Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What Belief Creates

Though we could argue the possibilities of many realities for the purpose of this knol, consider this: that we recognize two different kinds of realities, that which is determined by the laws of physics, and that which is determined by our own perceptions. The first is physical reality; the second, personal reality.

Most human beings really only operate from a perspective of personal reality. The saying, "seeing is believing" is the motto of many people, but, the truth is, they have it turned around. "Believing is seeing." But until one's reality slips, it's almost impossible to understand that.

What do I mean by a slip in reality? That's when something happens that shows the flaws in the perceptions. I once firmly believed I was alone in a room, but I wasn't - my best friend was also there. She had to say my name again and again before she could break through my belief, and when she finally did, I saw her appear before me, dot by dot - and realized that I had, literally, been looking right through her! She had told me earlier she wouldn't be there - and because I had completely believed what she had said, she wasn't.

That was the day I began to understand just how much belief affects how we perceive things.

What does this mean for all of us? It means belief controls our senses, and controls how we handle information within the brain: What we are willing to let in, and what we are willing to send out. This concept is stated in a theory called Morton's Demon.

Morton's Demon is an expression inspired by a physics concept called Maxwell's Demon and applied to a psychological phenomenon called confirmation bias. All people tend to weigh judgments and thought perceptions according to their belief system, always leaning towards justifying or rejecting information according to their beliefs. The demon of Morton's idea is a "gatekeeper" that, according to the person's beliefs, either allows or bars information from entering the brain. I would give this demon more power than that: I have seen that such a demon can rewrite information, not just reject or accept it. It is a fully working editor of our reality, to the point that, in some instances, it can create a fully perceived reality that is not there at all.
How far can this concept go? How can we know? Our beliefs rule the evidence. I would say that, at the least example, that it means we all create our "angels" and our "demons"; that those of us who believe in supernatural things will see positive and negative forces or actions expressed in supernatural form, manifested as things we believe in, and those who don't believe in such things, will not see them at all. But it's not that simple: Someday, physics will prove that information carried by energy does involve some sort of consciousness we can't yet fully understand, and that the psychic senses that so many feel are only psychological belief systems are actually there to pick up physically real broadcast information, not just the things we believe in. But until then, it's a tangled web. We all have our beliefs, and we make our decisions, and perceive our personal worlds, according to them.
Belief, at its best, should be something that enhances our perceptions, not removes them. All I can advise is believe responsibly. Believe well. And try to understand that if you have a belief that does not work for you, that causes problems for you or others, you do have the choice to lay it aside. You may be stunned to find that what then appears "before your eyes" is something good that you never considered at all.

[reprint of one of my Knols]

What Skepticism Isn't

There is a huge difference between skepticism and the tirades that are launched by some who feel if they don't believe someone's ideas, it is their right to attack them personally. I have received lots of these attacks, because I teach about psychic ability. However: I am a skeptic. I don't claim psychic ability does not exist at all because I've experienced and accepted evidence that it does. Yet I don't automatically take anyone's word for it that they use psychic ability or have had a paranormal event. I look for ways to relate psychic ability to natural possibilities, and I understand that we haven't reached the point yet where solid scientific proof of these activities can be offered. I am a pure skeptic: I just leave things in a neutral place until I see evidence one way or another. That's what actual scientific skepticism does: it leaves things idling at proof zero until a quality is proven or unproven. That point of proof requires no comment, nor should any comment be made.

Most experiences in life, when you talk about subjective experiences, pretty much stay at that zero point for observers. We can't prove or disprove that a person has just gotten off a bus unless we have seen it for ourselves. We can't prove the stories we tell about our days to the people we tell them to, and we don't have to tell the stories to those who took part in the experiences - but we have our personal experiences behind the stories. That means a lot to us. If some people believe us, then our experience may entertain or help others (we hope). If we are being pressed for constant proof, unless we are video-taping and recording every step we make - what a waste of time - no matter what, our proof remains at zero for anyone who "wasn't there." That's not a rejection, it's an honest statement that one does not believe a thing because one simply does not know it.

I often get the impression that those who constantly harangue others for proof of experience are needy of proof for themselves. They have nothing, they feel, to hang their lives on - talent, achievement, intelligence, contribution - so they ridicule those who have what they do not, and pretend to be experts on recognizing the unworthiness of others. They operate under the assumption that a skeptic's purpose is to tear other people down for believing in things that can't be proved in a scientific way, instead of leaving the issue in the quiet neutral zone of zero.

They waste precious time trying to knock down others for what they experience or do, rather than going on the extraordinary journey of finding out what they can experience or really do well themselves.  
That is their loss. If you are exploring psychic abilities, keep your skepticism handy, so you can recognize the things that are true for your experience. Understand that the opinions of persistent and intrusive skeptics are built largely on zero proof. That way, when someone tries to diminish your experience simply in order to feel good about themselves, you will remember what their opinions are worth: nothing.

