~20 year-old background document

Here at last is the nearly-20 year-old version of the background information to the hypothesis that is the gist of this site.  I had had the basic idea in 1987 and the more developed ideas by the early 90s but thought that just having the ideas but not being in a position to disseminate the information in a meaningful way was as bad as never having had it in the first place. Remember that the Internet was not widely available and popularized until the latter 1990s. If it had been, this creative step would probably never have taken place.

With no ready outlet for disseminating my hypothesis,  I put my wordsmithing into overdrive and concocted a fictionalized scenario of  both the need for such a medical setup and the imagined using of it.  (Warning:  it contains flashbacks and philosophizing.)  I look back on that treatment now with indulgent bemusement.  However, it may yet serve the purpose of  giving in-depth background information on various aspects of relevant mental states and events plus an overview on the field of parapsychology.

The books that I used as sources are The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Yoga; A Seer Out of Season… The Life of Edgar Cayce; Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife; The Silva Mind Control Method; Journeys Out Of The Body; Ekstasy: Out of Body Experiences; The Mystical Experience; The Science of the Paranormal: The Last Frontier (formerly titled From Newton to ESP); Life at Death, A Scientific Investigation of the Near-Death Experience; Heading Toward Omega; In Search of the Meaning of the Near-Death Experience; U.S. Patent Numbers 4,661,092; 4,378,797; 4,850,958.

A proper bibliography is at the end.

Reading this material, shaded as it is by the conceit of  a storyline for it to be in the context of, may go a ways to underscore why I feel that the whole Psi field is worthy of (and desperately needing) some overdue attention. And the ‘story treatment,’ with my obvious lack of professional authorship and attempts at period-referential humor, may serve to lighten the whole business up a bit.

The title that I gave this was sort of busy:  “The Cave Revisited, or, Afterwards We All Breathed A Little Easier.”  The second part is a bit of a pun.  The first part is a referral to what was the story’s epilogue, an interjection of elements of Plato’s Republic; specifically, the story of Socrates and the Cave. Upon review, I believe that that part of the story didn’t warrant the OCR scanning and duplication here again.  Because the original story was saved to an old floppy disc that ended up being unreadable, I had faced the prospect of getting access to an OCR-equipped scanner and giving 70+ pages the labor-intensive treatment of scanning, correcting and compiling. That task was finally done on 4-8-11. The story and introduction follows directly, with a sampling of photo-scanned pages afterwards; those having been all that were presented here in the interim.

Introduction

This story could have been a strictly scientific treatise, presented dryly, using formal structure as regards to facts, hypotheses, conclusions, supporting material and appendices.

However, owing to the various factors of intra-scientific community politics, entrenched interests, a comfortableness with the status quo in some areas, and the fact that I am an autodidactic interdisciplinary researcher without an overkill of credentials in any one area, this story is presented to the general public in the science fiction format. It is hoped that–as has happened so often in the past– life will follow art, and that the hypothesis presented will be tested–hopefully found to be valid– and, if so, the technique discussed will become developed into an area of human experience which will change ourselves dramatically from that time forward. The plot of this story could have been a bit more striking, were not for two circumstances. Firstly, the movie Flatliners has been out for quite a while. Secondly, in order to realistically convey the main character’s underlying motivations for undertaking the venture portrayed, and so as to not have to taken undue artistic license by indulging in hard-to-understand and substantiate generalizing, other related books’ selected contents are interjected into the body of the text.

My challenge has been to try to keep this account from degenerating into something resembling a high school term paper with a lame storyline. Now that I seem to have shot myself in the foot and ruined your potential interest in going any further, let me tell you why reading this story is worth your time and will hopefully entertain you to boot. The subject matter deals with a realistically hypothesized combining of three existing, off-the-shelf technologies that, used together, would most likely provide a relatively “simple” way of providing the human body with all of its oxygen needs, i.e., without using the lungs.

Aside from any medically practical uses for such a combination, such as for treating pneumonia, lung cancer, asthma, et cetera, it unfolds in the story how such a combined usage of this equipment may be the means of allowing people who are not in medical need to explore the areas of the mind and consciousness associated with life after death, paranormal experiences, psychic healing, paranormal travel, and higher consciousness-mediated information uptake. Possible substantive gains in any of these areas by any means would validate efforts in developing such a relatively easy, non-mind- ruining method to bring such progress about. What I present strikes me as just the ticket to make such progress in the parapsychological realm and all the areas it would be bound to interact with, assuming, naturally, that one achievement would synergistically build into another.

Specifics of what the main character mentally reviews in the course of the story as far as being the other books’ material is entirely factual and, where it differs from the original sources as far as any paraphrasing or condensing, is only to clarify the material and/or make for easier reading. Towards that ends of readability, the main character extemporaneously interjects his own thoughts and observations into what still could have otherwise been somewhat dry text that was not written primarily for its entertainment value. Whether or not this literary device succeeds sufficiently for storytelling purposes or not is up for grabs…. Nevertheless, the relevancy of the larger possible ends potentially achievable by the hypothesized equipment combination is the true reason for the story, and hopefully the basics of what is presented here fictionally will come to the attention of those that have the means to test for the reality conjectured.

February, 1993, South Bend, Indiana; March, 1993, Bloomington, Indiana.

Afterwards, We All Breathed A Little Easier      (slightly updated and edited from the original)

It was still irritating how the competing scientific camp’s Not Invented Here syndrome, the behind the scenes politics of the medical journals and the vested interests of the Psychological-Religious Complex had all contributed to our being forced into an apparent reenactment of scenes from Flatliners, Altered States and Brainstorm. Now hooked up to three competing, though complimentary oxygenating units, my thoughts were slowly changing from those concerned strictly with the feasibility of this venture to ones on the now-ancient motivations for our unsanctioned attempted launch into inner space. Boldly also trying to go where no man had ever gone before, at least in his right mind and on purpose. Yeah, many had wound up in that destination before, but their perceptions were necessarily flawed… colored, owing to the unnaturalness of their particular means of transport.

This attempt to make The Big Trip, a voyage to where everyone eventually ends up, was to be the first done without wearing goggles… the Altered Perceptions Goggles that all who have gone there before had unintentionally been wearing during clinical death experiences, continuing death experiences, meditation, religious schizofrenzy and plain ol’ knocks upside the head. Our hypothesis was that no matter what kind of stuff had come out of others’ altered states in the past, it couldn’t be accepted at face value because of the “unnaturalness” of whatever particular circumstance had precipitated it. Granted, some of the results in the paranormal areas were provable and maybe intrinsically interesting, but there were physical and mental costs… and colorations involved. Were Cayce and Ze Arigo happy that their most memorable, redeeming deeds were done while they were totally out of it, remembering nothing afterwards? Did the Kundalini yoga meditators relish the headaches and paralyses their achievements exacted? There definitely was substance to the whole field but the connecting thread was still needed to be found and the reality of it separated from the hype.

This experiment was our medical equivalent of trying to climb Mount Everest. Space Cadets, in the truest Heinlein sense… planning on the practical conquering of that most distracting of biological needs, the need to breath. Going in through the out door to the Out There… hopefully… by not having to fight that which keeps us in the here and now, the Mammalian Breathing Reflex. How I now wished that there weren’t this added element of excitement in the room, brought about by the clandestine, unsanctioned usage of the three competing oxygenating technologies of PAL, IVOX and Osterholm’s cerebrospinal fluid aerator.

Funny how only U.S. Patent number 4,850,958… the Intravascular Oxygenator, had seen the light of day of the medical marketplace. The Peritoneal Artificial Lung and Osterholm’s system for oxygenating artificial nutrient-laden cerebrospinal fluid were forgotten for the most part. Good ol’ patent numbers 4,661,092 and 4,378,797. Dormant but viable… residents of proverbial backroom shelves in a couple of labs, outside of the odd resurrection such as this. The units were designed to respectively provide 25, 60 and 20 percents of the body’s oxygen needs. Assists only, to help those in medical need get over the hump of temporary O2 deficits. None conceptualized to be, or to be part, of a total replacement for the lungs’ function. Some past legal infighting seemed to preclude future cooperation towards that ends. And here we were… med students… just like in that movie, using our instructors’ tools surreptitiously towards our own ends of the exploration of consciousness. If only we could have been first, before It came out. Then I wouldn’t still be wanting to strangle those confidants of ours who simplistically characterized our pursuit as copycat and dangerous.

Flatliners’ screenwriter seemed to have been on the right track inasmuch as he held forth that it was a worthwhile goal to try to achieve a higher state of consciousness using medical technology, though what was depicted was just a tad extreme, safety-wise. And then, all that was being gleaned for the effort was the self-limiting Clinical Death state. The reports on it from the near-death researchers sounded as if the experiences that people had were a true indicator of what ultimate consciousness was necessarily like. Benevolent Beings of Light. Happy reunions. Idyllic settings. Authoritative predictions of mankind’s future. Yeah, the Life After Death Experience. Why would anyone who had had one or heard about them look any further? New medico-theological dogma to soothe what had become a planet full of skeptics in the Religion, Opiates and Masses department. What need could one have to look any further? Didn’t any of those folks so taken with the good aspects of it see the discrepancy between the seeming unassailability and nirvana-likeness of the state and its being precipitated by an event so at odds with bodily well-being? Experiencers always said they would never fear death afterwards. A lot of them talked as though they would just as soon be dead instead of alive. What happened to the concept of too good to be true? We set out to try to push the envelope beyond this state of smugness.

Luckily, we had gotten our hands on this equipment before it was time for Johns Hopkins’ teaching hospital’s eventual long term purpose: comparative evaluations of their O2/CO2  transport capacities in and out of conjunction with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Too bad those iron lungs-on-steroids had gotten somewhat of a flaky rap for their connection with a certain misguided entertainer’s supposed recreational use of the therapy. As far as we were concerned, if any particular oxygenator failed to provide its estimated O2 contribution, we could fall back on doing our combined process within the chamber, taking advantage not of lung supercharging, but of the skin’s ability to ante-up five or so percent of the body’s respiration needs.

Our profs had just laughed at Matt’s suggestion that these technologies, if combined, could provide a person with a terminal lung condition a second chance at staying alive. They admitted that it was theoretically possible but that it wasn’t a priority at this juncture. Wou1dn’t be prudent getting the public’s hopes up like that. Costs through the roof… keeping smokers and old miners alive past their due dates. It had reminded me of the type of answers physicians gave back in the forties to questions about the feasibility of utilizing psychic medical aid… the likes of which was then gushing out of famous seer Edgar Cayce.

Medicine was necessarily a conservative profession. Practitioners had to follow safe tracks most of the time or be subject to professional censure, lawsuits, withdrawal of patient support and/or their own anxious consciences as to whether they were experimenting on human subjects. We conspirators weren’t about to fill the Profs in on the irony of how one of our later goals was–if successful now–to duplicate Cayce’s and others’ results. The possibility of recreating psychic healing techniques of years past spurred us on as much as the goal of answering the question, as Robin Williams as Grandpa Funk put it, “What is reality?” We would give it our best shot to try to get an answer.

The surgical preparations, local anesthesia and catheter insertions had been fairly quick and simple. I doubt if there had ever been a situation before where the patient did as much prep work as the technicians. It was a true sense of fulfillment to be in a position of undertaking practical steps toward the ends of something that man had yearned for forever since he acquired the capacity for introspection about the meaning of life.

