1 The Big Bang, Emergence of the Senses, and Evolution Everything in this universe boils down to organization: how

things are arranged. When matter first arose, it slowly organized itself into nebulae, galaxies, stars, planets, asteroids, and comets. Biological life arose not so much from its ingredients (e.g., carbon, iron, and oxygen) but rather, from the way that the building blocks of life are put together. If the elements of physical life were all that mattered, then all biological life would look the same. Food preparation is the same story in different format. It is not just the ingredients that make a gourmet meal but rather, the way that the ingredients are combined. Chefs are experts at mixing food ingredients in the right portions, at the right temperatures, and for the right duration. Likewise, the greatest writers are masters at marrying the right words in the right groupings. Perfumers are gifted with knowing which musks and bases to combine in what proportions. Composers are geniuses at joining the most fitting notes in the most perfect timing. Painters know how to blend the right dyes and oils on canvass. The advance of products from the plow and blade, to the hut and chair, to the car and computer is due to inventors learning to combine and recombine the elements of

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the periodic table. And what a wonder it is when anything gets arranged in a new way. Artists and inventors help to make human evolution possible through their re-creations. Whether cosmic, biological, spiritual, or social, evolution can be defined as the reorganization of something. This can be gas in outer space, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), social arrangements, or how we manage our personal lives. Art and invention can be defined the same way: as the rearrangement of something. Looked at from this perspective, evolution, art, and creation are different facets of the same coin. The evolution of consciousness is, by and large, the reorganization of thoughts, emotions, and behavior. This rearrangement is occurring inside many human beings. At this cusp of human history, the emergence of trans-sensory consciousness is involving not just the “five” senses as traditionally understood but also, how we use—and thus, rewire—our brains. That is why this book has “Six Senses” as part of its title, for the book considers the human brain to be a sixth physical sense. This chapter’s overview of trans-sensory beingness includes thought patterns (e.g., the cerebral cortex) and the actions that ensue from our habits of thought. The main themes of this chapter are cosmic, biological, spiritual, and social evolution—in that order because each preceding form of evolution leads to the next form of evolution. Another theme below is some paradoxes of evolution. All of these themes are included in this introductory chapter because the dawn of trans-sensory perception (going beyond the so-called five senses) and of trans-sensory consciousness (going beyond the sixth sense of the human brain) is occurring within an evolutionary framework.

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Cosmic Evolution

The four forces of nature—electromagnetism, gravity, and the strong and weak nuclear forces—were united before the big bang. That colossal explosion separated that force into four forces. According to The 72 Names of God, the big bang created “a point of space” and marked “the birth of time.”1 Stars and galaxies then came into being and evolved. In stellar cores, simpler elements were cooked into heavier elements. With the death (explosion) of the more massive stars, the heavier elements got scattered through space. The more complex elements made possible the emergence of complex life on earth. As Carl Sagan, the renowned astronomer, says in the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series Cosmos, “We are star stuff.”2 From the beginning, the physical universe has been getting more complex. But as John Hagelin, a quantum physicist, lectured at the University of Washington, this “superficially complex” universe remains simple at the root. Unity at the quantum (subatomic) level is the name of that simplicity, Hagelin said.3

Biological Evolution

In the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the omnipotent Q (John de Lancie) takes Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) to a primordial earth. Q squats near some rocks, prepares to put his hand in a green-yellowish pond, and says:
1

Yehuda Berg, The 72 Names of God: Technology for the Soul, (New York: Kabbalah Publishing, 2003), p. 20. 2 This is from episode 9 of Cosmos, titled, “The Lives of the Stars.” Cosmos originally aired on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) from September to December 1980. 3 The November 7, 2005 lecture was titled, “Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain.” It was broadcast on University of Washington Television (UWTV) on October 21, 2006.

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Right here, life is about to form on this planet for the very first time. A group of amino acids are about to combine to form the first proteins, the building blocks of what you call life. Everything you know, your entire civilization, it all begins right here, in this little pond of goo.4 A similar goo was where the first single-celled organisms emerged on earth. For over 3 billion years, biological life remained single-celled. Only in the last 1.5 billion years did biological life become multicelled—and only in the past 500 million years did life take to the land from the ocean. The earth, by contrast, is over 4.5 billion years old. In A Natural History of the Senses, naturalist Diane Ackerman describes the emergence of our first sense. She writes: Smell was the first of our senses, and it was so successful that in time the small lump of olfactory tissue atop the nerve cord grew into a brain. Our cerebral hemispheres were originally buds from the olfactory stalks. We think because we smelled.5 The emergence of each physical sense was the emergence of new types of awareness. With the advent of smell, multicelled organisms became conscious of the smellable. The other bio-logical senses (logical in a biological way) made primitive life aware of the environment as follows: 1) The skin made life aware of the touchable 2) The tongue made life aware of the tasteable
4

This quote is from “All Good Things…,” the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (19871994). The two-part episode originally aired in syndication on May 21, 1994 (Season 7, episodes 25 and 26). 5 Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, (New York: Vintage Books, 1991), p. 20.

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3) Ears made life aware of the hearable 4) Eyes made life aware of the visible With the emergence of touch, taste, sound, and sight, primitive life evolved into higher forms. Why? Because each new sense required more brain complexity. What distinguishes us humans from lower animals is not our emotions, for lower animals have feelings, too.6 Rather, the cerebral cortex is what sets us apart from lower animals—and our manual ability to make tools, write, and build.7 As Carl Sagan narrates in an episode of Cosmos, “Civilization is a product of the cerebral cortex.”8 Biological evolution, however, is not constant, as biologists once thought. Instead, physical life stays in a steady state. This plateau can last, in theory, for billions of years. Suddenly, something changes in the physical environment. Life-forms from the no-change phase evolve quickly to a new steady state or go extinct. Hence, biological evolution—and spiritual and social evolution— happens not by continuous change but rather, by jerks. The Hopi Indians of Arizona see biological evolution as a progression of cycles. As Matthew Mooncloud, a transcriber of Native American prophecy, writes in a booklet: They [the elders] say there was the cycle of the Spirit, the cycle of the mineral, the cycle of the plant, the cycle of the animal, and out of which we are evolving into the cycle of the Human Being. It is said that we are now coming out of that time when we have investigated ourselves, learned what it is to be like an animal on this earth. They say that as we
6

This is from episode 11 of Cosmos, titled, “The Persistence of Memory.” Cosmos originally aired on PBS in the fall of 1980. 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid.

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enter the cycle of the human, the highest and greatest powers that we have will be released to us.9 This is, perhaps, the best grand view of biological evolution as has occurred on planet Earth.

Physical Evolution

If museum exhibits are any guide, then our ancestors—the so-called cavemen—were physically unattractive. Anatomically modern humans are average looking. At the level of the individual, physical beauty is not necessarily a mark of spiritual evolution, for many physically attractive people are pompous, callous, and even violent. I, however, wonder if at the level of a species, spiritual evolution correlates with more physical beauty for members of that species. In other words, as we humans evolve spiritually, are we destined to look more than merely “average?” Also, as individuals become more autonomous from cultural conditioning, will fewer of us have those twins (clones?) that exist elsewhere in this world?

Our “Hidden” Senses

Crying, breathing, laughing, sneezing, yawning, gagging, hiccupping, thinking, and feeling physical sensations inside the human body arose in the context of biological survival. These verbs are “senses” in that—like with the
9

Matthew Mooncloud, “Native American Prophecies,” p. 2. Pamphlet compiled by Steve Morrison and Four Worlds.

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“five” senses—we experience physical life through such actions. Most of us, however, remain unaware of our “hidden” senses, or we suppress them. Look at babies, for instance. They wail when sad. Most adults don’t cry when sad. Babies breathe from their tummies. Most adults breathe from their upper windpipes. Babies live aware of their surroundings. Most adults live in their heads, yet are unaware of 90 percent of their thoughts. We have a hard time holding on to thoughts—not to mention, holding our breaths—for long. During meditation, we keep getting distracted. The irony is that we are addicted to thoughts and to breathing but don’t focus on either of these sensory experiences. Buddhism calls the mind a sixth sense for no small reason.10 The major spiritual traditions also deem the breath the sense from which all life springs. Thought monitoring, focused breathing, and the freedom to cry and laugh are ways of bringing us back to awareness of these neglected senses.

Spiritual Evolution

I wonder how, millions of years ago, the first hominids found out that they had Spirits and souls. How did protohumans discover the existence of nonmaterial realms? With what methods? With what teachings? From whom? Tens of thousands of years ago, how did the first shamans learn to chant, go into a trance, retrieve lost spirits, cure the sick, meditate, and see, hear, touch, taste, and smell the nonphysical universe? If they were the first, who taught them? If hominid settlements were far and scattered, how did knowledge of, say, life after death travel throughout the globe? Did shamans, berdaches, and sorcerers learn metaphysics on their own? How?
10

Rob Nairn, Living, Dreaming, Dying: Practical Wisdom from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, (Boston: Shambhala, 2004), p. 35.

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In the movie Back to the Future (1985), Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd) buckles Einstein, his blondish Tibetan terrier, into a silver coupé that Doc has converted to a time machine. At the vacant parking lot of a mall, Doc sends the dog into the invisible at 1:19 a.m. “Einstein has become the world’s first time traveler,” Doc yawps at his friend Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox). The grayish Deloreon reappears and screeches to a halt. Doc says, “… he [Einstein] is completely unaware that anything happened.” Like Einstein—the blondish Tibetan terrier—most of us smell, taste, touch, hear, and see unaware of anything beyond our biological senses. Einstein had no idea that he had traveled one minute into the future. Likewise, most of us go through human life “completely unaware” of what is really going on. The theme of unawareness resurfaces in films like Revenge of the Stepford Wives (TV; 1980). In that movie, housewives do chores on behalf of their husbands. Four times a day, a recurring siren instructs the housewives to take a zombifying pill. The women in that flick are the perfect automatons. They exist to slave for their husbands. Other than the reporter (Sharon Gless) who infiltrates the town, the women of Stepford lack autonomy, lack awareness of what is happening, and have no sense of Self. By Self, I mean the higher Self. This part of them would have an agenda that is independent of what their husbands want. Said another way, the Stepford wives have no sentience (consciousness of themselves as spiritual beings). Similarly, most of us slave for a global economy. This system demands laborers who will work nonstop for as little pay as possible—and buy for as high a price as possible. Of course, adherence to various systems has been the norm throughout human history. Zombies, however, don’t see themselves as zombies. On the contrary, they see themselves as acting freely (e.g., being a “good” housewife in Revenge of the Stepford Wives). Tragedies like 911 and Katrina

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force us out of our zombielike routine—if only for a few days. In the aftermath, we examine questions that don’t appear in everyday life. Something fundamental is changing in human consciousness. Ordinary people in the postmodern world are awakening to truths that go beyond the sensory concerns of biological survival. These truths are trans-sensory, meaning that they relate to realms beyond the physical. Hence, this book will use the word trans. Trans-sensory humans use more of their physical senses, then go beyond the form of what such senses perceive. Sensory people, on the other hand, barely notice the sights and sounds of waking life—let alone, the touches, tastes, and smells that they encounter. Rather, sensory people rush from one activity to another like sleepwalkers. Trans-sensory humans, by contrast, see and truly see, hear and truly hear (listen), taste and truly taste, smell and truly smell, and touch or feel a touch and truly feel. Trans-sensory humans also pay attention to touch inside their bodies, for touch is the most highly developed of our biological senses. After a meal, for instance, trans-sensory people enjoy the food massage in their bellies. When they have sex, trans-sensory humans savor the experience—instead of rushing through it. When they breathe, trans-sensory people monitor their breath—certainly not every second, but several times each day. When using the so-called five senses, trans-sensory people see the content more than the form, and see the substance behind the image. That substance, that content, is what trans-sensory humans “see” with nonphysical eyes. Trans-sensory awareness involves more things that can be lumped into a single book. Some of the major elements of trans-sensory consciousness are, however: 1) Living in the now 2) An “eye” and an “ear” for physical details

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3) Awareness of cause/effect—at both the physical and nonphysical level 4) Awareness of karma 5) Seeing nonrandomness in ordinary events (e.g., there are no coincidences) 6) Seeing the Real significance behind everyday events and interactions 7) Awareness of paradox 8) Awareness of the illusory nature of things 9) Awareness of energy dynamics (e.g., auras, chakras, meridians, and the effects of exposure to the energies of others) 10) Inner focus (e.g., regular monitoring of one’s thoughts, emotions, and breath) 11) Knowledge of one’s subconscious (e.g., needs, wants, and tendencies) 12) Self-knowledge (e.g., Who am I?) 13) Strong sense of a spiritual Self—independent of what the system demands Humans with the above attributes have always existed, of course. The masses, however, have lived in the dark. Historically, for example, most people have lacked a sense of individuality. Consequently, the hordes have followed leaders, dogmas, and practices blindly. Like automatons, humans have submitted to pharaohs, popes, monarchs, czars, politicians, bosses, and CEOs. Elites exist because the multitude surrenders its human—and ultimately, spiritual—power to them. On the other hand, spiritually advanced cultures like that of Native Americans have been reduced to rubble. Trans-sensory consciousness is nonetheless emerging on a mass scale. Paradoxically, evolution does not operate by the majority. When biological eyes appeared, for example, they didn’t abruptly pop up everywhere.

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In fact, most physical life-forms continued to exist without being able to see. Only a minority developed the ability to see. Because seeing was more adaptive than not seeing, the seeing minority survived to become the majority. Similarly, most humans are not becoming trans-sensory and trans-instinctual—just a minority in the First World. Why? Because most of humanity continues to be stuck in a survival mode of “living.” As Jeremy Rifkin, an economist, writes in The Age of Access: … 65 percent of the human population today have never made a single telephone call and 40 percent have no access to electricity. There are more telephone lines in Manhattan than in all of sub-Saharan Africa.11 Consider Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, shown below:

12

Only humans above the first two tiers can afford to evolve to higher states of consciousness.
11

Jeremy Rifkin, The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism, Where All of Life Is a Paid-for Experience, (New York: J.P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2000), p. 229. 12 This pyramid comes from “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. The URL of the article is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs.

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Look again at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. I have concluded that most spirits who incarnate in the Third World—spirits like dirt-poor peasants in rural China—are in their first incarnation or two into human form. Therefore, like all beginners, these spirits start at the bottom of the barrel. This is consistent with overpopulation. For clarity, I distinguish between soul and spirit. A soul is the mother ship, while a spirit is a shuttle from the mother ship. The spirit—not the greater whole of the soul—is what incarnates. More “new” souls are spouting chunks of themselves (spirits) to incarnate now than thousands of years ago.13 Obversely, most spirits who have incarnated in the First World—although still unevolved by Buddha standards—have been incarnating into human form for thousands of years. Hence, such spirits incarnate in more “evolved” parts of the world. The First World is where the struggle for human survival—so prevalent in the Third World—is starting to be left behind. I stress starting, for economic survival still dominates the Western psyche. Nevertheless, with the basics of human survival taken care of in much of the post-industrial world, trans-sensory and trans-instinctual beingness is emerging here. The minority-to-majority principle extends beyond life as we know it. For instance, the earth’s magnetic field flips from one pole to the other every 250,000 years or so. One would think that the field just shifts when it is ready. The most recent cycle is showing, however, that the magnetic field begins to shift at the edges of the planet. In time, the middle latitudes join in. The emergence of trans-sensory awareness is operating much like this—from the minority to the majority, from the outside to the inside. As the Bible says, “The meek shall

13

Michael Newton, a hypnotist, touches on the same point in Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life between Lives, (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2001).

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inherit the earth.”14 Since most people are anything but meek, the meek represents a minority. How often I wonder why evolution, both physical and nonphysical, is such a painstakingly slow process. For billions of years, life on earth remained single-celled. Only in the past half-billion years has life leapt from the ocean to dry ground. Over the past 4 million years, hominids have fought and killed one another. Violence and stupidity have stayed with us all that time. Even with humans threatening all life on earth, most of us still don’t see the need to overcome our lower instincts—tendencies like the need to keep multiplying without restraint. Often, it takes a lifetime—if not lifetimes—to learn the simplest lessons. How much misery would be avoided if evolution were faster. The turtle speed of evolution—biological, spiritual, and social—may explain why earth is the only planet with biological life in this galaxy. If evolution means billions of years of pain and suffering—until life evolves enough to outgrow misery—then imagine a universe teeming with biological life. Hell would be everywhere, not just confined to a “pale, blue dot.”15 On Mars, for example, there were no crusades, no Spanish Inquisition, no World War I, no World War II, no European Holocaust, and no Vietnam War. On Venus, there is no cancer or diabetes, and our “sister planet” has no rats in tenements, no slums, and not a single “life” of quiet desperation. Of course, physical life—including “intelligent” life—ought to exist in some pockets of this universe. After all, the material universe is a big place, not to mention that an infinite number of parallel and alternate universes exist. But life as we know it seems to be rarer than once thought in this galaxy. For example, of some 220 extrasolar planets (planets orbiting other suns) that astronomers have
14 15

Loosely translated, this is from Matthew 5:5 in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. This phrase is borrowed from Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, (New York: Random House, Inc., 1994).

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discovered, all but one are either too close to their parent stars (and too hot for biological life) or too far from their parent suns (and too cold for biological life).16 I never understood the contradiction between infinite space and only one planet with physical life-forms. Now, I understand. Surely, the tendency of habits to lodge themselves into us is a major reason for our staying stuck. Why are beliefs—the seeds of our actions—so hard to change? They are hard to change because, in the words of author Alan Ebenstein, the true test of a theory is its ability to predict.17 A belief/theory is supported by what one sees, hears, feels, tastes, and smells. Beliefs do much to create one’s sensory experiences and emotional states. (One’s archetypes contribute, too). If you think, for example, that people are cruel, then you will find a world teeming with cruel people. Supported by evidence, day in and day out, this belief/theory is now able to predict. It becomes a law of one’s universe. As we all know, laws are inviolable. Laws leave no room for exceptions. Jump off the roof of a 50-story building, and you will always land as tomato paste. If someone tells you to change your beliefs about cruel—or kind—people being everywhere, you will refuse. This is because to accept a contrary worldview would mean to discount piles of evidence that, for years, if not decades, have supported your theory-turned-into-law. We fear the consequences of violating the laws of any universe, regardless of whether those laws reflect Truth or falsity. Only when a person takes a leap of faith is he or she willing to look into different types of evidence. This requires motivation or enough desperation. For example, one’s universe is falling apart. Looking for the new evidence takes time, in turn. This means that one will have to keep one’s faith, for the old
16

See unnamed author, “Found 20 Light Years Away: The New Earth,” Daily Mail: 24 Hours a Day, Science and Technology, April 28, 2007. Article at
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/technology/technology.html?in_article_id=450467&in_page_id=1965.
17

Author of Hayek’s Journey: The Mind of Friedrich Hayek, Alan Ebenstein spoke to an audience of the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) on July 31, 2006.

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evidence will continue to spring up like jack-in-the-box. Before the 1600s, for instance, astronomers thought that only six planets existed. That is what telescopic observations revealed. It was faith in another possibility that led to further observations, to more powerful telescopes, and to the discovery of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto—plus their moons. Without such faith, astronomers wouldn’t have bothered to look. Everyone is a fanatic in some area, and fanaticism isn’t just about religion. There are sports fans, exercise addicts, and health enthusiasts—to name a few. Nothing, of course, is wrong with sports, exercise, or wholesome foods. We, however, have a tendency to take things to excess. One night, for example, a fortyish man grumped about how most Americans have no will when it comes to giving up meat, fat, salt, and sweets. Like a priest to a parishioner, he lectured a young man at the locker room of the center where I exercised in Florida. Another day, a guy lectured me about how overweight I was. “You must not be doing something right,” he said. The wiry man barraged me with a list of do-eat and don’t-eat foods. Toward the end of his tirade, he told me to read some health book—one of the many bibles of the postmodern age. I told him that I was doing the best I can. The words went in one ear and out the other. I thought to myself, Gee, thanks! I feel much better now! Another example of fanaticism gone haywire is archaeologists, anthropologists, and paleoanthropologists. Many of them refuse to talk to one another because they disagree about whether Homo sapiens and Neanderthals were the same or different species. Some of these fossil scientists have come close to blows over this issue—and these are professionals. Laws are inflexible. They breed fanaticism and intolerance. Worst of all, our subjective views hinder our spiritual evolution.

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Like different plants and animals are adapted to different ecosystems, different incarnations into diverse earthly environments are supposed to transform each Spirit/soul into “different types of plants and animals.” That way, each Spirit/soul becomes adapted to just about every realm and state. This is why spiritual—not just biological—evolution is such a frustratingly slow process. Spiritual crises are those times when our spirits—rather than our biologies —are ready to make an evolutionary jump. The so-called “dark night of the soul” is a period of isolation, loneliness, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and desperation. According to mystic Graham Ledgerwood—and my personal experience—one’s “mind and heart” go “numb.”18 It seems like one will spend the rest of eternity in hell.19 People in the dark night are forced to grow or perish. If they pass this rite of initiation, they are welcomed into a new tribe, a tribe of beings at a higher state of consciousness.20 Usually, the dark night starts gradually. Things that worked well begin not to work. Minor problems become crises. Crises escalate. One’s world collapses. Hope is gone. Nothing is left to save. This is the classic formula of the novel: problem—crisis—escalation— climax—resolution. A middle-aged man, for instance, may lose his job in early September. In mid-October, he gets diagnosed with liver cancer. By midNovember, his wife leaves him, unable to handle things. By early January, his life savings are down to $200. The man panics. He might even think about suicide.

18

The words in these quotations come from Graham V. Ledgerwood’s Dark Night of the Soul. The section of the website is titled, “Hanging On.” The URL of the page of the quote is http://www.themystic.org/darknight/hanging.htm. 19 Ibid., “The Peace Comes” at http://www.themystic.org/dark-night/peace.htm. This information also comes from my own personal experience. 20 Ibid., “You Can’t Fit In” at http://www.themystic.org/dark-night/fit.htm. This information also comes from my own personal experience.

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Spiritual crises are as nerve-wracking as the end of the film The Good Son (1993). The climactic scene involves a mother (Wendy Crewson) forced to choose between pulling up her 12-year-old son (Macaulay Culkin), who is hanging from her left arm off the edge of a cliff, or pulling up her 12-year-old nephew (Elijah Wood), who is dangling from her right arm off the same cliff. That level of tension is what a spiritual crisis climaxes toward. Henry, Susan’s disturbed son, could be interpreted as a metaphor of the old way. Mark, Susan’s sane nephew, could be interpreted as a metaphor of the new way. The dark night of the soul is a period of purgatory. It is a time of transition. One is neither with God nor in one’s former world. One is in no-man’s-land. One’s pride is burnt to cinders.21 One knows that the old way no longer works. But one is not yet grounded in the new way—much less, surrounded by people who live according to that way.22 This is when one either becomes an evolutionary dead-end or jumps to a higher level of being. Many humans fail the dark night—especially, around midnight. Many of us have unhappy childhoods, conflicted marriages, and brutal jobs. Many of our hells are setups. These karmas are meant to be flings that will propel us up. By comparison, many people live peaceful, joyful, and successful lives. Such people are at the plateau phase of their spiritual existence. This steady state can last many human lifetimes. Eventually, such Spirits/souls get to a point where they have thoroughly experienced whatever they wanted to explore. These Spirits/souls are then ready for the next level. At this juncture of their spiritual evolution, such souls—incarnated as one of their spirits—will too undergo the dark night of the soul. Even mystics, who are way up there, go through spiritual crises when their Spirits/souls are ready to jump to an even higher level of beingness.
21

Ibid., “The Peace Comes” at http://www.themystic.org/dark-night/peace.htm. This information also comes from my own personal experience. 22 Ibid., “You Can’t Fit In” at http://www.themystic.org/dark-night/fit.htm. This information also comes from my own personal experience.

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The “Sun” of God—and us, the planets—drive the cycles of steady state, dark night of the soul, and evolutionary transformation. The same sun that warms your spirit in winter fries you in the summer. The Light of God is the same. All that changes is your planetary angle relative to the Sun of God. This angle—the earth of your spirit being tilted 23 degrees—is what causes each season of your spiritual evolution. Sweltering summers are your dark night of the soul. Sun-warmed winters are the plateau phase of your spiritual existence. The same sun is both Loving (warm winters) and Wrathful (scorching summers). This is the paradox of a Loving God creating and allowing Evil. God permits evil (at the level of the individual) and Evil (at the level of the collective) because, in the long run, Evil discredits itself. In discrediting itself, Evil aids Good. Due to Auschwitz, for example, the hatred against Jews has abated considerably, and Nazism is no longer seen as legitimate. Sometimes, of course, evil and Evil do triumph. The impending extinction of the celestial dolphins would be an example of Evil triumphing “in the end.” But from a trans-sensory perspective, that end is only the end of one chapter. A trans-sensory person recognizes that there are other chapters—as in alternate earths—where the Evil of a previous chapter is offset by Good. In the End—not end—Good triumphs. God knows that S(He) will eventually win “the Game,” as in have His way. Therefore, God doesn’t mind waiting an eternity for Good to triumph. In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the white android Lieutenant-Commander Data (Brent Spiner) tells the Klingon Commander Worf (Michael Dorn): I once had what could be considered a crisis of the spirit … The Starfleet officers who first activated me on Omikron Theta told me I was an android, nothing more than a sophisticated machine with human form.

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However, I realized that if I was simply a machine, I could never be anything else. I could never grow beyond my programming. I found that difficult to accept. So I chose to believe [emphasis mine] that I was a person, that I had the potential to be more than a collection of circuits and subprocessors. It is a belief which I still hold … I made a leap of faith [emphasis mine].23 Thus, Data began his evolution toward becoming something more than an android.

Social Evolution

Like individuals, societies experience spiritual crises. The First World’s transition to a post-carbon era will be one such purgatory. The greatest military power in the history of humanity, the United States is presently sitting pretty. But its military will be hard-pressed by its Achilles’ heel. Oil is the lifeblood of America’s jeeps, tanks, fighters, and bombs. Americans—most of who shouldn’t be confused with the U.S. government and its military—are generally decent people. But materialism is destroying the Soul of America—and of the globe. Nineteenth century values of community, producing, and humane living have given way to individualism, consumerism, and inhumanity. A post-carbon world will turn the laws of our system upside down. Knee-jerk reactions will ensue—social, economic, political, and religious. Whether biological or spiritual, individual or social, evolution works as follows: A perfectly working system

23

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Rightful Heir.” This episode originally aired in syndication on May 15, 1993 (Season 6, episode 23).

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breaks down; revolution happens or doesn’t happen; and things evolve or dissolve. More often than not, one change is all that is needed for an evolutionary breakthrough. Consider Linda Ronstadt’s 1974 song, “You’re No Good.”24 As beautiful as the melody of this song is, the lyrics teach judgement. But change one letter—N to S—and what do you have? “You’re So Good.” The first phrase condemns another human being. The second phrase praises such a being. People who have changed from judgement to love for others have made a personal and thus, an evolutionary transformation. Civilization has evolved because of the rise in the number of such people. The discovery of electricity revolutionized the world. Electricity brought skyscrapers because elevators—rather than stairs—could suddenly transport people up 20, 30, and 40 flights. Hence, 50-story buildings became possible after 1900. Electricity brought the nightlife, as people could see better on the streets after dark. Electricity brought neon signs, and these gaseous lights revolutionized outdoor advertising. Electricity made possible the telephone, the lightbulb, radios, televisions, electric stoves, refrigerators, air conditioners, and computers. A single discovery! The invention of the automobile in the late 1800s brought America not just cars but also gas stations, asphalt roads, motels, suburbanization, new ways of dating (e.g., the rumble seat), and the drive-in theater. The automobile revolutionized the oil industry—and has greatly influenced the political relationship between the West and the Middle East. A single invention! The invention of the transistor in 1947 ended the need for vacuum tubes. Before the late 1940s, people had to wait minutes for a telephone station, organ, radio, or TV set to come on. The transistor simplified things. Thus, it revolutionized the future of the telephone, radio, television, amplifier,
24

Linda Ronstadt, “You’re No Good.” This song is in the CD titled, The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt. “You’re No Good” debuted in 1974. The CD came out on September 24, 2002. Label: Elektra/Wea.

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and computer. A single invention! The 1950 invention of the electric guitar changed pop music forever. Rock ‘n Roll was the direct result of the advent of the electric guitar. Without the electric guitar, the big bands of the 1930s and 1940s would have continued. Rock music—including New Wave music, a product of the synthesizer—would not exist today. One change, one introduction, one breakthrough is all that is needed to jump to a higher level. Humankind has yet to make the biggest advance of all. Since the late 20th century, Western civilization has been becoming less “dense” in a host of areas. Remember that the spirit plane is far less heavy than the physical plane. According to Jeremy Rifkin, one sign that we are “lightening up” is the decline of ownership. As Rifkin points out in The Age of Access: Electromechanical products like typewriters, electrical switches, and automotive subsystem controls used to last for decades in the market. Their successors now have an average life span of less than three to five years before being overtaken by newer versions and models.25 Therefore, leasing is becoming a more attractive option than buying. Decades ago, Rifkin continues, owning physical capital was also considered a business asset. Why? Because ownership was how a company controlled the means of production. According to Rifkin, escalating costs of maintenance, upgrades, and storage space are making the owning of physical property more of a liability. The result of these developments, Rifkin contends, is that the buyer-seller relationship (possessing matter) is transmogrifying into a user-provider relationship (simply using matter). More than any other technology, Rifkin writes, the Internet is driving this shift. Memberships, premiums, and leasing—
25

Rifkin, The Age of Access, p. 21.

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as opposed to buying and owning—are springing up in every industry. The miniaturization of products, Rifkin goes on, is also “shrinking” matter.26 Books can now be read in palm-sized gadgets, and “textbooks are being put online.”27 Last, retail stores are disappearing into the Internet; they are selling from there; and the instantaneousness of “just-in-time” orders is making warehouses obsolete.28 The result, Rifkin concludes, is that matter is becoming less important. According to Rifkin, what is becoming significant in the 21st century is rather, nonmaterial things like concepts, trademarks, logos, images, and ideas. Rifkin warns, though: That’s not to suggest, however, that selfishness, greed, and commercial exploitation are shrinking as well. In truth, the Age of Access is likely to be far more exploitative. Controlling ideas, in today’s world, is more powerful than controlling space and physical capital.29 As imperfect as the process is, the postmodern world is evolving toward a more spiritual state—less “dense” and less “heavy” with material encumbrances.

Paradoxes of Evolution

One of the criteria of biological life—perhaps, the most important—is consciousness. As life on earth becomes aware of more things, it evolves. Dogs and cats may hear better than us humans. But we are aware of electricity, radio waves, the existence of galaxies, and our mortality. Collectively, we are
26 27

Ibid., p. 55. Ibid., p. 87. 28 Ibid., pgs. 33-35. 29 Ibid., p. 55.

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conscious of more things—and thus, are more evolved—than dogs and cats. Humans who are becoming trans-sensory are becoming yet more evolved than sensory humans. Why? Because trans-sensory humans are becoming aware of more things—trans-sensory things. Again, consciousness (sensing) is a major part of the definition of life. This applies not only to biological life but to spiritual life as well. Because more consciousness (more sensing) means more life, trans-sensory humans can be said to be more alive than sensory humans. To become conscious is to awaken from the dream of being just human, and awakening from any dream is to become more alive. Evolution, however, presents us with some paradoxes. One paradox is that devolution can occur. By devolution, I mean that things revert back to simpler—as in lower—forms. This can happen at the biological, spiritual, or social levels. Souls, for example, can drop in their scale of consciousness, according to the book Power vs. Force, if their cumulative life experiences are negative.30 Even if one’s life is “positive,” I add, one can still drop in the scale of consciousness. For instance, how many actors and actresses have risen to the lifestyle of the rich and famous? The story is all too familiar: Their human egos grow so large that these celebrities start to see themselves as invincible; they get into alcohol or drugs; and they end up on the streets of Los Angeles. Consider actor Zachery Ty Bryan, now Zachery Bryan, from the sitcom Home Improvement. Many pictures of Zach show him to have an angelic sparkle in his blue irises, something so beautiful as to be beyond description. This is the inner light (spiritual animation) that we all have at physical birth. The night of May 26, 2004, however, 22-year-old Zach drank allegedly “four beers and a vodka tonic.”31 Then, he drove at 100 miles an hour on the Glendale Freeway of Los
30

David R. Hawkins, Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, Revised Edition, (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 2002), p. 101. 31 See Joal Ryan, “ ‘Family Ties’ Tyke Busted for DUI,” E! News Online, June 2, 2004. At http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b47570_family_ties_tyke_busted_dui.html.

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Angeles.32 Very likely, stardom led to this sense of invincibility in him. But like drugs, alcohol can lead to loss of spirit (see Part I, Chapter 13, subsection titled, “Extricating Alien Influences”). Once spirit loss happens, the person loses that magnetism that made him or her successful. This is the theme of the fallen angel, a recurring motif in drama and literature (see Part I, Chapter 13, Tales from the Darkside episode titled, “Going Native”). Zachery Bryan still has that magical glow in his aura. But if this young man keeps binge drinking (alcohol is a low energy) at bars (places of more low energies), he is bound to attract negative energies onto his energy field. An example of such energies are the spirits of alcoholics who have passed on. This would be a drop in consciousness and spirit for him. For most of us non-celebrities, earth school (the school of hard knocks) is like an inner city school—run down, overcrowded, and riddled with crime and violence. Very often, spirits leave this trying planet worse than when they incarnated. This is like convicts leaving prison, more often than not, as more dangerous criminals than when they were first incarcerated. Note the rhyme of incarnate and incarcerate. As a notice read at the entrance of a public library, “Pay On the Other Side.” The “other side” is planet Earth from the perspective of the spirit realm. Earth school need not be this way, however. It can be, rather, what it is for about 20 percent of the population—an academy with clean hallways, a low student-to-teacher ratio, and peaceful administrators, teachers, parents, and students. Another example of devolution is postmodern civilization. It is becoming way too complex. Getting the simplest things done is becoming impossible. Just call your power company and see how fast you can reach the right department. Red tape, bureaucracy, and dozens of passwords to memorize are making
32

Ibid.

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postmodern life unwieldy. So are spaghetti-shaped freeways; having to juggle work, cleaning, shopping, and raising the kids; and choosing among everchanging premiums, membership policies, and credit card interest rates. If postmodern civilization is to be viable in the future, it will have to simplify. Sometimes, a species is what becomes too complex—to the extent that it is no longer, or barely, able to function. The human brain is so complicated, for example, that if it got any more complex, we would probably not be able to operate. Already, many of us can scarcely handle things like reading body language, responding with appropriate nonverbal feedback, knowing when to jump into a conversation, when not to, knowing what is appropriate to say in which social settings, and knowing how. Also, the more complex a species becomes, the more energy it needs. The dinosaurs weren’t able to survive the asteroid that hit earth 65 million years ago because, unlike small mammals, dinosaurs required a gargantuan diet. With asteroid—and volcanic—debris blocking sunlight around the world, vegetation didn’t grow as fast and tall.33 Unable to extract enough energy from plants, dinosaurs went extinct. Now, we humans are the big consumers. Oil is to postmodern humans what plants were to the dinosaurs. Almost literally, we eat oil through our oil-based fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. A single nonorganic lettuce, for example, has 38 different chemicals used on it during the growing season; a nonorganic cucumber, 41 chemicals; and a nonorganic tomato, 51 chemicals.34 Also, 500,000 consumer goods depend on oil for their manufacture. What will happen to the evolution of Western civilization when oil production—not to mention, coal and natural gas production—begin their terminal decline?

33

See Charles Q. Choi, “Volcanoes Could Have Caused Dinosaur Deaths,” MSNBC, Technology & Science/Science, November 13, 2007. Article at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21755313/?GT1=10547. 34 See Brenda Watson’s Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps. This PBS special aired on April 17, 2008.

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Another paradox of evolution is that lower life-forms often behave more evolved than higher life-forms. Ants, for instance, cooperate. Humans tend to compete. Seals are loving. Humans are cold—unless you catch them at the right time. Dogs are loyal. Humans often betray one another. Chimps put bananas in their mouths. Many humans put cigarettes in their mouths. Bonobos (pygmy chimps) in the Congo make love. Humans in the Congo massacre one another, then stalk the bonobos. Lower animals pad over grass. Humans pour concrete over it. Cats don’t kill one another—unless they are rabid or starving. Hitlers and Stalins, by contrast, have millions of human beings murdered—without such dictators being rabid or starving. Neanderthals may not have known how to sew, while postmodern humans can build, program, and update computers. But Neanderthals lived for 200,000 years, while we Homo sapiens are already threatening our survival with pollution, abuse of natural resources, and overpopulation. Dinosaurs lived for hundreds of millions of years. Conversely, the last of the hominids—Homo sapiens—is on the verge of extinction after a mere 4.5 million years of hominid evolution. After a certain point, more physical evolution (e.g., more intelligence) becomes a liability (e.g., nuclear weapons) without spiritual evolution taking place alongside it. Written another way, just because one has human intelligence does not necessarily mean that one has spiritual intelligence. These are some of the paradoxes of evolution. Still, the big picture is that life on earth went from being single-celled to becoming multicelled. Lower animals with group souls individualized to become humans with individual Spirits. During each incarnation into human form, the spirits of these individual Spirits/souls acquired human egos. The purpose was to explore “egoic consciousness.”35

35

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, (New York: Penguin Group, 2005), p. 153.

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Now, authors like Eckhart Tolle are writing about the end of the self being at hand. By implication, human individuality will be melting into a Borg collective. As Third of Five/Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco) says in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “We are Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”36 Obversely, authors like Caroline Myss are talking about “the birth of the self.” Which is it? Both. Tolle is referring to the end of the “egoic self,” while Myss is referring to the birth of the spiritual Self.37 Historically, people have catered to their human egos. As humanity evolves spiritually, more humans will be honoring their spirits and souls instead. That level of Self is what is emerging, while the “egoic self” is on its way out.38 Most humans still lack a Self (awareness of the quirks of one’s spirit). Some people, for example, have no idea what their strengths and weaknesses are. Other people don’t know what their personal boundaries are, and if they know, they are not strong enough to say no in group settings. Such people go with the flow. They wear social masks to please their peers. As Jeremy Rifkin writes in The Age of Access, “The very word person comes from the Latin persona, which means to wear a mask.”39 Postmodern people are defining themselves, both consciously and unconsciously, more in terms of their interpersonal relationships. This has the linings of a new breed of human. Since the advent of industrialization, urbanization, and high-technology, human relationships have multiplied exponentially. This is out of balance with millions of years of biological evolution, for since prehistory, most humans did not interact with more than a few dozen people per lifetime. This means that the human energy field is not
36

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “I, Borg.” This episode originally aired in syndication on May 9, 1992 (Season 5, episode 23). 37 Tolle, A New Earth, p. 30. 38 Ibid. 39 Rifkin, The Age of Access, p. 214.

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used to interacting with thousands of human energy fields per lifetime. Energy fields do affect one another when they come into contact. Yet, for the droves of people that postmoderns interact with, most human relationships tend to be fleeting. I, for example, have emailed some 30 people this year. Once the goal of each email was accomplished, however, the email messages ceased—and so did each email acquaintanceship. If I kept emailing the people at hand, they didn’t reply because objectives—not establishing relationships with others—was and is all that most emailers care about. In the words of Jeremy Rifkin, this type of interrelating in the virtual realm and in the “real” world—quantity over quality —means that one has to wear a great number of social masks to be able to relate to others. This, he contends, can lead to a loss of personhood because one doesn’t know who one is anymore. In The Age of Access, Rifkin writes: In this postmodern world made up of networks [e.g., the Internet] and commodified relationships where boundaries are blurred and activity is increasingly connected, the old self-contained, autonomous consciousness is slowly becoming an anachronism. In its stead is a new person who is more like a node operating in a myriad of relationships. “The final stage in this transition to the postmodern is reached,” says [psychology professor Kenneth] Gergen, “when the self vanishes fully into a stage of relatedness.” In this new world, argues Gergen, “one ceases to believe in a self independent of the relationships in which he or she is embedded … thus placing relationships in the central position occupied by the individual self for the last several hundred years of Western history.”40

40

Ibid., p. 209.

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The “ ‘individual self,’ ” however, was more theory than fact because historically, most people have not had true individual autonomy.41 What little sense of individuality people had is eroding in postmodern times. The “ ‘dot-com’ generation” is at the forefront of this change.42 As Jeremy Rifkin writes: Teenagers are more often ending their sentences in a slightly elevated tone and in a more tentative manner, suggesting that everything they are saying is more in the form of a question rather than a statement. Psychologists and sociologists have been intrigued by this widespread practice—known as upspeak—and wonder if it might not be symptomatic of the shift taking place from an autonomous to a relational self.43 The decline of personal autonomy is coupled with the decline of business autonomy. As Jeremy Rifkin argues in The Age of Access, the notion of a selfcontained business serving a market niche is becoming obsolete. He writes: Because a market-oriented private-property regime, by its very nature, organizes economic activity into mine and thine, it is increasingly out of place in a network-based economy, where commercial success is increasingly measured by the idea of what is mine is yours and what is yours is mine. It is the sharing of economic activity that is the defining feature of network-based commerce.44 This is why vertical integration is being replaced by horizontal partnerships in business. Programs that run in rival cable channels, for example, are promoting
41 42

Ibid. Ibid., p. 12. 43 Ibid., p. 210. 44 Ibid., p. 50.

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themselves in the channel of the competition. Interpersonal relationships are following the same trend, becoming more like links on the Internet than separate pages in a book. And completing a full circle, products are dematerializing in the spirit of the so-called illusion of the human body. In the words of Rifkin, “Their value lies less in the physical scaffolding or container they come in [a cell phone] and more in the access to services [based on subscriptions, premiums, and memberships] they provide.”45 Goods are becoming, like the human body, empty shells whose value is not so much their physicality as the services and experiences they provide. Some of these postmodern developments—although not all—are temporary. This is because peak oil (the point at which oil can no longer fuel this society) will revert our global civilization back to a local and regional level (see epilogue). There will be less traveling and less meeting countless people every day. When the post-oil shift occurs, the postmodern person—so dependent on others for a pseudo sense of self—will have fewer people to base his or her personal identity on. Finding Oneself, meaning one’s Higher Self, will become more possible because one will have some time alone. This is assuming that one doesn’t have the radio, TV, and cell phones turned on constantly due to the fear of silence. Of course, interacting with people teaches us about ourselves. For example, are we generous, stingy, or both? But always having company means the absence of silence. Turning within—as through silent activity, a kind of meditation—is necessary for Self-discovery because the biological senses recede into the background then. This is when answers to questions such as, “Who am I?” emerge from within. Until we reach the post-postmodern stage of human history, most people will continue to base their careers, place of residence, sexual behavior, thought
45

Ibid., p. 85.

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forms, time use, and everyday demeanor on what the social world—rather than their hearts and spirits—want. Becoming trans-sensory means completing a journey of evolution that began over four billion years ago. This journey has taken earthly life from simplicity and group identity (being subservient to the collective) to complexity and individual identity within a collective (individuals who cooperate with other individuals). Even within evolving minorities, however, evolution is not a onetime deal. We may experience moments of extraordinary insights, for example, only to find ourselves digressing into who we used to be. Days or months later, we find ourselves moving forward again. It is like that blinking 12:00 a.m. on our VCRs. In the beginning, we have no idea how to set the time and date. Slowly, we learn the steps. When something dramatic happens to us, it is as though the power goes out and comes back on. We slip back into default mode. The 7:20 a.m. on our VCRs is now the 12:00 a.m., blinking again. Many people have yet to reprogram the VCRs of their minds and hearts. Whether biological, spiritual, or social, evolution goes in spirals—up, a little down and off, and up again. Paramhansa Yogananda, the 20th century spiritual master from India, said that the evolution of souls in human form (e.g., reaching enlightenment) takes about a million years.46 The process, however, has speeded in our time. From the dawn of life on earth, evolutionary accelerations have always occurred during times of seismic changes in the environment. The advent of trans-sensory and of trans-instinctual Homo sapiens will be of the magnitude of: 1) The split of single-celled organisms into multicelled organisms 2) The emergence of life from the ocean 500 million years ago
46

See Paramhansa Yogananda, “The Science of Kriya Yoga,” Autobiography of a Yogi, (Los Angeles: SelfRealization Fellowship Publishers, 1946), pgs. 242-252.

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3) The advent of hominids—with their ability to think and make tools 4) The discovery of fire 5) The switch from hunting to agriculture 6) The creation of culture 7) The emergence of cities 8) The invention of writing and of the printing press 9) The scientific and technological revolutions of the modern and postmodern age As Ian Tattersall, a paleoanthropologist, says on PBS’s Neanderthals on Trial: What you’re seeing is a set of behaviors which had never been displayed by any other hominids that ever existed in the history of the world, including the Neanderthals.47 For the first time on this planet, however, biological evolution has reached the point where survival of the fittest is no longer enough. This is because survival of the biologically most fit has become lethal on a planetary scale. Just look at the situation in the Middle East. What will be the end of that story? The new rule of biological evolution is survival not just of the fittest but also, of the wisest. Living by this principle will require spiritual evolution. We are, indeed, living in prophetic times.

47

See Nova: Neanderthals on Trial. This show premiered on PBS on January 22, 2002.

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Exercises

1) Since your childhood, how have you evolved spiritually? Can you name areas that you still need to evolve spiritually toward? If yes, list them. Are you willing to improve those parts of yourself? If yes, write each entry on a separate index card, paste one card on a visible place, pull it down once you have succeeded, and proceed with the next card. 2) How much of your present self was constructed by your family, peers, teachers, the media, society, and era? Are there parts of your person(ality) —your self-concept, worldview, and way of being—that you would like to change? If yes, list them. Are you willing to change these parts of yourself? If so, write each entry on a separate index card, paste one card on a visible place, pull it down once you have succeeded, and proceed with the next card. 3) Can you feel yourself developing an authentic (independent of externals) sense of Self? (By sense of Self, I mean awareness of the needs, desires, and nature of your spirit.) If yes, in what areas have you developed such a sense of Self? Has your self-esteem been affected by this? If yes, how? With the new you being born, what responsibilities do you now have to yourself that you didn’t have before? If you have fulfilled those responsibilities—such as saying “no” to remain true to yourself—what have the rewards been? If you have failed to meet those responsibilities, what have been the penalties?

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2 We Are Souls with Unlimited Minds and Energy

Knowing, Unlearning, and Failing to Relearn This Truth

When we wake up in the morning, we tend to remember the most recent dreams from the night. As the day wears on, we tend to forget those dreams. When we are little, a similar dynamic occurs. We remember the spirit realm, a realm of “anti-matter” and “anti-time.”48 My mother told me, for example, that on many nights of her girlhood, she saw an angel—and felt its naked feet— walking on her abdomen while she rested in bed. As for me, I remember being hospitalized in a crib. It was nighttime. Gazing to my left, I saw schools of fish swimming outside an enormous glass window. In my imagination, the window was a fish tank. As we become adults, we slowly forget the visions of our childhood. Perhaps, jotting down invisible things that children say they see will

48

These two concepts are borrowed from Star Trek: The Next Generation. See the episode titled, “All Good Things….”

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help us adults learn—actually, remember—more about the spirit plane. It would be similar to writing down our dreams from the night. The spirits of children are “fixed” from whatever limitations they might have experienced in previous incarnations. It is as if the spirit plane were a cartoon world, and the realm of live action were the physical world. Watch any animated feature, and you will see that the laws of physics have a life of their own on such features. In a cartoon, for example, drops of water can be enlarged to the point of ridiculousness. So can a strand of human hair. Not in a live action movie, for if a live action film enlarges drops of water or a strand of human hair too much, the movie starts to become surreal and even cartoonish. The “real world” is serious. A stocking cap does not fly off a character’s head, bounce off a wall, and knock a fawn on his back. Cartoons fascinate kids—and adults—because we all come from an equally unreal realm. Children have the unreality of the nonphysical plane fresh in their minds. Not surprisingly, kids believe and perceive what is unbelievable and unperceivable to the adult mind. Several years ago, for example, a churchgoer recounted how, one night in that lady’s house, her 4-year-old granddaughter said, “There’s a man in that room.” The woman’s husband froze like a deer caught in headlights. Seconds later, he checked from afar, while the woman reached for the telephone. The girl continued, “I think that’s Jesus.” Like choppy waters to a passing storm, her grandparents calmed down. In the minds of children, pigs can fly, lions can sing, goblins can chase flying airliners at high altitudes—as I believed as a boy, while onboard a Lockheed-1011—and Superman can stop missiles in mid-air. Kids believe that anything is possible, and like grown-ups, children perceive what they believe. The difference is that, generally, adults think unimaginatively. Kids believe in endless possibilities. When I was a boy, for example, I lived by the beach of

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Levittown, Puerto Rico. The ocean view and the film The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark (1980) inspired me so much that, in my first grade classroom, I drew the ark of the film that I had seen at the theater. I began to dream about constructing an ocean liner. For weeks, I fantasized about filling the white ship of steel with family and friends. On the second-floor balcony of my two-story house, I started to hammer a few wooden planks together. It was afternoon. My mother encouraged me as though I had proposed building a shoebox. After I discovered that constructing an ocean liner was more than a boy could handle, I asked my mother why she had let me build what I did if she knew that I would fail. My mother answered, “I wanted you to find out for yourself.” The imagination of children is unsoiled by the mental straitjacket of the “real” world. Adults are now being asked to adopt the anything-is-possible mindset as a way of life, without losing touch with “reality.” Why do children have almost no sense of danger? Why do kids have so much energy? What do children learn—other than laws of physics—during their growing years? What paradoxes exist in the world of childhood—and in the world of adulthood? Last, what can Asperger Syndrome teach us about neurotypical (neurologically typical) children and adults?

The Consciousness and Energy of Children

Each child has more energy than thousands of squirrels zigzagging around the campus of a university. At playgrounds, kids jump from high places. From tree branches, boys and girls dive into shallow water. Children hurl rocks and bottles at one another. They tug at one another’s arms and legs as if their appendages were the steel foundations of a building. Adults, on the contrary,

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have a sense of vulnerability and lack much energy. Therefore, grown-ups tell children things like: 1) “Give me a break!” 2) “Do you have ants in your pants?” 3) “You’re going to poke your eye out.” Why this split between child and adult energies and perceptions of vulnerability? Children live in a spiritual mode of consciousness. They come from a realm that has no limitations of time, space, thought, energy, or physicality. This plane of origin has different “laws of nature.” In the spirit sphere, for example, thought and travel are one, for you travel in fact—not just in mind, like on earth —to a faraway region just by thinking about the place. This is much as the laws of physics break down in the subatomic realm. When a spirit incarnates on planet Earth, it begins the process of learning the—limiting—laws of physics of this universe. For example, a boy can’t build an ocean liner alone. Children learn to limit their thoughts and actions to what adults—and the laws of physics —teach them. Kids learn experientially that skin can prick painfully, that bones can break, and that hands can burn if placed on a hot stove. Only a fraction of the sixth physical sense—the human brain—is wired at human birth. It takes childhood and adolescence to do most of the wiring concerning the things of this world. These things include body limitations, religious dogma,49 cultural expectations, social etiquette, and sexual mores. By studying the perceptions and behavior of children, adults can learn much about

49

Given that, historically, religion has been used to control the multitude, I refer to religious dogma as part of the things of this world.

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being trans-sensory—without abandoning the wisdom that the adult brain has taught them over the years.

What Happens During Childhood, Adolescence, and Early Adulthood?

Children are spiritually aware, yet are very materialistic. Just go to a toy store or to the cereal section of a supermarket. Advertisers revel in children’s materialism, especially in the toy and food departments. Children are the best salespeople that advertisers could possibly dream of—better than the swimsuit models on the covers of sports magazines. Why would spiritually conscious beings be so materialistic? For starters, the human brain programs the human body to learn as much as it can about this world. This is a matter of biological survival. As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the 20th century French Jesuit, said, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience [emphasis mine].”50 Starving for the human experience, children are understandably materialistic. The paradox is that we exist on earth to experience the physical and to remember that we are spiritual beings. Hence, the natural metaphysical process is unlearning spirituality during childhood and relearning it during adulthood. Western culture, however, conditions minors to think solely in materialistic terms. Such conditioning inhibits the natural process of quickly relearning spirituality. The biggest incongruity of postmodern life is that Western materialism goes hand in glove with puritanical repression. On the one
50

See “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/pierreteil160888.html.

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hand, materialism causes us to forget about our spiritual origin. On the other hand, repression keeps us from exploring the human experience. This mix is a double whammy against spiritual evolution. Despite its materialism, postmodern society teaches nothing but denial of bodily pleasure and of psychological well-being. Consequently, there is “good sex” (e.g., straight) and “bad sex” (e.g., gay). And there is “working for money,” instead of serving with spirit and having money work for one as a by-product of one’s service to humanity. The way of the world is then proclaimed to be the “natural” order of things. To postmodern civilization, pleasure and well-being are only good inasmuch as they generate the bottom line. Therefore, we are taught from an early age to deny our physical bodies—except for food and consumption51—and to think about little else than money. The result is children, adolescents, and young adults yearning to explore their bodies, their minds, and the material world, and our corporatistic culture telling them not to unless it approves.52 The consequence is disappointment, bitterness, rage, and most of all, lack of a sense of freedom. Such negative states paralyze, disrupt, and suck energy from the spirit. What energy remains by adulthood is often unleashed in destructive directions. Examples are workaholism, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Human greed inevitably follows. In short, instead of knowing, unlearning, and relearning that our essence is spirit, we unlearn this Truth during childhood and stay stuck in human greed. Then, we hope that things will satisfy us away from dissatisfaction and negativity. It is, unfortunately, a process of becoming—and staying—sensory.

51

Profits is why consumption is encouraged. For instance, agribusiness pushes fatty, unhealthy foods on the public because these foods advertise themselves—they’re too appetizing—and are cheap to make. Even here, the dieting industry forbids the eating of countless foods. 52 Many cultural restrictions are needed for civilization to function (e.g., thou shalt not kill). Most social sanctions, however, destroy the human spirit.

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Birth of One’s Social Self—and Death of One’s Spiritual Self

Worsening the externality of social restrictions is the internality of the human brain itself. Are children, for example, wired to cave in to social programming? If so, how do kids lose their spiritual awareness, sense of unlimited freedom, and lack of inhibitions in order to fit in?

Asperger Syndrome

In 1944, an Austrian physician named Hans Asperger noticed that a group of boys and girls was acting peculiar relative to ordinary children. Asperger discovered a neurological, developmental disorder (or “difference”) of the human brain that impairs the learning of nonverbal communication. The disorder also hinders the nervous system’s ability to handle too much physical stimuli at once. Not until the 1990s did English-speaking doctors acknowledge the existence of Asperger Syndrome.53 The neurologically normal (“neurotypical”) human brain programs children to imitate social cues from the adults around them. Social markers include facial expressions, vocal intonation, arm movements, and social etiquette. People with Asperger Syndrome (e.g., nerds) are as verbal as everyone else—and oftentimes more. Aspies, as people with Asperger’s call themselves, also recognize the same smiles that everybody else sees. But what type is each smile? A friendly smile? A menacing grin? A flirting smile? With what facial expression—let alone, body language—should one respond? How quickly?
53

Partly, this was because Hans Asperger’s findings remained untranslated from German to English until the 1980s.

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Should one proceed toward the other person? Or should one keep one’s distance? These are the subtleties, subconsciously learned by regular children, that elude Aspies. The result is that a computer programmer with Asperger’s may find himself asking a “smiling” woman to date him, a woman who gave him a menacing smile. In this example, the man didn’t see a menacing smile. All he saw was a grin. The Asperger brain doesn’t allow Aspies to learn to read nuances of body language during childhood. When Aspergians (another term for people with Asperger’s) reach adulthood, their brain wiring differs from that of “normal” people. This is because Aspies missed critical learning—and hence, critical wiring—periods during childhood. Perhaps, this is why Aspies resist social conditioning better than non-Aspies. Aspergians are accused of being “emotionally distant” and “antisocial.” In this sense, Asperger Syndrome may be an extreme form of the male brain. Or Asperger’s may be an extreme form of the human brain, as everyone is insensitive now and then—not just Aspies. Asperger Syndrome is not a brain disease, not a mental illness, and not avoidant personality disorder. Rather, Asperger’s is a neurological difference. Asperger’s is invisible because Aspies function well in nonsocial areas. Computers is an example. But this is not to be confused with Asperger’s being “slight.” There is nothing mild about a condition that means, for most Aspies, a “lifetime” (actually, death time) of no friends, no sex, no romance, and extremely limited employment. Another way to illustrate the Asperger dilemma is that a single dinosaur bone gets far more attention in a day than a typical adult with Asperger’s gets in a “lifetime.” Dogs and cats, in turn, get far more love in five minutes than an Aspie adult gets in 20 years. Yet, friendship, romance, and sex are fundamental human rights, even for individuals—such as people with disabilities—who lack the social currency for those experiences. Lieutenant-Commander Data (Brent

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Spiner) of Star Trek: The Next Generation is and acts much like someone with Asperger’s. But unlike in the Star Trek universe—where Data has friends—Data would have no friendships in “the real world.” Why not? The endless misunderstandings between Data and neurotypicals would drive most people away from him. Asperger Syndrome, a social disability, is at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. All forms of autism—from most severe to least severe— may be the missing link between the extinct Neanderthals (e.g., dependence on a meat diet, less mobility, literal thinking, preference for cold weather, inflexibility, repetition, endogamy, tendency to specialize, and monotone speech) and Homo sapiens (e.g., dependence on an omnivorous diet, more mobility, symbolic thought, preference for warm weather, “flexibility,”54 variety, exogamy, tendency to generalize, and varied speech).55 Differences in evolutionary adaptations between these two hominid species are why Homo sapiens proliferated and Neanderthals did not. The most paramount difference between the two species could well be that Neanderthals were, like people with Asperger’s, inflexible to a rapidly changing world, while anatomically modern humans were flexible to changing conditions. It is no coincidence that Asperger Syndrome is called Wrong Planet Syndrome. A Wikipedia article puts the quandary of Asperger’s succinctly. It reads: The basic differences between primate species are in social behavior, nonverbal communication, sexual preference, sensory system, physical appearance and the timing of the development.56
54

I put the term flexibility in quotes because many neurotypical (non-autistic) people are also inflexible in thought and behavior. Examples are religious fanatics, nationalists, and political extremists. 55 See Leif Ekblad, “The Neanderthal Theory,” at http://rdos.net/eng/asperger.htm.

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The article continues: Even though similarities between different primate species exist, like for instance in expression of fear, nonverbal communication varies widely between primate species [emphasis mine].57 Creator of the Aspie quiz, Leif Ekblad writes on another website: Differences in innate, nonverbal communications are very big disadvantages. They can only develop in isolation. Long isolation … The only isolated population in recent times, that had been isolated for a long time, was Neanderthals.58 Ekblad concludes: Every primate species have facial expressions and nonverbal communication that are species-typical [emphasis mine], and this must have included Neanderthals as well. Differences in nonverbal communication forms the core of autistic problems [emphasis mine] … Nonverbal communication, … doesn’t work over the species border.59

56

This quote comes from User: Zenosaga, “Neanderthal Theory,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. The URL of the article is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Zenosaga/Neanderthal_theory. 57 Ibid. 58 Ekblad, “The Neanderthal Theory,” at http://rdos.net/eng/asperger.htm. 59 Ibid.

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Quite possibly, Aspies and other autistics are descendants of hybrids. These hybrids must have been produced by interbreeding between the new hominid from Africa (Homo sapiens) and the Ice Age hominids (Neanderthals) that inhabited Europe for 200,000 years.60 This is the Neanderthal Theory of Asperger Syndrome, a theory that Leif Ekblad, a computer programmer, has proposed. Rather than having been exterminated by the expanding—or invading—Homo sapiens some 30,000 years ago in Europe, Neanderthals may have been absorbed genetically into the new population—that is, before Neanderthals went extinct.61 Because Neanderthals were far less numerous than Homo sapiens, Neanderthal traits are rare in our day.62 Still, Asperger’s may hold valuable clues as to how Spirits/souls forego spiritual freedoms in their process of becoming a particular type of human being. During childhood, humans learn—subconsciously—when and how to make which facial expressions, arm movements, and vocal intonations. People learn which behaviors go with which social settings. Subconsciously, humans learn when to jump into a conversation, when not to; when to be diplomatic, when to be direct; how to ask for what they want; and how to fit into a peer group—all without thinking. As adults, people carry conversations, by and large, without having to think about such nonverbal elements. Aspergians don’t have this luxury. Why not? Because Aspies cannot read and respond “appropriately” to nonverbal language—unless explicitly taught what most
60

Any descendants of Neanderthals, if any, would inherit part of the Neanderthal genotype (genes not related to physical appearance), part of the Neanderthal phenotype (genes that determine physical features), or both. Therefore, the absence of Neanderthal physical features (e.g., no occipital bun) in living human populations (e.g., autistics) does not rule out Neanderthal genes that are unrelated to physical appearance being present in such populations. 61 Geneticist Svante Pääbo, from the Max Planck Institute, found no evidence of interbreeding between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. Pääbo, however, compared Neanderthal Mitochondrial DNA with the Mitochondrial DNA of a general sample of some 1,000 people living today around the world. As far as I know, Pääbo did not compare the Neanderthal Mitochondrial DNA (which provides a record of ancestry) with the Mitochondrial DNA of people with autism spectrum disorders. 62 See Nova: Neanderthals on Trial. This program doesn’t mention Asperger Syndrome, but it does provide a good overview about Neanderthals.

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people learn implicitly. Ninety-three percent of face-to-face human communication is nonverbal, according to Janine Driver, a body language expert.63 Hence, Asperger Syndrome is a major handicap for less than 1 percent of the population.64 This handicap is especially severe in an age of “customer service,” “people skills,” “multitasking,” and being a “team player.” Externality is rewarded. Internality is not. The social, cultural, and economic system is tailored for people who possess a “whole theory of mind.”65 Put differently, postmodern society rewards those of us who are social, external in orientation, and endowed with skills that the global economy hails as “employable.” Aspies are “mind blind.” In our era, this is another liability. It is like the situation that Dave Spicer, autism consultant, recounted at a conference in Västerås, Sweden. Spicer said: … suppose you are colorblind, and cannot distinguish between red and green. You are in a room with other people, all of whom have normal vision. No one—not even you—knows that you are colorblind. Everyone is handed a list of instructions. They are printed in red against a green background. Everyone except you knows exactly what to do. They cannot understand why you just sit there. The paper looks blank to you, and you cannot understand how the others know what to do.66
63 64

Secrets of Body Language. This two-hour special aired on The History Channel on October 13, 2008. In February 2007, the Centers for Disease Control reported that about 1 per 150 people are somewhere on the autism spectrum. Asperger Syndrome, however, is a subtle disability (or “difference”), and most adults with Asperger’s have not been diagnosed. A major reason is because when Asperger’s is talked about, 90 percent of the attention is on children with the disorder. Adults with Asperger’s are consistently ignored. Hence, I use a higher number than the official statistic. See article, Associated Press, “Autism Rate in U.S. Higher Than Thought,” MSNBC, Health/Kids and Parenting, February 9, 2007. Article at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17047721/. 65 “Whole theory of mind” means that one is able to identify with “the other.” This other can be a person (e.g., empathy) or a thing (e.g., identification). See Roger N. Meyer, Asperger Syndrome Employment Workbook: An Employment Workbook for Adults with Asperger Syndrome, (Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc., 2001). 66 Dave Spicer, “Self-Awareness in Living with Asperger Syndrome.” The March 1998 lecture was given at an Asperger Syndrome conference in Västerås, Sweden. The transcript is available at

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This is perhaps the best analogy of what having Asperger’s is like. It is similar to being blind, deaf, and mute without anyone—not even oneself—knowing it. I, for one, didn’t know that I have Asperger Syndrome until I turned 30. And if I weren’t such an avid reader, I would have never found out. Imagine the “lifetime” (death time) of confusion that I underwent before my “accidental” discovery. Unlike people with classic autism, Aspergians want to be sociable and want to make friends. Given how their brains work, however, Aspies are socially naïve, socially inept, too honest, and too inwardly focused. Still, Aspies tend to be intellectually brilliant. For instance, many of humanity’s greatest breakthroughs have occurred because of people who unitasked (focused on one project) for long periods of time. TV’s Lieutenant Columbo (Peter Falk) is an example of someone with Asperger Syndrome—although the creators of Columbo probably didn’t intend to depict someone with Asperger’s. Consider Columbo’s awkwardness, absentmindedness, social blunders, and most of all, his perseverance of mind. Aspie deficits exist because the Asperger brain has to sacrifice social intelligence to make room for intellectual intelligence. In the Columbo episode “A Case of Immunity,” for example, Columbo nearly knocks over an ancient vase at a Middle Eastern country headquartered in Los Angeles.67 This is the awkwardness part of Asperger’s. Yet, in “Murder Under Glass,” Columbo tells a chef suspect (Louis Jourdan) at a fruit and vegetable market: How did the poison get into the wine [bottle]? That’s the question. But don’t worry about it, sir. I’m going to write that out on a card, and I’m
http://bellsouthpwp.net/d/s/dspicer/aware.html. 67 Columbo (1970-present), “A Case of Immunity.” This episode originally aired on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) on October 12, 1975 (Season 5, episode 2).

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going to paste it up on my shaving mirror. And that’s all I’m going to think about [emphasis mine].68 This is the mind perseverance part of Asperger’s. Similar to Lieutenant Columbo, the deceased Stanley Kubrick had a perseverance of mind that is astounding. For decades, the eminent filmmaker wanted to direct a film about Napoleon Bonaparte. How many books on this general did Kubrick admittedly read? About 500 books. When filming The Shining (1980), Kubrick is also said to have reshot some scenes hundreds of times, something unheard of in the film industry.69 I am not saying that Kubrick had Asperger’s—although this is a strong possibility. I am saying that singlemindedness and super-passionate interests in single topics are two of Asperger’s characteristics. Another example of the Asperger psyche is Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) from As Good As It Gets (1997). In this movie, Udall has successfully authored 62 books from his Fifth Avenue apartment. But the reclusive writer can’t help but be callous—or too honest, depending on your view—toward the people he encounters in the outside world. One day, for example, Udall calls a fill-in waitress “elephant girl,” a move that gets him kicked out of the restaurant he patronizes every morning. Udall, however, can’t express his feelings for the waitress (Helen Hunt) he does like. As he tells Carol Connelly—the girl/waitress of his dreams—during a dinner date with her, “It’s exhausting talking like this, exhausting.” Udall keeps meeting Connelly, though, because of his daily routine. Every morning, for example, he goes to the restaurant where Connelly works and wants only her as his waitress. Udall is so inflexible that,
68

Columbo, “Murder Under Glass.” This episode originally aired on NBC on January 30, 1978 (Season 7, episode 2). 69 See the article on Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia titled, “Stanley Kubrick.” The URL is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Kubrick.

