What you see isn’t always what you think

What do you see in the picture shown here?

is it an angel or alien
is it an angel or alien

When I showed the picture to different friends, I got several different answers: angels, aliens, light reflecting on clouds. And whose to say that any of those answers was right or wrong?

If you asked three different people to describe something they all saw or experienced, you’d most likely get three different answers. Crazy, right?

Well, maybe it’s not as crazy as you think. After all, much of what we think we experience is based on what our minds tell us is real. And our brain’s output is based on imperfect, and often, incomplete data.

I’ve been watching a TV show lately called Brain Games. It’s all about how our brains perceive and interpret information. What I’ve discovered from viewing this show is that while we think of our brains as infallible, they aren’t…not really.

Our brains function just like those computers the CSI guys use when they enter partial fingerprints into it, and then try to get a match. Our brains take in all sorts of information through sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell; however, many of us rarely fully focus on the input that our body is sending us, so we don’t always get perfect data. We may only see part of what is happening around us because we’re focused on our cell phone, or on the taste of that meatball sub we’re having for lunch, or on the lyrics to our favorite song playing on our iPods. So, just like that partial finger print that the CSI computer is trying to match, our brains are trying to make sense of partial input.

Adding to the brain’s difficulty is the fact that the majority of us come with preset filters. We call these filters:  beliefs, prejudices, past experiences, fears, preconceived notions and convictions, and expectations.

Having these filters is not necessarily bad; in fact, without them we wouldn’t be who we are. However, they do skew and limit the output our brain can present to us based on the input we gave it.

So, if your filtering system (personality and thought processes) allow angels, then it’s easy to see how your brain may put together all the input you gave it and give you that answer. However, if your filtering system doesn’t go there, then you might be more inclined to receive the answer of light glare on clouds.

Neither answer is wrong, each person simply experiences a reality based on his or her information input and his or her filtered output.

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By Any Other Name…

I got into a discussion the other day with someone who objected to the use of the words ‘guide’ and ‘guardian’ (as in guardian angels). When I asked why, they said that there were no guides or guardians only essence doing what essence does.

Several others in the group disagreed and the discussion flowed back and forth with some agreeing and others disagreeing. As for me, I can see his point, but I also think that he’s not seeing the fuller picture.

Are guides or guardians essence? Of course, we all are. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that the essence that comes to us as a guide is our own essence (our higher self). Other fragments of ourselves (fragments no longer incarnate) can be acting as guides, as can entity mates, or even cadre or cadence companions. All would be in essence (especially if discarnate and astral), but they would also be guides or guardians.

A programmer is a person (or at least most of the ones I know are;-), but we don’t identify them as ‘person’, we identify them as ‘programmer’. In other words, we’re identifying them with the role they fulfill. To me it’s the same with guides and guardians. They may be essence, but if they perform the ‘job’ or task of guide, then that’s what I call them.

A guide, while some part of essence (yours or someone else’s), is still performing a specific function—they’re guiding you, whether it is through a particular challenging passage of your life or through your transition between physical lives. After all, if some piece of essence is helping you, providing dreams or other feedback in an effort to “guide” you along your path, aren’t they acting as a guide?

Sure the piece of essence might be part of your essence, but then we usually refer to that as your “higher self”; or it might be a different fragment of you (a fragment no longer incarnate on Earth). However, it could just as easily be part of your non-reunited entity (an entity mate). They are all essence, just as you yourself are; but each piece of essence doesn’t function as a guide.

While certainly no expert—I’m not sure anyone who is incarnate—I have spent a considerable amount of time in the astral planes (and not just on the transitional planes where most people go when they astral travel). Therefore, I feel somewhat protective and defensive of the term “guide”. I’ve “seen” (or maybe experienced is a better word) some of the different “jobs” that those beings of essence perform while in their astral phase of life. 

Sure, some of the “lessons” or experiences of the astral are more internal—reviewing the lives and choices they had and made while incarnate, or reuniting with all the other fragments of themselves and working through any residual links or minor imbalances with those still in the physical (which is usually done in the astral while the incarnate person is sleeping). But part of the experiences of the astral include acting as a guide for those either still physical or those transitioning between life and death (physicality and non-physicality). There are also those who offer advice, and others who simply monitor things—people, plants, animals, etc. So, it isn’t all just playing harps and floating around on clouds. Nor can it be wrong to call some of those non-corporeal beings guides—after all, it is what they do.

