Thursday, December 17, 2009
Every one of us is different and unique. We are at varying stages of progression on our journey to understanding and enlightenment and we each have specific tasks that we've set ourselves to learn or experience in this lifetime. We live within the constraints of this 3 dimensional world and we do a pretty good job, but if we paid more attention to our inner selves, we might do even better.
You may tend to make many of your decisions based on what you think other people would do, what other people might think about what you do, what's in vogue at the moment, what your friends recommend, what your parents or spouse tell you to do - anything, but what you yourself would choose to do. The reasons for this are varied, but the result is often the same - a decision is made that's not right for you. But sometimes when you're faced with more than one choice and aren't sure which decision to make, you rely on a hunch or intuition, and more often than not, you choose correctly.
Because we make so many decisions on a daily basis, we don't pay much attention to why we make a particular choice. Yet there will be times in our lives when we'll reflect on a happening in our past that made a significant impact on our present, and say something like, 'if I hadn't decided to go to the club that night, I'd have never met my spouse' or 'if I hadn't decided to take that summer job when I was 17, I'd have never thought about working in this field and be where I am today'. There are thousands of combinations and permutations of the 'if I hadn't this then I wouldn't have that' scenarios. Try to think of a decision that you made that lead to a particular result that you now appreciate but hadn't expected at the time the original decision was made. Can you say for certain why you made the original decision in the first place?
Dumb luck? Good genes? Happy coincidence? Devine intervention? Superior knowledge of the game and a will to win?
How about intuition?
Intuition is simply another name for your inner self. Previous posts have touched on some of the tasks your Ka performs while you sleep. One of its very important jobs is to try out various scenarios to see which one is best suited to the lessons you want to experience in this incarnation. It already knows what's coming, because there is an overall plan in motion that you are an intricate part of. That's not to say you're locked into a specific path or task that you can't change, you still have free will and can make any choice you wish, but your inner self (or intuition) will try to influence certain decisions to guide you along the path that you yourself set in motion long before you were born.
One of the most basic powers that we all have is our inner voice - that part of us that knows instinctively what's best for us. The first small step in beginning to find and use the extrasensory skills that we have is simply to trust ourselves. Begin your journey by believing in yourself. When you're faced with an important decision, listen first to your own inner voice. Just before you fall asleep at night, try to be thinking about the choice you face and when you awake in the morning, before you get up or do antyhing at all, think again about your choice and see if you feel differently or have a new perspective.
In many of the posts to come, I'll be talking about making your own reality. Trusting your inner self is the first small step that begins your journey.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I know that some of my readers follow traditional religions and believe in Jesus and the teachings of the Bible. I remind all my readers again that the bulk of my religious education centered around Christianity - specifically Anglican and Christian Science with a smattering of Catholic, United and Baptist. I freely admit that I know extremely little about any of the world's other major religions, and most of what I say stems from the religious upbringing I described in the various posts prior to this one. Once I began the journey to find my own spirituality, I was pulled away from the current established world religions and drawn to the New Age world, which included reincarnation and the teachings of the channeled entity 'Seth'. However, for my readers who are students of the Bible and in honour of the One who's birthday will soon be upon us, one of my favourite Bible verses is John 14:12, where Jesus explains to his followers that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him:
"Verily verily I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do also; because I go unto my Father"
What wonderful, powerful words those are. Just stop and really think about Jesus' message to his Apostles (and hence to all of us). He's basically giving us permission to do all the things that He does - to perform the miracles that He can. He's telling us, you can do this too!
The fact that the path my faith has taken is not that of any one organized religion, in no way reflects my feeling about the verity and validity of Jesus. I have every confidence that He not only lived, but that the biblical stories about His actions and deeds are fairly accurate. Was He the Son of God? Absolutely, as we are all the children of the All That Is; as were His 'brothers and sisters' Mohammed, Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc, Buddha, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and the countless others who impacted mankind with their faith, conviction, works and deeds. As you yourself are when you love your neighbour or honour your mother and father. We are all the children of the All That Is and we can do anything It can. Even Jesus has said that this is so.
Whether or not we choose to use the gifts that we have is entirely up to the entity or soul that we are. I know from experience (see post October 7, 2009, The Ka) that if I work hard at it, I can leave my physical body and travel in this plane and others through the energy of my Ka. I know from the hundreds of times in my life that I've thought of someone, only to either run into them or hear from them shortly thereafter, that I can connect with others through my mind, without using any of the modern electronics or devices that we rely on for communication with one another. I know from living with a parent who often experiences psychic episodes when a traumatic event occurs in his life, that messages are conveyed to the living from the 'dead'. I know from visiting a true clairvoyant that others can see into my life and environment if I permit them to look. I don't need anything else to convince me that Jesus wanted us to understand that all of us have those abilities. "The works that I do, shall ye do also...." how I love the power and permission behind those words.
We live in a busy, hectic world. We often struggle just to get from minute to minute, hour to hour and day to day. We have to contend with a physical world that limits how we can use our physical bodies and we are generally confined to the sensations of our 5 physical senses. In order to expand our conscisouness into other realities or use any of our other senses, we have to have the time and inclination to meditate, practice and practice again. And most importantly, we have to believe we have the power(s).
Monday, December 7, 2009
Because we are all part of the same entity, we can communicate with each other on a level that our physical self is not generally aware of. There is a section of humanity, however, who are aware of this connection and use it regularly for a variety of reasons. We refer to these people as 'psychics'. If you watch any tv at all, you'll have seen shows about people who assist law enforcement by finding missing bodies or use their abilities to describe how people have been murdered. There are those who visit locations 'haunted' by spirits and try to help those spirits cross over from this plane to the next. There are documented cases of people who can move physical objects with just the power of their minds, and I'm willing to bet that the majority of my readers have visited or know of a fortune-teller or seer.
Over the years I had visited fortunetellers who had a stall in the mall or a tent in the county fair where they would tell your future for $10. I had my palms read, my tea leaves read and my tarot cards done - you name it. I remained unimpressed. In my opinion, all of the people who claimed to be able to tell my future or read my fortune were simply opportunists looking to make a quick buck on the vulnerability of those who were willing to pay a few dollars for a little good news. I saw nothing to convince me that any of those people were tapping into the future at all.
That all changed one cold winter night in Berrys Mills, NB.
My sister, Deb, had heard about a psychic named Carol who was purported to be the real thing. Deb made an appointment and took the long drive out to the country to have a reading done. While I don't know the specifics of what went on at that meeting, I do know that Deb left there absolutely convinced that Carol was a true blue psychic who could see the future. At Deb's urging, I made an appointment and went to see Carol myself.
The appointment was set by Deb. Carol knew only that my name was Bev and that I was Deb's sister. She knew nothing else about me, not even my last name or where I lived. At the time, I had recently moved into a new home in Eastern Passage, NS, which is in a different province and about 3 hours' drive from where Carol lived. My husband was an aircraft electrician in the Canadian Air Force and I had 2 young children.
Deb and I pulled into the driveway of a simple bunglow on a country road a few miles outside Moncton, NB. Upon entering the house, my first impression was that country people lived here. It was comfortable but not opulent. Carol greeted us and we went into the kitchen and sat at the table. I don't actually remember what she looked like, only what happened when she took my wedding rings into her hands and closed her eyes.
