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April 01, 2013

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A lot of people believe that death is "passing over", going to "the other side", where they'll be reunited with loved ones and where there will be no fear, loss, grief, pain and suffering. This belief enables them to live their lives and submit to death, so even though it's just wishful thinking, they're better off for it.

susan blackmore had an interesting out of body experience, but also had the presence of mind to be an acute observer too.

a bit about her:
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http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Articles/whoami.htm
Dr. Susan Blackmore

She has a degree in psychology and physiology from Oxford University (1973) an MSc and a PhD in parapsychology from the University of Surrey (1980). She no longer works on the paranormal. Her research interests include memes, evolutionary theory, consciousness, and meditation. She practices Zen, campaigns for drug legalization and plays in her village samba band, Crooked Tempo.

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and a short except from her description of her out-of-body experience:

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http://www.issc-taste.org/arc/dbo.cgi?set=expom&id=00075&ss=1

At the time I assumed that my astral body had left my physical body. I felt wonderfully blessed to have had the experience, and interpreted it as evidence that the mind, or soul, or astral body can leave the physical and travel in some other world. It also seemed to me to be evidence for the possibility of life after death. However, even at the time I had some sceptical doubts. [....]

The next day I tried to check up on things I had seen and immediately discovered that some were wrong. For example, I had 'seen' old metal gutters on the roofs of the college when in the morning I realised that they were modern white plastic ones. I had seemed to travel through rooms above Vicki's room which were not in fact there, and had seen chimneys which did not exist. This led me to all sorts of sceptical questioning, but more to elaborate my astral theories than to abandon them. For many years I continued to think of my experience as an astral excursion.
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Oddly enough, objective "reality" - meaning all the stuff that allegedly exists and is forever independent of our opinions - is a subjective experience. There is no entity that stands separate from experience.
Experience IS Reality itself, and can in no way be explained, accepted, rejected, or sidestepped.
Don't like it? Tough shit.

Ah, I see Mr Hines continues the good fight against the tidal wave of silly thinking & magical belief, brandishing the scimitar of truth & reality from his lofty steed of eliminative materialism! It's been probably more than a year since I've checked out this place, probably several more since I last posted.....oh how I miss the posturing!

To be serious, there is so much so wrong with this blog entry that one is kind of at a loss as to even where to begin in addressing the many deeply flawed concepts contained or implied within it - so let's perhaps address this in sections of note:

1) The elephant in the room is the dominance in popular culture & media of eliminative materialism that casts its shadow far & wide. It is the fashionable philosophy, religion, belief etc of choice. And it is, undoubtably, all 3 of those things whilst most certainely not being pure science in any way. In popular consciousness this is hardly understood at all - that just because people like Dawkins, Shermer, Dennett, Blackmore, etc speak with such authority on the ultimate nature of reality, the absence of reality of any kind of "divinity" or "spirit, or NDEs, or telepathy or any other "spooky" subjects.....that in actual matter of fact they are simply discussing their philosophical beliefs, and that they may not be in any way more qualified to understand the ultimate nature of reality than a Bonobo Monkey.

Their outspoken views are simply subjective interpretations of scientific data, at absolute best, and a religous like belief with no basis in science at all more often.

It is now "cool" to speak & walk the walk of the eliminative materialist across all forms of media, such as Brian is doing here, rather flippantly imo....as somebody who has been actively studying and researching (non academically) these sciences in quite some depth for over 20 years, I am shocked & suprised at the sheer level of deception in so much of these materialist news headlines and soundbites.....I, personally, clearly witness a religous like propaganda machine in operation here (please see TED's removal of talks from Graham Hancock & Rupert SHeldrake for just this week's instance of shocking religous fundamentalism & fear within this community - google it).

The sheer arrogance to dismiss subjects & experiences like those of Eben without hardly any in depth knowledge of the subject is revealing....of a particular fixed & rigid mindset....not one open to genuine knowledge and understanding. A religous or philosophical persective if you will.

2) Brian, can I ask - why do you take a historian's comments about Eben's neurophysiology at the time of Eben's experience more seriously than a respected academic neuro surgeons, one who has enough experience to teach others too? At which university did Shermer get his PHD in neurosurgery? Can you understand why, to some, this sounds like a farce? Do you think, perhaps, maybe on some subconscious level, you have switched off from trying to actually learn about reality, and now simply make proclamations of your new religous belief, materialistic scepticism, under the guise of objectivity?