The crew slowly filed out of the room to watch me from next door through the window, realizing that the time for the various fluids to work their osmotical magic wouldn’t be immediate and that I would want to be alone to arrive at the proper frame of mind for the task at hand. I was hoping to just slowly discover that I didn’t have to breathe… revel in that novelty for awhile… then hop aboard the Astral Amtrak for the great beyond.

My subconscious, however, had decided that if there was any possibility of a death-like experience forthcoming, then it was triggering its own version of an “end-of-life review”… unneeded and distracting or not. The gradual flowing has continued to build into a Juggernaught, now managing to completely overtake my ability to fight it off. At least what was starting to surface into my conscious awareness seemed to have something to do with the underpinnings of this venture… a sifting through the accumulated, long-buried crazy-quilt of information that had prompted this whole affair in the first place. I guess it was preferable to endless minutia on the accumulated experiences of a lifetime. This mental movie might just be the way I can stay in my right mind while I wait with expectancy for the impending funny feeling and whatever comes afterwards.

What’s that?!?!  Drum roll… MGM lion… RKO radio tower flashes… opening credits …. Cecil B. De Mille presents: The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Yoga. In Cinemascope, even! Kundalini, kumbhaka, pranayama, shit-krama …. The names sounded so exotic and mysterious at first. Except for shit-krama. More like what a kid from the Bronx might refer to a teacher as. Yeah, as I’d looked further into the field, I decided that those wizened-looking cross-legged guys were really onto something.

Yoga… the most protracted human effort to explore the limits of consciousness.” Not too shabby an aspiration, all things considered. “In view of its sheer versatility and long history of nearly three thousand years, Yoga must be counted as the world’s most foremost tradition of psychospiritual transformation.” God, all that stuff was stored in the back of my mind, verbatim and all? Put me on Jeopardy! “Yoga is one of the most remarkable accomplishments of human ingenuity and surely one one of the most fascinating products of spiritual aspiration. It is India’s mature answer to the universal question, ‘Who am I?’

“The purpose of the yogic experiment has been to explore not the behavior of matter but the very limits of consciousness. A diversified psychotechnology.” From the Silicon Valley of theSubcontinent. “The Yogin is typically celebrated as a possessor not only of wisdom but also of paranormal powers… Siddhi.” Yeah, that part had made me sit up and take notice at the time, as I recall. “The practitioner of Yoga is frequently warned not to abuse that power and sometimes even not to use it at all, lest it should distract him from the spiritual path. The exercise of power of any kind is fraught with danger, since it is apt to feed the ego and lure it away from the great ideal of liberation, which essentially consists of ego-transcendence. The genuine yogin will always treat the paranormal powers and power in general with great circumspection. Many hatha-yogins exploited the practice as a means of cultivating paranormal abilities.” But could they pick out the Jack of Clubs from the deck, blindfolded, not just the first couple-hundred times or so, but CONSISTENTLY?

“Hatha-yoga fell into disrepute among the more educated classes of Hindus and Buddhists, who favored a more meditative and intellectual approach. Modern research on Yoga has also brought home the fact that the yogins were first-class experimenters… the first Mad Scientists… with a keen understanding of the interaction between consciousness and the body.  Very many aspects of Yoga practice still await open-minded scientific exploration. It seems desirable to try to understand it so that we can benefit from the cumulative wisdom of its practitioners in our modern quest for self definition.”

Boy, it’s funny how the singular aspect of having this review is making me respond to it as if the information was being fed to me fresh! “Siddhi… accomplishment, including paranormal attainment/magical ability. The yogin’s powers are considered a byproduct of the spiritual process, especially of sanyama… enstantic ‘constraint’. These powers are encountered in the course of one’s spiritual practice, like landmarks on the road.” Travelling with Gulliver, maybe, savvying what the book touched on next ….

“Miniaturization, magnification, making oneself bulky or lean, levitation, seeing or prophesying the future, producing fire from the body… FIREMAKER! assuming any form at will, and dissolving the entire Cosmos.” Yes stuff like this does get one’s attention and curiosity up. “One should not dwell on attainment of powers… especially that Dissolving business… as they are obstacles that can ensnare one in pride, causing all sorts of Karmic entanglements.” Dissolved the Universe, huh? Bummer, dude, sounds like some bad karma coming along for you, man!

“Folklore and myths note the fall of past misusers of powers. The widespread and consistent claims for the existence of paranormal powers in Yoga deserve careful study through the empirical means available to parapsychology. Given the yogins’ extraordinary understanding and control of the mind and nervous system, we should not be surprised if at least some of the parapsychological phenomenon claimed in the spiritual literature and other traditions are based in reality.” How much is pious fiction and how much solid fact remains to be discovered. Your mission, Jim, should you decide to accept it …. As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.…. Wish me luck, Jim.

Gawrsh, Mickey, I haven’t yawned or coughed for ten minutes now. That’s got to be some kind of evidence that this process is working. And we were now eliminating the aspects of lung functioning that affects blood pressure and the associated consciousness distractions from that. We all did agree that no ongoing feedback was to be given to me by Paul, or whoever was at the monitor, telling me when natural breathing stopped and the unnatural type took over. Too distracting to the guinea pig. If I reflexively wanted to suck a breath for old times’ sake, I wouldn’t have my nose rubbed in it. An absolute efficacy test in an atmosphere of inert gas could come later. To try to not breathe on purpose is still mentally disruptive, whether via this new-fangled way or the old-fashioned Yogic way. Being connected like this wouldn’t be bad if you had a terminal head cold. Giving the boss an excuse for not coming in could be trickier. …I can’t come in today because I’m tied, er, hooked up for a while. Getting ahead of myself, there. Can’t put off the review any longer ….

Breath, Breathing. Early on, humanity appears to have discovered that by manipulating the breath, one can achieve altered states of consciousness. This knowledge is reflected in the Indo-European languages, where the words for breath often also denote spirit or psyche. Our modern civilization has all but forgotten this esoteric connection between consciousness and the breath.”

Kumbhaka… potlike. Breath retention is one of the most direct means of effecting changes in consciousness–a fact that has been exploited in many spiritual traditions around the world. The term Kumbhaka can denote both breath control… Pranayama, in general, and the key practice of breath retention in particular. In the latter sense, the term Kumbhaka refers to the fact that during the suspension of the breath, the trunk of the body is filled up with life energyPrana, which is retained as a pot… Khumba… retains liquid. But since this technique also stabilizes the mind, the Yoga-Tattva-Upanishad likens Kumbhaka to a lamp inside a pot that does not flicker because no breeze can reach it. According to the Shandilya-Upanishad, Kumbhaka is of two kinds–associated… Sahita, with inhalation and exhalation, and isolated… Kevela, without either inhalation or exhalation. Kevela is the more advanced and should occur without strain.” Right. Turn bluer than Papa Smurf and, like, it’s no problem, mon. “Whereas Sahita attracts the Kundalini into the central channel… Sushumna-Nadi, the Kevela retention is the principal means of forcing that power up along the spinal axis to the center at the crown. ‘Nothing in the three worlds is difficult for the adept to obtain; he who is empowered by means of Kevela-Kumbhaka, through the retention (Dharna) of the breath at will… …attains even to the condition of Raja-Yoga. There is no doubt about this.’”

So spoketh some Subcontinent Sage mucho moons ago. Hmmmm… the Shiva-Samhita comes to mind all of a sudden… because…?? Oh, of course…  “One must be able to retain the breath for three ghat…grit…Gnat…?” Finally, the Rain Man running this review stumbles on something …. “…G–g–g …” Well, about 72 minutes, as I inordinately recall …. “…before one can hope to obtain paranormal powers… our friend, Mr. Siddhi. When one is able to perform Kundalini for three hours, the body becomes so light that one is able to balance on one’s thumb. Prana-Jayaconquest of, COMPLETE RESTRAINT of the life force. Usually gauged by a yogin’s capacity to hold his breath for prolonged periods of time. As if 72 minutes ain’t long enough?! In order to demonstrate this extraordinary ability, some yogins have let themselves be buried for hours or even days at a time in allegedly airtight containers underground. Pranayamabreath control or extension of. Prolonging the duration of the withheld breath is thought to prolong life itself… and is recognized as one of the chief means of rejuvenating and immortalizing the body.” Maybe that’s what’s going on with Snow White’s buddies… the old saints in the glass coffins in those European cathedrals, the Incorruptables. Yep, I’d have to say she’s dead, but look how well-preserved. Can’t be a day over 300. “However, the ultimate purpose of Pranayama is to control the movement of the mind. ‘Just as a lion, an elephant or a tiger is tamed gradually, so should the life-force be controlled, or else it will kill the practitioner.’”

I’d forgotten all about that wire story years ago where the guy supposedly died as the result of messing around with Eastern mental techniques without training. “Properly executed, though, it has great curative value, texts mentioning curing hiccups, coughing, asthma, pains in the head, ears, eyes. Pranayama is said to reduce one’s phlegm, feces and urine. Huh … come again?!? The practice is associated with a variety of psychosomatic phenomena, in stages. Perspiration, trembling, jumping like a frog and great lightness. Ability to walk on the air.” Strap on your J.C. Waterwalkers and try THAT!!

“Kundalini—Shakti… serpent power. Snake-charming explained. This mysterious psychospiritual force is a conceptual and practical mainstay of Tantrism and Hatha-Yoga. It takes the concentrated impact of the prana force, regulated through breath control, to trigger the Kundalini force and make it ascend along the central conduit of the body. It manifests itself in a radical switch in consciousness, obliterating the sense of individuation and flooding the body with divine nectar… Ananda.”

“The ascent of the Kundalini from the base chakra to the head is associated with a variety of psychic phenomena, notably heat and light but also different kinds of sounds. Some of the physiological side effects can be greatly disturbing, especially when the Kundalini awakening has occurred spontaneously and without adequate preparation or purification….” Is this about the end of the Hare Krishna section, or not? All right, it is. Gettin’ a little burnt out… wouldn’t mind getting on with the actual experiment. Oh, look… a glitch in the programming. Some traditional life-review material coming down the pike. How’d that happen? I thought this was going to be strictly narrow and to the point–not comfortingly conventional. But both?

There’s me going to the beach for the first time. I can’t be but three months old. Mom and Dad are there. Bright sun, roar of a boat. Noise, beauty, sensations. No heavy value judgments. What’s the point, the hidden agenda? Maybe this process is OK after all. Enjoy it while I can. What, what…? Back to business?

And when you least expect him, who should show up, but… EDGAR CAYCE, the Sleeping Prophet! Atlantis, reincarnation, documented remote medical dowsering and plain ol’ Out-Of-Body Experiences. You sure don’t hear a lot about him anymore. Granted, he’s been dead since the 40’s, but still…. Used to be he’d pop into the magazines and supermarket tabloids even through the 80s. E. C. … A Seer Out of Season.

“Thousands of sufferers turned to him in his heyday, although Cayce was not trained in any medical way. He was not a faith healer, for he could not affect health by touch or speech. He provided careful and sophisticated diagnoses, often using technical terms and clinical data. He also recommended complex and remarkably original treatments, swiftly located available experts, medications or specialized treatment centers for those in pain to use. He was indeed psychic in dependable modes that make him the best-documented example of such capacities in Western history. This part of your review sponsored by Term Papers ‘R’ Us.

Cayce typically did his work in a self-induced, prayer-related trance, examining and prescribing for subjects who were often absent by hundreds and thousands of miles and whom he had usually never met. His paranormal abilities outside of trance states included seeing colorful body auras, reading minds and conversing with the recently dead. The guy coulda made Major Bucks in sideshows on that alone. Over and over he warned that the typed-up reports of what he said in trances, both on medical matters and extemporaneously, should never be accepted ‘on authority,’ that is, given undue weight because of their unusual means of sourcing. A most humble and loveable dog, he. He urged study and improvement of them instead, by judicious personal application. Yet, the temptation to view his trance counsel as ‘information from on high,’ …primo poop… making it appear to be tested findings rather than stimulating hypotheses, was and is overwhelming. ‘I don’t do anything you cant do.’”