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rather than accept a dusty red jacket one night, he leaves Connelly—now his girlfriend—waiting at a five-star restaurant that requires suit and tie while he goes out to buy a clean set. As Good As It Gets makes it seem like Udall is suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which he is. But Udall’s chief problem is his inability to interact well with his neighbors, with the waitress he falls in love with, with his publisher and her secretary, and with the public at large. For example, Udall shouts a meal order across a restaurant. Not only does the man lack social graces. He also has very little sense of danger, asking, for example, Connelly to go out with him at 4 a.m. And Udall has a different, often perverse, sense of humor. In short, Udall’s character exhibits all the characteristics of Asperger Syndrome—although most individuals with Asperger’s are not that obnoxious. The lack of mention of Asperger Syndrome in this movie reflects: 1) That the filmmakers either didn’t know about or didn’t intend to portray Asperger’s on the big screen 2) That most adults with Asperger’s continue to be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed by psychiatrists One of the better hallmarks of Asperger Syndrome is unitasking. As such, unitasking is responsible for the invention of the transistor, jet engines, cell phones, and the Internet—to name some milestones. Inventors and discoverers don’t necessarily have Asperger’s. But the significance of unitasking remains unacknowledged by a world obsessed with multitasking. People with rich inner worlds70 pay through lack of friends (due to being unable to socialize
70

These inner worlds are filled with ideas, fascination with systems (e.g., weather maps, computer programs, and aircraft engines), and visual imagery. Painters, writers, composers, and mathematical

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“appropriately”), through lack of employment or problems on the job (due to more “inappropriate” communication at interviews and at work settings), and through social isolation. Yet, internality and focus are precisely what transsensory consciousness requires. Asperger Syndrome shows that the human brain programs most of us to restrict our behavior subconsciously. This starts at an early age. Children learn to put up fronts. Adults do it by rote, all the while believing that they are being themselves. Regular children have rich social worlds—and enjoy the advantages of that. But they pay the price: unconsciously restricting their behavior, and even their thoughts, to what is socially sanctioned. Obversely, children with Asperger’s have rich inner worlds and behave spontaneously. But they pay another price: society’s rejection.

Nonphysical Aspects of Asperger Syndrome

The Asperger experience—endless misunderstandings, endless rejections, endless betrayals, and endless frustrations—warps the energy field of an Aspie. This is critical to understand because we are not just souls having different human—and inhuman—experiences. We are also souls having different spiritual experiences. There are, for example, souls who have the spirit of joy in them, and there are souls who have the spirit of grief in them. I have concluded that some 90 percent of Aspies are rejected at job interviews and close to 100 percent at social gatherings not just because Aspergians are not quite human

theorists are some examples of people with rich inner worlds.

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(this is not meant as a putdown), but also, because their auric fields (fields of the aura) vibrate so differently. Everyone, of course, is misunderstood, rejected, betrayed, and dejected once in a while. But nobody is set up for those experiences to the extent that Aspies are. As a rule, Aspergians are so physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically isolated, so lacking in self-confidence, and so emotionally wounded that they are off the scale—energy-wise—of normal human emotions. The mental, emotional, and auric bodies of interviewers and would-be friends read the nonphysical blueprint of the Aspie in question. This is called “psyching a person out.” If the frequencies of neurotypicals don’t click with the Aspie frequency, then non-Aspergians dump or don’t hire the Aspergian. This is a type of spiritual racism: someone is rejected because his or her spiritual “skin color” is different. The physical body may not even be aware of what is transpiring nonphysically. But the personality of the neurotypical person jilts the Aspie anyway. This is a major downside of humans being connected spiritually. Instead of prompting our nonphysical bodies (spirits in us) to be more understanding of other nonphysical bodies, our nonphysical bodies—just like our human selves—become less understanding. The subtle energies that people pick up from one another are used, more often than not, against the individual being read. This is one of several reasons—discussed elsewhere in this book— why our nonphysical unity isn’t all a bed of roses. Even “positive” people like psychics, nice guys, and nice girls can abruptly turn on you if they sense information from your nonphysical weak spots. People don’t even have to see or hear you to sense your psychic vulnerabilities. One afternoon, for example, I entered a bookstore. I asked to speak with the manager about a professional matter. I admit that I wasn’t feeling great that day. But without having looked or even heard me, the female

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manager—whom I was told was in the back room—told the male cashier that she couldn’t speak to me. That woman—or rather, her nonmaterial bodies—might as well have stabbed me. What she did to me was a psychic rejection. This form of rejection is far more damaging than a physical rejection because the message is that not just your human body and personality are flawed, but your nonphysical selves, too. Much as loyal dogs can turn vicious if they smell fear in you, “good” people can turn as savage if their energetic bodies read the “wrong” information from you. Just because someone is sensitive to energies doesn’t mean that he or she is spiritually evolved. The true mark of spiritual evolution—or the dearth of it—is how a person uses his or her psychic powers. For example, does a person use his or her psychic insights sensitively or ruthlessly? We may Love one another in the higher planes of the spirit sphere. But in lower nonphysical realms like the astral plane, our nonmaterial bodies often fail to empathize with—and thus, fail to Love—one another. As mentioned, Aspies don’t make friends—just acquaintances, at most. This is not just because of their neurological differences, but also, because the nonphysical bodies of regular people read the excess negatives (or “differences”) of each Aspie energy field, are repelled by those frequencies, and move on. Sometimes, however, nonphysical bodies are attracted to negative energies in someone and pursue them. For example, the nonmaterial bodies of a school bully scan for energies like low selfesteem, a sense of vulnerability, and a sense of isolation. Once the bully senses these elements, he moves in the direction of the would-be victim and terrorizes him or her. Unity does not necessarily mean uniformity. Even in the spirit plane—at least, the lower realms—soul frequencies like the spirit of joy vs. the spirit of despair are often unalike. Therefore, disunity and disharmony are not just

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confined to the earth plane. The difference in the spiritual frequency of Aspies reflects this truth in the most profound way. The next chapter zeroes in on the social aspects of binary thinking—binary thinking being a major characteristic of the sixth sense of the human brain.

Exercises
1) Can you remember otherworldly visions, sounds, smells, or even sensations that you had as a child? If yes, around what age did you forget them? 2) As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you follow those dreams? Why or why not? Is it too late to pursue your childhood dreams? 3) What types of etiquette, customs, and taboos do you recall being taught as a child? How long did it take you to internalize them? Did you learn instinctually (just by observing)? Or did you learn scientifically (you didn’t get things unless taught explicitly)? Are those social rules serving you, imprisoning you, or neither? If the rules are restricting your freedom to be without harming others, how could you unlearn such ways of being?

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3

The Dualism of the Human Brain Looking at the human brain, one sees that the cerebral cortex has two hemispheres. Ideas, skills, and behaviors that one hemisphere processes the other hemisphere does not process. If one writes with the left hand, for instance, the right hemisphere processes the writing. The specifics of which things are processed in which brain region can be found in books like Diane Ackerman’s An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain.71 This chapter, however, is more interested in polarity as a recurring feature of human thinking and social organization. Several areas emerge as examples of binary thinking at the social level: 1) White vs. black 2) Straight vs. gay 3) Labels vs. no labels 4) Science vs. mysticism This chapter delves into the above dichotomies. It looks at some by-products of the duality of the human brain, by-products like humor. Last, this chapter analyzes the tendency of changing societies to go from one extreme to another.
71

See Diane Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain, (New York: Scribner, 2004).

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White vs. Black Living in the post-civil rights era, Americans have seemingly transcended the issues of the Jim Crow past. Economic issues and issues of equal opportunity are the focus of racial and ethnic activism these days. The vocabulary used in reference to human races has barely changed, however, from the heyday of open racism in the 1890s. Looking at “white” people, one will notice that they are not white. At most, their skin is light-cream. Most “white” people are in a color continuum that ranges from:

light-cream . . . . . . . . . . pink . . . . . . . . . . . . peach . . . . . . . . . . . . tan

Only members of a sub-race—such as Caucasians from Norway vs. Caucasians from Romania—tend to be all light-cream or all tan. Conversely, “black” people are not black. At most, their skin is dark brown. In the United States, “black” people are in a color scale that ranges from:

cinnamon . . . . . . . . . . café au lait . . . . . . . . . . . chocolate

Only in some regions of Africa can “black” people be said to approach the color black. Even here, black is not an accurate term to describe the color of their

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skins. In photography, some “black” people appear to be black. But lighting, not just skin color, determines skin tone. Despite the above facts, Americans keep referring to pink, peach, and tan individuals as “white” and to cinnamon brown, café au lait, and chocolate brown people as “black.” Why? If American history is any guide, then the open racism of the past is the explanation. Starting with chattel slavery, “Negro” (black) people were seen as what the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines as black. The Tenth Edition of that dictionary defines black as, among other things: … 4: DIRTY, SOILED … 5 a: characterized by the absence of light … b: reflecting or transmitting little or no light … 6 a: thoroughly sinister or evil: WICKED …72 The same edition defines white as, among other things: … 2 c: marked by upright fairness 3: free from spot or blemish: as a (1): free from moral impurity: INNOCENT …73 Calling Caucasians white assumes that Caucasians are white on the inside, and calling African Americans black assumes that African Americans are black on the inside. This is sensory perception. The reality is that all “white” people have some black inside—as in black energies—and all “black” people have some white inside. This is trans-sensory perception. Many “whites” are devils, and

72

Frederick C. Mish, John M. Morse, E. Ward Gilman, et al., Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 1993), p. 118. 73 Ibid., p. 1348.

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many “blacks” are angels—although devils and angels come in all shapes and colors. At the same time, the darkness in each person is but another layer of illusion, for beyond this excess marble of darkness there is light. As Michelangelo said, the David is inside the excess marble. This is what people mean when they say that someone is noble “underneath it all.” The “it” is the excess marble. The black costume of Darth Vader (David Prowse) is his excess marble. When, at last, Vader tells Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), “Just for once, let me look on you with my own eyes,” Vader means that he no longer wants to look at Luke with human eyes but rather, with spiritual eyes. Darth, by the way, comes from the word dearth, which means absence, as in absence of light. In an ocean of websites about race, only a handful mention the racism inherent in our keeping the terms white and black—as opposed to the neutral terms Caucasian American and African American. Even worse, racial and ethnic minorities themselves accept—with growing exceptions—the terms white and black, along with the implication that “white” people have no color. (“Yellow” is also used to refer to people of Asian descent.) When primary schools distribute crayons for kids to color people on paper, they encourage a more realistic perception of race. When high schools and universities teach, say, American history and continue to use “white people” and “black people” as terms, however, they encourage the transfer of Jim Crow perceptions to future generations. I myself am guilty of this, for I use the terms “white” and “black” throughout this book to refer to Caucasians and African Americans. One reason is because readers are familiar with such terms, and I don’t want to lose them. Another reason is that the terms “white” and “black” break the monotony of the terms “Caucasian” and “African American.” As much as possible, though, I put the terms white and black in quotes.

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Most people look without truly seeing. Instead of wearing tint-adjustable glasses of pink, peach, and tan upon encountering Caucasian people, most people wear white-only glasses. Therefore, that is what they see: white people. The same applies vis-à-vis black-only glasses. Wear them, and you will perceive black people. Even individuals with “one drop of black blood” will look black. What a difference from the change in thinking that occurred in the 20th century regarding the “red man” of the 18th and 19th centuries. Leafing through a middle school textbook, for example, I once spotted “red man” in quotations in a sentence that was referring to how European Americans used to view Native Americans. A few sentences later, “white people” appeared without quotations.74 The incongruity was so jarring that, to this day, I am stumped that people don’t see the inaccuracy of phrases like “white people” and “black people.” The white-black mindset, however, is so ingrained in the public mind that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) objected when Tiger Woods rejected in public the label “black” to describe himself. Woods prefers the term “Cablinasian,” for the pro golfer says that he is Caucasian-black-Indian-Asian. Prominent African Americans also criticize “blacks” who refer to themselves as mulatto or multi-racial. The political need to be counted as a single block (e.g., black people) is cited as a pragmatic necessity of fighting for equality. On the “white” side of the equation—although all human races share this somewhere deep down—is the fear of racial amalgamation. In particular, people who carry the archetype (spiritual energy behind a persona) of virgin can become concerned with preserving the purity of a given race. This is similar to
74

I read this while substituting in New Hampshire. After moving west, I contacted the middle school about the editor and title of this textbook. The school didn’t return my phone messages and emails, so I can’t cite it here.

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environmentalists wanting to protect virgin forests or the humpback whale. Caucasians tend to fear miscegenation the most because many of their genes— such as for blond hair and blue irises—are recessive. If a Caucasian mates with an African, for instance, the baby comes out looking more African than Caucasian. If a European mates with an Asian, the baby comes out looking more Asian than European. If an Anglo mates with a Native American, the baby comes out looking more Native American than Anglo. A major driver of racial segregation in the American South, racial apartheid in South Africa, and white flight in the American North has been the Caucasian fear of mixing genetically with other races. President Jimmy Carter, for example, grew up in Plains, Georgia during the era of Jim Crow. According to PBS’s American Experience, Southern whites and blacks of that time played together as children. Once Anglos like Carter hit adolescence, however, their “Negro” playmates had to begin acting reverential toward them. For instance, black adolescents had to start holding the door for whites of all ages. This was the South’s way of preparing Caucasians and African Americans for a segregated adulthood.75 In the Jim Crow South, why were Caucasians and African Americans allowed to play together as children but not as adolescents—and adults? Because starting around age 13, girls were capable of becoming pregnant. In the South, this raised conscious fears of interracial children being born—although this now unconscious fear is present throughout the United States. Therefore, in the Southern mind, Caucasians and African Americans had to be segregated from age 13 on. The fear of Southern “whites” was that racial social integration would lead to racial genetic disintegration through interracial sex.76 Every human race has the fear of dissolving genetically because of interracial sex. This fear is the
75 76

American Experience: Jimmy Carter. This episode originally aired on PBS on October 14, 2008. See Richard McCulloch, “Racial Nihilism,” The Racial Compact. This online chapter is at http://www.racialcompact.com/racialnihilism.html.

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core of all racial problems in the world. From a human level, resistance to interracial unions is a form of group preservation. This is racialism (love for one’s race). This is not to justify racism (hatred toward other races). But racism and racialism come in a continuum (shown below):

Racism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Racialism

This is an example of how love and hate are different sides of the same coin. Love for one’s race tends to promote hostility toward other races—although loving all races equally is possible. Both racism and racialism want to preserve the human races by separating them. As the human experiment has shown, when different populations come into contact, very often, one race (e.g., Europeans) infects another race (e.g., Native Americans) with diseases that the race on the receiving end has no immunity for. Another example of “passive genocide” is when Homo sapiens from Africa entered Neanderthal lands in Europe, leading to the extinction of Neanderthals. From a spiritual perspective, however, all human races are part of the human species. Notice, for example, how almost everyone—blonds included— prefers warm weather, a testament to the African origins of Homo sapiens. Furthermore, the human race is made of spiritual beings that come from the same Godhead. The conflict between our human fears and our spiritual unity can be resolved by balancing three elements. These elements are:

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1)

The earthly need for some separation (see what introducing flora and fauna from one corner of the world to the other is doing to native plant and animal species) Our unity as Homo sapiens Our oneness as spiritual beings

2) 3)

Even number 1 may no longer be adaptive to life on earth—as humanly insane as this sounds. This is because nature is mixing everywhere so as to produce genetic recombinations that will be adaptive to global warming (see epilogue). In sum, the fear of miscegenation is the root of the black-white mindset in America. As we shall see, this same fear of “catching what the other has” dominates the gay movement.

Straight vs. Gay

In the United States, “one drop of black blood” makes a person “black.” Applying this rule to human sexuality, one will find that, in the West, a person exhibiting any degree of homosexuality is labeled “gay” if that homosexuality is more than incidental. The possibility that such a person might be bisexual doesn’t enter the minds of most people. In Western society, one is either straight or gay. What is more, when experts discuss “sexual orientation,” they actually mean romantic orientation. Thus, a straight man who has sex on the side with men is either “confused” about his “real” orientation or is “really gay but in denial.” The notion that heteroromantic males (straight in the romantic sense) might also be bisexual (bi in the purely sexual sense) doesn’t occur to the majority of people. Females tend to fuse the romantic with the sexual. But males

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can easily divorce the two. For males in general, romance doesn’t have to be present for them to seek and enjoy sex. Sexually thirsty males can copulate with either sex—if they get past their erotic inhibitions. When women aren’t around, heteroromantic (straight) men having non-romantic sex “with my buddies” is usually enough for relief of their hormones. Of course, this is if the men get past their homophobia (fear of homosexuality). Gay sex between, or among, heteroromantic males may not bring romantic satisfaction. But homosocial bonds—what I call homoplatonic relationships—have homoemotional pleasures of their own. Homosocial bonds are often the context in which homosexuality arises among straight males. If, however, these homosexually active men continue to desire women in a romantic way, what does that make them? Postmodern society seems incapable of conceptualizing such a triple-tier of desires—sexual lust vs. romantic love vs. platonic needs. Instead of acknowledging that heteroromantic males might also enjoy homoplatonic bonds in a sexual way, Western society uses the “one drop of black blood” rule in insisting that these men are “really gay.” Yet, several theories propose that 80 percent of the population is latently bisexual—and made heterosexual through upbringing and peer pressure.77 Postmodern culture may speak endlessly about sex and romance. But much of this talk has remained superficial. Even scholars have yet to tease apart sexual tastes vs. romantic orientation vs. platonic preference. In the 1970s, the gay movement proclaimed “the liberation of the gay in everyone.” The homosexual side of bisexuality was encouraged for the sake of
77

I am using the looser definition of bisexuality, which includes same-sex fantasies that straight people have but don’t act upon. Also, I am drawing upon: 1) The comment of psychiatrist Sigmund Freud that bisexuality’s absence in most people needs explanation, 2) The conclusion of therapist Maggi Rubenstein that 80 percent of people are bisexual—based on what Rubenstein has said regarding what her clients have told her about their same-sex “fantasies, feelings, or dreams”, and 3) My looking at societies around the world—ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and Tokugawa Japan—where most men were behaviorally bisexual, and even biromantic too, in some way. For the Rubenstein quote and statistic, see Marjorie Garber, Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life, (Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2000), p. 249.

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sex. Similarly, the heterosexual side of bisexuality was promoted. Then, heterosexuality didn’t appear to threaten gay identity. From the perspective of 2009, however, the 1970s were an oasis in the middle of the Sahara desert. From 1980 to the present, sexual borders have ruled. Having purely sexual curiosities of a same-sex nature makes a person “gay,” sexually and romantically. Movies like Defying Gravity (1997) press this point like a pestle in a mortar. An otherwise superb film, Defying Gravity revolves around the denial of a frat boy that he is gay. In the movie, John “Griff” Griffith (Daniel Chilson) enjoys sex with Pete Bradley (Don Handfield), one of his fraternity brothers. Bradley wants Griff to love him romantically. Griff only wants the sex and the friendship. Rather than consider that Griff might be bisexual, heteroromantic, and homoplatonic, the movie has him come out as gay by the closing credits. This is the mentality of the official gay movement. Bi may be included in the banner Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning. But unofficially, most gays ostracize anyone who has one drop of straight blood. Likewise, most straights see anyone with one drop of gay blood as gay. It is, in the words of Kenji Yoshino, a Yale law professor, an “epistemic contract.”78 This is a psychic contract that straights and gays have signed, whatever their disagreements, to stave off any advances of bi-identified people.79 It is the unconsciousness of such an agreement that makes it so potent. The argument that bisexuality is “cheating” and “just a phase” is another way that bisexuality goes discredited. But this argument has concealed assumptions. As one of the contributors to Plural Loves writes: The casting of bisexuality as temporary state of choosing (“just a phase”)
78

See Kenji Yoshino, “The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure,” Stanford Law Review, January 1, 2000, Vol. 52, Issue 2: 353-461. The essay can be found at http://www.kenjiyoshino.com/articles/epistemiccontract.pdf. 79 Ibid.

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is actually an attempt to erase bisexuality itself, by reducing it to a summation of two monosexual [one gender only] possibilities. We can pretend that a cheater is a monogamous person in transition [to a new monogamous relationship], and we can use the same logic to pretend that a bisexual is a monosexual [attracted only to one sex] in transition [to the opposite sexuality]. Attempts to recast bisexuality as cheating are therefore attempts to invalidate bisexuality altogether, making it into an invisible stepping stone between two visible sexuality choices [straight or gay].80 Pepper Mint, the contributor, continues: Of course, most real bisexuals do not spend all their social time with a gender on each arm. Bisexuals move in and out of relationships, and life often catches them dating only one gender. There are plenty of selfidentified monogamous bisexuals, though they seem to be a minority within bisexuality (possibly due to this failure of the cultural imagination) … People assume that monogamous bisexuals are actually monosexual (based on the gender of their current attraction) even when they actively claim a bisexual identity. Bisexuality becomes invisible in monogamous situations [emphasis mine].81 The news media reinforces the straight/gay paradigm as well. Consider the former relationship between actresses Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres. As Pepper Mint writes in Plural Loves:
80

Pepper Mint, “The Power Dynamics of Cheating: Effects on Polyamory and Bisexuality,” Part One: Perspectives, Anderlini-D’Onofrio, Serena, ed., Plural Loves: Designs for Bi and Poly Living, (Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press, 2004), pgs. 69-70. 81 Ibid., p. 68.

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When Anne and Ellen started dating, the tabloids all assumed that Anne was a lesbian, and that she had been a lesbian all along. (Apparently the string of men she had relationships with earlier did not count.) When they broke up and Anne went on to date some new man, she was suddenly straight and her affair with Ellen was recast as a passing fancy. Using this sexual identity sleight-of-hand, the media managed to avoid any serious consideration of bisexuality, … 82 As if the above mentalité weren’t enough, most politicians, academicians, journalists, and laypeople believe that people are straight or gay from the womb. That 75 percent of the human brain grows outside the womb—where it does most of its wiring—doesn’t register in the popular mind.83 Even youth, the “rebels” of society, overwhelmingly grow up believing that, being incompatible, heterosexuality and homosexuality have nothing to teach each other, that enjoying gay sex must mean giving up the opposite sex romantically, and that straight and gay people are different species. As Marjorie Garber, Harvard professor of literature, writes in Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life (2000), the vast majority of youth “go straight” or are “scared straight.”84 Also, Garber posits that desire for someone of the opposite sex can arise just because one or more rivals of the same sex desire the same thing. I add that, through childhood and adolescence, most youngsters train themselves to restrict their erotic desires to the “proper” sex in order to become like the pack. A lot of this happens unconsciously. Boys are encouraged to grow up close enough to their fathers and to male peers—and girls to their mothers and to female peers. This is
82 83

Ibid. This statistic is alluded to in Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind, p. 136. 84 Garber, Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life, pgs. 82 and 328.

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to prevent homoromantic cravings from developing in boys and girls. At the same time, boys in particular are taught not to get too close, emotionally and physically, to other males. That way, the homosexual part of their bisexuality doesn’t blossom in them. This is like giving boys a few spoonfuls of cereal (male bonding) to quell their hunger for male affection but not too many spoonfuls, or they may acquire a taste for the cereal (homosexuality). Evolutionary biologists argue that males are programmed to compete with other males. “Selfish genes,” biologists say, program males to want to reproduce with as many females as possible. Thus, evolutionists claim, males are promiscuous by nature, whereas females want one male to commit to them. For females, the argument goes, a committed male means better chances of survival for offspring. Therefore, the scenario is (for males) one male/many female sexual partners and (for females) one female/one male romantic partner. Evolutionary biologists rarely consider, though, that male promiscuity may sputter in homosexual directions. Seldom considered is also that fertile females often seek—unconsciously—more than one male so that sperm from different men may compete (“sperm competition”) inside the woman, ensuring that the best sperm impregnates her. Sexual intercourse, however, is about much more than reproduction. If sex were “just about reproducing,” then why do so many people use birth control? Don’t they want to reproduce? What this shows is that we live on a planet that does not mirror the context in which biological evolution occurred. For millions of years, mass death was common. Humans were scattered enclaves —a few people here, a few people there. At the time of Christ, only some 250 million people inhabited the world. For millennia, this was the backdrop of the evolution of sex. Only in the 20th century did medical science and technology help us to live longer, reducing the need to have many children. The human

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body hasn’t had time to evolve to the present setting. Consequently, going beyond biology is a must for those of us who want to enjoy sex beyond reproduction. Contraception is one method. Most people talk about being straight or gay. Sex, however, is so pleasurable that, like ejaculate, it spews in a dozen different directions. Not all of those directions will lead to heterosexuality. In fact, much of the (hetero)sexual fallout turns into homosexuality—the nonexclusive kind. This is especially so in same-sex environments like boarding schools, locker rooms, sailors at sea, the military, and prisons. Nonexclusive male homosexuality cements homosocial bonds between men. These bonds are called male bonding. Sometimes, of course, male homosexuality is used to establish dominance over other males. (Female homosexuality tends to be more one-on-one, and it is based less on eros and more on romance.) Such gayness remains nonexclusive—or bisexual— because that same multi-spewing of sex falls, sooner or later, back into the heterosexual camp. Like a ball swinging back and forth across a pool table and landing in different places, this is the picture that human sexuality presents. The portrait allows a both/and approach to sex—PRO-creation and RE-creation— instead of an either/or approach. In Anatomy of Love, however, anthropologist Helen Fisher contends that alternative lifestyles like polyandry (one wife/many husbands) are extremely rare in human history. Fisher argues that 95 percent of the population is heterosexual—by implication, due to biological, rather than social, programming. In her last chapter, she downplays new sexual and romantic trends because, in her view, jealousy, competition, and other biological constraints will never allow humans to move beyond one husband/one wife (monogamy) with occasional cheating on the side. Fisher argues that cheating

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has biological causes. But she doesn’t see new romantic arrangements like polyamory as a way to curb cheating and increase honesty within families.85 Of course, biologists and anthropologists provide us with insights about human nature. Spiritual evolution, however, supercedes biology. Men can choose to go beyond their biological tendency—and social programming—to compete. Men can choose to share instead. They can channel their aggressiveness toward constructive ends like sports. Jealousy can be recognized as something not inevitable but as a choice that we make, however unconsciously, and can unmake by choosing compersion (enjoyment at seeing a lover romanced by other people as well). The good news is that many men and women are doing just that. They are choosing: 1) To love romantically regardless of gender 2) To have sex free of guilt and secrecy 3) To share love partners 4) To start alternative families

Labels vs. No Labels

An intellectual, social, cultural, and even spiritual movement, postmodernism belittles labels much as a father pointing the finger at his son. “Labels don’t matter,” one often hears these days. Of all people, gender theorists shun labels the most. Two sexes are the norm with higher life-forms. Gender studies, however, disparage gender as “a meaningless category.” Gender theorists contend that
85

See Helen E. Fisher, Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and Divorce, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992).

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gender is socially constructed (e.g., boys don’t cry). By implication, the categories man and woman must be thrown out with the bathwater. Language may be limited, as words like up and down mean nothing in outer space. Yet, we keep such terms because using them keeps us talking to one another and prevents chaos. Postmodernism continues to insist, though, that labels are meaningless. Even the bisexual movement denounces the term bisexual—and all labels related to human sexuality—while paradoxically trying to build a bi movement. As for race, a “color-blind society” is what most Americans aim for officially. Unofficially, most Americans continue to believe—and hence, to perceive—that people are “black,” “white,” and “yellow.” In the end, humans are a palette of colors—not a trichotomy. Perhaps, we can learn or invent words that accurately describe our skin colors. At the very least, we could use emotionally neutral terms for racial groups—although no word is totally neutral. Examples are Caucasian, Aryan, or Nordic instead of white; African American instead of black; and Asian instead of yellow. We have already made the transition regarding Native Americans, for nobody talks about “red people” nowadays. The names of some sports teams and their logos, of course, continue to depict stereotypes of American Indians. Labels matter. This applies to the physical world—as opposed to the spirit realm, where labels don’t matter. Say, for example, the word race, and most Americans will think about “colored” people. Say the word gender, and most Americans will think about women. Say the phrase sexual orientation, and most Americans will think about gays. Say the word class, and most people will think about the working class. Labels affect our self-concept, meaning how we identify racially, sexually, economically, and ultimately, politically. Moreover, labels affect how studies—and thus, human knowledge—are conceptualized.

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Studies that only use the terms straight and gay will miss bisexuality altogether, for instance. In failing to celebrate the diversity of language, postmodernism denounces intellectualism and, in a way, can be said to be an anti-intellectual movement. What about keeping and even expanding labels, while recognizing that they are limited beyond a point? What about allowing a post-postmodern synthesis to crystallize?

Science vs. Mysticism

Several years ago, a psychologist appeared on 20/20, the news program from the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). The woman questioned the reality of Betty Jean Eadie’s near-death experience—actually, a death experience, according to Eadie’s book Embraced by the Light.86 Susan Blackmore, the psychologist, said that a dying brain produces the “hallucination” of white light in a dark tunnel, of one’s racing forward through space, and of rushing sounds. Eadie said that her experience was real. At the end of the segment, anchor Hugh Downs said, “The question is whether it [Eadie’s near-death experience] is subjective or objective, and I tend to think it is subjective, as in her mind.”87 The notion of everything being subjective didn’t seem to occur to Downs. The mass media, of course, is structured to present issues in either/or fashion. But belief in subjectivity vs. objectivity; in life after death vs. no life after death; in God existing vs. God not existing; and in people being straight or
86

This segment of 20/20, titled, “Embraced by the Light?” originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) on June 9, 1995. See Betty Jean Eadie, Embraced by the Light, (Placerville, CA: Gold Leaf Press, 1992). 87 20/20, “Embraced by the Light?”

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people being gay resonates with modern science as well—not just with the mass media. Not only that. Science has shifted from being conducted to know God (pre-20th century) to being conducted to know a universe devoid of “the God hypothesis.”88 To scientists like Carl Sagan, the deceased astronomer, God and the physical universe were “possible.” But as Sagan put it on Cable News Network (CNN), “there is no evidence” of the existence of God.89 By evidence, I assume that Sagan meant physical—not spiritual—evidence. Amazed by the awesomeness of this universe, Sagan could not conceive of a force—other than the four forces of nature and the laws of physics—that was everywhere in the material universe.90 Sagan called this form of agnosticism having “an open mind.”91 Sagan’s position on the empirical absence of God (e.g., there doesn’t seem to be a god who will rescue us from our planetary predicament) reminds me of an exchange that transpired at a poet’s recital in Manhattan. I was about 13 years old but remember the incident as though it happened yesterday. A poet in his 60s, one with three Ph.D.’s, said in Spanish, “Yo no créo en el amor” (“I don’t believe in love”). My mother replied, “Pero disfrutas de el” (“But you enjoy it.”) Agnostics like Carl Sagan tend to discount the God of traditional religion —a Being that, more often than not, acts like a petty individual. But to question the existence of God because of religious conceptions assumes that no other God is possible. The Real Creator is far more subtle than the God of the 10 Commandments. Agnostics—many of whom are scientists—also assume that if a Creator exists, He is a rational God. But God can be very irrational. This doesn’t mean that He doesn’t exist. Sagan’s position was that he didn’t just want
88

See Edward Wakin, “God and Carl Sagan: Is the Cosmos Big Enough for Both of Them? Edward Wakin Interviews Carl Sagan,” U.S. Catholic, May 1981, No. 5: 19-24. 89 See Ted Turner, A Dialogue: Sagan-Turner, A Conversation with Carl Sagan & Ted Turner. This video was released by Turner Home Entertainment, New York, NY, 1989. 90 The four forces of nature are electromagnetism, the strong force, the weak force, and gravity. 91 Turner, A Dialogue: Sagan-Turner.

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to believe in God; he wanted to know God. Sagan, however, defined “know” only in physiological terms (the rationality of the human brain). But God—at least His greater part—is beyond rational comprehension. Why? Because S(He) originates in a plane that is beyond physiology. Infinity, after all, can’t squeeze Itself into a three-pound brain. Why not? Because eternity lies beyond the thinking process of this organ. Spiritual knowing—as opposed to scientific knowing—didn’t seem to occur to Sagan. And even his own spiritual experiencing of God—such as the love that he received from people throughout his life—he refused to concede as proof of the existence of God. Not even in his deathbed did Sagan recant his agnosticism. The scientific mindset of everything having a solely material cause has the characteristics of religious fanaticism: the refusal to convert to another religion. To be fair, Carl Sagan is famous for having said, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”92 But he also said, “Neither is it evidence of presence.”93 To modern science, everything is an “accident,” be it the emergence of life on earth, the moon being where it is, or biological evolution. The extinction of the dinosaurs, for example, is seen as a “random” event in an article of Scientific American.94 The idea of things appearing to be random and not being so at another level—such as in the spirit plane—is beyond the mindset of science. The pre-20th century unity of science and religion has given way to a science that is lacking of spirituality. The science of today is only concerned with what the biological senses and their scientific instruments can measure. Instead of conceding that science cannot explain everything, scientists generally take the line that if science cannot measure something, it doesn’t exist, and if things look
92

Carl Sagan, The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God, (New York: The Penguin Press, 2006), p. 237. 93 Ibid. 94 Ian Crawford, “Searching for Extraterrestrials. Where Are They? Maybe We Are Alone in the Galaxy After All,” Scientific American, July 2000, Vol. 283, No. 1: 38-43.

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random, they are. Only in the late 20th century did medical doctors like Deepak Chopra begin to reunite science with spirituality. As for the Betty Jean Eadie example, why couldn’t the 20/20 people have conceived of the answer as being both? In other words, Eadie did “die” (Eadie’s claim) and her brain fired neurotransmitters (Blackmore’s view). As for Godless science (Carl Sagan) vs. God and science (Deepak Chopra), why can’t most of us conceive that Sagan and Chopra are right? Worded differently, different beliefs have created different inner realities for these scientists. The deceased Sagan didn’t see—and Chopra does see—what each has believed.

Other Areas of Duality

The dualism of the human brain makes for our sense of humor. Examine any sitcom or joke, and you will notice that things set in contrast are funny in some contexts. Examples are: 1) 2) 3) 4) An elderly lady crossing the street with a cane and abruptly beating the daylights out of a 200-pound mugger A guy telling a guy that fixing a girl’s car will make her want to sleep with him and the girl writing him a check instead An amateur weatherman predicting sunny skies and getting stranded in a rainstorm A lad breaking glasses at a bar, and his father telling the guy next to him, “I’m so proud of him.”

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5)

Amy Goodman, the broadcast journalist, talking about “those [media] pundits we see who know so little about so much.”95

Like contrast, exaggeration—another element of duality—also makes for humor. Examples are: 1) Miles Monroe (Woody Allen) beating an overgrown—and still growing—lump of yeast in a futuristic kitchen in Sleeper (1973). 2) Ted Striker (Robert Hays) sweating gallons of water in the pilot’s seat in Airplane (1980). Aside from humor, dualism also allows us to appreciate perspective in photography—as in foreground/background—contrasting colors in an outfit, and moral notions of right and wrong. Maybe the structure of the human brain —its two hemispheres—is related to our tendency to dichotomize.
The Social Pendulum

If human history is any guide, then societies go from one extreme to the other when they change. For example, if religion dominated throughout human history, then modern science must renounce religion and God 100 percent. If females were historically subjected to male power, then males must not be given the attention—outside sports—that is being given to post-1960s females through the many women’s programs and foundations that exist today.96 Even if males
95

On May 22, 2004, Amy Goodman spoke at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her lecture aired on C-SPAN later that day. See American Perspectives, “Amy Goodman, Pacifica Radio’s ‘Democracy Now’ Host & Executive Producer.” 96 I am not against women’s programs per se, so long as men’s programs don’t go ignored. I am also for African, Latino, Asian, and queer studies.

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are becoming tomorrow’s “second sex,” as Christina Hoff Sommers argues in The War Against Boys (2001),97 the tipping of the balance in favor of Goddess,98 girl power, and women’s issues—to the near exclusion of men’s issues— continues nonetheless. If “white” people held power in both the colonial past and in the present, then “black power” must be reclaimed. If gender roles were rigidly set throughout the ages, then gender must now be renounced as a “constructed illusion,” devoid of any biological differences between males and females. If child sexual abuse went unreported in the past, then today, a kiss on the cheek of a minor becomes “sexual abuse.” If mass poverty existed in the human past, then rampant materialism must rule in our day. If race was seen as a biological reality before World War II, then today, race must be seen—solely— as a social construction. If modern science dismisses intuition, then New Ageism must disparage human rationality as “unspiritual.” The idea of taking a middle ground—Buddha’s Middle Way—doesn’t seem to occur to people living in the midst of social change. Rather, their mentality is to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The paradox is that much of our humanity is experienced in a both/and way. We, for example, have two eyes, two ears, and two nostrils. Close one of them, and something would be incomplete. We don’t like to see with one eye or the other. We don’t like to hear with one ear or the other. We don’t like to breathe or smell through one nostril or the other. We prefer both. Even the human brain, split by hemisphere, paradoxically operates as a single unit. Maybe these facts have made it easier for some groups of people to go beyond the either/or tendency of the human brain (next chapter).

97

Christina Hoff Sommers, The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001). 98 Some people, of course, use God/Goddess simultaneously, but a great many do not.

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Exercises

1) What dichotomies do you notice in Western society? What criteria—for example, race, country, and/or language—is each polarity based on? How did you learn about each schism? Can you remember a time when these dichotomies seemed unnatural? If yes, what fluid perceptions did you have then? 2) Can you link dualistic thinking in you with your becoming an either/or individual? Think, for example, about who you are sexually and romantically. Think about the age range of your friends. Then, ask yourself, “What do I believe about the nature of sexuality, romance, and age differences? How do my thoughts affect my life style and love style?”

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4 Beyond the Duality of the Sixth Sense The human brain works as an integrated unit, yet prefers to think in either/or terms. Consider the following drawing:

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Do you see a beautiful woman or an old witch? Can you see both at the same time? The dualism of the human brain—such as its two hemispheres—is why seeing two things at once is impossible. The polarity of this organ is why paradox (two contradictory things in the same “portrait”) confuses us. The learning of language itself reinforces dualistic thinking. Children learn early on, for instance, that a thing is either red or blue, yellow or green. A word is either the or an, chair or table. A dog is not a cat, and a cat is not a dog. Someone is either one’s mother or father, or one’s brother or sister. Multiple choice and true/false questions in school encourage either/or thinking as well.
99

The original illustrator of this portrait is unknown. The drawing, however, first appeared in a German postcard in 1888. Modifications were made over the years, most notably by psychologists R. W. Leeper and E. G. Boring in 1930.

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As adults, we suddenly get gray messages. Consider the following list: One group tells us that winners make things happen. Another group tells us that winners let things happen. One person says, “You should always follow your heart.” Another person says, “You should never let your emotions think for you.”100 One man warns women, “If you’re alone in an elevator and see a suspicious man coming, you should heed your fear and get out, for fear is nature’s way of keeping you from danger.” Author Susan Jeffers writes, on the other hand, “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.”101 Deepak Chopra, the metaphysical lecturer, says, “If in [only] two minutes you start watching your breath and you get so relaxed and start to drift off to sleep, what does that mean? It means you need a lot of sleep [emphasis mine].”102 Conversely, Wayne Dyer, another metaphysical lecturer, says, “ ‘The morning breeze has secrets to tell you; do not go back to sleep

1)

2)

3)

4)

100

This quote derives from Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter, Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money—That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!, (New York: Warner Business Books, 1997), p. 49. The quote in Kiyosaki’s book is, “Their emotions [fear of not being able to pay bills] now control their thinking [I need a job], not their heads.” 101 This phrase is the title of Susan J. Jeffers’s book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987). 102 This quote from Deepak Chopra comes from PBS’s Body, Mind, and Soul: The Mystery and the Magic. The special aired in 1995. It is available on VHS.

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[emphasis mine].’ Use those hours … you’ve got an eternity to sleep, an eternity.”103 One woman says, “Charity begins at home.” Another woman says, “You have to want peace and joy more for others than you want it for yourself.” Jeremy Rifkin, the economist, writes, “Coca-Cola was originally marketed as a headache remedy.”104 Naturalist Diane Ackerman writes, on the other hand, “It [Coca-Cola] was first marketed as a mouthwash in 1888, … ”105 7) Caroline Myss, the medical intuitive, lectures, “Change something physical about yourself.”106 Obversely, Marianne Williamson, another metaphysical lecturer, says, “The ego mind says, ‘You gotta do, you gotta do, you gotta do.’ ”107 The old proverb says, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Anthony Robbins, the motivational speaker, says, however, that change is possible. In his words, “Every change you’ve ever made in your life actually happened in a moment [emphasis mine], didn’t it? What took time was getting yourself to a point

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103

The quote inside the quotation is from Persian theologian Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. Wayne Dyer quotes him in Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling. The PBS special aired on February 27, 2006. 104 Jeremy Rifkin, The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the PostMarket Era, (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995), p. 22. 105 Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, p. 168. 106 Refer to Caroline Myss, Self-Esteem: Your Fundamental Power. This is a 2002 lecture series on CD, available from Sounds True, Boulder, Colorado. 107 Refer to The Sacred Self Workshop, a two-cassette audio series published by Sound Horizons Audio, New York, 1994. Marianne Williamson gave this lecture at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.

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where you finally did whatever was necessary to make it happen.”108 9) One person says, “Stop being selfish and start thinking about others.” Another person says, “When you think about someone too much, you’re actually allowing your precious energy to leak toward that person.” According to author Gary Zukav, one gangster railed, “I have a right to be angry.” This conclusion is humanly logical, for injustice fuels gangsterism. Zukav, however, said on Oprah, “You also have the right to be happy.” This conclusion is humanly irrational to enraged people, but it is spiritually logical, for joy is our inner state.109 Spiritual savants say, “Love asks for nothing and gives everything.” Vanessa Williams sings, by contrast, “Love takes no less than everything, Love makes it hard.”110 12) One guru tells us, “Within, you are infinitely powerful.” Another guru tells us, “Your internal power is nothing compared to the power of God. Be humble.”

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108

Refer to the cassette, Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical, & Financial Destiny. This lecture series is available from Sound Ideas, Simon & Schuster Audio, New York, NY. Anthony Robbins is a motivational speaker, and his focus is personal development. 109 Oprah, “Gary Zukav’s Lightbulb Moments.” This segment aired on ABC on February 18, 1998. 110 Vanessa Williams, “Love Is.” This song is in the CD titled, Vanessa Williams, Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years. “Love Is” debuted in 1993. The CD came out on November 24, 1998. Label: Island / Mercury.

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13)

Joseph Campbell, the bygone mythologist, said, “Follow your bliss.”111 But when you feed off the energies of someone—an experience that is best described as drinking joy—the heavens then warn, “No more drinking, or you will overload with energy.”

14)

One friend counsels, “Don’t see him as a monster. Look at the light that is within him.” Jesus, for example, looked past the leprosy of lepers. This altered perception—not seeing the disease but rather, seeing sick people as already healthy—cured the people whom Christ healed. Why? Because energy— positive thoughts in this case—affects matter. When you see the light in someone you love, however, another friend counsels, “His betrayal was necessary for you to see that he is an imperfect human being, not the saint you idealized him to be.”

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New Agers disparage the rational brain because “spirituality goes beyond the intellect.” But when a woman lets chemistry draw her toward a bad boy, psychologists then say, “You have to rationally assess who he really is, or he’ll end up hurting you.”

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One party advises, “Be spontaneous.” Another party warns, “Don’t reveal too much about yourself.”

111

This quote comes from Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, “The Message of the Myth,” (Episode 2). The PBS special originally aired on June 22, 1988.

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17)

One nutritionist writes, “You should include plenty of fresh fruits in your diet, for your body needs the vitamins.” Another nutritionist writes, “Fresh fruit sugars cause overgrowth of yeast and fungi in your intestinal tract, leading to candida.”112 Jean-Paul Sartre, the French philosopher, wrote, “Hell is other people.”113 Marianne Williamson, by contrast, wrote, “People are heaven, too, … ”114 Caroline Myss says that we incarnate for ourselves to grow. Birth, life, and death are, in her view, a deeply personal experience and a very “self-centered” one.115 Albert Einstein said, on the other hand, “Man is here for the sake of others only [emphasis mine].”116 One spiritual master lectures, “You should learn to cultivate your mind, for it is extremely powerful.” Another spiritual master lectures, “Mind is an obstruction, an aggravation. It is a kind of evolutionary mistake in the human being, a primal weakness in the human experiment. I have no use for the mind.”117

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I reconstructed the latter quote from the argument that Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young make in Sick and Tired? Reclaim Your Inner Terrain, (Pleasant Grove, UT: Woodland Publishing, 2001), pgs. 13-14. 113 This quote is at The Quotations Page. The URL is http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/30237.html. 114 Marianne Williamson, Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, and Making Miracles, (New York: Riverhead Books, 2002), p. 225. 115 Caroline Myss argues this point in the CD Self-Esteem. 116 This quote is in Earl Nightingale, The Essence of Success: Attitude and Excellence. The 1991 cassette series is part of the Earl Nightingale Library. It is available from Nightingale-Conant Corporation, Chicago, Illinois. 117 The latter quote comes from a mysterious being who author Dan Millman names Socrates. See Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives, New Revised Edition, (Tiburon, CA: H J

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21)

Paramhansa Yogananda, the enlightened master, said that one should never watch horror movies because they are bad for the soul. The spirit realm, however, sends spirits into horror stories —the Nazi gas chambers, the atomic holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Rwandan genocide of 800,000 Tutsis in 91 days—so that, ostensibly, the people involved may grow spiritually.

22)

One person says, “A strong spirit takes whatever job needs to be done to support his or her family.” Another person says, “If you take a job that you hate, then you’re prostituting yourself for money. That creates negative karma for you.” One party tells us, “Love is your birthright.” Life on earth teaches us, however, that self-love and love from others must be earned through hard work—as in learning to be magnetic. In other words, the “unconditional Love” of God for us is not so unconditional. This is because we have to grow spiritually in the physical plane (God’s precondition) before we can return to Oneness with All That Is.

23)

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One mother whispers to her son, “You need to come out of your cocoon.” Another mother whispers to her daughter, “If you don’t want to go through life being hurt, you’ll need to develop thick skin.”

Kramer, Inc., 2000), p. 52.

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25)

One school says that we cannot change others or the world. This school warns us to detach from outcome because we have little control over externals. The goal of human life, this school claims, should be to rid the body and mind of desire because “Desire leads to frustration, which in turn leads to Anger.”118 Another school says that we can make a difference. This school instructs us to embrace our desires because “desires lead to the creation of experiences, to fulfillment, and to growth.”

26)

One person lips, “Be yourself.” Another person lips, “Fake it till you make it.”

27)

One nutritionist hums, “If you crave a food, your body needs it.” Another nutritionist hums, “If you crave a food, you’re allergic to it.” One guru expounds, “Experience is the best teacher, for it is something you never forget.” Another guru expounds, “Don’t get distracted by your experiences … Let it all go!”119 Jesus Christ prayed, “And lead us not into temptation.” Gary Zukav writes, by comparison, “How exquisite is temptation. It is the magnet which draws your awareness to that which would

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118 119

Hawkins, Power vs. Force, p. 82. The latter quote comes from Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, p. 122.

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create negative karma if it were allowed to remain unconscious.”120 One individual accuses people with Asperger Syndrome of “having no magnetism.” Each Aspie’s lack of chemistry with people, Aspergians are told, is why they fail to establish interpersonal relationships, including romance. But when two people have chemistry, another individual contends, “The actual truth is that the chemistry, which feels so overwhelming and real, is a mirage.”121 31) In the book The Four Agreements, shaman Don Miguel Ruiz writes, “Don’t take anything personally.”122 This is because, in his view, nothing is personal. In an episode of Columbo, however, Kay Freestone (Trish Van Devere) tells the police lieutenant (Peter Falk), “Whenever anyone says, ‘It’s not personal’ [as from a spiritual perspective], that’s exactly when it’s very personal [from a human perspective].”123 Psychologists tell us, “You should express your emotions—not repress them.” But when one expresses one’s feelings about past hurts, positive thinkers call this “whining”, “woundology” (talking in the “language of wounds”), and “indulging” one’s

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120 121

Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989), p. 144. Jim1537, “The Real Reasons Why Women Love ‘Bad Boys,’ ” Voice of the Spirit: Practical Guidance for the Inner You. December 3, 2007. Article at http://jim1537.com/blog/the-real-reasons-why-womenlove-%E2%80%9Cbad-boys%E2%80%9D/. 122 Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book, (San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., 1997), p. 53. 123 Columbo, “Make Me a Perfect Murder.” This episode originally aired on NBC on February 25, 1978 (Season 7, episode 3).

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negative emotions.124 This is like a father beating his son and then bawling, “Don’t you even think about crying.” 33) Both the physical and nonphysical universe are a place of cause and effect. Everything we do, positive or negative, will come back to us. As Issac Newton’s third law of motion says, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Mahatma Gandhi warned, though, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth makes the whole world go blind.” And toothless. 34) One group says, “You gotta be positive.” Another group says, “You gotta be willing to embrace pain—yours and that of others.” 35) One camp advises, “If you want to make friends, you have to focus on other people. Listen to their concerns. Ask them what they like.” Another camp warns, “If you don’t talk about yourself, you’ll make people uneasy.” One wife fumes at her husband, “You haven’t changed a bit!” Another wife fumes at her husband, “God, how you’ve changed!” One wing preaches, “Remain still in the face of opposition. What you resist persists.” In the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, one must accept things as they are. The other wing
124

36)

37)

In many of her lectures, Caroline Myss uses the terms woundology and talking in the language of wounds to refer to moaning about one’s past. Similarly, Gary Zukav endorses refusing to act on one’s negative emotions because otherwise, that is “indulging” them.

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preaches that passivity is a “low form of consciousness” and that we must grab the bull by the horns. This wing cites the homeless as examples of people who have caved in to passivity.125 38) One brood warns, “You should never do something if it makes you uncomfortable.” Another brood hums, “Sometimes, you have to do things, even if they make you uncomfortable.” David Hawkins, the metaphysical researcher, tells us to “engage life on life’s own terms, without trying to make it conform to an agenda [emphasis mine].”126 Obversely, actor Dennis Haysbert comments, “You’ve got to have a sense of what you want to do [emphasis mine]; otherwise, the universe is just going to throw something at you.”127 On PBS’s Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, Wayne Dyer says, “We need to see ourselves as connected to every single being, every single person, every single flower, every single tree, every single animal.”128 But when one visualizes that unity—as in having a sexual fantasy about one or more people— New Age gurus then warn us that we need to stop—read separate—because that is mentally invading that person’s energy field.
125 126

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Hawkins, Power vs. Force, pgs. 78-79. Ibid., p. 87. 127 This quote is from actor Dennis Haysbert. It is at Joe Rhodes, “In Dennis We Trust,” TV Guide, July 39, 2006, Vol. 54, No. 27, Issue 2779, p. 19. 128 See Wayne Dyer: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. This program originally aired on PBS on September 13, 2007.

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41)

One guru intones, “You need to allow yourself to experience negative emotions so that you can release them.” When you do, however, another guru intones, “You’re drawing negative things to you through your negativity. You got to be positive.”

42)

One dietician utters, “To help you stay in shape, you should weigh yourself daily.” Another dietician utters, “It’s not your weight you should watch but the size of your waist.”

43)

One person says, “Honesty is the best policy.” Another person says, “You can’t be too honest with people, or they’ll have a selective advantage over you.”

44)

One person drones, “Like attracts like.” Another person drones, “Opposites attract.” A Course in Miracles says, “In my defenselessness my safety lies.”129 Psychiatrist Judith Orloff writes, on the other hand, “Protect Yourself from Energy Vampires.”130

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Turn to anyone when you really need help, and more often than not, people will run away from you. Western society teaches— in fact, forces—us to be independent. Spiritual masters say, on the other hand, that we cannot experience the abundance inside

129 130

Helen Shuckman, A Course in Miracles, (Mill Valley, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975), p. 332. Judith Orloff, “Protect Yourself from Energy Vampires,” Talent Development Resources. At http://talentdevelop.com/articles/ProtYEnVam.html.

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us without others with whom to share. Thus, the message is: “You are an island,” and “You and others are interdependent.” 47) Parents and teachers tell us, “Love yourself as you are.” Yet, the heavens are constantly prodding us to change, as if we weren’t good enough as we are. 48) One person says, “If you don’t speak your mind, you’ll lose selfrespect.” Another person says, “If you talk back, you’re engaging in a power struggle, and that is not spiritually evolved.” Author Gary Zukav writes, “Fear of growing and of transformation of self is what causes you to want to disengage from the present situation and reach for another.”131 Zukav asks us to challenge our temptation to escape from reality. Quoting psychologist William James, Caroline Myss lectures in support of Zukav, saying, “ ‘Suffer not one exception.’ ”132 Yet, rigidity (either/or thinking) is generally not the way of the heavens, for the spirit realm goes beyond duality. Suicide, for example, is an instance of seeing “life only in black and white,” according to author Louise Hay.133 Presumably, the heavens don’t support suicide, a form of escape, because the nonphysical universe is gray—not black or white. Still, spiritual teachers often tell us to

49)

131 132

Zukav, The Seat of the Soul, p. 244. Myss, CD Self-Esteem. 133 Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life, (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 1984), p. 201.

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take an either/or stance on things—as in giving up sex 100 percent. Talk about conflicting messages. Student writers of fiction are told, “Show. Don’t tell.” Yet, many of the greatest fiction writers of the pre-20th century era told their stories and showed very little. Marianne Williamson lectures, “… God’s will is that we be happy … [but] our thought is, ‘Do I want to serve God? Or do I want to be happy?’ We think we have to make a choice. And the Course in Miracles says, ‘No, no, no … God’s will is your will [to be happy].’ ”134 Caroline Myss, by contrast, lectures, “… when I was learning medical intuition [a divine calling for her], it was six readings a day. How many years? It was years. Done. No options. No vacations. How many years went by without a vacation? Nine. None. Zero. No days off.”135 52) Gurus in the field of New Consciousness are constantly saying, “We are one.” Yet, they are forever brushing off as “negative” people who air legitimate grievances. Apparently, lack of empathy does not count as separation. No wonder we are a nervous wreck. The $100 million question becomes, “Which is it?”

50)

51)

134 135

Refer to Williamson, cassette titled, The Sacred Self Workshop. Refer to Myss, Your Power to Create, from Wishful Thinking to True Manifestation. This is a 2007 lecture series on CD, available from Sounds True, Boulder, Colorado.

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Paradox is inherent in each of the answers because the answers depend on context and on point of view. Duality is endemic to everything in this universe. Each thing has a positive and a negative. The biggest dualism of our time is our high technology. I marvel at the awesomeness of 21st century cars. Before I bought one, it took me half a day to get two errands done. With a motor vehicle, I can do six things in an hour. But like everything, technology has a downside. In the case of technology, it is environmental degradation. Conversely, people in the 16th century had no global warming. But city streets were full of horse excrement. Our dilemma comes from the juxtaposition of an either/or brain with a both/and universe. The spirit plane, in turn, operates by paradox—that is to say, by human irrationality. The realm of paradox is the realm of Truth. Why? Because Truth is all-encompassing—not either/or. Said another way, each thing has the opposite embedded into it. Wherever there is paradox, God is present. The more incomprehensible the paradox, the stronger is His presence. Why? Because God Loves paradox—so much so that paradox is the very basis of creation. Not surprisingly, paradoxes surround and penetrate both the physical and nonphysical universes. Consider the following contradictions of “real” life—not just what people say: 1) More often than not, true art doesn’t sell, and mediocrity sells. 2) People with worldly power are, all too frequently, spiritually powerless. Those without earthly power are, very often, spiritually powerful.

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3) Very often, outer beauty is inner ugliness, while outer ugliness is, very often, inner beauty. 4) The first, the Bible tells us, shall be last, and the last shall be first. 5) Physical death is spiritual birth, and biological birth is spiritual death. 6) We tend to hurt those we love. 7) Living in balance with nature—which presumably means following our animal instincts—is essential for all life on earth. Yet, giving in to our human nature—as in panicking under stress, seeking revenge, and choosing external power—is often maladaptive as well. 8) The hardest lessons in life are the simplest truths. 9) In some way, life on earth is hell to most people. Still, physical life is a “gift.” 10) Children are the most unconditionally loving of all humans. Paradoxically, children are the most selfish of humans. 11) Homeless people tend to be dirty because they bathe rarely. Regular people tend to be clean because they bathe every day. But without an effective water filter, clean-smelling people may be far more toxic than homeless people. Why? Because the skin—the largest organ of the human body—absorbs toxins like chorine and lead in shower water.

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12) Revolutions always end in counterrevolution, while lack of revolutions mean evolutionary progress. 13) North of the Arctic Circle is one of the most desolate regions of the planet, for the winters are too dark, too long, and too cold for most humans to tolerate. But from April to September, The Land of the Midnight Sun has sunshine into the wee hours of the night. This is a phenomenon that not even the popular tropics has. 14) The “real world” is an illusion. What looks like a delusion from a human perspective—such as life after death—is Real. 15) A person going through hell may be making a spiritual breakthrough. A person experiencing heaven on earth may be carving hell down the road. 16) What is physically imperfect is spiritually perfect—and vice-versa. 17) Very often, less is more, and more is less. 18) Instead of stoning a prostitute, Jesus told her, “Go, and sin no more.”136 But when you pop a pimple for one second, you pay with an ugly scar for the rest of your life.

136

This comes from John 8:11, King James Bible.

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19) John Keats, the English poet from the 19th century, wrote, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”137 Oftentimes, however, people who look like angels on the outside are rats on the inside—and Evil is not higher truth. 20) The foods you crave you are allergic to. 21) The things you are addicted to are bad for you. 22) Religion and spirituality are forever denouncing the things of this world. Still, God wills us to be here, not in the Holy realm of the spirit world. Phrased differently, “We are spiritual beings [who have incarnated on earth] to have a human experience [emphasis mine].”138 Paradoxically, much of our human and inhuman experiences are about not indulging our human nature—not munching those tortilla chips, refraining from uncontrollable sex, and rising above human selfishness. 23) All life on earth is based on carbon. Without this element, there would be no biological life on this planet because the other elements don’t bind like carbon. Still, the burning of fossil fuels (carbon) may cause earth to become so hot that life will simply burn away. 24) If we think long about a potential problem, then we attract it—a selffulfilling prophecy. But when we don’t worry about possible
137

See “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnkeats165498.html. 138 These are the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. See “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/pierreteil160888.html.

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problems, problems manifest anyway. 25) In the words of Leo Rosten, a humorist, “It is the weak who are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.”139 26) Positive energies deflect negative energies much as flicking on a light switch vanishes darkness in a room. Still, babies and children are beaming with positive energies; yet the negative energies of physical life sap the positive energies of children—not the other way around. By adulthood, most people have taken on negativity in some way. 27) If test results come out negative, that is positive. If test results come out positive, that is negative. 28) If a city like New York undergoes a “frenzy of construction,” then it has a “maelstrom of destruction” as well.140 29) Not listening to one’s body can be lethal. For example, ignoring chronic exhaustion can lead to illness. Yet, listening to one’s body (e.g., one’s taste buds craving salt, fat, and sugar) can also be lethal (e.g., getting high blood pressure, becoming overweight, and developing diabetes). 30) Small decisions like what movie to watch are big choices— such as the rise or fall of one’s consciousness on a given night.

139 140

This is the written account that my mother gave me. This quote comes from New York: A Documentary Film, Episode Seven, “The City and the World: 1945-Present.” This documentary is part of the American Experience series on PBS. It aired on PBS on September 30, 2001.

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31) Snowflakes are white. But if you look up during a gray day, falling snowflakes are dark. 32) Earl Nightingale, the motivational speaker, said, “They [successful people] travel more. They meet more interesting people [than unsuccessful individuals].”141 The irony is that successful people are not developing endurance to be at peace despite being alone. Unsuccessful people like most adults with Asperger Syndrome are developing such inner resources. Why? Because these individuals don’t have the luxury of meeting many interesting people. Force a successful person into solitary confinement for a week—let alone, decades—and he or she would go bonkers. 33) Winona LaDuke, the vice-presidential candidate for the Green Party in 2000, said that the American prairies are not meant for farming. Yet, this region is the breadbasket of the world. 34) On January 2003, I flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico for my mother’s funeral. Turning right to one of the sunlit windows, I noticed that the airliner I was in—the very culmination of human ingenuity and hightechnology—flew some 1,000 feet above El Fanguito (Spanish for “The Little Mudhole”). This is a part of Puerto Rico where makeshift dwellings of tin and wood are raised on stilts so that the Laguna de San Jose (“Lagoon of Saint Joseph”) will pass underneath—and won’t flood—these houses. El Fanguito has been called “the world’s worst slum.” My 29-year-old brain saw a contradiction between the airliner
141

Nightingale, cassette The Essence of Success.

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and the slum. When I was about 7, however, I saw no contradiction when I rode past El Fanguito in a car. My boyhood mind thought that the sight of houses on water looked more interesting than regular houses. The contrast between my boyhood perceptions of El Fanguito (as an exciting place to visit) and my adult perceptions (as a hell hole to avoid) shows how paradox is often a simple product of differences in perception. Parallax is a concept from astronomy (the realm of the divine). As such, parallax is related to paradox (also the realm of the divine). Parallax is the shifting of an object—such as a cedar tree in the distance—when seen through one closed eye and one opened eye. When you open and close the opposing eye, the distant object shifts. In reality, the object didn’t “shift,” just your point of view. These are not just intellectual matters. How we interpret paradox affects what we allow ourselves to think about—and not think about—whether we help a homeless person or not, and how we fulfill each of our life missions. To become trans-sensory is to go beyond polarity. This means looking at the glass half-empty and half-full at the same time. From a sensory perspective, this is impossible (see the drawing of the old hag/young woman at the start of this chapter). From a trans-sensory perspective, it is possible to see two things at once, for one sees with nonmaterial eyes. The following shows what two humanly opposite—yet spiritually complimentary—truths look like from a sensory perspective and from a trans-sensory perspective:

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Sensory Perception
(sees paradox)

red circle

vs.

violet circle

Trans-sensory Consciousness
(sees compatibility)

red circle maroon violet circle area

Red (hell & the color of the first chakra) stands for the dimension of most density —the physical plane. Violet (heaven & the color of the seventh chakra) stands for the dimension of least density—the plane of enlightenment. The realm of transsensory consciousness is the zone (maroon) where both circles intertwine.

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Another analogy goes as follows: a sensory person can hear either the melody of a song or the lyrics. A trans-sensory person can hear both at once. Sociology is one field worth investigating because, more than not, it reveals people who aren’t necessarily “spiritual,” yet who have or are moving beyond duality. This is momentous because it shows that trans-sensory consciousness (going beyond the dualism of the human brain) is not just a “spiritual” issue—everything is spiritual, of course—but rather, a development that is affecting “secular” life as well. Groups of people who are becoming transsensory in seemingly non-spiritual areas, and in spiritual areas, emerge in the phenomena of:

1) The bi movement 2) Polyamory 3) People who celebrate their mixed sexes/genders 4) People who identify as multi-racial 5) People who embrace the teachings of more than one religion Given that sexual identity, relationship identity, gender identity, racial identity, and religious identity develop in—although not necessarily from—the sixth sense of the human brain, this chapter will focus on these areas of human existence.

The Bi Movement

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Unlike North Americans, Europeans seemingly view human sexuality as fluid. Looking at European films, however, one sees the straight vs. gay mentality dominating there as well.142 The same applies to Asia, South America, Africa, and Australia.143 Throughout the globe, bisexuality is invisible as air, yet everywhere. In Latin America, for example, heteroromantic males (straight in the romantic sense) often engage in gay sex. Because they play the role of “top,” these males discount the homosexual side of their bisexuality and identify as “straight.” The same logic applies in most of the world. Males who play “bottom” in bed are homoromantic (gay in the romantic sense). Bottoms are the “poufs” and “queers” because they are romantically hungry for others of the same sex. Tops, by contrast, are the “real men” because they are just sexually thirsty in a homosexual encounter. Coming from a lower frequency of orange energy (the second chakra of the gonads), sexual urges are easier to repress than romantic yearnings, for romantic feelings come from a higher frequency of green energy (the fourth chakra of the heart). Therefore, that 10 percent of the population called gay has a devil of a time repressing its homoromantic hungers, while most of the population can suppress the homosexual part of its bisexuality. Romantic orientation is hence our criterion for “sexual orientation.” Since most of us are heteroromantic, most of us identify as straight. Bisexuality raises the possibility, however, that one could be straight in the romantic sense and bi in the purely sexual sense. This is because in the limited sense of the term, bisexuality means just that (sexual attraction to and/or activity with members of both sexes). For a heteroromantic/bisexual guy, for example, women will be the main course of his romantic life, while men will be a side dish, or maybe more, of his sexual life. Bisexuality thus brings up the
142 143

See, for example, the Norwegian film Sebastian (1995) and the French film You’ll Get Over It (2003). See, for instance, Robyn Ochs and Sarah Rowley, eds., Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals around the World, (Boston: Bisexual Resource Center, 2005).

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difference between sexual tastes and romantic orientation.144 To be sure, the bi movement tends to sweep sexuality under romantic orientation—instead of distinguishing between sexual, romantic, and platonic orientation. But in questioning the mantra that people are either straight or gay, bi-identified people are challenging the either/or sexual and romantic paradigm of today. Three tiers of orientation exist (see below). The symbolism of the major human sexualities are:

1) Heterosexuality is summer, for most people prefer summer 2) Bisexuality is autumn, for bisexuality is—incorrectly—seen as a transitional eroticism, and fall is a transitional season 3) Homosexuality is winter, for Western society often leaves gays out “in the cold” 4) Questioning people fit into spring, for their questioning is an opportunity to embark on a new beginning in the erotic arena People with mixed genders are in a category of their own. In my threecircle graph (my re-conceptualization of the Kinsey scale), transgendered people are symbolized by a full moon hovering above the gay circle. The full moon

144

See Lisa M. Diamond, “Emerging Perspectives on Distinctions Between Romantic Love and Sexual Desire,” Current Directions in Psychological Science, June 2004, Vol. 13, No. 3: 116-119.

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symbolizes that transgendered people are removed from the gender scale of this world. See below:

The numbered areas within each three-circle graph are: 1) Zone 0 (straight) 2) Zone 1 (uni)—being predominantly attracted to one sex (the opposite sex) and being in Zone 1 3) Zone 2 (bi)—being equally attracted to both sexes (more or less) and being in Zone 2 4) Zone 3 (tri)—being overwhelmingly gay (occasionally “trying” sex with the opposite sex) and being in Zone 3 5) Zone 4 (gay) As the three-circle graph shows, even heterosexuality is a continuum. Some straight men fantasize about and sleep with dozens of women, for example. Other straight men marry a single woman and dream about/sleep with no other women.

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The three-circle graph changes as follows:

Sexual Tastes

Heterosexual, Unisexual, Bisexual, Trisexual, Homosexual

Sexual tastes largely define one’s sexuality. Given that most of the human brain is not wired at birth—and because sexuality develops from the brain— human sexuality is malleable to social conditioning. The above bi circle (center) is the largest because most people are bisexual (sexually attracted to both sexes) in potential, at least.145 Of course, Western society encourages the exercising of straight muscles and the neglect of gay muscles. Thus, like unused muscles, the gay side of people’s bisexuality atrophies more often than not, to the point where most people become incapable of erotic arousal to half the population. But the neglected muscles are still there.