She had a pad of paper at the ready and picked up a pencil in her free hand. While rolling my rings in one hand, she wrote and sketched on the note pad with the other. It seemed that things began to come into her mind randomly and she spoke as she wrote on the pad. Here are some of the random statements she made:
'You live near the water....not a lake....it's the ocean' (we had just moved to a new community where I could see the Atlantic ocean from the back deck)
'It's noisy there... I hear hammering and construction' (our house was one of the first completed on the street. Many others were still being built at that time)
'Your husband's name has 5 letters...but if one letter is dropped...it's still his name' (at the time I was married to a man named Peter. To this day, I'm totally impressed by those words, what an interesting way to describe a person's name - I know I had never thought of it that way before)
'I can't decide if he works on airplanes or cleans the hangars...." (I laughed out loud at that point because just the night before Peter had complained to me that they had him sweeping and cleaning the hangar all day, even though he was actually an aircraft electrician)
'Who is Steve??' (Steve was my brother in law and at the time we were very close - he visited often and had recently been dating my sister)
She talked for about 20 minutes, all the time sketching and writing on what turned out to be 10 pages of the 8.5" x 11" note pad. What impressed me about Carol was how things came to her randomly. There was no real rhyme nor reason to much of what she told me, she just described whatever images came into her mind. The accuracy was uncanny - she was definitely connecting with something. Eventually she opened her eyes, handed me back my rings and passed me the papers she had filled with words and sketches. I had found the experience a little disquieting, but I was exhilerated to have met someone who actually had a real 'psychic' gift. I told her about my interest in the occult and supernatural and asked if she would answer a few questions about her ability. She was kind enough to oblige me.
She told me that she had been able to read people as long as she could remember. She had no idea when an event she described would happen - she only knew that there appeared to be about a 2 year window. In other words, the event might have happened in the past 2 years, or it might come to pass in the next 2 years, she was never sure which. On the occasions when she saw very unpleasant events or serious illness during a reading, she didn't speak of it. She tried only to convey positive or neutral events to her clients. I asked her if she thought her ability was a gift or a curse. She indicated that it was neither, just something that had always been a part of her - she didn't know any different.
When I left Carol's house that night, I knew that I was changed. I knew for certain and first hand that it is possible to know about another person through a means not generally used or recognized by most people. Carol could and did connect with me through a means I can't understand or articulate. She could somehow see my environment to the point that she could actually name key people in my life. Strangely, that one visit cured any further curiousity I ever had about seeing my future. I've never been to another psychic nor had any desire to seek one out. I now understand that the future will unfold as it's supposed to - there's no reason to look ahead, looking after today is knowledge enough.
Monday, November 23, 2009
We can exist on any plane, in any dimension, in any form and It knows us, because It is us.
When I was little, I couldn't understand how God could be everywhere; how He could know what I was doing. As I got older, not only could I not understand how He could be everywhere and know everything that I was doing or feeling, I couldn't imagine why He'd care. I mean think about it, He's GOD, I'm just me - surely there are bigger and better things to focus on than the problems, hopes and fears of a half grown kid in New Brunswick. A couple of minutes ago I took a look at the world population clock at http://www.worldometers.info/ and the count at that moment was somewhere around 6.807 billion. Ok, so God has nothing better to do than keep an eye on me when there are almost 7 billion people to keep track of? Do we think so much of own importance that we assume He's interested in each of us individually?
Well, today I believe that the All That Is does keep track of each and every one of us, wherever we are and in whatever form we exist. It does this the same way that we keep track of every part of our own body, but It comprehends Itself in a much more detailed way than we ever can, because It is cognizant of the entire consciousness, while we focus on only one stream of consciousness at a time.
If you read my post on October 14, 2009 entitled Psychic odds & ends, you may remember that I discussed a number of different psychic abilities. I said that people pick and choose what they want to believe in, but that I believe all of them are valid, even if I'm not aware of having any of the abilities myself. If every consciousness is connnected to the All That Is and this connection runs back and forth between the All That Is and all of the different consciousnesses that compose It, then there is no reason not to suppose that someone, somewhere, could have the ability to decipher some of the information from what we consider to be the future and relate it to someone in this present. In other words, some individuals, those often termed psychics, could indeed pick up on another person's "future" before it happens, or someone's past that has already occured and talk to them about it now, even if they've never met that person before, because they are able to tap into the overall consciousness that connects us all.
By the same token, people on this plane could and do exchange information with entities that are not in this physical world by connecting through the one consciousness. This would generally occur for people on this plane while they are asleep and in the dream state, but there are those individuals in this world who are awake when they connect with disembodied entities, or as in Jane Roberts' or Edgar Cayce's cases, the connection(s) occur while in a trance state.
If you can accept the concept that there is ONE consciousness and that we are all connected to each other through that consciousness, then you can begin to comprehend how "psychic" abilities and events can exist.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
How do I know it wasn't simply Jane Roberts claiming to channel Seth? Honestly, I don't, but what difference does it make? It's not the source of the information that's important - it's the information itself that matters. Religious teachings have been handed to us in a number of unorthadox ways, but that hasn't stopped people from believing. Christian beliefs include that the 10 commandments were written in stone by the finger of God or that Jesus was conceived by devine intervention, both of which are pretty unlikely. Ultimately, it's the message that matters, not how sexy the messenger is.
We live in a complex world, a great deal of which we can't even begin to understand. Even as technology continues to propel us forward at breakneck speed and we surround ourselves with electronic and mechanical devices that would have terrified our God fearing great-grandparents, we still don't understand or comprehend the abilities of our own brains or beings. We know that if we don't sleep regularly our bodies won't function properly, but our scientists don't yet really understand why. Science scoffs at the idea that our conscious minds are connected in any way to something outside our physical beings, yet we all know intuitively that they are.
How many times have you thought of someone you haven't seen or heard from in a long while, only to run into them or talk to them a short time later? When you meet them you exclaim, "I was just thinking about you yesterday!" or "I was just telling so and so about you this morning!". We accept this type of coincidence without question because it's something that just 'happens' all the time. Have you considered that it doesn't just 'happen', that it might be the psychic connection between our conciousnesses that prepares us for our meeting beforehand? That while we slept we were making arrangements and preparations on an unconscious level to meet up with this very friend?
Can you consider that each of us is a small part of only ONE consciousness? It might be easier to visualize if you think in terms your own physical body. You're made up of billions of cells, each of which is separate and apart from the others - yet when taken all together, those billions of cells make up a complete and miraculous being. On a day to day basis, the cells in your toes are totally oblivious to the cells in say, your arm, but if your toe hurts, the entire body becomes aware of it. Each cell is its own universe and performs its own function to contribute to the overall entity that is your body, but it doesn't lose its personal identity. Consider what happens when a portion of the body is harmed - scar tissue forms and that scar often remains on the body for the rest of its life. This is because the affected cells remember what happened to them and the scar is a reminder to the rest of the body that those particular cells were once harmed. There is a consciousness that connects every cell in the body.
Now extrapolate that picture one step further so that you are the individual cell in the body of God (or what I would rather term as the "All That Is") - the ONE divine consciousness that is ALL that exists. You are connected to everything there is, even if on a conscious level you're just going about your daily life, doing your part to contribute to the overall entity without being aware of the existence of the rest of it. You function as an individual, yet when there is a need in another part of the body (which might be the friend you just 'happened' to think of the day before), you become aware. You connect to that need and focus upon it as long as necessary, then you resume your day to day existence until the next time some coincidence 'happens'. And if that friend is harmed, you remember, and carry that scar for your entire lifetime so that all the rest of the entity is reminded.
Although it's only taken me a few short paragraphs to illustrate how our consiousnesses are connected, the concept itself is very complex and requires some serious consideration, so we'll leave things here for now and pick it up in a future post.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Always a voracious reader, sometime in the early 80s I was rummaging through a box of paperbacks at a yard sale when I pulled out a book entitled How to Develop Your ESP Power by someone called Jane Roberts. I read the jacket and it crossed my mind that this was another 'how to' book produced in a hurry by one of so many authors who had tried to ride the New Age wave of the 70s. It was so cliche I almost threw it back in the box, but at only 25 cents, I decided to take it, figuring that was about all it would be worth.
It wasn't too long before I began reading the book and my first impressions appeared to be correct. It just plodded along - describing the author's experimentation with things like ouija boards and meditation. Then, while performing her research, the author fell into a trance and began chanelling a disembodied entity. I thought this was very interesting, as I hadn't read anything quite like it before.