The man wasn’t egotistical about his voodoo and was practically begging people like us to follow after him down his Yellow Brick Road. “Others were to find their own means for connecting with the same helpful sources he had found, in a process he saw as once-natural for humans but long ago lost. If he were correct that others could do what he did even to a small degree, that should be enough to open up entire continents of the mind and further reality for exploration. Right on, Edgah, right on. Evidently there were conditions that could make his power yield distorted data or outright mistakes… like when he conjured up a health regimen for a dead guy, but no qualified professional or scientist had ever investigated him and charged him with error, delusion or fraud.” This, according to his son’s college roommate, who wrote a famous biography of him.

“Cayce had discovered from both physicians and the content of his readings that his trance state wasn’t simply self-hypnosis; it was a deep change in his entire body. He was biologically getting near to a death coma, with most of the body functions greatly slowed or suspended. A trance reading stated that Cayce’s body was like a window shade stretched to its absolute limit. A lack of gentleness in dealing with him in such a condition… too much tension, and the damage could be irreparable. There had been a few times that he gave readings while too tired or distraught, and those present could not waken him with the usual hypnotic suggestion. Instead, his breathing had grown slower and slower, his skin color ashen and body processes evidently weaker, as they tried frantically to return him to consciousness. Talk about your occupational hazards.

To achieve the trance condition, Edgar would sit on his couch in his sunlit study, pray, lie down and step by step become unconscious. Upon initial prompting by those with him, he would speak in measured address about each person or need to which his wife directed his attention. This would go on for an hour or so while his secretary took everything down in shorthand. Afterwards he usually swiftly came back to reality, remembering nothing of what he had said. His body had stayed in the room but his consciousness had left the building. He seemed to go exactly where he was sent, often offering little asides comments on what he saw as he circled in on his patients. He could tell if it was raining, if there was a dog in the yard, what kinds of clothes the person was wearing and the local views available. Take a trip and never leave the farm. The asides were dead-on accurate, having been verified 100s and 100s of times over the years. The patients got careful reviews of their health, organ system at a time, focusing on the primary health problem, followed by a thorough treatment regimen for rebuilding the total person. They were sweeping in detail, balance, complexity and in tailoring to the individual.

In addition to specific medications, there were massages, surgery, diets, packs and compresses. Electrical applications, exercises, osteopathy. Regimens for work on attitudes and emotions. Interventions ranging from prayer to ocean travel. Advice to the lovelorn… household tips. He took pains to evaluate the effectiveness of drugs and other treatments being used, explaining why modifications or substitutions might be required. Once in a while he specified an utterly unconventional treatment. Still not talked out, he gave vocational advice, psychological analyses and purported past lives run-downs.”

That last element always flipped everybody out, as it was baffling to evaluate, no matter how plausible, since it didn’t have the pedigree of the rest of the Spooktalk. “Specific questions to be asked during the trance were typed up by the others from the mail. His wife would read them aloud, one at a time, Edgar methodically repeating them before answering. However, when the pressure was on, he would go down the list on his own, eyes still shut and the questions out of his line of sight. After being given the target address, as if he were a mailman, he would zoom in on his subject in ever-decreasing circles. Incorrect directions on locations out in the country would be corrected down to the fifth of a mile. If the subject wasn’t home, he’d find them wherever they were, somehow. Questions unasked but in the minds of people in the room with him were answered. People in danger outside were noted.

Readings said that when E.C. was under the spell, his soul was near to leaving his body. His best recollection of the general process he went through was: praying, following a small dot of light, avoiding entanglement with dead souls trying to break in on his paranormal partyline, then going for the ‘records.’ An inner signal to proceed was a flash of brilliant white or golden light. The light was followed into a ‘hall of records.’ Several planes were traversed which he interpreted as realms of experience after death.”

Travelogue part of the program …. ‘On your left you will see the Humanoid Neighborhood, the inhabitants exhibiting exaggerated expressions of earthly desires. Ahead and to the right we note individuals in forms familiar on Earth, seeming to be satisfied with their situation. Notice the homes and cities. The light is growing stronger here …. We’re just about to enter the unincorporated Realm of Springtime. Some folks have settled right in — others have the Travellin’ Jones to press on for more understanding and light elsewhere. The Okies of the Ozone, we call them. Lastly, our Magical Mysterious Tour bus will pull up to the ever-lovely and ethereal BigBrotherLand, where actual records of all earthly lives are kept ….’

“Edgar’s eyes would be open at the start of all of this, though someone would eventually get weirded-out and shut them for him. Visitors, concentrating on how to duplicate the results and being steeped in the American ethos of technical know-how, tended to focus on manageable hypotheses such as hypnosis and yogic concentration. That narrow, engineering perspective, which gave maximum attention to the mastery of a new power, missed the element of caring and compassion that seemed to be at the heart of Cayce’s gift. No Astral Automaton, he. A regularly utilized pharmacist reported case after case in which invented compounds specified in the readings had surprisingly effective results.”

Suppose Ed’s Trick could one day supplement medical care? A reading stated that there was no disease without a cure. Trance information was even used to find unusual medical products, specifying their exact locations on forgotten shelves of pharmacies or listing the ingredients of discontinued remedies. Odd equipment was located or invented as needed. Contributing to contemporary physicians’ reluctance to dive into the phenomenon was the tendency of medicine to be a technical art… drawing many whose temperaments inclined them to engineering… at home more with equipment, substances and lab findings than elusive trance states.

Mr. C could waken others at a distance by concentrating on them. He could bid people to come to him against their wills, though he stopped that practice early-on. Yes… master… I hear and obey. Some of the recently dead would occasionally visit him, uninvited. Night of the Living Dead…?!?! Certain readings mentioned a personal dimension, an ethereal double of the body, likened to an aura, which corresponded to the flesh and governed its development, healing and some transactions. Within this inclusive realm of flowing force were what the readings called seven delicate centers… Chakras by a different name… that swirled and pulsed like miniature galaxies in a line from the base of the spine to the head, arching over it. Each of the centers interacted directly with a major endocrine gland of the physiological body from the gonads and adrenals to the pituitary.

This connection gave the currents in this ‘finer body’ instant impact on long-term processes of growth and health and on chemical triggers of imagery and altered consciousness in the bloodstream. Further, it was these same centers through which the work of the spirit took place. In this system, Cayce’s counsel insisted, psychic or inspired experiences were not freakish wonders of the mind or whims of a capricious deity, but a natural consequence of the way human beings are constructed. One did not have to force and coax the psyche to produce unusual information and impacts, though careful attention and training were appropriate. …And furthermore, …BLAHBlah…blah…

Ah, the spiel on Edgar and his adventures has finally wound down. An Intermission, perhaps? Or will the review slog on? oh good… lucked out! Huh…? The dancing hot dog and bun in their suggestive review from the drive-ins? Generic upbeat music. Inviting pictures of popcorn and soft drinks. At least nobody’s stepping on my feet walking back to their seats. I think I’ll wave to the guys behind the glass, let them know I haven’t lost it. Hold it… what’s this…? …And now for the next feature on Tonight’s Bill… Guess I gotta roll with it… Roll ‘em ….

Leaping out of the pages of Reader’s Digest Magazine onto the Silver Screen, it’s ARIGO, SURGEON OF THE RUSTY KNIFE… Wait a minute, a magazine article…? Who’s QC-ing this process anyway? False alarm, it’s the book it was condensed from. Any chance of this review being condensed down a bit? Arigo–country bumpkin in Portuguese. Who in their right mind would put up with a nickname like that? Is this a voiceover coming across …. ?

“In this story, so strange, so incredible, there are undisputed facts, facts that cannot be denied, cannot be altered, even by the most obdurate skeptic. ‘It is an established fact that Ze Arigo, the peasant Brazilian surgeon—healer, could cut through the flesh and viscera with an unclean knife and there would be no pain, tying off of blood vessels or need for stitches. It is a fact that he could stop the flow of blood with a sharp verbal command. It is a FACT…” —why does this introduction sound like it’s from a B-movie from the 40’s?— “…that there would be no ensuing infection, even though no antisepsis was used.  It Is A Fact that he could write at lightning speed some of the most sophisticated prescriptions in modern pharmacology, yet he never got beyond third grade. IT IS A ….” Alright, enough already! “…FACT he could almost instantly make clear, accurate and confirmable diagnoses or blood pressure readings with scarcely a glance at the patient. Both Brazilian and American doctors have verified Arigo’s healings and took explicit color movies of his work and operations. This Bumpkin treated over 300 patients a day for nearly two decades and never charged for his services. No wonder he stayed a peasant.

Among his patients were leading executives, statesmen, attorneys, doctors and aristocrats from abroad as well as the poor. This man effected medically confirmed cures in cases of cancer and other fatal diseases that had been given up as hopeless by leading doctors and hospitals in First World countries. None of these Factsuh- oh… all carefully brought together and examined can add up to an explanation.” Maybe it was appropriate that this should have occurred in Brazil, where there is a prevalence of willingness to accept paraphysical happenings as basic realities. Nonetheless, anyone exploring a strange phenomenon has to assume that the burden of proof lies on his shoulders. The stranger it is, the greater the need for documentation, for understatement. No other so-called psychic surgeon in Brazil, the Philippines or elsewhere had been confirmed and documented as thoroughly as Arigo. He cooperated in every possible way with medical science in the hope that he could discover for himself the strange mechanism that created his inexplicable powers. What he did was vividly real. HOW he did it remains a mystery and a challenge for science.” OK, Señor Review-o, you got me all pumped up on the whole deal again, even though I basically know how it turns out ….

“Doctor Henry Puharich was a specialist in bioengineering and interested in psychic phenomenon. He was somewhat of a maverick, often defying the sacred tenets of the AMA in his willingness to tackle the unknown. He wasn’t usually faulted on his scientific proficiency, being proven in the hard-line school of pragmatic lab research and advanced biomedical instrumentation, a man secure and confident enough to step into unknown waters laying beyond the norm. Henry Belk was the founder of a research foundation seeking to unite biology, medicine, physics, chemistry, et cetera, in the study of the paranormal. The two of them took a trip to see Arigo in action… their curiosity having been aroused by press reports.

Upon arriving in the backcountry Brazilian village where Arigo lived and gaining entrance to the unassuming clinic, Dr. Puharich sensed something strange and unreal about the atmosphere, almost as if he were watching a scene from the Twilight Zone. What I could pass into at any time now. Arigo, led the waiting patients in prayer, then went into a small room by himself, coming out shortly seemingly a totally different person: in walk, look in his eyes, manner, accent… thought, word and deed.

Procedures involved asking no questions, placing patients against the wall, wiping a dirty knife on his shirt then driving it brutally into tumors, cysts, eyes and ears. The offending tissue would be removed in seconds. This… plus, or only, a prescription. There was no anesthesia, no hypnotic suggestion, no antisepsis and no bleeding beyond a trickle. His diagnosis was wordless and immediate. The surgery area was unsanitary and dirty. Kind of like some of his jokes when he was in his right mind, according to the book. Septicemia was a distinct, normal possibility under those circumstances, though wounds healed cleanly and without infection.

