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Aug 30, 2015

Graham Hancock on Dreams and Awakening




Graham Hancock's agile and inquisitive mind is on full display here, demonstrating, once again, why his many books have inspired so much interest and controversy. This interview covers a lot of territory, focusing almost entirely on his more recent work and interests.

Hancock has spoken many times of the importance of states of consciousness other than the "alert, problem solving state." Here he talks about how hard it is for "dreamers" in western civilization. I can strongly relate to his stories of criticism by teachers for being a dreamer. My introduction to this academic assault on the imagination started in the first grade, when I was struck daily with a ruler for "daydreaming." Hancock refers to dreams of horn and dreams of ivory. This metaphor traces to book 19, lines 560-69, of the Odyssey, in which Penelope questions her dream of Odysseus's return.

Stranger, dreams verily are baffling and unclear of meaning, and in no wise do they find fulfillment in all things for men. For two are the gates of shadowy dreams, and one is fashioned of horn and one of ivory. Those dreams that pass through the gate of sawn ivory deceive men, bringing words that find no fulfillment. But those that come forth through the gate of polished horn bring true issues to pass, when any mortal sees them. But in my case it was not from thence, methinks, that my strange dream came.

The image is powerful. It suggests that all dreams are of the same substance, but that the false, illusory dream is cut off from its original state. The horn is a solid expression of a vortex. As I wrote here, the horn of plenty, cornucopia in Greek, is a symbol of manifestation into the material world. It seems to me that dreams of horn are soulful dreams, connected to our spiritual origin.

Aug 5, 2015

"Witchcraft" Blamed for Grisly Murder




This is how it starts, people. A grisly crime in some sleepy, provincial community, a proximal association with an astronomical event, police officers with notions, credulous reporting by so-called journalists, and it all adds up somehow to an occult ritual.

Numerous news outlets are breathlessly reporting a "Wiccan Ritual Killing" in Pensacola, FL. That Wiccans don't ritually sacrifice people and that nothing about this crime appears in any way ritualistic, notwithstanding.

This NBC article was floating down my Facebook timeline this morning.

A triple homicide in Florida is suspected to be a "Wiccan ritual killing" related to the "blue" moon, police said Tuesday.

The three victims, all from the same family, were found after a welfare check on Friday, July 31, said Escambia County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Andrew Hobbes.

"It appears that this might be connected to some type of Wiccan ritual killing and possibly tied to the blue moon," Hobbes told NBC News.

. . .

When asked how the evidence suggests these are ritualistic or Wiccan killings Sgt. Hobbes said, "The injuries to the victims, the positions of the bodies and also the person of interest right now is also a practitioner." 

Jul 14, 2015

The LHC and Another Mystery Particle

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Here's where I pretend to understand quantum physics well enough to relate some very important news. The Large Hadron Collider, which enabled the detection of the elusive Higgs boson, or "God particle," has also revealed the pentaquark. It is effectively a new state of matter.

In 1964, two physicists - Murray Gell Mann and George Zweig - independently proposed the existence of the subatomic particles known as quarks.

They theorised that key properties of the particles known as baryons and mesons were best explained if they were in turn made up of other constituent particles. Zweig coined the term "aces" for the three new hypothesised building blocks, but it was Gell-Mann's name "quark" that stuck.

This model also allowed for other quark states, such as the pentaquark. This purely theoretical particle was composed of four quarks and an antiquark (the anti-matter equivalent of an ordinary quark).

I was just the other evening listening to an older interview with William Henry, in which he touched once again on the LHC. Henry has noted the similarity between the LHC and the 8 spoked wheel of Mayan prophesy.

Jul 7, 2015

Cameron Clark On Not Being a Victim



This is a really great, in depth interview with Cameron Clark. Her months long experiment in living and working in Teal Bosworth Scott Swan's "intentional community" has been previously discussed in a lengthy interview posted here and in the Cameline video posted here. This discussion brings much needed clarification of some of the finer points of her experience and perspective.