It isn’t just those who are discarnate, either, who function as guides in essence. I have also taken on that task during some of my nightly sojourns, as have others I’ve spoken with in the here and now.

I know one young woman who works on the transitional planes assuring those who have recently died (physically) that they are alright and that what they are experiencing is physical death. I’ve known others who work with those heading back to a physical life, helping them sort out all the various choices available to them as they plan the tasks and imbalances they want to complete or rectify.

As for myself, I’m what I call an EOCG—Emergency On-Call Guide. I take those “calls” from folks who are incarnate and seeking support and guidance, as well as those who have, perhaps, traveled to the astral (whether during sleep or an unplanned OBE) and are now “lost”. (This in addition to my “duties” in helping people cross over.)

Most of those I take calls from are entity mates, but I have also responded to cadre and cadence companions. Why do I do this? Because I chose to. I’ve chosen to do this through the past 7 lives. It’s to help them as well as myself. I look at it as a type of “on-the-job-training”. After all, it gives me a chance to learn more about how everything and everyone fits together in the overall scheme of things, and it helps me decide what type(s) of “jobs” or “tasks” I will continue with once I transition off the physical plane for good.

So, even though some people may not like the term guide, or angels, or guardians, I find that the term is quite appropriate in describing what some parts of essence are doing.

Cornflakes or Raisen Bran?

Did you ever take one of those little wind-up toys, turn the crank and set it down? Then you stand and watch it as it marches itself to the nearest wall or corner and continues to push itself against that barrier, unable to change course, and unable to stop?

It marches nowhere with a determined gait, until it’s energy is all spent, and someone comes and picks it up, turns the key, and sets it off to march again.

The thing is, some people are like that little wind-up toy, too. We’ve all seen them, the person who marches themselves into the wall, day after day, unable to stop themselves, and unable to change their course. You try to warn them; you try to point out different paths (like going around, over, or under the wall), but it’s as if they’re wearing blinders and ear muffs. They can’t see anything except what’s straight ahead of them, and they can’t hear anyone’s advice.

It breaks my heart to watch these people make the same choices day after day, over and over. It especially bothers me when they act surprised by the results. So many times I want to ask them, “What were you thinking?” How could they possibly expect something different would occur, when they keep making the same choices in the same situation.

It reminds me of a scene from the movie Straight Talk, when Dolly Parton is telling the other person how he keeps going into the grocery store to buy raisin bran, but every time he heads to the cereal shelves and grabs the box of cornflakes. Then when he opens the box, he’s always surprised because it’s not raisin bran.

In other words, if you’re always ending up with a significant other who is a lazy, no-account, or verbally or physically abusive, then you need to rethink your choices. To go into a relationship expecting the other person to change is naïve (at best) and unrealistic (at worst). A person is what a person is, and rarely will they change their intrinsic behavior without some major impetus (some life-altering event) occurring. So, to meet someone and say to yourself, “They’re close enough…” and then be surprised when they don’t meet your expectations is foolish.

You can’t keep buying cornflakes and then expect raisin bran when you open up the box, just as you can’t keep marching into the wall like that wind-up toy and expect to get anywhere.

The problem is, most people who keep repeating these behaviors don’t see themselves doing it. They can’t see that they’re constantly picking the same cereal or marching into the same wall. It’s almost as if they’re shopping or walking in their sleep. That’s why they’re always so surprised when they finally open the cereal or recognize that they’ve banging against the wall for weeks, months, or years.

For most of these people, it takes years to finally awaken enough to see the repetitiveness of their behavior. However, by the time they awaken that much, the behavior is such a part of them, that they don’t know how to change it. But recognizing the behavior is the first step to changing it. If they don’t know they’re doing it, how can they stop?