The methods violated every medical technique Puharich had known in his 20 years of experience since leaving Northwestern. For Belk, a psych grad of Duke, the procedures were simply inconceivable. It was like a nightmare. The two looked at each other, speechless. They felt like they had passed into a science fiction movie dimension. One question… More, or Less of a one than Mine…?? Arigo seemed to be in a trance state.

“He explained his actions by claiming to incorporate the spirit of a dead German doctor from the World War I era. The facts… FACTS… revealed one certainty: that this guy was violating every rational procedure of medicine and surgery. Somehow Puharich would have to find a way to prove to both himself and his colleagues that the whole thing was not an hallucination. After the dead Deutch doctor’s dummy at one point had the chance to perform a minor procedure on the real doctor, his initial awe and disbelief were gone. Cripe, I hope no real doctors walk in on us. We’d be medical history. Puharich could confirm at least that this was no Twilight Zone and that it was something very real and valid. Arigo treated more patients in a day than great university med centers saw in a week. Whatever he passed for, he was some kind of undefined medical genius. Arigo was apparently beyond the accepted limits of parapsychology, to say nothing of medicine.

But any physician who shows even the slightest interest in parapsychology or psychic healing is automatically subject to criticism. There was little doubt that Arigo was involved in an unidentified compartment of medicine that could have profound effects worldwide. In Sao Paulo, a group of highly trained physicians and surgeons–grads of the best U. S. med schools—would regularly meet to pragmatically consult mediums. Clinical and therapeutic results after their input were amazingly effective, beyond what modern medical techniques alone could produce. Arigo, speaking under the spell, concurred with the unorthodoxy. ‘A scientist, has to take all kinds of chances. Pasteur did with microbes.’

Kardecists, Brazilian spiritists, had established two large hospitals associated with med schools. They combined the study of traditional medicine with the practical use of mediums as an adjunct that could supply therapy that simply was not available in the channels of orthodox medicine. In this way, they found cures that could be obtained in no other way. One of the techniques employed was a form of psychic surgery considered more sophisticated than Arigo’s. Mediums also claiming to be the instruments of yet other dead doctors performed pantomime surgery on what Cayce called the finer, etheric body, exactingly flailing real instruments inches above the patient. Life usually followed art and cures were effected.

In childhood, little Arigo was bothered by a bright, round light, so brilliant as to nearly be blinding. Moderately persistent audio-hallucinations were also present, manifesting themselves as a voice speaking in a strange language. As an adult, Arigo began having nagging, disturbing dreams in which the same guttural voice kept talking to him. Du vill vatch za light und kgrow verrry zleepy, und zen zlice peoples open on my kommand! His dreams were sometimes accompanied by blinding headaches which woke him up and from which there was no relief.

One night an unusually vivid dream had a group of doctors gathered around a patient in an operating room. Directing the festivities was Disembodied Doctor Fritz, the one speaking the German. The dream repeated constantly. In a daytime hallucination, Dr. Fritz said that Arigo was to be his living vessel to carry on his work. A poltergeist with a program. Nightmares, hallucinations, ghosts… adding blackouts wouldn’t be too out of place. They joined the merry mix. Under the gun from this German Blitz, the white flag was sent up as Arigo acquiesced to the Man with the Plan and he healed his first crippled person. Verbal-command healing came next. I command the foul demons that possess your eardrums to come Oooout! He didn’t always remember these initial encounters with the afflicted, but the headaches and hallucinations had stopped.

A major surgery while sleepwalking followed. Arigo was at the last rites for an elderly lady dying of uterine cancer. He noticed a tingling sensation, beginning in his head and working its way down to his legs. Trembling commenced, his eyes clouded over and he pulled the tumor out from the woman in front of all present, oblivious to his actions and remembering nothing afterwards. A regular operating schedule followed. Arigo was never any the wiser as to what he actually was doing. All that was obvious, even to skeptics, was that the laws of physics were being suspended.

Dr. Ary Lex, a fraud exposer in the vein of the Amazing Randi, concluded that Arigo was quite the different kettle of fish. ‘The only possible adjectives I can find to define the phenomenon are spectacular and astounding.’ Other doctors watched and went away convinced that they had seen one of the strangest cases ever in medical history. Anyone who appears to suspend or break the laws of physics is faced with overwhelming and unique problems. The Dream Police…? Among them were local accusations of heresy and blasphemy. The situation was a horse race between possible enlightenment about a rare, incredible phenomenon and the entrenched forces of closed minds. In the case of Arigo, where did reality leave off and the fantastic begin?

Grilling about the specifics of his technique yielded unusual answers. Dr. Fritz told Arigo in his left ear what ailed the patients, hence, those people never needed to be asked what was wrong with them. If someone was ‘possessed by evil spirits’… …now wait, isn’t that the Kettle calling the kettle… Arigo would take them on himself and promptly vomit, thus freeing the person.

Dr. Maria Pedroso, internationally known physician and psychiatrist, concurred that there was no organic substratum in people that could pass for an emanating center of parapsychological functions. ‘There are great silent zones in the brain which could possibly fill in for such a locus. The nerve cells are not inherent but adherent to the fibrillae. These act as batteries and distributors of potential energy. Points, plugs, condensers …. There are also magnetic and electrical forces at work within the atom, forces of cohesion, electivity and pressure, working on the protoplasm of the central nervous system. These can cause mechanical changes of the structure of the nervous system, which in turn affects the physiological basis of intrinsical associations. In doing so, either conscious or unconscious psychic phenomenon would be included.’

Another doctor, Oswaldo Conrado, concluded, ‘If doctors were able to open up new hope for patients, it would be a wonderful experience. When I find that I’m confronted with a hopeless case and every possible medical avenue is closed, I see no reason not to look for other means. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t.’

Arigo was constantly compared to our boy Edgar. Each even saw omens of their deaths. Why the heck wouldn’t people in their positions be even better able to avoid such apparent eventualities, given their seeming inside tracks? Such incongruousness may be eventually be solved by an effort such as ours… if I ever get launched. Analysis of high-speed films of Arigo’s operations revealed extremely fast and precise movement of hands and fingers, even when Ariogo turned his head and looked away. Dr. Puharich once had Arigo guide his hand while ‘guest-operating’ on someone’s eye. The sensation was like that of repelling magnets; no harm could be done with the knife even upon attempted thrusting.” The bogeyman with a backup system ….

What, no more on this Psychic Slasher? …Workin’ in a coal mine…. Lawd, I am SO tired! How long can this go ON?! Wish I had just a bit more control on the length and content of this here Really Big Shew. Yeah, control. Oh, No… Mind control! How cheap a transition. This review will grasp at anything! OK, lay on me any and everything I ever knew and/or forgot about the Jose Silva Mind Control Method. Take it away, Jose! …But don’t bother raking over all of the gritty detail about how to practice at achieving the psychic states, the etheric eavesdropping, meditating, speed learning, ad infinitum. Just get on with the good stuff, huh?

“Obviously there is an energy involved in mental projection, an energy aimed by the intentions of our minds. Change these intentions from information gathering to healing and we change what the energy does. How do we link our intentions to this energy so that it accomplishes what we want? The intention alone, in its pure form, is something like the will. As I previously stated– and I blissfully avoided rehashing– the will alone is of very little use. Just as physical abnormalities in individuals can be detected in a psi state, we can also visualize these people in a healthy condition. This is psychic healing. It’s as simple as that.

For most of the healing that you will want to do, it will not be necessary to master involved techniques. You can become an effective psychic healer by using your mental screen as you do in problem solving. Mental screen… ahhh… um, that was the… uh, …. Maybe I should have hoped for a more all-encompassing treatment on this stuff. Guess I’ll have to follow along as best I can. In fact, even if you are in the early stages of meditation and visualization, you may still achieve some effective results. Many of life’s possibilities hang in a precarious balance. One little push and you can tip this balance your way. Sometimes, of course, the balance is already tipped and it takes a more accomplished psychic to tip it back. If you wait until you are as effective at Mind Control as you would like to be before you begin psychic healing, you will waste priceless opportunities to provide needed help.

I began healing work long before I had developed Mind Control… Hey, Jose… please tell me once again that you’re talking about mastering your OWN mind, as opposed to trying to control others……and in fact long before I had an organized methodology for healing. I tried one method after another, with varying results. The important thing is that I did not wait, and a significant number of healings did take place. Enough that I developed a certain renown as a healer in my area. Many thought I had special gifts or unusual powers, but I had simply read and experimented until I got the hang of it.

One of my early healings shows how different my methods used to be. During 1959, I heard about a parish priest near Laredo who had suffered for 15 years from a painful swelling of  the knees, often necessitating bed rest. I went to him saying, ‘I am no doctor, but I think I can help you, for in the past 12 years I have been working in parapsychology, obtaining results comparable to faith healing.’ After his initial, religious-based reservations were overcome, I sat with him for over an hour, discussing my undertakings. The longer I remained, the more I liked the man. Finally, he grew tired and it was time to leave. He asked, ‘All right, then, when shall we start the treatment?’ ‘Father, it has already started.’ ‘But I don’t understand.’ ‘This thing is mental, and while we were talking I have done the initial work.’

I did the rest of the work at home that night. The next morning the priest was on the phone and reported gladly that a great improvement had taken place. Three days later all discomfort was gone. A miracle? No, a purely natural phenomenon. During the hour-plus chat, we both were alert and relaxed, two conditions conducive to healing. The discussing of parapsychological precepts induced his confidence in a probable successful outcome, a big help in psychic work. Meanwhile, I began to visualize him in better health and, just as important, learned to like him more. Love is a tremendous power. I wanted that on our side, too. A last preparation for my ‘homework’ was studying him; his face, the feel of his handshake, his expressions and mannerisms, the sound of his voice–the overall feeling of being in his presence.

Several hours later, when the priest was asleep, I completed the task. What I did was totally different from what I do now. I had learned that psychic energies are transferred most effectively when survival is at stake. I held my breath while picturing the priest in perfect health. Long minutes went by until my lungs screamed for air. Still, I held onto my intended image. My brain, in a sort of psychic scream, ‘cried out’ and the energy of the ‘scream’ carried the carefully-held image to exactly where it was supposed to go, to the priest. Finally I breathed, convinced the job was done. And it was.

The method I teach and use today is much easier on the ‘Operator’ and is just as effective. Is this the party with whom I am speaking? In this method, while visualizing a target person in perfect health, there will come an instant, and a very pleasant one at that, when you know that you have done enough. While the techniques of faith and psychic healing may be different, I believe that their principles and results are the same, only rituals differing.” Yo, Jo, can you, via the Reviewmeister, go over this whole program for me again, right now? Just kidding! Let’s not, and say we did.

I could stand a trip to the concession stand. Maybe hit the can while I’m at it. Oh… forgot for a moment that the peritoneal artificial lung is based on the Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis system, which, like other dialysis methods, reduces the need to pee. Hmmm… reduces urine …. Instant Pranayama gonna get you …. …All we are say–ying… is give Peace a chance …. …All you need is love… yeah, yeah, yeah. Neat. A musical interlude. Wonder how much time has passed? Your life before your eyes in a FLASH? Is the music changing from the Fab 4 to Journey? Guess not… seems to be crossed wires about what’s next on the menu: Journeys Out of the Body.

Out Of Body Experiences… oobies, a/k/a astral projection… a/a/k/a Soul Travel. Robert Monroe, associate of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, the death studies guru, was the author of the book in question and the Far-Out Flier. Cripe, is everyone’s life review as alliteratively hokey as this? Well, ya figure you got nowhere else to go and nothing to do but wait it out and try to amuse yourself during this unavoidable chunk of time …. There… I’m cleared. Leave me alone.