Cameron endured a great deal in a relatively short period of time, including not so subtle pressure to kill herself. Despite all this, she says that she has never considered herself to be a victim. She feels she made choices and learned valuable lessons. So, I thought it was awfully funny that the Ask Teal episode posted the following weekend dealt directly with victimhood. That whole idea of not seeing yourself as a victim? She's against it.

For a true believer in the "law of attraction" to stand against the idea of personal responsibility requires some rather profound convolutions of thought.

The unhealthy Ego is concerned with power. Not the good kind of power (like empowerment), the kind of power that needs something to be less powerful in order to feel powerful by comparison. And the ego can gain this power by being the good guy. People who are trapped in victimhood mentality are after the kind of power that belongs to someone being righteous or good. But the ego that is concerned with being righteous or good needs someone to be the bad guy to exist. Similarly, an ego can gain power by being the victor. People who are trapped in victor mentality are after the kind of power that belongs to someone superior and strong. This kind of person cannot ever admit to vulnerability. This kind of ego may be unwilling to admit to any negative emotions at all. Or it may not have a real problem with expressing anger or negative emotional states that it perceives as strong, while refusing to admit to negative emotional states that it perceives as weak. This ego crumbles at the thoughts of admitting to fear and especially hurt. Admitting that their feelings got hurt is like a death sentence. This ego thinks that by denying vulnerability, especially any notion of victimhood, it is a victor. It was won.

See? Feeling like a victim is bad, except when it's good.

Jul 2, 2015

Sea Change

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When I was a kid, I got into an argument with some of the grown-ups at my church. (Yes, I have always been as I am today.) I had been at a youth service where we had sung fun, kid-friendly songs instead of hymns. One of the songs was "They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love." These are the lyrics.

We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord

And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other
We will work side by side
We will work with each other
We will work side by side

And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love, our love
By our love, our love, by our love, our love, by our love, our love
By our love, by our love, by our love, our love
by our love

Jun 24, 2015

Psychic Pets and Other Proven Things



I touched on this experiment in intellectual dishonesty in this post, but Rupert Sheldrake here presents the documentary proof that Richard Wiseman misrepresented his own data to proclaim all evidence of psychic pets so much hugger mugger. What always kills me about things like this is that headlines always win. That's true even when the headlines are at odds with the articles they introduce, let alone when the journalism is equally shoddy. Wiseman's widely covered "debunking" of Sheldrake's meticulously documented pet telepathy experiment was the shot heard round the world. No one from the press bothered, apparently, to note that he was shooting blanks.

In that same post, I quote Wiseman admitting that the only means by which serious scientists can continue to dismiss evidence of remote viewing is by putting a thumb on the scale.

I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven, but begs the question: do we need higher standards of evidence when we study the paranormal? I think we do... Because remote viewing is such an outlandish claim that will revolutionise the world, we need overwhelming evidence before we draw any conclusions.

And, yes, he also commits the cardinal error of misusing the phrase "begs the question." I tire of saying this, but while it may raise the question of whether or not to disregard any standard by which science might remain a truthful and dispassionate practice, it does not beg it. To beg the question is to commit the logical fallacy of petitio principii, circular argument. That Wiseman also has little facility with logic and critical thinking should probably come as no great shock.

Jun 21, 2015

Coraline and the Blue Pearl




My dear friend Frog recently created this satire of Coraline called Cameline. His point is that there are some very odd parallels between Cameron Clark's experiences in House Teal and Coraline's in the Pink Palace apartments. It got me thinking about some of the deeper elements of Coraline, things I'd overlooked when I saw it in the theater. So, I've given the film a fresh look and moved Neil Gaiman's award-winning book up on my reading list, which is to say, I've now read it.

It goes pretty well without saying that Gaiman is a genius. Coraline, the novella, is a masterpiece. Like Alice in Wonderland, to which it is often compared, there's a nod to the shamanic ability of children to transverse worlds through the odd doorway. The story has its own version of the Cheshire cat and even a tea party of sorts.