After several trance sessions, the entity began to identify itself as Seth, a disembodied entity that claimed to have known Jane Roberts and her husband Robert Butts throughout many incarnations. Seth described himself as a teacher and using the voice of Jane Roberts, he did indeed begin to teach about the nature of reality and our place within it.
I read every word with rapt interest. I obtained copies of Roberts' next books, The Seth Material and Seth Speaks and read them in quick succession. The more I read the greater my understanding and the realization dawned that I 'knew' all of this already, I just needed someone (something?) to remind me. Years of searching ended and I became a firm believer in the teachings of the disembodied entity, Seth.
The Seth Material becomes more and more complex as you move through it. Ms. Roberts never took credit for any of the books, describing herself only as the the vessel through which Seth reached out to this phyiscal world. Ms. Roberts died in 1984, but she left behind a rich legacy of books and materials that explain the universe and the place(s) of each of us in it. The terminology begins simply and is easy to follow and understand. I have embraced Seth's teachings completely. Any questions I may have had initially have been answered completely and soundly - I who had found only fault and loopholes in any religious materials I'd ever read or encountered to this point in time, could find no flaws in Seth's theories, logic or teachings.
Over the years since I first discovered the Seth Material, life has dealt me a number of unkind hands, but also many aces. There have been blows and bouquets, but through it all, my understanding of the world since my introduction to Seth has given me the strength and knowledge to carry on that I needed in every case. If you're unfamiliar with Seth's teachings, I strongly encourage you find some of his early books and read them for yourself and learn first hand about how we create our own reality.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The spirit or Ka (as described in my posts of early October 2009) is the energy that is the essence of the being - the 'lifeforce', if you will. I picture it as a shimmering cloud of energy that can take any shape and move at incredible speed in and out of various dimensions. It has no permanent molecular structure and can fill any size space or shape (think of the properties of steam). How it thinks and reasons are beyond the topic of this post, but will be discussed in later ones. What matters here is that in the ethereal form, the Ka has total recall all of its experiences in all of its lives both here and on other planes. When it inhabits this physical plane, it's attached to a body and cannot permanently leave until the body dies. I believe it attaches to its body at the moment of conception, but there are those who believe that it doesn't actually attach itself until birth.
Karma is the term that describes the consequences of all of the actions of the Ka over time. To quote Sir Isaac Newton: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions. Or, to quote the Bible: You reap what you sow. That's the basic concept, although there is much more detail to karma than is described so simply in those quotes.
Karma is a solid religious concept, but not in Christianity. It gives a rational explanation to why the world is not 'fair'. One of the difficulties I've always had with most organized Christian religions is the absolute unfairness of life. I couldn't understand a god who decreed that a select few would be born into wealth, while at the same time legions of children would die of starvation; that some would be born with severe physical and/or mental disabilities, while others would be endowed with great musical talents or mathematical genius; that an entire population would be wiped out by a volcanic eruption or devastating earthquake, while others would be spared and flourish. Does God love some more than others? Does He/She play favourites? What justifies the suffering of so many children who could not possibly have done anything in their short lifetimes to deserve God's wrath? Are they being punished for the sins of their parents then? How do you rationalize these "accidents" of birth?
I can only rationalize them through my belief in karma.
In its most simple terms, karma is a type of retribution - payback, if you will - the receiving of good in this life for good deeds done in prior lives - pain experienced in this life for pain inflicted on others in a past life. All of a sudden, life's inequities and injustices start to make sense.
While that is the core of karmic belief, it's only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. If it were truly that simple, one could simply do whatever one wanted in any given life and pass the consequences of those actions on to the next one. In fact, that's exactly what some people do. Fortunately, the Ka pursues its spriritual journey fully cognizent of karmic and reincarnational principles and operates in a manner intended to advance the entity's growth and understanding.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I believed in a simple form of karma - that we have lessons to learn. That we live a number of lifetimes, often travelling through time with the same group of beings with whom we interact repeatedly, sometimes as friends, sometimes as enemies, but always with karmic implications.
One of the books I had read suggested an exercise in which you recorded your dreams, so for some time I had been keeping a dream journal. Most of my dreams seemed like symbolic collages of a number of different happenings superimposed on one another, full of characters I didn't recognize in strange and unfamiliar environments. Yet occasionally I'd have a dream that was so vivid I actually experienced my surroundings in the same way that I experienced my daily waking existence. In other words, in these dreams I knew exactly who and where I was. I came to believe that these weren't dreams at all, but past life memories - brief snippits of specific and particularly emotional events.
There are 4 of these dreams in particular and even though they occurred more than 20 years ago, they remain as clear in my mind today as any "real life" memory.
In the first, I'm a young native American boy - perhaps 13 or 14 years old. I'm wearing a buckskin outfit, not particularly adorned, but simply cut and serviceable garments for a cool evening walk along the banks of a fairly wide river. The river runs on my lefthand side. It's getting dusk and I'm walking along in the tall grasses, deep in thought. I didn't hear the bear until it was too late. The attack was swift and I had no chance. There the dream ends. Strangely, in this lifetime I've always been terrified of bears for no apparent reason, perhaps this dream is the answer to a phobia that I've puzzled about for years.
In another of the dreams I'm a ship's officer in revolutionary France,recently returned from sea. I'm climbing a set of wooden stairs and when I look down, the fine buckled shoes, white silk stockings and dark worsted pantaloon style pants are as crisp and clear in my memory as if I'd worn them only yesterday. I reach a door at the top of the stairs and enter the comfortable, and nicely appointed apartments of a woman who I recognize as my lover. My homecoming is poignant and emotional. When I think of that dream, the emotions and feelings of that moment are still clear, vivid and raw.
Another dream finds me a very young woman, perhaps 12 or 13, waiting nervously in the secret apartments of the cold stone castle of a feudal British Lord. I could still describe to you the furnishings in the chamber, the clothes I was wearing and the dread I was feeling. This tryst was not a joyful event like the previous dream, as I was there at the Lord's command and against my own wishes. Still, when he entered, I instantly recognize that he is the same entity that was the woman in the French revolutionary life. It seems that we have changed genders and centuries, but continued our relationship. I find it interesting that I "remembered" the dream that occured in the 1700s before the one that happened in the 1400s. I don't know why they occurred out of chronological order, but I DO know now why I dreamed of that relationship, although it puzzled me at the time.
The final dream that I consider a past life memory finds me thousands of years ago, long before the others. I'm a woman scientist. I travel up a long shaft from deep underground where I've beeen working at a mining site far from my home country of what Edgar Cayce called Atlantis. The sky is grey and the mine entrance is on the edge of an ocean, though high above the seashore. As I stand on the cliff, I realize that hovering overhead is what looks very much like a modern day airplane, and that its pilot is Steve, my current brother in law. I ask him, "What can you see?" and he says "Nothing... nothing at all... It's all gone". My heart is breaking and I say to him, "Please come down, you should land now". But he replies, "If I come down, I'll never be able to get back up again" and the dream ends there.
All four dreams are only tiny snippits, but each is of an emotional event that impacted my 'focus' life dramatically. The dreams occurred over a long period of time, perhaps 2 years, not in quick succession. No others of such clarity happened until many years later. I was in my 20s at the time and I believe today that each of the dreams was carrying a message to help me prepare for relationships and events that were to come in my future. This is directly connected to the cornerstone beliefs that I described in my first few posts. The plan was in place and my spiritual entity was preparing me for what could happen.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Through my exposure to Christian Science, I had learned to think in terms of a "Father-Mother" God, a much more benevolent and loving entity than the one I had originally discovered in the Bible when I was a child. I had stopped believing in Heaven and Hell entirely and was now firmly convinced that if there was an afterlife, reincarnation was the only logical and plausible possiblity. Conversely, if there was no afterlife and everything simply ended with death, then it didn't much matter what I believed...
Unlike the organized religions to which I'd been exposed over the years, I had no problem reconciling God with reincarnation. The two weren't mutually exclusive in my mind. I considered God a sort of safety net - a sounding board if you will, that helped me along and showed me the way when I was lost or unsure. My genderless God didn't judge, but rather provided guidance, not unlike a loving parent. I leaned on my God's help, prayed every night and gave thanks for all that I had.