…And now yet another body of information begins to weasel its way from my memories into my awareness …. Robert Monroe, recognized Astral Athlete. Tested stats like 8-13 cps variance in Alpha rhythms, sleep spindle readings of 14-17 cps at 30-100 microvolts, 3-8 cycles per second in the Theta wave department at 150-200 mv. Quite a bit for the parapsychological Color Commentators to rant on about between plays. No nerd off the field, Bob was the owner of two cable TV and electronics companies and the founder of Mind Research institute, plus the only pajama-clad flyer who would admit to thinking about the fun and mischief one could have out of the flesh.

“The OOB Experiencer seems to perceive some portion of the environment which could not possibly be known from where his body is at. He knows at the time that he isn’t dreaming or fantasizing. He seems to possess normal consciousness during the occurrence of the event, though possible thoughts of ‘this can’t be happening’ are superseded by the awareness of all regular critical faculties. Lastly, he will not decide after waking that what happened was a dream after all.

OOBEs are a universal human experience, not in the sense that they happen to large numbers of people, but that they have happened all through recorded history. When one happens, it’s generally a once in a lifetime experience, seemingly by ‘accident.’ Illnesses sometimes bring them about, especially near—fatal ones. Great emotional stress is a trigger too. It often simply happens during sleep without our having any idea of what may have caused it. The rare instance is where it’s brought about deliberately. The oobie is usually one of the most profound happenings of a person’s life, radically altering his beliefs, especially those about life after death.

Monroe has had thousands of such experiences, took systematic notes on them and has a healthy respect, bordering on fear, for them. Part of me…” …me who…? Bob? …Nope, must have been the guy who wrote the Intro to this tome …. “…is very excited in the phenomenon scientifically, part is excited at the prospect of personally experiencing it. Another knows that it’s something like dying, or at least opening up the mind to an unknown realm. That’s the part that’s not anxious to get on with it. If OOBEs are real, if the things Mr. Monroe describes cannot be dismissed as an interesting kind of fantasy or dream, our world is going to change radically. And uncomfortably. One thing psychologists are reasonably sure of about human nature is that it resists change. We like the world the way we think it is, even if we think it’s unpleasant. At least we can anticipate what may happen. Change and uncertainty have possibilities of unsettling things maybe happening, especially when that change doesn’t take into account our desires, wills and egos.” Mr. Monroe, won’t you step up to the mike now?

“The whole business started during a time that data-retention tape recordings were lulling me to sleep at night; a wholly relevant fact or not: unknown. After one particularly intensive daytime listening session, which was followed by lunch, severe cramps set in that lasted for 10 hours. The severity of them finally brought about sleep from exhaustion. Didn’t you know that those Amway sales tapes could do that to a person?

Three weeks later during a nap, he seemed to sense an apparent ‘beam of light’ shining on him, coinciding with a seeming shaking or vibrating of his body. This happened, sans the ‘light,’ nine more times in six weeks. Experimentally giving in to it, he pinpointed that the sensation surged into his head and then swept over his whole body. Narrowing the phenomenon from ‘shaking’ to more of a vibration, he pinpointed it at 30 cps, unvarying in frequency. After the fourth or fifth occurrence, the vibrations seemed to transmute into an illusory ring of sparks two feet in diameter, with the axis of his body being in the center. This development was sustainable only when his eyes were kept shut. The ring started at his head and went to his feet every five seconds, feeling like a band cutting through the section of his body it passed over. When it was proximate to his head, a great roaring would surge with it, the vibrations being felt in his brain. Is THAT what the Beach Boys were singing about? This went on for months.

Eventually Monroe got brave and fantasized during the phenomenon, triggering a brief out of body experience. Over time, he proceeded to have more of them, not knowing what to make of them. This spurred him to read the germane literature of the field, where he ran across… once again, our man Edgar. His conclusions about Cayce were that, even decades after his demise, no more was known about how his ability worked and what it was than on the day he died. Cayce’s readings were helpful, but exceedingly difficult to bring into focus as they relate to existence in the astral state. His feats confirmed the reality of Monroe’s experiences but did not explain it. Much of Cayce’s material was clouded by the haze of Strong Religious Conditioning. …Well, nobody’s perfect…

R.M. had not one, but three general places he could fly off… to perform his barrel rolls… Locales 1, 2 and 3. Creatively named …. NOT! Seems like most of the book was about the second zone. Oh yeah, the first one, ThisHereLand, was just around the ground and nothing dramatic usually happened there, outside of being able to be a Peeping Tom ghost. The last one was a Lewis Carroll-type of place entered by diving toward your body through a passage shaped like its outline… following that White Rabbit.

Location Two, OutThereLand, where most of the astral action was, “…is… the ‘natural’ place for us to go when either dreaming or dead. It is what we would call infinity, eternity. It seems to be a non-material environment with laws of motion and matter only remotely related to the physical world. An immensity whose bounds are vast and unknown, having depth and dimension incomprehensible to the finite, conscious mind. In it are aspects we attribute to heaven and hell, which are but part of what’s behind this Curtain Number Two. It is inhabited, if that is the word, by entities with varying degrees of intelligence with whom communication is possible. Time, by the standards of the physical world, is non-existent.”

“There is a sequence of events, a past and a future, but no cyclical separation. Both continue to exist conterminously with the ‘now.’ Physical laws are radically altered/unknown/yet-to-be-described. It’s a state of being where thought is the wellspring of existence, the vital creative force that produces energy, assembles matter into form and provides channels of perception and communication. When there, as you think, so you are. No true mechanical devices seem to exist, thought is movement and communication. No need for a food-type source for energy is evident. Like attracts like.

Seemingly solid places and objects exist; an oobie usually has you winding up there. Our traditional concept of place suffers badly when applied to location 2. It seems to interpenetrate the regular world, yet spans limitless reaches beyond comprehension. The most acceptable theory about explaining it is the wave vibration concept, which presumes the existence of an infinity of worlds all operating at different frequencies, one of which is the physical world. The comic books and Star Trek were RIGHT! In this second plane, reality is composed of deepest desires and the most frantic fears. Thought is action, no hiding layers of conditioning or inhibition shield the inner you from others, honesty being the best policy, as there can be nothing less.

Under the basic standards so described, existence is indeed different. It is this difference that creates the greatest problems of adjustment even when attempting to visit there in an OOBE. The raw emotion so carefully repressed in our physical civilization is unleashed in full force. To say that it is overwhelming at first is a massive understatement. In conscious physical life, this condition would be considered psychotic. Initial visits there brought out all the repressed emotional patterns I even considered I had–plus many I didn’t know existed. They so dominated actions that I returned completely abashed and embarrassed at their enormity and the inability to control them. Fear was the dominant theme. Fear of the unknown, of strange beings, of death, of ‘god,’ of rule-breaking, of discovery, and of pain, to name a few. Such fears were stronger than the subliminal drive for a type of ‘sexual union,’ which was the other major obstacle to navigating and achieving there. One by one, painfully and laboriously, the exploding, uncontrollable emotional patterns had to be harnessed. Until this was accomplished, no rational thought was possible. Without rigorous consistency, they began to return.

It was much like a slow learning from Unsanity to calm objective reasoning. This implies that the areas of L2 nearest, in vibratory frequency, to earth are peopled for the most part by insane or near-insane, emotionally-driven beings. For the most part that seemed to be true. These beings include those alive but asleep or drugged and those who probably are dead but still emotionally whacked. Sixth Sense anyone?? This near area, quite understandably, is not a pleasant place to be. It is an introductory level where you ‘belong’ until you learn better, the first place in Location 2 that you are close to upon having an oobie, all of them actually starting in Locale I.

One meets all sorts of disjointed personalities and animate beings there. No apparent protective mechanism exists to help newcomers. It could be navigated only through cautious and sometimes terrifying experimentation. The principal motivation of non-tormentors is ‘sexual release.’ Just the kind of place I’d like to get my car stuck in. Other areas include park-like places of meeting, where the dead eventually might meet old friends. One place was a valley populated by people in robes, another location having men in uniform operating high tech equipment and assigned to unknown tasks. An accosting by two ‘regularly-dressed’ men involved an attempt to drag me towards three bright spots of light. Mormons Missionaries Gone Wild? A well-organized city’s inhabitants in yet another section will chase out intruders, perceiving them as a threat. There didn’t seem to be any discernable pattern as to why strange situations happened.

While there, a strong hurricane-like wind would interrupt travel, apparently a ‘natural’ phenomenon. On many trips, a gray-black ‘hungry ocean’ layer of nibbling, tormenting beings had to be passed through before getting onto the main drag. The slightest motion attracted them as fish to bait. Moving quickly or fighting them made the pestering worse. Whatever specific location of L2 one was in, a distant signal like heraldic trumpets would infrequently sound. Everyone then involuntarily stopped what they were doing, for ‘he’ was coming through ‘his kingdom.’ All would lie on their backs, arching abdomens upwards with heads turned away so as not to see, to allow him, or them, to travel over the living road, of sorts, of said stomachs. And I thought the story of Lady Godiva was bizarre. Someone was occasionally chosen to be taken along, never to be heard from again. A roaring musical sound and feeling of radiant, irresistible living force of ultimate power accompanied the parade. Afterwards, everything returns to normal as if nothing special had happened. The event seemed impersonal, like waiting for a train to go by, unconsciously respecting its power.

One area, or condition, was decidedly just pleasant. It was a nirvana-like ‘heaven’ of pure peace with exquisite emotion, similar to floating in warm, soft clouds. Warmth within and throughout. Rays of light playing about, shapes and colors changing. Beautiful music. A disco for dead people. It seemed somehow familiar, like home. There was companionship with others, love being expressed. Three visits were made there, each leaving of it involuntary, that fact being regretted. Adding to the overall enigma of Locale Two was the intermittent presence of ‘helpers,’ maybe-angels that didn’t always respond to prayer or requests for help. Assisting only at their choosing, not conventionally friendly, though understanding, knowledgeable and purposeful with no bad intentions. They were usually unseen, just perceived as hands and arms. These beings didn’t seem to be there when most needed. What could top this place? …LOCALE THREE!

The first attempted trip to the last area able to be visited while out of  the body was preceded by someone calling me by name from within. Another early attempt yielded the sensation of my hand getting speared by a hook, feeling like hot electrically-charged water. Subsequent successful visits showed the place to be of ‘physical matter’ almost identical to our world. A comparable ecosystem, cities, houses, artifacts and the trappings of a reasonably civilized society.

There were families, people with jobs… Jobs! and businesses. Scientific development was inconsistent, no electricity or internal combustion extant. Steam power fueled by nuclear sources was the norm. It’s Clean… It’s Safe… It’s Too Cheap to Meter…. Hugely wide cars drove on overly-wide roads, riding on solid tires and being steered by tillers. Sounded like a mutant cross between a Hummer and a Detroit Electric. Stages of physical evolution were the same, habits and customs differing. The inhabitants seemed unaware of my presence, though one man was consistently an inadvertent host for being possessed by yours truly. Them kettles again. That individual had an involved life and relationships, and the possessing caused embarrassing situations for him during the forays, as he, while I, didn’t know how to act appropriately or what to say. Now I know how they got the idea for the show Quantum Leap.

Other types of related experiences also occurred after the oobies started. A type of precognition happened that was occasionally symbolic, sometimes turning out to be true, intermittently containing apocalyptic details of events that were to supposedly come.” He WAS into near—death experiences, but I’m ahead of myself, if I’m right about where this review is headed.

