Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Gift of the Senses

Over the course of the last week and a half, I have been doing more research into the history of mediums and mediumship, ranging from the late 1890’s to the 1930’s. I have discovered a few more well-regarded mediums that received their information through automatic writing, trance, and even the Ouija board. These mediums, such as Gladys Osborne Leonard, Rosalie Thompson, and Hester Travers Smith, were researched for several years by the methodical scrutiny of the Society for Psychical Research (as well as others) and gained many supporters for the authenticity of their craft – both from researchers and the lay person alike (naturally, they also had their detractors – you can’t please everybody).

Some of the information I came across – the kind I’m always on the look-out for – was how these mediums “received” their information, particularly those in the trance state and automatic writing. This modus operandi was explained, according to the records, by the spirits coming through the mediums, and occasionally by the mediums receiving an impression within their consciousness. Now, one would think that with automatic writing (and even the Ouija) the entity takes either partial or full control of the medium (or the object being used as the indicator) and dictates the contents of the material as if slipping into a glove and moving the fingers without effort. Alas, that isn’t the case. As has been previously discussed in other blogs, it’s all about “impressing the mechanism.”

From the Thanksgiving blog, you’ll recall how I mentioned our five senses are part of the process in understanding our sixth sense. Many of these mediums, whether in trance or through writing, reported their information as coming through the process of mental imagery, inner dialogue (hearing), scent, touch, or inner feeling. “She is showing me an ‘S’, and the name sounds like ‘Sarah’” that sort of thing. Or “I’m feeling a hoarseness in my throat, and it’s burning. She had bad tonsillitis” or “She feels very antagonistic – she hated the guy.” Even those entities that tried to take control of the medium, particularly through automatic writing, reported that in the process of molding their energy with the medium’s, thoughts became harder to focus on and memory itself was sometimes affected. Several reported that the easiest way to convey their message was to pull from the context of the medium’s own memories – a somewhat obscure sense of alignment with the spirit’s intended message being clothed within the makeup of the medium’s mind.

At any rate, the method of reception was an impact on the medium’s five senses. Imagine my surprise when, in meditation last Monday, the message I received was “Too many people see the body as a hindrance to receiving spiritual communication; when in fact, communication into your realm wouldn’t be possible without it.”

We have been conditioned for centuries to believe that our bodies were akin to a prison; dirty; soiled; and not worth much when it came to spiritual awareness. Yet, my communications in this meditation made it quite the opposite.

It makes sense. We are all spiritual beings living a physical existence. That which is physical does rise out of – is birthed from – the spiritual realm. We oftentimes blame our physical bodies and curse them as being barriers between the seen and unseen; however, it is the senses couched within our bodies that are the exact pieces of communication equipment we need in order to access and dialogue with these other “unseen” realms.

“You are not separated from that which you cannot see,” I was told. “That which is unseen can be made manifest through the communicative equipment within the body – the five senses.” Every reality, they explained, is accessible through the very material that is dominant in the system. Realities are not “closed loop” systems; they do overlap and can be accessed to varying degrees. In other words “there are no barriers, and the pathway to accessing them can be found within every system, somewhere in its makeup” as everything is somehow interconnected. This access from an outer reality, when it comes in contact with dense physical matter (or rather you come into contact with it), is going to affect that matter through the mechanisms inherent in the individual’s perceptive qualities – namely the senses (if one is paying close enough attention).

The only way we register what’s happening around us is through our senses. The only way we can have access to any kind of information is going to be through such senses – information is going to require an observation of some kind in order to obtain it. Even an instantaneous knowing is going to require a type of observation – how else would you know? If you instantly know the name Sarah, how did you come to that? Did you hear ‘Sarah’? See it spelled out in front of you? Feel it inside your tissues? In any case, one or more of the senses would have to have been impressed and engaged, and your conscious mind got the answer.