Shermer's criticisms are, imo, laughable and have already been addressed online I'm sure. He simply doesn't know what he's talking about, has zero understanding of the phenomena. He does, however, have a tool, "scepticism", and he is applied that very well here, in the fundamentalist sense, as in criticising using his standard stock tools without really having any interest in the depth & nuance of Eben's experience, and the general phenomena as a whole - and this fact is written large in his old & tired cliche criticisms of the NDE that have been addressed decades ago and shown to be an absolute nonsense - just lazy!

3) Poor show Brian on making repeated comments on Eben's ready "cashing in" on his book! Poor show old chap!

How many books have you authored? Books authored with authority, and then, once dismissed as satsang speaker you now reject? Seems a bit disingenuous to me?

How many books has Shermer authored? It seems he has aniche going - do his criticisms of Eben fit with that niche? Of course they do, as you state above, he wont' get good sales if he starts admitting things like "we have so little idea of what consciousness is, we propose it doesn't even exist!", or "there is no explanation for the NDE as a whole", or "there is no explanation for the scientific data which proves telephathy is real, as outlined by Dean Radin" etc etc

But lest you miss my point here - before y'all trio were writing books, did perchance one of you have an excellent, exemplary career making plenty of money doing something entirely unrelated? Bingo; Eben Alexander! (I'd say that's tables turned on your inference about Eben.....:)

4) Your reference to Auobiography of a Yogi is a non-sequiter. There is no reason to consider that book in any way "more believable" than Eben's - you're making a false equivication. It's like you're throwing cliches around simply to avoid intelligent discussion of the particulars of Eben's, and thousands of others, experiences.

5) The countless medical "explanations" of NDEs; they simply don't stand up at all, even remotely. There's been at least 20-30 years of rebuttals of all the various "explanations" such as Blackmore's tunnell explanation, oxygen deprivation, temporal lobes etc etc - if anyone has had anything remotely like an NDE (which can be generated through meditation for example), and one reads through the reports of people who experience depersonalisation, oxygen deprivation, Michael Persinger's "Helmet", the types of experience in Oliver Sacks "Hallucinations" (an excellent book btw, highly recommended) as referenced by Shermer to explain "away" Eben's experience - none of these come anywhere NEAR, on any level, the NDE experience! It's an absurdity to suggest so! Shermer goes as far as to suggest the "auras" of migraines are the same or in some magical way explanatory for the light in Eben's NDE.....hahahahaha :) Your desperation's showing, Shermer....

6) Far more complexly, is the whole issue of consciousness and how it relates to the brain. A tenet of the materialist faith is that brain generates consciousness, that consciousness is an epi-phenomena of the brain matter, or that consciousness doesn't actually exist (hehe......I can't explain you, therefore you cannot exist....you gotta love the eliminative materialists :).

However, there is absolutely no scientific data to prove this, a favourite word of Brian above to Eben. There is not any scientific evidence, *at all*, that consciousness even exists (anybody sense something here? :).

Whilst there are apparent *correlates* between people's reporting of certain experiences and certain brain functions, that does not in any way prove causality.

There is plenty to suggest another model, perhaps that of brain as receiver of consciousness, more persuasive.

Things such as the placebo effect, for instance, tears holes through the materialist position.

For me, personally, the wealth & depth of a variety of states of consciousness and experiences perhaps makes me a little biased towards the brain being a receiver rather than generator of consciousness (if indeed it is one or the other), but I simply don't imagine I am anywhere near smart enough to know anything for sure.

I am more inclinded to think, just judging by my personal knowledge of these states, and reading the reports of various ozygen deprived, ketamine induced, or Persinger Helmet induced etc experiences - that all these attempts at manipulating matter (in the brain or physiology in general) generate extremely poor imitations of the "real" experience. The best I can explain it, is like say on your TV screen if it is blank & you push the pixels in certain ways it generates random colours. At this point, a Shermer comes alomg and says "see, look, all those wonderful pictures, and stories, and dramas, and comedies, and deaths etc etc we witness on that screen comes from these simple pixels, they hold all those stories within their simple structure!"

WHilst in a way that would be right, in the grander scheme of things he is completely mistaken, with a pygmy eye view of things.....

7) Regarding the quote from the person who mentioned LA Times, and how pschological and physiological the experience is, and that we see what we expect to see.