“Once, there was an experience of being visited by an outside intelligence via a ‘probing beam of light.’ It/they offered no reassurances during the excursion; instead, just looking hurriedly and impersonally for something specific. Maybe this Martian had lost his spacemap showing the Boogie Capital of the USA. A second visit conveyed the need for my loyalty and implied that I had a job as an attendant at a pumping station of sorts, transporting super-energy fluid off-planet to other entities. Just like pumping Ethyl at the local Band City station. A third visit had It/them trying to find out how breathing was controlled, implying it wanted to be able to breath on Earth without relying on a belt-pouch apparatus. Its mentality and intelligence seemed superior, but cold and superficial, no compassion being present. Was this ‘God?’”

Monroe was disinclined to include a last bit of info on this Psychic Spaceman in his own book, but he did relate it to the author of Ekstasy (nothing to do with modern designer drugs). “Our purpose on earth seems to be to produce emotional energy, which is food for the gods. We are like Guernseys, God’s cows. If a cow tried to talk to a farmer, it would arouse his curiosity. People who do this, who are no longer just cows, are the messiahs, sages, saviors of history. Surprisingly, there are some people able to do this now. This knowledge came unexpectedly from some very well-known research psychologists with reputations for integrity, and who must guard their anonymity.”

Monroe wasn’t bashful about sharing his thoughts on the whole genre in the last part of his treatise. “The drawbacks to serious and expanded knowledge about OOBEs and the locales involved used to be ignorance and superstition. Now, it’s suspicion of organized religion and the derision of recognized science. If we achieve full knowledge eventually, we’ll know, rather than believe, whether death is a passing or a finality. With such information and expanded experience, religious conflict would be impossible. Man would systematically proceed with preparation for life in L2 on a sound basis, liberated from the misinterpretation of distorted visions subjectively experienced centuries ago by uninformed and relatively-uneducated Fanatics. In doing so, man may have to face facts both unpalatable and uncomfortablemmmMooooooo!

Traditional concepts of good, bad, right and wrong would all be seriously affected. Recognition of a possible relationship between physical health and the etheric body would greatly influence the hitherto purely mechanical method of medical diagnosis and treatment. It is challenging to think of scientific precision in these fields.

Psychology and psychiatry would soon be unrecognizable under the impact of ‘Second State’ data. This area of human knowledge would be even more greatly affected than religion. Definitions of neurosis, psychosis, unconscious, superego and id may have to be revised or discarded. Early indications are that the actual causes of mental illness may be uncovered, rather than diagnosed on the basis of insufficient theory. It may well be that many of those labeled ‘schizophrenic’ suffer from some sort of psychic disease. A physically conscious and awake human who is simultaneously receiving impressions of Locale 2 through some imperfection or cause yet unknown might well be unable to absorb this input of double reality. The voices they hear may indeed be real. Hallucinations of persecution might be real interferences from boundary-layer subhumans, the result of a barrier weakening between worlds.

The workings of the mind itself, the autonomous aspect, the actual brain function, relationships between superconscious, soul and spirit may become common knowledge. Advanced states such as those in mysticism might become daily achievements. All of these possibilities are mild by comparison to the reordering that would take place in the daily lives of all. Sleeping so much might change, possibly into something more controlled. A possible ‘third force’ underlying oobies and psychic occurrences may be discovered and mastered.

Does Locale Two really exist? Eeeny—meeny, chili beany, the spirits are about to speak. All experiments indicate yes. It’s not difficult to recognize it as the subject of dreams and non-ordinary states throughout history. Nor is it difficult to understand the varying patterns ascribed to it in the countless attempts to translate this great unknown into recognizable terms. From the present evidence, it can truly be both heaven and hell, just as Earth’s environs and human conditions can be.

The most important factor seems to be that most of it is neither. It is not known from personal experiments whether everyone who dies automatically goes there or not. Nothing indicates that once there, it’s permanent. The potential twist on immortality could be a surviving of immediate death, but not forever. Perhaps the stronger one’s personality, the longer you stick around, survival being both reality and illusion. The scope of L 2 seems limitless. Under the conditions encountered so far, there seems to be no means to calculate the breadth and depth. Movement is too instantaneous to allow estimates or observe spatial relationships. There just doesn’t seem to be a conjunctive relationship between places there and ones in the physical universe. Earth may just be our port of entry. You’re on a roll, Rob! Go, cat, go.

Human consciousness at the present stage, at least as we have developed it, doesn’t seem capable of comprehending the reality of the out-of-body state. By training in obscure or yet-to-be-formulated techniques, we may become deepened or expanded enough to recognize and accept more of the places. Conversely, the sub-, un- and superconsciousnesses are probably quite aware of it. How much this awareness affects our conscious thoughts has been contemplated by philosophers. Many suggest that it dominates our waking actions, and experiments been to have borne this out. We’re masters of ourselves, but not at the conscious level. Our unremembered actions in L2 may surface, unrecognized, in our lives.

There are literally hundreds of pages of personal experimental notes on these places, the specifics of most not translating into here-now concepts. We share with animals a common prime command: Survive. This dynamic creates the fear barrier, inhibiting anyone’s potential OOBE. They are, after all, very like death. Undertaking one seems to be failing to keep living. To survive, we eat, accumulate possessions, reproduce. Any danger to the ego, which enables this instinct, calls forth the automatic mechanisms of defense or denial. Physical flight or fighting occurs. We set out to avoid death by any and all means. The contradiction is that the principal idealistic notions and virtues, the great acts of men, all have denial or rejection of the distilled essence of survival as their basis. Altruism and heroic self-endangerment are held as doing the Right Thing. Such actions technically contradict survival as their basis. Compounding these facts… facts!… it’s impossible to take spirit flight without subjugating this inborn instinct. For as seemingly ‘unnatural’ and difficult as it may be to master practically this additional universe, should we ignore and suppress evidence of it, or, in light of all its potential, try to widen the doorway to it?”

Gotta take a breather …. Whoa… I didn’t have to! Hadn’t noticed lately. Great! This really IS working. Thank God, or the Martians, we don’t have to haul all this stuff into the HBO chamber. Ya know, this has kinda seemed like watching HBO. No commercials or interruptions. My nearly-undivided attention on just this review. I be HIP-no-tized! Now that my O2 level has stabilized without breathing, I suppose I can concentrate even more on the intended ends of this overgrown science fair project. ‘Not Having To Breathe For Fun And Profit.’ Gee! Extended voluntary thoughts!

Must be another break. What if this turns into a George Carlin type of review? The review going over the early material first, finally geting caught up to where the process started, then starting all over again, looping endlessly. Oh no…. is it actually these unguided thoughts tripping it all off? Or is there a man behind a curtain mixing-up these scarcely-appropriate segues from one section to another? Whatever… can’t seem to control it… let ‘er rip …. into The Mystical Experience …. Shall I bring over the soapbox from the last speaker? …Get comfortable ….

“Seen broadly, mysticism is a name for our infinite mental appetites. Narrowly, it is the assurance that these can be satisfied. Narrower yet, it is some particular attitude towards a perceived ‘reality’ and a view as to how someone can come into perfect contact with it. Mysticism is also, on the negative side, a name for the paranoid darkness into which unbalanced people stumble so confidently. The usual criteria for a mystical state is the certainty that one is undergoing the direct, previously-veiled touch of reality itself, and that this reality more nearly resembles our internal experience than our external environment.” ‘Let it be entered into the record that the witness rejects any metaphysical claims encountered in any type of mysticism.’ ‘Motion granted. As the witness is Chairman of the Philosophy Department at Tel Aviv University, he will be welcome to continue on with whatever he wants.’

“Some mystical techniques involve concentration, maintenance of body postures, specific breathing processes and cleansing rituals. The objective of classical Patanjali type yoga is immobility in all respects, which is supposed to separate pure, immobile intellect–the true person–from the body to which it is so painfully attached. For the yogin, the incredible ideal seems to be to stop breathing altogether. As this supposedly occurs, he acquires (he thinks) supernormal powers and perception.” A review within a review!

Next…… PSYCHOTIC MYSTICISM ….

Mysticism is normal to a degree everywhere, but it also merges into psychosis. There have been many psychotic mystics and mystical psychotics, assuming that there’s a difference. It is not difficult to enumerate the qualities of mysticism that, at their extreme, are psychotic. The sense of drastic separation from everything, even one’s body and self, is definable as psychotic. The loss of oneself in fusion with other people and things is characteristic of psychosis, and so are the fear and guilt that acquire a hallucinatory presence. We ought not to hesitate to classify such influential mystics such as Swedenborg… a documented Remote Viewer… and Bohme among the paranoids, though they may have, like many other psychotics, said penetrating things and had powerful fantasies. Relevant traits are the psychotic experience of time, mode of speech, hallucinations, certainty, bliss, sense of unreality, depersonalization and loss of identity.

…. Quintessences of the Mystical State ….

Psychosis is involuntary and inescapable, while the mystic state tends to be voluntary. Given suitable training, it can be entered and left almost at will. The mystic does not suffer from his internal ecstasy, infinity or truth, but creates it. His sanity is his control, for he is, when sane, sure at the very least that he can bring himself back. A mystical state for him can be classified as a release only because it is not his prison.” Thank you, Mr. Scharfstein. ‘Your Honor, a request to proceed directly to the next item on the agenda.’ ‘Approved without comment.’ And without further ado, ‘The Science of the Paranormal — The Last Frontier.’ I wonder if Alaska took offense at that title?

“It is no wonder that the scientific community has largely turned its back on the paranormal and refused to give it the hallmark of legitimacy. No wonder that many people in our time, disenchanted with the wonders of a scientific establishment that produces pollution and high tech war, have developed an excited and largely uncritical interest in the paranormal, believing everything and wallowing in it as an antidote to the insane antics of what they see around them. For the first time, we can accept the paranormal part of the human condition and scientifically study, understand and develop it as a part of our natural potential. We can now learn to use it to further our growth, our development and aims. A part of us, previously denied, or else treated only mythically and magically, can now be brought closer to fruition.

Since this part of us relates us to others and to nature in general, there is a strong possibility that in these areas–those of our greatest problems– the whole picture may change. The field of psychic research, which started out as a great adventure, is now in a sad and depressed state. Indeed it is doubtful whether it can be rescued from this situation by those now working in it. Most of them are apparently hopelessly mired in a bog of outmoded science and philosophy. It must be clearly understood that progress and new discoveries are not necessarily functions of precise lab techniques and the scientific method. Indeed, in many new situations, these may impede progress. New ideas are messy and boorish in relation to well-established theories and techniques. They do not fit in and are likely to be discarded as irrelevant and meaningless.

If a new idea or fact comes into our spotless and well-organized science workroom, we are likely to respond by shutting the doors rather than by examining our difficult visitor. Philosophic ideas of mechanism and determinism –the heart and basis of modern psychology– have as little to do with human experience as do the random number generators and card guessing experiments of the modern parapsychological lab. Both are divorced from the human experience and have become remarried to 19th century physical science. The word parapsychological, in fact, is not descriptive of events or faculties, but rather of  the boundaries that give the Western cultural construct its shape. Science is a process of building mental models representing our experiences. If the models are useful, and enable us to predict future experiences, then they become the theories of science. If not, they are scrapped. Whether the models seem sensible or nonsensical, that is, whether we understand them or not, is irrelevant. The models often change radically. Human experience is pre-eminent. The question is: do people have this kind of experience? Can we build a model, a mental construct representing it? The so-called laws of nature are thus temporarily useful mental constructs.