The Damage That Demon Chasers Do

There is a distinct difference between the paranormal and the supernatural - something I will go into time and again on this blog. The paranormal involves events that we experience but can't understand the essence of without research. The supernatural gives us explanations without necessarily arriving at the truth: explanations based on religion, legend, mythology, all things used by people who jump ahead to create causes without knowing what they really are. I appreciate the poetry and creativity of the mythology of how good and evil exist in the world. But actually believing in demons does not help anything: It makes fear grow.

Belief can create far, far more than we realize. And while humans love the use of the demonic images to blame evil on something else, the evil of mankind always comes from within. We create the demons. And we can uncreate them. It is a matter of learning to let go of fearful beliefs, and learning that we have the choice to believe responsibly.

A belief in demons is ingrained in a number of forms of Christianity, and I understand the basic belief in them. I once shared that belief. But once I realized my belief might be making things worse, I chose to put it aside. The result was I have found handling instances of negative psychic disturbances - in fact, ALL negative disturbances - much easier to handle now. I look at what is going on rather than trying to build the situation into something it isn't. This one change in perception has made a tremendous difference in my life, from handling depression to handling real danger from violence.

Many people believe in demons to understand their fears of evil. It's part of the way we have always coped with the frightening and unknown.

But some people continue to aggressively seek out, create, and thus build up, "demonic" dangers.

Of all the sub-groups in the paranormal field, the demon chasers can be the most dangerous. Some chasers begin by thinking this is the right thing to do, and discover that it isn't. For them, it is part of a path to psychic growth, something they outgrow as they learn more about paranormal reality. There are chasers who want the thrill of the game of hunting, and that's what it remains for them. But the extreme chasers often feel they have a "mission from God" to rid the world of evil, and impose themselves on people and in situations they have no business with. They often have psychological problems that make it difficult for them to deal with their own darkness, so they  feel redemption is in taking on the sins of the world. They have difficulty relating to people. They are obsessed with other people's behavior, and do little about their own habits. They are psychological wrecks trying to say everyone else is wrong. In this case - they are the demons.

They want what all demonic personalities want: They want to build up their own importance, and they want to be seen as heroes. They want attention, and go after it. They will brag about who is paying attention to them. They attack whoever doesn't like them. And then they will point out how wonderful they are because they attack people they think deserve to be treated badly. In other words, they believe they are Godly in the way of making themselves gods. Very, very mean and little gods.

They are abusive personalities. It is very possible that they are guilty of the abuses they attribute to other people. They obsess oveer the things they secretly want to do. And they are too dense to realize many people just might know that.

I have seen the photograph of a demon chaser sitting with the large cat-like image  of a carved wooden demon, gesturing as he talks about the image. What I would guess he is NOT saying is: "have you noticed how much this image looks like me? The same prominent cheekbones, the wide jaw, the sloping eyes and forehead? This is me. I am a demon. And my pleasure depends on making YOU as afraid as possible."

The idea in Harry Potter books of using a charm to make what we fear look ridiculous comes in handy even in real life. Whenvere this particular man starts his nonsense up around me, I think of this picture, and he is no longer anything but what he is - someone who has done nothing with his life that can really help anyone, not even himself.

No matter what you believe: if someone insists on frightening you, ask yourself what his or her motives are instead of just buying into the fear. Never let a demon chaser use you by making you afraid to use your own sense. The demon chaser is hungry for fear and attention. Give this creature nothing.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Scientific Proof Is Out There...

I want to thank psychic investigator Christopher Fleming for this link: Scientific Evidence For Survival. As technology advanaces, we will have more and more evidence that something is going on in the energy that otherwise we would not know - at least not for sure. A good number of people have experienced things over the years in regards to near death experiences that were written off as hallucinations by many. But, too many of us have had these experiences. I have.

This past weekend I stopped breathing while asleep, for a very long time, but I didn't have a classic near death experience (NDE) - I had a series of dreams within dreams as I fought to wake up. I know when I wake up from one dream into another that, physically, I'm in trouble. But I kept waking from one dream into another into another, and I knew if I did not pop the dream bubble, I would return to a state I have known before: the pure light consciousness of crossing over. I kept yelling at the people in my dreams that I knew I was asleep, which way to the exit? I was getting frantic. The "bubble" popped and I was fully awake suddenly, and weak. It's taken me a couple of days to recover.