Typically, our point of observation in using our senses is an “out there” perception within the dominant framework of dense physical matter. However, that observation can be turned “inward” to also have the same five senses look a bit “beyond” the dense atomic tapestry into other realities. Of course, the question becomes: is it a valid perception, or just a figment of the imagination? How do you distinguish between the two? That takes practice, time, trial and error. In some cases, you may get nothing for validation, and will either be forced to take the information received at face value, or toss it aside for lack of confirmation.

Through the process and continued practice, you can learn when something from a different reality impacts your senses to a varying degree. As you have learned to be keenly aware of what a bass note sounds like from treble note in music, you can distinguish with some clarity the impact of psychic phenomena from the mundane world, and what the message is that’s being transmitted.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be cloudy days. As previously stated, the merging of energies between your senses and that of a discarnate individual is not always a clear-cut proposition, especially if your reality observation extends to those on the Other Side. Sometimes there is “static” that affects the channel, and there could be any number of reasons for this: lack of practice on the discarnate’s side with impressing the medium; emotional frequencies on both parties making it difficult to concentrate; energetic interruption from other surrounding energies (such as expectations, extreme skepticism, etc.)

Still, our bodies have been granted the radio and television gear needed to keep communication lines open to these other realms. Some schools of thought suggest the sixth sense is actually the first; that our five senses are outgrowths of the intuitive, and that even though we may go blind or deaf later in life, the faculty itself within the context of intuition and psychic functioning would remain active (and perhaps even enhanced).

With enough determination, practice, and humbleness, we can attenuate our current senses to perform these additional functions. It is only because we have become so enraptured and hypnotized by the dense physical realm before us that we have made our observations habitual in that direction. But they don’t have to be. For sure, we cannot and should not deny the reality we are in – we are here on purpose for a reason – but that doesn’t mean you can’t sometimes connect and “call home” or perceive “trans-dimensional.” As I said, like anything, it takes practice, and we are all connected anyway, both to “here” and “there.”

But your body and its physical senses are not here to block or impede you. Your body is to help you maneuver and observe the universe – that is its functionality. Our predominant universe is dense matter … But it’s only predominant and not all-inclusive. And neither are the uses of our senses in that direction. The universe encompasses many great and wonderful things, and by extension, so do you, and you have been given the equipment to maneuver and observe such vastness.

As always, you are a perfect being. You have perfect senses. You just haven’t perfected using them yet … Or maybe you have (and just don’t realize it).

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving - What Are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving is this week, and so I thought “What a wonderful blog this could be!” I did some research into the history of Thanksgiving … Finding stories of the European settlers and how they shared good bounty with the Native Americans; honoring the wealth of the harvest and the work achieved throughout the course of the year. It made me consider my own “harvest” and what I’ve achieved in the past 12 months.

But … this blog isn’t about me tooting my own horn (at least not all the time), so I’m not going to do that. Instead, I would like to turn the mirror around so it forces you to see yourself; to honor all that is about you and the grandeur of your life in a manner of thanksgiving. Stay with me for this – it’s more than what you think.

Have you looked at your reflection in the mirror today? If you have, then you have the wonderful gift of sight. Be thankful for it, as it gives you the ability to see such wondrous colors and forms – brilliant gardens and night skies, shades of red, yellow, blue ... It is also the adjunct to another form of sight you have – the third eye. Would you be able to understand the images that flash through this sense had you been born blind? I don’t know … But I am thankful to have my sight, as it has led to many epiphanies regarding images I see from sources outside the mundane (Okay, yes, I’m tooting my own horn again). Think of times that you have received a visual message – a hello, a warning, whatever – through that image in the mind, then ask yourself would it had been so possible without having the experience of normal sight? What a gift.

You could do this for hearing, too. What a dull, lifeless planet this would be if I could not hear the roar of the ocean … or the music of chimes in the wind, or the voice of my sweetheart. How would your world be if sound had no meaning and silence was your song? Without voice, could you talk to yourself? What would you hear inside your ethereal ears? How could you think words if you had never heard them to begin with? (Which, in some cases, doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.) Yet, thankfully, because of hearing, you are able to capture that voice which calls to you – not from the cellphone glued to your hip – but from that special voice when it tells you of danger, or congratulates you on a job well done.

