer in the end, it will be the people who will take action for the greater good, not governments nor corporations. Humanity will realise at some point that it is only after the cessation of desire and greed that “things can only get better”.

Whether that is pre or post Apocalypse remains to be seen, but let’s hope that as a collective we can as one wake up before it really is too late.

The path is clear, but no eyes can see…

Each dawn that breaks gives one a renewed chance to wake up. Not from slumber in the literal sense, but metaphysically speaking. Each day that arrives brings about change; a day older (for sure); a day wiser (perhaps) and a day closer to death (depends on how you define death…).

Some people (by choice or otherwise) live in a perpetual state of the un-awakened, happy to continue to live out their existence without feeling the need (or having the capacity) to challenge the true nature of reality. As all human experience is subjective and individualistic, no one can truly say that their approach is right or wrong.

For those who choose to challenge the five senses and Einstein’s cosmological principles, the first steps are the most difficult as there is no set path to follow. What is clear is that something usually sparks a flame for knowledge, knowledge which is hitherto forgotten or as yet unknown.

Science, religion, philosophy and noetics seem to be the most logical places to start looking, and most quests invariably encounter all four. Like countless others, my quest had to start by looking inside myself. What I found wasn’t pleasant. What I found was suffering, anxiety, stress and disorder. What was more difficult to find, but not impossible, was the root cause of such pain. What I found was craving, wanting and desire. What was even more difficult was how and what to change. What I found however was the solution and for the first time in my life I could start to see true nature of reality emerging. This was my spiritual epiphany.

Over the course of just a few months, I came to the conclusion that my suffering, fueled through my own desires, could ease by diminishing this metaphysical concept known as the ego or the self and that sustained focus on my “ikigai“, (in my case the family) would yield a new peace within me. Through yoga, meditation, reiki and complimentary therapies, I would keep this inner light with me at all times, ready to distinguish the darkness should it return.

My path was now clearer, and it was only after reading Buddhism: Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen did I realise (without knowing it) that the path and resolution I had followed related to the Buddhist Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path:

  • The Four Noble Truths
    • The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction).
    • The truth of the origin of dukkha.
    • The truth of the cessation of dukkha.
    • The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha (the Eight Fold Path).
  • The Eight Fold Path

    • Wisdom
      • Right view (viewing reality as it is, not just as it appears to be).
      • Right intention (intention of renunciation, freedom and harmlessness).
    • Ethical conduct
      • Right speech (speaking in a truthful and non-hurtful way).
      • Right action (acting in a non-harmful way).
      • Right livelihood (a non-harmful livelihood).
    • Concentration
      • Right effort (making an effort to improve).
      • Right mindfulness (awareness to see things for what they are with clear consciousness; being aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversion).
      • Right concentration (correct meditation or concentration).

Whilst I could concur that the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path were a set of principles that everyone true to themselves (forgive me for the use of the word self, Steve) and others should adhere to, what was missing for me was the true nature of reality. Nietzsche was not entirely complementary of Buddhism (as you would expect) and classified it as a subdivision of nihilism, which to some extent I can agree with.

But what is reality? What is it that our senses experience and translate into pictures, sounds, smells, tastes and feels, is it all an illusion? Does true consciousness reside within the brain? Is the true nature of reality hidden from view for a reason? All these questions puzzled me, so the path I took at the crossroads led me to noetics, and in particular the works of Ervin Laszlo and Anthony Peake (my conclusions detailed in The Noetic Nook).

One thing is for sure, life and human experience is subjective and there appears to be no single path to the truth. The key however is to awaken, awaken to the truth that it is desire that causes suffering and to put a stop to ones ego will yield rewards to ourselves and to those around us. We may never truly experience the true nature of reality until we depart from the physical plain, but what we do each day can reduce our physical (and mental) pain.

Instrumental Communications (EVP)

When I think of instrumental communication in relation to other-realm transmissions, my thoughts instantly drift to the silver screen and visions from Poltergeist (TV) and The Exorcist (tape recorder). If such a thing as Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) exists, then what is it exactly is it?

A short while back I did some research on the electromagnetic spectrum on the basis that I had read somewhere that our senses can only perceive 5% of it, and if that was correct, then what was it that made up the rest? The electromagnetic spectrum starts off at the Extremely Low Frequency of 3 Hz (radio waves) reaching to a high of 300 EHz (gamma radiation), decreasing in wave length as the hertz increases.