The see-touch realm is a quantitative realm, so the belief grew up that since part of the universe was quantitative, all of it was. So deep was the belief that we forgot that Quantifying was a human activity imposed on reality. We thought it was part of reality itself, i.e., ‘God is a mathematician.’ Psychological phenomena defy all laws of the sensory realm. Nothing is quantifiable, no mechanical models can be made, there are not laws of conservation of energy, no things similar to spatial separation, no actual objects.

The great error of parapsychology has been to try to solve its problems as if they were physical problems from the sensory realm. We must overcome the entrenched notion that says that there is no real difference between the Realm of Sensory Experience and the Realm of Consciousness and that we can explain occurrences in one of them with the explanatory system of the other.

Where is consciousness and what is the nature of it? I gots the feeling the guy is gonna tell us. It’s not as if there were a room where the mind there first had to move on or make room for incoming minds. Each new mind brings its own edition of the universe of space along with it, its own room to inhabit. These spaces never crowd each other. The amount of possible consciousness seems to be governed by no law akin to conservation of energy. When one man wakes up or is born, another does not have to fall asleep or die in order to keep the consciousness level at a constant. This awareness of the nature of the beast has been largely ignored in psychology and parapsychology.

Many leading specialists in brain function have come to the conclusion that the brain must be regarded as an ‘organ of liaison’ with the mind and not as consciousness itself nor an organ that generates it. One says categorically that the brain and consciousness are two entirely different things, and that all the modern evidence from brain research supports this view. Hard work has been done on the problem of trying to explain parapsychological phenomena. In spite of our attempts, we have not the ghost of an idea of how to find a solution. It is part of the faith of science that if serious people work for a long time on a question and cannot find an answer, then they are asking the wrong question. Some ask if parapsychological occurrences are impossible. Long-past faulty lines of reasoning and incorrect conclusions are easy to spot with the passage of years and vindication of facts. They are harder to see when the modern scientist, not looking at the facts of this area, simply dismisses such information as necessarily false and unnecessary to him. For him, they contradict known facts.

It appears to be a matter of ‘common sense’ to many scientists today that ESP is impossible because it would violate laws such as conservation of energy and momentum, the second law of thermodynamics, the principle of causality and the exclusion principle of quantum mechanics. However, they are unrelated to the existence or not of extra-sensory perceptions. Strangely, it does not seem possible to find scientific laws that are actually violated. There are contradictions between the field and our culturally-conditioned view of reality. It may behoove us to look more carefully at reports of these strange and uncomfortable phenomena which comes to us from degreed scientists and which fulfill the basic rules of scientific research.

There are implications that there is no such thing as a generally correct or normal state of consciousness, only various states that can be compared in the way that they succeed in aiding us, permitting ns, to solve our problems or arrive at our goals. If we are prevented from dreaming, we suffer negative changes. We apparently achieve some goal through dreaming unavailable while in other sleep or waking states. The mystic trains himself to attain still other states, and he believes these are also essential to full human development, to the solution of certain of our needs.

We can ask such questions as: which state is most useful to solve certain needs and goals, and, which is statistically most prevalent in various cultural situations? This comprehension is the most staggering and least understood insight of modern science. We no longer search for what reality is, but rather for ways of usefully construing it, ways to define it that will help us achieve. We now see that there is no ‘right’ metaphysical system, only a number of states useful or useless for specific purposes. The objective world exists. It is not an illusion. Whew! Worried there for a moment. It is real not in being ultimate, but in being a form, an expression of the ultimate. To regard the world as ultimately real is a delusion.

Parapsychologists have demonstrated the occurrence of impossible events. We can now do one of two things. We can change our definition of what is possible and impossible or we can continue to prove the existence of these events. Perhaps if we go on proving them for long enough, someone else will point out that they inexorably indicate that our usual theory of reality must be limited in its validity. We will be led to exploring the state of awareness needed to permit psi–parapsychological–events to occur, and we might finally arrive at a coherent and acceptable field of science.

There has been a demanding, unsuccessfully, that non-believers in ESP shift their approach as to make the impossible facts possible, and therefore believable. We can only do this by exploring and changing our definition of reality, for it is this that decides possible and impossible. There’s supposedly a sign over the doorway of the mythical Cathedral of Science stating, ‘Dangerous and unstable structure. Undergoing major renovation. May be torn down at any moment for complete rebuilding.’

As we look at the field of psi occurrences, it’s impossible not to be struck by the paradox implied. Real data has been obtained. Information that was gotten outside of the route of human senses. No one objectively investigating can deny this. It implies there is much we don’t know about our relationship to the cosmos. Information yet to be gotten via ESP may well be what we need to save this planet. Yet, there is little interest in the area. The number of researchers is small. The few workers in the field with a wide view and a sense of its excitement and potential find themselves struggling uphill in a small scientific community that has largely lost these qualities.

A rather gloomy note for the guy to end on! He seems to have felt strongly enough about this field to have taken it on himself to be the voice of doom to shake his fellow scientists to their senses. And elements of it contributed to us taking actions in the area, viz., this adventure. Was that me getting philosophical there? Hallelujah, I seem to finally settled into Contemplative Mode… a sure sign that the review’s done. The Ol’ Subconscious is finally worn out from its knee-jerk reaction to Impending Doom. I AM dying to get on with things ….

OOOPS… Wrong word, wrong association. I should have known… should have remembered. Just steel myself for the inevitable. The Clinical-Death Experience books review part of the review. There’ve been plenty of books out on the field for some time now. Isn’t the subject matter ingrained enough in the public’s mind, of which mine is part of, to be able to avoid yet another rehashing…? Damn, no see-gar …. But, what… it IS the last thing on the agenda? Good enough. I’ll settle for that as a consolation prize at this point. Music again …. Sounds kind of Lawrence Welkish to me. Hey, a music video, too! Why does this seem so 50’s-like? Aren’t those are the June Taylor Dancers! Who’s the Fat Guy? And a-WAAAAAAY WE GO!

Going to go over Kenneth Ring’s first book. Maybe I can get Cliff Notes on the rest. It was neat getting to meet him at that conference in Vancouver. As I recall, Ring’s aim in conducting interviews with those who had experienced clinical, operating-table and affiliated forms of death, was to find out what happened to them when they were out. Most said it was fascinating, for the stirring emotional, intellectual and spiritual content. Most of them had a single pattern to their experience.

Ring said Raymond Moody said… Simon Said… “Typical elements of the Near Death Experience are: ineffability, hearing yourself pronounced dead, feelings of peace and quiet, uncomfortable transient ringing or buzzing noises, going through a tunnel, having an OOBE within the room you’re in, meeting other spirits and then a being of light, a life review… yeah, been there– doing that… reaching a figurative point of no return from the experience, and the return to the body.

Most accounts of these experiences contain the adjective ‘beautiful.’ Sounds like Dorothy on her recovery bed talking about Oz. Upon debriefing about the event, typical questions and answers go like: ‘Was it a dream?’ No, too real, no doubt of the reality of it. Too vivid. ‘How were your cognitive processes?’ Thinking very clear, in spite of the underlying circumstance. Total relaxation, calmness, rationality. Logical decisions made unemotionally while alert. Heightened mental clarity, detachment. Seeing and hearing clearly… now you’re DEAD, remember …. The sense of body, time and space disappearing, or at least no longer being meaningful mental constructs.

Historically, many Psi concepts such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis and the like have been unacceptable to the scientific and medical communities at large because they could not be accommodated within the prevailing science paradigm that governs the practice of so-called normal science. Actually, such concepts aren’t as mind-boggling as those in modern quantum physics. Some physicists and Nobel laureates have played a leading role in parapsychology, and parallels between the two fields often have been noted. A revised perspective in science is just starting to emerge, a paradigm shift. The concept of consciousness seems now to be emerging as central to work in, as applicable in the neurosciences, medicine, physics and psychology. Without such concepts, the NDE simply can’t be understood.

The entire range of core experiences during a NDE actually represent an extended OOBE, and all phenomena cohere impressively as soon as one begins to build on this assumption. It’s no exaggeration to claim that in the Psi literature the evidence for the reality of OOBEs is very abundant. Although the interpretations of these experiences vary, the many similarities in the reports of those claiming to have flown without feathers leaves little doubt that such episodes represent a distinctive category of human experience. Examining the voluminous literature would suffice to convince all but the most diehard materialists of their reality. If we make the jump to given acceptance, we need to inquire into their attributes and effects. C. Green’s work is particularly relevant. Her research evidence unequivocally demonstrates that what her informants report is precisely what NDEr’s relate in connection with the first two stages of the core NDE.

At the point in the NDE where the consciousness has split off from the body and continues to function independently is where events more puzzling than the OOBE take place. The experiencer becomes aware of traveling through a dark tunnel, or void, toward a brilliant light. He may or may not encounter a presence or hear a voice, and a non-judgmental life review occurs, preceding a decision to ‘stay dead’ or resume the fight for life. This all seems to be associated with a shift in levels of consciousness from worldly functioning to sensitivity towards… Locale Two?? I guess.… The elements of the core experience are not unique to the ND state but are potentially available to anyone who learns to operate his consciousness independently of his body. It just so happens that coming close to death is a reliable trigger for this.

These aspects of the core experience can be interpreted as analogous to the underpinnings of how holograms function. The waves of light are recorded on photographic plates as interference patterns. Upon development and proper illumination by lasers, images are reformed. One aspect is that any part of the plate’s pattern contains information about the whole image. It has been proposed that the brain functions holographically by mathematically analyzing wave patterns for sight and, inextricably intertwined, thought. Our brains use math to construct concrete reality by interpreting frequencies, the patterns generating these actually transcending time and space. Mystical experiences bespeak of the possibility of tapping into that order of reality, the holographic substrate type, that is behind the world of appearances. Virtually every religion and mystical tradition has a World of Light existing for visit to, at least by when you die. What about the objects one encounters in such a world? The plane may be created by interacting thought structures, forms combining to make patterns. The mind may function in practice like a laser, for its ability to bring the patterns out.”

What’s this? Ring’s petered out already? Ah-ha, merely switching gears to Follow-Up Book Mode.

The NDE is essentially a spiritual experience that serves as a catalyst for spiritual awakening and development. It takes a particular form. As a byproduct, experiencers tend to manifest a variety of psychic abilities afterwards that are an inherent part of their transformation. Holy Shit-krama. Forgot about that similarity. One experiencer later started spouting out words from physics, like ‘quantum.’ He had intuitions that he should study in the field, even though he wasn’t college-educated. Amazing coincidences of synchronicity started piling up and a long pattern of ESP experiences continues to unfold in his life. Life values changes are typically induced by NDEs. Appreciation of life, concern for others and a quest for meaning goes up while materialism and a concern for impressing people goes down.

The NDE functions as a crude form of shock therapy to make one more aware. They apparently represent a brief but powerful thrust into a higher state of consciousness. Unlike meditative disciplines, it is an involuntary and sudden propulsion, usually without warning or preparation, into a realm of profound spiritual illumination. It resembles a full-blown mystical experience. The effects of the event also resemble those experiences. A journey into higher consciousness has effects that are independent of how it is attained. There is no evidence that experiencers show a general disposition to embrace occult concepts. After their experiences, the NDEers statistically show a greater number of Psi experiences, such as ESP in waking and sleep states, psychokinesis, the seeing of auras and apparitions, and OOBEs. One odd aspect of certain peoples’ deep NDEs had been, at least to 1984, a vision seen in the presence of a being of light relating to planetary destruction, i.e., intimations of ‘the end of the world.’ Those experiencers all reported that the relevant year for such a thing to have happened by was 1988. Gee, since this doesn’t seem to have occurred, unless I’m really dense and just can’t tell it, doesn’t that shoot a huge hole in the Infallibility-Of-Spirits theory??!!