Yes, we could apply thankfulness to all our senses. They do, in a way, guide us into understanding our own intuitive abilities. The psychic senses cannot be fully understood without first knowing our original five. When we begin to heighten our awareness of the normal senses, we can then become attuned with what our supernormal senses are telling us; we can have a better grasp of what colors, forms, shapes, tastes, smells, and feelings are telling us as they emerge from the void into the knowingness of our psychic beings. To that, the body is a wonderful instrument and teacher, and for that, I choose to stuff it with lots of food later this week! But seriously, we all too often take our five senses for granted, without realizing the huge role they play in not just our ordinary lives, but also our extra-ordinary talents and gifts.

More so than that, when the combination of these senses can be tuned to the betterment of others, that is truly something to be thankful for. It’s one thing to have abilities and use them to your own advantage, it’s another to use them in an act of service. To serve – to give of yourself – is an honor, and it is with enormous thanks and gratitude to the one desiring your service that such love flows. That friends, relatives, and sometimes complete strangers call upon your character, knowledge, and skills, is a testimony to something special about you within. And instead of it being a stroke of the ego, it really is a cause to be humble, for we all are great, powerful, wonderful beings. When someone requests of your skills, talents, and character, it is as if the greatness of God – for the person is an aspect of such glory – has chosen not to go within themselves for a solution, but instead has trusted you and garnered faith in you to help supply their needs. That is truly an awesome gift. Think of this when co-workers have asked you throughout the year to help them on projects, to brainstorm, to lend a helping hand. Think of this when customers have chosen to do business with you. Think of this when your significant other plants a warm kiss on your lips. They have given you the gift of their trust and faith – something so incredibly awesome, it is humbling to the spirit.

Then there’s also thanks to those that have helped in your own growth. As you have helped others, so too, others have given of their time, energy, and wisdom, and you have benefited. Would you have risen to the next level without others’ support? Would you have gained new knowledge, skills, and talents throughout the year without the efforts of someone else to guide you or inspire you? Professional speakers, trainers, authors, store clerks, friends and family … The people who put together that audio CD you listen to in the car that helps you curb negativism and think more positively … The list could be endless. Again, when you look at so many contributors to your life, you cannot help but be humbled. The “I am” of you could be perceived as the summation of various parts of others’ gifts that you have accepted into your being. To them, the vast contributors of such wealth and wisdom, I will toast a big glass of wine this holiday!

There is so much to be thankful for. When you begin to shine the lights of acknowledgement onto all those things that make your existence possible – the wonders of your body, being, the amazing knowledge, talents, and giving nature of others into your life – it exposes a map where the roads all lead: love. No, this isn’t romantic love, or possessive love, but it is expressive and most definitely expansive. Call it the love of the universe, the love of God, whatever suits you, but the reality is the same – the ability to gather unto your spirit all the necessities of forming a life worth living. It is joyous. It is stupendous. It is – by the very definition of the word – miraculous.

All this giving and receiving that we do amongst ourselves, both on a personal level and a social societal level, is a gift for this planet. Or at least, it can be (When we’re choosing not to blow each other up or limit another’s life experiences). So this week, on Thanksgiving, please take a moment to reflect upon everything and everyone that has contributed to the vast amount of air within your expanding balloon of conscious existence in the universe. You are beautiful because of all those that have given unto you, and additionally because of all you have given unto others.

Thank you for sharing your beauty with me in reading this blog.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Celebrating the Big 40

Wow, I reached my 40th birthday a few days ago (November 11) and my wife – gracious, wonderful, and adoring that she is – thought it would be a great idea to throw a party to mark the occasion. I never really had a birthday party growing up; my family’s birthdays were always with grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, brother and sister … I never really had a party with friends. I never complained about it growing up; it never was that big a deal to me – so long as I got cake and presents (every young kid’s dream).