With the spectrum, there are only 2 specific sections we (as the average layman) can tune into with our senses, namely VF (or Voice Frequency aka sound) which occurs between 300 Hz and 3 KHz and NUV (or Near Ultra Violet aka sight) which occurs between 300 THz and 3 PHz. What we can perceive as reality (sights and sounds) are both visible and audible within such ranges, and we have over time developed instruments which allow us to extend beyond such boundaries (via radios, Infra-Red Cameras and Spectroscopes and the likes), whose job it is to translate image and sound frequencies so we can see and hear what is being transmitted.

If communications are being projected by a consciousness(es) (or indeed the source / the singular collective consciousness) then at what part of the electromagnetic spectrum are they being broadcast on? My theory is that if indeed messages are being transmitted from another “realm”, then certain folks (like mediums, those with psychic tendencies or those who attain altered states of consciousness) have some innate ability (or otherwise in the case of the meditator) to tap in to such communications, experiencing beyond the normal VF and NUV boundaries of the aforementioned average layman. If it is the case that apparitions and messages may only appear to certain folks, which are broadcasted on different frequencies then as long as we have the ability to capture such transmissions via electronic devices, then it should be possible to prove this (should the sender of course wish to – there is always a catch)…

The number of EVP recordings is on the increase (I suspect due to the ubiquitous and affordable technology available to us), all made possible through such works of Faraday, Hertz, Tesla, Marconi and Edison. There are several interesting examples of EVP communications via tape recordings (Gregorian chants – the church wouldn’t lie about such matters surely?), via video (optical feedback loops recorded to reveal images of deceased German personalities) and perhaps the most interesting of all cases which involved Ervin Laszlo, which broadcasted dedicated messages via a radio in front of a room full of witnesses.

The use of electronic devices does open up the seed of doubt as to whether the communications which are transmitted are in fact authentic (much in the same way way mediums are due to “proof by proxy” and not direct experience), and a quick search of EVP on YouTube will reveal servers full of implausible and downright silly examples of this. Trying to find legitimate and actual proof of EVP on the internet is a pointless exercise. That said, several high profile invididuals with cases of EVP (including parliamentarians) were in fact willing to go on record to declare their experience, not caring for the risk of a reputation bashing.

OPINION: My initial research into EVP revealed the exact opposite of evidence (anti-evidence?) so I must say that as of yet, I have not seen or heard anything plausible with my own lugholes and peepers, so I remain on the fence. I did attend a session at the London College of Psychics last night where I recorded an Erlendur Haraldsson lecture relating to his latest book “The Departed Among the Living: An Investigative Study of Afterlife Encounters” on the basis that if there was a location that could project transmissions from the other realm, then that was definitely one of them! I did at exactly 7:25pm get a full on surge of reiki energy shooting up and down my chakras but sadly on playback, no “other voices” could be heard. I do intend to experiment EVP on my own using, I just need to find a shop which actually sells a radio (remember them)…

I would only regard personal evidence as a success if I received targeted and specific messages contained within the EVP recording, not random voices (as these could be cross-channel communications on the radio and thus render the evidence not sound, and certainly not proof of non-local consciousness. What I am also intrigued about is reiki and what exactly (and I mean exactly) it is. I have been attuned (Level 2) and can under certain conditions bring in invisible energy forces to expedite the meditative process, but what it is I’m tapping into remains (for today at least) a mystery…

Medium-Transmitted Communication

The further one removes oneself from direct experience, the more difficult it becomes to believe. When we introduce a third party, and a third party who could potentially make a profit out of a situation, then the trust in the source (the disconnected consciousness) becomes stretched.

The word “credibility” is a key word when reviewing the ability and outputs of mediums. A key question for me is what exactly is the medium communing with, is it the deceased individual (perhaps even via a 4th party spirit guide), or is it the projected subconscious thoughts of the “sitter” via ESP or is it in fact an ability to tap in to the collective consciousness, the source?

So when one looks for evidence, one must assess the credibility and accuracy of the information presented and judge beyond reasonable doubt. Tenuous links, if, buts and maybe’s hold no sway here. Most people are very sceptical when it comes to clairvoyance (on the basis of the aforementioned profit perspective), especially in this digitally connected age which makes “life” that much easier for mediums to profile future clients (should they wish to).