Really - since when did "research" become so utterly irrelevant to discussion of such incredibly complex topics? Where is the research behind this statement? A search on the internet they say? How about a 5 minute search and a lifetime of intellectual conditioning?

Sheesh, do some real research - the entire comment (that Brian flagged as "insightful") is completely irrelevant and inconsequential.

First of all, there is a huge amount, the majority actually, of experiences that do not follow personal expectations. From the get go it is a meaningless statement in the many thousands of examples of children NDS, for example - often children far too young to understand religous paradigms.

Really, the phenomena if far too complex & interesting, with many many layers of depth, to be reduced to such meaningless stock cliche sceptic statements.

As for the diverse and very often contradictory narrative that emerges from within these experiences (not often commented on with any intelligence by sceptics, one assumes because they haven't deigned fit to actually read these experiences beyond soundbites) - imo this is where we reach the edges of human understanding, I can come up with several highly complex explanations that may or may not have some reality to them (some of them in concurrence with cutting edge science, theories such as a digitally encoded universe, or a holography universe etc) - but I think it is clear there is a whole host of experiences that without doubt occur, such as UFO experiences, NDEs, certain hallucinogenic substances, meditation induced etc, with undeniable connections and "reality" to them, but that we are currently unable to fully understand - where we are left with truely absurd narratives (such as that of a magical Godman, who through magical initiation of 5 magical words will take us out of eternal reincarnation for example) - but are rooted in another form of "data", or "reality" which we in our current human form and mind/brains are unable to process, so we are left with these shadows of another reality, in our NDEs, UFO encounters or abductions, Shabd or Kundalini yoga journeys, astral travels etc etc, and take as literal the absurd narratives that often come with them. To dismiss this spectrum of the human experience that has existed since the dawn of human civilisation (or perhaps, as some have argued quite convincingly, human civilisation exists BECAUSE of these experiences....see all psychedelic cave art from the dawn of man, and dare to consider it is magic mushrooms that helped us evolve from mindless caveman to sophisticates we are today :)

There are many other points to make, but life is short, and no doubt nobody's paying attention anyway, listening only to the voices existent already in their heads :)

Manjit, thanks for the rant. Spoken like a true believer. You used a lot of words to say very little.

If I can summarize your garbled thoughts (difficult, but I'll try), you don't present any evidence or even persuasive arguments for your belief that consciousness exists apart from the brain, and that supernatural realms of reality are really, really real, but you dismiss so-called "skeptical" demands for such as being absurd.

Well, you've got lots of company: billions of faithful religious believers just like yourself.

Regarding Alexander's claims of seeing "heaven," neurologist Oliver Sacks presents good reasons for doubting this:
http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2012/12/spiritual-hallucinations-are-brain-based.html

You're free to believe whatever you want, but you're not free to deny the reality of how the human brain operates -- including the extreme unlikelihood that Alexander actually was aware of heaven without using any functions of his brain. Sacks nicely demolishes that notion.

Speaking of demolishing, you doubt that consciousness is genuinely correlated with brain functions. So why don't you get someone to take a baseball bat and smash you on the head? Really hard. If your theory is correct, you won't feel any different, because you apparently believe that consciousness isn't connected, or the result of, physicality.

So if you have a damaged brain, or no brain, no big deal.

I strongly suspect (and also strongly hope) that you won't conduct this experiment. There are innumerable examples of changes in the brain producing changes in consciousness. There are ZERO proven examples of immaterial consciousness continuing to "power" the human body absent a functioning brain.

If you want some enlightening semi-serious reading, may I suggest Hume. I've just starting reading his "Concerning Human Understanding." This passage I read this morning reminded me of your focus on thoughts about an imagined reality, rather than reality itself:

"Nothing, at first view, may seem more unbounded that the thought of man, which not only escapes all human power and authority, but is not even restrained within the limits of nature and reality.

To form monsters, and join incongruous shapes and appearances, costs the imagination no more trouble than to conceive the most natural and familiar objects.

And while the body is confined to one planet, along which it creeps with pain and difficulty; the thought can in an instant transport us into the most distant regions of the universe; or even beyond the universe, into the unbounded chaos, where nature is supposed to lie in total confusion."

So think on, Manjit. Imagining is fun.

Wisdom, though, lies in recognizing the different between our own thoughts and the wide world of reality that lies outside the space between our ears. Alexander hasn't grasped that wisdom. Neither, it seems, have you.

An odd, and somewhat completely irrelevant, clearly emotive response.

