Sunday, July 24, 2011

Last Dance With the Fairies

        Supernatural beings, therianthropes (see post: What Did They See?), alien abduction, kidnapping by fairies...Are these beings and events real or they just due to very vivid imaginations? If they are not real, why is it that the 'theme' of other-worldly beings and kidnappings (whether in the modern world, by aliens or, as in the past, by fairies) keeps on recurring in different epochs and in different cultures?
Alien Abduction

        In 1918, Carl Jung, Swiss physician and father of modern psychotherapy, wrote a paper entitled 'On the Unconscious'. In this work, Jung suggested that all human beings 'stood between two worlds': the world of external perception and the world of perception of the unconscious. For Jung, the bringing together of these two worlds was through symbols, these symbols created by the unconscious; symbol creation being the most important function of the unconscious; symbols often seen in our dreams.

          The concept of 'two worlds' was not unique to Jung. A similar idea had been followed for centuries by Sufi mystics, a splinter group of Islam which gave great importance to the imagination. Researcher, Jeffrey Raff suggests that Sufi mysticism is a type of alchemy or transmutational process that unites a theory of imagination with the goal of creating subtle bodies and of seeing into the heart of the universe.
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)

     The Sufi 'alchemists' believed that the matter on which they operated was not purely physical in nature but belonged more to the 'World of Paradise'. Two 'worlds' once again, each one as real as the other. For Jung, the second world was the world of dreams. For the Sufi mystics, the second world was arrived at through dancing, imagination and trance.

        But how real is/are these 'second worlds'? Whether through the use of drugs, trance, injury or even neurological disease (see post: Epilepsy and the Divine), people have experienced ecstasy, seen visions, been kidnapped by fairies and met with aliens. Some have had these experiences without any of these mind-altering conditions (see post: Altered States of Consciousness). Surveys have suggested that about 2 percent of the general population of modern adults seem to be born with the ability to fall spontaneously into deep states of hallucination. Are the people who make up this '2 percent' simply those whose brain chemistry is slightly different from the norm?
Sufi Mystics

     Does this special brain chemistry enable these people to see visions and encounter spirits? Is this brain state achievable in the remaining 98 percent of us through the use of drugs or by entering a trance state? And are any of these visions, encounters, strange beings real? Are these entities 'symbols' of our dream world (Jung)? Do these creatures belong to the 'World of Paradise' (Sufi)?

        But these visions, these experiences are so common and seen in so many cultures over so many time periods.
Fairies Dancing Around 'Fly Muscaric' Mushroom
(see post: The 'High' Priest)

     In Ireland, the fairies were called the 'Sidhe' in Wales, the 'Tylwyth Teg , the 'lutin' in France. Melusine was the name of a half-woman-half-serpent fairy (a therianthrope), known to steal young children in Northern France. The names may have changed but the entities remain the same.

        In the past, it was the fairies, the jinn or angels which took you away. Today, this is done by aliens. Today, the aliens have spaceships but perhaps they did in the past, as well.  There is so much consistency in these stories over so long a period of time that it is difficult to argue how these recurring experiences can be anything but real. But 'real' in what sense?

     In the sense of Carl Jung's symbols of the unconscious? 'Real' in the sense of the Sufi mystics where these entities are from the real 'World of Paradise'?

     There is one line of thought that our minds are not just the conscious representations of our organic brains, not simply generators of consciousness but are actually 'receivers' and that the 'otherworld' experiences we find ourselves in and the supernatural beings we meet are indeed objectively real and exist independently outside of our brains, outside of our minds.
Spaceships in the Sky (Basel, 1566)

     Aliens, fairies, jinn, dead souls...Are these 'real' things in other 'real' worlds? Things that only a very few of us can see or can be seen only under very special circumstances?

        Some believe all this to be real. Some just simply want to believe that this is indeed all real.

Cave of the Jinn, Oman

     To quote John Lennon: 'I believe in everything until it is disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?'