The miracles of life were my children. I was in total awe that my body had produced these perfect tiny humans. When my first daughter was born, a love that I had never experienced before simply materialized along with her. From the time I was a very young child I had been a pacifist - I would always turn the other cheek and walk away from violence or conflict of any type. Now, for the first time in my life I understood that if my child was threatened, I wouldn't back down, I would fight to the death and beyond if I had to for her. When she was 16 months old, I became pregnant with my second child. For most of the nine months that I awaited her arrival, I worried that I wouldn't have enough love for 2 children because I had already given it all to the first. I soon discovered my fears were groundless, because when my second daughter was placed in my waiting arms a few minutes after her birth, the love I had to give instantly doubled.
Up to this point in my life, I firmly believed that an idividual's personality was largely influenced by his or her environment. Now with 2 daughters 25 months apart, born into the same environment, the product of the same parents, and logic dictating that they should be alike, I soon discovered just how wrong I was.
My girls were entirely different beings from the moment they were born. Individual traits and personalities were already there and well developed. The oldest was a worrier from the get go. From the time she could talk we couldn't take a Sunday drive without her asking if the we had enough gas, or if we were lost, or if we knew where we are right now. She clearly understood and worried about the ramifications of making a mistake and we had no clue how she came by this trait. The second child was totally different and could care less where we were going or how we got there, as long as we had fun when we arrived. I was astounded at their differences because I had made a point from the very beginning of making a structured, fair and pretty much identical environment for them both. Clearly, somehow they had developed their base personalities without our help, which implies that something else had shaped the people they were. Due to this, my belief in reincarnation became even more firmly entrenched.
While I never experienced any actual past life idicators with either of my girls, at about this same time one of my first cousins also had a young daughter who was 3 or 4 years old. One afternoon as the little girl played with her toys, she casually said to her mother, "I wasn't always your little girl. I had another mommy once." Nonplused by this, my cousin asked, "Oh?". "Yes" said the little one, "but I died at the playground, and then I came here and now you're my mommy".
This type of unsolicited reference to past lives is said to be common in children. They often see and experience things that we adults have been trained to filter out. If children are told often enough that they don't see something, or that they are lying when they describe an experience we don't know about, they'll eventually stop seeing and remembering those things too, thus burying any memories of previous existence. I believe that in our very early years we often have clear memories of other lives we have lived, but because we have to get on with the current 'focus' life, those experiences lie dormant in our minds for most of our lives, until something triggers one and we have a past life memory.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I've always had a healthy respect for the spiritual world and firmly believed that there are malevolent entities on other planes that can be unintentionally 'invited' to join us in our physical universe. These include poltergeists, disembodied entities and other types of base creatures that can wreak havoc if unleashed on this plane. Once on this side or plane, the creatures often become trapped and this results in hauntings, 'demonic' possessions, or just the plain bleak chilliness and mischief that are sometimes experienced in certain places or buildings. So when my children were born in 1979 and 1981, I simply stopped experimenting with the psychic or spiritual, as I was very aware that one could easily attract an unwanted entity by dabbling in the 'black' arts without the protection of an experienced teacher. I was quite content to raise my babies without worrying that they might be affected or exposed to any unwanted spiritual influences.
As the 1970s closed and the 1980s began, I noticed a great shift in religious beliefs and thinking. The rebellious and nonconforming hippies of the 1960s were now seeking spriritual enlightenment to an extent that had not been experienced before. With the prevalence of television and cheap, fast air travel, people were able to experience more ideas, images and lifestyles in rapid succession than had ever been thought possible. Organized religion could no longer hold their congregations solely by blind faith and implied or real threats of punishment in the afterlife - other options were available and easily accessible. Suddenly the western world was exposed to influences from religions other Christianity and it was no longer taboo to discuss ideas like reincarnation and karmic retribution.
In 1983 a famous actress named Shirley MacLaine stunned the conservative western world by publishing a book called Out on a Limb. It was an autobiographical account of her personal search for spirituality, which was quickly followed by two more books recounting her experiences. She appeared on a number of popular talk shows, promoting her books and steadfastly defending her unconventional beliefs. Suddenly, all of the things that I had long studied and believed in had become 'sexy' and fashionable.
Reading Shirley's books reignited my interest in what is now commonly called New Age thinking. I followed Shirley's spiritual journey with rapt interest and not a little envy. I wished that I had her resources so that I could share her experiences and study first hand with the spiritual gurus of the day. She said a lot of things that I agreed with and a few things that I didn't, but thanks to her, once again I was back on my own spiritual journey.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I was always a little disappointed that I didn't have any psychic 'gifts'. I'd never seen a ghost, had a premonition or been able to contact spirits through a seance or ouija board. Still, I had a strong belief that there were people who could do all those things and more - I just wasn't one of them.
I'm not exactly sure when I got my first set of tarot cards, but I think I was 17 or 18. They came with a paperback that described each card and its meaning. I spent hours with them, studying the pictures and reading the interpretations according to how the cards fell in relation to the layout pattern and each other. I liked the Celtic Cross layout and actually got so that I could string a pretty good story together. I was never totally comfortable with my ability though, so didn't use the cards much and eventually gave them up altogether.
At one point I turned my attention to palm reading, with even less luck. I did learn what the main lines on the hand represented, but again, I just didn't get into it. I experimented with a ouija board and I took part in some seances. Nothing really noteworthy happened in either case.
I had better luck reading people's auras. I discovered that everyone has a coloured band of energy around them that shimmers just along the edge of their body. I found that I could see a person's aura if I stared at them and concentrated very hard. It generally worked better in a dark room, but I have been able to see them in daylight as well. While being able to see the aura is kind of fun, I've never really been interested enough to bother reading any books or reference material that might help me interpret what the colours mean.
I've also dabbled in psychic healing (with some success), animal spirit guides, chakras and automatic writing. That still leaves spirit channelling, dream interpretation, runes, voodoo, hoodoo, abra cadabra....you name it.
I think that a majority of humanity believe in the existence of some type of psychic ability or happening, be it the mriacles of Christ, the readings of Edgar Cayce or the tarot card reader in the mall kiosk. The odd thing is that instead of reasoning that a myriad of abilities can exist, many people pick and choose what can and can't be. This may be due to religious upbringing, personal experience, peer pressure, environment, or some other bias. Over the course of my posts, I'll be discussing many of the psychic abilities or beliefs that are mentioned above, and I'll be doing so from the perspective that they are all real and they all exist, even if I personally don't have a specific ability myself.
I hope that the reader will meet these discussions with an open mind, although healthy skepticism is ok, even encouraged.
Monday, October 12, 2009
So, on with this post.
At the same time I was learning about Christian Science, I was still reading my Wheatley books and anything else I could get my hands on that had anything to do with the occult or spiritual. Some of these readings described the existence of truly evil entities and the dangers of participating in such activities as seances, Ouija boards, or out-of-body travel. One of my good friends knew of my interest in the psychic realm and told me that she had an uncle who could "tell fortunes", and he was coming to visit for a week. She'd set something up so that I could meet him and have a reading.
It was a very hot summer afternoon the day I went to meet "Oncle Raymonde". He was a middle aged man and I noticed as he took my hand that he had long, thin fingers. I listened to what he had to say about me and my life, but I wasn't too impressed with his psychic abilities. I had learned from my various readings that many so-called fortune tellers have no special 'gifts' other than a good ability to read people's reactions to what is said. They also know how to ask questions that are designed to actually draw the answers out of the person being "read". These 'psyhics' do all their speaking in generalities that could apply to just about anyone. I didn't say anything or ask any questions, I just let the man talk. The reading was short and so general that I don't really remember anything specific that he said. In all fairness to him, it is possible that at 16 years of age, there wasn't a lot about my life to relate, or perhaps the future he saw for me was so boring he decided to pass.