145

The “most” comes from the great efforts that Western civilization goes through to repress the gay side of people (e.g., print, radio, TV, parents, peers, teachers, religion, and the law). If people are not bisexual in potential, then why have so many cultures tried to instill compulsive heterosexuality throughout history? I am also using the looser definition of bisexuality, which includes same-sex fantasies that straight people have but don’t act upon. Last, I am drawing on: 1) Sigmund Freud’s comment that bisexuality’s absence in most people needs explanation and 2) Therapist Maggi Rubenstein’s conclusion that 80 percent of people are bisexual (based on what Rubenstein claims her clients have told her about their same-sex “fantasies, feelings, or dreams”). See Garber, Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life, p. 249.

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Romantic Orientation

Heteroromantic, Uniromantic, Biromantic, Triromantic, Homoromantic

Unlike sexual orientation, which comes from the brain and genitals, romantic orientation comes from the heart. The above straight circle (left) is the largest because most people are heteroromantic (romantically attracted to the opposite sex).146

Platonic Preference

Heteroplatonic, Uniplatonic, Biplatonic, Triplatonic, Homoplatonic

146

The “most” comes from the simple observation that most men fall in love only with women and most women fall in love only with men. There is some evidence that, like sexual reproduction, romantic feelings for the opposite sex may be a product of biological evolution. See Diamond, “Emerging Perspectives on Distinctions Between Romantic Love and Sexual Desire,” Current Directions in Psychological Science, pgs. 116-119.

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Like romantic orientation, platonic preference comes from the heart— although friendship feelings are typically less intense than romantic feelings. The above “gay” circle (right) is the largest because most people are homoplatonic (platonically drawn to the same sex). Straight men in homosocial groups (male bonding) is an example.147 The three-circle graph of platonic preference answers: Which sex, or sexes, do you spend, or prefer to spend, most of your nonromantic social time with? As for where the bell curve falls, it is actually three bell curves. They look as follows:

Heteroromantic

Bisexual

Homoplatonic

Complicating things further is that friendship and romance are at opposite ends of yet another continuum (see below), even though friendship and romance are each an independent variable (see graphs above):

Platonic love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Romantic love

147

The “most” comes from the fact that most gay-identified men, about 10 percent of the population, prefer to be with female friends, while most straight-identified men, about 90 percent of the population, prefer to be with male friends. Whether this is innate or a product of socialization is a topic of debate.

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Platonic feelings, for instance, can move toward the middle as a friendship deepens. Friendship feelings may then turn quasi-romantic. Vice-versa for romantic feelings. A theoretical breakdown of the percentages may look as follows:

Romantic Orientation Sexual Orientation Platonic Orientation

70% Heteroromantic 80% BiSEXual
20% Biromantic

70% Homoplatonic
Biplatonic

10% HeteroSEXual 20% 9.5% HomoSEXual .5% Other

9.5% Homoromantic .5% Other

9.5% Heteroplatonic .5% Other

In short, human sexuality is not the either/or affair that a dualistic human brain (the sixth physical sense) would have us believe. Rather, human sexuality is a multifaceted element of human existence.

Polyamory

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In most cultures, monogamy and monogamism (the ideology of monogamy) means limiting sexual and romantic relationships to one person. This is defined as being “faithful.” In much of the globe, romantic commitment is the only context for legitimate sex. This monopoly of romantic love over sex— to the exclusion of sex with platonic love—has been present since the times of the troubadours. The idea of love partners letting each other enjoy sex outside of their relationship and still be committed seems ludicrous to most people. Nonetheless, many individuals are in polyamorous relationships. Polyamorous means that three or more people are romantically and sexually committed to one another. Or they may be erotically and platonically into one another, as “fuck buddies” are. For polyamorists, sex outside of their primary relationship is cheating only if the sex occurs without the permission of all partners in the relationship. If, however, all partners agree to the sex, then that is fidelity to them. This is called polyfidelity. Many couples permit sex outside of their primary relationship. They are acting faithfully in that all partners are being open and honest. Sometimes, couples become polyamorous, adding a new romantic or platonic partner to their primary relationship. The relationship may then become closed—but still involve three people. If all three people are sexually involved, then the relationship is a triangle. If two people are sexually involved with the third person but not with each other, then the relationship is a V relationship. N relationships are those in which two lovers, each in separate one-on-one romances, “link” the two relationships through their sexual involvement. The possibilities are many. Some romantic partners may agree on no more than four people. Others may allow sex with both sexes but romantic love with only one gender. This is why polyamory has been called “free love with strings attached.”148 Polyamory is a compromise between:
148

Steven Alexander, “Free Love Gets a Fit of the Wibbles,” The Guardian, News, UK News, April 4, 2005. Article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/apr/04/britishidentity.

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1) The desire to express one’s love sexually with more than one willing person at the same time 2) The demands of time and energy of postmodern life—namely, juggling work, family, and free time Unlike monogamy, polyamory has no one set of rules. Moreover, established rules in a polyamoric relationship can change with the changing needs of the partners. Thus, it is vital for all parties in a polyamoric relationship to keep the lines of communication open, for the emotions of several individuals are at stake. Polyamory is not swinging, for swinging is sex with neither romantic nor platonic commitment. Perhaps this is why swinging is far more popular than polyamory, for polyamory requires the willingness to love someone and not be jealous. Even if jealousy is present, however, polyamorists are willing to confront the issues related to their jealousy—low self-esteem, faulty thinking, and possessiveness—rather than avoid their jealousy through standard monogamy. Polyamory is also not polygamy, for polygamy is about men—not women —having multiple marriage partners of the opposite sex. In polygamous societies, women lack the freedom to choose many male partners. Overwhelmingly, women are second-class citizens in such milieus. At least, this has been the norm in such societies throughout human history. Polygamy is also more part of a religious belief system. It is imposed from without. Polyamory, by contrast, is an individual choice, free of religious requirements. It happens in an environment of equality between males and females. Polyamory may involve marriage, but polyamorous relationships can also occur outside marriage. An example is open relationships.

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Westerners assume that if someone is married, he or she is in a closed dyad. But open marriages exist as well. Monogamy may be the norm in the Western world. But as Annina Sartorius, a psychologist, writes in Plural Loves: There is increasing evidence from animal research that far fewer animal species are truly monogamous than was first thought: in the animal kingdom, less than 5% of all animal species are now thought to be monogamous … Approximately 85% of the 1270 human societies listed in Murdoch’s Ethnographic Atlas display some form of multi-spouse relationship. It is a well-known fact that our Western societies have trouble enforcing their so-called monogamy; this can be seen through their actions and is reflected in divorce rates, rates of infidelity, number of teen pregnancies, and other similar statistics.149 Citing anthropologist Helen Fisher, John Ince also writes in The Politics of Lust that only 16 percent of recorded cultures require monogamy.150 Furthermore, polygamy has been the norm in the “fifteen thousand or so years of dependence on agriculture …” In the words of Robin Baker: Women clustered around the men of greatest wealth—those with the largest areas of cultivated land and those with the most livestock. Even polygamous relationships, however, are long-term [emphasis mine] and involve deep ties between the male and each of his females … 151 In Sperm Wars, Baker continues:
149

Annina Sartorius, “Three and More in Love: Group Marriage or Integrating Commitment and Sexual Freedom,” Part One: Perspectives, Serena, ed., Plural Loves, p. 82. 150 John Ince, The Politics of Lust, (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2005), p. 140. 151 Robin Baker, Sperm Wars: The Science of Sex, (New York: Basic Books, 1996), p. 315.

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Not until the advent of urbanization and industrialization over the last few hundred years has there been a wholesale swing back toward monogamy, or serial monogamy. But even now women still cluster around the men of greatest wealth and status.152 Bonobos (pygmy chimps) are polyamorous, and these chimps are, genetically, the closest to us humans. Sexual safety may be a big issue these days. But polyfidelity has been practiced many times throughout human history. Just as significant, polyfidelity goes beyond the precept of sex being either monogamous/faithful or nonmonogamous/nonfaithful. Polyamory (many loves) allows sex with more than one romantic or platonic partner for people who choose this. Western culture, of course, clings to the ideal of romantic exclusivity. As James Hillman, a psychologist, writes in The Soul’s Code: When such love [romantic love] happens, it is for no other reason than the singularity of the object. Only this person.153 Many people report, however, falling head over heels with more than one person at once. The pain of such polys is society’s not permitting them to express their multiple loves, start families based on that, and raise kids in extended families. Even an individual who falls in love with one person at a time can have a secondary relationship with a former love. Romantic love, after all, doesn’t last. When a romantic relationship has become a companionate
152 153

Ibid. James Hillman, The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling, (New York: Random House, Inc., 1996), p. 145.

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relationship, the secondary partner can still live with the primary partner—the one presently in love with a third party—and can provide companionate support like helping to raise the kids. The possibilities are many. (See Part II, Chapter 4 for an in-depth discussion of romantic love.) Sexual desire need not even be present with romantic attraction. Gay men are the best example of men being aesthetically attracted to women. The jealousy of straight boyfriends and husbands ends many friendships between gay men and straight women, however. Fearing the loss of her sole sexual partner, a straight women spends most of her free time with her boyfriend or husband and abandons her gay confidant. Trans-sensory people don’t feel threatened if their intimate partners have intimate relationships—whether sexual or not—with others. After all, one person cannot be everything to another person. As the adage goes, “If you truly love something, you must let it go.” Trans-sensory humans transcend the limits of an either/or brain, and love—romantic and non-romantic—is allowed for love’s sake. The romantic version of this is called compersion, or “feeling frubbly.” It is the opposite of jealousy. Like bisexuality and biromanticism, compersion is a state of mind. Compersion is enjoyment at seeing a love partner romanced by other people as well. This is not mere empathy. It is more a being in his or her shoes.154 This is going beyond either/or thinking, beyond jealousy, and beyond scarcity. It is trans-sensoriness—and as Part II of this book shall reveal—trans-instinctuality in action.

154

See Deborah M. Anapol, Polyamory, The New Love Without Limits: Secrets of Sustainable Intimate Relationships, (San Rafael, CA: IntiNet Resource Center, 1997) and Janet Kira Lessin, Polyamory, Many Loves: The Poly-Tantric Lovestyle: A Personal Account, (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006).

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Gender Benders

For decades, the entertainment media has been captivated by celebrities who are androgynous (possessing male and female attributes). Singer Michael Jackson was one such obsession in the 1980s. Another idol of the era was actor Corey Haim. Haim rose to fame, in part, because he played androgynous characters so well on film (e.g., 1991’s Prayer of the Rollerboys). Recently, the press has reported on people who are hermaphrodite (having male and female genitalia) and transsexual (going from anatomically male to female or from anatomically female to male). Gender studies reflect the above trend. Since the late 1960s, gender theorists have emphasized the “construction of gender.” Male features like emotional detachment, aggressiveness, and professional ambitiousness are not inborn, gender theorists argue, but rather, are encouraged by upbringing. Female qualities like empathy, tenderness, and preference for caregiving jobs, the same theorists say, are also socially constructed. According to gender constructionists, all people have masculine and feminine qualities in them. These scholars ignore mounds of studies that show that males have qualities intrinsic to males and females qualities intrinsic to females. Males, for instance, tend to be more visual, emotionally detached, aggressive, and promiscuous. Females tend to be more empathetic, nurturing, and social. The key word is tend, as there are exceptions. Males also tend to be muscular and tend to have deeper voices. Vice-versa for females. Books like William Pollack’s Real Boys show that boys can be taught to be nurturing and tender. Obversely, books like Christina Hoff Sommers’s The War Against Boys argue that “gender feminists” are guilty of trying to turn boys into

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girls.155 Masculinity, Sommers contends, is innate and unchangeable. Masculinity, Pollack argues, is constructed and changeable.156 What about both? The idea that gender is culturally constructed to a certain extent and unbendable beyond a certain point—due to biological differences between the two sexes— hasn’t truly penetrated academic or public consciousness. Ideas of “feminine” and “masculine” vary, of course, from culture to culture. Still, I have developed a gender scale based on notions of male and female in the West. From most “feminine” to most “masculine,” the gendercontinuum looks as follows:

(Most Feminine) little girls . . . . . . . little boys . . . . . . . . adolescent girls
adolescent boys . . . . older women . . . . . older men . . . . . effeminate men androgynous people . . . . young women . . . . . young men butch women . . . . . hypermuscular women . . . . . hypermuscular men (Most

Masculine)

In other words, there are many masculinities and many femininities. At the same time, gender diversity exists within a system of sexual fixedness (being anatomically male or female). Like bisexuality and biromanticism, masculinity and femininity—gender elements—may come in degrees. But whatever their gender combinations, two sexes are the norm in the human species. After all, some 99 percent of people are anatomically male or female. A great paradox, indeed.
155

Sommers, The War Against Boys; Sommers, Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995); and William Pollack, Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood, (New York: Owl Books, 1999). 156 Christina Hoff Sommers is a former philosophy professor, while William Pollack is a clinical psychologist.

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The very basis of both heterosexuality and homosexuality is that men and women are different. Bisexuality and gender benderism have the potential to teach us that gender is innate and constructed—innate from biological differences between the sexes and constructed, up to a limit, from environment. Whether middle schooler, high schooler, collegian, or older adult, many people are living—and thus, popularizing—the truth that males have some female in them and females some male in them. Such people are embracing the weaker gender in them. An example is “straight-acting” men who wear earrings and have long hair. The social phenomenon of gender benderism may be a prelude to a bi future. Meanwhile, transgendered people like hermaphrodites are embodying another type of biological diversity.

People Who Identify as Multi-racial

Tiger Woods, the pro golfer, exemplifies the movement to go beyond black or white in America. Not surprisingly, civil rights organizations have chastised Woods. Still, his statement that he is “Cablinasian” (Caucasian-blackIndian-Asian) shows the ingenious ways that some multi-racial people have come to define themselves in an either/or milieu. By the year 2000, multi-racialists succeeded in getting the U.S. Census Bureau to allow checking more than one racial box in the census form—although a box for the term multi-racial is still not allowed. Also, television talk shows have devoted airtime to the topic of multi-racial identity. More people are being born into a “fifth race.” Supposedly, this race will help to unite the other “four

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races”—Native Americans (earth), Asians (wind), Africans (water), and Caucasians (fire).157 Whether or not the “fifth race” will reunite humanity—once a single race —is debatable. Why? Because according to Hopi Indian prophesy, the task of reuniting the “four races” falls on “white people.” This is because “this is their responsibility as Guardians of the Fire [which the “spark of fire” of technology, a Caucasian invention, has done by connecting this world].”158 This prophecy may well explain—both symbolically and literally—why Europeans colonized the world, shuffled the “four races” back and forth, and now proclaim multiculturalism and racial diversity in their homelands. If you notice, “multiculturalism” and “diversity” are neither proclaimed nor celebrated in nonCaucasian parts of the world. Still, multi-racial people are—by their very existence—challenging views about everybody being one race or another, even though most people can still qualify as belonging to one race or another. In proclaiming the term multi-racial as a category of racial identity, multi-racial people are making concrete—by naming it—our being both/and.

People Who Embrace the Teachings of More Than One Religion

Throughout human history—or should I say, inhuman history—people have been forced to convert from one religion to another. More often than not, religion has been used as a tool of social, economic, and political control.
157 158

See Mooncloud, “Native American Prophecies,” p. 2. Ibid.

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Religion has infused in most people fear of godly retribution for breaking religious codes. Religion has also instilled in many of us a sense of inferiority in the eyes of God. Nowadays, many people are embracing a spirituality that rejects any one religion as “the true religion.” For such individuals, all religions have kernels of Truth, and all religions offer different paths to heaven, enlightenment, nirvana, and God. Nondenominational churches exist as well. In the West, blending the practices of different religions in different seasons of life has become acceptable. As a teen, for example, one may deem proper the saying of the Hail Mary. In one’s 30s, one may see meditation as more appropriate. A Christian may find that she needs “a little Buddhism” in her 40s, according to Caroline Myss.159 Eastern religions have especially made inroads in the West. Spiritual-centered inner growth—as opposed to religious worship of a god “out there”—has become the focus of people who want to make contact with the god within. Some call such enlightenment Christ Consciousness. Others call it Buddha Consciousness. Others refer to it as Muhammad Consciousness. Whatever it is called, the shift from religion to spirituality is a shift from the outer to the inner as the source of one’s interaction with the outside world. Religion, for example, focuses on ritual (e.g., burning incense); spirituality on states of being (e.g., meditation). Religion emphasizes rules, right/wrong, and good/bad. Spirituality stresses approaches, workability/nonworkability, higher truth/lower truth, and faster energies/slower energies. Religion emphasizes preaching to and converting others; spirituality being quiet and turning within. We, of course, inhabit a universe of polar opposites. Nevertheless, spirituality has helped many of us to move beyond precepts of right/wrong, good/bad, and either/or when it comes to one religion being “the true religion,”
159

Myss, CD Self-Esteem.

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one set of behaviors being “right” behaviors, and another set of approaches being “wrong” approaches. Instead, more evolved/less evolved has become the new paradigm of thought and action.160 More workable/less workable has also become the approach toward spiritual practices. Even here, spiritual teachings recognize that what is good and workable for one individual or society is not for another.161 Both/and has become the approach toward spiritual development. It is an eclectic borrowing from whatever religious philosophies an individual needs, as opposed to adopting the religion that one’s society dictates. Religions are being seen the way that races, ethnicities, nationalities, and the sexes are seen —as different costumes that lead to the same Truth. Nothing more. That Truth is the Creator of this bi-verse (the physical universe and the spirit realm). In the words of Marianne Williamson, the spiritualist author, it is the destination (God) —not the religious path—that is glorified from this perspective.162 Good/bad, right/wrong, and workable/unworkable have, in turn, been acknowledged to be what they are: opinions. At the same time, spirituality recognizes that some opinions reflect higher truth more than others. The next chapter expounds on more challenges posed by billions of years of biological evolution.

Exercises

160 161

See, for example, Zukav, The Seat of the Soul. Books 2 and 3 of the Conversations with God trilogy mention the principle of workability vs. nonworkability in relation to social, economic, and political organization. See Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997) and Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 3, (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1998). 162 Refer to Williamson, cassette titled, The Sacred Self Workshop.

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1) What paradoxes of the physical universe are you aware of? Can you see the spiritual logic behind some of them? Write your discoveries or speak them into a tape recorder. 2) What paradoxes exist in your life? Have you come to terms with them? If yes, how? How long did it take you? Was it a planned process, a spontaneous process, or both? 3) Do you belong to any social movement, or social phenomenon, that is going beyond the dualistic thinking of Western civilization? If yes, how do you reconcile the both/and thinking of the movement with the either/or thinking of Western society?

5

The Limits of Brain Logic In the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Federation Envoy Spock (Leonard Nimoy) tells Vulcan Lieutenant Valeris (Kim Cattrall), “Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.” Yet, the left side of the human brain operates by rationality, making human logic an end of itself. As this chapter shall show, this limits our ability to see—let alone, understand— spiritual principles.

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Since the 1960s, New Age gurus have told Westerners that “we are one” and that “thoughts create reality.” These statements, however, are too confusing because they tell you everything and nothing at once. What, for example, does “we are one” mean exactly? That all races, cultures, economies, and governments should become uniform? By “reality,” do metaphysical speakers mean internal reality, external reality, or both? Ego is another vague word that goes bandied about. But what exactly is the human ego? New Age concepts are elusive because, not believing in labels, postmoderns don’t define their terms. Yet, books, articles, seminars, radio interviews, and special televised broadcasts repeat metaphysical truths like “we are one.”163 How does the human brain interpret such trans-sensory truths? This chapter examines the following: 1) 2) 3) 4) The way our biological senses—including the human brain— perceive the laws of physics How biological evolution has produced a certain way of perceiving the world How spiritual laws (e.g., illogical coincidences) elude the grasp of an untrained human brain The challenge of this epoch, which is to become aware of transsensory truths that defy sensory logic

Laws of Physics

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See, for instance, Brent Haskell, Journey Beyond Words: A Companion to the Workbook of The Course, (Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Company, 1994) and Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, (New York: HarperCollins, 1992).

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Thoughts altering reality defies the laws of physics. Believing in mind over matter is like believing that our thoughts alone can turn an 18-wheeler onto its back. The human brain did not evolve to think like this. Only insofar as biological survival was concerned did the human brain evolve to make thinking possible. The human brain allowed humans to sense, construct tools, hunt, discover fire, forge alliances, make huts, and raise the young. Throughout millions of years of hominid evolution, thoughts have been the indirect cause of material things. For example, thoughts about the building of tools have led to the building of tools. This thought-materialization process is how material progress has unfolded. The two-step process led to the birth of agriculture, to the invention of writing, to the dawn of the printing press, and to the advent of the computer revolution. In each of these watershed moments of human history, thoughts indirectly created material improvements. Thus, nobody saw thought dynamics at work—only effects like material improvements. The human brain evolved to think about hooking up cables to a fighter plane and getting it out of a swamp. In the movie The Empire Strikes Back (1980), however, Yoda (Frank Oz), the gray-skinned Jedi master, asks Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to lift the plane with his mind alone. Predictably, Skywalker fails because, as he puts it, “I don’t believe it.” With his thoughts, Yoda hoists the gray plane out of the murky water, carries the fighter across the swamp, and sets it on the ground as if the plane were a toy model and his mind the hands of a boy. In that scene, Skywalker holds onto the ancestral thought program of his brain. Yoda goes beyond that program, believing, acting, and producing the reality of mind over matter. For millions of years, humans lived at the mercy of thunderstorms and ice ages, mammoths and saber-toothed tigers, wild fluctuations of meat catch, and the whims of the gods. This is the context in which the human brain evolved.

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Humans were victims of the biological environment. They were always reacting and adapting to it. Now, we are told that we are creators of our reality. Furthermore, we are told that nonmaterial things, called thoughts, are the cause. By implication, we have become the gods that hominids worshipped for millions of years. Our brains do not buy any of it! Why not? Because as Carl Sagan, the deceased astronomer, reminds viewers in Cosmos, the human brain today is no different than it was 10,000 years ago.164 The circuitry and genetic programming of the human brain have not had time to evolve beyond millions of years of biological evolution—from a brain that is always reacting to an external world to a brain that is creating it. Biological evolution does not work that fast! Moreover, the human brain has grown so large that it couldn’t possibly get any bigger without wrecking havoc on mothers giving birth. Even at 25 percent of its adult weight, a newborn’s head can barely fit through the birth canal.165 Childbirth is physically painful for mothers, by and large, because human brains have grown too large.166 The skull of a baby has adapted by growing 75 percent of its brain outside the womb. Biological evolution can only go so far, however, and the process is slower than a turtle crawling a 500-meter dash around a racetrack. With the world changing so fast, we don’t have time for the human body to evolve to help us adapt to a changing environment. Therefore, like Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, we have to go beyond the physiology of the human brain in adopting ways of thinking and being that defy brain logic.

164 165

Cosmos, “The Persistence of Memory,” (Episode 11). Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind, p. 136. 166 See Carl Sagan, The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence, (New York: Random House, Inc., 1977), pgs. 97-98.

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Cause-Effect … and Brain Logic

Not only does our being gods defy millions of years of biological evolution. The idea countermands everyday reality of cause-effect. I, for example, was told that my negativity was causing everything to go wrong in my “life.” Many people end up broke, divorced, childless, and even physically ill, they are told, because of their thinking. Our brains are simply not equipped to see a cause-effect relationship—much less, alter it—in something that may take 10 years to manifest. Even shorter time lags between cause (thoughts) and effect (materialization)—say, two weeks—elude the human brain. I, for instance, started to say to myself, I choose peace, joy, and abundance. In theory, such a thought ought to attract peace, joy, and abundance into my life. Every day for a year, I repeated this affirmation in my head. Then, someone moved into the apartment behind mine. The guy began to play hip-hop music morning, noon, and night. One Sunday at 5:45 a.m., he played his stereo at blasting decibels. My wearing earplugs didn’t totally block the boom-booms in my chest. I complained to management. It didn’t help. The music sounded like a mishmash of a bear roaring, thunder cracking, and a bar fight—all inches behind my single bed. As if this weren’t enough, this neighbor would come and go in a green sedan that vroomed with the loudness of a lawn mower. Not only that. His sedan would vroom by my front door at regular intervals, for he obviously had friends down the block. Then, his friends would come back, and I would hear them talking, moving, and cackling as if they lived in my 400-square-foot apartment. It all came out of nowhere! Although I know that there are no coincidences, I didn’t understand why that came into my “life” (actually, psychic death time). All I experienced were effects! The cause eluded me, no matter how hard I tried to find it. Did I, a quiet person, cause this racket? Was this my karma for having

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perturbed somebody’s peace in a past life? Was this a test from the gods? Was it just a sign of the decline of civility in postmodern society? When it comes to thoughts creating outer—and even inner—reality, we mostly see effects. As David Hawkins, the metaphysical researcher, writes in Power vs. Force: There are no causes within the observable world … the observable world is a world of effects.167 Therefore, citizens get mugged for no apparent reason. Innocent people go to prison. Illness strikes us out of the blue. Things happen to us in random packages. Human life—or should I say inhuman “life”—becomes meaningless. Ever-invisible causes evade the grasp of all but the more spiritually advanced of us. Unable to see causes, we keep repeating old patterns. No wonder human evolution takes millions of years. Figuring things out is an endless muddle of confusion. Gravity may be invisible to the naked eye. But at least, we see its effects immediately. Hence, believing in gravity is easier for our brains than believing that thoughts create and alter outer—and inner—reality. Perhaps, this is why there is one scientific method (e.g., hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, theorizing), whereas many paths to God exist (e.g., ascetism vs. “the Middle Way,” meditation vs. prayer, following Christ vs. following Muhammad). In the physical world, water always boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit; the sun always rises in the east; and a rock thrown up will always come down. As Carl Sagan said throughout his life, laws of nature mean that “the universe is knowable [emphasis mine].” Spiritual laws, by contrast, involve inconsistencies like:
167

Hawkins, Power vs. Force, p. 27.

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1)

One person praying and not getting answers and another person not praying and having profound insights

2)

One individual acting selfishly and always being praised and another person living a pious life and always receiving insults

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The house of a noble person burning to the ground, while two swimming pools get added to the mansion of a tyrant

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A Loving God allowing—in fact, having Created—Evil

This jumble of inconsistencies is why spiritual evolution takes forever. It just takes an eternity to figure out spiritual laws. Scientific truth, on the other hand, is straightforward. As Carl Sagan answers a questioner in The Varieties of Scientific Experience, “The truth ought to be logically consistent. It should not contradict itself; that is, there are some logical criteria.”168 By “logical,” Sagan must have meant humanly rational, and by “truth,” I assume that Sagan meant scientific truth. Obversely, non-scientific truths are often humanly illogical and tend to be gray (see list at the beginning of Part I, Chapter 4)—although ultimate Truth is not gray. Experience with the metaphysics of thought-materialization may teach us that thoughts, indeed, create effects. But ours is an age of materialism and of scientific evidence. Asking people to believe in invisible causes (thoughts) causing visible effects (material realities) is like asking folks to believe that they can materialize coins out of thin air. Motivational speakers like Wayne Dyer
168

Sagan, The Varieties of Scientific Experience, pgs. 229-230.

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may have lived the truth of thoughts creating their inner and outer reality. But most of us don’t get it. Why not? Because the human brain did not evolve to conceptualize like this. For millions of years, gods—not mortals—had supernatural powers over climate, fertility, the rising of the sun, the flooding of rivers each spring, the passing of the seasons, and human health, illness, and death. Humans who exhibited godlike powers were either “special” and “gifted” or “possessed” and “evil.” These people were the shamans, sorcerers, berdaches, levitators, flying monks, and witches. Sometimes, they were sought and revered. Oftentimes, they were persecuted and burned. Nowadays, laypeople seek psychics. Many of us, in turn, elevate celebrities to god or near-god status. It is as if our brains were programmed to accept one of two realities: either a reality of gods and their mediators controlling the supernatural (basically, prehistory and premodern history) or a reality of post-scientific revolution rationalism and materialism that dismisses metaphysics as hocus-pocus.169 Despite the dualism of the human brain (see Part I, Chapter 3), we postmoderns are being directed to go beyond this programming. We are being asked to see ourselves as gods capable of creating and altering our interior and exterior realities, with thoughts as our creative soup. Moreover, we are being asked to live—not merely intellectualize—the truth of mind over matter.

Trans-sensory Truths

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Science concedes that laws of physics disintegrate in certain settings—such as subatomic realms and black holes. Regarding what we perceive day-to-day without scientific instruments, however, science teaches clear relationships of cause-effect and humanly rationalistic thinking.

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For thousands of years, philosophers, mystics, prophets, and saints have taught truths that defy the physical senses. For example, Jesus Christ told his followers to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Baha’u’llah, the prophet who started the Baha’i faith, proclaimed “the unity of humankind.” Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamt about “the table of brotherhood.” This is what Baha’is call “progressive revelation”—different prophets being sent in different historical periods to raise the consciousness of human populations from different cultures. The transsensory ideas of Wayshowers (e.g., we are one at the higher levels of existence) countermand what we see: people who live in different parts of town; people with different skin tones, ethnicities, and nationalities; and human bodies existing as separate entities. Like Luke Skywalker, we intellectually understand that more exists to reality than our biological senses tell us. But like Skywalker, we doubt our ability to actually live according to trans-sensory perceptions. We are Jedis in training. If evolved spirits have told us that we are one, then science and technology have shown us this. Thanks to the Space Shuttle, for instance, we have seen the earth from outer space. Apollo and Viking spacecraft showed us this blue-white planet from further away. Photography has brought the other planets, their rings, and their moons to our line of sight. Space technology has shown us that earth is one organism and that the solar system, galaxy, and universe are bound. Electron microscopes sense what human eyes cannot see. On-screen, such microscopes show us cells, organelles, and microscopic life. PET scans, in turn, color on computer monitors active brain regions that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. These instruments have revealed that all biological systems share building blocks and basic processes. Radio receivers, TV sets, email, and the Internet have broadened our range of hearing and seeing. These technologies have largely—although not totally—connected the world into one

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“global village.” One is the mantra that these technologies show, hum, and echo everyday. For all their marvels, though, scientific devices sense for us. They, not us, have expanded their range of sensing, becoming more powerful each year. Scientific instruments detect things that no one had heard about for 99.9 percent of human history—things like electricity, radio waves, TV waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, ultraviolet rays, and gamma rays. We, however, have yet to develop internal sensors of nonphysical phenomena—or rather, we are in the process of learning how. In the movie Pathfinder (1987), the following exchange takes place in a tepee-like dwelling between the adolescent Aigin (Mikkel Gaup) and the shaman Raste (Nils Utsi). His family murdered by Tchudes—Viking-era barbarians— Aigin is aching for revenge. The nighttime winter scene unfolds as follows: Raste: Thoughts of revenge are darkening your mind. Remember, we are but parts of the whole; parts of the infinite brotherhood. The Tchudes have forgotten it. Don’t you forget, lad. Aigin: I’m not part of any brotherhood. I’m alone. Raste: You may feel that way now. But trust me, you too are bound to this infinite brotherhood … with unbreakable bonds. Aigin: I see no bonds. Raste: Can you see this?

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Aigin: The tent wall? Raste: Yes. But what is between you and the tent wall? Aigin: I see nothing. Raste: Nothing at all? Aigin: Uh-uh! [Raste suddenly covers Aigin’s nose. Aigin protests under his breath.] Raste: You still can’t see it. But now you can feel that there is something there [emphasis mine]. You can’t see the air, but you are inseparably tied to it. [Raste releases his grip on Aigin’s nose, and Aigin pants for air.] In this way, everything is tied together … with invisible bonds. No, my son. You cannot tear yourself apart from the whole. But you can lose sight of it; forget you’re tied to it and so become a Tchudes … Men who have lost the path, stumbling blindly on their way to self-destruction. Trans-sensory humans are aware of things that the biological senses cannot detect. Such people go beyond: 1) The dictates of sensory programming 2) The limits placed by billions of years of biological evolution

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The next chapter dissects the difference between sensing (living in the now) and thinking (living in the past or future).

Exercises
1) Like your “five” senses can get irritated by physical stimuli—such as getting a speck of wood in your eye—do you find that your brain can get irritated by circumstances that don’t compute upstairs? Elaborate on paper. How can a frustrated you cope with your brain’s not understanding something “off the wall”?

2) Have you been able to train your brain to understand the humanly unintelligible? If yes, how? How long did this take? What, if any, have been the benefits?

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6 Sensing vs. Perceiving Aldous Huxley, the English intellectual, wrote that human sensing occurs with the five senses. But human perceiving occurs with the human brain.170 When one senses intently, one lives in the now. When one starts to think, sensing disappears, and time enters the scene. This chapter investigates: 1) Living in the now = sensing with the five senses and with the nonthinking part of the human brain
170

Aldous Huxley, The Art of Seeing, (New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1942), pgs. 49-50.

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2) Living in the past or future = perceiving with the thinking part of the human brain

In the Now vs. Thinking

The subtitle you just read: How long ago did you read it? What about the past sentence? And the beginning of this one? If you notice, now becomes the past in a second or less. Even when you are focused on the present, you have to keep catching up, for now is unstable and becomes the past faster than a bee buzzing past you. Being in a constant state of catching up can be taxing, even if one has the resolve to keep coming back to now 576,000 times in a 16-hour day. Why so many times? In An Alchemy of Mind, naturalist Diane Ackerman asks, “How long is a now?” Now, she writes, is “about one-tenth of a second [emphasis mine].”171 What does two-thirds of the human brain (the cerebral cortex) occupy itself with in the now? According to Ackerman, not the processing of what the five senses register, as one would think. Lower animals live according to what they smell, taste, touch, hear, and see. But humans instead live by “… mind theaters, fantasies, mental scratch pads, inner monologues, memories, emotions, the baroque architecture of self.”172 This, Ackerman writes, is what PET scans reveal as the “typical moment in the brain, ….”173 The cerebral cortex is occupied with past and future. A major reason why movies, sports, pornography, and dancing are so popular is because they pull all of a viewer’s attention into the moment.
171 172

Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind, p. 50. Ibid., p. 123. 173 Ibid.

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Forgetting about the problems of life becomes possible during such intervals of time. Repetitive motion, as in porn and sports, is that great grabber of human attention. Staying in the now (e.g., what am I smelling, tasting, touching, hearing, or seeing?) is something that lower animals do effortlessly but not most humans. Why is this? Because the cerebral cortex programs us to think. Given that the cortex is two-thirds of the human brain, it makes sense that most brain processes have little to do with sensing the biological environment. According to Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses, a sheepdog has 220 million olfactory cells. How many olfactory cells does the typical human have? Five million. Thus, Ackerman writes in her book, a sheepdog can smell 44 times better than a human being.174 Also, you and I can smell a pizza. A dog, however, smells each ingredient of the pizza separately. This is according to an airport worker in PBS’s Mystery of the Senses.175 In A Natural History of the Senses, Ackerman relates the story of a dog that was able to identify the car of its owner just by sound. Other cars would drive by the house, Ackerman writes, and the dog would not react. But each car engine, she continues, has a fingerprint of sound. Dogs can tell cars and trucks apart by identifying the specifics of engine sounds. Dogs—and cats—also hear better in the dark than us humans. Spiders, Ackerman writes, have a highly developed sense of vibration, an element of the sense of touch.176 Why, I have pondered, weren’t humans programmed to smell, taste, touch, hear, and see as deeply as lower animals? Aren’t we, after all, spiritual beings having a biological experience? If so, why is, say, our sense of smell so
174 175

Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, p. 31. Nova Mini-Series: Mystery of the Senses—“Smell” aired on PBS on February 20, 1995. Diane Ackerman was the host of this five-part series, which was based on Ackerman’s book A Natural History of the Senses. 176 Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, p. 303.

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limited? Compared to dogs, cats, and spiders, why are we barely able to experience the material world through our human senses? Mentioned in Part I, Chapter 1, smell was the first physical sense. As the other biological senses emerged, the evolving animal brain had to sacrifice smell space to make room for them. Our sense of smell weakened as a result.177 This is the material answer. The spiritual answer is that if we were able to smell, hear, and see to the extent that lower animals do, then thinking would be very difficult. There would be too many offensive odors, too many distracting sounds, and too many objects moving in the dark. Concentration and inner focus—elements of spiritual evolution—would be next to impossible! Lower animals live by their biological senses and thus, live in the now. Humans live by their thoughts and hence, live in the past and future. The irony is that we are forever looking outside of ourselves (sensory perception) for happiness, yet barely notice the specifics of the outer world. A man, for instance, may pine for a girlfriend. Once he has found one, however, can he name the scent of her skin? Does the skin on her forearm smell differently from the skin on her forehead? How exactly do they smell different? Such are the questions that Diane Ackerman might ask. But most of us become “tongue-tied” when asked to describe such specifics.178 As another example, a store manager may hanker for the latest sports car. Once he has it, though, can he identify its subtle features? What, for example, does it sound like driving down a tree-flanked street vs. zooming down an open highway? Most of us don’t pay attention to the nuances of our physical environment. Yet, we are constantly looking outside of ourselves for answers and for fulfillment.

177 178

Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind, p. 9. Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, p. 6.

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The TV detective Columbo (Peter Falk) is an exception. Details is the key word. Details that evade suspects catch Columbo’s eye, ears, skin, nose, and taste buds—yes, he has one eye. As one scene of a Columbo episode unfolds:

Dolores: I just saw it [a black buggy] blow up. What else is there to see [on the taped rerun of the explosion]? Columbo: Yes, it’s difficult to spot. It is.179 To make it in their field, detectives have trained themselves to live by their biological senses. This, of course, requires them to live in the now. There is a paradox, however. While most of the human brain (the cerebral cortex) is programmed to think, the human brain is also a sense organ. The five senses wouldn’t sense were it not for the existence of the brain as their final processing center. Furthermore, much of our “abstract” thinking is about concrete things—what we have seen, heard, touched, tasted, and smelled. In sum, thinking about past and future is what we spend the present doing, for this feels natural to us. We are, after all, programmed to think. But to live in the now, we have to stop thinking and start observing what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. Then, daily living becomes a meditation, and we begin to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. We, however, have to keep returning to a constantly fleeing present. When we do, we discover that 99.9 percent of everything is past or future. Now is a mere one-tenth of a second. As Pedro

179

Dolores is played by Tyne Daly. See Columbo, “A Bird in the Hand.” This special originally aired on ABC on November 22, 1992.

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Calderon de la Barca, the Spanish playwright, wrote, “For all life is a dream, and dreams themselves are only dreams.”180

Level 1 vs. Level 2 Perception

In the movie Tuck Everlasting (2002), Man in the Yellow Suit (Ben Kingsley) whistles a song to a family that has found the fountain of youth. The tune over, Mae Tuck (Sissy Spacek) says, “You have no right to bring us such pain.” Level 1 perception is what Mae’s ears and brain registered: sound waves hitting her eardrums and her brain translating those sounds into music. Pure and simple. Level 2 perception is what Mae, the mother, made of the sounds. In Tuck Everlasting, Mae has heard the melody before. Still, this is Level 1 perception (physical stimuli hitting her ears and her brain interpreting those sounds at a sensory level). Level 2 perception goes deeper than that. It answers the question: what does what my physical senses perceive (Level 1 perception) mean in non-sensory fashion? This is where choice enters. If Mae had heard the sound waves before, then she could have chosen to leave it at that—remaining at Level 1 perception. Instead, Mae chose to let thoughts enter her mind—thoughts of her mother having sung that song years before, thoughts about Man in the Yellow Suit’s grandmother having related that song to him, and thoughts about the song being the means by which Man in the Yellow Suit was able to track down Mae’s family. The woman went from being in the now to being in the past and fearing for her family’s future.
180

See “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/pedrocalde176294.html.

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Level 1 perception involves facts about physical stimuli. Level 2 perception involves opinions about the meaning of the stimuli. One’s eyes, for example, may encounter specks of dirt in a sink. Level 1 perception perceives just that: specks of dirt in a sink. Nothing more. Level 2 perception is one’s saying to oneself, “This sink is dirty.” Now, a judgement is in place, the word dirty and its negative connotations. In fact, all words have judgement at some level. This is one reason to stop thinking and to remain in silence. Level 2 perception is where trans-sensory growth becomes evident. A snowstorm, for instance, is just that: a snowstorm (L1 perception). But while one person will call such weather “hideous,” another will call it “delightful” (L2 perceptions). The clincher is that Level 2 perception ultimately affects Level 1 perception. Doing what one hates, for instance, makes time real by slowing it down. Conversely, living by one’s biological senses or by positive interpretations makes time fly. One has the choice to return to the present (L1 perception), the choice to see things as fearful, ugly, meaningless, hateful, diseased, and uninteresting (negative L2 perceptions), or the choice to see things as safe, beautiful, purposeful, loving, healthy, and interesting (positive L2 perceptions). Tuck Everlasting brings up an interesting question. If we went through life without preconceived notions—actually learned—of what aging meant, would we age as fast? Most Americans, for example, dread turning 30. Youth has been so narrowly defined that, nowadays, twentysomethings see turning 30 as “going over the hill.” Yet, many people in their 30s look like they are in their 20s. Many people in their 40s look like they are in their 30s. I have even seen people in their early 50s look like they are in their early 30s. Actress Telma Hopkins is an example of such a person, and it is no coincidence that she has a youthful attitude. On a similar note, actress and director Lee Grant, who turned

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80 in 2007, looks like she is in her early 60s. Then, there are those who are 30 and look 50. Surely, taking care of one’s physical body matters—as in sleeping well, eating healthy, and avoiding the sun as often as possible. But thinking youthfully matters as much. This is Level 2 perception at its most powerful. The next chapter looks more closely at what exactly our biological senses are interacting with.

Exercises

1) Set your timer. For three minutes, really observe what you see, hear, feel (inside your physical body or on your skin), taste, OR smell. For this exercise, it is important to focus on one type of sensing at a time. If thoughts distract you, bring yourself back to sensing in the moment. After the session is over, ponder how many times you had to return to the now. What, if anything, you did you see, hear, feel, taste, or smell in a new way? 2) Set your timer. For three minutes, truly see, listen, feel (inside your physical body or on your skin), AND smell. (Skip taste for this exercise.) Every few seconds, shift your focus from seeing, to listening, to feeling, to

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smelling without counting in your head but rather, shifting focus as naturally as possible in the now. If thoughts distract you, bring yourself back to sensing in the moment. After the session is over, ponder how many times you had to return to the now. What, if anything, you did you see, hear, feel, or smell in a new way?

7 Illusion of the Physical World Eastern religion and philosophy have long held that the physical plane is a dream realm. New Age thought has been echoing this perception since the 1960s. This chapter scrutinizes seven facets of this world to see how it could be that a largely rock solid sphere could be illusory. The seven facets are: 1) The non-definability of things 2) The non-definability of feelings 3) The indirectness of the visible world 4) The elusiveness of everything 5) The emptiness of the material realm

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6) The deception of the so-called five senses 7) 99.9 percent of everything being past or future The end of this chapter summarizes the “living in a dreamworld” theme of the above seven sections.

Non-definability of Things

What is an experience? Something that happens to you? What does happen mean? Occur? What then does occur mean? The Harcourt Brace School Dictionary defines occur as, among other things: 1 To happen or take place. 2 To be found; appear: … 181 Already, we begin to see a repetition of terms like happen to define occur. Look up happen in any dictionary, and you are bound to see occur. Let us therefore return to the question: What is an experience? If we decide that an experience is an event that happens to us, then what is an event? The Harcourt Brace School Dictionary defines event as, among other things: 1 A happening; occurrence, especially an important one: … 182

181

Harrison Gray Platt, The Harcourt Brace School Dictionary, (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1972), p. 503. 182 Ibid., p. 251.

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More redundancy in words like happening and occurrence. What about the definition of event as “3 Final outcome; result.”?183 Look up outcome, and at some point, you come back to a former word. What if we decided to really nail down “What is an experience?” with an incident like, “My father beat me when I was 4”? What does beat mean? The same Harcourt dictionary defines beat, the verb, as, among other things: 1 v. To strike over and over; pound … 3 v. To punish by hitting again and again; thrash. 4 v. To defeat, as in a fight or contest…184 More definitions follow, of course. But look up any word that makes up the definition of beat—or for that matter, the definition of anything—and sooner or later, you come to repetition of former words and eventually, to nothing. In this sense, the world and all of our experiences in it ultimately signify nothing. Any experience that we have is, literally, beyond words. This doesn’t mean that an experience of, say, abuse didn’t happen or that it means nothing. Only in a worldly sense does it mean nothing. Why? Because short of echoing other words, words cannot truly describe an experience. Therefore, experiences must belong in a realm beyond words. Just like language cannot explain the things of the hereafter, language cannot truly explain the things of this world. By the way, haven’t you noticed how the shortest words have the longest definitions? Once again, we have encountered paradox. What does the non-definability of everything have to do with becoming trans-sensory? Here, we get to the core of something major. Eyes, ears, and touch—touch for graille readers—perceive words. But what these three senses show us—words—is indefinable at the root and thus, is meaningless. In
183 184

Ibid. Ibid., p. 61.

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recognizing the limits of the human senses and the indefinableness of everything, we understand that what we sense physically has no intrinsic meaning. Not even in our minds do things have inherent meaning, as thoughts about events come either in the form of indefinable words or in the form of pictures—each picture being a thousand words. Like Love, all earthly experiences originate beyond what the physical senses perceive. It is in the spirit plane—and in our hearts—that things have meaning.

Non-Definability of Feelings

Why do some emotions feel “good” and others feel “bad”? Everyone agrees, for example, that heartbreak feels rotten. Everybody also concedes that falling in love with someone who loves you back feels heavenly. But what exactly makes one emotion feel good and the other feel bad? At best, we can compare the emotion of requited love to the aroma of freshly baked cookies. Heartbreak, by contrast, we might compare to the smell of addled eggs. Beyond these analogies, however, nobody can truly answer what makes one emotion feel good and another feel putrid. When two people click, there is said to be “chemistry” between them. But what is chemistry? Is it just hormones? If so, why do they kick in with certain individuals? Why not with everyone? There must be something more to a chemistry that is so specific. What is this something more? Once more, words cannot explain experiences that originate in a trans-sensory realm—that is to say, in the spirit plane.

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Indirectness of the Visible

The other night, I was at the supermarket. I wanted to see more of what was around me. But if I turned right, my left disappeared. If I looked left for long, I could trip. It was, literally, like dreaming. I couldn’t penetrate more of the dream—and I wanted to. Look directly at any object. At most, you will see a point, for the human eye was made to see 99 percent of everything indirectly. This 99 percent the eyes and brain fill in as background. Never do we see the background directly. If we shift our eye focus toward the background, then the former point becomes the new background, and still, 99 percent of what we see is a semi-blur. Furthermore, the point of focus would be meaningless without our eyes and brain providing a context for the point relative to the background. Look, for example, at the word sentence without moving your eyes. Which part of sentence did your eyes see directly? Would that part have made sense without a context relative to the other parts of sentence? In other words, if you focused on, say, the middle part of the last e in sentence, would that part have made sense without your eyes and brain filling in background about the rest of the letter e and the word sentence? What this exercise shows is that 99 percent of what we see is a dreamy blur. Moreover, the 1 percent that our eyes focus on is equally unreal, for the point of focus only makes sense by eye/brain reference to past encounters with that object. Newborn babies, for instance, see everything as a blur. Why? Not because their eyes are defective but rather, because their brains haven’t yet learned to fill in the blanks. People who were blind as children and recover their

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eyesight as adults undergo the same. For them, every solid object they see is a blur of colors, and no physical boundaries exist between, say, a wooden chair, a glass coffee table, and a beige rug. Rather, such objects are perceived as different frequencies of energies intermixing in different colors. Why this absence of physical boundaries? Because like the brains of newborns, the brains of blind people are not wired to perceive matter like the brains of sighted adults can. Only sighted humans have had that training of boundary discernment in their brains.185 As Aldous Huxley wrote in his 1942 book The Art of Seeing, human sensing occurs with the five senses. But human perceiving occurs with the human brain.186 This means that human sensing would be impossible without the human brain: 1) Referring to past encounters with an object 2) Filling in the background for context Backed by modern science, Huxley’s argument reinforces the Buddhist view of the mind as a sixth sense. If, at most, the human eye can see a dot of the outer world, what happens when people don’t focus on what they are seeing? What, for example, does a mother see rushing out the front door, shoving her kids into the car, and driving them to school? Or a waitress hurrying back and forth to get five orders onto the proper tables? Nothing but background blurs. Rushed people simply have no time to zero in on objects. Instead, they keep their eyes moving. If their eyes aren’t focusing on any object—except for, maybe, a millisecond—then everything is the dreamiest of blurs for them. Their brains, of course, will make the background blurs seem real.
185 186

See Rifkin, The Age of Access, pgs. 192-193. Huxley, The Art of Seeing, pgs. 49-50.

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Elusiveness of Everything

If we focus on something, then we miss 99 percent of everything else in our physical environment. This applies not just to seeing but also, to hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. For example, if the feather of a parakeet tickles the area around your navel, you will bring your attention, however briefly, to your navel. In that time frame, you will lose awareness of 99 percent of everything else. Most of the time, we don’t even penetrate that 1 percent of physical reality that the biological senses allow us to capture fully. Rather, we sleepwalk through life, immersed in vague awareness of the outer world. Thoughts and emotions of past and future dominate our consciousness instead. Sharpening our biological senses takes willingness and practice. When we do, we discover that paying attention to the world is like touching the flat screen of a laptop computer. Press your forefinger against the screen, and an area blurs around the finger. The solid letters and the solid pictures on the screen melt at the point of contact.

Emptiness of the Material World

As quantum physicists have discovered, matter at the atomic level is as empty as outer space. Like planets circling the sun, electrons circle neutrons. Empty space fills 99 percent of the rest. If split enough times, electrons and neutrons show further emptiness. Only our size prevents us from seeing the emptiness of the physical world.

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Not only are words unable to define the material world beyond a certain point. Not only are human senses unable to capture this world in its entirety. The physical universe itself is made of, chiefly, nothing. Like the digital codes, goggles, and materials of virtual reality, words, the biological senses, and the form of things fool us into believing that we are experiencing “reality.” Together, these facts support the nursery rhyme, “Life is but a dream.”

Deception of the Senses

Even when we capture 1 percent of physical reality, our human senses can fool us. The sun, for instance, is said to “rise” and “set.” In reality, the earth spins on its axis. People who test “positive” for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) often look healthy. Green grass may hide toxic levels of fertilizer underneath. Similarly, a political party may appoint a woman to a high post. This, however, is meaningless if the female appointee supports male policies like military spending at the expense of social spending. Madeleine Albright, for example, was secretary of state of the United States during the Clinton administration. But she acted like a man. Albright, for instance, called the death of 500,000 Iraqi children regrettable but in the end, “worth it.”187 On a similar track, Clarence Thomas was the second African American to be appointed to the Supreme Court. But he opposes affirmative action. Antonia Novello was the first surgeon general of Puerto Rican birth. But in the early 1990s, she
187

This quote is in Mel Hurtig, The Vanishing Country: Is It Too Late to Save Canada?, (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 2002), p. 240.

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downplayed issues related to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This was despite the rapid spread of AIDS within the Latino population. Andrew Sullivan may be a spokesman for gays on every other news segment about homosexuality. But Sullivan, an openly gay conservative, doesn’t speak for the majority of gays, who identify as liberal. Just because someone is a woman, an African American, Hispanic, or gay on the outside doesn’t mean that he or she will support policies that are friendly toward his or her people. Sensory people go by what their biological eyes see. Trans-sensory people look beyond muscle tones. Not only are the bio-logical senses (logical in a biological way) limited to a specific way of sensing the physical environment. The “five” senses are restricted, as well, to the present. Seattle residents, for example, see about three inches of snow a year. The Pacific Ocean, after all, moderates winter temperatures in the Pacific Northwest. This sounds simple enough and humanly logical. But the big secret is that in the 19th century, Seattle averaged 13 inches of snow annually.188 What this shows—besides global warming—is that our biological senses don’t see the big picture. Instead, the “five” senses are limited to the present environment. As Obi Wan-Kenobi (Alec Guinness) tells Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Star Wars (1977), “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them. Stretch out with your feelings [emphasis mine].”

188

This statistic comes from Evening Edition. The segment aired on The Weather Channel on August 2004.

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Everything Is Past or Future

How often I have wanted an instant to last. Perhaps, a pop song rocked my heart. Or a movie. I may replay the tune or film. But when the CD or DVD ends, the feeling vaporizes. I find myself wanting to play the song or movie again. Why, I wonder, can’t time stand still during moments of inner—and outer —peace and joy? Why does the now—that one-tenth of a second—keep moving without giving us pause to catch our breaths? Like that song or film that won’t stay, our lives are 99.9 percent past or future. Practically everything in the bubble of human consciousness is either a memory (e.g., a past hurt or a pleasant reminiscing) or a thought about the future (e.g., planning, worry, or expectation). Only the paper-thin now is real, and now becomes memory faster than lightning. In fact, we have no guarantee that our lives are real. We may have been dropped on earth a minute ago. Everything up to now may simply be a mind program. We say that we had a childhood. But we have no proof—other than our thoughts—that we existed prior to now. Even records of the past may have been put there a minute ago. My feelings tell me, of course, that my past happened. But it is no longer real. Looking at the past—or present—is like looking at a glass window. You are looking at the window from inside a whitely lit classroom. It is nighttime. On the glass, the reflection of the chairs, white lights, and you looks real. But it is merely an illusion, for nothing is outside but the night. So is physical life. The only things eternal about human life are the lessons we learn, the love we give and receive, and the experience itself. Those are the things that our Spirits/souls signed up for. Those are the things that our Spirits/souls will always remember.

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Living in a Dream World

One morning, I dreamed that six adults were sitting in a playpen. The wooden enclosure was bouncing to and fro in rapids. A rope of yarn held the playpen in place. The rope, in turn, was held by two men—one man on each side of the stream. Waves were pounding the trapped people toward the back of the pen. Despite barrels of water passing through the wooden bars, the group enjoyed getting flooded with water, crashing back, and coming forward. I looked behind me. The ocean was waiting under the gray sky. After I awoke, I had an insight. The playpen represented the cage of the five senses—or six senses, if you are a Buddhist and see the mind (not to be confused with the brain) as a sixth sense. Although trapped in a human body, most of us enjoy the ride of this life. I remembered reading in Living, Dreaming, Dying that the six senses imprison us.189 We, however, are so thrilled by the incoming waves that we forget the prison of the human body. In the end, the rope breaks; the raft gets sucked into the ocean; and we die physically. That same morning, I dreamt that two parrot-ducks were aching to mate and reproduce. Then, I saw the death of a blue parakeet that I once had. Seeing his gruesome death smothered my heart. A sad song from India played in the background. Its male singer was mourning something. After I awoke, I realized that I was seeing part of the picture—my parakeet’s dying. My biological ears and human eyes were keeping me from knowing the larger truth. Everything we think we are—fathers, sons; mothers, daughters; Republicans, Democrats; Caucasians, African Americans; rich people, poor people; engineers, artists; straights, gays; and rock stars, beggars—is not who we
189

The idea of the mind as a sixth sense comes from Rob Nairn, Living, Dreaming, Dying: Practical Wisdom from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, (Boston: Shambhala, 2004), p. 35. The truth of the physical senses being a prison has also been echoed by the major spiritual Masters.

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really are. Even the people who we aspire to become is part of the illusion. The thought that I will never become, say, a celebrated writer but rather, the illusion of him saddens me at one level. Since I don’t know my spiritual Self fully—just partially—it is as if I don’t really exist. The illusion, however, is only made possible by the software of the physical universe. In The Matrix (1999), for example, the following scene unfolds between Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Neo (Keanu Reeves): Morpheus: Your appearance now is what we call residual self-image. It is the mental projection of your digital self. Neo: [Touches a red chair in a white room and whispers in disbelief.] This … this isn’t real. Morpheus: What is real? How do you define real? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. As Morpheus tells Neo, we are inside a computer program. This software, known as the material universe, prevents us from seeing the Truth. Realizing this is disheartening for me. Why? Because it means that a major part of my loving someone has to do with the hallucination that I am seeing. In other words, I am falling in love with an illusion, rather than with a real person. In a Next Generation episode of Star Trek, for instance, Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) tells Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) about Crusher’s love for a being that has passed on into another form. Crusher relates to Troi:

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I loved Odan. I’m sure of it. I have no doubts. No fears. But what was it I loved? His eyes? His hands? His mouth? They’re gone. If that was all it was, I should mourn him and go on. It was more than that. I felt completely free with him, unguarded, at ease with myself. There were so many things that made him special to me. Where are they? Are they still here?190 In another Next Generation episode, a boy’s mother dies in an accident. An entity takes the form of the mother and transports the boy, Jeremy Aster (Gabriel Damon), from the Starship Enterprise to a hologram of his living room. Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Counselor Troi enter the house to protect the lad from further abduction. Picard and the mom-turned-entity (Susan Powell) exchange the following words: Entity: How can you know he won’t be happier with me? Picard: For a brief moment in time, he surely would be. Any of us in his place would be … Do you honestly believe he would be happy in this total fiction [the mind-created house], which you wish to create? … What you’re offering him is a memory, something to cherish, not to live in.191 More often than not, mirages are based on the past. An example is proving to one’s parents that one can become a successful adult. Illusions haunt
190

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Host.” This episode originally aired in syndication on May 11, 1991 (Season 4, episode 23). 191 Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Bonding.” This episode originally aired in syndication on October 21, 1989 (Season 3, episode 5).

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major parts of the United States. My adopted aunt drove me, for example, to a gated community in Florida. The place had its own town center, and its houses looked as if made for a movie set. In Spanish, she related to me: When those people buy $200,000 houses that are made of cardboard, they’re buying illusions. On the surface, the mansions look opulent. But punch a wall, and you’ll be leaning through a hole. Shelter is one of the basics of biological survival (see Part II, Chapter 2 for a discussion of the survival instinct). One would think that our physical senses would care to distinguish between illusions of cardboard and houses of concrete, especially in Hurricane Alley. Amazingly, the five senses and the human brain fall short of caring for such differences. Image and form, not substance and content, are all that matter to the physical senses—at least, if social observations are any guide. In turn, our instinct to survive biologically—and even emotionally—spills into food, sex, love, and belonging. But the illusions of these things—Dr. Crusher’s example—don’t matter to the human body or human mind. Even bad food, risky sex, and false love and friendship don’t matter to those of us who are blinded by their pleasurable aspects. The next chapter looks at the origin and destination of emotions, including earth love.

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Exercises
1) How does this universe’s being illusion tempt you to feel? Do you, for example, feel dejected by this truth? If so, why? If you don’t feel dejected, what feelings register in your chest? What thoughts are you having? 2) Can you enjoy the forms of earthly life without getting attached to them? If yes, how? Can you also see—and enjoy—the substance behind each form? If you can separate image from content, how does detachment play into this?

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8 Reality of the Spirit World Most of us are in an endless search for goodies—CDs, DVD players, beer, pickup trucks, and clothes. These are to “adults” what toys are to children. What we really want are the emotions that these things bring—or are thought to bring. But emotions come from the spirit realm. So does every physical thing. Most of us, however, don’t seek nonphysical things because we are so immersed in the template of the physical plane. This chapter ponders emotions and visions because both show that nonmaterial things can influence us deeply. The first section of the chapter asks where feelings come from, why we seek them, and where emotions go when they leave us. The second section of this chapter alludes to why “earth love” was invented in the spirit realm.192 Romantic love, the “Holy Grail” of earth love, is explored more fully in chapters 3 and 4 (Part I) and in chapters 4 and 5 (Part II).193

192

The term “earth love” is borrowed from Caroline Myss. This medical intuitive has used that term on several occasions. 193 In the DVD comment section titled, “Lessons of Tuck,” director Jay Russell uses the term “Holy Grail” to describe perfect love. See the movie Tuck Everlasting (2002).

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The last section of this chapter looks at visions. All of the following sections are meant to show the reality of the spirit plane.

The Origin of Emotions

I was born to play the guitar, among other things. The bug is literally in my genes from both sides of my family. At age 10, I asked my mother to teach me that instrument. She found me a male teacher. I learned the basics, and for many years, I played the guitar—and later, the Greek bouzouki (a long-necked mandolin)—in the Catholic Church.194 I have rhythm and love music. I, however, lost my ganas to practice at each instrument for hours on end. I never joined or started a band. Why not? My ganas was gone—especially, after my mother died. Ganas is a Spanish word that, loosely translated, means “desire from the gut.”195 Where did my ganas go? If Albert Einstein, the theoretical physicist, was right, then my ganas had to go somewhere, for e=mc2 means that energy cannot be destroyed. Where then did my ganas go? Moreover, why do emotions, desires, and lusts come and go? Where do they come from? Where do they go when they leave us? Our hearts process emotions. Feelings don’t originate there, though. Physical things may trigger emotions. But feelings don’t originate in this world. Rather, emotions come from the spirit realm. At most, we see the effect of desire in someone’s eyes, the result of jitteriness in someone’s touch, the effect of fear in
194

For a sample of well-played bouzoukis, see Christos Papadopoulos and Giannis “Sporos” Stamatiou at Rethanaish, “Sporos Improvisation.” This video was added to YouTube on June 22, 2007. The URL is http://youtube.com/watch?v=uWerrlOpzTQ&feature=related. Also, see John “Sporos” Stamatiou and Christos Papadopoulos at Papadop762, “Papadopoulos Christos.” This video was added to YouTube on September 7, 2007. The URL is http://youtube.com/watch?v=9N2TNCyy9iY&feature=related. 195 In the film Stand and Deliver (1988), Jaime A. Escalante (Edward James Olmos) tells his barrio students that they need ganas to succeed in school—and in life.

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someone’s voice, and the result of anxiousness in our heartbeats. We, however, don’t “see” emotions, for they are trans-sensory. At best, we experience emotions, and we peer into the feelings of others through their biological eyes, the windows of their spirits and souls. If you notice, feelings register in our chests and abdomens. By contrast, physical sensations happen in one place of the human body—the head. Touch is the exception. Think about it. Most human sensing occurs in a mere appendage of the body—about 10 percent of the human body. This is because the senses of sight, sound, smell, and taste are all in and around the head. Emotions, on the other hand, are felt in a greater area of the human body. The human brain processes input from the five senses and thoughts. But our hearts feel. Consequently, emotions are a major driver of human life—in fact, the major driver. We, for example, seek careers that will satisfy us. Be it money, piloting a biplane, or being the chairman of the board, we seek the emotions that such enterprises bring. The contradiction is that in a hypermaterialistic society like ours, we seek things not for the things but for the experiences that things will bring—or are presumed to bring. Deep down, we humans have always known about the power of emotions. What is new is that more of us are becoming consciously transsensory. Not only are we conceding that feelings (trans-sensory phenomena) are far more powerful than things (sensory phenomena). Many of us are living this truth through careers that—perhaps—pay less but which are inwardly rewarding, through expressions of love that society condemns but which gratify us, and through ways of living that—maybe—deviate from the norm but which bring us well-being. We are also learning to detect our emotional states through activities like yoga, tai chi, and focused breathing.

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Earth Love vs. Spiritual Love

When someone “falls in love,” with what does he or she become enamored? The other’s eyes? Lips? Hair? Way of speaking? Personality? Or is the pull something deeper? A spiritual mentor told me, “When you fall in love with someone, you fall in love with his or her emotions.” E-motions are energies in motion—that is to say, the spiritual frequencies at which the beloved vibrates. With regard to romantic love, physical beauty is nonetheless important— for males, in particular. Personality also plays a big role—for females, in particular. What Caroline Myss calls “earth love” is based on our human senses. Romantic love is the “Holy Grail” of earth love.196 Thus, most of us seek this treasure. The spiritual Love behind someone’s odiousness is seldom appreciated, however. According to Myss’s Sacred Contracts, people show up in our lives out of pre-incarnation contracts to do so. This is so that, on earth, we may experience certain things, learn specific lessons, and grow spiritually. Regardless of whether our earthly experiences are heavenly or hellish, Love motivates these contracts.197 That is spiritual Love. Rarely, though, is spiritual Love acknowledged by a world that is obsessed with earth love—of which romantic love takes the spotlight. Trans-sensory people enjoy the pleasant forms of earth love. But they also see the beauty in the less pleasant forms. Trans-sensory humans see the spiritual Love behind someone’s abusiveness—and learn the lesson quickly so that the experience may end. In other words, it is not the earth love. Rather, it is the
196

See the movie Tuck Everlasting, “Lessons of Tuck” (2002). There, director Jay Russell uses the term “Holy Grail” to describe perfect love. 197 Caroline M. Myss, Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential, (New York: Harmony Books, 2001).

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spiritual growth that transpires as a result of the earth love. The form is earth love. The content is spiritual Love. Earth love is the tool. Spirit/soul growth is what the tool creates.

Seeing the Unseeable

One night, I turned left in my single bed. My bedroom was dark, except for the moonlight penetrating the diaphanous white curtain to my left. Suddenly, I saw a white horse, one with wings. It was galloping in place in midair. The horse looked like Artex from the film The Neverending Story (West German-British; 1984). I had seen the unseeable. I then remembered that the theme song of that movie had played on the radio about three days earlier. That song had never played before on my radio, so I knew that this was as unordinary as seeing a mythical creature that wasn’t “there.” Sometimes, I see white light shining above me in the dark. Psychiatrists will argue that I am seeing something made by “a brain starving for stimuli.” I, however, remember a therapist of guided imagery telling me that she had seen a Native American man in a forest outside her house. It was daytime—no brain starving for stimuli. Although the man was not “there,” he showed up in her life some months later. In the movie Pathfinder (1987), the shaman Raste (Nils Utsi) sees the head of a reindeer bull. The deer leaps from a snowdrift and ruffles some briars. The camera looks at the space that is beyond the trembling branches, then pans from one of Raste’s eyes to the other. You can literally sense that something is present beyond the bare branches, something invisible. The deserted landscape of

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Lappland 1,000 years ago certainly helps to set the tone. Raste’s awareness of the unseeable is trans-sensory consciousness. Trans-sensory humans see the unseeable, hear the unhearable, feel the unfeelable, taste the untasteable, and smell the unsmellable when the heavens call for these things to occur—rather than when these people dictate for them to happen. Psychologists steeped in the old paradigm will call such events “hallucinations.” From a material perspective, they are hallucinations, for no one and nothing is there. From a spiritual perspective, these events are real, for something beyond matter is occupying space. Trans-sensory people have a both/and view of such phenomena, while sensory people have an either/or mentality. The next chapter inspects limiting parameters that the spirit sphere has placed in the material sphere.

Exercises
1) Have you ever had a passion—as for someone, a hobby, or a place—that evaporated? If yes, what do you think caused your passion to leave you? Do you think that you can bring it back into your being? If yes, how?

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2) Think about someone whom you perceive to be obnoxious. Have you been able to see the spiritual Love behind the obnoxiousness? If yes, how did your mental perspective change from when you saw the person’s ugliness? 3) Have you been able to “see” the unseeable? If yes, what was the situation? What do you think brought you trans-sensory vision? Were you, for instance, consciously seeking to transcend your human senses? Or did the emergence of trans-sensory perception in you happen spontaneously?