In the more intriguing of historical cases, the evidence is presented which the medium would have struggled to find via other means, via connections with complete strangers which includes follow-up actions in this plane of existence which bear fruit, much like the example of the medium who determined the exact location of a hidden last will and testament (sewn inside a coat of the deceased) which superseded the previous iteration, much to the chagrin of the original profiteer.

Oddly, I was reading the Medium-Transmitted Communication chapter from The Immortal Mind in my local Starbucks and after examining the case of the dead poet Roden Noel (who frequented Cornwall to write), I closed the book and headed for home, only to come across a camper van parked at the end of my road with a flag of Cornwall sticker on the back window…

On a personal note, I have been to see two public displays of mediumship. The first was Derek Acorah at Southport Theatre, a man who in my opinion is a complete and utter charlatan and a proven fraud who gives clairvoyance a bad name, clearly only in it for the profit. The second was a visit to a local spiritualist church a few years back, whereby an “expert” who had been through a Near-Death Experience of his own was brought in to relay messages from his spirit guide to certain (perhaps ‘pre-selected’) members of the congregation, again all very random and tenuous and not at all credible.

Whilst those two experiences were rather disappointing, there are two others which were a lot closer to home and a lot more accurate, both involving my wife. The first was an innocent trip to the solicitors to file for a divorce from her first husband. The area of Liverpool we resided in at the time was awash with solicitors, so after perusing the phone book (remember those?) she made her selection. Oddly, the one she selected was furthest away from our house, but pick it and went she did. The appointment was set for lunchtime which worked out well as she could pick our boy up from morning day care on the way. She was invited to sit down by the solicitor who greeted her with a smile on his face, followed by a little chuckle. He opened the meeting by saying that he was glad she turned up today as he had a message for her, my wife looking on very confused. He went on to say that he often received messages from the other side and that he had been in the presence of Mary this morning, stating that her real name was Cathleen but my wife knew her as Mary (her Grandmother was baptised Cathleen but was known by her middle name of Mary by all those who knew her). The message was quiet profound, he stated that she had told my wife not to worry about her brother going overseas and that she was there to keep an eye out for him (one week earlier my wife’s brother had flown out with the Royal Engineers to diffuse bombs in Bosnia).

My wife believes in spirits and welcomed the message, nodding and smiling. On to business and the formalities of the Decree Nisi where discussed and the appropriate documentation signed. As she was leaving, her took her gently by the arm and softly asked her “What happened with the jam tarts this morning?” Earlier in the day when she picked up our boy from day care, like any other day, she went armed with a shiny ten pence piece, in preparation for the daily cake purchase. That day was different. Instead of selecting a cupcake, “J” instead insisted that he wanted a jam tart. Knowing full well that he didn’t like them, my wife tried to persuade him to buy a cupcake, but as he was so adamant, she let him purchase one anyway and learn a valuable lesson. He took one bite of the jam tart and spat it out on the floor, demanding a replacement which never came, much to the annoyance of the little one who then proceeded to have a full on tantrum…

I have never had a direct clairvoyant experience but something was trying to help me along my way. Not only was the flag of Cornwall thrust in my face, but later in the afternoon I had to prepare an application for my son’s entertainment licence (for a TV show he appears on here in the UK). To support the application, I needed two photos, which I knew I had spare in the “purple folder” where I keep all of our household documents. I reached in for the photos and found them, but as I did some sheets of paper fell on the bed. Of the one-hundred plus documents in the folder, the one that decided to present itself was the only medium notes my wife has ever kept from a visit she made to a local clairvoyant 3 years ago…

In the evening I said to her that I wanted to visit a medium to experience the experience myself, and she duly gave me the number for a guy a few miles away who was apparently very good. Oddly the next morning, she came to me and said a friend of hers is starting up a medium reading night and would my wife like to offer her holistic therapy services as an accompaniment to the readings and could we do it from our house…

OPINION: I have always been quite sceptical about clairvoyancy, my take that there are a lot of folks out there that claim to be in touch with “out there”, purely for monetary gain and often extending the grieving process of others. That said, the examples from my wife really did have a profound effect on my judgement. Here is someone I trust with both my life and my children lives, who does not lie to me (with the exception of how many dresses she buys from eBay / Next), so I have no reason doubt, at all, that what she has shared with me is the truth. On that basis, I must therefore conclude that some folks do have the ability to make a connection with something from beyond. I look forward to my first personal clairvoyant experience, no doubt reported in full before infinity beckons…

Apparitions and After Death Communication (ADC)

So straight in with the second big question in as many blogs, no messing around (again): “Can human consciousness exist when the brain is fully and permanently incapacitated and does consciousness exist beyond death?”.