Yes, I am an avid "true believer" in my complete unknowingness - something you seem unable to grasp through the bluster of your own beliefs.

You have completely misrepresented my arguments, my position and my "beliefs", if indeed any such thing was intimated in my post.

I never questioned correlation, for example. The baseball bat analogy a juvenile one, one that I myself have used - however in more appropriate contexts - more than 10 years ago....so whilst you may appear smart and wise to your followers here, however small, it is passe to me. I read Hume as a teenager, btw, but thanks for the "wise" suggestion.

All your so-called requests for proof of this or that are clearly disingenuous - there's plenty of research out there which SUGGESTS the materialistic model is incorrect - that you are not aware of it, doesn't make it any the less real. The word placebo, alone, is enough to terrify most eliminative materialists.

Oliver Sacks article is completely irrelevant - he really does use a lot of words to say nothing much at all - cliche critiques based on a lack of understanding of the subject at hand. Ignorance & arrogance. I read it, I believe, the day he posted it, btw - thanks anyway.

But, I concede, you are clearly too wise for me to waste your time with.....your knowledge of the subject vast & profound - though it can be summed thus "Woo woo alert, woo woo alert; how stupid are these people for not realising - consciousness doesn't even exist!"

:)

All together now my fellow materialists; "Consciousness doesn't exist, I am not really here, nor is that Ostrich with it's head in the sand over there!"...

Chill my dear "churchless" fellow, and please find room in your no doubt deeply compassionate, though scientifically speaking non-existing, humanist mind to forgive my garbled thoughts, for alas I was not as blessed by the wisdom tree as thee.

I'm just glad I don't exist to feel the shame.

:)

Manjit, maybe someone else can decipher your "new age" speak. I can't. You say that materialists are wrong, but you have no evidence or even good arguments for your supernatural beliefs -- other than saying that I'm not aware of them.

Please enlighten me with links to the evidence that you know about, and others don't. Words don't mean anything, as Hume implied, because the human mind can imagine lots of stuff that isn't true. Anyway, enjoy your beliefs. Me, I prefer reality.

Hi Manjit,
Susan Backmore says consciousness
is not continuous. It is an effect, not
a cause.

She also debunks the notion of a self.

Carl Jung's collective unconscious holds
the mysteries of gods, demons, previous lifes.

People like Madonna and Britanny Spears
practice Kaballah. Summoning of demons.
This is spreading like wild fire and is
the fastest growing loose religion in
the world. Freemasons and Santeria are
the same.

The Goetia, 72 demons, was practiced by
King Solomon. Evocation of demons whom
speak through one and give power.

They tap the collective unconscious very
successfully. These Luciferian cults are
attracting huge numbers. Unlike Radhasoami,
their methods work.

Aleister Crowley and Anton Levy are very big. Crowley was an English spy handeled
by Ian Fleming, Author of James Bond.

Both Bush presidents belonged to Freemason
Skull and Bones and practice evocation of
demons for power. Alan Greenspan was a satanist.

The government is loaded with Satanists.
Hollywood is loaded. Radhasomi is kids stuff compared.

Demons are real on their own planes of
existance. I am sure of this. They can come
through the human brain.

Want to see a demon today, right now.
Here's how.

Darken the room. Place two candles on either side of your computer. The Black Mirror of your computer screen works just fine. If no candles a distant light will do,
but you must not directly see the light or candles as you stare in your screen.

Look at the darkened image of your face in
the screen. Look into your left eye and keep
staring at it. After a few minutes the screen will look to you as if it has totally turned black and your face is gone.

After awhile another image will appear. This
will be a subconscious demon.

IT WILL NOT BE YOU.

Caution, you can become literally possessed
by using this technique. It is very dangerous.

Hi Brian - I posted a response but it may be lost as it kept erroring. It was a jokey response, so here's a better one:


First of all, I would suggest if you are going to make ad hominem insults, that they be at least partially relevant, or accurate, or you come across to me at least, as a little humourless, hugely egotistical, and extremely insecure.

1) You label me, incongrously, as a "true believer"? In what, exactly? If you try to read my words in a clear state of mind, you will notice I clearly state or imply on several occassions I simply don't KNOW the truth of the matter - CLEARLY on several occassions. C'mon dude, a "true believer"? Please try harder lest this whole discussion become a caricature.

