So what gets between us and our divinity? There are consequences for letting fear run our lives.

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In today’s news media we hear about all kinds of mayhem i.e. murder, war, oppression, financial meltdown, high unemployment, ethnic strife, and extreme political partisanship. I’ve also noticed that the more I read, the more anxious and fearful I become and I grow more defensive.

What, I wondered, was causing the seemingly escalating chaos? Could it be something as simple as unchecked fear and was this fear then feeding upon itself? As human beings attempt to deal with their fears, they show up as images in their dreams that sometimes morph into dark and frightening chimera–nightmares. In the Archipelago of Dreams Robert is constantly reacting to his fears and doesn’t know how to effectively deal with them as they come fast and furious and threaten to overwhelm him.

Alas, our typical human response for dealing with that which scares us is to shove it down into the hidden realms of our subconscious mind. In the short run this seems to work and allows us to get through yet another day, but over the long haul the fears become too large to hide and too difficult to manage and we begin to function through our fears as though they were real.

When people operate out of fear their ability to see reality becomes compromised–everything becomes a threat. For those who live in fear, defense–self-protection–becomes the overriding theme of their lives. This posture then fuels their response to their medical needs, leadership, virtually every aspect of public safety, and sometimes even dictates what foods are eaten.

Fear comes from thinking that you are vulnerable to your circumstances and to the events of your life. It is spawned from the animal part of us that reacts instinctively and without thought–the little archaic lizard, or reptilian, brain that hides at the base of the skull. In humans it is incorporated into the ego-self, a construct that imagines itself to be small and isolated and thus vulnerable to the world. The reality is anything but–we are immensely bigger than our image of ourselves.

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However, in a world where the inhabitants are blind to their reality, they build walls around themselves and “things” become important to their defense. How many things and of what kind becomes a preoccupation. As the inhabitants strive to gather more and more things so as to feel safe and secure they themselves become a thing as well and separate themselves even further from each other. And the separation results in each person exploiting the others for what they think will be their personal gain–what they think will quiet the fear.

When you are separated and alone you begin to feel vulnerable and helpless and the fear grows. It is out of that fear that dictators are born, that institutional and religious dogma is created to control the hoards of unpredictable “others,” and where people create points-of-view designed to protect their selves against what is not them. What was born powerful becomes fragile.

In The Archipelago of Dreams Robert leaves behind the fragile ego of his being world and discovers that he is something much more than he ever dreamed of. As he confronts the real cause of his fears, an awareness grows regarding the cost of self-protection–greed, pride, usury, hate, anger, lust, envy, and the ubiquitous self-righteous points-of-view and all of this resulting in overwhelming disruption in both the personal and collective order. The land is raped of its abundant resources and people become objects toward self-centered ends as the bankers, moneylenders, merchants and political leaders use them for their personal lust for safety.

Eventually the scale that is the world tips too far and everything slides off leaving bankrupt institutions and philosophies, wars, political gridlock, and oppression. And the people rail, and wail, and blame, and build their walls even higher. The walls become so high and fortified that the people lose sight of the soul of the world, what the great American Psychologist, James Hillman called the Anima Mundi, and their own soul as well.

It is from this dysfunctional world that Robert comes to the bigger world of the Spirit that we all come from and will all return to. It is in this world that Robert has been tasked to aid in the reconciliation that must take place within a human being in order for mankind to reunite with his soul and his bigger Self, his Spirit Self.

We were meant to be the light of the world and yet we embraced much too much of the shadow. Robert must find a way to reconnect his lost self, our lost selves. But as he learns all too quickly, this will not be easy and much evil conspires to maintain the status quo and to protect the separation. He had to find something within him that he was sure didn’t exist, and he had to find it fast because time was not a friend there, and it didn’t flow in only one direction.

Consciousness. What is it?

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“There is an Indian fable of three beings who drank from a river: one was a god, and he drank ambrosia; one was a man, and he drank water; and one was a demon, and he drank filth. What you get is a function of your own consciousness.” 



                     –Joseph Campbell, Myths of Light,  “The Jiva’s Journey,” p. 46

 

Of what do psychologists and philosophers speak when they invoke the word “Consciousness?”

At a rudimentary psychological level some define it as “awareness,” that is further defined as knowledge gained through personal perception, the recognition of something felt—that is ‘sensed.’