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9 Limits of Human Experience An article in Scientific American shows this universe as a bubble surrounded by other bubbles (other universes). These multiverses (many universes) are inside a megabubble, much like the waxed cavities of a honeycomb. This megabubble is neighbored by other megabubbles—other “honeycombs.” Different laws of physics exist in different universes, called parallel universes. Some universes have the same laws of physics as ours, but historical and environmental events differ in them. These are not parallel but alternate universes.198 Each uni-verse is literally one verse in an infinity of verses. These verses are the songs of the gods. All possibilities exist somewhere, however unlikely those possibilities may be. Needless to say, the biological senses detect less than an inkling of what exists in infinity. In the movie Defending Your Life (1991), Bob Diamond (Rip Torn) tells Daniel Miller (Albert Brooks) in the afterlife: When you’re born into this universe [emphasis mine], you’re in it for a long, long time. You have many different lifetimes, and after each lifetime, there’s an examining period, which you’re in now. You see, every second of every lifetime is always recorded, and as each one ends, we sort of look at it. And then, if everybody agrees, you move forward
198

Max Tegmark, “Parallel Universes,” Scientific American, May 2003, Vol. 288, No. 5: 40-51.

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… The point of this whole thing is to keep getting smarter [e.g., to use more than 5 percent of one’s brain], to keep growing … This is the “eternity” that religions speak of, an eternity pertaining to this universe and to its physical and spiritual laws. This chapter condenses my conclusions about the major rules of this universe. Some of us might call such laws limitations. Nevertheless, they are the rules by which we must play. This chapter explores the following limitations of human—and even spiritual—existence: 1) There being so much room for the five senses in the human brain 2) Everything being cause/effect and choice/result 3) Choice being a gamble, more often than not, because we don’t see the big picture 4) Everything being who, what, when, where, why, and how Becoming aware of these parameters is one of the first steps toward becoming trans-sensory.

Only So Much Room for the Five Senses

As life on earth evolved, organisms did not develop abilities to detect things like gamma waves.199 Why not? Because detection of gamma waves was
199

Why biological evolution didn’t produce the ability to detect germs—when that is needed for survival— is one of evolution’s mysteries.

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not needed for biological survival. The human senses have therefore bequeathed to us the bias through which we experience physical life. The human brain, in turn, only has so much room. Throughout biological evolution, the brain has had to cut corners to make space for the newer senses. As Diane Ackerman writes in An Alchemy of Mind, this is what happened to the sense of smell, our oldest sense. As other biological senses emerged, the smell regions of the brain made room for the newer senses of taste, touch, sound, and sight. The result, Ackerman writes, is that smell today is the weakest of human senses.200 Human experience, in brief, is limited by the bias of material survival and by a brain with limited space.

Cause/Effect

This principle orders everything in this universe. As Issac Newton’s third law of motion says, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This law is the equivalent of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Of course, Newton’s third law doesn’t mean that we should avenge wrongs against us, for our avenging (cause) will come back to us (effect). Newton’s law does mean, however, that the physical and nonphysical universes have an “effect” compass of their own. As the Bible says, “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord [emphasis mine].”201 This means that the psychic universe (e.g., “the Lord”) will respond (effect) to our thoughts and actions (cause) in the material universe. Positive thoughts and actions bring positive karma (PRO-sequence). Negative thoughts and actions bring negative karma (CON-sequence). Our experience in this bi200 201

Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind, pgs. 9 and 232. Loosely translated, this comes from Romans 12:19 in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.

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verse (physical and nonphysical universes combined) limits us to cause and effect. Even if we do nothing (cause), we will get nothing in return (effect). Nothing exists outside the law of cause and effect.

Choice/Result

Everything in human life boils down to two things: choice and PROsequence (positive result) or choice and CON-sequence (negative result). Caroline Myss even argues that choice is more fundamental than love, for love itself is a choice.202 Even small decisions like bringing chocolate or strawberries to a party are bound by the law of choice/effect. This is regardless of whether or not we are conscious of the choices that we make. Effects follow each decision, whether or not we are aware of this. Whether made from a human level or from a Spirit/soul level, choice determines everything that we experience. Of course, from a human level—rather than a karmic/spiritual perspective—sole individuals aren’t always the architects of the human choices that affect them. Children, for example, can be born with a disease because of decisions that their parents made. How often I wish that I didn’t have to choose, especially when confronted with situations of “damned if I do, damned if I don’t.” I, for example, needed to have my heart checked and had no health insurance. I considered applying for an individual plan because group plans are for employed people. I fell under the category “unemployed” because though I was writing my heart out, the economic system didn’t pay me. An insurance representative told me that since I have a medical history, any individual plan that I applied for would not cover
202

See Myss, Sacred Contracts.

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“preexisting conditions”—at least, not for two-and-a-half years. The only option was to “get employed” and through my employer, get group insurance. The problem was that I had been trying to “get employed” for years. (People with Asperger Syndrome are seldom hired; yet, most social service agencies aren’t aware of this problem.) I had two options. On the one hand, I could have applied to a program for uninsured people and exposed every detail about my assets. I found the prospect of revealing my life savings as invasive as having a medical instrument inserted in a well-known area. On the other hand, I could have said nothing about my savings—and drawn suspicions about the truthfulness of my statements on the application. I decided to tell the truth about my M.A. degree, about the money I was living on, and about everything they asked me. I didn’t qualify for the program because my M.A. led the interviewer to conclude that I would soon be earning a decent salary. The program for uninsured people, he told me, was for people with very little education. I was left with two choices: 1) Getting my heart checked and possibly losing my life savings or 2) Delaying having my heart checked for who knew how long I also couldn’t apply for unemployment because I had never earned enough figures on the sheet. (This is another problem that adults with Asperger’s have.) Situations like these are exhausting. For once, I wished that I did not have to choose—if nothing else, to avoid the exhaustion of choosing. For better or worse, we live in a universe where everything is choice/result. We cannot escape this law. The bad news is that at the bottom of the barrel, choices are of the nature, “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

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The good news is that we may be able to get off the stick on which we are roasting like Haakon Haakonsen (Stian Smestad) in the movie Shipwrecked (1991). Then, we can move up from the fire at the bottom and climb out of the cave. On the green pastures outside of the barrel, choices are light, fun, and peaceful. As unfair as it is, ignorance of the law is not a defense with regard to spiritual laws. This is much as ignorance about social rules gets Aspergians into trouble.

The Gamble of Choice

The human brain may tell us that volition is an either/or affair. In other words, we either have free will or we don’t. But free will is more complicated than either/or, for it doesn’t happen on an even playing field. Some choices are easy. Others are hard. When we know what a result will be, choice is easier. In the movie Groundhog Day (1993), for instance, Phil Connors (Bill Murray) finds himself reliving February 2nd. The first few days, Connors steps into a pothole of freezing water. Connors learns to avoid the pothole, however, for he knows it is coming. In the flick The Dead Zone (1983), Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) also knows what is coming, for by shaking the hands of others, he can see their future. It is through foresight that John prevents the election of Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen) and hence, World War III. What about when we don’t know the effects of a thought or act? The decision to relocate, for example, is fraught with unknowns. I, for instance, was guided to move to Tacoma, Washington in the spring of 2006. The heavens

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literally wrote it out for me—in the form of Tacoma written in silverish letters on the back of more than one pickup truck on the road. Following my failure to afford to stay in New Hampshire, I had no more will and energy to try again somewhere else. Having returned to square one (Florida) in June 2005, I reluctantly researched Tacoma on the web, just to be able to tell God that I followed up on His guidance. Tacoma’s air, it turns out, has a leftover smell from an era when the city was heavily industrialized. Its parks are not the healthiest in the nation. Many Tacoma neighborhoods are riddled with drugs and crime. My Florida lease was about to expire. I had to decide whether to renew the lease or delay renewing and have my rent jacked up. With my having no income, I felt sick to my stomach. I was torn between God’s guidance and the facts about Tacoma, a city that had a gang problem in the late 1990s. After reading other negatives about Tacoma, I decided that I didn’t want to return to Bronx-like living. I chose not to move to this particular city. Around that time, a New Wave song aired on the radio. I listened extra carefully because: 1) “Situation” is one of my all-time favorites 2) Radio stations rarely played this number in my locality—not to mention that the song was the extended version

The refrain went: Move out, don’t mess around Move out, you bring me down Move out, how you get about

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Don’t make a sound Just move out203 I saw the name of another city printed in front of a bike rack—white letters over black. On different days, I saw the city’s name over the same bike rack. I kept delaying making a choice about whether to move, once more, to a place where I had no job—other than my freelance writing—and to a place where I didn’t know a single spirit. I didn’t want to repeat the mistake of New Hampshire, which involved moving to a state where I had no connections. Jobs, I learned in New Hampshire, come from networking because patronage is still alive and well. I chose to renew my Florida lease. My refusal to move (“the hero declines the call to adventure”) was part of The Hero’s Journey, as outlined by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces.204 Four weeks later, suspicious vehicles started to roam around my apartment complex. The coupés, vans, and pickups all had black windows. One day, a black SUV pulled behind me as I was getting into my red sedan. The shiny SUV stayed in the middle of the parking lot with the engine running— never mind that it was broad daylight. This was the exact situation that the priest faces in the movie Nightmares (1983). In “The Benediction,” the third story of the film, Father MacLeod (Lance Henriksen) leaves his parish, for he has come to believe that “we are living in a great void.” As MacLeod puts it, “I’ve lost my faith.” The SUV that I encountered was ominously similar to the black pickup that terrorizes the ex-priest in the desert. I inhaled deeply. The black SUV screeched away. Bicyclists who didn’t live in my apartment complex began to come and go, however. One afternoon, an African American man almost
203

Yaz, “Situation.” This song is in the CD titled, Upstairs at Eric’s. “Situation” debuted in 1982. The CD came out on October 25, 1990. Label: Sire / London/Rhino. 204 Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Third Edition, (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2008).

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backed his eight-cylinder car into my living room. He applied his brakes so that his taillights would get my attention. Neighbors started to complain to management about suspicious activity in the area. Not even in the South Bronx (1980s) had I felt so threatened (2006). I suspected that street drugs were involved. On three occasions, I was forced to call the police. I forgot the saying, “Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real [emphasis mine].”205 One week, I panicked. It hurt physically. My appetite left, and I began to worry on an empty stomach. About a month later, a black vehicle pulled up beside my red car at a stoplight down the block. Its dark windows were rolled down. Rap music blared into my car. I never looked directly, but I saw enough through the corner of my eye. The atmosphere was thick as water. The 95-degree heat was suffocating. My red sedan—actually, my deceased mother’s—had no air conditioner ($800 to fix). Therefore, I was forced to leave my window down. Then and there, I chose not to fear. Never did I look at the dark men in the vehicle. Instead, I whispered a mantra that, I was told, diffuses negative energies. Seconds later, the car rolled further ahead, still waiting for the stoplight to change. The drivers silenced their music. The light then changed. What amazed me was that this miracle didn’t shock me. As A Course in Miracles says, miracles happen everyday.206 I never reacted in disbelief. Rather, I was grateful. Reinforcing this miracle were drops of water that I spotted one afternoon on the hood of my red sedan. It had not rained, and no water hoses or sprinklers were around. I interpreted the drops to be a sign that, despite it all, I was safe. Days later, I recalled the Story of Lot in Genesis: 18-19. Before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (it was for inhospitality, not for homosexuality
205

The author of this saying is unknown. The saying is at Cybernation.com. See URL http://www.cybernation.com/quotationcenter/quoteshow.php?id=10543. 206 See Shuckman, A Course in Miracles.

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per se), He told Lot and his wife to leave the cities.207 Lot’s wife looked back to see how God would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. As we know, she turned into a pillar of salt. When a negative person leaves negativity behind, negative energies from the past keep catching up in the present. This lasts for a while. There is the temptation to get embroiled, once again, in negativism. After all, negative people have been attracted to dark energies for a long time—focusing on disease, complaining about lack, worrying about what may go wrong, and judging people. Like Lot’s wife, I was tempted to look into the rattling vehicle while waiting for the stoplight to change. I resisted the urge, and the car from hell left my side. I wasn’t turned into a pillar of salt. When I moved into that apartment complex, it was peaceful as a crystalline lake—and stayed that way for eight months. I took the vehicle incidents to be: 1) 2) The CON-sequence (negative result) of my not having followed divine guidance to “move out” Another clue that God was giving me to leave

A third hint was the words, “Go West, Young Man” on the front-page headline of my old college newspaper.208 A day later, guess what I saw on one of Michael W. Smith’s CDs? You guessed it. “Go West, Young Man.”209 I knew that this was no coincidence.

207

See pamphlet White, Pamela, A Positive Look at the Bible and Homosexuality, (Albuquerque, NM: River of Life Healing Ministries, 1995). 208 Vincent M. Massaro, “Go West, Young Man: Wednesday Reopening Set,” The Independent Florida Alligator, August 1, 2006, Vol. 99, Issue 164: 1 and 11. 209 Michael W. Smith, “Go West, Young Man.” This song is in the CD titled, Michael W. Smith, The First Decade, 1983-1993. “Go West, Young Man” debuted in 1990. The CD came out on October 12, 1993. Label: Reunion.

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I researched the second city that God had clued me about and decided to, once more, move. Unlike my first move to New Hampshire, my second move was difficult in that my energy and enthusiasm were gone. I felt like I was jumping back on a merry-go-round. I also prefer stability. In fact, during my adolescence, I heard the words, “estabilidad da seguridad” (“stability brings security”) in my head. Yet, I recalled the line in Power vs. Force that courage— such as the courage to relocate—is the breakthrough point to higher consciousness (above 200).210 When I moved west (“the hero heeds the call to adventure”), I drove a rented truck, just like I had done when I relocated to New Hampshire. From Tallahasee, Florida to San Antonio, Texas, it rained—on and off, on and off. Never had I seen so many gray clouds. One of my big toes got infected from an ingrown nail. (I later looked up the index of Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and discovered that ingrown toenails mean “Worry and guilt about your right to move forward.”)211 Lacking health insurance, I had to go to the nearest hospital for medicine. It cost me $353. In northern New Mexico, I began to encounter mountain bends. Night had fallen. Guess what? It started to rain again. There were no street lights, practically no other vehicles to help me light up the interstate, and no rest area for 30 miles. Close to southern Colorado, I saw the black sky flash toward day behind fluffy clouds. A thought hit my mind. Tornado! Then and there, I chose to drop that thought and focused on my line of vision ahead. I refused to look at the cliffs that dropped from the right side of my truck. Slowly, my fear vanished. Had I not dropped the thought of tornado, you might not be reading this. Outside of Pueblo, Colorado, a recliner fell off a loaded pickup in front of my truck. This was on the interstate. For an instant,

210 211

Hawkins, Power vs. Force, p. 84. Hay, You Can Heal Your Life, p. 180.

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each second became three seconds. I swerved and avoided getting hit. After Pueblo, the skies cleared, and it was smooth sailing afterward. In Washington state, however, things slowed down to a crawl. I found my dream car—at an affordable price. But the owner had issues with the title. The bank also froze my new checking account, as banks always do whenever one transfers funds from one state to another. For three weeks, I couldn’t do much around town because America’s public transportation system is a joke—with exceptions like New York City. I couldn’t restart exercising at the local gym, couldn’t get my license updated, and had to walk 10 blocks to get to the nearest grocery store. Try carrying six bags of groceries 10 blocks in the heat of summer. One day, I waited 40 minutes for a transfer bus. It never came. I tried again another day. The bus came. At the driver’s license office, I didn’t pass the exam. Like in Florida, my “life” stalled. As I walked home, a soccer ball rolled my way on green grass. The high school girls were faraway, so I assumed that the wind had blown it. The ball was golden. I had seen that color several times over the past few months. I took the ball to mean that I needed to make a play in the “game of life.” I, however, had already contacted the history department at the local college, the tutoring center, and the writing center. I had checked their human resources websites. Like in New Hampshire, I had telephoned the directors of the various departments. As usual, their answering machines came on. I left brief messages stating my educational background, availability, and bilingual skills. I was willing to meet them in person, even if nothing was currently open, and told them so on their answering machines. In fact, this is Step Two in the job-hunting process. From my perspective, I had already made a play—actually, several plays. It was the people who didn’t return my messages that needed to make countermoves. As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” I wasn’t ecstatic about my “life.” But I

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was fairly positive, despite the things that had happened to me. I didn’t know what else to do, other than ask the Holy Spirit for more guidance. It was like the impasse that transpires between the crew of the Starship Enterprise and the race of beings that speaks only in metaphor. Without knowing who Romeo and Juliet were—let alone, what the balcony scene means—there is no way that one will comprehend this metaphor. So argues Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) in the episode of Star Trek called “Darmok.”212 (See Part I, Chapter 15, section titled, “Why Look at Things Symbolically?”) The spirit world throws metaphors our way, metaphors like the golden soccer ball that I encountered. But because we lack a nonhuman frame of reference, we often miss the meaning of divine guidance. This is why spiritual messages are often humanly illogical, even when we get that they are divine messages. The mother ship of my soul chose to eject the shuttle of my current spirit to incarnate during the 1970s. This was a time of unprecedented changes on planet Earth. One of the goals of my Spirit/soul was to help further some of the positive changes. A spirit guide told me, however, that a major part of my spiritual mission got cancelled after I was born. Other parts of my mission were just delayed. Why? A critical mass of humanity recoiled at the cultural changes that were occurring on earth. The conservative counterrevolution in America has been against everything that the 1960s and 1970s gave birth to. These include the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, environmental awareness, the antiwar movement, the youth movement, gay liberation, the rights of the poor, and the rights of children. The post-1980 backlash in America —and to a lesser extent, in Canada/Europe/Australia—is a major part of this unexpected change. Many spiritual missions had to be aborted or postponed.

212

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Darmok.” This episode originally aired in syndication on September 28, 1991 (Season 5, episode 2).

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Mine was one of them. My aimlessness up to now—no matter how much action I have done—is an effect of this. Choice sounds like an easy concept. For people who don’t know what the effects of their choices will be, however, choice is a gamble. Free will can thus be said to be a series of gambles that we make on our path to learning what the “right” and “wrong” choices are. Even people who think that x choice will make them happy—as in a one-night stand—are gambling when they choose x, thinking that is the “right” choice, and discover that x brings them misery. A momentous example is Adolf Hitler. He thought that the Nazi death camps were the “Final Solution” to the presence of Jews and German “undesirables.” Yet, Hitler’s vision of an Aryan nation failed to materialize, and Germany now has a growing class of Turkish immigrants. Another example of choices being made in the dark is James Polk. From 1846 to 1848, this American president pushed war—the U.S./Mexican War—on a weak Mexico. The American ideology of Manifest Destiny—the dream of the Stars and Stripes all over North America—was used to justify takeovers of western lands in Mexican hands (e.g., the Californias) and in British hands (e.g., Oregon Territory). Tejas was one of the first casualties. Ever since Texas was a Mexican territory (1824-1836), American colonists had been wagoning there in droves. First, American newspapers, congresspeople, and presidents from Andrew Jackson to James Polk encouraged more Americans to immigrate into what would become the Republic of Texas (1836-1845). Second, the United States annexed Texas in 1845 and Oregon Territory in 1846. Third, through the treaty that ended the U.S./Mexican War—the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)—the U.S. annexed the rest of northern Mexico. This was some 40 percent of Mexican territory. The Polk administration announced as glorious for the American

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Republic the acquisition of California, Nevada, Utah, parts of Colorado and Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, and unincorporated parts of Texas. America, however, brought negative karma upon herself. Just like Americans colonized Texas—once a Mexican territory—and the lands of the Mexican Session, the United States is now being deluged by legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico. And just like most American immigrants to Tejas refused to learn Spanish in the 1820s and 1830s, many Mexicans today refuse to learn English in the U.S. An adjunct development to the Mexican question was that through disease and war, European settlers wiped out American Indians to their current 1 percent of the U.S. population. But since the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, European Americans have been in danger of becoming a minority themselves. In 1960, for example, European Americans were 88.6 percent of the American population.213 By 2042, European Americans are forecasted to be 49 percent of the U.S. population—a full eight years ahead of schedule.214 Anglos have already declined to 49 percent of California’s population—down from 80 percent in 1950. As demographic observers have noted, where California goes, the rest of America will follow, and where the United States goes demographically, the rest of the Western world will follow. As of 2009, 47 percent of American children under age 5 are nonwhite—up from 45 percent in 2005.215 This is the future demographics of the United States. Caucasian countries around the world face the same demographic tsunami. Native Europeans themselves are forecasted to become a minority in
213

This statistic comes from Patrick J. Buchanan, The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization, (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2002), p. 136. 214 The U.S. Census Bureau is making this prediction. 215 This is according to the U.S. Census Bureau. See Sean Callebs, “Whites Become Minority in Kansas County,” CNN.com/living, May 22, 2009. Article at http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/05/22/garden.city.kansas.minorities/index.html.

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Europe within a few decades. Why? Because Europe colonized non-European lands for centuries. Now, Europe (increasingly called Eurabia) is being flooded by immigrants from the Third World. This is a karmic consequence of Europe having colonized the world. This is not to blame Caucasians, as every human race has “good” and “bad” people. And people from all over the world—not just Europeans—have willingly settled in the Americas. Thus, just about every human race is “guilty” of stealing Indian lands. The exception is people who were brought to the New World against their will—namely, African slaves. Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on your view—the law of karma makes us collectively responsible for the sins of our ancestors. A sensory person will rail, “Why should I pay reparations? I wasn’t there.” To be sure, the word reparations has a tone of revenge in it, and that is lower consciousness. Still, a trans-sensory person knows that each human race is psychically linked to its ancestors. This is so regardless of whether or not it is fair. Many contacts between Europeans and American Indians were peaceful, of course. Yet, majority rules, and the majority of Indian/European encounters in the Americas were violent, as were the majority of European/non-European encounters in the rest of the world. Europeans also led the trend of everyone coming to the Americas. Therefore, Caucasians are karmically the most responsible for the racial makeover of the Americas. Several trends are causing the demographic decline of Caucasians. These trends have been called, “opting out of whiteness.” First, most people of European stock are either not reproducing (birth control or abortion) or are having less than 2.1 children. The requirement to keep a population stable is 2.1 children per couple. Instead of reproducing, more Caucasians are adopting children from other races. The movie Gloria (1980) hints at the reason for this.

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The following scene unfolds between a Caucasian woman (Gena Rowlands) and a Puerto Rican boy (John Adames): Phil: Why would you wanna be my mother? Gloria: I don’t know. Just wanna clear things up. This has been called “white guilt,” guilt for the atrocities that Europeans have committed against non-Europeans over the last 500 years. Non-Europeans, of course, have also committed barbarities over the past 500 years—and the law of karma will hold them up to account as well. Second, Caucasians who do reproduce with other Caucasians are tending to delay having children until age 30 or later. The reason is that Western women —not just Western men—are being forced into the labor force by monetary necessities. Other Western women are in the workplace for personal fulfillment. Second wave feminism (post-1964) has inspired many Western women to pursue happiness in the workplace—and to abandon motherhood altogether. The Western delay of reproduction is aging people of European extraction and is causing Caucasian youth, the future of the Caucasian race, to decline in numbers. As Pat Buchanan, the political commentator, writes in The Death of the West: Not since the Black Death carried off a third of Europe in the fourteenth century has there been a graver threat to the survival of Western civilization. Today, in seventeen European countries, there are more burials than births, more coffins than cradles.216

216

Buchanan, The Death of the West, p. 9.

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Third, more Caucasians are abandoning the future of their race by reproducing with nonwhites. If Western nations required its citizens to follow the 2:1 rule, then racial extinction would not be an issue. Each Caucasian who chose to have children would then be required to have two Caucasian children with a Caucasian sexual and/or romantic partner. Two children per person keeps the Caucasian population stable, and three children maximum per person prevents overpopulation. If a Caucasian wants interracial children, then the third child could be had with a non-Caucasian lover. Polyamory allows this. Monogamy, on the other hand, prevents one’s having interracial children and children of one’s race because only one other sexual partner is allowed. Ever since Columbus discovered America for the Europeans, interracial contact has been slowly destroying the original races—especially races with recessive genes. Why? Because in multi-racial societies, people increasingly tend to only have children with the other races that they come into contact with. This is sensory consciousness because it is either/or thinking. Both/and thinking encourages racial preservation and racial genetic mixing per person through polyamory. In a both/and milieu, each person is encouraged to have both same-race lovers and kids and other-race lovers and kids. That way, the multi-racial society sustains itself, instead of becoming a post-racial society down the road. If everything united throughout the four corners of the globe, we would lose the ability to differentiate things—and would lose the ability to enjoy diversity. In “the real world,” however, global warming will require the blending of the human races. But just as national parks exist, racial preserves could be set up as well (see epilogue). Fourth, gay identity is common in the Caucasian population—not bi identity—and 100 percent homosexuality in someone inhibits his or her reproduction.

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Fifth, Caucasian homelands are being overrun by non-European immigrants—both legal and illegal. Immigrants, of course, can enrich a country culturally, and even undocumented workers have human rights. Cesar Chavez, the organizer of farm workers from 1952 to 1993, set a humane precedent because he organized underpaid, overworked laborers in rural America. Both legal and illegal, immigrants tend to be hardworking, work at jobs that most Westerners wouldn’t take, and (legal immigrants) pay taxes. But the tearing down of Western borders is displacing native Europeans. Given global warming, however, this is necessary (see epilogue). On June 8, 1982, President Ronald Reagan told the British Parliament that Marxism and Leninism would be left “… on the ash-heap of history …” Reagan didn’t consider that everything else that comes out of the West will too be confined to “the ash-heap of history.” This includes blond hair and blue irises— at least, on this one of many alternate earths. As playwright Euripides wrote, quoted in The Death of the West, “ ‘ There is no greater sorrow on earth, than the loss of one’s native land.’ ”217 This is from a human perspective. From a spiritual perspective, there is no greater joy than “ ‘the loss of one’s native land.’ ”218 This is humanly irrational but cosmically rational (see epilogue, section titled, “Coping with Armageddon”). Psychically, about half of the West—the liberal half—is no longer “white.” It is only a matter of time before this gets physically manifested. When Robert Moses, the construction coordinator, authorized the bulldozing of neighborhoods in New York City to construct freeways, this began the process of displacement of Caucasians from their homelands (see Part II, Chapter 6, section titled “The Hierarchy of Representation—Politics”). After 1945, every American city began to transform from white to nonwhite. As an old
217 218

Ibid., p. 5. Ibid.

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lady implored to Mayor Ed Koch of New York City in 1978, “Make it like it was.”219 Now, entire states are being transformed from white to nonwhite. In a few decades, entire countries—all Western—will see their native populations decimated. People of European stock are becoming strangers in their own land (Europe) and strangers in the lands that they have occupied for centuries in the New World. This will, very likely, be the last generation of “white” people. As Jozef Ritzen, a Dutch Minister of Education and Science, said in 1989: I think that the Dutch will in the long run disappear. The [immigrant] ethnic groups’ population growth is much faster than that of the Dutch. It is obvious that this process will continue, even after the year 2100. This is the trend worldwide. The white race will in the long term become extinct. I don’t regard this as positive or negative. Apparently we are happy with this development.220 All of the above developments are a type of ethnic cleansing. Yet, in the United States, the ethnic cleansing of European Americans is being called “a purely demographic matter” and “cultural and socioeconomic dislocation.”221 Becoming trans-sensory means being conscious about the following: If the end of white America is at hand, so is the end of black America, and the end of Asian America, and the end of Hispanic America. This is because we are all connected spiritually. If one domino falls, all the dominos fall (see epilogue). We can both mourn this loss from a human perspective and celebrate it from a

219 220

New York: A Documentary Film, “The City and the World: 1945-Present.” This quote comes from an interview in the Dutch magazine Vast & Zeker. This was requoted in the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, December 11, 1989, p. 1. The newspaper article was titled, “Ritzen: Blanke ras verdwijnt” (Ritzen: The White Race Disappears). 221 Hua Hsu, “The End of White America?” The Atlantic, January/February 2009. Article at http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200901/end-of-whiteness.

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divine perspective, for much more is going on in the cosmos than the physical senses allow us to see or know about. From a karmic perspective, Caucasians have brought their cultural and numerical decline. Because Europeans colonized the world from 1492 on, Caucasian homelands are now being colonized. And not just physically but culturally. Because the West fed off the resources of non-Western nations for centuries, non-Western immigrants are now feeding off the wealth of Western nations. This wealth includes things like higher wages, free medical care, and Western technology. Poetic justice. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Empire Strikes Back. In 1900, for example, Caucasians were 30 percent of the world’s population. By 2050, Caucasians are forecasted to be less than 7 percent of the global population.222 Just like European settlements drove American Indians to the countryside after 1492, the immigration of “colored” people into “white” countries has driven Caucasians to the suburbs since 1950. The master becomes the slave, and the slave emerges the master. This is in line with the law of karma. In the cosmic sense, two wrongs make a right. That is the karmic equation. This is not an excuse for humans to take revenge. Again, the Bible says, “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord [emphasis mine].”223 Only the heavens can “take revenge” through the law of karma—not us. This is because the heavens play by one set of rules, while we must play by another set of rules. The good news is that the lessons we learn here affect alternate earths, so that some things never happen again. As memorials for the European Holocaust say, “Never again.” Europe’s colonization of the Americas was unstoppable, however. As Carl Sagan narrates in an episode of Cosmos:
222 223

This is the projection being made by the United Nations. Loosely translated, this comes from Romans 12:19 in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.

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Improvements in navigation, the lure of the spice trade [in the Far East] and competition among rival European powers made the discovery of America around 1500 more or less inevitable.224 The Bible says: And [people] shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.225 To the human ego, the “word of the Lord” are the riches of this world. By “shall not find it,” the Bible means that the things of this world won’t truly satisfy.226 Besides earthly reasons, there were divine reasons for Europe’s expansion to the Americas. The Hopi Indians of Arizona, for instance, prophesied the meeting of “the white man” and “the red man.”227 If this encounter was prophesized, then divine providence was behind it. This means that the European arrival in the New World was spiritually inevitable. From a cosmic perspective, it was a done deal. Like a legal contract, the meeting of Europeans and non-Europeans could not have been undone. Before 1492, a series of legal forms must have been signed in heaven between Spirits/souls preparing to incarnate as Europeans, Native Americans, African Americans, and Asians. This was the what, and it appears to have been inevitable. How the spiritual accord was fulfilled was not inevitable, however. In an alternate earth, for example,
224

This is from episode 8 of Cosmos, titled, “Journeys in Space and Time.” Cosmos originally aired on PBS in the fall of 1980. 225 This comes from Amos 8:11-12 from the Mormon version of the Bible. 226 Ibid. 227 See Mooncloud, “Native American Prophecies,” p. 2.

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Europeans could have expanded into the Americas—as the population of Europe required after 1500—without exterminating Native Americans. Peaceful coexistence could have been realized. Perhaps, North America could have been carved so that American Indians stayed south of the Ohio River and Europeans stayed to the north. Limited intercultural contact would have been preferable to disease and death through uncontrolled contact. Also, Native Americans would not have been put on reservations. Nor did the British have to colonize India. Had Europeans fulfilled their divine mission to connect the peoples of the world in a humane way, they would not be on the path to extinction today. And connecting the peoples of the world in a humane way includes not unleashing technologies, as Europeans have done, that will make the world too hot. Global warming is another factor in the extinction of much of humanity (see epilogue). There are no inalienable human rights—only alienable human rights and privileges. Even the discarnate Spirit/soul can forfeit Its rights by creating negative karma. When a human race or the human species abuses its alienable rights and privileges because of the human ego, it forfeits them. Therefore, no human race has an inalienable right to exist under the sun, only the alienable right and privilege to do so. Creating negative karma—such as the process of European colonization—eliminates the alienable right and privilege of a race or species to exist under the sun. Players have no inalienable rights—only alienable rights that can be revoked through penalties of the game. In a learning process akin to the scientific method (experiment/result), human life can become a hellish journey. We spiritual non-masters often think that our experiment is going well. Suddenly, we get electrocuted—a side effect, nothing personal. Karma. Trial and error. Gambles and choices in the dark. Such is the price of personal and collective evolution. Real choice comes when one knows

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the effects of x decision and chooses accordingly. Moreover, there is a difference between knowing the effects of something and thinking that one knows. Only through experience can one learn to distinguish between the two.

The Five Ws and the H

Human—and inhuman—experiences are limited to who, what, when, where, why, and how. That’s it. No more. In an infinity of universes, surely there is more to existence than the five Ws that journalists use to report news. Story, however, is everything in this universe—be it the story of biological evolution, the story of modernization, the story of your life, the story of your getting up from bed, or the story of a car crash. Story, in turn, is nothing but who, what, when, where, why, and how.228 Try to think about anything. Say, for example, that you are thinking about your computer, puppy, or mug. After a few seconds, you are bound to unearth a story. Even if you found a spoon on the curb and have no idea what the spoon’s story is, you found it, and that is a story. Story (a sequence of events) is as major as choice/effect—itself a story. Yet, everything having a story is another limitation in a universe of universes. Are sensory perception, choice/result, and the five Ws and the H all there is to existence? Or do parameters exist beyond these frontiers? Whatever the answer, trans-sensory humans abide by physical and nonphysical laws of this universe.
228

I define story loosely here, as merely a sequence of events. Fiction experts define story more comprehensively—among other things, as meaningful events that connect sequentially and that change a character(s) by the end of a narrative.

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The next chapter shows the folly of living by our human senses alone.

Exercises
1) Jot down three small choices that you have made—of the thousands we make every day—that were spiritually significant. Next time you catch yourself doing or saying humanly insignificant things, try to discover the spiritual significance of such choices. 2) Of choices that you have made, list one that you thought would bring you or others a positive result (PRO-sequence). Did the effect match your expectation? If no, what did you learn about the choice in question?

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10 Limits of the Human Senses Most human conflict would not exist if we examined the basis of our disagreements. As this chapter will show, a mere three senses are the portal through which most of us come to misconstrue one another, hate each other, and continue the us vs. them mentality. These three senses are seeing, hearing, and touching. They do the following to our consciousness: 1) 2) 3) Affect our perceptions about differences of religion, class, race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and ideology Cause us to miss subtle differences in the physical environment Cause us to mix Truth and falsehood in everyday life

The sections below look at the above topics.

The Three Senses of Human Differences

Most human differences are not even based on what the so-called five senses perceive. Rather, human differences are based on what three of our biological senses detect—four including the thought-processing part of the human brain. The three senses are sight, sound, and touch. Differences between Jews and Muslims, for example, are seen and heard. Rabbis wear the kippah on

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their heads, whereas Muslim women wear head scarfs (visual elements). Their religious chants and doctrinal language also vary (auditory elements). Ideological differences are the last difference between Jews and Muslims, and like sight and sound, the sixth sense of the human brain processes such differences. To a large extent, differences between the rich and poor are visual and auditory. Largely college educated, for example, wealthy people dress and talk differently than poor, often illiterate people. Seeing and hearing rich vs. poor people, one concludes that they are separate species. Increasingly in the West, of course, class differences are going underground, as low-income people have cars, radios, televisions, refrigerators, and even computers and cell phones. Access to services and to information is what is now delineating the split between rich and poor. This is a reminder that our human senses can fool us about who is wealthy and poor. Historically, however, class differences have manifested visually and auditorily. As for racial differences, they are mostly seen—although genes and the differences in the bone structure of each human race are not directly visible. Ethnic differences are seen and heard. Sight elements of ethnicity may be different ways of dressing—as in Scottish men wearing kilts. Auditory elements of ethnicity are the different languages and dialects that people use. An example is black English. Some specialists of smell argue that different human populations also smell differently, but this is a contentious issue.229 Gender differences are overwhelmingly based on sight and sound. Women, for instance, tend to be shorter and rounder than men (sight elements, for the most part). Women’s voices are typically higher-pitched, while men’s voices are usually lower-pitched (sound elements). One could argue that
229

For a discussion of scent differences between different human peoples, see Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, p. 22.

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touching women’s breasts feels different than touching men’s pecs. But most individuals don’t do much touching. Women do tend to perspire less and thus, exude a soft scent. Men tend to sweat more and hence, give off a strong body odor. But most people have let their sense of smell atrophy. For example, Helen Keller, the deaf-blind author and public speaker, could smell: “the work they [people she smelled] are engaged in. The odors of the wood, iron, paint, and drugs cling to the garments of those who work in them …. When a person passes quickly from one place to another, I get a scent impression of where he has been—the kitchen, the garden, or the sickroom.”230 Obversely, most of us have not trained our noses to detect subtle differences in the smell of people. In everyday interactions, gender differences exist by sight and sound alone. Undoubtedly, the nose of Helen Keller sharpened because she didn’t have the senses of sight and sound distracting her. This is one case of less being more. By the same token, we could shut our eyes and block our ears once in a while so that we could focus on smelling. Differences of “sexual” orientation are based, in turn, on stereotypes about the look and sound of straight and gay people. In America, effeminate men are assumed to be “gay.” Effeminacy in men is characterized by a “female” way of moving (a sight element). Effeminacy in men is also characterized by a “female” manner of talking—as in lisping (a sound element). Even here, sight and sound can be deceptive, for many straight men are effeminate. British culture abounds with effeminate men, for example, and most of them are straight. Many straight men with Asperger Syndrome also act effeminate.
230

Ibid., p. 23.

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Sensory humans rely on the three senses of human differences. Sensory people form opinions about others based on sight and sound. Like sensory people, trans-sensory people use their physical senses as gauges in a cockpit. But unlike sensory people, trans-sensory humans also pay attention to things outside the cockpit, for as pilots know, instruments can fail.

My “Spanish” Accent

I was born in New York City. Americans, however, have nudged me with the “fact” that I must be a foreigner because I “sound” like one. I have a “Spanish” accent, Americans say. That is what their ears hear. My ears, by comparison, hear nothing Spanish when I speak English. Still, Americans insist that I don’t sound “American.” Since the last millennium, they have drilled their ear perceptions into my consciousness—in New York, in Florida, in New Hampshire, in Washington State, and in Alaska. Therefore, I have concluded that I am an American citizen by birth but not an American. I have learned that citizenship and nationality are two different things. Citizenship is being legally equal to other citizens of the same country. Nationality is being linguistically, culturally, ethnically, and racially equal to other nationals of the same country. The following is a citizenship-nationality scale:

Foreign resident . . . . . . . . . . American citizen . . . . . . . . . . American

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This brings degrees of foreignness and nativeness to the concept of nationality. One can be a citizen of a country but not belong to that nationality. I certainly don’t feel like an American in a nation—actually, several nations in one—that sees me as an outsider and constantly reminds me of this. The problem is that I have no nation to call my own. I am a man without a country. My parents are/were from Puerto Rico (one of them “died”). I, however, wasn’t born on the island and lived a mere six-and-a-half years there. Culturally, I don’t feel Puerto Rican or even Hispanic—that is, until Americans knock me over the head with this. In the United States, I am seen as Latino or Hispanic—not as a Hispanic American. This is akin to Germans with Turkish parents being referred to as German-born Turks—rather than as Turkish Germans—and to Jewish Germans being called German Jews. On the other hand, consider the Wikipedia description of actress Marina Sirtis, one of my favorite actresses. In Wikipedia’s words, Sirtis is a “British-born American actress [emphasis mine].”231 Americans often reject people born in the U.S., yet accept certain naturalized foreigners— such as Arnold Schwarzenegger—as American. Americans also see Canadians as “decaffeinated Americans [emphasis mine],” never mind that Canadians don’t consider themselves to be American. Canada, after all, has declared herself a sovereign country since 1867. But because Canadians generally “look” and “act” American—read Anglo American—most Americans see Canadians as American. Conversely, many ethnic and racial minorities in America are not seen as “allAmerican” because of the way that they look, act, and talk. Everybody, of course, has an accent, even Anglo Americans. The difference is that, driven by its mass media, America has decided what “standard English” sounds like—not to mention, what an “all-American dude” looks like.
231

The article from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia is titled, “Marina Sirtis.” The URL is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Sirtis.

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People who deviate from standard English “have an accent.” People who don’t deviate “have no accent.” Native-born people can’t comprehend that everyone has a distinctive way of pronouncing. Even I have been sensory at times on this issue. One day in class, for example, a student in her 40s started to talk about bugs in Florida. She pronounced bugs as boogs. Everybody, myself included, laughed at her thick accent. We were being sensory in that moment. To us, the lady had an accent. But did she hear her “accent?” At most, Americans refer to the accents of fellow Americans as a “Southern drawl” or as an “Irish brogue.” It sounds cuter and less alienating. Foreigners are the ones with “accents.” And unlike brogues and drawls, accents are perceived in a negative light. The question of “having an accent” vs. “having no accent” is a transsensory one because an accent is the same in a given person. Different people just hear it differently. Therefore, the issue is not the accent but rather, people’s perceptions of the accent. My “Spanish” accent, it turns out, is largely a result of my Asperger Syndrome. People with Asperger’s tend to pronounce words monosyllabically (one syllable at a time). Even linguists can confuse an Asperger pronunciation for a “foreign” accent. If something is relative, then it can’t be true in the Ultimate sense. Since everything in this universe is relative, then nothing in this universe is Ultimately True—including accents. As Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) tells Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in the film Return of the Jedi (1983), “Luke, you’re gonna find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view [emphasis mine].” Only truth with a T is not relative because Truth comes from outside the material universe. When someone speaks with an “accent,” he or she affects the vibes in the air. Something changes in the world of people not used to hearing accents. The same occurs when somebody states a truth that conflicts with ours. Because

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truths create inner and outer realities, someone’s truth creates a ripple of reality —his or her interior and exterior reality—in our path. We feel their truth/reality altering ours. The more insecure we are in our truth, the more shaky our inner reality will be. We then become defensive about our point of view. One afternoon, for instance, I told my adopted aunt that I would never require a romantic partner to restrict sex to me alone. That was alright if my boyfriend or girlfriend chose such a restriction. But I would never demand it as a condition of “commitment.” The woman exploded. Monogamy, she railed, was the only moral choice. I felt her truth for a moment—and began to doubt my own. Fear gripped me. Shame fell over me. I suspect that my truth caused her to doubt hers as well. That is probably why my adopted aunt became defensive. I decided to leave the charged air space of her living room, rather than defend my truth. The drama that unfolded was caused by what one sense—hearing—did to our truths. Many people feel threatened by foreign accents because of the same dynamics. Someone’s foreignness alters another’s nativeness. The native then fears the prospect of foreigners taking over his or her culture. Only if we are secure enough in our truths can we accept conflicting truths in peace. If one finds one’s truth/reality (David) competing with the truth/reality of a group (Goliath), then it is best to leave. This is because group consciousness tends to overpower individual consciousness. Group consciousness like sexism, biphobia, and ageism can make intolerant someone who is understanding when you are alone with him or her. A major step toward becoming trans-sensory is conceding the house of cards—hearing and seeing—through which our brains process differences between people.

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Visible vs. Invisible Differences

Since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Caucasian Americans have increasingly accepted people who are different from them. Race was the starting point of acceptance. For example, “blacks” are equal to “whites.” Acceptance of the different human races then extended to ethnic differences as well. Today, most Americans understand the necessity of accepting—or at least, tolerating— people from different races, ethnicities, religions, and “sexual” orientations. The focus, though, remains limited to physical differences like race, ethnicity, gender, and stereotypes about non-straights. Someone who differs nonphysically has a hard time being accepted because people accept others based on differences of sight and sound. Ideological diversity is not honored, for example, the way that racial diversity is. This is largely why differences of religious ideologies—as opposed to the physical manifestation of those differences—go unrecognized. Most Americans recognize the Muslim hijab, for instance, and can differentiate between a Muslim and an orthodox Jew. Beyond this, however, most Americans vaguely know the ideological divergences of these religions. Likewise, differences of economic, political, and sexual philosophies exist. But beyond tolerating the people who hold such differing beliefs, most of us make little effort to understand what is inside those people. Why, for example, do most Swedes think that democratic socialism is preferable to American corporatism? Why do some individuals believe in open marriage? Why do some people believe in the decriminalization of marijuana? The most hilarious incident of ideological intolerance surfaced in 1971. That year, Gloria Steinem, the gender feminist, cofounded Ms. magazine. During its test run, a male columnist referred to Ms. as: “ ‘C-sharp on an un-

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tuned piano,’ ” a note “ ‘of petulance, of bitchiness, or nervous fingernails screeching across a blackboard,’ ”… 232 Nowadays, women’s magazines don’t draw such open intolerance from men. But other kinds of ideological differences still go ridiculed. There is much evidence that while visible (e.g., racial) differences are tolerated, ideological differences are less tolerated now than ever. The l word is a classic example of ideological intolerance. In these socially regressive times—although these are also socially progressive times—media pundits hurl epithets at liberals, and the nation sees this as acceptable behavior. In fact, liberal has become a dirty word. American politics has become so personal that it is becoming dangerous to freely express one’s social, economic, and political views in the (Dis)United States. The evolving sensory person only tolerates visible differences between people. By contrast, a trans-sensory person celebrates visible (e.g., racial) and invisible (e.g., ideological) differences.

Subtle Differences

Even physical differences can go unrecognized if they are subtle enough. For instance, Americans who haven’t trained their ears will, more than likely, confuse a Canadian from English Canada for an American. Even in Europe, Canadians from English Canada are often thought to be Americans. The “American” pronunciation of Canadians is cited as the reason for the confusion. Differences in Canadian demeanor go equally missed, however. Americans, for example, tend to be more assertive about violations of their rights. Canadians,
232

Michael Adams with Amy Langstaff and David Jamieson, American Backlash: The Untold Story of Social Change in the United States, (Toronto: Viking Canada, 2005), p. 139.

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on the contrary, tend to be less vocal about their rights in public, although this is changing.233 The invisibility of English Canadians overseas is why English Canadians tend to sew Maple Leafs onto their backpacks whenever they travel outside of Canada. (French Canadians are easier to spot.) Blind to subtle cultural—let alone, ideological—differences between the United States and Canada, most Americans believe that Canadians are “just like us.” Becoming trans-sensory means training one’s human senses to detect subtleties. Why? Because of the following: In the physical world, the spirit realm works by subtleties. These subtleties are much like the seemingly irrelevant minutia that lead TV’s Lieutenant Columbo (Peter Falk) to solve his cases. Trans-sensory humans are spiritual detectives. As such, they are very attuned to clues from the nonphysical plane.
False Differences

Obvious differences may also be incorrect. This is because the so-called five senses can fool us. Seeing two men holding hands, for example, most people will conclude that the men are gay. That one or both men may be bi seldom crosses the average mind. Similarly, seeing a man and a woman holding hands, most people will assume—usually subconsciously—that the man and woman are straight. That the man or woman may be bi does not enter the ordinary mind. As another example, people with Asperger Syndrome are often deemed “immature” because of how Aspies talk, gesture, and contort their faces. A
233

See Michael Adams with Amy Langstaff and David Jamieson, Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada, and the Myth of Converging Values, (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2003).

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sensory person sees the verbal and nonverbal expressions of an Aspie, interprets the nonverbal cues subconsciously, and concludes that the Aspergian is “immature” because his or her body language is socially off. In truth, the Aspie is appearing to be immature. The neural structure of the Asperger brain is what is causing the socially off behavior—not the Aspie’s immaturity. Aspergians also have trouble looking at others in the eye. Again, this is caused by the neural structure of the Aspie brain. People who are unfamiliar with Asperger’s will erroneously conclude that the Aspie’s avoidance of eye contact means that he or she is devious or guilty of something. All of the above conclusions are based on what two senses—sight and sound—tell the mainstream person. Again, as Obiwan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker in the movie Star Wars (1977), “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.” The next chapter gives yet more concrete examples of sensory perception vs. trans-sensory consciousness.

Exercises

1) Recently, what nonphysical irritants have your physical senses encountered? This is the metaphysical equivalent of pricking a finger. For example, somebody spoke with a foreign accent—foreign to you—and your ears became irritated by the nonphysical (based on your thoughts) stimulus of the “accent.” How did you respond to each nonphysical irritant? 2) List ways that your human senses have fooled you. On each occasion, were you aware of being deceived? If yes, did your awareness affect your response to the stimulus—or stimuli? If so, how?

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11

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The Omega Solution: Becoming Trans-sensory This chapter lays a basis for becoming trans-sensory. Hence, it brings example after example of sensory perception vs. trans-sensory consciousness. This chapter draws from my personal life and from the experiences of other people. The chapter culminates with the most trans-sensory of human experiences: 1) Out-of-body experiences 2) Near-death experiences (NDEs) Like the bulk of this chapter, the numbered sections above lay a sensory and a trans-sensory way of viewing the phenomena at hand.

What Does It Mean to Be Trans-sensory

My Bronx Experience

Growing up in the South Bronx, I saw African Americans and Latinos living in slums, drinking, doing drugs, and talking vulgar. Not all of them lived like this, to be sure. Still, I remember that the “white” Italians lived on a rainclean street that had no people hanging out, no street drugs, no noise, and no “colored” people. Eventually, I got the message. To make matters worse, Latinos would say, “Nosotros dañamos los buenos vecindarios” (“We [blacks

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and Latinos] destroy good neighborhoods.”). Some of the Latinos who said this were “black” themselves. One of the most brushed off stories of American history is the flight of Caucasians to the suburbs between 1955 and 1975. The 1950s marked the birth of the interstate highway system in the United States. Interstates—and a gallon of gas being cheaper than a gallon of water—allowed European Americans to flee to the suburbs. What were people of European stock fleeing from? Among other factors (see Part II, Chapter 6, section titled, “The Hierarchy of Representation— Politics”), the immigration of dark-skinned peoples into their neighborhoods. Businesses left as well, and behind stayed the racial and ethnic minorities that remain to this day in America’s inner cities. An African American can walk 10 blocks and continue to be surrounded by burnt housing, deserted streets, and abandoned warehouses. So argue sociologists Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton in American Apartheid. The black person can walk another 10 to 15 blocks and still be surrounded by dilapidated buildings, Massey and Denton contend.234 For people trapped in these places, there is no escape—other than, perhaps, the subway. This phenomenon Massey and Denton call “hypersegregation.” Ralph Nader, the citizen advocate, puts it in even bleaker terms in Crashing the Party. Entire cities, he writes, have been abandoned—not just sections. In cities like Camden, New Jersey, Nader continues, there are almost no fire stations or police precincts. In Camden, a city of about 80,000 people, there is not “a single supermarket, motel, or movie theater within the city limits,” Nader points out.235 East St. Louis, educator Jonathan Kozol writes in Savage Inequalities, is littered with toxic waste from nearby chemical plants. At

234

Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton, American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993). 235 Ralph Nader, Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run for President, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001), p. 5.

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night, the sky above East St. Louis is a “brownish yellow.”236 A pedestrian bridge, Kozol writes, joined East St. Louis to the other St. Louis. The bridge was “closed off to East St. Louis residents [almost 100 percent of them black].”237 East St. Louis is one of the many Hiroshimas across America. Safir Ahmed, a reporter, told Kozol: Nobody in East St. Louis has ever had the clout to raise a protest. Why Americans permit this is so hard for somebody like me, who grew up in the real Third World, to understand … 238 Ahmed continued, “I’m from India. In Calcutta this would be explicable, perhaps. I keep thinking to myself, “ ‘My God! This is the United States!’ ”239 East St. Louis is not even included in the official map of the State of Illinois, Kozol writes, even though it is the largest city south of Springfield. Neither does the telephone directory for East St. Louis list the phone numbers of residents and businesses in the area, Kozol adds.240 With help from the Allies, Japan was able to—painfully—rebuild Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the dropping of the atomic bomb. American politicians, by contrast, continue to ignore what has happened across America. The only political candidate who spoke about urban decay—Ralph Nader—got a mere 3 percent of the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election and even less in the 2004 presidential election. This is the mindset of America in the post-civil rights era. The result is the continuation of all-minority settlements across the country—black shantytowns, poor-white settlements in the Appalachians, Latino
236

Jonathan Kozol, Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools, (New York: Harper Perennial, 1991), p. 15. 237 Ibid., p. 18. 238 Ibid., p. 17. 239 Ibid. 240 Ibid., p. 18.

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colonias along the U.S./Mexican border, and Indian reservations. It is not their separateness that is the problem per se, but their inequality to the rest of America. De jure (by law) racial segregation was declared unconstitutional in 1954. But de facto (in fact) racial segregation has intensified since the 1960s—perhaps as a subconscious reaction to Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Racial segregation, it should be noted, began in the North before the (Un)Civil War. Obversely, Southern planters were used to having access to their slaves. That was the very basis of plantation slavery. Planters who traveled to the North were shocked whenever Northern whites asked the planters to seat their slaves in segregated railroad cars. So lectured James Shenton, the late professor of American history at Columbia University. After the Compromise of 1877, Shenton said at Columbia, former planters merely borrowed the Northern system of racial segregation.241 After the 1960s, the North itself became more racially segregated. The phrase white flight describes how this came to be. White flight was to the North what racial segregation was to the South. As for American public education post-1954, Jonathan Kozol put it this way: We haven’t even lived up to the promises of Plessey v. Ferguson [the 1898 Supreme Court ruling of “separate but equal”]. American schools today are separate [in the major cities] and no one would even pretend they’re

241

Refer to the cassette titled, The History of the United States, Part V: The Making of Modern America, “The Making of a Racial Policy,” Lecture 42. Historians Darren Staloff, Louis Masur, and James Shenton lectured for the Great Courses on Tape Series, (Springfield, VA: Teaching Co., 1996).

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equal [running toilets in white schools and leaky ceilings in black and Latino schools].242 Although I was born in New York City, I spent my early to middle boyhood in Puerto Rico. On that U.S. Commonwealth, people are people first and “white,” “black,” or “Indian” second. I put these words in quotes because, unlike in the United States, no relatively pure races remain in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, the genetic mixing of the human races has made them invisible. When my mother and new stepfather returned to New York City in August 1984, I discovered black people—literally. Why? Because African Americans were so concentrated and the Anglos gone, block after block after block. In the South Bronx, I hardly went to Manhattan. Thus, for years, I hardly saw a “white” person. This is how I became sensory regarding race. In Puerto Rico, I had been trans-sensory in this area. I learned about the existence of human races not in Puerto Rico but in America. When my mother and stepfather moved to DeLand, Florida in August 1989, I felt strange having “white” people around me. I felt like I didn’t belong and was very conscious of not being “white.” This is despite my being considered “white” in Puerto Rico. Years later, I rode an elevator with four “blacks” around me. I, the only “white” person, suddenly felt white. A major reason why Caucasians left America’s cities in the “stable” 1950s and in the stormy 1960s was their perception that African Americans and Hispanics destroy neighborhoods. Today, the situation is worse than in the 1970s, the 1970s being a time when the South Bronx lost 40 percent of its housing to arson by landlords. Not only are seemingly diverse cities like Boston, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles among the most racially—and class—segregated
242

Jonathan Kozol said this at an interview. Elana Berkowitz conducted the interview on September 19, 2005. It is titled, “Five Minutes With: Jonathan Kozol.” The text of the interview is at the Campus Progress website, found at http://www.campusprogress.org/features/552/five-minutes-with-jonathan-kozol.

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cities in the world. White flight has resumed. This time, Caucasians aren’t just moving further out from the vanilla rings around the chocolate cores of America.243 Rather, Caucasians are abandoning entire regions of the country. Southern California is becoming all-Latino, for example, while the Midwest is becoming more “lily white” than ever. A sensory person doesn’t see lack of education and of economic opportunities as causes of drinking and drugs in ethnic ghettoes. All such a person sees is the color and ethnicity of the people living in slums. Therefore, the sensory person concludes that some races and ethnicities cause garbage on the streets, illegal drugs, and homelessness. Can human eyes see, for instance, lack of educational opportunities? Can human eyes see lack of economic opportunities? Of course, not. All that human eyes see are the effects of lack of opportunities, reflected in slums, and the color and ethnicity of the people who live disadvantaged. Correlation (color and ethnicity) becomes causation for sensory people because color and ethnicity is all that human eyes can see. A trans-sensory person, by contrast, sees invisible causes at work, invisibilities like lack of opportunities. Instead of saying, “Colored people destroy neighborhoods” (what human eyes see), a trans-sensory person says, “Lack of education destroys neighborhoods” and “Lack of economic opportunities destroys neighborhoods” (trans-sensory things). A trans-sensory person dislikes the sin—the dearth of opportunities—but loves the sinner.

My Broccoli Experience

243

The terms vanilla and chocolate have been used to refer to “white” flight to suburbs and to the leaving of inner cities to racial and ethnic minorities.

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After my mother entered the spiritual dimension (“died”), I lay in bed one night. Slowly, a faint odor of broiling broccoli tickled my nostrils. Broiled broccoli was one of my mother’s favorite foods. A sensory human would have said, “I’m imagining things.” I, however, recognized the aroma for what it was: my mother’s way of telling me that she was near me in that instant.

My Flying Roach Experience

Staying at the house of my adopted aunt, I saw a gigantic roach fly out of nowhere and land in my pot of boiling macaroni. At first, I was enraged at having to throw out the soft noodles. Then, I remembered something that Wayne Dyer said in the PBS special The Power of Intention. Dyer asked the audience, “Can you find beauty in a cockroach?”244 The night of the flying roach, I retorted, “Not if it lands in my dinner!” That night, however, I searched inside myself for why the flying roach had materialized. A sensory person would have concluded, “I have bad luck.” I, on the other hand, asked the heavens for the meaning of the roach’s landing in my noodles. I sensed that I was being guided to stop supping on macaroni and cheese. I ceased eating gluten-based macaroni and ate more protein and vegetables after dark. A sensory person would have stayed at the level of eyesight—the ugly roach landing in the meal. He or she would have remained angry and bitter.

244

This special aired on PBS on June 12, 2004.

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My Cereal Experience

Munching cereal one morning, I began to taste the milk and cereal as sour. I sniffed into the carton of soy milk, smelled the inside of the box of wheat cereal, and opened the refrigerator. Nothing smelled unusual. The soy milk and cereal hadn’t expired. The fridge was working fine. I couldn’t understand why I was tasting a normally sweet breakfast as sour. A psychologist would say that I was experiencing a “palatal hallucination.” I, however, went beyond my sense of taste. Although I didn’t know the wherefores and whys of what happened, I gave up wheat cereal and switched to rice milk. About a week later, I “accidentally” stumbled onto an online article. It mentioned the need for people with Asperger Syndrome to avoid eating gluten. All wheat products, including wheat cereal, have gluten, the article stated. Soybeans, I learned from another web article, contain hemaglutinin, an ingredient that causes red blood cells to clot.245 I had high blood pressure and for a long time, didn’t know this. In this example, being trans-sensory didn’t require full comprehension. All that I needed was a sense of being guided to switch part of my diet—even if I didn’t understand why. I hope that my health has improved. Five years later, I got a clue as to why I had tasted a sweet meal as sour. In Destiny of Souls, Michael Newton, a hypnotherapist, writes about: … the subtle touching of body organs while eliciting certain emotional reactions which can include the use of the senses. Skillfully applied energy beams [by departed souls] can evoke recognition by sight, sound,

245

See Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, “Soy Products for Dairy Products—Not so Fast,” Health Freedom News, September 1995. Article at the website of The Weston A. Price Foundation. The URL is http://www.westonaprice.org/soy/ploy.html.

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taste and smell.246 Most likely, a discarnate Spirit like my deceased mother’s was sending me a message to stop eating soy and gluten.

My Scratchy Throat

As I rolled into bed one night, I noticed that my throat was getting scratchy. Most people would have said to themselves, I’m coming down with a cold. I may have to stay in bed tomorrow. I, however, have reached a point where I don’t believe in getting colds. Maybe this is because I got sick so many times as a child and am now fed up with it. Whatever the answer, I don’t get anything from getting the flu. Nothing! Zip! Zilch! As preposterous as it may sound, many people want to get colds—subconsciously—for various reasons. Such reasons can be taking a day off work, getting sympathy, and/or getting attention. For me, though, the benefits are not worth the misery. That night, I made a conscious decision not to get sick. I reaffirmed to myself that getting a cold held absolutely nothing of benefit for me—and meant every word. Therefore, I said to myself, I don’t believe in getting colds. The next day, the scratchy throat was gone. I had prevented a sensory event—a cold—with a trans-sensory choice.

TV Mimicking My Actions
246

Newton, Destiny of Souls, pgs. 16-17.

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One night, I was sitting by the bed of a woman in a nursing home. A movie was playing in front of me in black-and-white. In the film, a man sat by the bed of a sick woman. I noticed that the 83-year-old whom I was visiting was holding a stuffed puppy. To my amazement, a puppy climbed onto the bed in the movie. A nurse entered the room that I was in to check on the woman whom I was keeping company. The nurse left, and in the flick, a nurse appeared. Never had I seen my actions mirrored so accurately on TV—or anywhere. For the first time, I saw that what happens out there is a reflection of what happens in here.

My Life Review

After a close encounter with death, I began to see, hear, and experience things from my childhood—right here on earth. Walking one afternoon, for example, I saw a car parked on a driveway. The automobile was a red MG Midget with a black leather top. The coupe had three wipers on its windshield. At the time, I was 32. Not since I was 6 had I seen a car with three wipers in front—let alone, the same make and color as my uncle-in-law’s car. At my adopted aunt’s house in Florida, I then saw a sunset photo of palm trees. Not only was the picture hanging on her wall. It was almost identical to a wallpaper photo I had often seen at a neighbor’s house in Puerto Rico. For 22 years, I had not seen this picture. Another day, I was climbing a Stairmaster at the gym. A gingerbread man appeared in a commercial. I hadn’t seen a gingerbread man since my mother baked them almost 30 years ago.

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The zinger of my “life review” was the hoarse voice, hoarse from screaming, of a sexagenarian lady. When I was a teenager, my ears were exposed to her hysterical cries whenever her adult son climbed the fire escape to sleep in her third floor apartment. The screams of the skinny, wrinkled woman descended all the way to the first floor apartment where my parents and I lived. Late on many nights, the broad screamed at the top of her lungs, “Police! Police! Someone’s trying to break into my apartment. Police!” Each night this happened, the adult son of the lady hummed back in Spanish, “Pues dame la ropa” (“Then, give me the clothes”). This drama occurred in the South Bronx in the mid and late 1980s. In the year 2007, guess what I heard from my apartment in the Pacific Northwest. Right on. “Would someone call the police? Help!” The voice was eerily similar to that of the Bronx broad. “I want you to leave!” the hoarse voice of the sexagenarian lady said near Spokane, Washington. Each time, the melodrama went as follows: The man would leave the premises, and the woman would calm down. A few days later, the man would, once again, knock on the front door of her apartment, and at the top of her lungs, the woman would start screaming, “Would someone call the police! Help!” What made this so odd was that the apartment complex was an otherwise peaceful place—unlike the tenement in the South Bronx. Other incidents transpired during a three-year period following my close encounter with physical death. A sensory person would have called these events “random.” The incidents, however, were too many and too specific to be mere coincidence. For me, this meant that I had died nonphysically and was experiencing a life review—or aspects of it—right here on earth. Part of my life review scared me, for I thought that I would soon die physically. Part of it fascinated me.

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Practice Makes Perfect

Intellectually, we may know that a plant is more than a plant. I, for example, saw a Bromeliad in the movie The Trip (2002). In that film, Tommy Ballenger (Steve Braun) gives the plant to Alan Oakley (Larry Sullivan) as a date present. The plant survives 11 years of their romance, breakup, and reunion. About a week after I saw this film, I spotted the same plant outside a natural foods store. Many Bromeliads were there for sale. At the rice milk section of the store, a swarthy guy expressed some interest in me. His interest was nothing amorous, just interest in a way that 99 percent of people hadn’t shown me in a long time. Amazingly, I didn’t make the plant/movie connection until after I had left the store. This shows that intellectual understanding of a concept may not be enough. Only practice makes perfect … and repetition, repetition, repetition of the art of connecting subtle dots.

Sensory Perception vs. Trans-sensory Consciousness

Sensory humans see the small picture through the so-called five senses. Trans-sensory humans see the big picture. As we shall see below, trans-sensory consciousness is one’s connecting sensory dots with trans-sensory dots. It is a whole new type of filling in the blanks.

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Sensory Perception

Sensory people say that a cake is just a cake. For instance, in the DVD comment section of the flick Interstate 60 (2002), Bob Gale, the director, notes the following: 1) Filming for Interstate 60 started on September 18 2) The opening scene of Interstate 60 occurs on September 18, that being the birthday of Neal Oliver (the main character) 3) September 18 is also the birthday of James Marsden, the actor who plays Neal Oliver Interstate 60 is about Neal Oliver (James Marsden), a young man who wishes for “an answer to my life.”247 A supernatural being named O.W. Grant (Gary Oldman) appears at a restaurant for Oliver’s birthday celebration. Grant orchestrates a series of unordinary events that lead Oliver to find the answer that he seeks: what to do with the rest of his life. The director comments that September 18, the birthday of Marsden and of the main character, was: … one of those weird kind of cosmic coincidences that means absolutely nothing [emphasis mine] … That is sensory perception. Ironically, though, Interstate 60 is about a man (Marsden) who becomes “an expert at reading [supernatural] signs.” For sensory humans, a cigar is either just a cigar or a trigger for judgement, regret, anger, sorrow, or bitterness. The idea that something may
247

The full title of Interstate 60 is Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road.

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have trans-sensory significance—almost always positive—doesn’t register for sensory humans.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

A trans-sensory person sees September 18 as more than mere coincidence. In fact, September 18 could be seen as the very essence of what Interstate 60 is all about—the birthday of a very successful man: Neal Oliver/James Marsden.

Sensory Perception

One neighbor may observe religious fundamentalists raising a boy. A sensory person says, “How could parents brainwash their child?”

Trans-sensory Consciousness

A trans-sensory person sees the brainwashing and goes beyond it to say: That boy wouldn’t have been born into that family had his Spirit/soul not wanted to. As difficult as his experience may be, that boy is exactly where the heavens want him to be. That is positive.

Sensory Perception

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In Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, my mother spotted a woman who had a wrinkled face, sagging skin on her arms, and a curved back. The short lady was pushing a shopping cart, and it was filled with empty cans. My mother told me to walk up to the lady and give her a dollar. When I did, the woman with the curved back expressed the most joyful smile that my mother and I had ever seen. Years later, my mother recalled this incident. She and I were walking on a sidewalk in New York City. The moment my mother mentioned the dollar, we found one on the pavement. A sensory person would have said, “Coincidence.”

Trans-sensory Consciousness

A trans-sensory person would have seen the dollar as the law of cause and effect. As the Bible says, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”248 Put another way, what goes around, comes around. My mother understood the reality of invisible forces at work. She picked up the dollar in gratitude and put it into her pocket.

Sensory Perception

One afternoon, I received a telephone call. A woman told me, “Your car will have to stay in the shop a little longer.” “What car?” I said. “Mine is in front of my apartment.” “I must have the wrong number,” the lady said and hung up. A sensory person would have left it at that.
248

Loosely translated, this comes from Galatians 6:7 in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.

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Trans-sensory Consciousness

Later that day, I got into my red sedan and drove to the gym. As the vehicle moved, I began to hear a squeak. I called my mechanic. He said it was the brakes. Immediately, I took the car to him. Had I been trans-sensory, I would have seen the “wrong” number as the heavens telling me—literally—to take my car to the shop. I wouldn’t have waited to hear the squeak.

Sensory Perception

In New Hampshire, I started to get telephone calls from elders who were seeking a cardiologist. Every time, I replied, “There’s no cardiologist here. This is a residential number.” The calls continued for some 10 months—in New Hampshire, then in Florida. I didn’t know what to make of it.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

As it turns out, I needed to see a cardiologist because—unknown to me— my blood pressure was high for a long time. The heart swells from this. A transsensory person would have seen the calls as God—literally—telling him or her to see a cardiologist.