When my wife and I sat down to come up with a guest list, we were both wondering if anybody would show up, for the simple fact that my social life is about as active as a garden slug’s; I don’t get out much and am really quite an introvert. I think we were both stunned and amazed at the turnout – the house was packed – and though a lot of the cards and gifts were done as purely humorous jokes (LOVE the Boo Box and Whoopie Cushion), that everyone spent so much of their time, energy, and money on the cards and gifts (no matter how silly they were) and then deliver it all and play in our crazy games and stay late into the evening was such an amazing blessing. For someone like me who doesn’t get out into the world all that often, I am truly humbled by everyone who held me in their thoughts and celebrated this day with me. And there were some who couldn’t make it, but they did send their congrats through email and phone, with some warm and heartfelt messages (more than just a simple Happy Birthday) that I am truly honored and blessed to have received … As morbid as this may sound, it actually gives me hope that someone might show up when it’s time for my funeral!

I guess you never really know just how much of an impact you make on other people’s lives. Whether it’s really big or really small, it doesn’t matter in terms of size, but what matters is that some kind of an impact has been made, and it is an honored one. That’s what happened to me at my 40th birthday party.

This notion of impact is much larger than that of my own birthday party, however, because it is two-fold. I believe the impacts you have made on other people are greater than perhaps you may realize. You are all valued in so many ways and are such a blessing in this world; not just for me, but for everybody and every day that you interact with people. That you came out to celebrate with me, I hope to reflect back to you the worth that you are in my life and to possibly consider just how magnificent you are to everyone you come in contact with.

In being an introvert and a self-proclaimed shut-in, it’s a wondrous “wow” moment to see all these people you honor, admire, look up to, and respect, suddenly turn out to celebrate your 40th birthday. On the inside, we are always second-guessing ourselves, almost waiting for someone to come and find something “wrong” about us that forces us to slink into a fetal position and say “You’re right, this is how bad I am.” Okay, that might be an extreme example or caricature, but at any rate, it’s still a wonderful moment to see, read, and realize just by having everyone show up and send such gracious comments that perhaps you do have things to contribute, an honored part to play, a sense of value and worth outside the walls you keep yourself confined in. In writing this, I know it makes me sound like I have zero self-esteem – that’s really not the case – but it does make one realize that you do go beyond your own little world, your own little walls, and affect others. Too often we are reminded of how we do that in a negative fashion; this weekend was a snapshot of how we do it in a positive light.

WOW. WHAT AN ABSOLUTE BLESSING. I hope you, dear reader, will take a moment and reflect upon yourself, and honor that spark within you that does go out into the world and bless others who you meet. And maybe, just maybe, grant yourself a special precious nanosecond to accept that, and understand that you are an amazing blessing, even when you may not realize it.

Another reason I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday was to acknowledge something within my soul that I knew to be true – there have been other lifetimes where my spirit never reached a 40th birthday. Somewhere deep within me, I knew there to be many such incarnations. In celebrating this event, it was to honor those portions of my being that never made it this far, and to hopefully in some small way carry them with me as I go forward into the future. Whether or not my reincarnational selves are aware of this, I can only hope, but I know somewhere inside me (as I’m sure you do, too, within your own self) other lives my soul has lived never got to see this part of existence – 40 years old. And that is, truly, something to celebrate.

When I consider my last reincarnational self – a young man blown to pieces in the Pacific theater of WWII, who never made it to the age of 25 (and my terrible fears of booming fireworks every July 4th reminding me of the blast of the cannons that shattered that soul into death) – is it poignant that I have my birthday on November 11, veteran’s day? Hah! Just goes to show, you may be down, but never out! (And to think, it took me nearly 39 years to realize the significance of my birthday being on veteran’s day! I never really made the connection before.)

There was a lot to honor in this celebration … Other portions of the self, friends, family … At 40, I know I am moving ahead with something I lacked earlier in life (not creaking bones or aches and pains), but a greater awareness of magic, love, and the realization of just how blessed we all are to have each other on this journey, in this time, in this life, on this planet.