From the outset, evidence to support apparitions and ADC (After Death Communication) is less robust than that of NDE’s on the basis that they are not direct reports from those who are having the experience, they are as it were the projections of consciousness from other people, people who no longer reside in this plane of existence.

There are of course countless tales of ghosts and apparitions through the ages, that being a vision (or otherwise) of someone or in some cases something that has deceased which manages somehow to manifest its non-material self into being.

In the more intriguing of cases, information has been presented which the viewer could not have possibly known (should indeed these be truthful counts of what actually happened). Studies into such phenomenon pre-date (and no doubt outweigh) by some way those of Near Death Experiences.

Deathbed visions feature prominently in such studies, and that in itself is something I have second-hand experience of. My gran on my mum’s side became ill and it was her decision to pass over at home, surrounded by her family (a much more common thing is those days – 1960’s). In the hours before her death, she drifted in and out of consciousness, but towards the end of her life in this place, she became very lucid, her demeanour notably changing for the good. Minutes before she died, she sat upright in bed without aid and with a smile on her face opened her eyes. Her vision was not on those physically present in the room, but on other characters, acknowledging each one in turn at the end of her bed. Once she had finished she lay back down on the bed and closed her eyes. Interestingly, such apparitions were only presented to my gran’s consciousness; no one else in the room could see what she was seeing. Within minutes the dreaded death rattle pierced the silence in the room and she was gone.

The experience was quite profound for some in the room, whilst scary for some, others fully understood the ramifications of what they had just witnessed, a full on spiritual experience.

Penny Sartori (the nurse, now doctor, referenced in my previous blog regarding Near Death Experiences) has witnessed this exact phenomena on several occasions in her then capacity of nurse and went on to study and write a book about it. Another one for my growing list…

Further second-hand experience of apparitions involved my eldest son who came in to our living room looking a little upset when he was about four. When asked what the matter was, he said that the man at the bottom of the stairs was hurt. He told us that he came downstairs and saw an old man with blood coming from his head and that we should come see and help. We followed him into the empty hallway, my son turning to us saying he had gone away now.

Although apparitions may appear spontaneously, apparitions or ADC can be induced either via hypnosis or deep meditation (rather than through a medium), both of which altered states of consciousness. Whilst the examples are interesting (revealing “facts” that the viewer could not have possibly known, such facts corroborated via independent means) the most intriguing case for me regarded a truck driver who passed away following a crash in my home town of Liverpool. Three days after he passed away, his partners’ sister was left an answer machine message from the trucker. She contacted the telephone company and they said that it was impossible for the service to make a mistake in terms of the time when the message was left and that although rare, it was not the first time someone had experienced phone calls from the dead.

After Death Communications (not via mediums) is not a new thing, ancient cultures have always connected with those who have passed for guidance and advice, although it must be said that in the “Western World”, such experiences are by and large seen as esoteric and too delusional to be taken seriously, with the sharer often ridiculed. That said, in my opinion there is a shift in consciousness about consciousness itself, and hopefully this will lead to more experiences being shared, which should (in theory) lead to less cases being debunked, paving the way to prove that consciousness does in fact exist beyond the brain beyond reasonable doubt.

I guess one of the main reasons why I took up yoga, meditation and reiki two years ago was my individual quest for the answer to the key questions posed in both this blog and my last. I for one want to experience things first-hand, on the basis that one can only truly confirm or deny whether something exists if one experiences things with the senses we have (five or otherwise). I have attained semi-altered states of consciousness via yoga/meditation, lucid dreaming and Lucia No 3 to some extent, and I will continue to do so to see what things are presented to me. I do believe that based on the wealth of evidence as well as the cases of my gran and son, that apparitions may well exist.

Whether that constitutes immaterial consciousness and consciousness outside of the brain cannot be confirmed. Yet…