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Sensory Perception

In New Hampshire, I received yet another type of telephone call. The call came in about four times over a three-month period. Every time I answered, no one was at the other end. At least, I heard nothing. After I moved to Washington state, the phone rang on two different occasions. Not only that. The telephone rang around the same time—very late afternoon. Each of these two times, nobody answered at the other end. A sensory person would have left it at that.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

Now and then, I wonder if that was my mother—literally—calling me from beyond the grave. This may sound wild. But lights in three different apartments that I have lived in—in three different states—have flickered for no human reason around the same time of night. Being energy, each S.O.U.L. (Systemic Organization of the Universal Lifeforce) should be able to manipulate energy. Therefore, it is possible that a discarnate Spirit can manipulate electricity to make lights flicker or to make a telephone ring if it wants to. After all, all that is required is activating the necessary electrical circuits. As the saying goes, “There are no accidents.”

Sensory Perception

After I moved west, I received another kind of telephone call. This time, it was from a woman looking for Paige.

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“There’s no Paige here,” I answered. “I think you have the wrong number.” A sensory person would have left it at that.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

After hanging up, I searched for the significance of that call. Page, as Library Page, popped up in my head. I decided to check the website of the local library district. As it turns out, a Library Page position was on the website. The position required a bilingual candidate (English/Spanish), and I am bilingual. I downloaded the application, filled it out, and mailed it on the same day. That was trans-sensory consciousness in action. The position was given to another candidate. But online, I kept checking for Library Page in the months following the call for Paige.

Sensory Perception

Twice, I have felt the tinge of an air draft upon my skin. Draft is too strong a word to describe what I felt, but for the sake of language, I will use this word. The first time, it happened in Florida; the second time, in Washington state. On both occasions, all windows were closed. The apartments also had no drafts. A sensory person would have rationalized that the apartments must have a draft somewhere, or that he or she imagined it.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

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I, however, have asked myself the following: If Spirits are energy and energy makes air move, then isn’t it possible that my deceased mother made air move around me to let me know that she was near me? This is trans-sensory consciousness.

Sensory Perception

When someone cries, his or her pain shows. The person looks awful. A sensory person just sees the tears and the contorted face and says, “Please, don’t cry.”

Trans-sensory Consciousness

A trans-sensory person knows that, although crying looks physically terrible, that act is releasing negative energies. These energies are invisible. Because the end result is positive, not terrible, a trans-sensory individual allows himself and others to sob when necessary.

Sensory Perception

You look at someone’s eyes, and that is that.

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Trans-sensory Consciousness

You look into someone’s eyes and see something nonphysical. I have seen people of different races have the same set of eyes. Even if one person has gray irises and the other brown irises, both individuals can have similar sparkles in their eyes. One example is the eyes of Liliane Clune, a Canadian actress, and the eyes of a woman who survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Liliane Clune is Caucasian and has grayish irises. Immaculée Ilibagiza is a “black” African woman and has dark irises. Both women, however, have that same something in their eyes. If you are interested in seeing what I mean, check out Wayne Dyer’s Inspiration on PBS. Immaculée Ilibagiza appears on that special. Liliane Clune appears in the film Toby McTeague (Canadian; 1987) as Jenny Lesard, the new high school teacher. Some months ago, a man came to my Washington apartment to fix something. He was about 40 years old. I noticed that the man had the same eyes —this time, nonphysical and physical—as the wife of a Florida pastor. I knew that the man wasn’t related to her, not only because she was at the other end of the country but also, because the only son of the Florida woman was 26, not 40. Some readers may think that the man was effeminate. But he was what most of us would consider masculine, whereas the Florida wife was what most of us would consider feminine. Still, their eyes were the same, as if they belonged to the same group of souls. This nonphysicality must have been what spurred the axiom, “The eyes are the windows of the soul.”249 This mystique that non-related humans share is a nonphysical thing. To see it is to be trans-sensory in that instant.

249

The author of this saying is unknown.

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Sensory Perception

“My vote doesn’t count” is a common complaint in the United States. From a sensory perspective, the quoted statement is accurate because one voter is insignificant in a country of 306 million people.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

From a trans-sensory perspective, one voter is the universe itself. As the maxim goes, “If you remove one atom from the universe, the universe will collapse.” Said differently, the main light of the parking lot in front of my apartment went out one July night. I didn’t call management because I figured, Hey! Other tenants are bound to call. A week passed, and the parking lot continued to be pitch-black at night. I thought, Someone must have called management by now. Another week passed. No fixed light. When I finally phoned the front office, the woman told me that nobody had called about the off light. This is similar to the mindset of “My vote doesn’t count.” When every potential voter thinks this way, democracy stalls like a stick shift. Trans-sensory consciousness says, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” Expressed differently, salvation is up to you and me—not up to others.

Sensory Perception

The sixth physical sense (the human brain) tells us that we are what we do, look like, and possess. This is humanly logical. Human reason also tells us that we are our salaries, accomplishments, and reputations.

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Trans-sensory Consciousness

Trans-sensory consciousness goes beyond human reason. To be transsensory is to recognize that, despite all appearances to the contrary, what we do, have, and even look like are not who we are. Rather, they are reflections of our spiritual state.

Sensory Perception

You apply for 80 jobs, dress well for 20 interviews, and never get hired.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

You realize that action is not enough, for doing is but the second half of the equation. The first half is visualizing. The full formula looks as follows:
What Do I Want? + Visualize Having It + Action + Release = Result (If God Wills It)

When the light of the parking lot went out, I simply phoned management, then wondered why the light didn’t get fixed. A week later, I called management again. Two more weeks passed with no light fixed. Then, I remembered that I was only doing. I had forgotten to visualize a new light. I

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did this about 10 times and eagerly told God, “I see it! I see it! I see it!” Two days later, a new light got installed. Sensory perception thinks only about doing. Trans-sensory consciousness concedes that everything in the material world starts as a mental exercise.

Sensory Perception

A sensory person sees elders wasting away in a nursing home. He or she says, “What a waste. What a drain on resources.”

Trans-sensory Consciousness

A trans-sensory person is aware that disabled—and even, mentally gone —people are learning spiritual lessons, however subconsciously, that will prove useful in another place and time. People around incapacitated people are also learning lessons (invisible) that sensory humans can’t see, hear, touch, taste, or smell. The heavens, after all, wouldn’t allow someone to spend 15 years in a nursing home for nothing. Trans-sensory humans know this.

Sensory Perception

A mother insists that she stay over at her son’s house for Thanksgiving. Reluctantly, the adult son allows his mother to sleep over. Resentment festers in him. The following morning, he acts cold toward her.

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The mother brays at her son, “You have no social graces. No wonder you’re still single at 30!” The son swallows hard, and his mother storms out of the kitchen. A sensory witness would see this scene and little else.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

Everybody has comfort zones. This, psychologists argue, necessitates the establishment of personal boundaries. These boundaries are invisible. In interpersonal relationships, psychologists say, one needs to verbally communicate one’s boundaries to others because boundaries can’t be seen. With some people, we will have more solid boundaries, and with others, more permeable ones. As one allows oneself to get more intimate with someone, one may give that person permission to cross into one’s private space. Many people, however, have no concept of personal boundaries. Even if they do, many of them will violate the boundaries of others. In the mother-son example, the son either wasn’t aware of the need to defend his boundaries—such as his need to be independent—or he didn’t have enough self-esteem to announce his boundaries to his mother, along with consequences for her for any future violations. Had the son had a strong sense of his personal boundaries, he would have told his mother something along the lines of: I respect your right to have opinions about me, but if you verbally attack me again, I will stop our conversation then and there. I am also 30 and need my independence.

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The son would not require his mother to change. But he would present her with choices and results. A trans-sensory person is aware of invisible elements at work in visible conflicts between human beings. Personal boundaries, the lack of them, and boundaries being too tight or too loose are some such invisible elements.

Sensory Perception

Someone shouts at you, and you bark back. From a sensory perspective, the other’s anger is his or hers, and your rage is yours.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

The other day, I was at a workout center. I voiced something to an African woman. Her Caucasian husband passed me and practically fumed. What, I wondered, was wrong with him? Two days later, I stayed in my apartment all day long so that I could work on this book. As the day progressed, I found myself getting angrier and angrier for no apparent reason. Hateful thoughts started to invade my head, and I began to rail against God for the injustices of my “life.” At one point, I started to pound the kitchen counter. Suddenly, I realized that I was experiencing a psychic attack. The man from the gym, I concluded, must have thought that I was making a pass at his wife, got enraged, and threw his rage my way as he passed

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me. What I thought was my anger turned out to be his anger. I became terrified because I felt like I was being attacked by an invisible entity from an invisible dimension. I could not fight back! When someone attacks you psychically, negative energies from him or her invade your energy field. This is much as pollution from one nation crosses into another nation irrespective of international borders. Henry Reed, an author, writes online: We are entering a period with a crisis in boundaries. Ecology, Economics, the Global Village, the E-World, and other developments are eroding our normal conception of boundaries.250 Reed continues on another webpage, “Contamination is an assault on purity. Something has come into where it doesn’t belong. A boundary violation.”251 The reality of psychic attacks is yet another reason to protect oneself spiritually. Zipping psychically around oneself is one method. One can also pray for protection from spirit guides. To feel a psychic attack is to experience the trans-sensory. Why? Because one experiences the unity that, for better or worse, we share at psychic levels. Concrete walls, geographical distance, and physical isolation cannot protect you from the psychic vibes of the world. Only spiritual protection can.

Sensory Perception

250

Henry Reed, “No Boundaries: An Exploration of the Non-Local Self in the Coming World Crisis in Boundaries,” Creative Spirit. The website is at http://www.creativespirit.net/noboundaries/. 251 Reed, “ESP and the Coming Crisis in Boundaries,” Creative Spirit. This is a transcript of a talk given at Parastudy, Philadelphia. Date not given. The URL of the transcript is http://www.creativespirit.net/noboundaries/boundarycrisis.htm.

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You watch a movie, perhaps laugh or even cry, and attribute your emotions to the film.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

You see the movie as more than just a film. A trans-sensory person knows that movies and TV shows are the heavens trying to jump-start issues and emotions that the viewer needs to confront. One night, for example, I turned on the television. A classic movie in color was running on PBS.252 A feeling inside me—not quite a voice—told me not to change the channel. The Nun’s Story (1959) is about a postulant and nun (Audrey Hepburn) who is torn between her desire to serve God (e.g., obeying the restrictions of the convent without question) and her desire to follow her personal will (e.g., serving as a nurse in the Belgian Congo). Her moral struggles continue through the 1930s. Such an “exhausting inner struggle,” the words of Dr. Fortunati (Peter Finch) to Sister Luke, was the exact thing that I had been undergoing for a number of years. I fought back tears as I watched the ending of this movie. Trans-sensory consciousness allowed me to see The Nun’s Story as more than met my biological eyes.

Sensory Perception

252

This movie aired on PBS on December 28, 2007.

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In the spring of 2003, I saw a model airplane online. The aluminum of the airliner glittered in such a magical way that I had to buy the toy. I was sensory because I went by what my human eyes saw.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

In the autumn of 2008, I entered a hobby store. Inside a partially transparent box was the largest model airliner that I had ever seen. The thick plastic of the bird on wheels looked like real aluminum. At once, I took the box from the shelf and almost paid the $39.99 for it. Slowly, however, I started to get second thoughts about buying the plane. The polish of the airliner still captivated my human eyes. But as my spiritual eyes opened, I began to realize that I could live without this plane in my living room. I went from being sensory (going by the sparkle of surface appearances) to being trans-sensory (seeing that this model airliner would not bring me lasting happiness). I became detached from the airplane. Not only did I leave the store without this toy. I felt neither regret nor emptiness at not having that goodie in my hands. That was transsensory consciousness.

Sensory Perception

An untrained eye sees a Cro-Magnon (anatomically modern) skull from prehistoric Europe next to the skull of a Neanderthal. As the archaeological record shows, Neanderthals were in Europe 200,000 years ago, while Homo sapiens first arose in eastern Africa 150,000 years ago and didn’t even reach the

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Middle East until 100,000 years ago.253 When Cro-Magnons (modern humans) entered Europe between 40 and 30,000 years ago, did they interbreed with Neanderthals? Comparing the skulls of the two hominid species is one way to infer if interbreeding occurred between Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals. Neanderthal skulls had occipital buns (bun-like protuberances at the back of each skull). Does this mean that a Cro-Magnon skull with an occipital bun inherited the genes for the bun from a Neanderthal? An untrained eye will, very likely, conclude that the answer is yes.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

Paleoanthropologist Daniel Lieberman says the following, however, on PBS’s Neanderthals on Trial: The question is: Are the large brow ridges and occipital bun on this fellow [a Cro-Magnon skull] inherited from the Neanderthal? Are these things the same, or do they just look the same [emphasis mine]?254 Lieberman continues: It turns out that there are lots of human populations that have occipital buns. Some of these early modern Europeans have them, and there are some recent people in Europe who have them. If you’re a Lapp or a Finn, you’re more likely to have an occipital bun. But Bushmen from South Africa often have occipital buns, and Australian aborigines often have
253 254

See Nova: Neanderthals on Trial. Ibid.

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occipital buns.255 Occipital buns evolved worldwide—not just in Neanderthal Europe—to make room in the back for large brains in narrow skulls. Thus, occipital buns are not reliable evidence as to whether Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals interbred. This example shows that sensory perception—as in different skulls looking alike —is not always enough. Trans-sensory consciousness (considering other possibilities) is therefore necessary in cases like these.

Sensory Perception

A sensory person views a fantasy as an experience that involves sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell in the human mind. A sensory individual may concede that fantasizing can arouse one’s gonads (genitals) and that it can even affects one’s heart (emotions). But fantasy involves much more than what goes on in the head, gonads, and even heart.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

In the DVD comment section of the film Food of Love (2002), actress Geraldine McKewen comments that artists are energy vampires. It is not that they feed on others “maliciously,” she says, but rather, that the creativity of artists requires a certain degree of using others to come up with stories, symphonies, paintings, sculptures, and what not.

255

Ibid.

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Perhaps more than any other fantasy, sexual and romantic fantasies draw the most energies from the person or people being fantasized about. Even if it is just mental, the fantasizer sucks energies from the person or people on the receiving end. Sexual fantasizing feels good because one is snacking on very needed energies that the victim has. I write “very needed” because if one had those energies, one wouldn’t be fantasizing—or having sex, for that matter—in the first place. In my view, having an erotic and/or romantic fantasy about one or more individuals is immoral if one disturbs the energy field of that someone, or people, without their permission. This is the equivalent of a stranger mentally invading your energy field. Sexual and romantic fantasies are, for me, moral only if the other person or people consent to being fantasized about. One is still feeding on their energies without allowing them to take on one’s energies— except those that rub off mentally and emotionally onto their energy fields. In the ideal world, there would be an actual sexual encounter, or encounters, where all parties consent and where an even energy exchange takes place each time. But in “the real world,” there are celibate old men and people whose disabilities prevent them from bonding romantically and sexually with others. Who could possibly consent to be fantasized about by someone they don’t even know? In my view, celebrities, porn models, and strippers. By choosing to pursue a career on stage or in front of the camera, actors, actresses, singers, porn models, and strippers know that they will be generating anywhere between dozens and millions of fans. Celebrities know that their fans will have all sorts of fantasies about them and that many of those fantasies will be romantic and even sexual in nature. I am not saying that a would-be celebrity—that is, outside the porn industry—becomes a celebrity in order to be fantasized about. I am saying that a would-be celebrity knows that fantasies from fans come with the territory. If someone dislikes the idea of fans obsessing about him or her, then he or she

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would pursue a private career. If somebody chooses a public career, then he or she is implicitly—and sometimes explicitly, as in the case of porn stars— consenting to being fantasized about by many people. Consent, of course, may have been forced by circumstances like the need for dough or parents forcing their children into show business. That is not genuine consent. Someone who looks at you lasciviously is consenting, however, and very explicitly, to be fantasized about—although the energies of such a person are sure to be low energies. It is up to the moral fantasizer to decide if he or she wants to blend his or her energies with such a person in his or her mind. Before fantasizing about someone, one can also ask him or her to say “yes” in a dream if the person approves and “no” when and if the individual no longer consents. Fantasizing about people who are geographically close—neighbors, colleagues, or townspeople—may not be a good idea, however, even if they consent, say, in a dream. Why not? Because when and if you see the individuals in person, there may be some funky energies between you and them. The morality of choosing to fantasize about a stranger—or even a friend— is not black or white. But I have concluded that the line between the morality and immorality of a fantasy—whatever the type—is consent and lack of consent from all involved parties. Without consent, a fantasy—sexual or not—is nothing less than a mental and emotional invasion of someone’s energy field. Even if the individuals in question are spiritually protected, better is to assume that they are not. The fantasizer may want to pray to the divine to bless those in the fantasy and to replenish them from whatever energies one took. Mentally thanking the people in one’s fantasy for having consented is another approach that a moral fantasizer can take. Invading someone’s energy field—meaning without his or her consent— through an erotic or romantic fantasy is, very debatably, a mental and emotional

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“rape,” even if the person or people on the receiving end are not aware of it. Such a violation is what Jev (Ben Lemon), a member of the telepathic Ullians, does to Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.256 We, of course, don’t have to ask others for permission to have ordinary thoughts about them. But erotic and romantic fantasies aren’t everyday thinking—just like sex and romance aren’t ordinary experiences. Rather, sex and romance involve heavy e-motions (energies in motion). One could argue that since most celebrities aren’t aware about the effects —the energetic elements—of sexual and romantic fantasies that are directed at them, that VIPs are not really consenting to be fantasized about. The heavens, however, don’t count each of our choices as less of a choice just because we aren’t conscious about their ramifications. Choices in the dark are still choices, and through their effects—whether PRO-sequence or CON-sequence—each of us grows spiritually. Energy is a big element of sexual and romantic fantasies because eroticism and romance are different types of energies. Celebrities best illustrate the dynamics of such energies because, unlike regular people, media stars feed on the energies of millions of fans. These energies include romantic yearnings, erotic desires, frustrated childhood needs, and most of all, admiration, obsession, and “love.” Celebrities are less stars and more like full moons because suns shine their own light. Moons just absorb and reflect light from the sun. Celebrities are more full moons and less stars because they gorge on the emotional energies of their fans. By basking in the sunlight of adoration, obsession, and love from fans, VIPs become overconfident, self-important, and royal. Like distant suns, fans give their starlight (personal power) to celebrities;

256

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Violations.” This episode originally aired in syndication on February 1, 1992 (Season 5, episode 12).

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celebrities collect the excess energies coming to them from around the world; and they are then called “stars.” Whether celebrity or not, charismatic people are spell casters (psychic magnets). But why do such individuals mesmerize others? Because like 19th century pirates of the South Seas, energy pirates have stolen the diamonds that each of us carries as part of the light in us. Spell casters and energy pirates suck diamonds of energy from others. These diamonds do not belong to spell casters and energy pirates. The foreign energies, however, accumulate in the energy fields of these people over the years. The accumulation of an entire village—or world—in one person is so out of the ordinary that it turns heads. It is as though the physical body of a spell caster and energy pirate (the two go together) were a treasure ship. The ship is full of stolen jewels. But the attractiveness of the ship is an illusion, for the jewels do not belong to the ship. Rather, the jewels belong to 10,000 different ships. The power to cast spells on others is innate, too, for spell caster is an archetype (signature of personal energy). Hypnotizing one’s prey is necessary before one can stab them and run with their treasures. Energy pirates and energy vampires have the archetypal power to steal energies from the outside world. The difference is that an energy pirate accumulates those energies, whereas an energy vampire loses them quickly. People who have erotic and/or romantic fantasies about VIPs are, perhaps, excused for taking those energies mentally and emotionally because that same celebrity gets reinfused with fan energies. Although there are exceptions, VIPs have more than enough energy to give. The fantasizer, of course, could visualize and feel an equal exchange of energy—as opposed to just taking. This is to approximate the more equal exchanges of energy that occur during actual sexual encounters. Even here, the situation is still far from ideal because the fantasizer is taking on energies from potentially millions of

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strangers, and not all of those energies will be positive. But for people forced to be celibate, lack of a fantasy life—one of the few sexual outlets for them—seems too puritanical to me. The key is to be absolutely sure that one wants to mix one’s energies—be they sexual, romantic, or even platonic—with those of the celebrity about to be fantasized about. Furthermore, one doesn’t even have to fantasize to sexual orgasm. An emotional orgasm is just as real. Women ought to find this concept easier to comprehend than men. Men, however, can also learn the pleasures of emotional orgasms (the romantic high of being close to someone you love). Whatever the type, fantasizing involves far more than sensory events in one’s head and genitals.

Sensory Perception

When I was about 9, my mother and I got ready to leave our apartment. The night was clear as a black blanket and quiet as a forest. Our apartment was on the second floor of a two-story house in Levittown, a suburb of San Juan, Puerto Rico. My mother was locking the front door of black—actually, a side door—on the surrounding balcony. Suddenly, we heard a pop come from a dark area where the backyards of four houses met. We looked back. A red glow was illuminating, from above, the concrete floor of the terrace that was parallel to the main balcony. My mother thought that the moon had changed to red. Because the main balcony had a metal roof, we rushed over to its edge to look above. When, at last, we were able to look at the night sky, we saw what could be described as a fireworks missile that was on the verge of lighting up. The reddish streak of light kept shooting up like a rocket, however, leaving just a trail

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of thin “smoke.” This continued for a few seconds. Gradually, the thin glow of red disappeared. The incident happened in the early 1980s. For decades, I wondered what the heck I had seen with my mother. I knew it wasn’t a fireworks missile because nobody was present anywhere in the area where we heard the pop—or for that matter, anywhere outside. My mother’s eyes and mine had seen a red light shoot up from nowhere at night. But beyond that, we didn’t have an explanation. As much as we wanted to “see” beyond what we saw, we couldn’t because we lacked awareness of the larger picture.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

In May 2007, I read online that physicists have discovered unusual electric discharges that occur during some thunderstorms. One type of discharge produces a thin, reddish string that looks like plasma. The phenomenon was scientifically discovered in the early 1990s, some ten years after my mother and I had seen what we saw. Earth scientist David Sentman, from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, named the lightning-like discharges sprites. I read on. Trolls are another recently discovered form of electric discharge. Trolls also occur during some thunderstorms. Like sprites, trolls are reddish in color. So are sprite tendrils (offshoots of sprites). Sprites, trolls, and sprite tendrils shoot up like the “fireworks missile” that my mother and I witnessed. The curious thing is that sprites and trolls shoot up from above storm clouds, not from the ground up. Sprites also come in pairs, not as the single string that my mother and I saw. Furthermore, sprites last a few milliseconds, not a few seconds. Last, I read that sprites can occur up to 30 miles from a storm cloud. But the night of

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the incident was calm and clear, not stormy. If what my mother and I witnessed was a sprite, then it must have been a very unusual one. Or perhaps, my mother and I saw a sprite tendril. Or an atypical troll. Concerning what my mother and I observed circa 1982, I am a little closer to acquiring that something beyond my sense of sight. I am beginning to understand that previously unknown atmospheric phenomena exist, phenomena like sprites, trolls, and elves. Earth physicists are just discovering such phenomena. I am on my way to becoming trans-sensory on this topic.

Sensory Perception

Another bizarre event happened in Levittown, Puerto Rico. My mother told me the story when she was physically alive. According to my mother, she was lying on her dark-green sofa in her living room. It was late at night, and she was getting ready to go to sleep. The lights of our second-floor apartment were off. Through the rectangular jalousie that was atop our bathroom wall, bright lights began to ooze their way into the apartment. My mother told me that she wanted to roll up further the metal slats of that side window to see what the bright lights were. But she was afraid to look outside. The lights continued to penetrate the semi-closed slats of metal. After a minute or so, the lights moved on. What my mother recalled most was that the lights were not ordinary. Not even the headlights of cars would produce the extreme brightness that she saw. Neither, my mother continued, would the lights of helicopters or airplanes. And my mother was no enthusiast of the paranormal. In May 2007, I decided to research this. Online, I read that the following happened in a residential area of Levittown, Puerto Rico:

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November 1980, night, Levittown, Puerto Rico Hundreds of witnesses observed a disc, illuminated by bright lights, flying at a low altitude over a residential quarter of Levittown. When dozens of people called the local police station, a patrol car was sent. Police Officer Sgt. José Cordero arrived just in time to observe the large disc passing directly over him. He was able to take ten photos with his official Polaroid camera. The case was investigated by Puerto Rican UFO researcher Jorge Martin. A computer analysis performed by members of German MUFON (MUFON-CES) confirmed that it must have been a large craft.257

Trans-sensory Consciousness

Many possible explanations exist for the above sighting, but most interpretations do not hold water. The lights that the residents of Levittown saw could have been a fireball. But if it was a fireball, something would have crashed, and another thing would have caught fire. None of the locals saw that, and there are no reports of fire trucks racing to the scene. It could have been a natural phenomenon. Natural phenomena tend to occur high in the sky, however, not hovering near houses. Even if it was a natural phenomenon, why was it so bright? Why did the lights last for so long? The lights could have been
257

This information comes from Michael Hesemann. It is at the website titled, International Community for Alien Research. The URL of the report is http://www.icar1.com/LevittownPuertoRico.html.

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a military spy plane. If so, why make itself visible with blaring lights? The lights could have been a time machine traveling back into our time. This is consistent with reports of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) being around since ancient times. Perhaps, we are visiting ourselves from the future. There could be a busy time travel industry in a parallel dimension, and we are seeing their time machines come and go at regular intervals. Or maybe, UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft visiting us. If so, why would the aliens travel through—or around— infinite space to play games with us? Why do UFOs seem to defy the laws of physics? Are UFOs even physical in nature? No matter how I look at the incident of November 1980, I come up with nothing conclusive. Therefore, this event remains at the level of eyesight. Beyond sight, trans-sensory consciousness is lacking.

Sensory Perception

Social service agencies have job programs for people with disabilities like Down Syndrome. To qualify for vocational rehabilitation, one must generally have a low-enough IQ, and one’s disability must be obvious. The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) established provisions for Americans who have visible disabilities, disabilities like being in a wheelchair, being blind, and/or being deaf. Author Stephen Shore said, however:

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In the commonwealth of Massachusetts, persons with high functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome fall in the cracks between the Department of Mental Retardation (IQ is too high) and Department of Mental Health (HFA [High Functioning Autism] and AS are not mental disorders). Similar situations exist in many other states too.258

Trans-sensory Consciousness

What Aspies know is not the problem. It is what Aspergians cannot do— that is, read and respond effectively to nonverbal, and to a lesser extent, to verbal communication—that impairs them in social and employment situations. Aspies are just about the only people who are aware of this handicap. When social agencies deny services to people with high IQs, they assume that high knowing translates to high doing. When neurotypical (regular) people ignore hidden disabilities (or “differences”) like Asperger’s, they are similarly being sensory. Why? Because the human senses have a hard time detecting Asperger Syndrome, for Asperger’s is a disability in a person who looks “normal.” Only the subconscious mind reads the socially off behavior of someone with Asperger’s. This causes a neurotypical person to respond unfavorably to an Aspie. While 99 percent of people get some degree of love, Aspergians are generally unloved. Why? As we know, where Love is present, there is perfect understanding, as in clear communication. Where there is misunderstanding, Love and love are missing. Postmodern society has yet to become trans-sensory regarding Asperger Syndrome.
258

This quote comes from Stephen M. Shore’s testimony before the Government Reform Committee at the U.S. House of Representatives. The testimony was titled, “Autism—Why the Increased Rates? A One Year Update.” The transcript is at http://www.unlockingautism.org/testimonies/index.asp?action=14.

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Sensory Perception

A sensory person sees a homeless man and says, “What a loser.”

Trans-sensory Consciousness

A trans-sensory person recognizes that all human—and inhuman— experiences are recorded in a celestial database. Why would this be done? Because no Spirit or soul can go through every possible experience. That would take more than eternity multiplied by eternity. To speed up things, God makes accessible to discarnate Spirits and souls any experience that others have had. Such access is available in a celestial library—or very likely, a series of them. As Betty Jean Eadie, the metaphysical author, recounts in Embraced by the Light, her spirit entered a library of the afterlife that had no books. Following her neardeath experience in November 1973, she sensed that it was more than a library. Eadie writes that she was able to learn what others had experienced, people who she was interested in knowing more about. Eadie explains: But this was more than a mental process. I was able to feel what the people felt when they performed these actions [the things that humans have done]. I understood their pains or joys or excitement because I was able to live them.259

259

Eadie, Embraced by the Light, p. 77.

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This is far less painful than having to live an entire “lifetime” (death time) of, say, homelessness. Apparently, one can experience any state of consciousness as a preview, then decide if one wants to experience that more fully in physical form. In this sense, even homeless people are doing all of us a favor. Their experiences are their contribution to the celestial database, accessible to anyone in the hereafter for educational purposes. This database is our collective consciousness, and this is part of an even larger universal database. Some movies end with the hero not having learned anything. As David Trottier, script consultant and producer, writes in The Screenwriter’s Bible, “In this plot, the character does not grow, but the audience learns the lesson [emphasis mine].”260 In the spirit realm, there might be an unearthly audience watching us humans and learning lessons from our life stories. In a dream that I had one night, I actually heard nonphysical beings clapping and cheering at something. If a spiritual audience exists in the heavens, then is the life of a “worthless” person like a drunkard, a gambler, or a “bum” then worthless? To acknowledge all of the above and to be grateful to homeless people— and to everybody—for their celestial contributions is to have trans-sensory consciousness.

Sensory Perception

A sensory person asks, “What does she see in him?”

260

David Trottier, The Screenwriter’s Bible, A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script, 3rd Edition, (Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 1998), p. 31.

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Trans-sensory Consciousness

A trans-sensory person knows that it isn’t just what one sees with physical eyes but also, what one feels that draws one person toward a beloved.

Sensory Perception

A sensory person sees a number like 4 as nothing more than a mathematical abstraction. Anything beyond that abstraction is “coincidence.”

Trans-sensory Consciousness

A trans-sensory person views a number like 4 as more than meets the eye. In many parts of the world, for instance, four seasons exist—spring, summer, fall, and winter. Human life has four stations—childhood, young adulthood, middle age, and old age. The human heart has four chambers. There are four elements in nature—earth, air, water, and fire. According to prophecies of the Hopi Indians of Arizona, four human races exist—“Red people,” the “Yellow race,” “Black people,” and “White people.” Hopis believe that each human race has been entrusted with guardianship of a different element of nature. These divine assignments are: earth the “Red people,” wind the “Yellow race,” water “Black people,” and fire “White people.”261 Hopi elders believe that this is why “8 out of 10 foods today came from Indians,” why Asians have been teaching the world “how we breathe taking the wind within ourselves for spiritual
261

Mooncloud, “Native American Prophecies,” p. 2.

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advancement,” why “It’s no surprise that Black people are in the forefront of discoveries for treatment of diseases of the blood,” and why “at the center of the lightbulb, the car engine, and in technology [inventions of Caucasians] you will find the spark or fire.”262 The earth also has “four corners”—North, South, East, and West. Human beings have four basic bodies—the physical body, the mental body, the emotional (astral) body, and the soul body. This is body, mind, spirit, and soul. (Spirit is not the soul but rather, an aspect of the soul.) The Christian Bible has four gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Caroline Myss, the medical intuitive, also posits that each of us has four basic archetypes—the child, the victim, the saboteur, and the prostitute.263 Lower animals have four legs, and higher animals have four limbs. And there are four basic “sexual” orientations— straight, bi, gay, and trans. It can be no coincidence that the number 4 appears in so many contexts. Just seeing the contexts, even if one can’t bring it all together to form a coherent meaning, is to start to become trans-sensory regarding the number 4.

Sensory Perception

Over a period of years, your left ear keeps getting clogged with water. A sensory person sees “water” as the cause, and from a physical standpoint, this may be true.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

262 263

Ibid., pgs. 1-2. See Myss, Sacred Contracts.

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The fact that it is always the left ear is no coincidence. A trans-sensory issue must be at work. Perhaps, you don’t want to hear something that exploded by your left ear in a past life.

Sensory Perception

A college woman started to date a bisexual guy. Although the male collegian dated her exclusively, he continued to identify as bi. How, she furiously asked him, could he keep identifying as bi if he was dating her? The woman’s eyes and brain told her that the fellow was dating her. Therefore, she concluded, he was straight now. The bi-identified guy, however, told his girlfriend something that went beyond what her eyes saw. A straight man no longer being straight because he was single was ridiculous, he told her. She agreed. Thus, he asked her, why did a girl-dating guy continuing to identify as bi defy her sense of logic?
Trans-sensory Consciousness

A trans-sensory person doesn’t just go by what his or her human eyes see. If a guy and girl are dating each other, a sensory person assumes that they are straight. A trans-sensory person does not assume that. One may be bi, dating one sex at that time. Both may be bi. Both may be straight. Both may be something else.

Sensory Perception

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From the dawn of humankind, people have seen that the belly of a woman begins to swell about three months after sexual intercourse with a man. Babies are born some six months later—nine months including the three months. From this, humans formulated the belief that sex is for reproduction, period. After all, observing lower and higher animals, one sees the correlation between sex, pregnancy, and childbirth. Sensory people of the postmodern era (1945-present) are increasingly viewing sex as something not just for reproduction but also, as a pleasurable activity able to stand on its own. But the sensory human still views sex in purely physical terms.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

Trans-sensory humans notice the biology and sensory pleasure of sex. But they also view sexual intercourse as more than meets the eye—and skin. For example, more people are seeing sex, which includes foreplay, as an exchange of energy between sexual partners. Just as muscles lose physical energy when one jogs, one loses sexual, emotional, and auric (of the aura) energy during a sexual encounter. This is why, like during a jog, one gets out of breath during sex. One is losing energy to one’s sexual partner or partners. This is why one should not have sex if one is tired. According to Book 2 of Conversations with God, s.e.x. stands for Synergistic Energy eXchange.264 I add that s.e.x.u.a.l.i.t.y. stands for Spirit Energy eXchange Until Another’s Love Is Truly Yours. The word Until suggests that one’s sexuality involves long periods of time—lots of synergistic energy exchanges over a lifetime with one or many people. Given the existence
264

Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 2, p. 90.

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of negative energies, though, wise is to be careful about whom one opens one’s energy field to. Imagine, for instance, having sex with a sexual vampire, a type of energy vampire. Whether literal or figurative, vampires suck the energies of other people. Energy vampirism is a spiritual alcoholism. At a psychic level, the victim of a vampire loses energy like Apollo 13 loses its oxygen to outer space in Apollo 13 (1995). With a sexual vampire, one cannot make love for hours—as most women prefer—for a sexual vampire can dangerously deplete you of energy in a matter of minutes. Each soul is a star. Revolving around one another are “Planets” of starlight (Spirits of that soul group). Their mutual gravitational attraction keeps the star system together. Suns, however, are not created equal, for their “genetic” blueprints vary. Most Spirits/souls are average stars like our sun. A small number of Spirits/souls are red dwarfs. Yet other Spirits/souls are giant and supergiant stars. Main Sequence stars are regular stars, ranging from red dwarfs at the bottom right to our sun in the middle and on up to the upper left. Giants and supergiants hover on top. The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram illustrates below:

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265

Red dwarfs last tens of billions of years because they burn their fuel slowly. Very slowly. Giants and supergiants last a few hundred million years because they burn massive—and I mean massive—amounts of fuel. Energy vampires are that rare breed of Spirit—about 1 percent of all souls—that has the capacity to outshine all Spirits/souls. This, however, comes at the expense of burning too much fuel and leaking too much energy. Therefore, energy vampires must feed massively to reclaim massive energy loss. One supergiant (blue to red) is larger than 1,000 suns (yellow). Paradoxically, one supergiant is powerless compared to a red dwarf in terms of energy retention. This is because the energy of the red dwarf is contained—not all over the place losing energy.

265

This diagram comes from an unnamed and untitled website about astronomy. The URL is http://aspire.cosmic-ray.org/labs/star_life/hr_diagram.html.

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In the spirit realm, the lives of supergiants go in reverse from the physical universe.

Physical universe

Supergiant  Supernova  Black Hole

Spiritual universe

Black Hole  Supernova  Supergiant

In the physical universe, a black hole is what remains after a supergiant has blown up (supernova) and collapsed on its weight. So much mass is in a black hole that there is enough gravity to suck everything around it in, including light. A black hole sucks everything in its path like a vacuum cleaner sucks all dirt in its path. Energy vampires start as black holes, evolve spiritually, and end up shining 1,000 times more light than 99 percent of Spirits/souls—the reverse of how this happens in the physical universe. It is not so much the size as the intensity and brightness of Spirits/souls that differentiate them from one another. One supergiant Spirit/soul was that of Jesus Christ. Adolf Hitler was another supergiant Spirit/soul. But unlike Christ, Hitler was in the black hole phase of his spiritual existence. Not surprisingly, Hitler has drawn supermassive

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amounts of negative attention (read mental and emotional energy) since World War II. Most energy vampires stay in the black hole phase of their spiritual existence forever, for it takes about a million years to reach enlightenment.266 In the meantime, energy vampires damage the energies of others through their feeding off them and rip the auras of others in the process. Movie stars and rock superstars are supergiants and giants who suck massive amounts of energy from fans, process those energies like turbofan engines, and spit the energies back out to the world as light. This is a spiritual bulimia (you feed massively and throw it up). The spiritual DNA of VIPs programs them to feed off energy this way. This is called being a good pirate, for this type of energy pirate steals energy from others but processes the energies into light and gives it back to the world. Bad energy pirates steal energies from others and accumulate those energies in themselves. Energy vampires steal energies from the outer world but leak the energies before they can process them. The cycle of an energy vampire is: suck, leak, suck, leak, suck, leak. Trans-sensory humans feel the different energies that different Spirits have as part of their spiritual blueprints. Such people take these differences into account before having sex with a given person. This is because energies are stolen and given most efficiently during copulation. Mary Kurus, a vibration consultant, writes online:

It’s important to look at sex as an exchange of energies, entities and potential vulnerability rather than from a moral perspective. When you have sex with another human being you absorb their very essence mixing it with your own essence. You literally absorb their good stuff as well as their bad stuff.
266

This is according to Paramhansa Yogananda.

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If you have sex with someone who has negative energies, entities or spirits, it is almost guaranteed that some of this negative energy will be transferred into your body and/or aura through the physical act of sex. It’s very important to ensure you want to absorb the very essence and energetic elements of the other person before having sex with that person [emphasis mine]. The more sex partners you have, ensures the greater diffusion of your own very special essence. It amounts to not being quite yourself anymore.267

Orgasm has been called “a little death.” This is because death is induced by the departure of one’s nonphysical part(s) from the physical body. In the case of ejaculation, physical swimmers leave the man’s body as well, depleting him. Orgasm is arguably a mini-form of spiritual loss. Yet, orgasm feels superb. Why? Because it feels exquisite whenever one’s spirit—or pieces—leave one’s physical body during orgasm, sleep, or death. Physical death and erotic climax are more similar than most of us would dare to admit. During sex, there is no full-blown spiritual loss because in its mini-form—sexual orgasm—one can recharge with time, at least ideally, and one gets infused with the energies of the other person or people in a sexual encounter. This infusion fills the void. (For a full discussion of spiritual loss, see Part I, Chapter 13, subsection titled, “Extricating Alien Influences.”) Because sex is a balancing of energies, higher energies will flow toward lower energies. This is much as heat (higher energy) from a hot stove always gets transferred to a cold (lower energy) pot. Presumably, the person giving one kind of energy has more than enough of it to
267

Mary Kurus, “Sex and Negative Energies, Entities and Spirits.” In The Home of Vibrational Health, “Psychic Attacks and Protecting Yourself.” The URL is http://www.mkprojects.com/fa_PsychicAttacks.htm.

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compensate for his or her loss of life force. Vice-versa for the person returning another type of energy to the giver. The key to the health, or lack of, of a sexual encounter is how vitalized or depleted it leaves you and your sexual partner(s). Not only does sex create a psychic link between—or among—sexual partners. Having sex with someone can also establish “energy cords” with his or her friends, sexual and/or romantic partners, and even family. This is because one’s sexual partner or partners have picked up those energies. Thus, prudent is to know not just whom one is about to copulate with but, just as important, his or her company in the past and present. In A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman quotes a poem titled, “The Song of Solomon.” In the poem, a would-be groom describes to his wouldbe bride what he can’t wait to do on their wedding night. Ackerman narrates: He tells her that on their wedding night he will enter her garden, and he catalogues all the fruits and spices he knows he’ll find there: frankincense, myrrh, saffron, camphire, pomegranates, aloes, cinnamon, calamus, and other treasures … So stirred is she by this loving tribute and so wild with desire that she replies yes, she will throw open the gates of her garden to him: “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.”268 As beautiful as this poem is, I wonder if the would-be groom has anything of equal value to offer to his would-be bride. I mention this because many men and women draw positive energies from their partner or partners during sex.

268

Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, p. 16.

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Examples of positive energies are love, peace, and self-esteem. In return, such partners only give back negative energies like fear, anger, and insecurity. Trans-sensory humans are aware of the less concrete—but equally powerful—elements of sex. Such individuals form intimate relationships with people who reflect their state of spiritual evolution. As the Spanish saying goes, “Dime con quién andas, y yo te diré quién eres” (“Tell me who you walk with, and I’ll tell you who you are”). From time to time, trans-sensory humans also spend time alone because they know that is when you find and/or rediscover yourself. Just as geographical isolation leads to biological diversity, sexual isolation—as in stopping sex for a while or remaining a virgin—helps to breed purity of sexual energy. I stress the word helps, as celibacy alone won’t do it if one has a sexually impure mind. Julia Melges-Brenner, a clairvoyant, elaborates online:

Since the sexual revolution, the energetic webs between people have multiplied unlike anything ever seen before on planet Earth. Every time we sleep with someone new, we are linking with everyone they’ve ever slept with both physically AND energetically. From the astral, this is seen as a vast web of intricate energetic interconnections. Further, it’s not necessary to have physical sex to experience a strong energetic bond with someone. The deeper you feel about someone, the deeper your bond to them—even if your feelings are hateful instead of loving.269 A few sentences later, Melges-Brenner continues:
269

Julia Melges-Brenner, “Spiritual Effects of Sexual Promiscuity,” August 8, 2005. Originally published in Kajama. Column at http://www.muse-net.com/aug805.html.

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… virgins (both male and female) appear aurically “pure” and beautiful because they are free of energetic cords. They aren’t caught up in that vast web described above. They are also guarded by an energetic, hymen-like shield that protects them from psychic intrusion. While I certainly don’t appreciate the way we’ve smeared this simple truth with religious guilt and the economics of procreation, there is some spiritual “value” in being a virgin just as there are “risks” in being sexually reckless.270

Because virgins are more likely to be free of sexual (energy) cords, they are more likely to be spiritually independent (independent of the energy of others). As an analogy, think about how much more powerful the United States would be if it achieved energy independence. In sum, it is advisable that, before sex, all partners imagine cutting, gently pulling off, and releasing to the heavens energy cords to past and present but absent sexual partners. Visualize white light descending from the heavens and filling the leftover holes. Aura clearing and chakra balancing with a specialist is also recommended before sex. This is the spiritual equivalent of washing your hands before touching food. These steps can help to avoid the spreading of one’s energetic entanglements to one’s sexual partner or partners. To concede the above truths is to be trans-sensory regarding sex.

270

Ibid.

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Sensory Perception

Telescopes have zeroed in on quasars, the oldest form of matter. Quasars are further away from earth than the most distant galaxy. They are thought to be the first matter that formed after the big bang. Even if we could travel at light speed in physical, rather than spiritual form, we would never reach quasars. This is because quasars have been receding from us at light speed—the fastest speed in the material universe—far longer than this galaxy, the Milky Way, has been in existence. (Everything in this universe is rushing away from everything, thanks to the big bang.) The universe that we see—that is, planets, stars, and galaxies—is but 10 percent of the physical universe. Ninety percent of outer space is dark matter. This is why the visible universe is said to be atypical. It is an anomaly because the blackness of space is practically everywhere. As Carl Sagan writes in Pale Blue Dot, travel a few miles up our atmosphere, and darkness will surround you.271 This blackness (space) is said to be infinite, while the visible universe (the lit objects) is finite. The reason there is so much negativity in the physical world is because darkness is 90 percent of the physical universe. The big bang is accelerating. Galaxies are receding faster from one another today than they were receding yesterday. Tomorrow, galaxies will recede faster than they are receding today. This is according to Christopher Stubbs, astronomy professor at the University of Washington. In his words, the physical universe is “blowing itself apart.”272 This means that “a long time from now, there won’t be a lot going on.”273 Cosmologists have reached this
271 272

See Sagan, Pale Blue Dot. Christopher Stubbs gave this lecture at the University of Washington. It was part of the 2001 UW Science Forum and was titled, “Testing Gravity in the Cosmos and in the Laboratory: Is a Revolution Under Way?” The April 4, 2001 lecture was made possible by the University of Washington Astronomy and Physics Department. It was broadcast on University of Washington Television (UWTV) on October 18, 2006. 273 Ibid.

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conclusion based on telescopic observations of the red shifts (receding wavelengths) of supernovae (exploding giant and supergiant stars). The observations are fascinating, and they are helping us to better understand this uni-verse (one verse). But the big bang theory is still based on the observable universe. As noted, this is but 10 percent of this universe. Dark matter, which is 90 percent of the physical universe, may hold unseen clues about the fate of this universe. Such matter may have enough mass—and hence, gravity—to bring everything back to Point Zero.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

One morning, I noticed something on a large photograph that was hanging on my bedroom wall. The picture had a noon sun shining above the Canadian Rockies. With sleepy eyes, I stared at the photograph. Suddenly, I saw the sun not as the sun but as light everywhere. The blanket of the blue sky was what kept the sun from shining throughout the heavens. In other words, the sun was a hole in the sky. The hole let in the light that was coming from beyond the blanket of the blue sky. The blackness of outer space is another blanket. Mentioned in Part I, Chapter 1, light was everywhere before the beginning of time. The 72 Names of God says that the big bang created “a point of space” and marked “the birth of time.”274 If one could travel to the edge of outer space (I believe there is an edge), “What happens if you try to stick your head out beyond the edge?”275 If one peered beyond? I believe that we would encounter light everywhere. It would
274 275

Berg, The 72 Names of God, p. 20. Michael A. Seeds, Horizons, Exploring the Universe, 1991 Edition, (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1991), p. 311.

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be like being an ant, leaving a black trash bag of plastic, and encountering a sunlit soccer field. Our telescopes can’t see beyond the blackness of space because the speed of light sets limits on how far out we can see. But I believe that in nonphysical form, superevolved Spirits/souls like the one belonging to Buddha are able to return to the light that lies beyond the blackness of space. This “return” is called atonement, enlightenment, and nirvana. I wonder what that universe is like? The big bang seems to be not just the birth of the physical universe but also, the birth of darkness—from a single dot—and its expansion like an inflating balloon. We are in the black bag to appreciate the light in—and ultimately, beyond—it. How do we appreciate this light? By living in its absence, except for the “hiding spots” of the light within us. Our telescopes will never be able to see beyond the end of space. That is, after all, beyond this universe. But as astronomer Carl Sagan said in reference to other dimensions, we may not be able to point to, say, the fourth dimension. But we can “deduce it.”276 That is transsensory consciousness.

Sensory Perception

You meet someone, like him or her, and start a friendship. The person moves away, and you forget about him or her.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

276

Cosmos, “The Edge of Forever,” (Episode 10).

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Even when your eyes and ears no longer register his or her presence, you remember that person every now and then.

Sensory Perception

At a bookstore, the cashier slams the book you purchased into a black bag, and he tears your $20 bill off your hand. You look at the guy who is wearing square glasses of black plastic, and pink blood runs through your veins.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

You see yourself through his eyes, and you feel—or at least, try to imagine —the emotion driving his rudeness.

Sensory Perception

In the movie Black Cloud (2004), an Olympic boxing scout (Peter Greene) enters a locker room and tries to get Black Cloud (Eddie Spears) to “… box for your country in the Olympics … ” Black Cloud, a Native American youth, answers, “Why should I fight for your nation, when all you’ve done is murder and imprison my people, huh?”

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If Norm Olsen, the Olympic boxing scout, were a sensory person, he would have taken the outburst of the Native American as a personal attack.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

Rather than take offense at the yelling of Black Cloud, Norm Olsen replies, “Black Cloud. I’ve done nothing to your people.” Then, Olsen excuses himself from the trio of Native American men (Eddie Spears, Russell Means, and Nathaniel Arcand). Why did Peter Greene, the actor who played the Olympic scout, respond so calmly? Because he knew that the scene was make-belief. The script called for Eddie Spears, the actor playing Black Cloud, to sputter words of anger at the character of Olsen, the boxing scout, not at actor Peter Greene. Trans-sensory awareness works much like this. While a sensory person would stay mired in the bitter language of Black Cloud, a trans-sensory person sees the larger picture —pre-birth spiritual scripts—in scenes like these. In that larger picture, the unpleasant person is just an actor or actress playing a spiritual role. Like actor Peter Greene, a trans-sensory person would see that the negativity of Black Cloud is the nature of the scene and would not take it personally. A transsensory person knows that, in “real” life, the personality is the character. The stage is earth. And the actor is the spirit. As the title of a book goes: Act Well Your Part.277 Like Black Cloud, people may act cold and vicious toward someone not just because that is the nature of the character but also, because that is the nature of the story. I, for example, have gone through most of my “life” with nobody
277

Don Sakers, Act Well Your Part, (Boston: Alyson Publications, 1986).

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understanding me—not even “spiritually evolved” people. At one point, I was struggling desperately to survive emotionally. Still, nobody was able, nor willing, to help me. This is the formula of the thriller, a genre of film. As David Trottier, a script consultant and producer, writes in The Screenwriter’s Bible: Although the characters are after the MacGuffin [“the plot-device that often drives the thriller”], the audience cares more about the survival of the central character. This is because she cannot get help, has been betrayed in some way, and cannot trust anyone.278 Trottier continues: Many thrillers don’t have a MacGuffin, but all thrillers isolate the central character [emphasis mine], put her life at constant risk, and get us to identify with her fears.279 To see larger dynamics at work in human life—such as deciphering the nature of the character and the nature of the story—is to be trans-sensory. One does not take things personally.
Sensory Perception

Most people doubt that “love is all around us.” This is because all that most of us see are the trees of the forest. This is what Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) sees when she first lands in the forest of an alien planet in Return of the Jedi (1983). Princess Leia squints at the thick canopy of leaves that surround her,
278 279

Trottier, The Screenwriter’s Bible, p. 33. Ibid.

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suspects that there is something behind the greenery, but can’t make out what it is. A sensory person sees the dense growth of leaves around him or her and can discern nothing more.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

Even when a trans-sensory person can’t see what lies behind the trees of the forest, he or she is aware that Love is hiding behind the thicket. Love is concealed because the spiritual challenge is to find it. This is like a game of hide and seek. Awareness that spiritual Love is all around us—even when all that we see is the forest, even the forest on fire—is trans-sensory consciousness. As transpires in the forest scene of Return of the Jedi, Love sometimes shoots at us. This is so that we may get a lesson. Once again, we have encountered the law of paradox.

Sensory Perception

The other day, I looked outside my kitchen window. On the gambrel roof of a house, an antenna stood in the shape of an arrow. The afternoon sun lit the metal brightly, and the arrow pointed right. What could it signify? I asked myself. A day or so later, I saw a HELP WANTED ad at the front door of a boutique. I wondered if God was telling me to apply at the front desk. The

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metal arrow, after all, had pointed in the direction of the store. Although I have done cashier work, I felt very uncomfortable about working with the public. This is because as someone with Asperger Syndrome, I get edgy in any environment that has too much physical stimuli. Autistics don’t like crowds, dislike bustle around them, and are terrible at multitasking. The arrow seemed to be heavenly guidance to apply for the customer service job being advertised. This made no sense to my rational brain. It was like asking someone with Down Syndrome to start cooking for himself from now on. I was seething with rage because I know that consequences ensue if one does not follow divine guidance (see Part I, Chapter 9, section titled, “The Gamble of Choice”). I also thought that God wanted us to do what are hearts are in and what we are best at. My genius is thinking and putting my ideas to writing. I couldn’t see the logic of God guiding me to apply for a job that I would be clumsy at. I applied to avoid negative effects for not doing what God told me to do. But I was mad at being ordered to do something off the wall. I was being sensory because I was going by what my human reason (part of the sixth sense of the human brain) was telling me was a humanly unreasonable request. Making things worse was that I felt pressured to choose between:

1) Working at a post that, very likely, would get me fired or 2) Incurring negative karma for disobeying a divine order Both options were unacceptable to me.

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Trans-sensory Consciousness

Had I been trans-sensory, I would have been comfortable obeying this humanly irrational request from the heavens. Even if the guidance made no sense, I would have happily applied—instead of grudgingly—for the position that was not in my area of expertise. I would have remembered Caroline Myss’s statement that divine logic is, more often than not, humanly illogical. In the Bible, Abraham acts in a trans-sensory way in his willingness to obey God’s order that he kill Isaac, his only son. In this story of Genesis, God gives Abraham no reason for the request, and from a human level, the request is not only irrational but psychotic. Still, Abraham binds Isaac to an altar on a mount and prepares to do as told. God’s request must have confounded Abraham. Yet, the old man trusted that there was a divine reason for the request. We all know what happens when the angel interferes at the last minute. Abraham’s dilemma (to follow or not to follow divine guidance) is a test of his faith. That is the cosmic logic beyond the humanly illogical request that God made to Abraham.280

Sensory Perception

You see a successful person—a renowned director, a world-class sculptor, or the president of the United States—and you say to yourself, “Man! I wish I had all that power.”

Trans-sensory Consciousness
280

This story is called “The Binding of Isaac.” It is found in Genesis 22 in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.

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You see powerful people as different facets of yourself. You imagine yourself experiencing human life from their point of view. And you realize that their successful life is yours as well, just like your unsuccessful life is theirs, too. This is because at the quantum level, everything and everyone is part of the same thing. Each of us is a piece of Brahma, the god of this physical universe and the corresponding afterlife. In seeing pieces of God in others, one experiences the greater aspects of this universal Force. Of course, our separateness will tempt us to see powerful people as them, and powerless you and I as us. But trans-sensory consciousness views the separateness as illusion and sees the unity of all as Truth.

Sensory Perception

One cooks with water from the kitchen faucet, showers with water from the shower head, does laundry with regular laundry detergent, hangs a scent fruit on one’s rearview mirror, and sprays a scented aerosol can in the house. After all, these substances look, taste, and smell harmless.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

Brenda Watson, the nutrition expert, lectured on PBS that city water has chlorine, lead, and other harmful substances. These toxins are invisible, tasteless, and odorless. Laundry detergents, Watson went on, have more chemicals. So do the plastics in automobiles, the fabrics in our furniture, and even the clothes that we wear. The earth, after all, is a closed system. Everything we dump into the

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air, soil, and water will come back to us. And other earthly life-forms will suffer as well. The skin, the largest organ of the human body, absorbs contaminants day to day. Air pollution, Watson continues, is often worse indoors than outdoors because indoor air tends to stagnate. Most of the foods that we eat are processed with preservatives. Over time, toxic exposure to all of the above can cause cells and organs to malfunction. The human liver is especially vulnerable to toxic overload because this is the prime detoxifier of the human body.281 In trans-sensory fashion (going beyond toxins that are invisible, tasteless, and odorless), Brenda Watson recommends a water filter for each major faucet. She also recommends a particulate air filter for the home and office. Watson advises drinking plenty of purified water with a few drops of lemon; ingesting enzymes, probiotics, and Omega-3 oil with meals; buying organic foods; eating a high fiber diet; and reducing exposure to atmospheric chemicals. Watson’s R.E.N.E.W. formula stands for: 1) Reduce exposure 2) Eliminate toxins 3) Nourish the body 4) Energize 5) Wellness282 Watson’s formula is trans-sensory because it addresses what human eyes, ears, skin, nostrils, and taste buds cannot sense. In so doing, her formula promises to help one not become “Toxsick.”283

281

See Brenda Watson’s Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps. This PBS special aired on April 17, 2008. 282 Ibid. 283 Ibid.

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Sensory Perception

You take what you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell literally.

Trans-sensory Consciousness

But as Diane Ackerman writes in A Natural History of the Senses: Used-car dealers have a “new-car” spray, guaranteed to make a buyer feel good about the oldest tin warthog. Real estate dealers sometimes spray “cake-baking” aromas around the kitchen of a house before showing it to a client. Shopping malls add “pizza smell” to their air-conditioning system to put shoppers in the mood to visit their restaurants.284 Trans-sensory humans know that, even when one senses intently in the now, the biological senses can still fool us.

Sensory Perception

Have you ever heard a song and not felt anything? That is sensory perception. The musical vibrations entered your ears. Your brain processed the beats and notes as music. And all this transpired without your being fully alive.

284

Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, p. 39.

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Trans-sensory Experience

The same song may be playing another day, and you get into it. You dance in tune with the beats. The notes penetrate you. This is not just transsensory consciousness. This is a trans-sensory experience. The same song that didn’t move you a week ago does now. Very important, this is not just Level 1 perception (what am I sensing?) nor is it Level 2 perception (thoughts about what it means). Rather, emotions (a trans-sensory phenomenon) bypass your thinking cap altogether. Something independent of thoughts “possesses” you. This is a trans-sensory experience.

Sensory Perception

In your living room, you plunk onto your futon. Throw pillows in a flowerprint surround you. Logs are ready to be burned in the fireplace, and the scent of roses is wafting across the room from a transparent vase in the corner. Your eyes, skin, its pressure centers, and nostrils pick up the stimuli, and you remain unaffected. This is sensory perception because unlike Level 1 perception (what am I seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, or smelling), the stimuli entered your physical senses without your paying attention. (See Part I, Chapter 6, section titled, “Level 1 vs. Level 2 Perception.”)

Trans-sensory Experience

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A week later, you are reclining on the same futon. The same throw pillows surround you. A low fire is cradling the logs in the fireplace, and the scent of roses is caressing your nostrils. Something in you has changed. You are now in tune with that something which gives us that wonderful feeling called, “being cozy.” This is a trans-sensory experience, for the physical stimuli hardly changed. Rather, something beyond the material stimuli changed, something independent of both the stimuli and thoughts about them.

Common Objections

New Age ministers—the very people one would think are trans-sensory— have come up with the following objections to the preceding section (titled, “Sensory Perception vs. Trans-sensory Consciousness”). One afternoon, a man who does spirit retrieval told me, “It’s not all about you.” From a sensory perspective, this is true, for each of us is, in the physical world, but one number on a planet of almost 7 billion people. The rational brain, after all, sees each of us as insignificant. Thus, “It’s not all about you.” From a trans-sensory perspective, however, “It is all about you.” Why? Because each of the 7 billion people on planet Earth has spirit guides that tailor each life curriculum to the needs of that individual. In the spirit realm, one Spirit is as important as 7 billion Spirits. Therefore, everything that you encounter is, at some level, exclusively about you (part of your life curriculum). At the same time, everything that you encounter is about others—a both/and truth instead of the either/or thinking of the human brain.

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Another day, a female minister of a nondenominational church replied, “You’re personalizing things.” Translated, this means that the messages aren’t really there. They are “random coincidence.” This is sensory perception. For example, the human brain will rationalize that the Big Dipper doesn’t really exist. From a trans-sensory perspective, however, the Big Dipper symbolizes that there is spiritual order to this physical universe. Divine meaning is communicated to us through hidden patterns like the Big Dipper. Months later, a lady who does energy work told me, “You’re reading too much into things.” Tell that to TV’s Lieutenant Columbo (Peter Falk). It is because Columbo “reads too much into things” that he solves the crimes assigned to him. Spiritual detectives are spiritually literate. Therefore, they read things that sensory people cannot read, for a sensory person sees a cake as just a cake. Yet another woman who does psychic work objected on the grounds that many of the clues that I’m reading are “out there,” instead of being internal. This is sensory perception because the human brain thinks in terms of either/or— rather than both/and. Hence, a sensory person only sees as valid internal signals. But from a trans-sensory perspective (beyond the either/or human brain), internal and external messages are valid. This doesn’t mean that one jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge just because someone told you. Although there are exceptions like smelling broccoli once that isn’t there, one clue isn’t enough. Rather, a pattern of clues pointing to the same thing needs to be there over a period of time. The messages cannot be about you harming someone, for negative messages like those are clearly from the human ego. Also, as you see, hear, smell, taste, or feel a sign that could be interpreted more than one way, go with your first impression, for this is your inner voice. The outer and the inner.

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Symbolically, the objecting of the ministers to what I was seeing reflects another truth. If those people agreed with me—read, approved of me—I would never learn to stand by my convictions without the emotional support of the world. This is a lesson on building character.

Out-of-Body Experiences

Drifting to sleep in the dark of one’s bedroom, one may suddenly feel oneself leaving one’s physical body. The experience is like falling off a cliff. One’s stomach jumps to one’s throat, and one gets that feeling which is indescribable. The feeling is like sneezing. It goes beyond the sense of touch. Though one may see and hear things during an out-of-body experience, feeling is the dominant element—and not ordinary feeling either. When falling asleep, I often wake up abruptly. I feel a jolt, usually on one or both legs. I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It is like falling off a precipice—and not just falling, but plummeting abruptly. This is an experience. The so-called five senses have nothing to do with this queasy feeling that goes beyond mere queasiness. In this sense, out-of-body and near-death experiences are trans-sensory. By the way, what causes jolts in some of us as we fall asleep? Apparently, it is the astral body leaving one’s physical body too soon. The astral body typically waits until one is fully asleep before leaving. In some people, however, the astral body is impatient to leave. When it realizes that the corporal body is still awake, the astral body returns quickly. Hence, the jolt feeling.

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Near-Death Experiences

In An Alchemy of Mind, Diane Ackerman implies that she doubts the outer reality of near-death experiences. This is because 95 percent of them are recounted in terms of what people saw, heard, smelled, felt, or even tasted. Therefore, Ackerman suspects that near-death experiences have a biological cause.285 Near-death experiences, however, aren’t called experiences for no reason. People often recall a feeling of rushing through space faster than the speed of light. The key word is feeling. It is like laughing or crying from the belly. This is no mere sensory perception. It is a trans-sensory experience. More people are shifting from the first versions of this chapter to the second versions. They are becoming trans-sensory in every sense of the word. The next chapter examines sensory and trans-sensory deprivation in the context of postmodern culture.

Exercise

Write about your experiences of sensory perception vs. trans-sensory consciousness. If you can’t think of any, try to see sensory incidents in a trans-sensory way. Keep a journal.

285

See Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind, pgs. 60-62.

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12 Deprivation of the Senses and of Emotions Sensory deprivation is deprivation of physical stimuli. Trans-sensory deprivation is deprivation of trans-sensory experiences. This chapter looks at some forms of sensory and trans-sensory deprivation and at ways of overcoming these limits of human experience. This is important because sensory deprivation (e.g., people always ignoring you) often leads to madness, while trans-sensory deprivation (e.g., males bottling up their feelings) often leads to obsession with sensory things like sex. This chapter concludes with going beyond all this.

Sensory Deprivation

There is sensory perception. But there is also the debilitating experience of sensory deprivation. I am talking about that inmate being locked in some vault for days with no light. I am talking about the father, mother, brother, sister, or friend not being there when you needed somebody. I am talking about those three messages you left on someone’s answering machine and that needed person’s failure to return your calls. The last example happened to me with three psychics. I was so enraged that I wanted to punch them for not caring that I needed their help. Sensory deprivation is to the heart what lemon drops are to the eye. It is about what is occurring out there—or, in this case, not occurring— affecting what happens inside. Sensory privations negatively affect those of us who are outer focused.

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Going Beyond Sensory Deprivation

Sensory deprivation, however, does not affect people who are inner focused. Even someone who is deprived of light for weeks could close his or her eyes and visualize the following: He or she is lying on a white chaise longue, zipping piña colada and enjoying sunny skies at a beach. Trans-sensory humans are not focused on what is out there—or not out there. Instead, they are focused on what is in here. Trans-sensory humans are conscious about outer stimuli, and observe them closely, but only in the context of how their inner world is processing the outer stimuli. If they feel pain, trans-sensory people change their inner processing. Conversely, sensory people look outside of themselves and let outer stimuli push their buttons.

Trans-sensory Deprivation

Around the globe, boys and men are not allowed to cry. Even if they feel sad, males are scolded and ridiculed for a thing that only “girls” and “sissies” do. The result is trans-sensory deprivation, for emotions are the language of the Spirit/soul. Feelings go beyond the physical senses. For example, in the film Return of the Jedi (1983), Princess Leia tells Luke Skywalker that she remembers their mother not so much as images but as feelings. That is the realm of the

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trans-sensory. Internalizing society’s expectations that “men don’t cry,” however, males block the flow of their emotions (a spiritual type of energy). Thus, males set themselves up for anger—the only feeling that males can express without ridicule—for ulcers, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and the obsessive need for sexual release. Like sobbing, laughing is a trans-sensory experience in that it goes beyond the biological senses. Loretta LaRoche, the stress management consultant, says, however, that people seem to be laughing less and less. “Be serious,” she comments on the video How Serious Is This? (1997), has become the catchphrase of America.286 In elevators, LaRoche goes on, people are afraid to look at one another. LaRoche relates, though, that she never turns upon entering an elevator. Instead, she smiles at everyone and says, “Lets hug!” People “crack up,” LaRoche says.287 According to her, people who stop laughing can even end up in mental institutions. This is an extreme consequence of not laughing on a regular basis, a type of trans-sensory deprivation. Our obsession with movies, TV programs, and live shows is undoubtedly related to our emotional inhibitions in a milieu of social masks. Entertainment media is popular because many of us are starving emotionally. In day-to-day life, everything is business, work, formality, and wearing masks. Viewing things on-screen goads us to experience emotional catharsis, be it from watching a tearjerker on the big screen (e.g., women) or a violent program on television (e.g., men). Entertainment allows us to experience feelings that Western society forbids. I rarely wept. Then, something changed. I started to cry. I discovered that deep, belly cries felt as powerful as orgasms. I immediately understood why men are obsessed with climaxing in bed. Lacking the freedom to shed tears, men
286 287

The video How Serious Is This? was produced by WGBH/ Boston. Ibid.

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turn to the only method of catharsis—other than watching violent shows or fighting—that postmodern society permits them: sexual release. The obsession of women—and some men—with multiple orgasms is no doubt related to our emotional and sexual inhibitions in a society ruled by emotional and sexual taboos. In a world where emotional openness and erotic expression have become unnatural, sexual obsession becomes necessary. This is because sexual release is a trans-sensory experience that goes beyond the sense of touch. Of course, sexual pleasure and orgasm also involve touch outside and inside the human body.288 Another reason for sexual obsession is that orgasm is a very emotional experience.

Going Beyond Trans-sensory Deprivation

If we could express ourselves without censure, then we would stop suppressing our emotional and sexual selves. Such a paradigm shift will require allowing boys and men to cry, permitting them to show their emotions—beyond mere anger—and allowing males to feel masculine despite that. This already happens in sports and war. Men are permitted to cry in those settings—the only exceptions to the no-cry rule. Male athletes and male soldiers are considered no less manly for their outbursts of emotion on the field. In fact, male athletes and male soldiers are seen as the most masculine of all men. In the video Humor Your Stress (1995), Loretta LaRoche says that we need to make our stressful situations humorous. For instance, if the copying machine is broken at work, LaRoche says, we could spin in front of a coworker and say,
288

Breathing, speaking, digestion, and excretion are other elements of touch inside the human body, as are colds, migraines, and painful illnesses.