Now that’s a Happy Birthday.

Until next time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Medium's Lingo

Sometimes I think people have this erroneous idea that when a medium is talking to a deceased person, they think the dead is right up next to the medium’s ear whispering information. “Tell him my name is Joe, and that I had a heart attack.” Indeed, I believe some people think this is the way it should be. Though in some instances, information can come through the auditory senses (clairaudience), more often than not, various other methods are used to “speak.”

During the heyday of spiritualism in the late 1800s and early 1900’s, the investigators of the Society for Psychical Research in England and its American counterpart ASPR worked with many talented mediums that left them astounded believers. Richard Hodgson, a staunch skeptic, came to the US to study an enigmatic Boston housewife, Leonora Piper, who had confounded one of ASPR’s founders. Hodgson’s sole intent was to find out how she was fooling everybody; he even went so far as to hire private investigators to shadow her around town to see how she was “stealing” information about potential sitters. He is quoted in an article from 1914 as saying “I had but one object, to discover fraud and trickery … of unmasking her.” Through years of blind experiments and tests of unimaginable conditions (such as being poked with needles during a trance, or having foul smells placed under her nose to trip her up), Mrs. Piper turned Hodgson into a believer, as well as the highly regarded and respected psychologist William James, who declared Piper his “white crow.”

When Hodgson collapsed on the hand-ball court and died of a massive heart attack, it took eight days to make his way for communication through Piper to a new SPR investigator: The former Hodgson took control of the medium’s body and started writing. It was very tough at first (initially breaking the lead of the pencil due to uncertainty and heightened emotions as he tried to scrawl his initials). But eventually – through perseverance and practice – he got the pencil flowing and proved his identity by offering information Piper had never known about him, but could be validated. He also revealed how difficult it was for spirits to get information across to those here on earth. He said he had to “impress the mechanism” in order to get information through, describing Piper’s body as a field of light that scattered things in a random fashion; it took concentration and effort. He said there were certain spirits that, with much practice, were able to impress the energy easier than others to get the information into conscious awareness. He alluded to the notion that those of us on earth really have no idea as to what the medium has to go through, and so he did his best to describe the process; it wasn’t perfect, it was prone to errors, mainly due to the fact that consciousness is so variable and can distort the incoming impressions. I find now difficulties such as a blind man would experience in trying to find his hat,' Hodgson told Professor William Newbold in a July 23, 1906 sitting. “And I am not wholly conscious of my own utterances because they come out automatically, impressed upon the machine (Piper’s body)…I impress my thoughts on the machine which registers them at random, and which are at times doubtless difficult to understand. I understand so much better the modus operandi than I did when I was in your world.

Indeed, F.W.H. Myers, who is credited with starting the cross correspondence phenomenon (see my earlier post “Telepathy, Super-psi, or Talking to the Dead”), wrote through a medium after his death how hard it was to send a transmission. “The nearest simile I can find to express the difficulties of sending a message – is that I appear to be standing behind a sheet of frosted glass which blurs sight and deadens sounds – dictating feebly to a reluctant and somewhat obtuse secretary.” In cases like this, the message seems so clear, but apparently, it can be a game of hit-and-miss. The cross correspondences spell this out through many examples, as similar messages were received through various mediums, with only slight alterations between imagery or words, which would be expected by such limitations as “frosted glass that blurs sight and deadens sounds.”

As we can see from these early pioneers, it’s not as simple as someone speaking into your ear. Mediumship is its own language that oftentimes has to be “built” individually per medium. According to these initial explorers and modern mediums of today, a spirit will oftentimes show the medium something relevant to the medium’s life as an analogy to the spirit’s own. For instance, the medium may see an image of his own grandmother, simply to reference that he has a sitter’s grandmother coming through. The medium may see a shot of fireworks going off connected to a calendar date, giving him the impression of a birthday or anniversary – and it’s the same image for different spirits. Same with bodily sensations – heat may mean illness, or heaviness or blackness suggesting “Things aren’t right.” In other words, each spirit has access to symbols, feelings, sounds, from a personal library attached to the medium. How this works, how a spirit accesses this and understands how to impress the medium’s consciousness with the symbols, I can’t begin to imagine.