2) Please have leniency on my "garbled" talk - not all of us are educated, or published authors - are you really that arrogant? I actually think you are not, or at least hope so. You let yourself down with these tactics, imo.

3) I read Hume when I was a teenager, 18 or more years ago I believe. I say this not in any way to brag, but to indicate to you I am not unfamiliar with the concepts you discuss - so what? There's plenty of philosophers?

3) I read Oliver Sacks' blog article about Eben on the day he released it, btw. Can you please highlight for us where he "demolishes" Eben's perspective? I must have entirely missed that part? The only, and I mean ONLY actual phenomenal argument he makes is the *speculation* that Eben's entire experience occurred after his brain started functioning - but a "demolishing"? Hmmm.

By the way, I disagree with Eben's book title that his experience was "proof" of "heaven", and I have never argued that, once.

4) Your statement that I contend there are neural correlates to certain experiences *within consciousness* is patently false.(please, let's not forget the fact that science has absolutely no proof consciousness even exists, as yet at least - an incredibly revealing thing, in these discussions) .

I clearly state above that that there ARE correlates, but that does not equal CAUSALITY. Eating an apple is an entirely neural event, but that doesn't mean apples don't exist. etc etc.

Your example of being hit with a baseball bat is an old & tired one, one that I have used on several occassions more than 10 years ago - I say that to express to you I understand your point, really I do. But it simply doesn't not prove, for example, that brain is a generator rather than receiver of consciousness. Again, to reiterate my own position, I simply don't know myself, I'm not that convinced of my own intelligence and supreme dominance over nature to claim to even ne ABLE to understand it....I leave such knowingness to those as lofty as your good self (dubious though I may be :).

The thing is, you can conceptualise endlessly any number of paradigms or models, as compelling, if not more so, than any current philosophy, with convolutions of thought which make our current, limited, linear concepts laughably primitive.....Hume or not.

Think on these things - don't just jump on bandwagons....especially ones that are so rickety that they demand you believe that consciousness doesn't even exist!! He he.

Dear Mike / Zakk - I love your posts man, I really do :)

Susan Blackmore seems, imo, a little confused nowadays. Basically, she has aligned herself in general with Zen Buddhism. There you go, Zen it is then.

I practiced Goetia, and the Sacred Magic of Abra Melin the Mage when I was a deeply disturbed teenager. Nothing much has changed. I challenge anyone to perform random and absurd "Sigils" for "proof" of "paranormal" phenomena, perform it wholeheartedly, and observe the results.....

Crowley was a genius, but a sad example of how mystical genius and power does not make one a decent human being, or even a remotely happy one....

Yes, no doubt demons or djinns are playing havoc on our reality - they have done since the dawn of humanity. The proof is there for all to see. :o)

Many years ago I practiced the staring into the mirror unblinking. I can't remember the first time I read this method, perhaps an Osho book (The Big Orange Book?) or some yoga or new age text.....The most significant result I had was whilst on LSD...I turned into a Lion, it was sooooo real :o)

I told my friend of this technique (again, more than 10-15 years ago), and they tried it.....they saw a silver pole, with two snakes wrapped around it, and freaked them out. I forgot this story until a few weeks ago, where this friend and I reminiscing reminded me of it, and indeed "blamed" me for this scary vision!! :o)

Cheers.

Hi Brian, in your most recent post you accuse me of "supernatural beliefs"? Is that supernatural in the sense one would say electricity is supernatural to 16th century man? I can decipher no other meaninful interpretation of your use of the word in context of our discussion today?

What beliefs do you refer to, specifically? Do you mean my open-mindedness to alternate explanations I personally find more plausible than saying consciousness doesn't even exist? WHilst clearly simultaneously stating I simply don't know? Are you angered by not accepting you, Shermer & Dawkins have revealed all mysteries of existence and the universe? I'm a little confused?

Please enlighten you to links of evidence? Huh? This is a huge and vast subject with many ongoing strands of research.

But I think you entirely miss the point here, maybe my blatant uknowingness is confusing you, too? What proof is there that consciousnes (if indeed it exists at all :) IS generated by the brain? SO far, the only "evidence" you appear to have provided is philosophical speculations by Sacks?

Hold on, let's get to basics; what evidence is there that consciousness even exists? What does that reveal to you about your criteria and protocols and measuring devices for "evidence"? That consciousness doesn't even exist?

Think. For yourself.

The "proof" (it's called research, Brian) that consciousness isn't generated or confined to brain matter?