As we sat outside in the hot summer sun, we conversed lightly about the occult and religion in general; about good and evil and whether things like demonic possession really existed. He said that he certainly believed in the power of evil and that no one should attempt to travel in the astral or physchic planes without knowing how to protect themself. He asked if I knew about the golden rings of protection. I said that I didn't. He took my hand again and told me to close my eyes and picture a long corridor in my mind. I was uncomfortable and unsure of what was coming, but we were outside in the yard in plain sight and my friend was there with us, so eventually I closed my eyes and relaxed. Soon I could picture a long, dark corridor, which I walked down hesitently in my mind. After a while a wooden door appeared and I stood outside for a bit, then with Raymonde's encouragement, I opened the door and stepped inside.
It was a very small room, a closet really, with rough wooden walls, unpainted and unadorned. The wall in front of me was bare, but when I turned to the right, I could see three shimmering gold rings, two were small, about 6" across, the third was about 12" across, and each ring was hanging over a plain nail on the wall. They were really quite breathtaking, shimmering with golden light in such a plain and ordinary room.
I described them to Raymonde. He seemed surprised that there were three, but told me they were my rings of protection and there for me to use at any time and as often as I wished. I need only reach for one in my mind and it could be stretched or condensed to any size to totally encircle the wearer. I could wrap it about myself, or "throw" it around someone else, but I must always remember that whatever was inside the ring couldn't get out and whatever was outside the ring couldn't get in, until I removed the ring and hung it back on the wall. In other words, if I was inside a ring and I thought or visualized something bad or evil, that evil would be turned back on me, the wearer. By the same token, nothing bad or evil outside the ring could reach the wearer unless invited in. They weren't for fun or to be abused, but tools of protection if I ever found myself or a loved on in a dangerous situation. I stood and looked at them a few moments longer, then left the room, closing the door behind me. I stood a few more moments in the corridor, then reopened the door - the rings were still there, glowing softly in the plain bare room. I closed the door and walked away.
When I opened my eyes again, I was immediately aware of the hot summer sun and the sound of bees droning in the flower beds nearby. Raymonde released my hand and I thanked him for his assistance. I can't explain to you how the knowledge of those rings has impacted me, except to say that there is a deep comfort knowing that throughout this life's journey my rings of protection are shimmering softly on the edges of my consciousness.
A sad aside to this story is that Raymonde was killed in an accident just a few months later. I never saw him again, so he never knew what a profound impact the discovery of the golden rings had on my psyche. I have carried the knowledge of their existence all my life, checking in on the room often, but only ever using them once, and that was to protect a loved one, not myself....
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I learned that the First Church of Christ, Scientist was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in Boston , Massachusetts in 1879. Mrs. Eddy wrote a book entitled Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which was intended to be read in conjunction with the King James version of the Bible. If you're interested in learning the full and official explanation of why and how the religion came to be, please consult the Church's official website.
Each day Christian Scientists all over the world read the same "lesson", which is made up of verses from the Bible and companion paragraphs from Science & Health, as predetermined by the Mother Church in Boston. There are no ministers in the church, but instead First and Second Readers, who at Sunday service, read aloud to the congregation all of the passages that had been preselected for each day of the previous week, so if you didn't do your daily readings, you hear them all at the following Sunday service. It's a very comfortable service without all of the dogma I'd come to dislike in my own religion.
In a nutshell, Mrs. Eddy believed that God was omniscient and perfect, and if Man was made in God's image, then physical illness could not exist in Man either. Most devout Christian Scientists do not consult doctors when they are ill. Instead, and often very successfully, they use their faith in God to aid in healing any physical ailments they may contract.
As the months passed and I read my lessons and attended Sunday service, I found a great deal that I could accept and hold. I had long discussions with Peter's grandparents and parents about the merits of spiritual healing. I read and was inspired by Church newsletters containing examples of divine healings that had been documented and accepted. After a while, I began to believe there was something to this divine healing that I had learned about through the First Church of Christ, Scientist.
A few months after I had begun attending church services and reading my lessons, I was diagnosed with a minor physical problem that would require surgery to correct. Frankly, I was afraid of the surgery and began to seriously consider treating the problem in the Christian Science way. When I told my mother this, she made it clear that I could do what I thought was right, but that she and my father would not support me if I took the non-surgical route. I was not yet 18 years old, still in high school and fully dependent on my parents, so I had no choice but to acquiesce and have the surgery. I was in tears when I explained to my future husband's grandparents that I would be having the surgery - I was so sure they would be disappointed in me. Instead, they assured me that they would support me no matter what healing method I pursued. They also explained to me with kindness and understanding that I could combine the medical solution with the spiritual one, and they would help in any way they could.
Through Christian Science I learned that I could refuse to acknowledge sickness (even though it's a hard sell and tough to do). When the physical symptoms of illness are making you miserable or you can see a wound, it's pretty hard to convince yourself that you are whole and well. I admire anyone who can actually do it, but I could not. What I did learn, however, was that there is a definite connection between our minds and our physical symptoms. When I started to feel a cold or headache coming on, I could often stave it off by refusing to accept that I was sick. I could sometimes alleviate simple cold symptoms altogether, sometimes not. For serious illness though, I always sought traditional medical attention, but at the same time focused my mental energy on being well, not on being sick.
While it's been many years since I attended a Christian Science Sunday service or even looked at my copy of Science and Health, what I learned about treating illness with positive thinking and divine energy became an integral part of my life philosophy and remains strong inside me to this day.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The Ka is very busy while we sleep. Besides the problem solving example in my last post, the Ka will often assist disembodied souls who have recently passed from human existence find their way to the the next phase of being and the proverbial "light". The Ka will 'visit' with other entities, both living and 'dead' that are known to it. It will review future happenings and begin preparing the physical mind and body for things to come. It can conduct classes for other less enlightened Kas, to help them as they make their journey through the many phases of being. It may perform healing tasks. And finally, it will just revel in the joy that is life, rejeuvenating and recharging itself so that the physical body and mind can deal with another day.
It's easier to understand just how much happens when we sleep if you think of it this way. If I asked you what you did yesterday, your answer might be something like, "I got up, caught a bus to work, had lunch with my boss, resolved a problem with the photocopier, picked up some groceries, watched Deal or No Deal and went to bed." Sounds perfectly logical - we both can visualize the kind of day you had. Hundreds of other small happens and many conversations happened throughout your day, but when you remember it, only the major happenings come to the fore.
Now if I asked you what you dreamed last night, you might say "I was on a bus trying to fix the photocopier when my boss came in with a bag of groceries and said "Deal or No Deal"? Sounds pretty crazy - kind of a mixed up mess that makes no sense at all. But if you look closely, so was the original description of your day, it's just that with the benefit of chronological time (which is actually only a concept and doesn't really exist), your mind accepts the description of your day as plausible, but the description of your night as illogical. Try to consider this analogy as you weigh the possibility that the Ka exists.
If you think you've never experienced the separation of Ka from body, there is another example that you may be able to identify with. I mentioned in my last post that if the body becomes endangered while the Ka is absent, the Ka will return immediately to reanimate the body so that it can escape the danger. The reverse of this is also true - that is, if the body is in immediate danger and the Ka cannot protect it, the Ka will immediately leave the body to lessen the shock of the body's injury, or even death. This is demonstrated time and again when someone survives, and later describes, a serious accident. If you talk to someone who's been in a serious car accident, generally they won't remember the actual crash at all. They can recall the imminent danger and then waking up after it's over, but the accident itself is a blank spot in their memory. This is because the Ka will immediately exit to spare the body the shock of what may be its death and will certainly be a traumatic and painful event when it is seriously damaged. You can say that the individual "lost consciousness" when the accident occurred. I respond that the Ka is your consciousness and I ask you, where did it go?