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“You know? The Xerox machine’s not working.” In jest, she advises, “Stand on one leg when you’re talking to them [difficult people].” This creates, in her words, some “equanimity” with such individuals.289 Sexual freedom goes hand in glove with emotional freedom. On the baseball field, for instance, male athletes are not only allowed to express intense emotions—and even shed tears—without being considered less manly for that. They are also permitted to hug, kiss, and slap one another’s butts. Ending transsensory deprivation will require postmodern society to say yes to life! It will require a new Emancipation Proclamation. That proclamation shall spell: Males, females, and others are free to express their thoughts, feelings, and sexuality with whomever they choose, so long as they do not deliberately harm others. It is that simple. Chapter 13, the next chapter, begins a step-by-step process—continued in Chapter 14—of what it means to be trans-sensory.

Exercises

1) List examples of sensory and trans-sensory deprivation in your life. In each example, have you learned to deprive yourself? Or have the heavens withheld sensory and trans-sensory experiences from you? How long have you been aware of each case of deprivation? What actions, if any, have you taken to remedy each instance? What have been the results?

289

The video Humor Your Stress: Jest for the Fun of It with Loretta LaRoche was produced by WGBH/ Boston.

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2) If you have children, are you depriving them—or encouraging them to deprive themselves—of sensory experiences? For example, a mother might say, “There will be no eating of chocolate in this household.” What is your justification? What are the results—or what will the effects be—for your progeny? If the effects are or will be negative, how could you alter your teachings? 3) If you have children, are you depriving them—or encouraging them to deprive themselves—of trans-sensory experiences? For instance, a father might growl, “There will be no crying in this household.” What is your justification? What are the results—or what will the effects be—for your children? If the effects are or will be negative, how could you alter your teachings?

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13 The Omega Solution: Being Trans-sensory

Our Mission on Earth

One Saturday night in 1992, I was home alone feeling very depressed. At about 11:12 p.m., I turned on the tube. What I saw was the most heart-rending airing that I have ever seen on network or cable television. The Tales from the Darkside episode involves a blonde (Kim Greist) who joins an encounter group to study human psychology. The other members of “the group” pound pillows, yowl at imaginary versions of their parents and spouses, and burst into tears. As the group facilitator, Amy (Cynthia David) monitors their “work.” Claire, the blonde, stays composed. Away from the group, Claire takes pictures of “the natives.” That is her assignment. Claire, an anthropologist, is far from home, alone, and unable to connect with any human being. In her dim flat, the young woman views the slides that she has made. I should not have joined the group, Claire echoes in her head. She continues: Everything is filled with mystery—each building, each face, the city, the sky, this alien body I inhabit. I am alone, surrounded by mysterious surfaces.290 Claire starts to fall in love with Lee (John Aprea), an angry but tender-at-heart man from the group. Claire finds many things confusing about earthlings. How,
290

This episode of Tales from the Darkside (1983-1988) is titled, “Going Native.” The episode originally aired in syndication on June 19, 1988 (Season 4, episode 17).

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she asks herself, could creatures who are so violent be so tender [in bed]?291 In the end, Claire loses her mind, feels human emotions for the first time, and acts like the rest of the encounter group—pounding pillows, screaming at her invisible mother, and sobbing like a little girl. The woman from outer space becomes, in her words, “a stupid human animal,” when her mission was simply “to report on you.”292 Claire is the archetypal fallen angel. Like Claire, each of our spirits descended onto planet Earth with a mission. Earth temptations, however, have distracted most of us from the fulfillment of that mission. Distractions, a sensory issue, include people who we are better off without. Many individuals “go native,” instead of staying connected to that inner dialogue that directs them toward the fulfillment of their life mission. Spiritual masters say, “Find a way that you can be of service.” In the ideal world, everyone serves from their hearts, and work is never a chore or unavailable. In “the real world,” however, heaven often puts hurdles in our path. Such obstacles can prevent the fulfillment of one’s spiritual mission. This is a test of character. At other times, there is a spiritual embargo in place against one’s Spirit/soul. As happened to Cuba after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 and to Iceland after its currency collapsed in 2008, nothing can get in or out of the country. The Spirit/soul in question has been put in a spiritual blacklist. This is why many people cannot find work that springs from the heart. Or work of any kind. Many, perhaps most, homeless people are Spirits that have been blacklisted in the spirit realm for sins committed in past lives. The result of the “international” blockade (from other Spirits/souls) against those Spirits is no friends, no job, no money, no nothing. Massive karmic debt—the type of debt that feeds on itself—gets repaid when the heavens prevent one from repaying
291 292

Ibid. Ibid.

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the debt. How could a karmic debt that doesn’t allow itself to be repaid— through one’s not being allowed to serve—get repaid? This is yet another of those divine paradoxes. Perhaps, the agony of not being allowed to give will change a human being into a giving Spirit in the future. This chapter will look at the trans-sensory issues of: 1) Internal control 2) Spirit release and “soul retrieval” 3) Knowing thyself 4) Experiencing oneness with others 5) What is needed to let go of pain 6) Externals being—generally—beyond our human control 7) Free will, predestination, and karma 8) Our human insignificance 9) Going beyond people Understanding these issues is one of the first steps toward becoming transsensory, for these topics lie beyond the realm of human sensing.

Being Trans-sensory

Be Always at the Controls

One day, an uncle of mine, a bus driver, put me on his lap. He allowed me, a toddler, to maneuver the steering wheel of his assigned bus. The bus was not moving, but I felt excited “driving” such a huge thing. I remember the feel of the polished, black plastic against my tiny hands.

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When little, I also found the steering wheel of a car on a sidewalk. I picked up the plastic wheel of gray, held it before me, and “maneuvered” behind my mother toward a supermarket. Inside the grocery store, I kept “driving” and making vrooming sounds. Years later, my mother sat me on her lap. This happened inside her white jalopy at the vacant parking lot of a supermarket. The beach of Levittown, Puerto Rico was to my left. My mother released her foot from the brake pedal, and the automobile started to move—slowly, to be sure. But I remember the excitement of motion, the vibrations, the slow turns in the afternoon sunlight, and the inevitable end of the ride. As adults, we are drivers of our lives. Each person is responsible for being attentive to his or her moving car. No distractions are allowed, unless we are willing to face the consequences. Most people relinquish control of their cars to external forces. Blustering winds come, and they don’t grab the steering wheel. A rainstorm hits, and they don’t turn on the wipers. Nighttime falls like a dark blanket, and they don’t turn on the headlights. Someone steps in front, and they don’t step on the brake pedal. These drivers let their moving vehicles go wherever they will and let the tin boxes encounter whatever fate dictates. Such individuals never check the oil and never do repairs. Only to sleep do they stop. This is like driving from New York to Florida down I-95. Such a trip would be terrifying, to say the least, if one were in an automobile that were driving itself. Responsible drivers, by contrast, are always monitoring their vehicles—in “good” times and in “bad” times. Their biological senses are sharpened. Such drivers obey the speed limits. They follow the rules of the road. These drivers know that they must pay attention to other drivers, for they, not other drivers, are responsible for how well their vehicles bowl along. When one focuses on

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managing one’s car, driving becomes as fun as the driving sessions that I had as a kid. This doesn’t mean that fate and karma don’t exist. Things do occur beyond our human control. The responsible driver knows, however, that he is still in control of the car of his Self. Snowstorms, accidents between other motor vehicles, and falling branches may happen on the outside. But the responsible driver stays in control on the inside.

Extricating Alien Influences

In Soul Retrieval, Sandra Ingerman, a shaman, writes that oftentimes part or pieces of a “soul” flee a human body to survive a trauma.293 Author Gary Zukav calls this the “splintered personality.”294 The departure of a fragment of one’s spirit leaves a hole or holes in one’s auric field (field of the aura). As most of us know, this universe abhors a vacuum. Foreign energies or entities often attach themselves to the hole or holes in one’s aura. When this happens, thoughts start to pop up in one’s head, thoughts that are not one’s own. One may also feel strange—and usually negative—emotions. Fighting these thoughts and emotions can be very taxing. Worse, people who don’t know what a spirit attachment is may believe that the bad thoughts and negative feelings are theirs, rather than the thoughts and feelings of an unwelcome party. In Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) begins her honeymoon with Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes)
293

Sandra Ingerman, Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), p. 11. 294 Zukav, The Seat of the Soul, p. 137.

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aboard the Enterprise. The two start to make love on their bed. Riker is on top of Troi. Suddenly, Troi sees Riker transform himself into the grotesque Reman Viceroy (Ron Perlman). Troi screams and tries to get the Reman off her. Soon, Troi realizes that the alien creature invaded her mind from another starship. This is a dramatic example of what happens when someone becomes “possessed.” Possession is what people mean when they ask, “What in the world has gotten into you?” A more accurate question would be, “What from the lower realms has gotten into you?” More often than not, an entity or entities affect one’s thoughts and feelings in subtle ways. Since the alien spirit(s) can remain with the host for decades, its thoughts and emotions become too familiar to—and thus, undetected by—the host. To be in control of one’s thoughts, one must first have full possession of one’s mind. Shamans perform spirit release therapy (the attached energy is asked and sometimes cajoled to leave). Then, shamans retrieve one’s fled part(s) of spirit to fill the vacuum and to prevent future negative energies from attaching themselves to one’s spirit. The process is similar to what happens in the climax of Troll (1986). In that movie, adolescent Harry Potter Jr. (Noah Hathaway) notices subtle—and eventually, not so subtle—changes in his 9-year-old sister (Jenny Beck). It turns out that a troll has taken over her physical body. This, of course, is an exaggeration, for in so-called real life, takeovers are usually subtle. The interesting part of the film, however, is that toward the end, Potter Jr. crosses the doorway of an apartment into another dimension. In a forest, he finds his sister resting inside a coffin. With a spear, the 16-year-old breaks the force field that is around the coffin and frees Wendy Anne Potter. Important is to be cautious about the people one hangs out with, for people’s energies can affect us individuals. Ask yourself:

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What thoughts and emotions does that person or group generate in me? Thoughts of hate, anger, and revenge? Or feelings of love, peace, and service? Is the group genuine? If one feels lower energies like anger, then the person or group is a negative force. If one feels higher energies like Love, then the person or group is a positive force. Like people, places carry energies. Places like bars, ghettos, and arenas where violent games are played have negative energies. Places like forests, the mountains, and nonjudgmental churches have positive energies. Hanging out in negative settings attracts negative energies into one’s life. Hanging out in positive settings attracts positive energies into one’s life. Just as significant, places like The Overlook Hotel of the movie The Shining may look peaceful and not be so. As George Romero narrates before the window opens to each story of Tales from the Darkside: Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality. But there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit. A Darkside. From a human standpoint, for example, Maine is a piece of heaven. Old forests, clear rivers, and fresh lakes dot the landscape. But from a spiritual perspective, Maine can be a piece of hell. One young woman told me, for instance, that she was very depressed growing up in an orphanage in Maine. The cold, the snow, her being Latina, and the way that she was treated made life at that orphanage a living hell for her.

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If the glitter of surfaces is often deceiving, then that makes things more interesting than if the outer always reflected the inner. If the outer and the inner sometimes match and sometimes don’t match, then there is an element of unpredictability here. One must then rely not on the biological senses but on the spiritual senses. Why? Because the biological senses can’t sense the “underworld,” while the spiritual senses can. Moreover, the exterior senses make false assumptions about interior realities, while the inner senses are always on the mark about psychic realities. The problem is that our biological senses see what we want to see, not what is really there. For instance, Martin Luther King, Jr. is considered a saint in most of the world. But as Marcus Epstein, a media writer, comments online: Slightly before the King Holiday was signed into law, Governor Meldrim Thompson of New Hampshire wrote a letter to Ronald Reagan expressing concerns about King’s morality and Communist connections. Ronald Reagan responded, “I have the reservations you have, but here the perception of too many people is based on an image, not reality [emphasis mine]. Indeed, to them the perception is reality.”295 Love is blind. On the other hand, we all need something to believe in, even if idealism does not square with reality. Without idealism, we have nothing to live for. One ends up disillusioned with “the real world.” There is also the dejection that when a physically beautiful person is present, one cannot appreciate his or her physical beauty—at least, not too much—since that is thin as the skin of an apple.

295

Marcus Epstein, “Myths of Martin Luther King,” LewRockwell.com. The article is at http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/epstein9.html.

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Trans-sensory humans go by gut feeling, however, not just by surface appearances. In so doing, they take a huge step toward keeping harmful energies away from their minds, hearts, and spirits. Psychically “zipping around” before going out may help to protect one from the negative energies out there. But visualizing a cocoon of white light around you encourages a sense of separation from others. Best is to exhibit positive energies from within. This is the best way to deflect negativity. While showering or taking a bubble bath, you can also visualize the soap and water cleansing your aura. Then, each shower and bath becomes a baptism (a washing away of negativity). The phenomena of loss of spirit and spirit attachment(s) are not rare events. As children grow up, they lose that energy, sparkle, and charisma that kids have. This is the progressive harshness of “life” causing parts of their spirits to flee, piece by piece. According to Sandra Ingerman, most people today have experienced some degree of “soul loss.” Why? In Soul Retrieval, Ingerman writes:

We moved from tribal societies to a culture in which families took the place of the community. As society became more mobile, family clans broke into smaller and more isolated units, down to the “nuclear family.” Even now the nuclear family is dissolving into individual members who live separately. … the disintegration of community into ever more discrete units of human interaction has a dramatic effect on soul loss [emphasis mine].296
296

Ingerman, Soul Retrieval, p. 85.

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Other possible causes of dispiritedness are death of a loved one, illness, abuse, divorce, war, drugs, moving frequently, getting circumcised, not following one’s heart, and emotional shock. Any break of oneself—heartbreak, someone sucking the life out of you, a lover taking a piece of your heart, or a spouse stealing your heart outright—is another way of describing loss of spirit. Also, what shocks one person (e.g., an alarm clock an aborigine) doesn’t necessarily shock another person (e.g., someone used to alarm clocks). In the movie Prayer of the Rollerboys (1991), Speedbagger (Julius Harris) tells Griffin (Corey Haim), “I just hope there’s still something left of what I first saw in you two boys.” Speedbagger is talking about loss of spirit. When Griffin says in another scene, “I just want my brother back,” he is also referring to loss of spirit. This is because 13-year-old Miltie (Devin Clark) is still part of Griffin’s life, yet is not “there” any more. Part of Miltie’s consciousness has left for a pleasant realm because this dimension is too unpleasant for him. As Madonna’s song goes, “If I ran away, I wouldn’t have the strength to go very far.”297 Spiritual loss is one way of departing from this world. Suicide is another way. Both deplete your energy to the point of death. Loss of spirit is psychic death. Suicide is biological death. What leaves one’s material body returns sometimes without the aid of a shaman. This is what people mean when they say, “He [or she] will come around.” To help individuals to prevent loss of spirit, the popular culture has the advisory saying, “Keep yourself together.” Another popular saying is, “Stay collected.” If one fails at this, then one is “losing it” or “going out of your mind.” These expressions convey that a piece of one’s energy has left. In this case, one needs to “regroup emotionally.” A good example of temporary loss of spirit is
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Madonna, “Live to Tell.” This song is in the CD titled, The Immaculate Collection. “Live to Tell” debuted in 1986. The CD came out on December 8, 1990. Label: Sire / London/Rhino.

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when a person faints (a mini-death). He or she drops because energy has vacated the physical body. In mild cases, the energy returns without assistance. But for reasons not fully understood, the departed energy sometimes doesn’t return on its own. As writer Norman Cousins said, “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”298 In such cases, a shaman is needed to do spiritual retrieval. In taking control of one’s mind and heart, one may want to consider loss of spirit and spirit attachments.

Know Thyself

In the movie The Matrix (1999), the following exchange takes place between a woman called The Oracle (Gloria Foster) and Neo (Keanu Reeves). The Oracle: Do you think you are the one [the savior]? Neo: Honestly, I don’t know. The lady asks Neo if he knows what a Latin inscription behind him means. “Know thyself,” she tells him. In The Mind of the Soul, writers Gary Zukav and Linda Francis argue that the mansion of each personality (spirit) has many rooms. Each room has its own agenda, wants, and fears. Caroline Myss would call this the gravity of each
298

D. JoAnne Swanson, “What Is a Wage Slave?” Why Work? Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery. At http://www.whywork.org/about/faq/wageslave.html.

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archetype, of which we all have 12.299 The “multisensory” person, Zukav and Francis write, is aware of the dynamics of each room of his or her personality. The multisensory person chooses not to let certain wants of the personality— such as recklessness and jealousy—get out of control. His or her inner choices, not the whims of the mansion, are in control, Zukav and Francis conclude. Such conscious decisions Zukav and Francis call “authentic power.”300 I highly recommend the exercises in that book. Knowing thyself means knowing the dynamics of one’s spirit. Such knowledge is necessary in the process of becoming and being trans-sensory.

Imagine Yourself as Others

The five senses—and the sixth sense of the human brain—instill in us a sense of separateness from others. In An Alchemy of Mind, however, Diane Ackerman writes that William Shakespeare must have had the ability to become, mentally and emotionally, the characters that he wrote about.301 Writers and actors obsess about their characters and become them. Speculating that Shakespeare had Asperger Syndrome, some people think that the playwright was able to become his characters more deeply than other playwrights—a point of some debate. Apparently, some people with Asperger’s can literally get into the shoes of others. They do not merely empathize with people to their liking. These Aspies become others in their minds and hearts. I have this ability, and it goes to the point of wanting to be others—not everyone, but specific people. I
299 300

Myss, Sacred Contracts. See Gary Zukav and Linda Francis, The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice, (New York: Free Press, 2003). 301 Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind, pgs. 222-227.

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want to experience human life from many points of view and find myself too limited being one physical body and one personality. For years, I felt guilty for wanting to be certain others. In An Alchemy of Mind, Diane Ackerman writes that most people have a sense of I too strong to allow them to be in the shoes of others for long.302 By I, Ackerman means the human ego, as opposed to the Self that I write about in Part I, Chapter 17, section titled, “Becoming More Than Higher Animals.” The humbling of the human ego (that inner antagonist) is required to get out of one’s skin. Trans-sensory humans see others as parts of themselves. Trans-sensory people may even go so far as to experience themselves as others in their minds and hearts. Trans-sensory humans develop the ability to become not just people they like, but also people they dislike. At the same time, trans-sensory humans retain their sense of individuality—a both/and approach to being in an either/or world.

Preparation for Being at the Controls
Being Understood and Letting Go of Pain

Most of us hold on to our pain because the world does not witness—much less, acknowledge—it. The human reasoning goes, If I don’t hold on to my pain, then nobody will ever know. As I awoke one night, for example, I felt a black void pulling me up like a tornado. I heard rushing sounds. Part of me wanted to go like urine wants to leave a full bladder. This was not a dream, for I was halfawake. The next day, I telephoned a man who was in charge of a program
302

Ibid.

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called, “The Circle of Light.” He evaded my three messages on his answering machine. If an “enlightened” reverend could not be counted on in a crisis, I wondered, who could I turn to? Who could I tell about what had happened to me? Letting go of a pain that nobody concedes is extremely hard—albeit not impossible. We need to feel someone acknowledge our pain before we can release it. In a world that gets busier each day, people are too harried to lend an ear—much less, a piece of their heart. Even gurus in the field of New Consciousness are often in the “business of spirituality” for the money. If people don’t listen, then we need a God who understands our pain before we can let it go. On PBS’s The Power of Intention, however, author Wayne Dyer says that God does not respond to requests because God, being infinite abundance, does not understand lack.303 I find this concept of God extremely limiting because it assumes that Evil exists independent of God. But even Evil is part of the Creator. Only the dualistic human brain conceptualizes God as only Good. From my perspective, Brahma’s abundance would have to include an abundance of understanding of suffering. If God lacks understanding of Evil because God doesn’t comprehend lack, then God is not endlessly abundant. Where there is a deficiency of understanding, as in misunderstanding, there is an absence of Love. Where infinite Love exists, there is perfect understanding. In the movie Past the Bleachers (1995), Ed Godfrey (Barnard Hughes) tells Bill Parish (Richard Dean Anderson), “God inhabits the bitter and the sweet in life.” This is as opposed to the bitter or the sweet. In my view, God created the Holy Spirit as His arm for understanding the scarcity that doesn’t exist at the highest levels of God. The Holy Spirit sends miracles because S(He) understands scarcity. If the Holy Ghost were incapable of comprehending lack, then S(He)
303

See PBS’s The Power of Intention. This special originally aired on PBS on June 12, 2004.

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would be incapable of sending miracles. Miracles happen because of need—not because of plenitude. Lack is what creates the need for miracles. When the world does not comprehend our pain, we need to know that a universal force larger than ourselves understands our lack. Then, we can turn to such a power and ask for the understanding that people do not extend our way. Without someone acknowledging our pain, we hold on to it as the sole witnesses of an atrocity that nobody—other than ourselves—recognizes. Only by turning our pain over to a God who understands pain can we let it go once and for all. This letting go is necessary in the process of “being at the controls.” Without our letting go of the past, the process is like the autumn leaves that I saw at a nature trail. The brittle leaves of brown were still clinging to the tree branches in spring. Flower buds were making their way out from underneath. But the process looked labored, rather than natural. This is what happens when we hang on to the past. We get out of balance with the seasons.

Understanding Lack of Control and the Nature of Problems

When we incarnate, our Spirits/souls go from being enormously powerful to being infinitely powerless—powerless in terms of being unable to control most externals. We, of course, can change some things. But we can’t prevent what happens to us all in those first years of life: emotionally getting stabbed over and over. As adults, we never know when an illness will strike, the strike being ostensibly due to the emotional wounds manifesting as physical diseases. We never know when the company that we work for will go overseas or belly-up. We never know when a spouse will leave us. We cannot make anyone love us. We can’t prevent loved ones from dying. We have no control over our

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upbringing. Hurricanes, earthquakes, snowstorms, and volcanic eruptions are far more powerful than any human being. A single individual is nothing next to the frying heat and suffocating humidity of summer. Human legs are close to powerless next to the speed of cars. Humans cannot fly without the help of airplanes and helicopters. We cannot change the past. We cannot predict the future. We can’t change others. We can’t even control our own bodies. I, for instance, was grinding my teeth to the point that my tongue was getting damaged. Because the grinding occurred while I was asleep, there was little that I could do. I meditated before sleep, exercised during the day, underwent hypnosis, and did yoga. Still, the grinding continued. I was terrified because I couldn’t stop the damage to my taste buds. I got a night guard for my mouth. It didn’t prevent my squishing my tongue during sleep. Stress in my unconscious was causing the grinding, but my unconscious and subconscious was beyond my control. I went into a conniption because I couldn’t control my own body. Someone may seem powerful from writing big numbers on a check, pointing a gun at someone, or owning pricey things. But the person is not powerful. Rather, the external things have the power—and only because people have given their inner power to externals. Guns can kill, so people give their mental and emotional power to guns. Money buys things, so people give their mental and emotional power to money. We, however, don’t have the power to own—truly own—anything. Think about it. If you live in a house, is it really yours? Assume you paid it off. Furthermore, assume that the house is in your name. Is the house yours? A piece of paper may say so. But is the house truly yours? Another piece of paper may read, “$250,000” as the house’s worth on the market. No homeowner, however, is guaranteed $250,000 or whatever the property is supposedly worth. Even if a homeowner—the rare breed that actually owns property—puts his or

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her house on the market, there is no assurance that a buyer will appear. Most homeowners don’t put their houses on the market until years, if not decades, have passed. In the meantime, all these people have are pieces of paper telling them what their property is “worth.” Look at what has happened to the American economy since the real estate bubble burst in September 2008. What if deflation (collapsing prices across the board) hits again 1930s-style? Or hyperinflation (out of control inflation)? How much power will $10,000 in the bank—worth $1,000—have in such a society? Consider what happened in Austria in 1932. In the words of the Americanist James Shenton: Austria was a country which began as an empire. By 1932, it was a rump of what was once an empire. There was a great city called Vienna, surrounded by some spectacular scenery, a country without a function. More precisely, a capital without a function. One-third of the workforce of Austria was employed in a government that really, effectively, and essentially did not exist. And how do you maintain a government under such circumstances? You borrow money. And the Kreditanstalt, which was the Austrian Central Bank, had been literally subsidizing the Austrian economy by borrowing ansts on bonds which were being constantly sold at rising rates of interest. Any bank in America which had in its portfolio Kreditanstalt bonds looked upon them as a measure of their salvation because of the rate of interest. What happened? When one day, truth met reality, the interest rates were unsustainable. They couldn’t be paid. And the most astonishing thing imaginable happened. The Central Bank of Austria went bankrupt. Think about this in terms of what you think you would do if you realized the Federal Reserve System had gone bankrupt. A whole country bankrupt! All the paper issued?

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Worthless. And suddenly in 1932, it was like we pulled the plug out of the tub of tepid water. And everywhere it became obvious that what was bad was now beyond understanding. It was worse than anyone had ever imagined.304 If the United States goes bankrupt—and it might from all the recent bailouts and mounting debt—then the U.S. dollar will collapse, as will the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso. The Amero (currency being proposed for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) may be the only way that 443 million people won’t go without food, pay, and other necessities. If I were president of the United States, I would have the Amero ready to take over immediately—and I mean immediately—when and if the U.S. dollar collapses. I would also have an alternate banking system on the sidelines, ready to rescue America, Canada, and Mexico. Of itself, money has no value. A good way to illustrate this is that in 1971, President Richard Nixon took the United States off the gold standard (without popular consent). Not even silver backs the U.S. dollar nowadays. Only the assurance—a nonmaterial thing—of the U.S. government continues to make the American dollar the dominant currency of international exchange. Moreover, only popular opinion makes money valuable. But mass opinion is beyond one’s control. In 1920s Austria, for instance, people who wanted a loaf of bread had to pay for it with barrels of cash, according to the mother of my adopted aunt. If money were objectively valuable, it would have fixed value. That it does not means that the value of the dollar, the Euro, the pound, the peso, and the Yuan depends on something else, something unstable. That fickle thing is public

304

Refer to the cassette titled, The History of the United States, Part VI: Liberalism and the Cold War, “The Great Depression,” Lecture 51.

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opinion. Traditional investors say, “Markets make opinions.”305 In reality, opinions make markets as well. Our corporate-dominated world encourages the obsession with money. After all, nothing is free of a price tag, and the cost of living in the West is higher than ever. Consequently, more Westerners are becoming fixated on making truckfulls of money. But wise is to remember what happened in Austria a few decades ago. People who think that is ancient history can always look at the figures for America’s domestic deficit, trade deficit, consumer debt, mortgage debt, and debt to foreign investors. America’s cumulative debt is a whopping $36 trillion—and this was before the bailout package of $700 billion.306 As financial authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin write in Empire of Debt, “Sooner or later people cannot continue to borrow and cannot continue to make their payments.”307 People who place exclusive value on getting or staying rich are thus betting on the “wrong” duck. Why? If nothing else, because our system of money is in the hands of irresponsible economists, policy makers, CEOs, and politicians. They are making the currencies of the world more unstable than ever. Hence, best is not to base one’s happiness on externals over which one has no control. Too much worldly power can even be lethal. Just look at the body count of Hollywood actors and actresses who have died of drug overdoses. The big screen, television, magazines, and the worship of millions of fans made gods of these celebrities. Their human egos couldn’t handle it! Even when VIPs don’t abuse their physical bodies, they often abuse others, disobey the law, and lust for more external power. Their human egos enlarge like super-inflating balloons. In the words of Laurel Cutler, a marketing expert, “… what happens to imperially
305

Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin, Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis, (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006), p. 256. 306 Ibid., p. 17. 307 Ibid.

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treated people is that they become isolated, arrogant, and imperial. It is extremely hard not to.”308 God has placed a self-destruct mechanism, called the human ego, in each of us. If we allow success to make us see ourselves as superior to others, then this entity called ego will cause us, sooner or later, to destroy ourselves. People with worldly power are said to have power. They gain it, usually through force or manipulation. But people with inner power acknowledge it. They actualize that power from within. What you have or gain you can lose. An example is the fading of physical beauty with age. But what you acknowledge and actualize is already there. You have merely learned to tap your internal power. It is always accessible. People with earthly power are—paradoxically— dependent. They depend on something external and are powerless without it. Worldly power can be eradicated faster than a hand wiping standing dominos off a cedar table. Pompous people can discover, to their shock, that their human egos are powerless to protect them from physical life. Heaven, after all, can knock the most powerful person to his or her knees if It wishes to. The dark night of the soul is an example of how this happens. By comparison, inner power can handle any circumstance, positive or negative. Inner peace, joy, and abundance may not come to us in a swipe. But if we work from inside, we are at least in the right place. I define internal power as the conscious part of the human psyche, for we cannot control our unconscious (e.g., my tooth grinding). Only spiritually advanced people can control every iota of their bodily functions. Thus, spiritually evolved people can prevent things like growth of cancer cells in them. As for the rest of us, we can give our internal power to external things—money, insurance policies, legal documents, lawyers, politicians, alcohol, drugs, and
308

This quote comes from America on Wheels, “Car Wars,” Part Three. The episode originally aired on PBS on June 24, 1996.

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cigarettes. Or we can keep the power inside. Only when we get that our human form controls very little externals can we be ready to control the only thing that we really can—the interior of our conscious selves. Bringing our unconscious and subconscious into consciousness is hence important, for our interiors are where the God Spirit of our Higher Selves resides. Most of us believe that human life is meant to be excruciatingly hard and that problems are inevitable. For years, I believed this because, as we know, spiritual challenges are inevitable. But in time, I discovered that problems “out there” are caused by a lack of higher consciousness “in here.” People, not just life, cause problems. Therefore, people, not just life, are hard. Forty-seven million Americans have no health insurance, for instance.309 For people who need to see a doctor in the United States, lack of health insurance can quickly become a matter of life or death. And this is no longer just Americans who can’t afford insurance premiums. Americans who can afford the premiums are still not fully covered—sometimes for up to two years—if they have a “preexisting condition.” In 1956, Congress passed the Interstate Highway Act. Through this piece of legislation, the federal government paid billions of dollars for America’s interstate highway system. Yet, in the 21st century, Washington refuses to provide universal health care for any American except its employees. Apparently, cars, gasoline, and highways are more important than Americans. The problem of no health care for 47 million Americans is not caused by life being cruel. Rather, this problem is caused by lobbyists, senators, and representatives putting profits first and people last. It is caused by mass apathy regarding the people—including 12 million children—who have no health insurance in the United States. The problem of neverending lawsuits, unaffordable rents, sky-high mortgage payments, plummeting wages in the
309

This is the official statistic of the U.S. government. Unofficially, the numbers of Americans with no health insurance—and those underinsured—are much higher.

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postindustrial world, the wasteland of television, and the fluff on the radio is caused not by “life being hard” but by humans being stingy, fear-based, lacking in love, and apathetic. People cause half of life’s problems. Humans are said to cause even “inevitable” natural phenomena. Hurricane Katrina, for instance, was the most powerful hurricane to hit the United States. A major cause of the unprecedented destructiveness of that storm was global warming. Increased global warming is being caused, in turn, by humanity’s refusal to switch to non-fossil fuels. As another example, rising cancer rates are largely caused by rising toxicity in the biological environment. Rising toxicity is caused, in turn, by ruling classes putting the bottom line first and cleanliness last. The “cold, harsh realities of life” turn out to be, more often than not, the cold, harsh realities of people. If humans didn’t make physical life—an already challenging enterprise—worse, then life on earth would be half easier. Before we can be in control of our lives, we must recognize the following: As individuals, we have some control over our surroundings. For example, we can turn off the 6 o’clock news at home. But the collective will always have more control over the environment than the individual. This environment is not just the physical environment but the psychic environment as well. Consequently, the earth’s problems are beyond the scope of lone rangers. Rather than try to change the outside world, individuals who get it change their inner world.

The Limits of Free Will

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The human brain prefers to conceptualize choice as an either/or thing. In other words, we either have free will or we don’t. Perhaps, the two hemispheres upstairs reinforce this sensory way of perceiving free will. In the introduction, however, A Course in Miracles says, “Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum.”310 How often I have pondered why talented actors don’t get the big break that will launch their careers. It isn’t because they don’t work hard at their crafts. In fact, an incredible number of actors work tirelessly at two jobs—their art and waiting tables to make ends meet. I admire their persistence at aiming for that role which will propel them to stardom. But why do some actors go to Hollywood and land the role right away, while other actors, who are just as hardworking and positive, struggle for decades to make it big? I am thinking about one of my most beloved actors (Jonathan Jackson). When Jonathan was 9, his parents took him and his brother (Richard Lee Jackson) to Hollywood. The boys fell in love with the place and wanted to act. Soon, Jonathan Jackson (his aura is a warm rose of the purest colors) landed the role of Lucky Spencer on the soap opera General Hospital. Today, Jonathan and Richard are living their boyhood dream of being on TV and in movies. I am happy for them. But of the 200+ songs that my mother composed during her 61 years of life, why did just one of them air on the radio? My mother, it should be noted, was no music amateur. According to people who have listened to her CDs, she easily qualifies as the female Rafael Hernández of Puerto Rico. For the record, Rafael Hernández was one of Puerto Rico’s best composers. Only in 1981 did a DJ air one of my mother’s songs on the radio. This was in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At once, the station manager told the DJ to stop airing the song. According to my mother, people on the street told her that the song was catching on. But, she
310

Shuckman, A Course in Miracles, p. 1.

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told me, the manager of the radio station was under orders to promote a different song. In thinking about the absence of cultural supports for my mother, I am not talking about negative people who limit their options through their negativity. Rather, I am thinking about positive artists—composers like my mother—who don’t get their big break despite years of hard work. The only possible explanation is that their curriculum (predestination) forbids their becoming well-known. How many Albert Einsteins, Barbra Streisands, and Carl Sagans are out there, struggling to be discovered? Not only does predestination give about 10 percent of artists talent and the opportunities. The age at which they become stars seems predetermined as well. Van Hansis, for example, is the stupendously gifted actor who plays Luke Snyder on the soap opera As the World Turns. Van never was a child star, and even in his early 20s, he remained unknown as an actor. On December 14, 2005, however, the 24-year-old blond joined the cast of As the World Turns. Consider the following blog from him. As Van wrote on the web on March 20, 2007: This is the strangest thing about the whole [Emmy] nomination process, though. It happened on Monday, [and] the nominations came out on Wednesday. I don’t know if it was some sort of premonition, I don’t really even know if I believe in that stuff, but it was very weird. It was about eleven in the morning. I was in the subway station headed uptown for an audition. Now, I know, everyone in New York has strange subway stories: … But I think this is a little weirder than all of those combined. Anyhow—I am at Union Square, listening to my iPod, minding my business, the train came, and I got on. It wasn’t very crowded and there were a bunch of seats open. I sat down and noticed that on the seat next to me was a small white piece of notepaper folded up. I am naturally a

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pretty curious person so if I see a paper on the seat next to me, I will read it. I unfold it and see “AS THE WORLD TURNS FANCLUB” printed on the top. Weird. Weird. Weird. I keep reading “Dear Jesse,” Weird. “Congratulations on your Emmy nomination…” by this point I was so freaked out. This was a fan letter, from almost exactly a year ago when Jesse [Jesse Lee Soffer] got his first nomination, just sitting next to me on the subway. There are eight million people in New York City. What are the chances that you find a letter written to your friend on the W train??? Crazy!!! I kept the letter and showed it to Jesse at work, thinking he might have dropped it on the train or something. He told me he didn’t but he remembered the letter on his desk in his dressing room. He had no idea how it got from his desk to the subway. The letter was about Emmy nominations. It was to Jesse. I found it and less than 48 hours later we had both been nominated for an Emmy. I tell you, sometimes this world is so small….311 The letter was heaven giving Van and Jesse a preview of what was to come. Preview, or “premonition,” hints very strongly at the possibility that their being nominated for the Emmy award was predestined—although the hard work of the actors certainly contributed.312 It is as if Van Hansis and Jesse Lee Soffer had been meant to be Emmy nominees. In the case of Van, his playing gay Luke on As the World Turns has made television history with daytime TV’s first same-sex

311

Van Hansis, blog titled, “March Madness,” Van’s Blog, March 20, 2007 at http://www.cbs.com/daytime/atwt/behind/specials/blog/. 312 Ibid.

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kiss. Viewers have been so positively affected that Van receives emails from around the world. In The Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukav writes about Spirits/souls who influence large numbers of people. Zukav explains: The significance of the evolution of responsibility is that each human being moves through levels of responsibility on its way to wholeness. In other words, as a soul chooses the lesson of responsibility, it will find itself incarnating into an atmosphere of more potential impact upon the species. The personality [spirit] must also come to agree with what the soul has chosen.313 Predestination is like an exam that one’s Spirit/soul crafts—with spirit guides and other souls—before incarnating into human form. On earth, one’s personality doesn’t choose the questions, just its responses. Free will is choosing how we will be inside, despite the parameters (destiny) of our lives. The life parameters of some people are spacious (“good” karma). The life parameters of other people are confining (“bad” karma). Our curriculum may permit us to run around a sunlit field. Or it may restrict us to a dank cell. Our free will is about whether we choose peace, joy, and abundance (or their opposite) internally, despite outer circumstances. Only before human birth does a Spirit have the freedom to choose its earthly curriculum—being financially wealthy or impoverished, being born in the First World or in the Third World, and being “white” or “black.” In physical life, free will is limited to how we choose to learn, love, and be. Internality is choice at the level of one’s spirit (the shuttle that the mother ship of one’s Spirit and soul group ejects before incarnating).
313

Zukav, The Seat of the Soul, p. 168.

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Externality is, by and large, determined by one’s Spirit/soul before one’s incarnation. Only spiritually evolved personalities—“aligned with the soul” in Gary Zukav’s words—can change their life circumstances.314 A personality aligned with the Spirit/soul is like the Star of David. This is according to Bob Estling, a reverend at The Seraphim Center in Gainesville, Florida. The Spirit/soul is the first triangle. The personality (spirit with a small s) is the second triangle. When a human being brings the triangles together just right, the triangles form the Star of David (shown below).

Unlike lower animals—who can’t stand upright—everybody has a star in them. In classic symbolism, the human body (the rising star of the animal kingdom?) is shaped like it. All that each of us needs to do is stand with each leg slightly apart, stretch one’s arms horizontally to each side, and face forward. This is the contour of a star. The Star of David is what Gary Zukav would call the “personality” in tune “with the soul.”315 Such a personality can indeed change the circumstances of its earthly life. Even here, though, predestination (what Spirits/souls choose
314 315

See Zukav and Francis, The Mind of the Soul. Zukav, The Seat of the Soul.

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before human birth) may limit one’s options in physical life. In one lifetime, for example, a person will be Latino or African American, with all the challenges that brings in some parts of the world. Some people are genetically predisposed to have a gland problem. Exercise and diet help everyone to stay in shape, of course, regardless of genes. But endomorphs (people who gain weight easily) will seldom get to a size-32 waist. By contrast, mesomorphs (another body type) gain muscle with little effort. An African American guy told me, for example, that he never lifted weights. I never saw him go to the gym. In fact, he had no money for that. He, however, had ripping pecs, biceps, abs, and quadriceps. I, on the other hand, lifted weights for 15 years and never gained an ounce of muscle. I ate more lean meats and fewer carbohydrates. Nothing happened. I switched to free weights. Nothing happened. I drank protein shakes. What happened as a result? I got kidney stones.316 Boy, do those rocks hurt! Reluctantly, I digested the message: I was not meant to have muscles. Now, I exercise not to look sculpted but simply, to help my heart stay healthy and to keep off some fat. Endomorphs are not built to have muscles. Instead, endomorphs are built to gain fat, especially around the waist. For me, the lesson was to accept my physical body as it was, and more important, to remember that I was not my material body. Self-love and self-acceptance aren’t necessarily the same thing—just like love and companionship don’t necessarily go together. People amid bad company will know what I mean. One can accept oneself without loving oneself. In my case, I can never love the fat that won’t go away. I am not in love with parts of my human body. But I accept them. Acceptance, of course, comes in degrees. As William James, the psychologist from the early 20th century, wrote in Varieties of Religious Experience, we can accept human life as
316

One type of medication for my high blood pressure might have been the cause—or a cofactor—for the pill was meant to remove excess water from my kidneys. This, the doctor told me, would help to lower my high blood pressure.

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it is fretfully (lower consciousness), cheerfully (higher consciousness), or anywhere in between.317 It is up to us. No amount of soul/personality alignment will change certain life parameters. Generally, the parameters of our earthly lives trap our consciousness. This is much as our human bodies trap our spirits. A given class focuses our thinking on a topic. When we die or reincarnate, we move our consciousness to other subjects. Acceptance of the agenda of our Spirits/souls— that is to say, surrender—is thus paramount at the same time that our personalities exercise choice (e.g., inner peace). As far as changing one’s physical appearance, body type, and life setups, there is free will in the spirit world and very little choice in the material world. There is a reason why we are fascinated with superheroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Spiderman. They are gods who possess infinite powers— internal and external—that we will never have as mere mortals. These characters have transcended human limitations—the so-called human condition. Their free will is therefore limitless in every sense of the word—forever. Consider the following scene from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. A medical student (Olivia d’Abo) uses her omnipotent “Q” powers to transport Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) from Ten-Forward, the restaurant-bar of the Starship Enterprise, to a gazebo in a private garden of her imagination. The two exchange the following words: William: What is this all about? Amanda: I thought it might be nice to spend some time alone together.

317

William James, Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, (New York: The Modern Library, 1994), pgs. 45-52. These Gifford lectures were originally published in 1902.

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William: I think it would be nice if you took us back to Ten-Forward. Amanda: Are you sure? You wouldn’t want to stay here with me for a while? The moonlight is so beautiful. Isn’t it nicer here than at Ten-Forward? William: Yes; it’s very pleasant. But that’s not the point. Amanda: [approaching William and wrapping her arms around him] Oh? I think it is. William: No. You can’t snatch people and put them into your fantasies and expect them to respond. Amanda: Don’t you like me, even just a little bit? William: You’re a very lovely young lady. [Inching away] But none of this is real. Amanda: My feelings are real. William: I know. But you can’t make someone love you. Amanda: Can’t I?318 Amanda flips her hand, and the scene continues:
318

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “True Q.” This episode originally aired in syndication on October 24, 1992 (Season 6, episode 6).

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William: [proceeding amorously toward her] Oh, Amanda. You are so beautiful. Amanda: Do you love me? William: [kissing her neck] More than anything.319 We, by comparison, are powerless to make Amanda’s choice. Each of us may be a part of God. But no individual is God Almighty. This distinction is the most crucial one that any sentient being can make. The Light of God is like that of the sun. The light in each of us is like that of full moons, each one being a reflection of the sun. We are, at best, children of God. Gratitude is thanking God for granting us some of His powers and for allowing us to make some decisions. We need to let the Creator turn us into androids of His will—not to be confused with robots, as robots have no free agency. Then, we cease to be automatons of earthly things and automatons of human nature. As Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me [emphasis mine].”320 At an interview, Caroline Myss discussed the nature of power—and by implication, the nature of free will. Myss said: We [evolving souls] accept that it [creation] was created as perfect for us, not that we created it perfectly. We don’t have that kind of clout [to create]. It’s unfortunate, but we don’t. We just don’t. That’s the way it is. If we did, people would be able to heal themselves in the blink of an eye

319 320

Ibid. This comes from the New American Standard Bible.

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and they can’t. People’s lives would be happier and they’re not. People’s children wouldn’t be drug addicts and they are. At what point in your capacity to create reality do you draw the boundary between your life and someone else’s [think of the Star Trek scene above]? If you create your reality, why can’t you make that person in your life love you because they are in your reality? Because you can’t. You don’t have that kind of clout [emphasis mine]. Any more than someone can say drop dead and you really do. That’s preposterous. They can’t create your reality even though you’re in that reality. Think about that. It’s not possible.321 Actually, we can affect the external and internal realities of one another. For example, read the police car story in the Preface and the loud neighbor story in Part I, Chapter 5, section titled, “Cause-Effect … and Brain Logic.” Also, people who murder other people are, in a way, saying, “drop dead and you really do.”322 More often than not, however, we lack superhuman powers. We cannot alter the exterior realities of other people—although legislators can be said to have some superhuman powers. Many of us share the lament of Ken Karakatsios, an employee in the computer field. As he said, “… ‘the only thing wrong with the universe is that it is currently running on someone else’s program.’ ”323 As so many spiritual observers have noted, “We are at the mercy of the whims of the gods.” This doesn’t mean that humans have no free will. Instead, it means that the grand setups—laws of nature, spiritual laws, and pre321

Dawn Baumann Brunke, “Power, Spiritual Alchemy and Transformation: A Talk with Caroline Myss,” Spiritual Alchemy and Transformation, September-October 2000. In website The Association for Humanistic Psychology. Originally published in Alaska Wellness Magazine. Interview at http://www.ahpweb.org/articles/spiritualalchemy.html. 322 Ibid. 323 Rifkin, The Age of Access, p. 169.

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incarnation accords between Spirits/souls—are beyond our human control. Each of us is a guest on God’s world, put on earth for Brahma to see how we will react to—and hopefully grow from—our life setups. In Journey of Souls, Michael Newton, the hypnotherapist, writes: … the possibility is held out that the God-oversoul of our universe is on a less-than-perfect level. Thus, complete infallibility is deferred to an even higher divine source.324 Newton continues: Extending this thought further, we might exist as one single dimensional universe out of many, each having its own creator governing at a different level of proficiency in levels similar to the progression of souls seen in this book. Under this pantheon, the divine being of our particular house would be allowed to govern in His, Her, or Its own way.325 Newton concludes: If our God is not the best there is because of the use of pain as a teaching tool, then we must accept this as the best we have and still take the reasons for our existence as a divine gift.326 If Newton is correct, then we are children of a lesser god. Different types of consciousness could be creators—and thus, in charge—of different sectors of
324 325

Newton, Journey of Souls, p. 275. Ibid. 326 Ibid.

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this universe. For example, there may be a god of the planet Venus, a god of Mars, and a god of planet Earth. Other star systems may have other gods. The ancient Greeks and Romans might have been correct. There may indeed be a goddess of earthly love, a god of war, and a god of fertility. There may be gods and goddesses for everything under the stars. But a coordinating intelligence must be the god of the physical universe, while a greater intelligence must be in charge of higher realms. The afterlife may be the realm of a benevolent God, while the physical universe may be the creation of a malevolent god. That 90 percent of the physical universe is dark matter and the fact that negative forces dominate earth points to this conclusion. Said in Christian terminology, Satan controls the physical world. If the physical universe is inferior—reflected through good things being “bad,” through all sorts of deprivations, and through sensory pleasures being fleeting—then a lesser god must have created it. As Arianna Huffington, author and syndicated columnist, writes in The Fourth Instinct: But what, we demand to know, are we to make of random violence, raped innocence, babies thrown behind barbed wire? “If the suffering of children,” Ivan cries out in Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, “serves to complete the sum of suffering necessary for the acquisition of truth, I affirm from now onward that truth is not worth such a price. I would persist in my indignation even if I were wrong.”327 On earth, pain and suffering exist simply because Love carries the Day in Heaven—and the physical universe tends to operate in reverse of the spirit realm. This is due to the law of paradox.
327

Arianna Huffington, The Fourth Instinct: The Call of the Soul, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), p. 190.

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God loves suffering—and joy—because S(He) feeds off both things. How could an infinitely Loving God have a sadistic streak? Because God is infinitely Loving in Heaven—and some of that infinite Love trickles to earth here and there. But because infinite Love does not exist everywhere in the cosmos, God’s Love is not categorically infinite. If it were, then Love would exist everywhere and only Love. Even mere perceptions of lack of Love—human perceptions— would not be allowed in a universe where infinite Love existed. This is not that kind of universe. None of us might be able to escape this universe—not even in the afterlife. This is because we are under the jurisdiction of Brahma, the creator of this biverse (physical and nonphysical universes combined). In the old Upanishads, Buddha tells Baka Brahma—not the Ultimate God—that higher deities exist. Enlightened souls, Buddha goes on, can exit Brahma’s universe for higher realms. Was Buddha referring to parallel and alternate universes? Perhaps, the Brahmas of higher universes do not allow suffering anywhere in them, no matter how unenlightened a Spirit/soul is. If an enlightned Spirit/soul can exit this universe, then it would be like the 12 astronauts that were able to pull away from the gravity of earth (one “universe”) and land on the moon (another “universe”). Only technological advances—namely, rocket technology and space suits— allowed those 12 humans to leave the prison of earth. Maybe spiritual evolution will produce “technologies” that will make it possible for enough of us to exit this universe of trials and tribulations. The heavens play by one set of rules, while we must play by another set of rules. When God guided me to stop watching pornography, I answered, “No.” God said, “Yes.” The battle continued for months because I love—and I mean love—porn. Undeterred, God showed me what would happen if I didn’t change my ways. Being infinitely less powerful than Brahma, an exhausted me finally

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budged, and God had His way. This is called the Higher Calling of your spirit. Then, God guided me to sell my beloved car for reasons too complex to get into here. I didn’t want to, but Brahma insisted. At last, I did as told. The next battle between my human ego and my Higher Self came when God told me to drop an ideology that I had. I had to exchange that ideology for a “higher perspective,” or as the title of a video warned me, The Fire Next Time (TV; 1993). I almost popped a blood vessel because God didn’t allow me to have an independent mind on that issue. I, however, dropped my ideology to avoid divine retribution. That battle between God and me was much like the battle between the authoritarian father (Craig T. Nelson) and the rebellious son (Justin Whalin) in The Fire Next Time. And it didn’t end there, for before I could fully recover, the next battle commenced. God guided me to have children. I didn’t want to because I don’t believe in bringing spirits to this underworld of pain and suffering. Oblivious to my human convictions, my Higher Self insisted that I should consider “giving something back to life in this world.” Once again, I had to “go with the flow.” When Robert Moses, the construction coordinator, said, “Yes” to ramming 13 “highways” through New York City and the residents of 21 neighborhoods said “No,” yet another power struggle ensued. Citizens “whined,” organized, and demonstrated to no avail. Everywhere except in Greenwich Village, the far more powerful Moses had his way. Notice the biblical implications of his name. Moses said, “If the ends don’t justify the means, what does?”328 He continued: The individual has to yield in matters of this kind … [for] … the advantages, needs of the majority of people.329

328 329

New York: A Documentary Film, “The City and the World: 1945-Present.” Ibid.

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Ada Louise Huxtable, an architecture critic, adds in New York: A Documentary Film: By the 60s, we knew that urban renewal was a failure. We knew that it had taken the heart and the gut out of cities. But New York’s urban renewal had started in the 50s and was moving along like an unstoppable juggernaut … It was nothing that those of us who cared about could stop. It was a done deal.330 Tenements, houses, and warehouses fell to the wrecking ball so that builders could construct skyscrapers, housing projects, “freeways,” and parks. Later in the documentary, Ada Louise Huxtable continues: She [writer Jane Jacobs] spoke about the small stores, the mom and pop stores, all of the things that urban renewal not only was destroying but didn’t acknowledge existed.331 When the divine commands us to do away with ever-increasing parts of the human ego, the dynamic is the same as the destruction of old buildings in the name of “urban renewal.” As Third of Five/Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco) says in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “We are Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”332 This setup of the heavens causes a massive loss of human dignity to make way for spiritual dignity. In Firstborn (1984), Wendy Livingston (Teri Garr) has a drug dealer (Peter Weller) move into her suburban house. Prepubescent Brian (Corey Haim) and
330 331

Ibid. Ibid. 332 Star Trek: The Next Generation, “I, Borg.”

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adolescent Jake (Christopher Collet) want the “deadbeat” out. At the kitchen, Wendy and Jake exchange the following words: Jake: What if I don’t like where it’s going? Wendy: Well, you don’t always have a choice. Wendy wants Jake to “go with the flow.” When a doctor said that I needed a rectal exam, I wanted to say, “No.” But since there was a chance that I could be sick, I “consented.” Once again, a more powerful being—in this case, a doctor with urologic knowledge—had his way. In the above examples, one person has his way, even if the victim says and means, “No.” When someone forces his or her way on another person, that is considered “evil.” But when God or one’s Higher Self insists like a woody woodpecker that one change or “You’re going to be sorry because your soul really wants it,” that is not considered cosmic abuse. The heavens get away bullying “the resistant ego,” while a mere mortal would create negative karma if he or she forced his way on another individual. Like banks, the psychic universe pays us 3 percent interest for complying. But like credit card companies, the psychic universe charges us 18 percent interest if we don’t pay our karmic dues. As Caroline Myss lectures in the CD Your Power to Create, “You cannot tell God what to do.”333 Just like in the eyes of a rapist, a victim cannot “just say no” because “she really wants it.” The rapist has his way because he is more powerful than the woman—or other man. The rapist, of course, creates negative karma for himself, but not the Higher Self for forcing Its way on the human ego.
333

Refer to the Myss CD titled, Your Power to Create.

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On PBS’s Women & Money, Suze Orman, the financial advisor, tells an audience that one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions must be “in balance.”334 If any of those three tiers are out of harmony with each other, Orman lectures, then one feels “like a liar.”335 In the ideal world, one’s thoughts, desires, and behavior are in sync. In “the real world,” however, the heavens often guide us to be and do things that go against our human preferences, ideologies, and habits. If one follows one’s human psyche, then one is in conflict with one’s Higher Self. If one follows higher guidance, then one is out of balance with one’s human self. Either way, one is out of harmony with some part of oneself. The chief source of human suffering is that most of us cannot accept that we have very little power—free will—to make externals conform to our desires. Anything is possible, of course, in the world of the imagination. As brain scans reveal, the human brain makes no distinction between fantasy and reality. But the heavens do not tolerate escapism too much. For example, you have to keep both feet on the ground—read, God’s Reality—or you are going to fall flat on your face. Why does God allow the suffering that stems from human powerlessness? Because the Creator, being omnipotent, can handle it! If humans too had infinite power, evil and Evil wouldn’t bother us because, like God, each of us could handle it. Only our human powerlessness—as in not being Superman or Wonder Woman—makes hell and Hell get to us. This frustration may not happen always. But it occurs more often than not. I believe that God, being infinite Love, won’t mind if less evolved Spirits/souls as we grieve our powerlessness to control most external things in this world. At the same time, acceptance of our nothingness makes us grateful for the power, the things, and the relative volition that God grants us here and there. For instance, we are gods in that people have created things that need to breathe,
334 335

See Suze Orman: Women & Money. This special aired on PBS on March 14, 2009. Ibid.

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feed, and think to “live.” Two examples of such “living” organisms are computers and motor vehicles. Like the heavens guide our actions, we guide their actions. And just like biological organisms feed on food, computers feed on electricity, and motor vehicles feed on gasoline. The blades of motor vehicles and computers need not just air to “breathe” but ashless air, or their mechanisms “die.” Computers and motor vehicles need to think as well in order to run. We are gods, and God Himself may be a creator who is answerable to an even grander Creator. Maybe each of our Spirits/souls can graduate to Godhood. To be sure, this probably would take hundreds of trillions of millennia.

Suicide and Euthanasia

Ending one’s physical life may or may not be an option as far as the free will of the spirit, also known as the personality. This is because the mission of the spirit is to ratify the will of the Spirit/soul, even if the spirit disagrees with the Spirit/soul or wants out. Your spirit is like a county, incarnated into your present human form. Your Spirit is You as an American state. Different counties of Your state incarnate in different lifetimes of Yours. Your soul is Your soul group—the other 3 to 50 other states that make up Your nation. We are obviously using the United States as an example. Sometimes, a county of Your state rebels against the state capital (your Spirit) and against the national capital (your soul group). That is why one’s spirit may want to bail out of a “lifetime” (death time) but not one’s Spirit and not one’s soul (soul group). And You don’t just have flame Spirits (the other states of Your nation) to contend with, but other

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nations (souls) You have signed soul accords with as well. And there is also the Soul of humanity and the SOUL of Brahma, the god of this cosmos, to consider. Consider the following hallway scene from the movie An Unexpected Life (TV; 1998): Principal: Your not going to class, that’s a problem as far as I can see. Matt: I just don’t feel like it today. Tomorrow, I’ll feel like it. Principal: Oh! Well, that’s not the way it works, Matt. As horrible as that is, you have to go to school. It’s not elective. It’s mandatory. Matt: See, that’s the part that I hate. Everything’s mandatory. I have to do what adults tell me just because. My mom leaves. Dumps us. So what? Go stay with your aunt. You have to. Be a good little soldier. Your mom’s trying to get better, Matt. Try to forgive her. Be nice now. What about me? What about my rights? What about what I want? Principal: You have a point. Listen, Matt. I know you’ve been through a lot, and it isn’t fair. But I promise you; it does get better, and in five more years, you’ll be free to torture all the adults you want. But for right now, help me out. Go to class.336

336

Beverly Hawkins, the principal, is played by S. Epatha Merkerson. Matt Whitney is played by Noah Fleiss.

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The endless challenges of life on earth is like the unrelenting strictness of life in a convent. The following scene from the movie The Nun’s Story (1959) depicts the breaking point of a nun: Sister Luke: Please lay my case before the Cardinal. Chaplin: Won’t you wait a little longer? Sister Luke: Father, you must forgive me … but if you do not put my case before the Cardinal, I should do something that would kill me. I shall leave without permission.337 Suicide is leaving the “convent” of planet Earth without permission—that is to say, without one’s life mission (per mission) being complete. As the above scenes imply, we don’t own our physical lives. Suicide, or not attending class, is therefore not up to us to decide, as “horrible as that is” to people contemplating suicide.338 Only if a situation is truly dangerous is one, perhaps, excused for escaping —or for trying to escape—the event. Examples are being sent to the gas chambers, ending up homeless, or having a painful illness. Euthanasia and suicide prevent one from going down a rabbit hole from which there is no way back up. In situations that call for euthanasia and suicide (different forms of mercy killings), one’s Spirit/soul needs to “renegotiate NAFTA.” NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) is a metaphor for “free trade” between Spirits/souls incarnating as spirits. These Spirit/soul accords, signed in heaven, are about trade of energy—and the lessons learned from internalizing foreign
337 338

Sister Luke is played by Audrey Hepburn and Father Andre by Stephen Murray. These are the words of the principal in An Unexpected Life.

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energies. “The football” (the president’s briefcase that has the codes for a nuclear attack) may have to be used—but only as a last resort. This is not necessarily “cowardly” but may be the wise choice to make, given the circumstances. The dilemma of “to be or not to be” is similar to the question of whether Puerto Rico should become the 51st state. As Rubén Berríos, president of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP), said during the statehood plebiscite of 1993, Puerto Ricans could vote for statehood. But, he added, “What happens 20 years from now?” Statehood could destroy Puerto Rican culture—especially if English is made the official language of America in the future. But in the present, there is no way that Puerto Ricans can know the CON-sequences—or PROsequences—of statehood. Twenty years after voting for statehood, it is too late to back out. The problem is that when one signs a Spirit/soul accord in heaven, one doesn’t know how one will feel 40 or 60 years from now! Yet, this problem is not addressed in heaven because time does not exist there. Before signing any “sacred contracts”339 in heaven, all Spirits/souls are advised to heed what Pat (Ellen Barber) tells Wendy (Teri Garr) in Firstborn (1984). As Pat tells Wendy in the backyard of Wendy’s house one day, “Take a look at what you’re getting yourself into.” Each “thesis committee” in heaven tends to influence beginner Spirits/souls like us—and there are many councils of elders up there. As Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker in Star Wars (1977), “The Force will have a strong influence on the weak minded.” Spirits/souls who have evolved spiritually enough just say no! Karmic debts have to be paid, of course. But payments can be spread out over several “lifetimes.” Suicide and euthanasia happen when one Spirit/soul agrees—or is manipulated to agree in heaven—to pay too much at once. Just say no! As “God” contends in Conversations with God, Book 3:
339

This term is borrowed from Sacred Contracts, the book by Caroline Myss.

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As most of you are now living your life, there is a lie built into every promise. The lie is that you can know now how you will feel about a thing, and what you will want to do about that thing, on any given tomorrow. You cannot know this if you are living your life as a reactive being—which most of you are. Only if you are living life as a creative being can your promise not contain a lie. Creative beings can know how they are going to feel about a thing at any time in the future, because creative beings create their feelings, rather than [just] experiencing them. Until you can create your future, you cannot predict your future. Until you can predict your future, you cannot promise anything truthfully about it.340 The “God” of Walsch later adds: I mean that their evolving truth about a thing differs from what they said their truth would always be. And so, they are deeply conflicted. What to obey—my truth, or my promise?341 If one has intimate relationships with others, then suicide and euthanasia are ideally discussed with family members and avoided as long as possible— though “the real world” may not allow this. This is because one is tied energetically to those people. If one kills oneself—or has oneself killed—then
340 341

Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 3, p. 211. Ibid., p. 214.

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one severs those psychic cords. This is like amputating oneself and one’s loved ones. This will create negative karma for the victim. Spirit/soul accords are as serious as trade agreements between nations. A trade agreement between Spirits/souls is an accord where all parties agree to trade chunks of their energies with each other—many, many chunks over years or decades. This requires that the involved Spirits stay locked into each other—in the home, in the workplace, at church, and at social clubs. In trading bits and pieces of their spiritual blueprints (nonphysical DNA), each of the Spirits/souls involved works on one another’s energy field. This “racial genetic mixing” modifies each of the involved Spirits/souls. That is how spiritual evolution works. (For a full discussion of how each Spirit/soul belongs to a different “food group,” see the section below, titled, “Predestination.”) Suicide and euthanasia sever the psychic links before the process of energy exchanges—within a group of Spirits/souls— is complete in a “lifetime.” The emotional (energetic) pain of that would create negative karma for the suicide and euthanasia victim. Of course, the ones staying on earth create pain for themselves as well. This is because people do not love unconditionally but selfishly. Therefore, family members only think of themselves—ignoring the pain of the victim. As the saying goes, “If you truly love something, you must let it go.” The gravest injustice of self-murder is that suicide is condemned, while euthanasia draws compassion from nearly everyone. There is a double standard, both in the secular world and in the religious world. People who have excruciating physical pain are “welcomed to heaven,” whereas people who have excruciating emotional pain “will be sent back.” This is sensory perception, a form of consciousness that only takes into account physical pain. If victims of euthanasia and suicide receive such unequal treatment from the gods, then Spirits/souls are truly unequal. If some spirits must stay as long as possible on

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earth (people contemplating suicide), then all spirits must stay as long as possible on earth (people contemplating euthanasia). That is true equality. Like in the employment world, however, we are accountable to a Boss. Turning within, as through meditation, is how we listen to divine instructions. Free will is bound by our personalities being mere employees of God/Our Higher Selves. Deviating from divine guidance—guidance like an inner voice that says, “You need to leave this relationship”—brings CON-sequences (negative karma). As we evolve spiritually, our thoughts, behavior, and even emotions fall into God’s orbit. We then hesitate to disobey divine instructions. Heavenly guidance may come from our Higher Selves or from spirit guides. The dynamic of divine guidance/human ratification is much like the relationship between lobbyists and congresspeople. As Senator John McCain of Arizona said on PBS: Let me tell you how they do that [lobbyists controlling the fate of senators and representatives]. There’s an issue before the Congress which affects their industry, [and lobbyists] call in the [TV and radio] station managers from the congressman’s district or the senator’s state. They all come to Washington. They sit down in a room with a senator or a representative. Now, there’s never any threats made. There’s never any statement that if you don’t do this we’re gonna say bad things about you in our newscast. But they are the messengers. They are the messengers … That’s incredibly powerful [emphasis mine].342 Becoming a servant of God is similar to this description. The possibility of incurring negative karma for being disobedient is enough to keep one in line.
342

Free Speech for Sale: A Bill Moyers Special. This program originally aired on PBS on June 8, 1999.

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Predestination

Just like human history poses questions of causation (e.g., was the American “Civil” War preventable?), each human drama raises the biggest theme of all. This theme is the question of inevitability. Do the events of our lives, including our choices, have to happen a certain way? If not, what makes a person choose one way and another person choose another way? If it is differences in human knowledge, wisdom, or spiritual evolution, then what exactly causes one person to acquire those and not another? Predestination comes in two types. The first type (Chart A) is rigid and allows little room for free will—other than choosing peace or its opposite inside us. The first column is the cause (what “life” throws at you). The second column is the effect (what we “do” about it).

A Rigid Fate Free Will

1) Being born with Asperger Syndrome

1) Do I choose peace and joy inside despite my “life” circumstance? Or do I let this condition get to me?

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2) Being born and raised in the slums of Bangladesh

2) Do I choose peace and joy inside despite my “life” circumstance? When I grow up, do I apply to emigrate to a prosperous country? (If illiterate, however, most people in the Third World will not consider this option—nor the choice to get educated—for their brains have not been programmed to think in such a sophisticated way.)

3) Having the genetic propensity for obesity

3) Do I choose peace and joy inside despite my “life” circumstance? Also, do I exercise and watch my diet, even though my reward will not be a sculpted body?

4) Having an alcoholic father

4) Do I choose peace and joy inside despite my “life” circumstance? When I become an adult and am

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able to flee my family, do I do my best to help children trapped in similar circumstances? 5) Being born in a world where delicious foods (e.g., pizza, steak, carrot cake, and chocolate ice cream) lead to obesity, diabetes, and high “bad” cholesterol 6) Being born on a planet where sex—one of the most intense pleasures in physical life—is a risk to your health, is frowned upon by society, and in many cases, is even criminal 6) Do I abstain from sex—or limit sex to one or two partners for an entire lifetime—and increase my chances of staying healthy? Or do I indulge my libido, embrace sexual variety, and increase my chances of getting sexually transmitted diseases? 7) Being born in a society where expressions of certain types of love are seen as immoral 7) Do I give in to society in order to remain socially respectable? Or do I choose to 5) Do I comply with this setup in order to stay healthy? Or do I indulge in scrumptious foods and pay with my health?

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express my love freely, even if this leads to misunderstanding and even lands me in jail? 8) Being born in a world where nothing is free, where money change is scarce for the masses, and where 80 percent of the population slaves for a living the economic system, even though the chances of success are slim? Do I do what I love and risk ending up penniless? In the process, do I disregard the plight of others who are unable to rise above the system of wage slavery? Rigid fate is similar to what happens in presidential elections. I quote linguist, social activist, and lecturer Noam Chomsky to illustrate. On PBS’s A World of Ideas, Chomsky says: Ratification would mean a system in which there are two positions presented to me, the voter. I go into the polling booth, and I push one or another button, depending on which of those positions I want. That’s a very limited form of democracy. A really meaningful democracy would mean that I play a role in forming those decisions [emphasis mine] …343 8) Do I accept my wage slavery in peace? Do I work to

343

This quote is from Bill Moyers’s A World of Ideas: A Conversation with Noam Chomsky. The episode originally aired on PBS in November 1988.