It is also a brilliant depiction of narcissism. The Other Mother lives in her own world, populated by puppets she controls. Those who defy or bore her – who no longer reflect her desires – she throws behind a mirror. She eats up the lives and souls of anyone who crosses her path. Anyone who has ever been taken in by a narcissist for any length of time knows the kind of creeping surreality, the warping of perception, that comes from being caught up in their world view.

Henry Selick expanded on Gaiman's book, which wasn't really long enough for a feature film. Characters were added and storylines were extrapolated. What I now realize about the film, is that a mythic subtext was woven through it and that these themes are revealed in striking visuals.

Jun 16, 2015

Wesolowski to be Tried by Vatican Court



Could Vatican culture finally be changing?

A Vatican prosecutor on Monday ordered the trial of a former Roman Catholic archbishop accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic and of possessing child pornographic material.

Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who had been defrocked by a Vatican tribunal, last year became the first person to be arrested inside the Vatican on paedophilia charges.

A statement said the trial, the first on paedophilia charges to be held inside the Vatican City, would start on July 11.

Wesolowski was the Vatican ambassador to Santo Domingo, when local police found that he was procuring underage male prostitutes. Vatican investigators then found child pornography on his computer.

Jun 9, 2015

Shadows Before Despair



A little birdie delivered some screenshots to me last night. Apparently, there was a little dustup on Teal Tribe. It was quelled pretty quickly. The unintentional instigator either quit or was banned in short order. (In the third screenshot, you can see the little grey check that indicates that this former triber has left the building.) So, what was the cause of this well-contained incident? Once again: the shadow work.




May 19, 2015

Shadows Before Suicide




I've always found the theme song from M*A*S*H to be darkly compelling. Beautiful and melodic, it is an oddly seductive paean to ending it all. Reading the latest from the marvelous Gaby Petris, it occurs to me that for many people, Teal Bosworth Scott Swan's relentless obsession with suicide has a similar allure for many of her followers. She is far more dangerous. When she speaks of suicide as, not only painless, but blissful, she does so without tongue in cheek. Hers is a kind of siren song pulling her many suicidal followers closer and closer to the rocks.

I want to show you a precarious vortex that is massing around the teacher Teal Swan. Within it suffering people seeking an answer are circling. I want to communicate a sense of its dangerous undertow. That pulls people in. And under.

I first became aware of Gaby's writings, when her first post on this topic was recommended to me in a comment on my last post on teal. It is also must reading. When I learned that she was working on a more in-depth piece, my only question was, how can I help? Together, Gaby and I sorted through screenshots we've both collected of Teal Tribe discussions about the suicide option, and about the 22 year-old triber who recently took his own life.

When I really delve into the patterns of teal's communication with her flock, the picture that emerges always proves to be so much worse than I'd thought. I am eavesdropping, I know, as I look at these snapshots of Teal Tribe conversation. I am not a tealer or a triber. I am an observer, a rubbernecker, watching accidents occur in slow motion. And it is an awful thing to see the train coming and be so unable to stop it.

Teal Tribe is brimming over with creative, intelligent, even brilliant, people. Many are also wounded and vulnerable. And, far too many are suicidal.

May 2, 2015

In Which Michael Shermer Finds the Time



As I noted here, Rupert Sheldrake challenged professional skeptic Michael Shermer to a debate in 2003. He accepted. And now, a mere twelve years later, that debate will take place.

Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, who was caught giving critiques of  Sheldrake's work without reading it, agreed to debate Sheldrake... if only he could find the time.

In March 2003, Dr Sheldrake challenged Shermer to a debate, which he accepted, and several times and venues were suggested, but all were rejected by Shermer. As of 2009, the debate has still not taken place.

Well, better late than never. The dialogue, hosted by TheBestSchools.org, commenced on May Day with opening statements from both thinkers.