This was chillingly illustrated to me around 20 years ago when my sister and I were driving from Halifax to Moncton on a snowy winter evening. Normally, we would not have travelled in such weather, especially in the dark, but our grandfather was ill and we were trying to get home to visit him. My sister was driving her car, a 2 door Camero, which is probably not exactly the best type of vehicle for extended winter driving, but she is an excellent driver and we were determined to just take our time and arrive in Moncton safely.
The drive was uneventful for the first hour and a half, the traffic wasn't too bad and we chatted amicably as the miles passed. The highway at that time wound through the Wentworth Valley and wasn't twinned. We passed safely through the Valley and were coming up on Streets Ridge. A large transport truck had come up behind us, close enough that we enjoyed the advantage of its headlights, but far enough back that we didn't feel threatened by its proximity.
As we approached a level crossing, we saw the car in front of us move into the left lane so that it could turn left across the highway. Because traffic was approaching from the other direction, the turning car waited to for the road to clear. On the other side, to our right, a half-ton pickup sat waiting to cross the highway, and of course behind us, the transport truck was travelling at speed. We were directly beside the car that was waiting to turn left when the pickup truck suddenly pulled into our lane from the right. We were completely trapped -there was no way to escape collision and if we stopped, the transport truck would ride right up over us. I heard the loud blare of the transport's air horn, closed my eyes and steeled myself for the impact.
My next memory is of the car moving quietly along the highway through the swirling snow, my sister's hands locked on the wheel, her eyes straight ahead. In the eerie silence my mind took stock of an impossibility - the car was fine, I was fine, we were still on the road, the transport's lights still illuminating our way. Neither of us spoke for several minutes, then my sister said, "What just happened and why are we still here?" I answered, "I have no idea". We carried on in silence for a very long time. To this day neither of us knows how or why we escaped what should have been a very serious accident. We only know that we both lost consciousness for the seconds it took to carry us through, and neither of us saw what actually happened.
In a future post, I'll talk about this event again, but my purpose in discussing it here is to illustrate that our Kas had removed themselves from the imminent danger, and only returned when the danger had passed.
Even though they are separate, the Ka and the body are absolutely and totally connected. However, the body is merely the mechanical vessel and cannot survive without the essence (Ka) of the living being it contains. When the cord between them is severed, the body dies.
Throughout junior high and high school I had continued to read anything and everything I could get my hands on that smacked of the occult. I still believed in God, but wasn't sure about the Devil or whether Heaven and Hell existed. I was still searching for the answers when I duly handed in my summer reading list, a little worried, but mostly amused by what she might think of the titles. When Mrs. White returned my homework, she also handed me a little advertising leaflet and said nothing about my reading choices, except "This came in the mail last week - perhaps you'll find it of interest".
The leaflet was an advertisement for a series of books written by British author Dennis Wheatley. I'd never heard of him. Each volume would be bound in a red leatherette cover with gold lettering on 'premium' paper. They were $8.95 each plus shipping and handling and would be delivered 2 per month, but only upon my approval. My eyes glanced over the list of titles and descriptions, many of which contained reference to occult matters. Hmmm, sounded interesting, but they were a lot of money for a high school student whose part time job paid $1/hr.
I stayed after class and asked Mrs. White about the author. "He's one of my favourites", she said, "I'll lend you one of his books and then you can decide". I can't remember now which book she loaned me, but I do remember that I couldn't put it down. In no time at all the order for my first 2 volumes was on its way.
It was through the Wheatley books that I first encountered the concept of the "Ka", which can loosely be described as the life force that animates a living human body. Connected to its physical body by a silvery cord, the Ka has the ability to leave the physical realm and travel unimpeded throughout the various Astral planes (which are themselves a topic for another post). While most people are not conscious of the actions of their Ka, some do have the ability to remain in control when their Ka is active and can direct its movements in much the same way they control their physical body.
We are all aware that something animates us - that we are sentient - we know we exist. Some refer to this as the soul, some call it a life force - I prefer to use Wheatley's term and I consider my non-physical being to be my Ka. Generally, your Ka leaves your physical body only (but always) when you sleep. It remains connected to your physical body, but can travel at will instantly, not only in this world, but across the boundaries that separate us from the spiritual worlds inhabited by disembodied souls as well. If your physical body experiences danger while it's sleeping, the Ka will return immediately to reanimate it and remove it from danger, but if the Ka becomes severed from the body, the body will die and the Ka will exist only on the non-physical planes of existence.
Ok - that's quite a concept! Can I prove it??
No, like many religious or spiritual matters, proof is impossible, but I can relate a couple of my experiences and ask you to consider some of your own.
In theory, when you sleep, the Ka leaves your body and begins its 'work'. This work includes any number of tasks in any number of scenarios. If you're experiencing a specific problem or challenge in your waking life, your Ka may expend some of its energy trying out different solutions, some of which you may remember when you wake, or may even be so clear and significant that the solution actually awakens you from your sleep. Most of us can think of a time when an answer came to us in our sleep. There are many other tasks that I'll cover in the next post, but this example is one of the more commonly remembered and is described here to help you understand the Ka concept.
The concept of having a Ka intriqued me, so I had begun experimenting with remaining in control of my Ka when I fell asleep. Night after night I practiced relaxation techniques and tried to remain conscious when my body slipped into sleep. Nothing ever happened. It just didn't work.
Then late one night, while travelling by train from Moncton to Montreal for a vacation with my friend Norma, I was almost asleep and thinking sadly about the fact that I had left my new boyfriend behind and wouldn't see him for a week. Suddenly, without warning, I found myself back in Moncton, hovering near the ceiling in my boyfriend's bedroom. I could clearly see him sitting on his bed, reading - every aspect of the room complete, real and full colour. He was totally unaware of me. I watched in absolute awe for just a few seconds, when the enormity of what was happening hit me and I experienced total panic. Oh my god! I'd left my body behind on a train somewhere in rural Quebec! What the hell?? Again without warning, I literally SLAMMED back into my body on the train. I mean I hit so hard it was a physical blow. I opened my eyes and stared around me, taking in the sleeping passengers and gentle rocking of the passenger car as we rolled along through the night. Norma was sleeping quietly in the seat next to me, blissfully unaware that I had just travelled several hundred miles and back in split seconds. I took a deep breath and pondered that journey long into the night. When I fell asleep again, it was into a deep and dreamless place.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Whoa! you might say, or perhaps, No way! Truly, this was the last and most difficult concept for me to grasp as well, and I hope through this and future posts to introduce this idea to you in a way that you can understand and accept.
How many times have you and a close friend or spouse said the same thing at exactly the same time? When it happens, you usually chuckle and say something like 'great minds think alike' and simply carry on your conversation. Honestly, it happens so often for many of us that we don't see it as unusual or remarkable. In truth, those moments are usually due to being reminded of an experience we've shared together in the past, thus triggering the same response in the present, therefore easily explained and perfectly logical.
Maybe not be so easily explained and perfectly logical is when this happens to us with a stranger or casual acquaintence. It is plausaible that occasionally this occurs because of a common life experience - perhaps a scene from a movie, tv show, or a passage from a book that we're both aware of - but sometimes the cause is simply not apparent or easily explained. And while we're comfortable when this happens with someone close to us, it's generally uncomfortable and even eerie when it happens with a stranger. How do we rationalize it then?
Then there's that "deja vu" feeling that most of us have experienced at some point in our lives - that moment in a conversation or while visiting a new location that we suddenly and inexplicably feel an "I've done this before" sensation. Often the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and/or your arms and legs are beset with gooseflesh, because you know on a primal or instinctive level that you've been here/done this before. How do we rationalize this?
Many of you have at one time or another consulted a fortune teller or psychic, perhaps looking for answers and/or advice about happenings in your life, or maybe wondering what the future holds. Others have participated in a seance or visited a medium in hopes of connecting with a deceased relative or loved one. Still others have consulted reiki healers in an attempt to alieviate painful or incurable health issues. Almost everyone has read their horoscope. The list goes on and on. We all know that there are individuals who have, or purport to have, physchic powers beyond the average. Some of us believe, others have a healthy skepticism and still others dismiss such "powers" outright. Who is right?