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By “forming those decisions,” Chomsky means that you and I craft the available options, instead of just choosing one or the other.344 For example, if we were truly free, then we could create a world where carrot cake, chocolate ice cream, steak, pasta, and butter were good for our physical health. We could create a planet where natural sex (unprotected) is not a health risk because, on such a world, microorganisms don’t cause disease. In my view, that is real free will. Limited free will is where we have to choose from options—such as carrot cake being unhealthy—that somebody else has created. That outside force can be God or the collective of the world we happen to inhabit. That party is who is truly running the show. One afternoon, for example, I wanted to read a book. The book was about a negative topic. But I, being a very curious person, wanted to read it anyway. My options were:

1) Read the book, gratify my curiosity, and feel negative afterward or 2) Not read the book, keep the book’s negativity at bay, and wonder for the rest of my life what was in that book Either way, I would experience pain, the pain of learning about something negative or the pain of having my curiosity unsatisfied. A truly meaningful form of free will would have been my being able to create more options, as opposed to following options that the heavens created. With real free agency, I would have created a third option for myself: Being able to read the negative book, satisfy my curiosity, and feel good afterward. I would have had my cake and eaten it, too. Our free will is to give in to foreign rules or to resist our lack of freedom to create
344

Ibid.

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our own options. No individual can create anything alone, for nobody wields that much power. At best, each person co-creates with God and with others. The second kind of predestination (Chart B) is less rigid. The first column is fate (our life setups). The second column is how we navigate around our fate (choice).

B Flexible Fate Free Will

1) One is destined to contribute knowledge to humankind

1) What kind of knowledge will I become interested in (e.g., medicine, astronomy, psychology)?

2) To serve others

2) In what areas will I become interested in serving?

3) To have loving relationships

3) Will I be grateful for my relationships? Or will I take them for granted and find faults with significant others?

4) To have a lucrative career

4) How will I go about

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accomplishing this? By stabbing others in the back? Or by learning all that I can in my career, working hard, and serving with the highest possible quality? 5) To be happy 5) How will I be happy? By shopping till I drop? By getting addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, and worldly power? Or by turning within, experiencing the light inside (e.g., meditation), and serving others? The bad news is that we don’t know which version of fate befalls us— other than through trial and error. Also, Chart A may apply to us in some areas of our lives and Chart B in other areas. If only human life were simple. There may be two types of predestination. But free will has a third limit. Choice is limited in that we choose based on what we know about the rules of the game. For instance, 80 percent of the population works for a “living.” Actually, they are working for a dying experience, for doing what one hates is a “living” death. The wealthy, however, have money work for them. As Robert Kiyosaki, an entrepreneur, argues in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, rich kids are taught to invest money. As Kiyosaki writes:

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The rich buy assets The poor only have expenses The middle class buys liabilities [like cars and houses] they think are assets345 According to Kiyosaki, his “rich dad” taught him the secrets of making money from the time Kiyosaki was 9. Not surprisingly, Kiyosaki was able to make choices that 80 percent of the populace doesn’t know can be made. As Nasser (Saeed Jaffrey) tells Omar (Gordon Warnecke) in the film My Beautiful Laundrette (1986): In this damned country, which we hate and love, you can get anything you want. It is all spread out and available. That is why I believe in England. Only you have to know how to squeeze the tits of the system [emphasis mine]. Karma determines who gets taught what in childhood and who never gets taught. Not surprisingly, the wealthy get ahead, and so do their children and grandchildren. The poor, who are never taught how to make smart investments, stay in a perpetual rut. Spiritual masters, in turn, live by another set of rules. Remember that unlike baseball or basketball, human life can be played several different ways. Most of us play it the hard way. Enlightened masters, however, have learned a more evolved way to exist. Their free will is based on knowledge of rules that the multitude is ignorant about. For example, the average person is told that
345

Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, p. 81.

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giving is better than receiving. But a spiritual master knows that to give is to receive. Unloving people are unloving because they are in the dark about a better way of being. If we stab people in the back to get ahead in our careers (free will), then we are choosing without knowing the rules of the game. In this case, we are creating a situation where, somewhere down the line, people will stab us in the back. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Only trans-sensory people are aware of such invisible dynamics. At one level, this setup is cruel. But the following conversation between Kiyosaki and his “rich dad” illustrates the penalty for people who don’t see the trans-sensory message beyond life’s tribulations: “Does teaching mean talking or a lecture?” rich dad asked. “Well, yes,” I replied. “That’s how they teach you in school,” he said smiling. “But that is not how life teaches you, and I would say that life is the best teacher of all. Most of the time, life does not talk to you [emphasis mine]. It just sort of pushes you around. Each push is life saying, ‘Wake up. There’s something I want you to learn’.”346 A paragraph later, Kiyosaki’s “rich dad” continues: “If you learn life’s lessons, you will do well. If not, life will just continue to push you around. People do two things. Some just let life push them around. Others get angry and push back. But they push back against their boss, or their job, or their husband or wife. They do not know it’s life that’s pushing [emphasis mine].”347
346 347

Ibid., pgs. 32-33. Ibid.

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It is, perhaps, the greatest paradox of all. We have free agency. Yet, our limited perspective keeps us from exercising our free will in fresh directions. An example of going in a fresh direction is choosing to see life as a teacher, rather than one’s boss as an ogre. The Declaration of Independence reads, “… all men are created equal.” The sobering fact, however, is that humans are not created equal. For example, some people—people whose names you will never know—have to wipe the rear ends of strangers to make a “living.” These people have no choice in this matter (embodying the slave archetype) because they lack the skills for a dignified job— and have little money to get a degree. These people are unsung heroes. Not even spiritual masters have had to go through this experience. St. Thomas Aquinas called the inequality of beings throughout the cosmos the Great Chain of Being. See the drawing below:

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A more realistic pyramid is that of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). See the graph below.

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348 349

Didacus Valades, a painter, drew this pyramid in 1579. The painting was named Rhetorica Christiana. This pyramid can be found at the website of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The URL is http://www.mypyramid.gov/.

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Each pyramid above belongs to a different food group. The orange pyramid, for example, represents grains. The green pyramid stands for vegetables. The red pyramid means fruits. The blue pyramid portrays dairy products. And the purple pyramid depicts meat and beans. Similarly, each Spirit/soul is born into a “food group.” Each Spirit/soul has the free will to evolve within its “food group” pyramid. The “within” confines the spiritual existence of each Spirit/soul to its category of food—forever—for once a Spirit/soul is created, it is seldom sent back to the factory. Because each Spirit/soul has different “genetics,” some Spirits/souls will have the programming to evolve faster than other Spirits/souls. The yellow pyramid, for example, represents fats and oils. Spirits in this soul group are best had in moderation, for fats and oils are loaded with cholesterol and calories. Ingesting too much from this food group—the equivalent of associating too much with a certain group of Spirits/souls—can lead to heart disease. Energy vampires and energy pirates are examples of “fats and oils.” If they evolve within their “food group,” then energy vampires and energy pirates become “enlightened” Spirits/souls, just as Omega-3 oil and olive oil are “good” oils. While solid fats (lower spiritual frequencies) are loaded with “bad” cholesterol, with saturated fats, and with trans fats, liquid oils (higher spiritual frequencies) are loaded with the “good” fats of monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Spiritual evolution allows even Spirits/souls with “bad” genes to evolve toward the light at the top, while their pyramid remains different from the pyramids of other soul groups. By contrast, Spirits/souls who belong to the “fruit” and “vegetable” food groups are inherently healthy from the bottom all the way up. This is why some Spirits/souls are said to be “born bad,” while other Spirits/souls are said to be “born good.”

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Some Spirits/souls have the “genes of fruits,” while other Spirits/souls have the “genes of grains.” Human relationships are the mixing of bread (souls from one food group) with butter (souls from another food group) and milk (souls from yet another food group). Souls are equal in that all soul groups are free to evolve up the spiritual pyramid of pyramids—although this is extremely difficult. Souls are also unequal in that each soul group has radically different “genes.” Spirits/souls from different “food groups” compliment each other, just as gourmet meals are made from mixing different ingredients under the right conditions. At the same time, diverse karmas for different Spirits/souls generate inequalities between spirits (incarnated in human form). Diverging karmas limit the life options of some spirits and expand the life choices of other spirits. Free will is free. And it is limited by: 1) Different “spiritual genes” 2) The box of one’s life experience Even people with self-confidence have it less because of their volition and more because life engineered it that way. Yes, one can choose whether or not to develop one’s self-esteem. But more often than not, that choice is triggered more by being “pushed around by life” and less by free agency alone. For example, a housewife with no self-confidence may find her husband dead in bed one afternoon. The husband is no longer able to provide for her. The woman’s situation (karma) may force her to do what she can to build some self-esteem so that the housewife can find a job to support herself—and her kids, if she has them. But the circumstance forced the decision. This is, of course, assuming that the housewife decides to work on her low self-esteem. But even here, her self-

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esteem will not come in a flash, for it takes time, often years, for the human brain to construct new pathways to match new thoughts and experiences. At the other extreme is the boy who grows up with a loving mother and father, a loving brother and sister, a financially solid home, and encouragement to be the best he can be. The boy, of course, grows up confident; his positive life experiences reinforce his high self-esteem (high psychic steam); and the virtuous cycle continues. His choices in life will, more than likely, be positive. But his karma— positive in this case—is driving his choices to be loving, giving, and enthusiastic about life. He was taught that from an early age. Thus, free will is more limited while we are human. Only in the spirit realm do Spirits and their soul groups craft the parameters of each incarnation. This is like writing a screenplay and casting the actors and actresses who will be playing the characters in the movie. Only time, a very long time, causes a Spirit/soul to evolve enough to start creating positive karma (PRO-sequence), rather than negative karma (CON-sequence). Karma, it should be noted, is a force as powerful as gravity. Negative karma pulls you from the blue empyrean to the scorching earth, just like being “grounded” for misbehavior. Positive karma lifts you back toward heaven, just like being “off restrictions.” Paradoxically, being “off restrictions” means that your choices become more constrained because you are conscious of more things being unevolved. In other words, you see that more potential choices bring negative effects, and therefore, you have less options. Human life is a process of learning the penalties of playing the game of eternal existence in less evolved ways. Ignorance of the law is not a defense. And in this universe, everything is rules and regulations—not to mention duties and obligations. Hence, wise is to learn to abide by the more evolved rules of the “game.” It may be unfair to be penalized for violating, or for not using to our

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advantage, spiritual laws that we don’t know about. But without penalties, we would have no incentive to seek a better way—although alternate universes may exist where growth happens without penalties. This is the ultimate paradox of free will.

Realizing You Don’t Matter

Your persona, that is. The you that is born, lives, and will die. That you doesn’t matter to others. People interact with you for what is in it for them. More often than not, people forget past interactions with you. Even when a person is loved, the love is more about the person doing the loving than about the beloved. People, for example, felt loved and rejuvenated in the presence of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Her love for everyone was genuine and sprung from her lack of human ego. In her presence, people felt terrific about themselves. The love that people felt, however, was more about Mother Teresa’s choice to love selflessly and less about them. This may be a bitter pill to swallow for individuals who are concerned with being noticed, loved, and remembered by others—as opposed to noticing, loving, and remembering others. The truth is nonetheless illustrated in the following diagrams:

1

2

Sensory People

Trans-sensory People

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People, External Power, Objects

Inner Peace, Joy, Abundance

Sensory humans base their happiness on what they see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. People, wordly power, and objects fit the bill. Trans-sensory humans, on the contrary, base their joy foremost on internal choices. These internal choices involve choosing thoughts of well-being that, in turn, influence the emotions of the individual. It can take a lifetime—or death time—to accept this simple truth because it means that everything internal is up to us. At first, this is an incredibly lonely experience. It is, in fact, the most lonely experience that we can have. Still, breathing is up to us, not up to others. No one has ever said, “Breathing is up to me alone. This is a lonely truth to accept.” We accept that each of us is responsible for our breathing, a fact of earthly life. If breathing on our own applied to us while others helped one another breathe, then breathing would indeed be a lonely experience, as it would signify that we alone had to breathe on our own. In such a world, we would be unequal to everyone else. But the gods are fair in this case. By gods, I mean spirit guides, our Higher Selves, power animals (psychic protectors), and the Source of this universe. The heavens are fair in this instance because the law of taking responsibility for oneself applies equally to everybody. The good news is that as soon as one chooses Diagram 2 (above), well-being ensues (e.g., inner peace, inner joy, and inner abundance). After 5, 10, or 20 years of merely repeating the words of Diagram 2, imagine the benefits. The paradox is that people are then attracted to you because you radiate things that they want. Even if you realize that others want to take things from you, you accept them as they are, you keep choosing more peace, more joy, and

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more abundance inside, and you keep giving. This requires mastery over the human ego. Human ego is that inner tyrant who, like an antagonist in a story, appears soon after one incarnates to thwart the protagonist of the tale at every turn. Humbling experiences diminish this inner tyrant. The temptation is to think that you will run out from giving. But so long as you pamper yourself first, you will never run out. Instead, you will feel so abundant, so peaceful, and so joyful that you will be glad to give freely. Being abundant, however, requires: 1) Taking care of your issues—through self-help, professional assistance, or whatever you feel is necessary 2) Retreating into inner silence frequently—no exceptions, unless you are willing to take responsibility for feeling drained As the saying goes, “To thyself be true.” Everything starts there. Then, you realize that feeling good is foremost about you. When others love you, you enjoy that love in gratitude, always realizing that their love for you is first, about them, and second, about you. Obversely, your love for others is first, about you, and second, about them. Paradox. Love and all its aspects—peace, joy, abundance, energy, health, and attractiveness—are choices that are foremost about the person doing the choosing and less about what is chosen. Understanding this is one of the first steps toward becoming trans-sensory (going beyond the choosing of externals and choosing internals instead). Furthermore, your Spirit/soul is what really matters—and indirectly, the Spirits/souls of others—not the externals of human body and personality. Developing a sense of spiritual Self will enable you to stand up for yourself, or

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simply leave, when people try to take excessive advantage of you. This Selfhood will also empower you to choose your friends wisely.

Going Beyond People

A trans-sensory person starts from the inside. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.”350 Since inner peace, joy, and abundance are the goal, people become one—rather than the only—area of fascination for trans-sensory humans. Sensory humans organize their lives around people (Diagram 1, above) for the happiness that people will presumably bring them. Conversely, trans-sensory humans take an interest in people for who the people are. Trans-sensory people, however, also take an interest in plants, animals, music, paintings, reading, or whatever hobbies they have. Certainly, people fill a major element of their interactions. But because transsensory humans aren’t seeking anything from others, they find themselves diversifying their interests beyond people. Depending on whether their psychologies are introverted or extroverted, some trans-sensory humans will give people a more central place in their lives. But even extroverted transsensory humans will continue to base everything, including their human interactions, on internal choices (Diagram 2, above). The next chapter lists more steps toward going beyond sensory programming.

350

This quote comes from “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/stfrancis389169.html.

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Exercises
1) Have you ever had recurring thoughts? If yes, have they been positive, negative, or neutral? Do these thoughts tend to surface around a given time of day? If yes, why do you suppose? What emotional responses, if any, do the thoughts trigger in you? 2) Think about some setups (circumstances that you cannot control) in your life. How, if at all, have you reconciled those setups with your free will? 3) Do you find yourself craving external power? If so, how much power? For example, power to get someone to stop abusing you? Power to control the Western world? Or power to control the physical universe? Does a particular circumstance trigger this desire? Or is it all-pervasive in you? Do you see a relationship between your desire for external power and the absence of internal power in you? If yes, elaborate on paper or speak into a tape recorder. 4) How can you develop internal power in a world where most people have limited external power? 5) Have you ever found your human self wanting one thing and your spiritual Self wanting something else? If yes, what was the nature of the conflict? How long has this tug-of-war been going on? Why does your lower self resist your higher Self? What, if any, have the results been? How can you get your spirit (personality) to ratify the agenda of your Spirit?

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14

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What Does It Mean to Be at the Controls? As we become more conscious, we awaken to more things. We become aware about universal laws like choice and effect. Because we don’t want to experience negative effects, we find that we have more things to keep track of in our lives. This is like jugging three balls, then six balls, then nine balls. It is as if each of us were the Starship Enterprise of Star Trek. In the Next Generation episode “Contagion,” for instance, Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) tells Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart): The Enterprise computer system is a lot like our own bodies, with voluntary and involuntary systems. Now, probably 90 percent of what goes on in this ship is done automatically, completely out of our control [emphasis mine].351 As we learn about choice-effect, we find that we need to take over more functions of the Enterprise in each of us—that is, if we don’t want the Enterprise to run into an asteroid belt or go berserk. We, after all, don’t want any nasty surprises (effects) in our lives. As we learn to manage more of our personalities, we are in effect replacing unconsciousness—the default mode of being of the personality—with awareness and conscious choices. Little by little, one manages more of one’s personhood. At first, this is overwhelming. In time, one gets used to it. This chapter outlines the steps that are required to become trans-sensory about the things of this world. These steps are:

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Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Contagion.” This episode originally aired in syndication on March 18, 1989 (Season 2, episode 11).

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1) Always ask yourself, “Do I want inner pain or inner peace?” 2) Stop focusing on pain, whether inner or outer in nature 3) Ask yourself, as often as possible, “What is the lesson?” 4) Silence the radio and television 5) Meditate 6) Retain your energy

Step 1 Do I Want Pain or Peace?

The first step is to ask yourself, moment to moment: What do I want to experience inside? Do I want to feel pain, sadness, scarcity, and hell? Or do I want to feel peace, joy, abundance, and heaven? If you want hell, then continue to let outer circumstances control your thoughts, emotions, and behavior. If you want heaven, then affirm this choice inside of you. When I had $15 in the bank, I had no option but to choose peace or hell inside me. After I made my choice, a schoolteacher told me that I looked “so peaceful.” For me, that was enough evidence that peace is as simple as choosing it inside, no matter what is happening outside or even inside our human bodies. Just repeating peace or inner silence mentally is usually enough to quiet the human mind. Why? Because such words give the human brain something to focus on. But one must mean the words, or this method won’t work. Said

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differently, one must say the words from the heart—and not just when one has a problem, but instead, at regular intervals each day. If you have a pervasive developmental disorder like Asperger Syndrome, then you may be sensitive to physical stimuli. In this case, repeating inner silence mentally—or just focusing on your inner silence—may be preferable to focusing on what you are seeing, hearing, smelling, and so on. This is because, with affirmations, you are focusing on the inside world (an autistic trait), not on the outside world (a neurotypical trait). As you advance spiritually, you will blend the outer and the inner. This means observing what you see, hear, feel, taste, and/or smell and being aware that the inner silence is the observer. Sometimes, however, the heavens will for an individual to be flooded with negativity so that, paradoxically, he or she may make a spiritual breakthrough. At times like these, we control neither our emotions nor the negative thoughts that such emotions fuel. Rather, we become utterly possessed by the energies of a circumstance. An example is the feelings that one experiences after an accident, death, or painful breakup. One may be down for weeks. During such episodes of inner anguish, I find it best to accept that I am just meant to feel negative. Infinite patience with the gods is called for during such intervals of time. Hours or days later, with no effort of my own, I feel better.

Step 2 Stop Focusing on Pain

Instead of promoting visualizing or being positive, I espouse starting with what most of us are familiar with—pain—and specifically, ending pain at once.

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All self-help books that I have read and cassettes that I have listened to do it the other way around, putting the cart (positive thinking) before the horse (ending negativity). If you have seldom done positive thinking, you can’t simply jump into affirmations and visualizations—at least, not the elaborate ones. They will sound bogus. Quitting fakery will be too tempting. This is like a boy giving up on a new diet of spinach (positive thinking). With chocolate ice cream (negative thinking) in the fridge, it is way too easy for him to dig into the sweet carton, no matter how bad fudge may be for his health. Therefore, the lad needs to stop eating altogether—for a while, that is. This is a way of weaning him off the sugar. In the Next Generation episode “Contagion,” the Enterprise is slowly reprogrammed by an alien probe that is 200,000 years old. What happens to the Enterprise during this process? One of its food replicators materializes a plant— not the captain’s order of “tea, Earl Grey, hot.” The turbolifts of the Enterprise go haywire. The ship’s lights flicker. Tricorders (handheld gadgets) don’t work. A computer console electrocutes Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton). In the conference lounge, La Forge tells the crew: The [probe] transmitter is sending an alien computer program, the same program that is currently aboard the Enterprise, trying to rewrite our software in its own image. We have two completely incompatible computer systems trying to interact.352 On the long-abandoned planet Iconia, the white android LieutenantCommander Data (Brent Spiner) gets electrocuted while operating a console in a control room. Data shuts down and “dies.” Lying down in the engineering
352

Ibid.

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section of the Enterprise, the transported white android opens his golden irises and sits up. Commanders Geordi La Forge and William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) are stunned. The scene on the engineering deck of the Enterprise unfolds as follows: La Forge: The solution [for Data] was a shutdown and a total wipe of all effective memory. Riker: Can you do the same thing with the Enterprise? La Forge: I don’t see why not. But it will have to be a complete shutdown [emphasis mine]. We turn her off and effects of the Yamato log, including every subsequent event since we downloaded it. I’ll then be able to reload all the ship’s programs from the protected archives in the main core.353 The Yamato was a sister Federation starship that blew up in its “negativity.” It was by downloading a computer log from the Yamato that the Enterprise became infected. In life, we often download infected programs from toxic people, from traumatic events, and from hellish environments. The “protected archives in the main core” come from God.354 Positive thinking is a major software of God’s program. Negative people can get overloaded, however, with too much positivism at once. This can generate counterreactions from our old selves,

353 354

Ibid. Ibid.

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counterreactions like the Enterprise’s flickering lights. This is because our old selves are “incompatible” with our new Selves.355 Becoming a positive thinker means becoming insensitive to whining, whether from oneself or from others. This can aggravate one’s negative self, for that self wants nothing but sympathy. Negative people don’t understand positive people, and positive people don’t comprehend negative people. This is because each side is coming from a different frame of reference. Consider the Columbo episode titled, “Death Lends a Hand.” At a driver’s license office, an old lady is reading those familiar letters on the board for her eye exam. Lieutenant Columbo (Peter Falk) is standing behind her in line. The woman, who is wearing glasses, passes the test and leaves. Suddenly, Columbo slams his palm on the counter and tells the man behind it, “She wasn’t wearing glasses.”356 Because Columbo says this out of context, it sounds absurd, for the lady was wearing glasses. Columbo, however, was referring to a deceased woman whose death he is investigating. Similarly, positive thinking sounds like lunacy to a negative mind, and negative thinking sounds like lunacy to a positive mind. The human brain prefers one frame of mind or another, not both. This is why positive people and negative people are antagonistic to one another. Positive thinkers live in an energy field called Cloud 99. The “laws of physics” are different in that bubble. About 20 percent of the population lives there—in the world but not of it. These are the starry-eyed people that just won’t come down to earth. The bottom 80 percent of the population—the negative thinkers—exist inside another energy field. While positive thinking works on Cloud 99, it doesn’t work below. Only if a negative thinker rises to the Ivory Tower—an extremely arduous task—can he or she live by altered “laws of physics.”
355 356

Ibid. Columbo, “Death Lends a Hand.” This episode originally aired on NBC on October 6, 1971 (Season 1, episode 2).

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Positive thinking works on Cloud 99. But negative people need first to shut down all thinking, sometimes for days, weeks, or months. How is simple. Forget about your problems. This doesn’t mean giving up on them. Rather, it means that after, say, an hour of exploring solutions to a problem, stop thinking. An hour is more than enough time. Less time is needed for smaller problems. In an hour, if you still don’t have an answer, you should at least have some options. Then, sleep on them. Don’t think about your problem(s). If you have no solutions, forget anyway, for there are no solutions. Just accept the inevitable as peacefully as you can. The alternative is to continue in a mental and emotional whirlwind. I spent the last two months of 2004 thinking, day and night, about how I would make it through the year 2005 with a few hundred dollars in the bank. Interviewers hadn’t hired me over the previous year. The open positions were either entry-level, for which I was “over-qualified,” or top-management, for which I was underqualified. From December 2004 to January 2005, my checking account dwindled from about $750 to $500 to $250 to $75 to $15. I didn’t know anyone in New Hampshire. Even if I did, I knew that asking for money is the biggest no-no in life. Worse, I knew that I had a 10 percent chance of ever making a living, despite my having a master’s degree. This is because 90 percent of adults with Asperger Syndrome are chronically unemployed for the reasons described in Part I, Chapter 2, subsection titled, “Asperger Syndrome.” Adults with Asperger’s and no family support have a 90 percent chance of ending up homeless at some point in their adult lives. A major cause of this is that adults with Asperger’s are being ignored because of the focus on children with Asperger’s. As if this weren’t enough, most employment agencies have yet to provide services for Aspies with college degrees. This is because these agencies only see as disabled autistics who are at the lower end of the autism spectrum.

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Many employment agencies have not even heard about Asperger Syndrome. Health clinics that help Aspergians generally require that Aspies have health insurance before the clinics step in. It is a self-defeating cycle, as most Aspergian adults have no health insurance to begin with. The only job that I could find was that of substitute teacher. I signed up with two school districts in my area. The school districts didn’t need substitutes everyday, however. The result was that, at most, I worked three days a week. The average was two days. I earned about $120 a week. Such earnings caused my checking account to yo-yo from $75 to $250 to $50 for months. I was no longer economically viable. My only luck was that the condo fee—my rent—was about $250 a month. In Self-Esteem: Your Fundamental Power, Caroline Myss, the medical intuitive, lectures that if one has low self-esteem, one will find making money incredibly hard.357 From my perspective, Myss is merely describing a symptom of low self-esteem, an effect. I wanted to know the cause. Yes, Asperger Syndrome and low self-esteem go hand in hand because of the endless rejections that Aspies receive, starting in grade school with their age-mates and culminating in their adult lives with interviewers. But I wanted to know the spiritual reason why I was set up for rejection: my self-esteem destroyed so that then, I could be blamed for not being accepted into the job world. Based on her lectures, I infer that Myss would probably answer that looking at setups is “woundology.” Myss coined this term to mean “whining” about one’s wounds instead of rising above them. As valid as this reply is, it still doesn’t answer the first question. Saying that people with low self-esteem have difficulty making money is like saying that if the lowest rung of a ladder is too high, you won’t be able to reach up. But why was the lowest rung set so high in the first place—for people with low self-esteem (low psychic steam)? And why was the lowest rung
357

Myss, CD Self-Esteem.

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set so low—for people with high self-esteem (high psychic steam)? One could answer that setting up a person for the opposite (low self-esteem) of a spiritual goal (developing high self-esteem) is how a challenge like this is met. Spiritual challenges, after all, require human wounds to heal from, or there would be no challenge. This makes human sense. But raising the lowest rung so high that one can’t even reach it is more than a mere setup. It is more a prescription for catastrophe. As Marianne Williamson, the author and lecturer, narrates in The Healing of America, “These kids [children in inner city schools] are set up to fail [emphasis mine].”358 My situation was similar to that of the farm family in the movie Country (1984). In that film, Jewell and Gil Ivy (Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard) find their names in a loaner’s list of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The Ivys learn that they have 30 days to pay $96,000 or lose the farm that has been in their family since the late 1800s. Farm foreclosures happened in the United States during the farm crisis of the mid-1980s. People committed suicide. Tens of thousands of families lost their farms, despite a class-action lawsuit that involved 230,000 farmers in 44 states.359 Want to see a spiritual crisis? See Country. My only asset was the New Hampshire apartment that I was living in. I kept thinking, thinking, thinking! Then, I reached the Omega Point. I was so exhausted that I chose to be at peace, even if I ended up homeless before I could free my money. Since that day, I have seldom thought about personal problems for more than, say, an hour. I learned that thinking about problems, even if to solve them, becomes pointless beyond a certain point. Even if no solutions come, I now stop thinking and focus instead on what I am seeing, hearing, touching,
358

Marianne Williamson, The Healing of America. This two-cassette audio book was published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 1997. 359 This statistic comes from the narrator at the end of Country.

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tasting, and/or smelling. Sometimes, I focus on one sense for a long time. Other times, I consciously shift from one sense to the other every few seconds. Regardless of how I approach the now, if I look, I look. If I hear, I listen. If I smell, I smell. If I taste, I taste. If I feel, I feel. This is called mindfulness. To the human psyche, living in the now is “simplistic” and “childish.” My human mind tells me, for example, That is how lower animals live. But looking and really looking, hearing and hearing (listening), and so on is sensory efficiency, a form of energy efficiency. You sense physical stimuli without thinking. You don’t get caught in the drama (what is out there) because part of your attention is on yourself (making sure you are sensing intently). Living in the now, slowing down, and doing one thing at a time (unitasking) are related. Does living in the now mean never planning? No, for one plans and visualizes in the present. “Thinking from the end” is seeing one’s dreams realized here and now. But one needs to set time aside for this—as opposed to visualizing while doing something else. This way, one can give planning one’s full attention. One can also observe one’s thoughts. This is harder than observing what you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. Why? Because things just happen out there. This makes it easier to just observe the outer world. When you think, however, you are the thinker—or rather, the human you. Therefore, you have to split your mind between the thinker (your human self) and the observer (your Higher Self). Observing your thoughts while they are happening, as opposed to after, takes extraordinary skill because thoughts tend to sweep you with them. One must practice, practice, practice. Like thoughts, emotions tend to engulf you, especially strong feelings like anger. But with practice, you can step back and observe them. The observer has been called the inner silence, the presence, the Higher Self, and the soul.

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Even if one lives in the now, some thoughts will be harder to dislodge than hard crust on a black skillet. I keep dropping such thoughts. The negative thoughts often return. I keep dropping them, and dropping them, and dropping them. Mentally saying in the now helps me to refocus on the present. But I say phrases like that just once so as not to get embroiled in thinking. One can also zero one’s eyes on a carry-on object. An example is a glass butterfly in one’s pocket. This helps to focus one’s thoughts away from the problem. When suspicious cars started to roam around my Florida apartment, I felt watched. This caused me to panic because, almost always, I have been ignored. I usually feel like a ghost in this world. Suddenly, I was being observed and followed. I felt physical. I got sick to my stomach and couldn’t go to a doctor because I don’t have health insurance. For a week, negative thoughts invaded my head. I dropped them 50, 100, 200 times. Eventually, my negativity subsided. Whenever one drops a problem from one’s head, an inner voice will yell:

Are you crazy? You got to think about this problem or that will happen to you! I drop thoughts like those as if they were hot potatoes. This is one type of mental censorship that is warranted. Sometimes, the problem will be—literally—inside your physical body. Cancer is an example. As radical as this may sound, that is also external. One’s human body is external because it is not the Real you. Think about it. How many of us crave milk chocolate chips and can’t munch them because of diabetes? How many of us salivate at salty foods and can’t eat them because of high blood pressure? How many of us hanker for alcohol and can’t drink

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because of cirrhosis? This shows that the human body is separate from the conscious mind. I say conscious because our subconscious and unconscious minds—and sometimes even our conscious minds—do affect our physical bodies. Thoughts of anger that we choose to hold on to, for instance, can contribute to things like high blood pressure. But more often than not, the human body is separate from the mind, heart, and spirit. As an example, somebody may crave sexual intimacy with another person and is not able to because of the other person’s having a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Disobeying the human body brings consequences. This shows that the material body has an agenda of its own, often separate from the wants and needs of the mind, heart, and spirit. It is only the union of the corporeal body with our nonphysical parts that makes the human body seem to be us. Problems are always about lack of control. Most of us cannot control the inner workings of our human bodies—that is, beyond things like eating healthy, exercising, and sleeping well. Consequently, the human body tends to become problematic for us as we age. This is a planet where, historically, most people have lacked external/human and internal/spiritual power. Therefore, fear has run riot since the dawn of woman and man. The root of all fear is powerlessness. Fear comes in degrees, ranging from:

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Fear . . . . . . . . . . . . Fright . . . . . . . . . . . . Terror

One time, my blood pressure pills were not working. I had just had a reading of 173/113. Having no supernatural powers, I couldn’t bring down my blood pressure with the snap of a finger. Like crickets into a woodwork, fright crept into my heart and worry into my head. The following words came to my human mind: Problems are temptations to choose pain … and opportunities to choose peace. I committed myself to contact the appropriate party the following day, took the pill that I had, and stopped thinking. This may sound simplistic. But Truth is simple, although the truths of the lower planes are often gray. I knew that if I kept thinking, full-blown hell would have ensued. Thankfully, my fears and worries slowly vanished. When negative thinking is stopped, oftentimes the residue of former negativity will keep materializing. There is the temptation to loop back into negativity when bad things keep happening to us. In my case, the suspicious vehicles bowling past the front of my Florida apartment tempted me to choose fear—actually, fright—anxiety, and more negativity. (See Part I, Chapter 9, section titled, “The Gamble of Choice.”) Sometimes, it takes the bravery of Joe Patroni (George Kennedy) from the movie Airport (1970) to give those jet engines full throttle on the taxiway and get that airliner out of the snow. In time, positive thinking will begin to displace negative thinking. For instance, Norman Vincent Peale, the late author and preacher, relates in The

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Power of Positive Thinking (1987) that a lady once sat at a board meeting. Guideposts magazine had run out of money, and the board members were frozen with fear. According to Peale, Tessy, the woman, told the men to put their negative thoughts on the table that was before them. The board members emptied their minds. In the video, Peale continues: She said these lack thoughts, which you have deliberately flushed out, are very intuitively smart. They haven’t gone very far away. They know that you’re gonna be lonesome without them because they’ve been with you for long. And they realize that if they just hang around, they can sneak back in and continue to defeat you. But, she said, they can be kept out by an act of displacement. If you put into your minds a more positive, powerful thought pattern, you can not only keep them out [the negative thoughts]. You can go on to success with this project.360 Ending negativity is like stopping a sex, food, or drug addiction—near impossible if done cold turkey. That is why I believe that some indulgences in negativity are alright, so long as they are planned and conscious indulgences. For example, a negative person can say to himself: I will allow negative thoughts six times today, then three times tomorrow. If detox clinics existed for de-negativizing our thoughts, I believe this is the approach that they would take. It would be much as detox clinics permit small doses of drugs to be administered to drug addicts who want to quit drugs.
360

See Conversations with Norman Vincent Peale: The Power of Positive Thinking, released by KLV-TV, Karl-Lorimar Home Video, 1987.

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Simple affirmations are helpful. For example, one can mentally repeat, I choose peace, joy, and abundance. But for those of us not used to affirmations, ending all thinking is the starting point. Positive thinking comes later—after weeks or months of shutting off one’s thoughts. Months after training myself to stop thinking, I began to incorporate positive thinking into my mental diet. The very phrase positive thinking prompted resistance in me. Hence, I used the phrase pure thoughts instead. This resonated with the virgin archetype in me. Another way to drop negativity is to logically analyze one’s negative thoughts. Byron Katie, a workshop facilitator, discovered a simple method. She calls it “The Work.” If one is feeling upset, then one looks at the thoughts that one is having in that moment and asks oneself the following questions: 1) “Is this [thought] true? If so, what’s the proof? So what? What’s the worse that can happen?” 2) “Who would I be without this thought?” 3) “Can I see a reason to drop this thought?” 4) “Turn the statement around.”361 Truths, of course, are not always black or white. But in I Need Your Love—Is That True?, Katie writes, “No one can drop a thought. We’re just seeing a reason to drop it [emphasis mine].”362 Our brains are like radio receivers, whereas thoughts come from the radio stations that we tune in to through choice. Some radio dials play heavy metal music. Other radio stations air classical music. We are not our thoughts because thoughts just hang out there. When thoughts enter our minds, they enter like
361

See Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, (New York: Harmony Books, 2002). 362 Byron Katie, I Need Your Love—Is That True? How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead, (New York: Harmony Books, 2005), p. 115.

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houseflies drawn to ketchup on a picnic table. We, however, attract thought energies by holding on to some thoughts and letting go of others. This is how we choose our state of mind. Similarly, we are not our emotions. Rather, feelings like for a newborn, puppy, or spouse grab hold of us, and we choose, however unconsciously, to hold on to or let go of those emotions. Like the dropping of negative thoughts, letting go of negative feelings is difficult, for both are intense. Negativity traps our consciousness. With enough willingness and prayer, though, negativism can be released and exchanged for positivism. In the end, we must realize that pain is the way of this world (the vale of tears). Many of us have conceded, of course, that Love is the answer. Humans, however, have yet to reach this conclusion en masse. I believe that pain was created for us to explore to see if there is anything in it for us. Coming from God’s Love, Conversations with God says, we wanted to experience the opposite of Love to see if God could be found elsewhere. Of course, God can’t. That is the point of darkness—to intrigue us into exploring it so that we will realize experientially that godlessness holds nothing good.363 That is the Omega Point. It is the end of the game of pain, the end of the exploration of darkness, and our return to God. This world is still exploring hell (at the individual level) and Hell (at the collective level) to see if there is anything there for it. The global system, called “the real world,” is based on exploration of pain. Therefore, most of us are forced to sweat for numbers on a bank account. High mortgages and high rents pinion us like shackles binded African slaves. We are subjected to the whip of credit card interest payments, to the whip of utility bills, to the whip of car

363

See Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 1, (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1996).

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payments, to the whip of 3,500 ads a day, and to the whip of public censure for deviating from social norms.364 The good news is that we can shut it all out by turning within, even if we have to operate in this world. It is inside that pain is stopped. How? By focusing away from the pain. As Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) tells a boy (Adam Ryen) in a Next Generation episode of Star Trek: You heard the old story about the man who goes to his doctor? He says, “Doctor, it hurts when I raise my arm like this.” The doctor says, “Then, don’t raise your arm like that.”365 For people not used to monitoring—let alone, controlling—their thoughts, focusing away from pain may not be easy. But with practice, practice, practice, thought management gets easier. Sometimes, old emotions will arise despite one’s dropping of painful thoughts. In this case, the experience is like the teen boy who had loud castanets beat whenever he exercised. After years of this, his heart hammered at the mere sound of castanets, even if he was not exercising. When the likes of this happen to you, just continue to think peaceful thoughts. Remember: Problems are temptations to choose pain … and opportunities to choose peace. Temptations to choose pain will reemerge, given the painful choices of most of humanity. But so long as you don’t forget what hell is like—so you
364

According to Jeremy Rifkin, 3,500 ads a day is “—more than double the number thirty years ago.” See Rifkin, The Age of Access, p. 177. 365 Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Brothers.” This episode originally aired in syndication on October 6, 1990 (Season 4, episode 3).

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won’t want to reexplore it—you can always go back to the most basic of all questions: What do I choose inside? If you have already chosen hell, you can choose peace.

Step 3 What Is the Lesson?

A given problem will appear again and again until one learns whatever it is trying to teach. Therefore, it makes sense to search for the lesson in a problem to keep the problem from resurfacing. Even if one fails, the effort is worth it. I, for example, was trying to find a practitioner of spirit retrieval, for I was convinced that I needed the ceremony performed on me. My energy loss had begun some twenty years before, and I was fed up with the physical pain of feeling drained. I telephoned a woman who did spirit retrieval. Over a oneweek period, I left one, two, three messages on her answering machine. Never did the lady return my calls—and she knew my mother and that she had passed away. The woman was one of three practitioners of spirit retrieval in the entire state. I was furious at her indifference. I remembered six psychics, most of them women, who had declined me over a three-year period. This lady was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I phoned a local reverend to talk. Like many times before, he brushed me off with that line I had heard a million times: “I only got a minute.” These rejections were salt rubbing on open wounds. Being brushed off reminded me of other times when I contacted “spiritually evolved” people and got dumped with statements like, “Now is not a good time [for you to call].” The pain was unimaginable since it was rejection by so many people—and not just people, but people who ought to know better. When I got the lesson, the

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emotional pain dwindled. Some resentment remains. But releasing the bulk of it was possible. For me, the lesson package was: 1) I was knocking on the wrong doors 2) The time was not right for my spirit retrieval 3) Although the ideas of the New Age movement are spiritually evolved, many of the people in this spiritual awakening are not genuine I concluded that despite some noble intentions for entering alternative practices, many spiritualists do not lead impeccable lives. They have major issues of the personality left to burn. When I got what my ears hadn’t heard on the telephone, I started to become trans-sensory vis-à-vis the spirit retrieval issue. I say started because the leftover anger means that I haven’t become fully transsensory (without the hyphen) regarding this incident. I, for instance, still feel that there was a kinder way that the gods could have taught me the lessons in question. The woman didn’t have to be insensitive by not returning my phone calls. Perhaps one day, I’ll get the rest of this lesson. Until then, psychics will, very likely, continue to turn me down.

Step 4 Silence the Radio and Television

To bring peace into your home, I recommend turning the volume down to 0 whenever an ad or an announcer comes on the radio. Nowadays, DJs are jackhammers to the ear. Just turn off the sound until the next song comes on. Even better, turn off the radio for good. Ninety percent of the songs on the air

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are oldies anyway. We have heard them a gazillion times. Today, we are in the midst of a musical vacuum. Since the late 1990s, no innovative songs have come out of the music charts. The 1980s was nirvana compared to the state of pop music in the early 2000s. Local bands are not heard on the radio because of media executives deciding that “they won’t sell.” The result is no new songs being heard on the radio—except for the occasional hit that a cabal of CEOs elect to be played. In the early 1980s, New Wave music departed radically from the tunes of the 1970s. Single-handedly, Music Television (MTV) launched New Wave music. Why single-handedly? Because radio stations of the 1979-83 era thought technopop too radical to air. In a nutshell, AM/FM radio offers nothing but ads, 30 oldies replayed over and over, and loudmouthed DJs. Satellite radio exists, in turn, so that subscribers will buy the catchy songs that they hear there, for satellite radio only allows one to listen. As for television, I suggest hitting the mute button whenever a commercial comes on. I can’t urge strongly enough the need to stop this auditory and visual waste from entering your home—and your consciousness. The house of my adopted aunt is ready to explode—literally—from the junk that she has accumulated since 1979. The woman has everything in her house— crumpled paper, flying roaches, iguanas, and frogs. She has dust, mildew, no air conditioning, no heat, piles of boxes, piles of clothes, piles of kitchenware, you name it. This is the clutter that ads stuff into our heads, be they billboards on the “freeway” or commercials on TV and radio. Year by year, the ads accumulate in our subconscious. Since the year 2000, TV ads have been popping up during TV programs as well—bottom of the screen—not just during commercial “breaks.” Why waste precious energy thinking about junk? (Yes, thinking takes energy.) TV and radio condition us to have the attention span of a gnat. If we want to

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learn to focus on being peaceful, joyful, and abundant, we must first learn to focus. Television commercials often lasted a whole minute in the 1970s. In 2006, I caught one that lasted one second. Made illegal decades ago, subliminal cuts are around the corner, thanks to corporations controlling the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—and all government agencies—more than ever. As early as 1993, a TV commercial aired with an underimposed image flickering every few seconds. Had I not taped and paused the ad, I would have missed the image. Who knows what messages the corporate media is trying to instill into our subconscious through its media. My suggestion: Don’t watch commercial television! It is—literally—playing with matches. Like television commercials, programs on the tube condition us not to focus. According to Michael Medved, a film critic, each TV camera shot averaged one-and-a-half minutes in 1950. Today, TV shows hold a shot for an average of five seconds.366 I get dizzy watching these programs. Just when I get into the beauty of a character, the camera yanks me to another character. Then, back to my favorite character. And back again—all in five seconds. This constant to and fro has proven so vexing that I seldom watch commercial television anymore. By comparison, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) and PBS are a pleasure to watch. For the record, only 6 percent of television viewers watch C-SPAN on a regular basis. Maybe more of us can join this demographic segment. If you or your children must watch a TV program, then I suggest taping it. This will save you and them time because one can fast forward through the commercials. But don’t look at the tube while doing this, or the commercials will enter subliminally into your consciousness. If you must watch the news, then I
366

This statistic comes from Michael Medved, “American Values versus Television Values,” Friday, November 1, 2002. At http://www.michaelmedved.com/site/product?printerFriendly=true&pid=19058.

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recommend reading it online, instead of watching the sensationalistic news on network and cable television. Better still, read what you want, rather than what TV and newspapers tell you is “the news.” Get to decide yourself. Even the Weather Channel is filled with negativity (e.g., the program Storm Stories), commercials every four to six minutes, and more pop-up ads during weather forecasting (top and bottom of the screen). If you want negativity to expand in your life, then watch the 6 o’clock news. Sit through the commercials. Leave the volume on loud. Fill your consciousness with that. If you want positive things in your life, then turn it all off—the radio, the TV, and even the major news sources on the web. Do this at home and in your motor vehicle—if you have one. Listen to the silence, the silence beneath the sounds around you. Can you hear it? Why is silence so powerful? Because that is the realm of the psychic (the trans-sensory). The more you experience silence inside, the more proficient you become at sensing vibes. Psychic sensing can warn you about certain people and places and can even save your life. Talk, by contrast, distracts you from psychic sensing. Learn to appreciate the goldenness of silence. You may want to say nothing for, say, an hour one day. Be as quiet as you can. Another day, you may want to not just keep your lips sealed but also, not write or think either. Practice the art of listening. If you are climbing the Stairmaster with the 10 screens in front of you at the gym, close your eyes and visualize the dreams of your heart. If a major event happens, trust me, the news will find you. Your friends and coworkers will tell you, for starters. Listen to them without getting enmeshed in the drama. Then, focus on the sounds around you, or focus on the silence beneath it all. If you are a musician, can you identify the notes that the sounds around you are playing?

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Step 5 Meditation—Train to Focus

Meditation is the only way to train your mind to focus. It doesn’t matter what type of meditation you use. That is up to the individual, and myriad books and techniques exist. The most vital step is simply to meditate daily. Many people can’t find a meditation method “that works.” I have discovered that it isn’t so much that meditation doesn’t work as that we can’t sit still. It is our restlessness, rather than a method that “doesn’t work,” that needs to be addressed. If you can’t concentrate during meditation because you are restless, stay restless and keep trying to focus. If you fail, keep at it, and at it, and at it. The important thing is to commit to meditate, even if you stay jittery. I believe that restlessness needs to be overcome first, instead of trying to find “a method that works.” How does one meditate? Simple. Just close your eyes in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Sit with your back straight and focus on something internal. This could be your breathing, an imaginary point before your closed eyes, the silence, a mantra, the sounds around you, or the spirit that surrounds your human body. This is focused meditation because you focus on one thing. In unfocused meditation, you shift from one thing to the other every few seconds—or even better, you allow your consciousness to do so naturally. You don’t have to time yourself. Just meditate as best you can and stay with it for a while, once before rising from bed and/or once before going to sleep. If a thought comes, as it will, observe it, rather than engage it. If you have engaged a thought, let it go. Coming back to your mantra or breath is one method. Haven’t you noticed how offshore waves bulge up from nowhere? That is how thoughts

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appear. Abruptly. Unexpectedly. Overwhelmingly. That is why it is so easy to get entangled in them. But like a puppy that keeps running away, focus can be brought back. We keep searching for “the right way” to meditate because we are so used to grabbing things mentally. As if climbing a boulder that has handles sticking out, we grab onto a zillion thoughts a day. Our minds are so used to grabbing, grabbing, grabbing. When we meditate, we let go the handles. Suddenly, we lose our balance. We feel out of touch with everything. No wonder we don’t find “an effective method” of meditation. The challenge is to get used to nothingness. Stay in a state of grablessness. Eventually, the light will come through. But practice, practice, practice … and persevere, persevere, persevere. That is the method. When you are ready, you will have the determination to train your mind to focus outside of meditation. The method can be as simple as observing what you smell at a given time, see in a particular object, or hear when your TV is set to mute. So long as you don’t have to concentrate on driving or crossing the street, set time aside each day to zero in on something. Sit still with it.

Step 6 Focus Requires Energy

Being here now—not to mention, staying there—requires energy. Having an intact S.O.U.L. (Systemic Organization of the Universal Lifeforce) may be required to stay in the present, for Spirits/souls are energy. As Sandra Ingerman contends in Soul Retrieval, when part or pieces of a spirit flee a human body to avoid an inhuman trauma, it leaves one depleted. Without recapturing those lost

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parts, one can feel disconnected from life. According to Ingerman, the fragmenting of the self is what psychotherapists call dissociation. What dissociates, she continues, is a piece or pieces of one’s spirit.367 The lights are on, but nobody’s home.368 People in this state of consciousness may find staying in the now next to impossible. Individuals who experience severe loss of spirit (more than 50 percent of the spirit has left the human body) can even end up in a coma. Such people become like Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in the prom dance scene of Back to the Future (1985). McFly is playing an electric guitar in front of an auditorium. His picture is tied to the front of his guitar. The picture disappears slowly; the young man sinks onto a black amplifier; and he begins to vanish. Note how McFly expresses the pain of his energy leaving him. This is what happens when part or pieces of a spirit leave a human body—a type of death. Inhuman traumas, the crushing of one’s hopes and dreams, and the demands of postmodern society cause the loss of one’s prana (life force).

367 368

See Ingerman, Soul Retrieval, pgs. 149-150. Ibid., p. 19.

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One must find ways to recoup one’s spiritual fragments. Then, one must learn to keep one’s energy, for as one of my aunts says, “El cuerpo humano es una batería” (“The human body is a battery”). I find it hard to focus on anything —and even less, on people’s eyes—when I am out of energy. This is despite years of focus training. Because of my low-energy tendencies, I eat well, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, don’t drink, and do what I can to keep my energy. Recently, I examined possible spiritual causes of my dearth of energy. I recommend following your intuition about what avenues to pursue to recover and keep your energy. I find that spending time alone, with no schedules to keep, helps me to recuperate my energy. Then, I am able to focus on the here and now. The next chapter stresses the need to look at concrete things symbolically. The chapter warns of the dangers of taking things literally.

Exercises
1) As you evolve spiritually, do you find that you have more things to keep track of inside yourself? If yes, list those things or speak them into a tape recorder. How have you fared at this task?

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2) Have you ever been, or become, peaceful in a stressful situation? If yes, write about it or describe the situation into a tape recorder. What brought the discontinuity between the outer world and your inner world? 3) Have you ever found yourself “meditating” outside of meditation? If you have been mindful at a task, was this a result of your goal to be mindful in that instant? Or was your goal to be mindful at everything that you do? 4) Think of a time when you were totally absorbed in something or a task. If you were performing a chore, did someone request that you do the chore? Or did you perform the undertaking for its own sake? How did the nature of the task (by order vs. by free will) lead you to be mindful at it or not?

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15 Seeing Literal Things Symbolically —and Vague Things Concretely The five senses—and the sixth sense of the human brain—operate by concreteness. Either an object is red, or it is green. Either a sound is that of a bird, or it is that of a car. Either a thing smells like cookies, or it smells like incense. When we encounter a fleeting scent, we become a little irritated. When we can barely discern a figure through a fog, we become frustrated. Elusive sights, sounds, touches, tastes, and smells vex us because our brains want concreteness through the so-called five senses. Such concreteness is the means for our biological survival. Elusive stimuli may tease us once in a while. But generally, they annoy us. Becoming trans-sensory means becoming comfortable with concreteness (the literal) and with vagueness (the symbolic). Trans-sensory humans savor the aroma and taste of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. But they also enjoy the vagueness of peace. Trans-sensory humans relish the form of an attractive human body. But they also see the formless spirit emanating from the person’s eyes. Trans-sensory humans see that concrete, physical, literal things and vague, nonphysical, symbolic things influence mental outlook, emotional states, human energy, and physical health. This chapter looks at some of what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell (the sensory) and at some of their symbolism (the trans-sensory). Both are real. This symbolism is part of the narrative of our lives. The narrative, in turn, is a metaphor, a parable, a matrix, and a conduit of trans-sensory truths and Truth.

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In closing, this chapter considers possible negative sources of trans-sensory information.

Sensory Literalness

One afternoon, I experienced the following events: 1) Driving to a workout club, I slabbed Chapstick onto my lips. Some guys drove by and shouted, “Faggot!” At that moment, I experienced the world as a bigoted, angry, and dangerous place. 2) After exercising at the gym, I moseyed toward a hair salon to get a haircut. Two boys were sitting in the waiting room, and I sensed a tinge of loneliness from them. In that instant, I experienced the world as a sad place. 3) As I drove home, a stud muffin drove past me. At that moment, I felt depressed because I couldn’t have him. That night, I asked God, “Why do bad things happen to me?” Very appropriately, these incidents transpired on an April Fools Day.

Trans-sensory Symbolism

From a literal perspective, negative things did happen to me that afternoon. Not only that. Negative things that seemed totally unrelated hit me

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in the face. I felt like the victim of random events, and meaningless filled my consciousness. That night, I put on a movie that had arrived in the mail. The DVD was titled, Over the Top (1987). The flick is about a wealthy boy (David Mendenhall) whose truck driver father (Sylvester Stallone) abandoned him years ago. The boy’s mother (Susan Blakely) wants father and son to make up. Suddenly, I connected the dots: the guys calling me faggot, the lonely boys at the hair salon, the unavailable heartthrob, and this movie. Symbolically, I was living different effects of the same cause. The cause was the physical absence of my biological father and the emotional absence of my stepfather. The guys calling me faggot were the heavens reminding me of what I am through megaphones—although I am not exclusively gay. The loneliness of the boys was God showing me the boyhood roots—or at least, a major root—of my hunger and thirst for guys. (In my view, homosexuality per se is not unhealthy, just exclusive homosexuality and exclusive heterosexuality.) The out-of-reach young man was God repeating the same point—that I am overwhelmingly homoromantic. The movie Over the Top brought all the events of that day back to ground zero: abandonment issues that I have vis-à-vis my biological father and stepfather. Moreover, the mother in that film symbolized my mother, for both moms died from hospital-related events. I saw my biological father two times, once when I was a boy and once when I was a teenager. From a human perspective, this is the most insignificant relationship that I have had in this lifetime. From a spiritual perspective, this may well be the most significant relationship that I have had in this lifetime. Again, In the physical world, the spirit realm works by subtleties.

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People, events, and things that, for decades, have been hiding in the background could be playing a far more important role in our lives. When least expected, those things loom like a ship out of a fog. Insignificant people are like the fuselage of an airliner at 35,000 feet, what I call una bala (“a bullet”). Looking up from the ground, one sees an airplane flying high as an insignificant bullet, for the moving piece of metal is tiny against the blue sky. But behind, the plane is leaving a white trail, called a contrail, that is larger than half the sky. Regarding the events of April Fools Day, I unearthed yet another piece of symbolism. The lad character in Over the Top is Michael Cutler from his mother’s side and Michael Hawk from his father’s side. The same actor (David Mendenhall) who played that role in 1987 appeared in a 1983 movie titled, Space Raiders. In the 1983 film, Peter Tracton, the lonely boy that Mendenhall plays there, befriends guess the name of the man. C.W. Hawk! One Hawk is the boy (Mendenhall) and his father (Stallone) from Over the Top; the other Hawk is the father figure (Vince Edwards) from the movie Space Raiders. Another afternoon at the gym, I saw Mendenhall—again, he as a boy—playing yet another role on television. Mendenhall kept reappearing in my “life” because I shared many features with the characters that he played on film and television. Earlier that April Fools Day, I had been sensory because I had viewed disconnected events in a literal way. That night, I became trans-sensory regarding those incidents because I was able to see them symbolically. I saw what the story was really about.

Sensory Literalness

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Your boss bawls at you in his corner office. You hear his grating voice. You see his facial contortions and hideous arm movements. You feel the vibration of his fist pounding his wooden desk.

Trans-sensory Symbolism

From a symbolic view, why is this happening? John Holland, the psychic, writes in Power of the Soul about his former relationship with one such boss. Holland narrates: Early one morning, I’d just returned to the office with my boss’s morning coffee. He yelled another command from his office about his upcoming travel plans, departing in his usual whirlwind, without even a thank-you. As I sat there trembling and feeling upset, confused, and angry, I thought: Why am I enduring this work relationship? As soon as I asked the question, I knew the answer: I was reliving my whole childhood relationship with my father. I was so keen for approval and attention that I was allowing myself to be treated like a child all over again.369 As soon as Holland “got the lesson,” he forgave his boss, left that job, and worked on healing the unresolved issues with his father. Through these actions, Holland broke “the pattern that makes many of us fall into unhealthy relationships.”370 This is what it means to see the trans-sensory (symbolic) causes of a sensory (literal) event?
369

John Holland, Power of the Soul: Inside Wisdom for an Outside World, (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 2007), p. 83. 370 Ibid.

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Why Look at Things Symbolically?

Looking at life events is like interpreting a dream. Even violent events like the April 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. are symbolic in that, in Caroline Myss’s words, they represent archetypes at work.371 An archetype is the spiritual energy that creates a persona. King, for example, was the martyr archetype. So was Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor in the late 1970s. Both men spoke about the possibility of being assassinated. Milk even recorded a statement “to be played only in the event of [his] death by assassination.”372 The statement went so far as to accurately describe the manner in which Milk would be shot. Right on schedule, Milk’s message was played after his being shot in city hall on November 1978. Similarly, Roberto Clemente, the Baseball Hall of Famer from Puerto Rico, was haunted by thoughts of his mortality. As Vera Clemente, Roberto’s widow, recounts on PBS’s American Experience, “He had a special ‘timing.’ For instance, he was in a hurry to get married. Because he always thought he was going to die young.”373 The night of December 31, 1972—note the symbolism of this date and time of day—Roberto boarded a charter flight that was bound for Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. The 38-year-old right fielder was determined to bring relief supplies to victims of an earthquake there. The propeller plane that he boarded

371 372

Myss, Sacred Contracts. This quote comes from an article of Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia titled, “Harvey Milk.” The URL is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Milk. 373 American Experience: Roberto Clemente. This episode originally aired on PBS on April 21, 2008.

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had a Z painted on each side as part of its design—more symbolism. As Vera says on American Experience: [By the runway] He gave me a very sad look. I read many things in that look. [Such as] I’d like to bring you, but I can’t. I should stay, but I can’t.374 The propeller plane crashed into the Atlantic, and his body was never found. If human life were random, then how could martyrs know about their martyrdom beforehand? Something deeper must be going on, something deeper than the literal interpretation that most of us give to life events. Most people, however, have been carried away by the way that Martin Luther King, Jr., Harvey Milk, and Roberto Clemente died. But in Spanish, people say “la forma en qué murió” (“the form in which he [or she] died [emphasis mine]”). Form here describes not the human body, a noun, but rather, a verb, the act of dying. There are many forms of dying, but they are just forms. The moral here is not to cling to form but instead, to look at the symbolism behind it. The paradox is that because physical life is a dream, one must really get into it so as not to miss details that may hold clues. One must truly observe one’s surroundings. One must listen carefully, taste slowly, smell deeply, and feel as intensely as one can. On the street, being alert to one’s surroundings is a huge part of having “street smarts.” Alert to one’s environs, one becomes far more able to discern the messages of the dream. One goes from being spiritually illiterate (being unable to read spiritual letters) to becoming spiritually literate. But one needs to develop discipline to bring the mind back to the present 576,000 times in a 16-hour day—give or take a few tens of thousands of times (see Part I,
374

Ibid.

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Chapter 6, section titled, “In the Now vs. Thinking”). Without the discipline to bring back the puppy that keeps running away, the cerebral cortex will drift away from sensing the physical environment. Why? Because thinking, not sensing physical stimuli, is the function of two-thirds of the human brain. Unlike Lieutenant Columbo (Peter Falk) of the Columbo series on television, most of us barely pay attention to the details of our environs. Yet, we are hooked on the things of the outer world. On PBS’s The Power of Myth, however, mythologist Joseph Campbell warns, “When you get stuck in the metaphor, then you’re in trouble [emphasis mine].”375 In other words, don’t get caught up in the symbols of your life. Look rather at their symbolism. Seek their hidden meaning. Ask yourself: What do the symbols in my life represent? What do the characters in my life symbolize? One thing has separated Homo sapiens from all the other hominids that have come before: Homo sapiens can think symbolically. Just look at the cave paintings of Cro-Magnons. Hominids like Neanderthals, on the other hand, could only think literally, something that may explain the absence of cave paintings during the Neanderthal epoch in Europe. Yet, humans still have the pre-human propensity to take things literally, as in personally, when matters of interpretation concern everyday life. Only when the objects of interpretation—a novel, movie, or painting—are removed from pragmatic matters do we tend to think metaphorically. One of our trans-sensory challenges is to expand our symbolic thought from the literary world to daily life as well.

375

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, “The Message of the Myth.”

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The movie Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) shows what occurs when someone fails to think symbolically in practical life. In this film, Miranda Hillard (Sally Field) divorces Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams). Wanting to be with his children, Daniel disguises himself as an old lady. Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire/Daniel gets his clueless ex-wife to hire him as a nanny. Miranda is impressed with Mrs. Doubtfire’s punctuality, neatness, and swiftness around the stove. Likewise, the children warm up to Mrs. Doubtfire. At a five-star restaurant, Mrs. Doubtfire is torn between meeting a TV producer in the nonsmoking section and sitting with his family—and Miranda’s new boyfriend—in the smoking section. It is no coincidence that the restaurant is called Bridges. Miranda’s boyfriend (Pierce Brosnan) chokes. Mrs. Doubtfire leaves the opportunity of a lifetime (Robert Prosky) in one corner of Bridges Restaurant and rushes to the smoking section to perform the Heimlich maneuver on Miranda’s boyfriend. Mrs. Doubtfire’s mask slips off her face. Miranda’s face contorts in horror. “Daniel,” she says, beyond disbelief. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” Miranda is flabbergasted because she had taken Daniel’s disguise literally. She is furious because Daniel deceived her. Their older children are not hurt, however—following their initial shock weeks prior—because the kids know that their father is playing a role. Not only that. The kids understand the reason for that role. The role was played because, in their dad’s words, “It’s the only way I can see you guys everyday.” Near the closing credits, Miranda stops taking Mrs. Doubtfire literally. Consequently, she chuckles at the ridiculousness of it all. This movie shows that children have no trouble playing make-belief. Kids slip in and out of fantasy easily. They don’t get attached to the tale. While alive, Joseph Campbell called taking things personally the error of reading things as “prose,” rather than as “poetry.” On PBS’s Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, Campbell expounded, “That’s reading a metaphor in

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terms of the denotation [literal meaning], instead of the connotation [implied meaning].”376 For example, if I were to speak of the American economy in terms of prose, I would say, “The U.S. economy is in recession.” If I were to speak of the American economy in terms of poetry, I would say, “America’s treasure trove is bleeding.” Now, we have symbolism. Metaphors, however, are not always so easily understood—no matter how hard we may try to comprehend them. Why is this? The Next Generation episode “Darmok” illustrates the answer. In that episode, the crew of the Enterprise encounters a race of beings that speaks only in metaphor. On the view screen of the Enterprise bridge, the captain of the Tamarian vessel (Paul Winfield) utters: Rye and Gyri at Lunga Rye of Luwade Luwade under two moons Gyri of Umbaya Umbaya of crossroads at Lunga Lunga, her sky gray.377 The Enterprise crew frowns in puzzlement. At the conference lounge of the Enterprise, the following exchange takes place between Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), and Lieutenant-Commander Data (Brent Spiner): Data: They [the Tamarians] seem to communicate through narrative imagery, a reference to the individuals and places which appear in
376 377

Ibid. Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Darmok.”

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their mytho-historical accounts. Troi: It’s as if I were to say to you, “Juliet on her balcony.” Crusher: An image of romance. Troi: Exactly. Imagery is everything to the Tamarians. It embodies their emotional states, their very thought processes. It’s how they communicate, and it’s how they think. Riker: If we know how they think, shouldn’t we be able to get something across to them? Data: No, sir. The situation is analogous to understanding the grammar of a language but none of the vocabulary. Crusher: If I didn’t know who Juliet was or what she was doing on that balcony, the image alone wouldn’t have any meaning. Troi: That’s correct. For instance, we know that Darmok was a great hero, a hunter, and that Tanagra was an island. But that’s it. Without the details, there’s no understanding. Data: It is necessary for us to learn the narrative from which the Tamarians draw their imagery [emphasis mine].378

378

Ibid.

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More often than not, our Spirits/souls draft narratives—before human birth—that are humanly illogical. The human irrationality of much of our lives is because the narratives originate in a nonphysical realm. In the Next Generation episode “Rightful Heir,” for instance, the Klingon monk Koroth (Alan Oppenheimer) tells the Klingon Lieutenant Worf (Michael Dorn), “You came to us seeking answers. But this [planet Boreth] is a place of questions [emphasis mine].”379 This is why incomprehensible events happen in the world. Children are abused physically, sexually, and emotionally. Wives get beat up. Civilians are killed in time of war. Bad things happen to good people. All of this is like the gibberish that we often dream about at night. We may be sucking on the stick shift of a car and drinking milk from it. We may jump up from a roof and land on the moon. We may be swimming across an ocean, only to learn it is pudding. The unconscious works like this. So do life events. The inability of our brains to comprehend what lies beyond human logic angers us. For instance, in The Nun’s Story (1959), Mother Christophe (Beatrice Straight) tells Sister Luke (Audrey Hepburn): As you see, your father asks an angry question. Why should you waste all these months of your time here [in an insane asylum in Belgium] after strenuous courses in tropical medicine [for the Congo]? The father (Dean Jagger) of Sister Luke sees the human irrationality of the convent keeping a trained nurse, his daughter, away from the sister colonies in Africa. Mother Christophe, however, sees the spiritual logic, for as she tells Sister Luke one day in a garden outside the asylum:

379

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Rightful Heir.”

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Your father is a very great man. But I don’t think he understands that the colonies are only for sisters perfected in the religious life. He asks what could you possibly learn in this place. Only by learning the heavenly symbolism of one’s earthly narrative can one make sense of the humanly unintelligible. Also, important is to remember that symbols are often concrete. An example is a red sedan. But their symbolism is not, for that is the message. In a novel, everything must make sense. Every dot must connect. A must lead to B, which must lead to C. This is what keeps readers interested. They can figure things out as they read. Even an insignificant detail like a can of soda on a glass coffee table is in a novel, TV show, or movie for a reason. Everything adds up in a humanly logical way. “Real life,” on the contrary, is random, chaotic, and illogical. This is because “the real world” requires a different set of eyes. Why? Because in the words of Caroline Myss, divine logic is humanly irrational.380 This is why prayers “don’t get answered” oftentimes and why God often “doesn’t understand” us. We must “learn the narrative” from which spiritual logic arises.381 Then, we can get the subtle messages of earthly life. Then can our lives take some meaning. We ourselves often speak in riddles—much like the Tamarians of the episode “Darmok.” For instance, a lad might say, “I’m a pig at the dinner table.” What the boy means is that he devours food sloppily. A woman may say, “You’ve burned all your bridges.”382 What she means is that one has alienated all of one’s friends. A man might say, “The refrigerator is humming,” as if the fridge were alive. What he means is that the motor is on. When someone talks in
380 381

Caroline Myss has said this on several of her lectures. Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Darmok.” 382 In the movie An Unexpected Family (TV; 1996), Barbara Whitney (Stockard Channing) accuses Ruth Whitney (Christine Ebersole) of having burned her bridges.