But once they know they keep marching into walls, or buying cornflakes instead of raisin bran, then they can stop themselves; because if they see themselves heading for that wall or that shelf of cereal they can change course. They can redirect themselves by picking another path, a path that will miss that wall; they can pick another direction, one that will bypass that shelf of cornflakes.

The only way they will ever pick what they really want from that grocery store of life, is to shop when they’re awake. As long as they keep shopping or marching in their sleep, though, they’ll always buy the cornflakes that they hate, or get stuck marching into that wall and going nowhere.

Listen…

If more people would actually listen to themselves, the world would be a lot quieter.

“Huh?!”  That’s the response I hear after making that statement. Yet, all it really means is that most people are so afraid of just being still, that they surround themselves with noise. To sit quietly and just listen to their own soul—that tiny internal voice that knows so much and can help make our lives so much easier if we’d only pay attention—is  a concept that most people just can’t grasp.

Most of the time these subtleties are lost in today’s rush to know everything all the time. People are so busy texting, phoning, cruising the internet, playing computer games, watching TV, listening to their music, or even reading books that they can’t possibly focus on or “hear” anything else.

Yet, there is more information to be gained by simply listening to yourself than you could ever glean from any of these other sources. Still, most people fear the “silence of their inner being”, because they don’t want to hear that little voice of their soul. So, they keep themselves hooked up, plugged in, and tuned into that extraneous noise and they let it fill their minds, ears, and hearts. They let it block their soul’s voice from being heard.

They claim they’re too uncomfortable just sitting around doing “nothing”, or they’ll say that listening for some small inner voice makes them feel too cut off, too out of touch. Truthfully, they’re simply too afraid of what that voice might be trying to tell them. So they tell themselves that they don’t need or want to know what their soul is saying to them; that they’re fine without it. In fact, some people are so afraid of hearing what their soul has to say that they even block their dreams from their minds.

It seems surprising to me that so many people can harbor so much fear of such a simple, little voice. After all, the soul is you, so why wouldn’t you want to hear from yourself? And it’s not as if the soul is a chatty little thing always yapping and gossiping. Mostly it talks to you when you need guidance, when you need warnings, and when you need praise—and who doesn’t want to hear praise, really? The soul’s voice isn’t frightening, it’s actually quite loving.

Just take a moment to put down the iPod, the iPhone, or the book; turn off the TV, radio, or computer, and just listen. Really listen. Do you hear it? That tiny little voice struggling to be heard? Yes, that’s right, that’s your soul, the essence of who you really are. Can you hear what it’s saying? Isn’t it beautiful?

As you focus on that voice, you’ll hear all kinds of wondrous and wonderful things, and you’ll begin to see what a wondrous and wonderful person you really are. Admit it now, isn’t it more compelling, and more beautiful than any story on your Kindle or any song on your MP3 player?

Pendulum swings…

It seems that the acceptance and understanding of those with psychic talents is like a pendulum. It swings from acceptance to fear and back again.

In “ancient” times the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all had their prophets, oracles, and “speakers” (the folks who spoke with the gods or with the spirits). [pendulum forward]

Then organized religion took hold in Europe and North America, and anything smacking of witchcraft got you a death sentence. [pendulum backward]

In the mid-1800’s occultism gripped Europe and the US, and suddenly those with the POWER, or thought to have the POWER, were back in favor. [pendulum forward]

With the advent of World War I, occultism and spiritualism again fell out of favor. However, this time the threat of death was not so prevalent. It just became unacceptable by society to be “different”. [pendulum back]

In the turbulent 1960’s, it all collided – the pendulum became tangled. Those born in the 1940’s and 1950’s wanted to embrace enlightenment and all that it entailed, including psychic talents. However, their parents and grandparents (mostly) wanted to continue ignoring the possibility of all that frightening stuff. Half the world embraced the concepts and pushed forward toward enlightenment, while the other half fought madly to stay in the dark as they had been. It was safe there, it was easy there. [pendulum stuck]

Come the mid-1980’s, the pendulum untangled, and initially it swung backward. People took refuge in religion and science. They hid away from anything smacking of paranormal, and drew away from fringe sciences and marginal belief systems. However, it is now moving forward again. Slowly; ever so slowly; but it is moving.