When I was growing up it was commonly said that we only use 10% of our brains. Today we know that to be untrue, but I think it may be true that we don't yet understand 10% of what our brains are capable of, and maybe, just maybe, there is more to each of us than we realize.
So now the basic building blocks are in place and all the posts that follow will outline the steps and events of a lifetime that brought me here.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Because the second cornerstone of my belief system is that our lives are not simply a chance of nature, nor are they a series of random events, the logical follow-on is that there must be someone or something that is directing the plan. So now I've opened the Pandora's box about the existence of a supreme being. I'm not even going to pretend I know for sure if it's a God, but it's a good place to begin. I Googled Webster's Dictionary and typed in "god". Here is the result:
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
3 : a person or thing of supreme value
4 : a powerful ruler
Actually, this is a pretty good cross-section of possibilities, and interestingly enough, as you'll read in a future post, I was introduced to Christian Science in my teens, so am quite familiar with both parts 1a and 1b of Webster's definition. Some of my later readings were about other aspects of realty, thus covering part 2; and parts 3 and 4 are so general that I think they'll probably be included in most any conclusion I reach. The one thing above that I do take exception to is the requirement to worship. The fact that I walked out of the Anglican church after my confirmation, never to return, is probably indicative of the fact that at an early age, I had decided not to worship my god.
Our entire world is like a symphony. Every action - every creature, a key participant in a glorious three dimensional song - all interconnected, all affected, none more or less important than another. If one thinks about the inter-relationships that exist in our physical universe, one can see the amazing tapestry that I spoke of in my last post.
Our own body is a wonderful example of absolute engineering genius. A little universe unto itself containing such complex networks that even with our "superior" brains we can barely begin to understand the workings, let alone the mechanics. We don't have to think about the functions that keep us alive - we breathe, our organs work and our blood flows without any help from us at all. We have only to think of a concept like walking or clapping our hands and our individual body parts spring into perfectly synchronized actions to carry out our thoughts. Our bodies heal themselves, nourish themselves, and if given the opportunity, recreate perfect new bodies in the form of our offspring.
Over the years I've extropolated this idea down to the tiny atom and applied it to the entire universe, and I've seen that it works no matter how large or small the scale. Of course you can quote me exceptions, you can cite examples of things that are not in harmony such as bodies that don't work in perfect synchronicity and a million other exceptions, but overall, surely you still have to admit that this universe is so interconnected, so complex and so beautiful, that it simply cannot be entirely random.
In my lifetime, I've examined dozens (if not hundreds) of ideas and theories about whether or not there is a supreme being, and if so, who or what it is. I still don't know for sure, but so many things have happened along my journey that point to the workings of an inescapable plan, that I'm thoroughly convinced that there is indeed an author of our existence, and in future posts, I hope to at least give you enough food for thought that you won't simply dismiss the idea out of hand.
I've now introduced the first three cornerstones of my belief system, namely that there is life after this physical world, that our lives are loosely woven around a master plan, and that the plan has an author. My next post will cover the fourth and final cornerstone, then I'll resume the story of the steps that led me to the place I am today. I invite you to join me, even challenge me, as the journey is recounted.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Is there a god? Damned if I know. It doesn't seem to me that any religion has truly proven this satisfactorily. So, are we back to taking it on Faith? I sure hope not.
At an early age, I believed in the God we see illustrated throughout the Christian religion. You know, the one with the white hair and beard (reminiscent of a sinister Santa) who's depicted smashing the stone tablets of the 10 Commandments, or ordering Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. That God seemed pretty angry to me most of the time and I had a hard time reconciling Him to the loving god we were being asked to worship. That God seemed rather mean - He kept promising the Israelites He'd lead them to the Promised Land - and then constantly tested their faith (and patience) by changing His mind. I could almost understand why they built the golden calf to worship while they waited for Moses to return with the Rules of the Road. Then after testing God's patience and enduring a couple of His temper tantrums, the people finally settled down to roaming around the desert for 40 years until He showed them their destination. I mean, have you seen what the lands in the Middle East look like? Sheesh.
There are countless stories about God's testing of His people and also a few about His love. But overall, I didn't think He was all that benevolent and it was probably a good idea to be a little afraid of Him.
Now Jesus, on the other hand, was the kind of god I could almost believe in. I paid very close attention to the books of the New Testatment. First of all, they were written in language that was easier to understand, and secondly, Jesus was a pretty decent guy, who was betrayed by his closest friends and pretty much shafted by his own father. This wasn't too hard to identify with! But once he was crucified and rose into Heaven, everything got sort of convoluted. Now there was the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost...and to this day, I'm still not sure who's in charge.
Through my various readings, I discovered that there were other holy men, such as Buddha and Mohammed who had also brought gospels to the world and who had their own legions of followers. Not to mention dozens of other gods who had been worshipped and revered throughout the ages.
How could we know for sure which One was the right One? I mean seriously, how could you choose?
This particular question plagued me for a very long time, but in the beginning, I asked myself just a few questions - Why would God bother to micro-manage us so closely that He wanted to know about each and every thing that each and every one of us did each and every day? Why was He so mean to the many and so good to the few? And what was going to happen to all the people who worshipped in other religions, so didn't even have a chance of getting to Heaven?
At this point, I could have turned to athesism, become an agnostic, or taken it all on Faith (as they had asked me to in Confirmation classes). Instead, I began to lean towards the concept of reincarnation and the idea that there was a greater plan for each of us - a tapestry, if you will, that we weave together, singly and in groups, into a pattern that's recognizable but not necessarily symmetrical. A tapestry that has a specific design, but that can be embelished a little without losing the overall pattern. That there is a plan for all of us, but at any given point in time, we can change it with free will.
I know that at this point, I haven't proven the concept or even expanded on it enough to convince anyone that the plan exists. I'll try to do that in future posts - all I want to do here is put in place the second cornerstone of my belief system, that is, establish the underpinnings that will carry all of the rest of it. So, to summarize my last post and this one, I believe there is life after this world and that we are all part of a greater plan.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I still believed in God. I said my prayers. I tried to follow the 10 Commandments. But I didn't believe in Heaven and Hell (or Purgatory, for that matter). My mother used to say that Hell was right here on earth. (I don't think we ever really talked about Heaven.)
I never doubted that there was life after death, but I couldn't believe that we were rewarded or punished for eternity based on the short span of time we spend here, especially those who died young or were born with mental disabilities that denied them the possibility of embracing Christianity. And on top of that, what about all those millions (or was it billions) of people who followed religions other than Christianity? It wasn't adding up.
So, I started my journey to find out the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything - and my part in it. I thought it wouldn't take long. Yeah, right.
I started at the public library, but instead of reading religious volumes, I was drawn to the occult section. When I was growing up, I had been told that my father had experienced some "physchic" episodes as a child. This intrigued me. I had never had any myself, but the possiblity that you might be able to see ghosts or predict the future was so alluring....
Our public library had about 8 books in the occult section and they were all pretty bad. I did read them all, however, and learned that Harry Houdini had been very interested in the occult and firmly believed that he would be able to find his way back from the dead to let the others in his circle know that there was indeed life on the other side. To my knowledge, he never did make it back...
I also read about Edgar Cayce and his gift of prophecy, the quatrains of Nostradamus, the brilliance of Leonardo Da Vinci, the secret society of Masons and the occult leanings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Even the Satanic Bible of Anton LaVey. I read it all. Learning, growing, following one thread, then another, weighing each word and each idea, keeping some and tossing most. Looking, searching, trying to understand - and doing it all by myself.
The one thing that ran through it all, the common thread, was that life continues even after death. I think this fundamental belief has been with humanity since the very beginning. It's primal. All societies and cultures have recorded either in their written histories or in their burial ceremonies that the dead live on in other worlds. I don't think this is a subject I need to elaborate further on, it's easily researched and you could spend more than this one lifetime learning about the various afterlives that have been believed to exist throughout history.