What was it like when I did have NDEs? The first time, during a severe asthma attack, everything was black: I just heard a voice saying I couldn't come yet. The second time, during apnea, I went directly to the light, and only saw swirling masses in the light that let me know others were with me. Again I was told - this time silently, that it wasn't time. I had to go from waking into dream to dream to get back out again.

The last time was just a brush of an NDE, this past May. I was out at dinner with my housemate Amy. At the end of a good meal, my blood pressure spiked and I tried to have a stroke, apparently. I went directly into the light for a moment. This time I said no, not yet, and came right back. Amy drove me to the hospital.

The emergency room doctor asked if I had seen a tunnel with the light at the end of it, meaning this phenomenon as the symptom of a stroke. I told him no, I went straight into white light. He was puzzled by this - he hadn't heard of it before. I didn't tell him that I wasn't surprised I didn't see a tunnel - why would I? I already knew exactly where to land.

He wouldn't have understood. I feel if we don't yet know where we're going, we will see a NDE either according to our beliefs (see Jesus, angels, Buddha, etc) or see that we are trying to reach something we don't yet understand (the tunnel). That simple.

I'm glad to see evidence that ties into scientific method. I am eager for more.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sense: What The Sixth Sense Really Is

Everyone uses it: Our Direct Perception Of Information From Energy.

People tend to think that the sixth sense is a supernatural power with claims to being all-seeing, all-knowing - but it isn't. It's a regular sense that we all use. How do we perceive our thoughts? Our feelings? Our dreams? That perception is our sixth sense. For most of us, it is a very myopic, self-centered, inward perception. But like any other sense, it is sharper for some people than others, and for a gifted group, that sense is not just a case of nearsense, like near-sightedness, but farsense, picking up information that comes from well beyond our personal physical boundaries.

The sixth sense picks up information that comes directly to the brain, mostly from synaptic activity within the brain, but sometimes it picks up information that is carried on energy waves and pulses from outside the body. Energy carries along information in many ways that we already perceive with our other five senses. This sixth sense is capable of picking up what the other five can't, things that seem intangible, impossible to know until you have the experience of using your sixth sense, and trusting it. The sense becomes sharper with trust and practice. Once you understand that, the next steps are to believe in it, use it, and pay attention to what your sixth sense tells you. Use it simply. It's your natural warning system.

[reprint from one of my Knols.]

Friday, August 26, 2011

Following The Path Of Psychic Sense

For the past three years I've been working with the fans of Chip Coffey, following the success of his appearances on the A & E paranormal series Paranormal State and Psychic Kids. During those years, thousands of people got in touch through Chip's discussion board looking for help with their own abilities, and paranormal events. We set up a safe place there that offered practical self help, information and solutions. Unlike other paranormal and supernatural discussion boards, we curbed the tendency to focus on the supernatural and on superstitious fear factors, and focused on things that made the most sense for the most people.

It was a tough thing to do. The success of the Chip Coffey discussion board was due in large to the number of people willing and able to take part in the discussion in thoughtful, helpful ways. It has been a great support forum, and the work we did there is still available to read and participate in, at The Chip Coffey discussion board. But, like all discussion boards, it has wound down. I have started another discussion board at The Psychic Tutor's Psychic School to expand the work, but, it has not yet attracted many people. I had established a series of articles at Squidoo.com, but found myself caught up in an atmosphere of creating revenue for people other than the writers - it had become rather like an Internet sweat shop. You can still find the articles at The Psychic School on Squidoo, and more on several other websites I will link to later on, but the requirements of time and effort on writers' websites has become too much for my schedule. I needed a place where I can teach and not worry about the word count before I publish.

For years I started blogs but gave up on them too soon, thinking what good can they really do? How can they get any attention? But after trying other methods of writing, I discovered that a blog really is the best way to teach, to share, to get specific thoughts across in a simple and readable way. I have written a few small books, at a time when printed material is no longer the way to go. The requirements of constructing articles according to other people's rules gets in the way of the work I do as a multi-media artist. I am having to make the scale of everything I do small and manageable. So, here I am.

This will be a place to share not only suggestions, explanations and information about psychic ability and paranormal events, but to tell the stories of living with psychic sense. I will reprint from my other sources. I will offer new ideas that few people have ever thought about. I am a psychic theorist. I weave together ideas that come from science, psychology, and philosophy. This blog will touch on subjects from ESP to reincarnation. I'll finally be able to fulfill some long standing requests from friends and fans! And we'll be in a better position to discuss them here.

I'll also share stories about psychically gifted people I have met along the way. There will be new perspectives about some things we have always thought were one kind of ability, that really are another. There will be constant updates as I move material here from the other places I have kept them. Much to read. I hope you find it all useful and entertaining.

If you love what you find here, please take the opportunity to discover all my work. You'll find more available at my main website. Thank you, and blessings...