Scientists, neurologists, cosmologists, and psychologists, along with some of the leaders in the world of faith and belief are all now pushing the pendulum forward again. They push quietly but steadily, so the pendulum continues to move inexorably toward that point where science and faith combine.

It used to be called metaphysics—or quite literally, beyond physics—but now the terms being used are those that are less controversial, which is probably helping this steady swing forward. Terms like unconscious knowing or extraordinary knowing, which is the practice or skill of knowing things that are beyond the 5 senses ability to know, are some of the terms being used today.

Papers have been published in well-known (and respected) scientific journals showing that prayer and meditation actually work. Scientists have conducted studies on those suffering from a type of inoperable cancer. One group received focused thoughts (prayers), and one group did not. They found that those in the group receiving focused thought (prayers) had a greater recovery rate than normal, whereas those in the group who didn’t receive the focused thoughts, maintained the same recovery rate as any other group with that particular disease.

There have also been papers showing how different sections of the brain are used when different psychic skills are being used—remote viewing, clairvoyance, telekinesis, and ESP. Another paper actually showed the changes in the physiometry of people who were being healed by a psychic healer.

So, although it may seem at times, that our society is as backward as in the days when witch hunts were considered a sport, we really are moving forward. [pendulum forward]

Answering the Question

Most of us have questions; questions that we may not ask out loud, but they’re questions that we ask ourselves all the same. For some, the questions only appear once in a while, and are quickly dismissed, for others the questions seem like a constant yapping and their silence isn’t so easily gained. For some of us, the questions are as fundamental as “why are we here?”, but for others, the questions may be even more intrinsic to their lives.

It’s these internal questions that send us seeking; seeking for those elusive answers. But maybe the answers aren’t as elusive as we think; maybe it’s just that we can’t see the answers for what they are. I believe the answers are there, everywhere, all around us; we simply need to recognize them. Many times, though, it’s just not as easy as it sounds.

For the most part, the more insistent the questions are in your life, the more likely you are to notice the bits of knowledge or “clues” that litter your path. These “clues”, these bits of knowledge, are any piece of information that makes you stop and rethink how your world, your reality, works. It’s a bit of information that brings you insight; it’s something that gives you an “Aha!” moment (big or small).

Perhaps, you hear something on TV, maybe it’s something just in passing as you’re skipping channels, and even though it seems totally contrary to what you “know to be true”, it resonates with you. So, you find yourself searching for more information about it. Maybe you find the TV show online and watch it. Perhaps doing that makes you want to know more, so you dig out books and articles to learn more. Then, you find that the more you discover about this topic, the more your own previous convictions begin to crumble. Suddenly, you realize that you’re seeing the world from a whole new perspective; you’re seeing the world in a new and different way.

We each do this; every day we do this. We hear, see, or read something that intrigues us, piques our curiosity, or just sticks with us—nibbling at the corners of our mind. We bring it out and puzzle over it, and sometimes we even go so far as to discuss it with others to see what they might think about it. Eventually, we either throw it out because to accept it creates too much fear, too much of a dichotomy with what we “know to be true” and what we want to “believe to be true”, or we accept it, thereby, pushing out the old truth/beliefs and opening our minds, hearts, and eyes to new possibilities, new ideas, and new experiences.

These bits of insights can come from anywhere or anyone. Someone in the line at the grocery store might say something to you, and while during the encounter you barely paid attention, you now find yourself thinking about it. Maybe you even wish you’d paid more attention so that you could have asked a question or two. Or maybe you read something in a magazine while waiting at the dentist’s office. You catch a quick snatch of conversation between a couple people at the bus stop or waiting at the elevator. Or it might even be a tricky turn of phrase in a blog or online story.

As I said, the clues, insights, and bits of knowledge can come from anywhere. They’re easy to overlook, but then that’s why there are so many of them. You might miss half a dozen of small ones, but trip over one nugget of information that encompasses all of the insights of those that you previously bypassed. But even tripping over a nugget of information is no guarantee that you’ll pick it up and pay attention to it.

After all, it’s scary every time you pick up one of those nuggets of information with all its new concepts, and start looking it over. But then new concepts and new ideas are always scary, because you don’t have a knowledge base that can tell you what might happen if you follow this new idea or accept this new concept.