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imagery, we seldom get stuck in it. Instead, we quickly get to the message behind the imagery. Why can’t we do this with the events of human life? Forgiveness, for one thing, would be easier if we did. When we read a novel, we look for the symbolism of the setting, characters, objects, and events in it. A sunset may represent the end of something and sunrise a beginning. In “Rightful Heir,” for example, Worf tells Koroth: When Kahless had united our people and gave them the laws of honor, he saw that his work was done. So one night, he gathered his belongings and departed for the edge of the city to say goodbye.383 If you notice, Kahless didn’t depart during the day. Worf continues: Then, Kahless said, “You are Klingons. You need no one but yourselves. I will go now to Stovocore [the afterlife]. But I promise one day I will return.” Then, Kahless pointed to a star in the sky and said, “Look for me there, on that point of light.”384 More symbolism. When I was living in New Hampshire, a collegian asked me out to a movie. I was euphoric, as no guy had ever invited me out. I didn’t know the guy’s sexual and romantic proclivities. But this didn’t matter. He asked me out, and that was enough for me. The possibility of us deepening our gym acquaintanceship made me very happy. Had I observed my surroundings, I would have seen their symbolism as a warning. This would have helped me to
383 384

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Rightful Heir.” Ibid.

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prepare for what ensued. In southern New Hampshire, autumn foliage is at its most colorful in mid-October. The young man invited me to the movies at precisely that time of year. The beauty of the road by my apartment was something from heaven—leaves golden-yellow, burnt-orange, deep-red, and even violet. The leaves were everywhere—drooping from the branch-topped street like confetti, resting over the landscape, and blowing here and there. For all their splendor, however, autumn leaves are near the end of their cycle. Winter is around the corner. At the time, I missed this message. The hunk took me to see the Chinese film Hero (2004). In that movie, colors dominate—bloodred, sky-blue, cloud-white, chlorophyll-green, and black. In one scene, leaves fall around feuding warriors. In another scene, hundreds of arrows fall on three combatants—and dive as well onto a field—in the ancient Kingdom of Zhao. Arrows start to break through the ceiling of the hut where a warrior is hiding. Once again, I missed the message. A week later, the guy stopped answering my emails. He didn’t return my telephone calls. It would have been easier for me had he explained his behavior. But the fellow dumped me without explanation. When I finally reached him, he was reticent over the telephone. I told him the truth about my Asperger’s and that people with this syndrome often give confusing body language. But I stressed that whatever I might have done was not intentional. He uhed at me. Given his reluctance to talk, I didn’t press him for an explanation of why he had ignored my attempts to contact him. But my heart broke bad. After he ditched me, my checking account went from about $1,500 to $750, to $500, to $250, to $75, to $15. This war of attrition against my savings had begun with my move to New Hampshire a year earlier. I gained weight around my abdomen. This happened despite my exercising three days a week and despite my eating low-fat

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foods. Around Thanksgiving, I got kidney stones.385 In early December, I learned that my blood pressure pills were not working. My blood pressure rose to 173/113. My heart started to ache—literally. I had no health insurance because nobody would hire me for a job—let alone, one that offered health coverage. In mid-December, I went to the dentist for a routine dental cleaning. The student dentist at the community college showed me white spots on the back of my throat. She didn’t know what they were. I just about panicked. Never had I had health problems of any kind, as I was only 30. Not till a few weeks later did I learn that the white things were canker sores.386 In mid-January, I interviewed for a library position that required a bilingual candidate (English/Spanish). I was positive that, at last, I would land a job that would allow me to remain in New Hampshire, one of my dream states. After all, I met all of the job qualifications. I was willing to drive the 45 minutes each way to and from the town in Massachusetts. The day of my interview, I encountered bumper-to-bumper traffic from Londonderry, New Hampshire all the way to the Massachusetts border. This is about 15 miles. I phoned my interviewers, explained the situation, and eventually, got to the interview. I was still positive that I had gotten the job, as I have a master’s degree, some library experience, and knowledge of English and Spanish. In late January, I got that letter which I had received a hundred times: Thank you for applying with us, but the position for which you interviewed has been offered to another candidate. Please keep checking our website for new openings.
385

One type of medication for my high blood pressure might have been the cause—or a cofactor—for the pill was meant to remove excess water from my kidneys. This, the doctor told me, would help to lower my high blood pressure. 386 Louise Hay, the renowned author, lists the meaning of canker sores in the back of her book, You Can Heal Your Life. According to Hay, canker sores mean, “Festering words held back by the lips. Blame,” p. 159.

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I contemplated more options but had no one to turn to. Employment agencies had not heard about Asperger Syndrome—and most still haven’t. An elderly woman who headed a social services agency told me that I was “immature” and “possibly, afraid of success.” The Asperger’s Association of New England replied to my emails. But underfunded and relying on volunteers, the organization couldn’t help me in any way, other than letting me speak at one of their meetings. The people whom I met in New Hampshire were, in their words, “too busy” to lend me an ear whenever I phoned them. I had volunteered for a Latino festival that involved months of planning. During the Christmas holidays of 2004, I invited two members of the planning committee to my apartment. I also reached out to others. As usual, people were too occupied with their jobs and families. The events of October 2004 to June 2005 were—literally—hundreds of arrows raining on me. Had I read the symbolism of the autumn leaves outside my apartment and of the arrows in Hero, I might have been better prepared for the dark night of the soul that followed for me. It was a rite of initiation, my banishment from the tribe. For me, the message was: For inner peace, learn to separate the body and the world from the mind, especially in times of crisis. This lesson saved both my sanity and my “life.” Had I listened to the words of my mother’s song “Everything Is Alright,” I would not have panicked.387 Mentioned in Part I, Chapter 9 (section titled, “The Five Ws and the H”), everything in this universe is a story. Even a mug has a story to it. Perhaps, this is why Jesus taught Truth through parables. In Spanish, parable is parábola,
387

Ramona Monique, “Everything Is Alright.” This song is in the CD titled, Heart Songs. The CD came out on February 3, 2003. Label: Mirror Image Studios.

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which in mathematics means a moving point (physical life?) that creates a geometric cone adjacent to a parallel plane (Truth?). A parabola is a bowl that reflects something. See image below:

A parable is the story form of analogy. This kind of tale is a metaphor. Metaphor, however, is not simile (e.g., my car flies like the wind). Rather, a metaphor is something transferred onto something else (e.g., my car is the wind). Parables are metaphors of what someone sees, hears, touches, tastes, and smells. Parables appeal to our human senses. By contrast, the Truth behind the parables appeal to our minds and hearts. When a parable is acknowledged for what it is, most of us are inclined to consciously look for the moral of the story. The majority of us, however, don’t see our lives as parables. We are simply hypnotized by the drama. Drama, to be sure, is not all negative, for drama comes in a continuum (shown below).

Uplifting drama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crushing drama

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Still, as a fiction writer, I can identify with becoming utterly engrossed with the story. I don’t want to leave it. I want it to be real, not an illusionary conduit of truths and Truth. I want my characters to truly exist as the characters. I want imaginary lovers to be lovers, not mere parabolas (reflections) of something else. I want my story scenarios to replay—over and over and over. In short, I want to keep my playthings! The consequence of such obsession, though, is what we have now on the planet. Joseph Campbell explains: The real horror today is what you see in Beirut, where you have the three great Western religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—and because the three of them have three different names for the same biblical God, they can’t get on together. They’re stuck with their metaphor and don’t realize its reference [emphases mine].388 Reference is the message, always concealed like Morse code. Reference is what lies behind the following truths: 1) I am a singer 2) I am a mother 3) I am a Christian 4) I am an African American 5) I am a child 6) I am an adult

388

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, “The Message of the Myth.”

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Reference is the universal Truth—as in love thy neighbor as thyself—beyond the truths with small ts (see list above). Reference is the content behind the façades that we experience through the so-called five senses. The message is the invisible Truth. The metaphor of the message is the visible, the hearable, the touchable, the tasteable, and the smellable. Parables bring color to dry Truth. The tale can also be called the matrix. In the words of Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) from the movie The Matrix (1999), the matrix is “… the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.” The parable, metaphor, drama, story, and matrix is a journey toward an end. The tale is the example. The Truth behind the example is the general idea. The March 1991 beating of Rodney King is—literally—a horror story. But what is the symbolism of this narrative? What message lies behind it? First, the clubbing didn’t occur in the American South. Rather, it happened in racially diverse Southern California (Los Angeles). This is significant for reasons we shall see below. Second, California is said to have entered the Union as a free state in 1850. This is what history textbooks teach. But as Quintard Taylor, Jr., a history professor, said in an auditorium at the University of Washington, slaves existed in California before and after 1850. Chattel slavery, of course, became illegal in California in 1850. But when the gold rush of 1848 hit, Southern planters brought their slaves to California so that the slaves would mine gold for them. Most planters and slaves who wagoned to California never returned to the Old South. According to Professor Taylor, the California of the 1850s had whites, free blacks, planters, slaves, and abolitionists living side by side—a situation unheard of in the East. Chattel slavery, Taylor said, was not just a “Southern” phenomenon. The bulk of it was in the South, to be sure. And even in the South, over two-thirds of white Southerners never owned slaves—though they aspired to. This was the class of yeoman farmers, the backcountry rednecks (“dirt

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eaters”) who lived in the Appalachian Mountains.389 Still, chattel slavery was a national institution.390 As late as 1861, even “free states” like New Jersey and “free territories” like the Pacific Northwest had masters and slaves in them.391 Looked at symbolically, the Rodney King tale is the replaying of the antebellum master-slave relationship. Those playing masters (of darkness) and slaves are playing archetypal roles. The message of the Rodney King story is that, in America, plantation slavery was abolished in 1865. But the master-slave mentality and its archetypes are still alive in many parts of the United States. King, of course, refused to obey police orders to stay down. Nonetheless, slave rebellion is another facet of the master-slave relationship. Another example of the continuation of slavery is what I witnessed at a dealership. The year was 2008. The sales manager, a Caucasian man in his 40s, was talking to his assistant, an African American man in his 20s. Both men were standing by a car that was on display, facing each other. Maybe it was the manner in which the Caucasian man addressed the African American man— subtle, yet stern. The exact energies that I “saw” coming from them are impossible to put into words. But my human eyes transformed to spiritual eyes. Suddenly, I said to myself: The master is addressing his slave. Even more shocking was that this occurred in Alaska, a state that wasn’t even part of the United States at the time of chattel slavery. If Alaska carries the archetype of plantation slavery to this day, then the rest of the U.S. must as well.

389

Refer to the cassette The History of the United States, Part V: The Making of Modern America, “The Making of a Racial Policy,” Lecture 42. 390 Quintard Taylor, Jr. gave his lecture at the University of Washington. The lecture was Part 1 of a fivepart series called, History Lectures, The African American West, 1528 to 2000. Part 1 was titled, “Antebellum Slavery and Freedom, 1528-1865: The Paradox of Race and Liberty in the West.” It was recorded on January 17, 2006 and was broadcast on University of Washington Television (UWTV) on October 20, 2006. 391 The New Jersey example comes from a lecture that James Shenton, professor of American history, gave at Columbia University. Refer to the cassette The History of the United States, Part V: The Making of Modern America, “The Making of a Racial Policy,” Lecture 42.

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Another day, this time in Gainesville, Florida, I spotted an African American lady. She was heavy and was in a janitor’s uniform. The short woman seemed to be taking a break from work. Suddenly, my head echoed 1860. The lady continued to stand there, but my spiritual eyes saw her in that era. Even the language of chattel slavery is still alive. This is despite the political correctness of the post-civil rights era. On November 4, 2008, for example, Ralph Nader said: To put it very simply, he [Barack Obama] is our first African American president; or he will be. And we wish him well. But his choice, basically, is whether he’s going to be Uncle Sam for the people of this country, or Uncle Tom for the giant corporations.392 There is another example of the language of slavery still being with us. Like Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama was a senator from Illinois. None of this is coincidence. Yet another facet of the master-slave archetype is that African Americans —including pregnant black women—continue to be pulled off America’s streets for no human reason. Caucasian cops often point guns at their heads. Cop harassment and clubbings of blacks is a national occurrence. Like a parabola, this reflects that chattel slavery was a national institution, existing even in Los Angeles, and that the ghosts of slavery are still with us. Cop harassment of African Americans reflects another reality: racial segregation. After the (Un)Civil War, the South legalized the separation of Caucasians from African Americans. But like chattel slavery, racial segregation
392

This quote aired on Fox News on November 4, 2008. The news segment can be found on YouTube, WorldAccessMedia, “Ralph Nader Calls President Elect Obama Uncle Tom.” The URL is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IshiClQqCM.

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was not simply a Southern phenomenon. Watts, a suburb of Los Angeles in 1940, had racially restrictive covenants then, for example. According to Quintard Taylor, Jr., a third of Watts was Caucasian in 1940; a third was Latino; and a third was African American. That atypically diverse city, now part of Los Angeles, was seen in the 1940s as “the model of the future.” Still, African Americans were prohibited then from buying homes in the Anglo sections of Watts.393 Today, racially diverse cities like New York and Los Angeles are among the most heavily segregated cities in the world. West Hollywood vs. South Central Los Angeles is a classic tale of two cities. These sections of LA are not only separate but also unequal in terms of wealth vs. poverty, cleanliness vs. filth, and peaceful neighborhoods vs. dangerous streets. A major reason why Caucasians tend to see civil rights as having been solved in the 1960s is because most Caucasians live in small towns and suburbs. By contrast, most racial and ethnic minorities live in the inner cities. As the Spanish saying goes, “Ojo qué no vé, corazón qué no siente” (“eye that doesn’t see, heart that doesn’t feel”). Much of the African American experience, although not all of it, lies outside the line of sight of most European Americans. This is why Caucasian Americans are increasingly viewing affirmative action as irrelevant to the 21st century. Demographic changes in America, of course, are quickly making it impossible for ethnic Europeans to self-segregate. The Rodney King story personifies all of the above. It reflects the truth that, at some level, plantation slavery refuses to die. This may sound like lunacy. But at 12.4 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans are 0 percent of senators and 9.4 percent of representatives.394 Conversely, 40
393

See Taylor, Part 3, History Lectures, The African American West, 1528 to 2000. “The Urban Frontier, 1875-1940, African Americans in Cities.” This lecture segment was recorded on January 31, 2006 and was broadcast on University of Washington Television (UWTV) on December 8, 2006. 394 See Nancy Frazier O’Brien, “At 29 Percent of 109th Congress, Catholics Remain Largest Faith Group,” Catholic News Service, November 11, 2004. At http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0406217.htm. Then, see Greg Giroux and Kimberly Hallock, “Democratic-Led 110th Congress is Old Boys’ Club With a Twist, as Women, Blacks Gain Clout,” The New York Times, February 26, 2007. At

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percent of African American men haven’t been hired into mainstream jobs—ever —and African Americans make up 44 percent of prisoners.395 What is the moral of this tale? Is it possible that an archetype like slave, personified in someone, could tempt one to act like a fellow slave? Or like a slave master? What lessons about temptation can we learn from this possibility? Many pundits argue that the election of Barack Obama to the presidency shows that America is now a post-racial society. But again, 0 percent of senators and only 9.4 percent of representatives are African American.396 Similar to the pundits, most Americans see as progress that Obama is America’s first “black” president. From a sensory perspective, this is progress. But like all U.S. presidents before him, Obama is indebted to corporate interests—in his case, some $4 million that his presidential campaign got every 18 hours.397 Also, President Obama is not 100 percent “black,” although the “one drop of black blood” rule makes him black in America. Rather, Obama is biracial, born to a Caucasian mother from Kansas and to a Negroid father from Kenya. Cornel West, professor at Princeton University, is also biracial, born to a Caucasian mother and to an African American father. Frederick Douglas was, possibly, biracial as well, born to a slave mother and to a suspected planter father. Golfer Tiger Woods, who is seen as “black,” is multi-racial. If you look at American history from the 19th century to the 21st century, you will notice that many “black” leaders are mulatto (the Spanish word for people born to “white” and “black” parents). The rise of mulattos to leadership is what historians of Brazil
http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2007/02/26/cq_2328.html?pagewanted=1. 395 The prison statistic comes from Larry Miller, “Losing a Generation?” The Philadelphia Tribune, Date unspecified. At http://www.phila-tribune.com/channel/inthenews/090506/behindbarsP1.asp. 396 See O’Brien, “At 29 Percent of 109th Congress, Catholics Remain Largest Faith Group,” Catholic News Service, November 11, 2004. At http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0406217.htm. Then, see Giroux and Hallock, “Democratic-Led 110th Congress is Old Boys’ Club With a Twist, as Women, Blacks Gain Clout,” The New York Times, U.S., February 26, 2007. At http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2007/02/26/cq_2328.html?pagewanted=1 397 Ralph Nader gave this statistic at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The post-election conference, titled, Reaction to Election Results aired on C-SPAN on November 4, 2008.

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have called “the mulatto escape hatch.” Mulattos in both Latin America and the United States have a way out of the oppression that the majority of “blacks” are stuck with. This doesn’t mean that African Americans with no Caucasian blood can’t get ahead. Instead, it means that mulattos in America have better chances for upward mobility than African Americans with no European blood. Perhaps, the Caucasian parents of mulattos are able to instill some “white privilege” into their biracial children. This, of course, does not apply to all biracial children. What all this means is that just because Obama is president of America does not necessarily signify that the archetypes of chattel slavery are dead in a “post-racial society.” Native Americans are another group to have been victimized in what would become the United States. In the film The Shining (1980), Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is hired to look after the Overlook Hotel. Although high in the Colorado Rockies, the hotel is in a locale unsuitable for skiing became it was constructed before that sport became popular. Thus, the summer resort closes every winter. Torrance brings his wife (Shelley Duvall) and little boy (Danny Lloyd) to spend the winter with him at the hotel. In his spare time, Torrance, now caretaker of the place, writes a novel. Most viewers think that The Shining is, simply, about a husband who goes mad from isolation and tries to kill his family. But there is a trans-sensory message as well. The symbols are there. But most viewers have missed them because they are interpreting the movie literally. As reviewers Flo Leibowitz and Lynn Jeffress wrote in 1981, director Stanley Kubrick intended for each of his movies to be a means to an end (getting across a social message). In 1980, many film critics thrashed The Shining for “making no sense.” As Leibowitz and Jeffress wrote in their review of the flick: However, given Kubrick’s propensity to use genres merely as vehicles

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(2001, Barry Lyndon), one suspects that the “failings” in The Shining are related to Kubrick’s interest in deliberately redirecting the audience’s attention elsewhere [emphasis mine]. What are Kubrick and screenwriter Diane Johnson up to here?398 Leibowitz and Jeffress proceeded: The Indian motifs cannot be merely accidental, there are just too many of them: Wendy’s Indian jacket, moccasin-like boots, beaded belt and braids; the rugs and wall hangings; Wendy stalking through the hotel, knife in hand; Danny, like an Indian scout, retracing his steps in the maze; the periodic drum and rattle music—stereotypes to be sure, but for just this reason, easily accessible. Less obvious, perhaps, is the image of Jack at work in the cavernous lobby, backed by an American flag but surrounded on three sides by Indian designs.399 On the surface, the Overlook Hotel—more symbolism—is an ostentation of space and extravagance. But beneath the sensory illusion lies a history of caretakers murdering their families. The Shining is replete with symbols of America’s gruesome past and its effects upon our collective psyche and behavior. As Leibowitz and Jeffress wrote in Film Quarterly: One of its most interesting aspects [of shining as a “survival skill” of the oppressed] is the community formed by those who either shine or are aided by those who do—the only genuine community in the film, one made up of women, children, and blacks, three of America’s traditional
398 399

Flo Leibowitz and Lynn Jeffress, “The Shining,” Film Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 3, Spring 1981, p. 45. Ibid., p. 46.

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victims.400 The Overlook represents America, the McMansion of suburbia, the isolation of all members of the nuclear family from one another—and from neighbors— America’s isolation from the world, and the delusion of “making it.” Leibowitz and Jeffress wrote: The paradox at the heart of the [American] dream is evoked by the Torrance family ensconced like royalty in the empty Overlook Hotel, enchanted by the illusion of ownership [emphasis mine] while in fact they are merely employees, living in the shabbiest corner of the hotel. The obverse reality of Kubrick’s America is something other than the hotel’s surface opulence: look again [emphasis mine] and you see peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread, Apollo sweatshirts, Oreo cookies, Heinz ketchup, Roadrunner cartoons—the essence of tacky Americana.401 Hence, The Shining shows us the symbolism of things that, on the surface, seem not to be there. For example, Native Americans are, for the most part, absent from contemporary America, but relics of them are all around us. What is the moral of this story? According to Leibowitz and Jeffress: In 2001 [the 1968 film], Kubrick suggested we could transcend our dissipation with a new frontier—outer space. With The Shining, thirteen years later, he is observing that life in America might well destroy us first. If there are any frontiers left for Kubrick, they do not involve the expansion of boundaries but the construction of new social relationships
400 401

Ibid., p. 50. Ibid., p. 46.

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within our existing borders [emphases mine].402 How can we go about doing this? In Power vs. Force, David Hawkins writes, “Force is experienced through the senses; power can be recognized only through inner awareness.”403 Most Americans are stuck in the metaphor of 911. I remember a young woman at a grocery store. On September 11, 2001, she voiced amazement at the symbolism of 911. As we know, 911 is the number that we dial when we need help. The lady saw this message behind the events of 911. This is going beyond the story. The First World has yet to see, however, that the Third World needs assistance. Western media, which corporations own, keeps bombarding nonWestern cultures with Western values. Corporations, which the Twin Towers symbolized, keep dominating the globe. Since the early 1900s, for example, agribusiness has injected hormones into cows, chickens, turkeys, and hens to make them grow fast. This trend began in the West. Not surprisingly, the onset of puberty in the West has declined from around age 16 (the 1800s) to around age 12 (the present). Still, for decades, agribusiness has been pushing Western ways of farming and of raising livestock to non-Western farmers. The hunger of the developing world is used as a justification for this. Now, agribusiness is trying to get indigenous farmers to stop planting native seeds, which can be saved. Instead, agribusiness is pushing fee-based, one-time use, genetically engineered seeds on farmers in the Third World. Agribusiness doesn’t care that adopting genetically engineered seeds threatens the food supply of billions of people. As Jeremy Rifkin, the economist, writes in The Age of Access, “When the plant produces the seed, it won’t germinate because the blocker gene won’t work [on

402 403

Ibid., p. 51. Hawkins, Power vs. Force, p. 37.

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purpose].”404 The symbolism of 911 (e.g., “Western, corporate, global domination is killing us”) is there for those of us who are willing to look at the moral of that story. This is no piece of cake, as it is always easier to look at the moral of someone else’s story. I am not saying that the events of 911 were justified. But if we step back from ourselves, we can look at the messages behind our dramas. Sometimes, we may not like a given message. But, at least, we are in a position to consciously choose whether or not to accept it—and follow the message (action) or not. In “Rightful Heir,” Lieutenant Worf gets upset when he learns that Kahless (Kevin Conway) is a clone of the Kahless/Jesus that lived in the Klingon home world 1,500 years ago. Worf undergoes a crisis of faith. He doubts that the real Kahless will return someday. On the transporter pad of the Enterprise, Kahless, the clone, tells Worf: Kahless left us, all of us, a powerful legacy, a way of thinking and acting that makes us Klingon. If his words hold wisdom and his philosophy is honorable, what does it matter if he returns? What is important is that we follow his teachings. Perhaps, the words are more important than the man [emphases mine].405 Nonphysical Truth is Real. The physical world is a hologram. This is a very frustrating paradox, for our human selves prefer the illusion. Once we distinguish Truth (the message) from fiction (the story/characters), however, we awaken like Neo of The Matrix, without having to open our physical eyes. Then, it gets easier to move from mere intellectualization of all this to applied

404 405

Rifkin, The Age of Access, p. 68. Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Rightful Heir.”

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spirituality. Put another way, don’t get caught in the means (the story). Instead, go to the ends (the lesson). The end of Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life is a striking case of the literal vs. the figurative. Hay, an inspirational author, lists each illness, its meaning, and an affirmation. Bleeding and heart problems are shown below as an example:

Bleeding

Joy running out. Anger. But where?

I am the joy of Life expressing and receiving in perfect rhythm.406

Heart —Problems Longstanding emotional problems. Lack of joy. Hardening of the heart. Belief in strain and stress. Joy. Joy. Joy. I lovingly allow joy to flow through my mind and body and experience.407

In Hay’s left column is the metaphor (the illness). In her middle column is the message (what the illness represents). In her right column is the lesson (the affirmation). To take things literally is to stay at the level of, say, a heart attack or a heart operation. To interpret things symbolically is to get to the message of the illness. Expressed another way, to look at something literally—such as seeing
406 407

Hay, You Can Heal Your Life, p. 154. Ibid., p. 175.

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flames on the 6 o’clock news—is to see it through human eyes. To look at something symbolically is to see it through spiritual eyes. Sometimes, we may be looking at something symbolically but interpreting it literally. I, for example, saw a white Z on the rear window of somebody’s pickup truck. I thought that the Z was a symbol for the end of that person’s life. Why? Because I associated the Z with the Z that was painted on the propeller plane that ended the life of Roberto Clemente. Then, I realized that symbolisms like the letter Z need not always be taken literally—although sometimes they can. The Z on the pickup may have represented the end of a nonphysical (nonliteral) aspect of that person’s life or the end of a nonphysical (nonliteral) aspect of my life. In Columbo, Lieutenant Columbo (Peter Falk) solves his cases by being on the lookout for clues. He expects to find physical evidence and does. Most people will call “luck” what occurs in one episode. In “An Exercise in Fatality,” Milo Janus (Robert Conrad) is suspected of murdering his health club business partner (Philip Bruns). Indeed, Janus strangled Gene Stafford to death at Janus’s empty gym. Janus pulled Stafford’s brown shoes off, put white sneakers on Stafford, and placed a barbell on Stafford’s neck to make the overweight man look like he had died from a workout while exercising alone at the gym. One way that Columbo learns of the change from shoes to sneakers is by passing a mother at a hospital. On the main hallway, she “coincidentally” happens to be tying her son’s sneakers. It is by being alert that Columbo gets an idea: the possibility that the suspect tied the victim’s sneakers. Tying one’s sneakers, Columbo learns, creates a specific set of knots, while tying another person’s sneakers makes another set of knots. The mother brought the entire case together for Columbo, leading the lieutenant in the khaki trench coat toward the

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final piece of evidence that he needed to arrest Janus.408 Like Columbo, we need to look for hidden messages. If not, we will miss the clues to the larger drama. Most of us think that we are our relationships, our careers, our possessions, our past, and our health—or the absence of those things. But what we have, or don’t have, is not who we are. Rather, they are reflections of who we are. They are images in the parable. We are merely actors and actresses. Everyone you meet is, in turn, a representative and messenger of something beyond their form, personality, and behavior. Julius Caesar, for instance, can be played by a hive of actors, many times per night, and in different epochs. This shows that the character is separate from the actor—and even the character is representing something else. This something else is, among other things, an archetype. I recommend getting familiar with the many archetypes out there. The best reference that I know of is the index of Caroline Myss’s Sacred Contracts. Myss summarizes over 70 archetypes, and she gives examples of where each archetype can be found—in film, plays, fiction, and religion/myth.409 The archetypes (“architects of our lives”) range from actor to witch.410 Knowing the dictionary definition of an archetype may not be enough, however, for even the so-called experts on archetypes can miss crucial points. Regarding the archetype of eternal child, for example, Caroline Myss writes in her website: The shadow Eternal Child [emphasis mine] often manifests as an inability to grow up and embrace the responsible life of an adult. Like Peter Pan, the Eternal Boy resists ending a cycle of life in which he is free to live
408

Refer to Columbo, “An Exercise in Fatality.” This episode originally aired on NBC on September 15, 1974 (Season 4, episode 1). 409 For the comprehensive list of archetypes, see Caroline Myss, Library, “A Gallery of Archetypes.” Section at http://www.myss.com/library/contracts/three_archs.asp. Also, see Myss, Sacred Contracts. 410 Myss, Home, “Daily Message,” June 6, 2008. Section at http://www.myss.com.

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outside the boundaries of conventional adulthood.411 Neal Tanner (Jim J. Bullock) of the Alf series represents this archetype. In an episode of Alf, for instance, the twentysomething Neal is unable to perform his job as repairman of an apartment complex. The apartment manager, a sternlooking African American woman, enters Neal’s apartment. She (Fran Bennett) lectures him as follows: Mrs. Watson: I hired you because I felt sorry for you. But even so, sinks have to flow. Toilets have to flush. That’s the way the world works.412 Neal, the irresponsible adult who has to be taught the ways of the world, talks in a manner that could be interpreted as “slightly gay.” This is no surprise, as a great many men who are eternal boys identify as gay. What is never mentioned is that their archetype of eternal child is meant to facilitate their easy descent to a child’s level. Pee-Wee Herman was popular with children because he was a kid himself. And in Alf, Neal gets along terrifically with 12-year-old Brian Tanner (Benji Gregory). To write that eternal children should grow up, as Myss does, misses that a major spiritual role of eternal children is to be mentors to boys and girls throughout their human life. If Peter Pans embrace “conventional adulthood”413 because that is “spiritually mature,” then out goes their ability to relate to children on a child’s terms. There would be no Robin Williamses in the world, and children would suffer a huge loss. Living an adult life, of course, is
411

Myss, Library, “The Four Archetypes of Survival.” Section at http://www.myss.com/library/contracts/four_archs.asp. 412 Alf, “Happy Together.” This episode originally aired on NBC on November 27, 1989 (Season 4, episode 11). 413 Myss, Library, “The Four Archetypes of Survival.”

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important, for that is how men teach boys—and girls—about manhood. But to exclusively adopt the rules and responsibilities of the adult world is to internalize the idea, widely popular albeit unstated in postmodern society, that adults are superior to children. This is the dominant stance in a world where minors are second-class citizens. Right now, there are practically no men who mentor children—not even gay man-boys. Why not? Because the child-sex panic of the post-1980 era has made men reluctant to get near children. This distance is understandable. But it is a tragic loss! Incidentally, Peter Pan was created by J. M. Barrie, a Scottish novelist and dramatist who could qualify as an eternal boy himself. Yet, this “inability to grow up” is regarded as a “shadow” aspect of the eternal child archetype, even though the very eternalness of the child in the adult leads to creations like Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.414 The bottom line is that even people with spiritual eyes can misunderstand the “light” and “shadow” elements of an archetype like eternal child. Why? Because what is considered “positive” and “negative” is subjective. For example, a boy being mentored by an eternal man-boy will view the man’s playfulness as positive, while an uninvolved woman will see the man’s inability to be an adult as negative. Therefore, knowing the dictionary definition of an archetype—such as what the “light” and “shadow” of the eternal child is—may not be a panacea. It is, of course, better than taking someone’s behavior literally. But only life experience, from the insider’s view, can teach one the true meaning of an archetype, whatever the type. Archetypes aside, human life is nothing more than a series of sensory experiences (e.g., munching a mouth-watering meal) or the denial of them (e.g., sexual rejections from desired people). Human life is also our mental and emotional reactions—or creations, if we are more spiritually evolved—to the
414

Ibid.

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physical stimuli. Put differently, each human life is a state of consciousness. This dream is our Higher Selves trying to tell us something about ourselves, about others, and about Truth. The fantasy is captivating, however. Why? First, our involvement in a story makes it easy for us to take things literally, as in personally. Second, the tale—as in Rodney King getting beat on the street— affects our feelings and often shocks us speechless. Powerful stories, whether of love or conflict, are the hardest to let go of because they generate the strongest emotions in us. From a human perspective, life on earth is more tragic than not. From a cosmic (or should I say comic?) perspective, life on earth is a divine comedy. The three stooges, for example, poke each other with scissors, fall off buildings, get crushed by pianos, and hammer the heads of each other. To see—let alone, experience—this is gruelingly painful and savage. Still, it is funny to viewers who get the joke and to the actors who played the three stooges. Planet Earth is a realm where everyone gets hurt—much as everybody gets hurt in The Three Stooges. Other worlds have different “rules of the game.” Life is just easier there. Inhabitants of such realms are playing not “slapstick” but instead, romantic comedy or science fiction. Each world is a different genre of script. Some worlds are those of Beauty and the Beast (cartoons). Other worlds are those of Leave It to Beaver (black-and-white). Yet other worlds are those of Columbo (in full color). This world (the vale of tears) is that of The Three Stooges. Human babies enter this world wailing, not laughing, because this is a realm of unimaginable pain. The spirits of babies are not used to this because they come from another plane of existence, a plane of Love. Hence, babies cry a lot. Still, this vale of tears is but a means to make us grow. Similarly, the antics of The Three Stooges is but a means to make us laugh—those of us who “get” slapstick. This universe is truly diverse.

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In Journey of Souls, Michael Newton, founder of The Newton Institute, writes, “A number of my more advanced subjects have stated there is a growing movement in the spirit world to ‘change the game rules on Earth.’ ”415 Later in the paragraph, Newton continues: I am told large numbers of souls who have had more frequent incarnations in recent centuries on Earth are opting, when they get the chance, for less stressful worlds.416 These Spirits and their soul groups want to “lighten up.” That most of us see life on earth as tragic means that we have yet to get the punch line. In many episodes of Perfect Strangers, for example, Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) gets enraged at the shenanigans of Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot). From Larry’s point of view, his life is serious. From Balki’s—and from the audience’s—point of view, Larry’s life is funny. To see things from a human perspective is to see things from Larry’s perspective. To see things from a divine perspective is to see things from the audience’s perspective. God allows evil and Evil because S(He) is less a participant and more an observer. To see things symbolically is to rise from being a participant to being an observer. One goes from doing (being enmeshed in the drama) to awareness (rising above the storm). The punch line—not funny from where I stand—is that all sensory experiences are ultimately unsatisfying. Even things that one finds sensual heaven—mind-blowing sex, meals cooked by master chefs, and living in a beautiful state like New Hampshire—stop being satisfying after a certain point. Then, emptiness, sadness, and bitterness set in. The typical human being then
415 416

Newton, Journey of Souls, p. 276. Ibid.

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seeks other forms of sensory gratification, and again, the cycle runs its course. Lifetime after lifetime—actually, death time after death time—there is a progressive disillusionment with sensory experiences, until like spiritual masters, one realizes experientially that nothing of this world truly satisfies. One may experience fleeting moments of this realization. Years later or “lifetimes” later, the feeling may return, leave, and come back—until the feeling is permanent in oneself. The process is like sinking into a depression that won’t allow one to enjoy “the good life.” At this point, becoming an ascetic is easy, for one is only interested in seeking Lasting Joy in God. Getting to this nirvana can take a million years, however, according to Paramhansa Yogananda.417 This process of spiritual evolution may be the ultimate meaning (symbolism) of all sensory experiences.

Conflicting Messages

Sometimes, we may get contradictory messages. For example, Americans unceasingly remind me that I have a “Spanish accent.” When I am alone, I do not feel Hispanic. I feel like any ordinary human being. The moment I interacted with a woman from Seattle, however, she asked me, “Do you speak Spanish? I can tell from your accent.” What made this most insulting was that the lady specialized in Asperger Syndrome. Or so, she claimed. Yet, the woman couldn’t pick up my Asperger way of pronouncing. If a “specialist” in Asperger’s mistakes my Asperger accent for a “Spanish” accent, then imagine the flack that I get from Americans who’ve never even heard of Asperger Syndrome. These Americans ask me, “What country are you from?” This is one
417

See Yogananda, “The Science of Kriya Yoga,” Autobiography of a Yogi, pgs. 242-252.

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of the most hostile questions that one person can ask another, for “Where are you from?” means “You are an outsider here.” One day, I replied, “I am a New Yorker,” as I was born and partly raised in New York City. The young man who asked me about my “country” of origin said, “No way you’re a New Yorker. You don’t sound like one.” What he meant is that I don’t sound like a stereotypical New Yorker. Evidently, he hadn’t heard New Yoricans speak in a “foreign” way. On the other hand, Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington, is considered a New Yorker, even though he was born on Nevis, an island to the east of Puerto Rico, and partly raised on Saint Croix. This is the double standard that New Yoricans like me are subjected to. Obviously, Americans have not been tempted to feel like they don’t belong when interacting with other Americans—those from different regions of the United States. I have yet to see an American ask another American, “Are you a Southerner?” Or “Are you a Westerner?” Or “Are you a Yankee?” The one group of Americans that hasn’t fit into the all-American ideal—that is, Southerners—is the group that is spoken about as having an “accent.” No one, by comparison, talks about “those Yankees with a Northern accent”—although Brooklyn may be an exception. This reflects that only outsiders have “accents,” while insiders do not. Why, I ask myself, do Americans feel the need to rub in my face that I am not American? Even when I tell these Americans that I was born and raised in the U.S. mainland (except for six-and-a-half years in Puerto Rico, a U.S. Commonwealth), they don’t buy that I am American by birth. Not only that. They have to let me know. The contradictory message is what I saw on PBS the other day. The message was the title of a PBS special called, “This Land Is Your Land.” I did not believe my eyes. The first time, I saw the aqua

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letters against the orange-and-pink TV screen in Florida. The second time, I saw this title on TV in Washington state.418 Less than a year later, I saw an antiwar rally on C-SPAN. One protester waved a sign. Guess what it said. “This land is your land.”419 Talk about divine guidance. I asked myself, if this is God telling me that America is my country, then why does S(He) send me fellow Americans to remind me—actually, to hit me over the head with the message—that I am a foreigner? Because I have yet to translate what is humanly illogical to what is divinely rational, I don’t understand this contradiction. Perhaps, I will comprehend this message one day. Another example of conflicting messages is that, for some three months, I started to notice the initials “TM” by logos. From a sensory perspective, TM means “trademark.” From a trans-sensory perspective, TM meant for me, “Transcendental Meditation.” The heavens, it seemed, were guiding me to look into TM. When, at last, I drove to an introductory class of TM, I got signs along the road that something bad would happen. One such sign was a W on the car in front of mine. In the movie Cat’s Eye (1985), this is the letter that Johnny Norris (Robert Hays) gets stuck in while being forced to go around a ledge some 30 floors up. Norris nearly falls to his death that night. The W that I saw on the car stood for “Warning.” How do I know? This was the first insight that I got— before my rational brain could kick in to question it. Another sign that I got was “Fargo” written on a building. Spelled backwards, “Fargo” reads “Go Far.” One of the streets then read, “Cope Street,” suggesting an adapting to something difficult. I couldn’t believe my eyes, yet kept driving toward the class. Soon, a police car almost ran me over. It came out of nowhere! Finally, I turned around.
418

“This Land Is Your Land: The Folk Years” originally aired on PBS in 2002. The American Soundtrack episode re-aired on PBS in August 2006 and in February 2007. 419 This slogan referred to Iraq, meaning that Iraq should be left to the Iraqis, instead of being occupied by the U.S. The antiwar rally was titled, “Impeach for Peace,” and it took place on January 27-29, 2007 outside of the Pentagon. On January 27, 2007, the rally aired on C-SPAN under the title, DC Anti-War Rally.

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Why, I wondered, did God deluge me with TM signs by logos, then tell me not to attend the TM class? I concluded that the negative messages that I got that day was God telling me that this particular class was not the one for me. Perhaps, this was because negative forces had been unleashed that day— September 11 coincidentally. Therefore, I searched for another TM class. What if “divine guidance” tells us to do—rather than flee from— something negative? This is a hint that un-Godly forces like the human ego are playing with your mind. In my view, these “clues” are best rejected. Always ask yourself: Am I being guided to be and do in line with higher consciousness or lower consciousness? The answer will reveal the source of the guidance. In short, just because divine guidance is negative (e.g., leave or perish) doesn’t mean that “Satan” is behind it. You may just need to hear a warning that, though scary, could save your life. On the other hand, be wary of messages that tell you, for example, to harm someone. Messages like these are, for sure, from the human ego, not from God. The next chapter discusses the culmination of trans-sensory transformation for the individual. That end is the Omega Point.

Exercises
1) Think about humanly insignificant relationships, one-time encounters, fleeting events, or things off the radar that have had a long-term impact on your life. Can you understand the reason for the paradox—the humanly insignificant being spiritually significant? 2) List a circumstance, personal relationship, or setup—preferably one that is emotionally upsetting for you—that is humanly illogical. Can you discover

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the spiritual logic behind it? Write your insights or speak them into a tape recorder. 3) What people, places, events, or circumstances have you taken literally, as in personally? How could you interpret them symbolically, as in metaphorically or archetypally?

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16 Learning: A Trans-sensory Experience
Moving Forward

Haven’t you noticed how, oftentimes, people go back to their old ways? I, for instance, have a cousin who talks about “the need to be positive.” When someone is negative, the woman gets mad because the other person isn’t being positive. That the contradiction hasn’t hit her tells me that she has not learned this lesson 100 percent. My cousin may have internalized the idea—and may have begun to internalize the practice—of being positive. But even if she has learned this lesson 80 percent, my cousin will regress to being negative whenever someone turns negative. When a lesson is learned 100 percent, there is no turning back. One then knows that returning to one’s pre-lesson self is like trying to return to an addiction. Nothing good can come out of this. This chapter delves into the circular process of trans-sensory growth (e.g., three steps forward and two steps back) and the end of that process. That end is the Omega Point.
Don’t Dare to Go Back

When a lesson is learned 80 percent, the heavens excuse us. When one has learned a lesson through and through, however, one knows that any return to the old way has consequences more grave than when one was in the dark about the lesson. The first tale of the movie Cat’s Eye (1985) hits my head like a throw pillow. In that story, Richard “Dick” Morrison (James Woods) signs up with a clinic to quit smoking. The director of Quitters, Inc. assures Morrison that the

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clinic has 100 percent success with 100 percent of its clients. If Morrison is serious about wanting to stop his addiction to cigarettes, Dr. Vinnie Donatti (Alan King) tells him, then the clinic guarantees Morrison success. About a third into the story, Morrison hankers for a cigarette. He has a vague awareness—and later, not so vague—that Quitters, Inc. is watching him. Morrison gets that gut feeling in his car during the day, at his house at night, and even at the playground of his daughter’s school. Intellectually, Morrison knows that the penalties for puffing are too horrible to imagine. After all, the director told him that the clinic tortures clients who break the no-smoking rule—and their families. Morrison, however, hasn’t learned the lesson experientially. When Morrison takes a whiff, he experiences the consequences, along with his wife (Mary D’Arcy). Once Morrison does, he really knows about cause-effect in relation to smoking. Never again does he take a puff. Arguably, the gods are not cruel. Still, as Gary Zukav and Linda Francis write in The Mind of the Soul, “out-tentions” (goals like skating that belong to the outside world of what), “in-tentions” (why one has those goals in one’s inside world, such as to impress), and actions bring effects.420 In a sense, God is looking over us. One Christmas carol describes this process brilliantly. That carol is “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” As one of the verses goes: He sees you when you’re sleeping He knows when you’re awake He knows if you’ve been bad or good So be good for goodness sake!421

420 421

Zukav and Francis, The Mind of the Soul, pgs. 40-44. The Reverend Peter J. Gomes mentions the 17th century version of this Christmas carol. Reverend Gomes preaches at Harvard University. See Out of the Past, “Secrets.” This documentary originally aired on PBS in 1998.

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Each of us is under a cosmic microscope, and none of us can ever leave the slide. This is because, left to our own devices, who knows where we would end up? End up could well mean end down, way down. Every deed of ours—no matter how minute—gets recorded in the celestial database. For the person who wants sensory thrills but has a conscience, this can become agony. Why? Because as the narrator (Burgess Meredith) puts it in the film The Reivers (1969): … the rewards of virtue are cold and odorless and tasteless, and not to be compared to the bright and exciting pleasures of sin and wrongdoing. Cause-effect happens whether or not we are aware about the law of causation. When we know about cause-effect, however, the results are doubleintense. This is positive if our “out-tensions,” “in-tentions,” thoughts, and actions are in line with higher truth. This is negative if our “out-tensions,” “intentions,” thoughts, and actions are not.422 That is the danger of spiritual evolution. Once you commit, there is no turning back. You don’t dare to, for not only are you aware about the law of cause/effect. You are also aware about the benefits of being and doing according to higher truth. Books like Power vs. Force assert that the ends don’t justify the means.423 For better or worse, the ends do justify the means in the spirit realm. Our trials and tribulations are the means. This is the curriculum that A Course in Miracles mentions in the introduction. The ends is spiritual growth. While humans seek comfort, security, and happy circumstances, the spirit world doesn’t care about such things—unless they promote some spiritual agenda. All that matters to the Spirit/soul is spiritual growth, much as economic growth is all that matters in a
422 423

Zukav and Francis, The Mind of the Soul, pgs. 40-44. Hawkins, Power vs. Force, pgs. 155-156.

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capitalist world. Growth at any cost! While the personality (spirit) would balk at having to go through, say, torture in order to learn some lesson, the Spirit/soul is infinitely brave.424 It will volunteer for things that the personality would never volunteer for. Away from the mother ship of the soul, of course, the shuttle of the spirit often separates from the human body to protect itself from inhuman traumas.425 Part of this scares the bejesus out of me, for who knows what hellish experiences (the means) my Spirit/soul will choose in the future for its growth (the ends). All I can do is: 1) Hope that my Spirit/soul won’t have any such agendas 2) Learn to detach from everything external—just in case—by eternally choosing peace within

The Omega Point

Reaching the Omega Point is like reaching Level 20 of a video game. Level 20 is that breakthrough point that pulls one to a new level of playing. Before reaching Level 20, video game players struggle for days, weeks, months, even years, trying to reach the higher levels. Little by little, they perfect their moves at the lower levels—an inkling here, a tinge there. This is why reaching Level 20 is so delicious for video game players. Human life operates much like that. We often have coaches instructing us on how to get better at “the game of life.” But unlike video game players—or perhaps, like some of them—many of us don’t listen.
424 425

I am borrowing the term personality from Zukav and Francis, The Mind of the Soul. See Ingerman, Soul Retrieval.

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After reaching the Omega Point, we start to make decisions from a higher plane. This is like that flatlander from PBS’s Cosmos, the being from a universe that has no height. Astronomer Carl Sagan shows what it would be like for such a flatlander to be swept up by a three-dimensional apple. The flatlander has no concept of up or down. Once the red apple drops him back onto flatland (the green construction paper), the flatlander has trouble explaining to his friends where he has been.426 Imagine that flatlander making two-dimensional decisions from a three-dimensional perspective.427 It would be like seeing trees, houses, streets, highways, and ballparks from an airplane in low flight (a vertical perspective), rather than from the ground (a horizontal perspective). For a flatlander, wouldn’t that be more advantageous than making two-dimensional decisions from a two-dimensional perspective? From a vertical perspective, one sees more things. From a horizontal perspective, one sees fewer things. As Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”428 Now, let us apply the above example to our personal and global problems. The next chapter analyzes the beginning of trans-sensory transformation for our species.

426 427

Cosmos, “The Edge of Forever,” (Episode 10). According to Carl Sagan, “flatland” was conceptualized, named, and designed by Edwin Abbot, a Shakesperean scholar from Victorian England. 428 See “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins130982.html.

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Exercises

1) Have you ever learned something intellectually but not experientially? If yes, did intellectual understanding alone keep you out of trouble? If no, what problems materialized? What, if anything, did you lean experientially from them? 2) Have you ever seen “two-dimensional” problems “three-dimensionally”? If yes, was the process planned or spontaneous? Write any relevant thoughts or speak them into a tape recorder.

17 Toward the Birth of the Self

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On earth, life evolved over billions of years. First, single-celled organisms emerged in a primordial goo. Then, multicelled organisms arose. Smell was the first sense. Other bio-logical senses (logical in a biological way) followed. Sometimes, I wonder what it would have been like had our multicelled ancestors been able to talk to one another. Say that eyesight was emerging hundreds of millions of years ago. Because evolution happens at the level of the individual— not the collective—it starts from a minority population. When sight began, a minority of multicelled organisms started to see, while the majority continued to be blind. I can easily imagine those who had developed eyesight trying to explain—in vain—sight to the majority of multicelled organisms who lacked sight. This is how evolution works—both biological and spiritual evolution. An adaptive trait emerges, and the minority that develops it survives to become the majority. Postmodern society discourages trans-sensory consciousness—that is to say, spiritual and social evolution—because it caters to the least common denominator of the majority. Television, for example, hardly airs programs about polyamory, about bi characters, about love relationships between people of different generations, or about people who live in alternative communities. On the rare occasions when these themes air, they are depicted as things that won’t work. This sustains the status quo. Yet, such alternative states of being reflect what a growing segment of humanity is about. Most television viewers don’t follow their true Selves, however, because they allow what is on TV—and not on TV—to guide how they live. This process begins at an early age. Self-discovery is aided by awareness of one’s being a member of a highly specific group, or groups. Broadcasting, though, stifles group identity in viewers —and hence, self-knowledge—for broadcasting only has the majority in mind. Narrowcasting, by contrast, has minority audiences in mind. This promotes

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diversity of ideas. But with the exception of Black Entertainment Television (BET), Lifetime (“Television for [Caucasian] Women”), and food and nature cable channels, narrowcasting is more theory than fact. For instance, rather than have a same-sex story air on a queer (gay, bi, lesbian, and transgendered) soap opera on a yet nonexistent queer cable channel, TV executives place instead the samesex storyline on a regular soap opera and channel. As happened with the Luke and Noah story on the soap As the World Turns, some variation of the following then occurs: The American Family Association complains to Procter & Gamble Productions, the chief sponsor of As the World Turns, and the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) backpedals from showing more same-sex kisses between Luke and Noah.429 A queer teen sees opposite-sex couples kissing on this soap and not same-sex couples and guiltily represses a major aspect of his or her self, his or her homoromantic feelings. For all the hullabaloo over narrowcasting (e.g., Lifetime), the reality is that broadcasting (e.g., CBS) is here to stay. It is becoming common for the same radio station to play 70s hits, 80s rock, 90s funk, and country music in 10 minutes. This is a reflection of the convergence of everything on this planet. Likewise, book publishers tend to seek majority audiences, not niche markets. More often than not, original ideas are pushed aside in favor of popular ideas because numbers sell. Thus, whatever spiritual evolution transpires in our civilization will occur with minority populations, just as is the case with biological evolution. How do spiritual and social evolution—or the absence of them—apply to: 1) The serfdom of today? 2) The birth of spiritual Selfhood?
429

See Joanna Weiss and Globe Staff, “Their Soap Smooch Made History. Fans Ask: Will It Happen Again?”, Home/A&E/TV, The Boston Globe, March 1, 2008. The article is at http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2008/03/01/their_soap_smooch_made_history_fans_ask_will_it_happ en_again/?page=1.

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3) Future possibilities for human freedom? The following sections broach these topics.

From Microorganisms to Plants and Animals

Multicelled organisms developed into plants and animals. Plants and animals have no individual Spirits, however. Rather, their spirits are part of group souls. Each group soul belongs to a particular species of flora or fauna. Hominids emerged on earth about 4.5 million years ago. They progressed from australopithecine hominids to Homo habilis to Homo erectus to Homo neanderthalensis to Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens left Africa, spread through the continents, and wiped the other hominids from the face of the earth. Notice how dangerous organisms like Homo sapiens tend to come out of the tropics. Homo sapiens also incorporated elements from some, if not all, of the protohuman species that were living outside Africa. Presumably, most of these elements were adaptive ones, although probably not all. This process of expanding from a center—and taking on things along the way—is moderately similar to what happened when Europeans colonized the world. In Latin, homo means “person.” Most humans, however, lack a sense of Self. This means that most of us don’t know our Higher Selves. The pseudoknowledge that we do have—such as “I am wonderful” or “I am stupid”—is the opinions of others hand-fed to us. This is the self with a small s, the human self. That most of us have so little Selfhood (awareness of the signature of one’s spirit) may be why each of us has several twins in this world. Discovering and

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expressing one’s individuality, whether human or spiritual individuality, is not encouraged in this world. (For the specifics of the human dearth of Self, I recommend Caroline Myss’s CD Self-Esteem: Your Fundamental Power.)430 Throughout human history, people have had no spiritual Selfhood. Inner power has been wanting. For example, how many millions of people sigh in adoration at the sight of mere mortals? Hollywood celebrities and their fans are an example of such idolatry. The economic system has also forced the majority to work for money, as opposed to serving from the spirit. Concentrated power has been the norm—be it monarchy, dictatorship, or corporate control over the world’s resources. Even so-called democracies have many elements of social control. Most writers, for instance, are forced to work in areas that have nothing to do with writing. This is because in postmodern civilization, writing doesn’t pay for 90 percent of writers, and writers need to make a living like everyone else. The same applies to actors, singers, and painters. Artists, in particular, are not rewarded in the global economy—except 10 percent of them. Therefore, artists have to work at jobs that have little, if anything, to do with their inborn talents—unless they have learned to go beyond the economic system to attract their dream job. We have paid dearly for conforming to the economic system. Conformity includes things like working for money—not from spirit—because “that’s how the system works,” marrying in our 20s because postmodern society expects that, allowing money to occupy 90 percent of our thoughts, letting the 3,500 ads we see a day decide the quality of our thoughts, allowing car makers to decide what cars we buy—or actually, get indebted to—letting schools indoctrinate our children, and so on.431 It is as if like lower animals, we were following a genetic program that said, “Follow the herd.”

430 431

This 2002 lecture series is available from Sounds True, Boulder, Colorado. For the 3,500 ad statistic, see Rifkin, The Age of Access, p. 177.

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The United States is the most individualistic civilization in written history. At the same time, America is one of the most conformist of all societies. On the one hand, we are told and even manipulated to “do it yourself.” Examples are self-service gas stations, do-it-yourself books, self-serve buffet tables, self checkout registers at the grocery store, and self-publishing. On the other hand, we are pressured to see and do things in particular ways. Citizens who deviate from social, economic, political, cultural, or sexual norms are brutally punished (e.g., Matthew Shepard) by their fellow “free” citizens. As Noam Chomsky, the social critic, said, “The freer the society, the more well-honed the system of thought control and indoctrination.”432 Getting in touch with your Higher Self is like becoming familiar with a mother you never knew you had. This is a form of trans-sensory consciousness because it goes beyond the six biological senses. But once one becomes familiar with one’s spirit, one must honor it—as opposed to letting postmodern society repress it.

Becoming More Than Higher Animals

For the first time in human history, workaday people are being asked to evolve to a higher form. This will complete an evolutionary cycle that began billions of years ago with the emergence of single-celled organisms. The journey of evolution—cosmic, biological, spiritual, and social—will culminate with the dawn of Self-aware humans. This means humans who have a sense of spiritual Selfhood. “Know thyself” will come to mean “know thy Spirit.” Many Spirits
432

John Maher and Judy Groves, Introducing Chomsky, (Cambridge: Icon Books, 1999), p. 139.

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have signed up for this mission. Having a strong sense of Self does not mean that one is selfish. One is just Self-centered. Such a person realizes that everything that happens to him or her emerges from within. Trans-sensory humans have this Self-awareness (spiritual Selfhood), much like hominids developed an individual self-awareness that lower animals still lack. People in touch with their Higher Selves follow their hearts and spirits—not what the world dictates they must do to “earn a living,” be “good” citizens, be “moral,” be “normal,” and “go to heaven.” Trans-sensory humans do what is natural for them, so long as, to their knowledge, it doesn’t harm others. The next chapter is the last chapter of Part I of this book. As such, it ties some loose ends about what it means to become trans-sensory. The last chapter also outlines the global penalties should we fail to develop a “middle class” of more spiritually evolved humans.

Exercise

Are you finding a conflict between the existing self in you and an emerging Self in you? If yes, write about it or speak it into a tape recorder. How are your family, coworkers, and friends responding to your new Self? Are they, for example, supportive of it? Hostile? Both—depending on the individual? How have you responded to their reactions?

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18 End of the Sensory Game We humans are on the verge of becoming a trans-sensory species. Does this mean never acknowledging our lower emotions, never enjoying sex, and

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never indulging in sensory delights? Does becoming trans-sensory mean giving up our humanity? This concluding chapter of Part I investigates the above questions. The chapter also glints the stakes should a critical mass of us not “snap out” of sensory programming. The epilogue of this book does this more fully. This chapter finishes with a glimpse at the bigger picture of where we stand.

Becoming Partially Trans-human

Becoming trans-sensory involves the external and the internal. With our human senses, we monitor things out there. With our “hidden” senses—crying, breathing, laughing, sneezing, yawning, gagging, hiccupping, thinking, and feeling touch inside the human body—we monitor things in here. Based on what we sense inside or outside, we awaken to things. Noticing our rapid breathing, for instance, we realize that we are upset or excited. Feeling our stomachs growl, we know that we are hungry. Becoming trans-sensory is about: 1) Getting more in touch with the physical environment and 2) Becoming more conscious of our thoughts, feelings, and bodies—both physical and nonphysical bodies. The inner and the outer. We become more aware of the physical (e.g., a white dove on one’s windowsill) and of the nonphysical (e.g., that as divine communication). What else does becoming trans-sensory involve?

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Many of us think that being spiritually evolved means never sobbing, never getting angry, never looking erotically at another person, and never indulging one’s animal impulses. I believe that one can be trans-sensory and indulge one’s humanity, so long as our indulgences are not addictive and don’t intentionally harm anybody.433 If one is sad and doesn’t cry because “spiritually evolved people don’t feel grief,” then that is repressing one’s desire to cry. This is not healthy because it suppresses sadness, which turns into depression down the road. If one is aggravated and represses anger because “spiritually evolved people don’t get angry,” then that is denying issues that need to be examined. Trans-sensory people aren’t in denial. Spiritually evolved people may have fewer “buttons” than less spiritually advanced people. But the buttons need to be acknowledged when they get pressed. This aids personal and spiritual growth. Throughout human history, most people have been sensory while in denial of their sensual appetites. Nowadays, more of us are becoming transsensory and are honoring our human biology. Paradox. Centuries ago, for example, Puritans condemned anyone who ate a fruit too lusciously. That was considered “carnal.” So was enjoying sex. Today, enjoying the human body is being increasingly viewed as a highly important part of the human experience. The movie Babette’s Feast (Danish; 1987) illustrates the contrast between the sensory (carnal) and the trans-sensory (spiritual) and one woman’s attempt to bridge a village’s gap between the two. In the film, Babette Hersant (Stéphane Audran) is a French master chef. Babette flees Paris in September 1871. That date was the bloody aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). The fiftyish woman takes refuge in a Danish settlement that hugs the Jutland coast.
433

In my view, addictions don’t have to be harmful. For example, Thomas Edison conducted some 25,000 experiments before he successfully invented the electric light. Addiction to one’s line of work—or to a project—can be positive if it doesn’t intentionally harm others.

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Babette abides by the ascetic way of life of the inhabitants, for the aging sisters Martina (Birgitte Federspiel) and Philippa (Bodil Kjer) have given Babette free room and board in exchange for Babette’s help around the house. Fourteen years pass with this setup. For the 100th birthday of the deceased founder of the local religious sect, Babette asks Martina and Philippa, the founder’s daughters, permission to cook for the village “a real French dinner.” Martina replies, “My sister and I were thinking of a modest supper … followed by a cup of coffee.” Politely, Babette insists that she be allowed to prepare and pay for the dinner. Babette, after all, has won 10,000 francs in the French lottery. Not knowing what Babette plans to serve, the old maidens agree to Babette’s request, the first that Babette has ever made of them. From the wooden kitchen door of gray, Martina and Philippa watch in horror as Babette unpacks the goods that have arrived from France. These goods include an assortment of French wines and champagnes, live quails, the head of a boar, a gigantic sea turtle, caviar, hard cheese, spices, olive oil, chestnuts, walnuts, a block of ice, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Before the upcoming supper, the elderly parishioners vow not to speak—nor even to think—about food or drink. In the words of one of them, “It will be as if we never had the sense of taste.” The wintry night of the dinner, a 13-year-old boy (Erik Petersén) brings bowl after bowl, plate after plate, and wine pour after wine pour to the 11 seniors in black and to the aging general (Jarl Kulle) in blue. Sitting around a wooden table that has a white tablecloth on top, the austere churchgoers start to loosen up. Their past bickering turns into jolliness, and their jolliness becomes forgiveness for past wrongs. At the beginning of the film, the young Officer Lorens Loewenhielm (Gudmar Wivesson) tells Martina, “… I have learned here

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that life is hard and cruel … and that in this world there are things that are … impossible.” After the climactic meal, the aged General Loewenhielm tells Martina, “… this evening I have learned, my dear … that in this beautiful world of ours … all things are possible.” The message of Babette’s Feast is not that sensualism is better than ascetism, for the sensualist tenor (Jean-Philippe Lafont) who pursued Philippa romantically in their youth did not find happiness through sensual delights of themselves. Rather, the film’s message is that either extreme—ascetism or sensualism—is not the answer. In the words of Buddha, “the Middle Way” is the way. How did Buddha make this discovery? In Little Buddha (1993), Buddha too foregoes worldly pleasures to the point of starving himself. After six years of meditating and not eating, the twentysomething man learns that bodily denial is as unhealthy as sensory excess. Buddha accepts a bowl of rice from a passerby and peacefully chews the tasty meal. Our lack of humanity—fast food, heartless sex, and shallow conversations —is what makes us go to excess when we finally encounter what we have been denied. When I was in high school, for example, a gray-haired woman told me how her parents never allowed her to eat cake nor ice cream nor candy. When the lady grew up, she couldn’t get enough of those things and developed a weight problem that has yet to disappear. Becoming trans-sensory is not about becoming categorically trans-human —just partially. This means enjoying the pleasures of human sensing—pleasures like dining—and becoming trans-human when we find ourselves taking human pleasures to excess. Trans-sensory humans live in balance, and this balance includes every area of human life. As General Lorens Loewenhielm says at the

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end of Babette’s Feast, the head chef of the Cafe Anglais—unknown to him, Babette—could “… transform a dinner into a kind of love affair. A love affair that made no distinction … between bodily appetite and spiritual appetite.” Trans-sensory humans abandon neither the five senses nor the sixth sense of the human brain. Rather, they compliment their humanness with their spirituality.

Progressive Deterioration—Until We Change

Observing the world, one sees and hears its pain. Why, I have pondered, don’t humans choose peace, joy, and abundance like the parishioners at the end of Babette’s Feast? I realized that many of us are still exploring guilt, deprivation, revenge, war, sadness, and pain to see if these things hold any water for us. As hellish as pain is, many of us choose it because there is something, however minute, in pain for us. It could be the simple pleasure of being “right.” As long as we get something out of hell—as in the Middle East conflict—we will continue to choose suffering. Only when one is 100 percent sure that there is nothing good in pain does one reach the Omega Point. It is literally pulling oneself off three-dimensional concerns and living from a new dimension. As Christian ministers preach, one is in the world but not of the world. Failure to evolve beyond three-dimensional concerns will mean that the things of this world will get progressively worse. The Middle East conflict ebbs and flows, for example. First, violence escalates. Then, a peace process starts. It is as though there were an overseer who said, “Have you had enough?” after each round. The people of that region have much invested in pain—no blame intended, just an observation. Therefore, new waves of violence break out.

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Again, it is as though an overseer said, “What about now? Have you had enough? No?” And a new round of violence erupts. This process will continue there—and in the rest of the world—until people get it. Until we do, our global system will get more greedy, more corrupt, more heartless, and more meaningless. If this planet fails to give birth to a new class of spiritually evolved people, it will be as if the United States had failed to give birth to a middling class in the 19th century. Without a middle class, America today would be riddled with the problems of the Third World, for in such countries, there is only an upper class and a lower class. The same applies to this world’s lack of a largeenough class of trans-sensory—and as Part II shall show, trans-instinctual— humans. Hopefully, humanity will evolve (get the lesson) before postmodern civilization implodes. Humans will get to the Omega Point at some point in the future, although it may not be on this one of many alternate earths. The moment we reach the Omega Point, we will realize that we choose heaven or hell via eternal vigilance, the price of liberty of choice. When we reach that point is up to us. Thankfully, many of us are reaching the Omega Point. This is the point where one concludes that there are no other options outside of choosing peace and joy. Just like the Progressive Movement ended sweatshops, child labor, 19hour workdays, tenements, and lack of safety regulations in America, the Global Awakening will end all sorts of abuses that we now take for granted.

Mesmerized by the Darkness—Don’t Be

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How easy it is to let this world overpower one’s consciousness. Imagine, for instance, seeing the humongousness of New York City for the first time; hearing about acid rain, global warming, and eroding topsoils; and being forced to deal with permanently rising gas prices. How, for example, will the average American handle $5 a gallon going to $10 after the world peaks in oil production? What about the rising prices of the 500,000 consumer products that depend on oil for their manufacture? What about the rest of our global predicament? Peak oil will bring a lot of ignored issues to the forefront. Denial will no longer be possible. Darkness seems more real than light because darkness is what we are most familiar with. If we are mesmerized, however, it is because we remain stuck in what a mere three senses tell us about the world. The sense of sight shows us what the media reveals about the planet. The sense of sound allows us to hear what friends and colleagues tell us about the planet. The sense of touch tells us about milder winters and hotter summers. Trans-sensory humans think, however, in terms of “this time around,” this being one round in an infinite possibility of earths. As LieutenantCommander Data, the white android, tells the Enterprise crew in the conference lounge, “For any event, there is an infinite number of possible outcomes. Our choices determine which outcomes will follow.”434 Data continues, “But there is a theory in quantum physics that all possibilities than can happen do happen in alternate quantum realities [emphasis mine].”435 Book 3 of Conversations with God elaborates on Data’s comment. It compares this uni-verse (one verse) to a CD-ROM. The passage goes:

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Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Parallels.” This episode originally aired in syndication on November 27, 1993 (Season 7, episode 11). 435 Ibid.

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Have you ever asked yourself how the computer knows how to respond to every move the child makes with the joystick? Yes, actually, I have wondered that. It’s all on the disc. The computer knows how to respond to every move the child makes because every possible move has already been placed on the disc, along with its appropriate response.436 Speaking of the state of planet Earth, Book 3 continues: Think of the Cosmic Wheel as that CD-ROM. All the endings already exist. The universe is just waiting to see which one you choose this time. And when the game is over, whether you win, lose, or draw, the universe will say, “Want to play again?”437 Of course, the human senses program us to think of this universe as the only legitimate one. But trans-sensory perception and trans-sensory consciousness know otherwise. Creating an entire world—such as our postindustrial society—is serious business. It is a huge responsibility. The story of humanity is like children getting a newly built classroom. The classroom is spotless and smells spick-andspan. The air feels fresh. On the first day of school, kindergartners enter the classroom. Little by little, they start to throw trash on the khaki rug (the six inhabited continents) and on the white mat by the corner (Antarctica). The children soil the bright-blue walls (the skies of earth) with all sorts of candy, with
436 437

Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 3, p. 107. Ibid., p. 108.

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highlights from magic markers, and with pencil marks. The classroom becomes humid and stuffy from their perspiration. When a species like humanity lives on a planet without following God’s blueprint, things get very complicated. Maybe this earth is like a surfboard that will allow us to learn to surf in the ocean of life. Even if the surfboard gets broken (e.g., mass extinction), there will always be other surfboards (e.g., alternate earths). This does not mean, however, that one should act carelessly toward the biological environment. But the heavens ought to be wise enough not to put all of its eggs in one basket, called this blue-white planet. Trans-sensory humans know this, choose prudently, and see the Truth behind the sensory curtain of darkness. We are able to get things done only because light is present, however dim that light may be. In total darkness, we would not be able to move or do anything, for we would trip. One of our most important human senses, eyesight would be useless without the assistance of light. Let us develop a second set of eyes, a second set of ears, a second skin, a second tongue, and a second set of nostrils to see Love in lovelessness. Let only Light mesmerize you.

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Exercise

In the areas of food, sex, and music, have you been able to balance sensual delight with trans-sensory restraint? If yes, has this happened sporadically? Or is the balance a permanent part of your life? If the latter, how long did it take you to reach this equilibrium?