Phhhhwwww...huge subject! First, the unconvincing arguments in it's favour.....please remember, eliminative materialism's best attempt at explaining consciousness is currently that it doesn't exist....I keep repeating this to drive home how absurd this is! I read somewhere the term "cognitive dissonance" in relation to this....I found myself in complete agreement. How awful it must be to prance around subjects of compassionate humanism, when you proclaim with a straight face consciousness doesn't even exist! (and by extension neither do love, compassion etc....simply cannot be proven by science, so CANNOT exist....think).

Secondly, physics itself is making a mockery of eliminative materialism - there is a huge disconnect between these areas. Physics says matter at a fundamental level is "spooky". Elimative materialism reduces everything to matter, ergo everything is reduced to "spooky".

We all know that there are those within materialistic philosophy circles who like to mock and laugh at those (most often quite appropriately) who use quantum physics as some kind of support for their beliefs.....but the simple fact is, this scientific data can ONLY lend credence to their ideas, if not proving them, whilst it makes the philosophy of eliminative materialism seem a little irrelevant.

Carry on laughing, Stuart Hammerhoff and....ROGER PENROSE have for several years been researching a quantum basis for human consciousness, and all that entails such as non-locality.

Do you also wish to mock Roger Penrose's magical thinking? Do you know who Penrose is?

How about the vast stacks of data on the placebo effect? Have you read the materialist attempts of fitting that phenomena within their model? I have. Ah, it makes the twists and turns of Radhasoami guru succession seem straightforward. :) Research the placebo effect, then come back and explain it to me within a materialistic model. I will be most impressed, thanks.

How about the various meta-research on NDE data? I'm sure you're quite aware of the various experiences, in various medically tested and measured states, and experiences veridically confirmed?

I assume you have read the Conscious Universe by Dean Radin, and come up with a coherent counter argument? I haven't heard, or thought of one myself yet, so wo would be charmed to hear yours?

Etc etc. It's a huge subject. And I never got into to it to demonstrate my intelligence and "wisdom" to others in books or blogs, so I apologise if I don't have direct links to individual papers, the many dozens I have read of the years, or books, the many hundreds, or links to other resources directly.......but it's out there....

This was a post response by Manjit that
got lost in cyberspace. This particular thread also says posts are not accepted sometimes, so you have to try more than once. This was Manjits post:

Dear Mike Williams - I love your posts man, I really do :)

Susan Blackmore seems, imo, a little confused nowadays. Basically, she has
aligned herself in general with Zen Buddhism. There you go, Zen it is then.

I practiced Goetia, and the Sacred Magic of Abra Melin the Mage when I was a
deeply disturbed teenager. Nothing much has changed. I challenge anyone to
perform random and absurd "Sigils" for "proof" of "paranormal" phenomena,
perform it wholeheartedly, and observe the results.....

Crowley was a genius, but a sad example of how mystical genius and power does
not make one a decent human being, or even a remotely happy one....

Yes, no doubt demons or djinns are playing havoc on our reality - they have
done since the dawn of humanity. The proof is there for all to see. :o)

Many years ago I practiced the staring into the mirror unblinking. I can't
remember the first time I read this method, perhaps an Osho book (The Big Orange
Book?) or some yoga or new age text.....The most significant result I had was
whilst on LSD...I turned into a Lion, it was sooooo real :o)

I told my friend of this technique (again, more than 10-15 years ago), and
they tried it.....they saw a silver pole, with two snakes wrapped around it, and
freaked them out. I forgot this story until a few weeks ago, where this friend
and I reminiscing reminded me of it, and indeed "blamed" me for this scary
vision!! :o)

Cheers.
Manjit

Dear Manjit,
You may have a problem. The Lion Demon
of the Goetia is not good. You may still
have this demon with you. It is the President of Hell !!!!!!!!

President BarbasBarbas is a demon described in the Ars Goetia. He is described as the Great President of Hell governing thirty-six legions of demons. He answers truly on hidden or secret things, causes and heals diseases, teaches mechanical arts, and changes men into other shapes. He is depicted as a great lion that, under the conjurer's request, changes shape into a man.