These visions always occurred among those who were clinically dead for a relatively long time, and, by association, more deeply in touch with the essences of the entities one meets while in this condition. There is a sense of having ‘total knowledge,’ but specifically the entirety of earth’s evolution and history from the beginning of time to the end. The future scenario part, however, at least from the mid—80’s on, is usually of short duration, seldom extending much beyond the beginning of the 21st century. The 1980’s were to have had increased earthquakes, volcanic activity and massive geophysical change. The result was to have been disturbances in weather and food supplies. The world economic system was to have collapsed, the possibility of nuclear war or accident was to have been great. All of the events were to have been transitional, followed by a new era in human history marked by brotherhood, peace and love. Though many were to have died, the earth was to have survived.” And just the way it actually played out, right? Right!!

“Modern theories of precognition are usually grounded in 20th century physics. One model holds that when someone reports a later-verified perception, he has foreseen an actual future event. This in turn implies that the future in some sense must already exist and that knowledge of specifics is possible. This is consistent with general relativity. The model based on quantum mechanics, rooted in probability, doesn’t imply that the future is fixed, but says that there is a range of possible futures that can be tapped into.”

One NDEr, in an unusual event, saw three lines of trajectories that would lead towards futures, arbitrarily labeled A, B and C. A would have developed, replacing present history, if certain events had not taken place around the time of Pythagoras, 3,000 years ago. No math theorems! It was a future of peace and harmony, marked by the absence of religious wars and need for a Christ figure. Future B was the previously-described planetary doom scenario. C was an even more destructive version of B. NDEers who had the standard vision of doom may have tapped into only one of a large set of alternate futures… as if we really need ANY of them… never suspecting other possibilities, mistaking what they saw as being set in stone.

Wasn’t one of the Star Trek-Next Generation episodes like that? A particular future timeline being wrongly realized because of ‘incorrect’ choices having been made in the past? One lady made some uncommon observations about a, or The, ‘Being of Light.’ She noticed that its feet showed evidences of wounds and that its face had a duality about it, reflecting both peace and radiance and prior beatings. This being took pains to correctly identify previously-unknown Jewish heritage in the woman. The anecdote, of course, predictably makes one wonder if the being of light is actually you know who… still partly-fixed on past traumas thousands of years old.

I wonder how common the knowledge is among researchers like Ring about how ‘saints’ are ‘manufactured’ in the Taoist tradition? Someone has a violent, unexpected death. To placate that person’s spirit, people start making offerings to it, asking its opinions on weighty matters, having feast days for it, distracting it from dwelling on how it died and all. Eventually, this local unknown gets built up into the position of Bonafide Saint, worthy of veneration. Enough of this fringe stuff, back to something a little less convoluted.

Hmmmm, didn’t Ring write about old Kundalini, making the point that it and the NDE were one and the same animal? …Yeah, this one guy gave a play-by-play account of what having one was like for him ….

“‘An incredible power rushed through my spine to the top of the head. My whole body was burning and a severe headache prevented me from doing anything all day. I felt as if my head would explode with energy.’ During another session, the practitioner related, ‘As the kundalini rose from my heart to the top of my head, it became shining white. It left my body through the top of my head and I rose into a much higher dimension. When I came to, fifteen or so minutes later, my mother said that she had seen a golden light shining at the top of my head and at my heart. Since then I’ve been able to do some psychic healings.’ On a subsequent occasion, ‘My respiration became so easy and slow that I felt as if I could live without breathing.’”

Step right up, Sir, have we got a deal for you. Show the man the latest model of the Omnibus Oxygenation System, over there towards the back of the showroom. Yes-sir-ee Bob, if you’re having one of those spells where you think you could swear off breathing, and the possibility exists that you just might actually FORGET to, this unit can be your backup system so you can have a reentry vehicle back to reality. Most people who blow it and stop breathing for good, you know… tend to really, REALLY regret it afterwards…. Why take chances? And easy credit, too.

“ ‘My body felt as though it had disappeared. I was completely immersed in a dark purple light while a bright white light shone from between my eyebrows. I heard a voice call me as if it were echoing in a valley. Dorothy… Dorothy! Where are you? Your Uncle Henry and I are worried about you. Dorothy, come back to us ….. I was filled with ecstasy, heavenly calm. –Dead Calm– It was a state of widened and deepened consciousness. While in this state, the past, present and future are knowable.’ During yet another express breath-retaining session, he ‘…saw a golden light begin to enter and leave my body through the top of my head. I saw what looked like the head of a deity in colors, light in the crown. After some time, I felt it imperative that I return to the physical world. Descent followed the same path and I returned to my body through the gate at the top of my head. I consciously had to permeate my whole body with spiritual energy because it was rigid and my extremities were paralyzed. Finally, I was able to move my hands and feet a little as normal sensation gradually returned.’” Hope we don’t read about THAT guy in the paper some day.

A different kundalini experiencer and writer gave a portraitlike descriptive overview of the process. “‘Though the experience is literally inexpressible, one can convey a distant picture by describing it as the highest perfection of grace, beauty, grandeur, harmony, peace, love, rapture, wonder and happiness, all combined in such an intense degree that the mind may swoon at the stupendous impact of the ecstasy. The effect of a kundalini-mediated experience is to bring about a permanent transforming action on the whole of life. It leads to a radical change in the pattern of lives formerly devoted to selfish pursuits, resulting in unparalleled acts of altruism, charity and benevolence, heroism and self-sacrifice. It has conferred unmatched creative powers on the more advanced recipients and fashioned them into vessels of enlightenment.’

It may also prove to be the case that the concept of the Kundalini itself represents only a limited aspect or understanding of a more general energetic phenomenon that may yet provide a more complete and satisfying explanation for near-death experiences, but only further research can settle the point. However this turns out, it’s still important to remember that any interpretation of the NDE, assuming that one can be offered by science, must reflect the fact that they aren’t unique in the world of transcendental experience.” …and furthermore…well…………??

The subsidence of the flowing of this mother of all reviews has lasted for at least five minutes now. Will I luck out? Is that the end? Is my mental house finally in order? So far, so good …. Maybe I can get away with simply thinking about the here and now for a while before any moving on to bigger and better things. I haven’t had to breathe for a good long while now. It doesn’t seem novel at all anymore. I suppose you don’t want to go tripping out into the troposphere preoccupied with odd sensations. Any chance of my pulling off a normal, practical review without triggering any more deja vu voodoo? I’ll more easily recall the plumber’s nightmare I’m hooked into and don’t scare myself right off on my return to planet earth.

Think, concentrate, analyze. It’s Tuesday at 5:30. It’s nice outside. I’m in excellent health, no complaints at all. The cerebrospinal oxygenated nutrient solution circulator is supplying all of my brain’s oxygen needs, and, superfluously, all its nutritional needs. If ever there was a time to have a stroke, it’d be now. I still can’t believe how Thomas Jefferson University has just sat on this technology for so long. Gee, those 50’s horror movies’ visions of a disembodied brain staying alive in a fish tank might not be so impossible after all. IN with the good oxygenated nutrient solution to the subarachnoid space. OUT with the carbon dioxide and cellular metabolic waste. IN …. OUT …. The peritoneal artificial lung is functioning flawlessly. Dutifully keeping those two liters of oxygenated perfluorochemicals–cousins to artificial blood–coming into my abdomen, allowing the outsides of my intestines to soak up the O2 and throw off the bad CO, and yet, a certain carbon dioxide level is needed by the brain for proper functioning …. Go figure.

Too bad the practical limit for my PAL’s respiration contribution is 60% instead of 100%. And then IVOX, the only piece of equipment we didn’t have to really dig for. Oxygenating the blood intravascularly. Insert catheter up femoral vein, extend unit into inferior vena cava until knocking against backside of superior VC. Unfurl the spiraled thousand tiny microporous siloxane hollow fiber lumens, all duly coated for thromboresistance. Put oxygen in and pull CO2 out. Get a good night’s rest and call me in the morning. The combined effect of all three doohickeys takes a real load off your chest, so to speak. Much easier on the body than that old standby, the ECMO unit. And it works. So I guess I’m finally ready.

What will I see? I’ll find out. Who will I meet and when? I’ll meet them soon enough. OK, ok, got a little carried away there. Enough of the thinking about it, already… let’s DO it. Put the rubber to the road and hop aboard the Reality Express for an enjoyable couple of hours.

(Well, what do you think, Juerg?)

Bibliography

The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Yoga, Georg (sic) Feuerstein,

Paragon House, New York, 1990

A Seer Out of Season… The Life of Edgar Cayce, Harmon Hartzell

Bro (sic), NAL Books, New American Library, division of Penguin

Books, New York, 1989

Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife, John G. Fuller, Thomas Y.

Crowell Co., New York, 1974

The Silva Mind Control Method, Jose Silva, Pocket Books division

of Simon and Schuster, New York, 1977

Journeys Out Of The Body, Robert A. Monroe, Doubleday and Co.,

Garden City, New York, 1971

Ekstasy: Out of Body Experiences, David Black, Bobbs-Merrill

Co., Indianapolis, 1975

The Mystical Experience, Ben-Ami Scharfstein, Bobbs-Merrill,

Indianapolis/New York, 1973

The Science of the Paranormal, The Last Frontier (formerly

titled: From Newton to ESP), Lawrence LeShan, Aquarian Press,

Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England, 1987

Life at Death, A Scientific Investigation of the Near—Death

Experience, Kenneth Ring, Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, New York,

1980

Heading Toward Omega, In Search of the Meaning of the Near—Death

Experience, Kenneth Ring, William Morrow & Co., New York, 1984

U.S. Patent Office, Washington, DC, Patent Numbers 4,661,092;

4,378,797; 4,850,958

(text of letter reproduced below)

MP Research Institute

ACORN RESEARCH LABORATORY

3410 Owen

AUSTIN, TEXAS 78705

512 459-6611

Jack W. Moncrief, M.D.

Nephrology

Austin Diagnostic Clinic

Robert P. Popvich, Ph.D, P.E.

Bio-Medical Engineering

University of Texas at Austin

Everett E. Simmons, D.V.M.

Veterinarian

April 22, 1987

Dear (redacted)

Thank you for your letter and your very sound ideas. You will be interested to know that we have been working on this same idea for the past seven years. Dr. Moncrief and I will be issued a patent on this new process within the next two months. We too saw the multi-functional uses of the peritoneal membrane and decided to look at the oxygen transport capacity of the peritoneum.

We would be happy to disclose further details regarding the solution selected and technical information once our patent is finally issued. There are also other research groups working on similar oxygenation methods. I think that an alternative to lung oxygenation is exciting and will be clinically tested in the very near future.

I sincerely thank you for your interest and creativity. If  I can provide you with further information, please let me know.

Drs. Popovich and Moncrief


Below in image form is the letter received back from scientists in the field in response to my inquiry as to whether or not they had considered an additional use for their new peritoneal infusion setup.

The letter that let me know I wasn’t all wet

Intro 1/2

(the psychic healing referenced above is best exemplified by the story of Jose Arigo)

Intro 2/2

P. 1

P. 2

note:  see this link for more information on Jose Arigo

P. 3

P. 4

For the convenience of those who aren’t familiar with the referenced movie “Flatliners,” here is a link to the trailer for it on You-Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCm_NMU6Phw

7 Responses to “~20 year-old background document”

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