However, if your need for answers to the questions that keep plaguing you is stronger than your fears of anything new, then you’ll let that new concept in and accept the “Aha!” moment. And every time you have an “Aha!” moment, it makes it easier to overcome the fear the next time. After a while, you’ll find that each piece of insight, each new concept isn’t really so scary after all. In fact, you’ll start to see that it really offers hope, confirmation, and assurance, not fear.

Hey God, are You Out There?

The Eye of God

 

I was watching a program on the Science channel the other night that was discussing the various scientific theories and tests being conducted to not only prove that some sort of god exists, but what type.  

It was fascinating if for no other reason than to listen to the various ideas put forth. Some were simple and seemed quite ordinary, while others were so far fetched, they could only have come from reading something out of a scifi/fantasy book.  

The more simple theories and concepts were concerned primarily with proving things from the purely mathematically and scientific approach (such as trying to write the unifying formula, which would show mathematically how all things are related, or trying to find the Higgs boson (or God particle) in the various accelerator labs). The more fantastical concepts included theories that we are merely players in a giant computer simulation—see my article “Have You Ever Been to the 13th Floor?” or that only one of us is real, and the rest of us merely players in that person’s dream (okay, but which one of us is real? I know I don’t feel like I’m a dream person…but then, how would I know what a dream person feels like?).  

They interviewed a beach bum/theoretical physicist living on some beach in Hawaii. He spends his days hanging 10, while scribbling ideas on a pad of paper. I have no doubt that he’s probably more learned in physics than I’ll ever be, but I do have to admit that his interview left me wondering how much of his calculations were physics and how much were chemically induced theories 😉  

As for the hypothesis that we are all just part of a giant computer simulation, well, that may be, but then they need to stop giving us free will and the ability to make our own choices, because as we start thinking for ourselves, we may just overthrow the computer programmer and gamer and take over their worlds as well as our own. They’re playing a very dangerous game, if they think that’s all we are, because no one has that much control over life – theirs or anyone elses.  

Then you have the physicist who was so taken with his research that he chucked it all and became a priest. Hmmmm…what does that say about science? Could it be that when it comes to that unifying force (God, Tao, The Great Creator) that proof isn’t always in the concept, that sometimes it’s in the heart?  

Then there was the neurologist/psychologist who said that “God is all in our heads.” He had rigged up an experiment that had people in a soundproof, lightproof, sensation-free chamber wearing a helmet with small electro magnets attached to the right side. They would sit in this chamber for 30 – 60 minutes and then he would flip on the magnets. According to him, every time he did that, the people would experience “visitors”. They claimed to sense the presence of one or more others in the room with them. They would describe these people and sometimes even be able to remember conversations they had with them. Most of the people also said that they were looking back at their own bodies.  

While he claims that that proves that we are creating our own gods out of our own brain waves, I say it only proves that his technique was able to induce out of body experiences in at least half of his subjects. Of course, since that wasn’t what he was looking for, and since that isn’t something he is ready to admit is possible, then as far as he is concerned, if we can experience the feelings of being surrounded by one or more other people that aren’t really in the room with us, then we must be able to make ourselves believe in an overarching being that only exists in our own brains.  

If you think I’m writing somewhat sarcastically about this program, I guess I am. But one of the problems that I’ve always had with theoretical science and scientists is their ability to create a hypothesis and subsequent tests that manage to exclude anything that might make them have to think outside their own little box. They, like a great many other people (people of faith, science, politics, and business), have a tendency to see only what they want to see.  

Granted, we all have that ability, but I especially resent it when we are fed these limited viewpoints as “scientific facts”, “historic facts”, and “spiritual facts”. While I thank them all for their input, I still reserve the right to think for myself, and if that entails taking a little bit from each category, well…then that’s my choice, isn’t it?  

So, while I love the fact that there are as many ideas and concepts of what God is or is not as there are birds in the skies, I don’t think we should get caught up in any single one. I find several of them interesting, but I think I’ll withhold judgment until I have a little more insight and wisdom—whether I’m still in the physical plane or somewhere else.