But the overall process seems to be understood: Images, feelings, smells, sounds … These are all techniques employed by the discarnate in order to get through. And they come in quick snapshots – rarely is it like a piece of film being thread through a projector that lasts from the beginning of the reading to the end. Yes, sometimes I see moving pictures, but they do not tell the complete story; the complete story can only be discovered within the context of all the images, sounds, feelings, etc., being experienced. Some add onto the others, creating a larger picture and meaning, while some are at times disjointed and require deeper examination.

Communication, as we all know, is a two-way street and we can assist our friends in spirit in developing this dialogue.


Since a good percentage of clairvoyant perception comes in symbolic images “plucked” from the medium’s life history, the medium can create new memories, thus new symbols, to give spirits a greater vocabulary to choose from. I tried this technique over a year ago, and it has worked surprisingly well. Since I believe everyone has this ability, this means you can do it, too.

How to do this, you ask? It’s actually quite simple, in principle (the work comes in practicing mediumship itself, overall). Choose a picture (say an image of ballet slippers) and write beneath the image what it means as a symbol (“Dancing or dance.”) And then, during the course of a reading, if a snapshot of those ballet slippers appears, when you place it within the context of other messages coming through, you can piece it all together into a message that might say “He says you love to dance.” All it takes is creating an image, defining its meaning, and then committing it memory (that may take awhile).

Will these images be used all the time, every time? No. For instance, I have a symbol for being a musician and liking music. I had a client whose mother was an avid musician, yet the symbol never came up during the reading, but it had come up in other readings before. That’s okay; with all the other information she gave, there was no question that she was communicating. Again, since we don’t know all the fine details of how this process works, we can’t say why some spirits use the symbols while others don’t – when it seems they could have. Similarly, we have millions of words to choose from (according to Webster) yet we don’t always choose the most appropriate and instead stick to what we can use “off the cuff.” Since the act of communicating through a medium has its limitations (time, energy, and process), it may very well be whatever a spirit thinks they can grab more easily and transmit through the energetic matrix, and thus certain possible cues are abandoned in favor of others perceived as “easier to transmit.”

It may not be an easy method, or it might require education, practice, and skill. As Hodgson stated through Piper, some spirits are very practiced at communicating while others aren’t.

The other ingredient to making this communication happen more “smoothly” is the relaxation process within the medium. Since it appears the spirits have to impress our energies, the less chaotic and frantic we are, the better this process is going to be. I notice when I let go of expectation, stress, or even mild concern during a sitting, I get information a lot quicker, with deeper nuances. This is partly the reason why so many professional mediums suggest meditation as a daily practice.

Early mediums used a form of trance state in order to get out of their own way. It was within this trance that their consciousness would be suitable energetically to have spirits come through – either in automatic writing or direct channel. The trance medium usually declares no recollection of the sitting, as if they had left the body.

In many cases, the early mediums employed what they considered a “control” spirit, like a spirit guide, who would deliver the message on behalf of the deceased. It was believed that the control spirit had more practice in impressing the medium’s consciousness, plus aid in keeping the body of the medium protected. Today’s mediums are considered mental mediums, where they are consciously aware of the Now moment and are still in complete control of their faculties. Some claim to use spirit guide controls as the messengers, while others don’t. I, myself, feel I am communicating directly with the individual and not through a control, based on several factors happening at the time of communication, such as location of where the information is coming from, feel of the individual’s personality, etc.

In either case, the method of communication seems to be similar, if not altogether identical. It’s not talking like you and me having a conversation, it’s more like watching, listening, and feeling … And when things impress upon the consciousness – that feeling of heat, weight, accompanied by a visual image and maybe a memory of a sound or a familiar fragrance or a word which is completely unique within the stream of your regular mental awareness – that’s when the messages begin.

Until next time,