     No matter what the answers to these questions might be, it would be wise to proceed with caution. In the past, the fairies danced in their circles (ring portals? some type of alien 'transporter'?) before they disappeared and anyone caught or pulled into the circle, anyone who wanted to join in, would disappear in their last dance with the fairies.
Saved from the Fairy Circle
(Nineteenth Century Woodcut)

     *Ghosts, fairies, unexplained phenomena: subjects of research for the novel: The Tao of the Thirteenth God - Amazon Kindle.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Talk with the Dead

     'Clairvoyants', a term adapted from the French meaning clear-seers or clear vision claim that they are capable of many things. Some researchers have investigated the phenomenon of 'clairvoyance' using sensory deprivation to ascertain whether this 'extrasensory perception, this clairvoyance can be triggered but no definitive proof of its existence has ever been shown.
Sensory Deprivation

     Some claim that they can see into your future, others into your past. Some can know what you are thinking and still others can 'intuitively know what organ system in your body is not functioning correctly. But one of the most popular 'gigs' for a clairvoyant is to talk or communicate with the dead. Advice not to listen to these people stretches at least as far back as the time of the Old Testament when Hebrew and later Christian writers warned against the deception of fraudulent seers. Paradoxically, looking into the future with visions and prophesy was acceptable, truthful and reliable (provided the predictions were in line with the writer of those scriptures).

     Throughout the Old Testament, people who consulted clairvoyants died (Saul in 1 Chronicles 10:13-14), were 'defiled' (Leviticus 19:321) or were stoned to death (Leviticus 20:17). In the New Testament, people were discouraged to seek out advice from the dead ('Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? Isaiah 8:19) and 'psychic' experiences were considered communication with 'deceiving spirits', devils and demons (see post: Devils and Demons). 'Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15); 'You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons too (1 Corinthians 10: 20-21).
     In 2001, a well known clairvoyant and former ballroom dancing instructor named John Edward claimed that he was able to 'connect with energies of people who have 'crossed over' was put under the microscope and found that his (quite entertaining TV show) was propped up with leading questions, pre-show information gathered from the audience by Edward's aids and likely strategically placed (and hidden) microphones that provided more information to the 'clairvoyant'. All this, coupled with the fact that the show, never aired live, had all the adverse and 'disagreeable' (in the sense that Edwards was 'dead' wrong with most of his guesses) features edited out suggested that the performance was one of deception rather than truth.
John Edward

     All the same, there are thousands of web sites, videos (see the video at the end of this post) and instructional booklets on how to talk to the dead some with warnings such as: If you are prone to seizures or have epilepsy, I implore you to NOT watch this video! It consists of flashing lights and a trance inducing voice over. 

Three Easy Steps to talk with the Dead
     There are books that provide pointers. 'Talking to the dead is easy to master and will work for anyone using these 3 easy steps:
1. sit or lie down in a quiet place, close your eyes and clear your mind
2. fix a mental image of the person you want to communicate with in your mind
3. after a few seconds, ask that person a question and wait for a reply
     Today, there are board games to talk with the dead and you can even 'talk with the dead' on line! (
     Others recommend techniques similar to 'scrying' (see post: Scrying), apparently used by the famous Nostradamus, 16th century apothecary and seer. This involves gazing into a large mirror, reflecting pool of water or crystal ball to se into the future or gaze into the past.
     A common feature of all these techniques (a video with flashing lights, relaxing, meditative state in a quiet room, gazing into a reflection) is a hypnotic effect, perhaps and effect that could even be illusory or provocative of  hallucinations.
The Crystal Ball

     Another method that has been advocated to communicate with the spirits of lost loved ones is the ouija board (also called the spirit/fire keyboard or talking board). This device was first produced commercially by Elijah Bond in 1890 and was considered a harmless parlor game until a 'spiritualist'  Pearl Curran ran popularised it as a'divining' tool in the early 20th century. On the flat board are the 26 letters of the Latin (western) alphabet (so I suppose that the divination use is limited to the western world). Imprinted on the surface as well are the terms 'yes' , 'no' , 'hello' and 'good-bye' and the numbers 1 through 9, making a total of 13 characters aside from the alphabet (13! There is that number again! - see post: Fun With Numbers).

     So. What if there really was away to communicate 'at distance'. With aliens, for instance. Or with someone in another world? Or perhaps with the dead?
     How would it be done? What code, what words what symbols would be used?
Ouija Board

     Click on the link below for a 'tutorial' on communicating with those in the 'great beyond'.
     *Paranormal experience: subject of research for the novel  The Tao of the Thirteenth God - Amazon Kindle.