In my own heart, I know it to be true, but it's been a very long journey trying to understand just how it all fits together. It's a quest that began for me 40 years ago and still continues today. As this blog continues and my religious leanings are revealed, the first cornerstone, or building block of my belief system is that life continues beyond this physical world.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I was 13 years old in 1969 and Star Trek had been beaming into my universe every week for 3 years. I never missed an episode. It truly was the brave new world and I believed. Believed that there was a greater power, that good would always triumph over evil and that we would all someday live in a society where neither race, religion, wealth, gender, nor political stripe would mean anything.
I think that Gene Roddenberry's vision influenced us in a way that no other generation before had ever experienced. It wasn't just what was in the message - it was that the message was visual. We all saw the same images, as Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Scottie and Bones hurtled through the universe. This was not like a book that some of us had read and each imagined just a little differently from one another - these were powerful visual images of a multi-national crew of men and women working together to achieve the same ends - and all of us saw it exactly the same way. This was good triumphing over evil week after week, planet by planet, surrounded by sophisticated technology created in a world where scientists developed tools that were intended to be used for something other than weapons of mass destruction.
I loved science fiction and besides my other tv favourites such as Lost in Space and Dr. Who, I read many of Isaac Asimov's short stories, was profoundly touched by Nevil Shute's "On the Beach" and very much affected by John Wyndham's "The Chrysalids". Then Gene Roddenberry gave us a new universe, and I embraced it. Now if I could just figure out who was behind it and how to make it happen.
All of these things were molding a young mind to reject organized Christian religion and the dogmas associated with it. It was painfully obvious to me that the Church (and I mean this in the broadest sense - basically all Christian religions that I had experienced to that time, namely Anglican, Catholic, Baptist and United) had not only fragmented society into sects that at best were suspicious of each other and at worst initiated wars against each other, but it had done nothing that I could see to alleviate the great suffering of so many of the world's people.
One thing about television - it had brought the real world right into our living rooms and there was no longer any way to gild the lily.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
It's mostly hazy to me now. I remember learning that the colour of the minister's vestments was connected to certain religious occasions. About the meaning of the host and the wine in relation to communion with the Lord. About the trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Oh there was lots of dogma - and I had lots of questions.
We started at the beginning - the creation of the earth and then Adam & Eve. I enquired immediately about the origin's of Cain's wife. "Well, we don't take it literally", I was told, "we take it on faith"....
Well, then what about Darwin's theory of evolution? "Well, there are arguments for it, of course, but we believe that God created the universe - we take it on Faith"...
Then there was Noah and the Flood, the parting of the Red Sea, the selling of children into slavery and prostitution, the killing of all first born children...and the ever constant answer - we take it on FAITH.
So eventually the Reverand and I came to an impasse. I'd ask a question - we'd take it on FAITH - then we'd move on to the next lesson. I was 12 years old and not stupid. I had a logical mind and very good comprehension and retention. I had never confused fantasy with reality - I knew the difference, and most of what I was hearing here could only be classified as fantasy. While I believed in God and his Son, Jesus, this was just too much. I could see how the 10 commandments were beneficial (and probably necessary) to the survival of civilized man, but I figured that the chances they had been delivered to Moses from the Hand of God were pretty slim. After a while I was told not to disrupt the class any more, just listen and let the others learn. I understood that particular instruction very well and did what I was told. We learned our lessons, took our test and passed into the realm of confirmed Anglicans.
The ceremony was serious and full of all the dogma and circumstance one might expect. All the newly confirmed girls and boys (we took our classes separately) marched together down the aisle one Sunday morning into the presence of the Canon. I remember thinking what a big ring he wore as he placed a hand on each of our heads and said something I don't remember and probably didn't understand. I figured it must be a blessing, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was actually thinking about what he was going to have for lunch as he mumbled the same words over each of us. Today was the big day and for the first time in our lives, we all received the body and blood of Christ in the form of the host and what I think was probably grape juice (if it was real wine it sure was watered down). I took my communion, stayed for the rest of the service, and never set foot in an Anglican church again - at least not for a Sunday service. My parents had wanted me confirmed and I was. That was the only reason I suffered through the entire winter of lessons.
My mother and father never knew why I refused to attend church services after that and I never told them. If they wanted to believe in all the hocus pocus, that was ok with me, but I was having none of it, and at 13 years old, they let me make that decision for myself.
I'm very grateful to them for that.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I was pretty well read for a 10 year old at that time - let's say 1966 or 1967. Remember there was no Sesame Street or early learning. TV had 2 channels and didn't come on until noon and ended by midnight. There were no computers or other external information sources for a child - you basically had your brain, your imagination and what you observed, to work with - that was it. Religion was basically two choices, you were Protestant (me) or Catholic (the heathen). I'll not be discussing Mohammed, Allah or Budda in this blog, because none of them even existed in my religious experience.
I was baptized into the Anglican Church when I was about six. I remember it quite clearly. It was at the Trinity Church in Saint John, New Brunswick. My sister was a babe in arms and I was five years older than she, so quite able to recall the minister, my parents, the couple who I assume were our godparents and the urn of holy water. I had no clue what was going on, but it seemed important to the grown ups, so I did whatever I thought was expected of me, even though I was not impressed when the minister (who I later learned was actually a Canon) splashed water on my blouse.
Church was new to me, but we had begun spending some time there. I attended church services on Sunday mornings with my parents - at least my mother was there. I remember how boring it was while the minister talked and talked, but finally, after a while, a teenage boy in a white robe carrying a large cross would walk down the aisles and we children could fall in behind him and go to Sunday School. I liked Sunday School. We got to colour pictures and listen to bible stories. I liked it a lot, but I was a bit suspicious about some of the stories...
For some reason I was interested in learning more about our religion. I'm not really sure what prompted me to begin reading the bible, but I do remember that we were living in Riverview, so I'm thinking I was 12 or so. I decided I'd read one chapter every night at bedtime. I had an old bible that had been given to me by a teacher at a Baptist vacation bible school I had attended with a friend when I was 8 or 9. The bible had no covers. It was about five inches high and 3 inches thick and had some colour plates in the middle - things like Noah releasing a dove and Moses parting the Red Sea, and it was that old bible that I opened and began reading. The pages were kind of a silky paper and the print was very small and spread over two columns on each page.
So of course Genesis was first. God created the world, then realized he needed some people, so He also created Adam and Eve. They hung out in the Garden of Eden and had a great time until Eve decided to listen to the snake and eat the apple (stupid girl) and then they had to hide from God. Eventually He kicked them out of the garden and they got down to the business of starting humanity rolling by having 2 sons, Cain and Abel. Unfortunately, like most siblings, Cain and Abel couldn't get along and you guessed it, Cain slew Abel and had to leave. So, off he went to live in the land of Nod and eventually married a woman from that country.
So I read this over quite a few times. Something wasn't making sense here. I went back to the beginning and started over. Nope, I didn't miss anything or misunderstand something. Somehow, Cain managed to not only find other people, but a whole country of them. I kept on reading the bible every night, but now I took most of it with a grain of salt. I slogged through all the biblical language and the millions of "begattings". I learned about Moses and Abraham, David and Goliath, Joseph and his brothers and coat of many colours. Finally I finished the old testament and got into the teachings of Jesus, which I enjoyed much more, but I was still taking it all with some healthy scepticism.
And, then, becuase I was 12, I started my Confirmation classes. The minister was very British. He had a daughter who was a little older than me and had quite a reputation as a "bad girl". I didn't pay too much attention to that, because all children of ministers were a bit on the wild side - I decided that was just a by-product of having to spend so much time in church. I think our classes were in a room in his house - maybe 6 or 8 of us - 13 year old girls receiving religious instruction so that we could become confirmed and begin taking communion with the grown ups.
At first I was quite excited about this. I had a lot of questions and no answers. Now I would find out the truth and finally be able to understand the reason for the inconsistencies I had discovered in my biblical readings.