Other spelling: Marbas.

http://www.google.com/search?q=goetia+lion+demon&hl=en&rls=com.
microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7TSND_en&tbm=isch&tbo=
u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=lERkUZ6YBY6GiQLco4GYBA&ved=0CDsQsAQ&biw=1124&bih=587

Some main archetypes from the collective unconscious
are sometimes enumerated by Carl Jung:

The Self is the regulating center of the psyche and facilitator of individuation -
the representative of "that wholeness which the introspective philosophy of all
times and climes has characterized with an inexhaustible variety of symbols,
names and concepts". It represents all that is unique within a human being.
Although a person is a collection of all the archetypes and what they learn from
the collective unconscious, the self is what makes that person an I. The self
cannot exist without the other archetypes and the other archetypes cannot exist
without the self; Jung makes this very clear. The self is also the part which
grows and changes as a person goes throughout life. The self can be summed
up as the ideal form a person wishes to be.

The Shadow represents the traits which
lie deep within ourselves. The traits
that are hidden from day to day life and are in some cases the opposite of the self is a simple way to state these traits.

The shadow is a very important trait because for one to truly know themselves, one must know all their traits, including those which lie beneath the common, i.e., the shadow. If one chooses to know the shadow
there is a chance they give in to its motivation.

The Persona is to Jung a mere
"functional complex ... by no
means identical to the
individuality", the way we present
to the world - a mask which protects
the Ego
from negative images, and which by
post-Jungians is sometimes considered an "archetype
... as a dynamic/structural component of the psyche". Some view this as the
opposite of the shadow which is not entirely true, this is just the face that is put
on for the world, not our deepest
internal secrets and desires; that is the self.

Haha Zakk - I like you, I really do :o)

A lovely, almost delicious chain of events unfolded yesterday, and you were part of it Zakk! So thanks for being part of my stream of consciousness for a while :)

Here's how it went *(gotta go, so briefly):

Yesterday evening, whilst visiting friends, having a cup of tea - where incidentally the friend I referenced above who saw a snake wrapped around a pole (it was 1 snake, he corrected me yesterday) whilst looking into a mirror - several of us got involved in a discussion of the deeper mysteries of life.

We get into these things I would say quite often - but don't get me wrong, I may blather about such things here - but generally in real life, I very rarely discuss these thing, and NEVER go into depth, I'm more of an observer of these discussions, making the odd remark or comments when 2 people have opposing views or some-such - I never go into my own perspectives, or experiences AT ALL really.

But then, for the first time in a long, long while (if ever, even) - I randomly went off on one, blatantly playing around with them, saying "this week I believe"....(ie letting them know I'm just messing, don't take me literally)......it was almost like I was "channelling" (but not really)...

...and it was all about the maleavolent demiurge as creator - something I haven't thought about for many a year, if not decade (when studyig gnosticism) - but I just went off on one, expounding on it, and all the "evidence" in history and society for it......I believe I had these people, from diverse backgrounds & perspectives (none really religous or anything though, although one believes in theosophy...another an open minded scientist etc), quite, errrm, lets say at least questioning if I may be right - so much so I then repeatedly hammered home I'm just speculating people!

Annnyways, my friend I mentioned in my previous post was there, and before leaving I mentioned to him that some crazy dude online believes it is demons you see in the mirror when you stare into your own eyes.

You see, when I heard the method, I understood it as previous lives you would see (or I wouldn't have practiced it, or suggested my friend do it.....decades ago here we're talking).

So, as fun, I imagined I was a lion in a past life, but deeper down.....that I was tripping off my nut :o) (ie I've never really considered it seriously - but I did my friends, actually, as he was not on acid - and had absolutely, I mean absolutely, no idea what the snake and staff SYMBOLISES (kundalini and the spine, obviously) - so I was always fascinated by the coincidence of it - many possible expanations for it, but probably not best discussed on a fundamentalist materialist blog like this...

....annnnnyways, came back home, read your blog entry. Also looked up your link - it is interesting that there are actually SEVERAL lion headed demons in Goetia, not just the one you mentioned - then ignored it :o)

Then went on to very quickly, look into the concept of demi-urge that I, randomly, was able to expand on somehow quite convincingly - so wikipediad it to check if my info was well remembered (it was :)

But what got me, within a few minutes search on the wiki entry, I came across this picture of the demi-urge:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/59/Leontocephaline-Ostia.jpg

Would you believe it, a combination, literally, of my mates vision (ONE snake wrapped around a pole), and a lions head.

A truely delicious synchronicity I enjoyed - then disregarded.

Cheers Mike :o)

Now, enough true believer delusional thinking from me, let normal programming resume....

Cheers Brian too for your patience.....

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