In the above quote from Joseph Campbell there seems to be another layer implied e.g. something residing between what is perceived and what is processed. In short, something is acting upon the information coming into the individual that affects the processing of it—a filter if you will.

Filters, we all have them–they are our judgments, biases, expectations, beliefs, philosophies, values, experiences and memories. Whether this material resides in our conscious mind or in the shadows  of our unconscious, these things affect our level of consciousness, self-awareness, and our level of alertness to reality if you will.

At a deeper, and more spiritual, level consciousness has been defined as the “Knower” or the “Observer”–something that observes itself, its feelings and its thoughts, the ground-state of our being. It is, some say, what you experience when you have quieted the mind from its incessant chatter. Others say it is what the chatter is being directed toward e.g. what is listening when you talk to yourself.

At first glance this consciousness, this knower, appears to be located somewhere alongside our mind that is the ego-thing that’s doing all the chattering. But is it? How do we explain the phenomena of distance viewing, or distant communication as when you’re thinking of cousin Harry whom you’ve not heard from in ages and the phone rings?

There’s a great deal of research that’s been done (some funded through DARPA) looking into the reality of distant viewing and finding it to be real under certain conditions. Some people can instantly ‘see’ things that are happening miles away (The Russians just love this stuff!).

Some physicists (e.g. Fred Allan Wolfe and Gary Zukav) have played around with the ground-state, or ‘universal field’, idea of consciousness as well as the concept of remote connectedness that is implied by remote viewing and have made some tentative conclusions that consciousness is independent of the sentient creatures it seems to inhabit–so much so that it exists eternally, or at least since the Big Bang.

It seems that to the degree to which a person can cleanse their perception-filters and thus get a clearer perception of reality this also affects their ability to connect with this level of consciousness. It may even be this consciousness that makes it possible to see things beyond ones temporal and physical location.

Certainly it would at least make it possible to see outside ones bias, the bias that believes there is no bias, so as to transcend the waking fantasy world dream that the vast majority of us humans think of as reality.

Consciousness continued

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When we react to real world stimuli e.g. sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell only a small fraction of what is in our consciousness is recorded into our awareness with the rest going into the unconscious. Even those data that have been perceived consciously have gone into the subconscious mind and thus have become psychic events whose nature may then become unknowable to us.

Generally speaking these unconscious aspects can be revealed through the dream not as rational thoughts, but as symbolic visions.

Because this unconscious information takes up so much room in the psyche it can have enormous effect on our lives if not brought into our awareness, our consciousness. This unconscious can in effect rule us irrationally.

This is precisely what constitutes neuroses. When too much of our mind becomes split there is what psychologists term “dissociation.” Primitives termed this as a “loss of the soul” and often it was what they referred to as the “bush soul”, or the animal soul, that was lost. Many rituals would be performed by the local shaman to help heal, or at least balance the split caused when a person radically dissociated their psyche. For the American society this is the job of the local psychiatrist, psychologist, or sometimes clergy.

I see this split pervading the society as a whole and I wonder if the society has split itself off from the deeper parts of its psyche? There seems to be a societal dissociation that has revealed itself in our severe polarization. It separates nearly everyone from their inner nature and has caused a cultural neurosis the symptoms of which seem to be a frantic effort to fill a non-existent void (I say ‘non-existent void’ because I think we have only misplaced our bush soul and not lost it altogether).

We try to fill what appears to be missing through the neurotic acquisition of things such as clothes, cars, houses, “newageisms”, right religious expression, money, right spouses, the best team, children, and diplomas. It shows up in our lust for the newest thing in technology, or foods, or diets, or husbands, or wives, or sex. It shows up when we follow the political phenomena of, “Throw the bastards out!” as an attempt to correct the perceived wrong done to us by our politicians.

But it’s not “out there” where the problem lay, it’s in the collective “in here” (point toward your own heads and hearts).

Our consciousness has become fragmented, disrupted if you will, and has left us chasing after ephemera. We have lost our connection with our soul. I think that we can only find our hidden soul by looking into the recesses of our unconscious and reconnecting the disparate parts of the psyche.

Where did the soul go?

 

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Basically I think all humans are children; whether healthy, hurt, or abused, playful or withdrawn, happy or sad, expressive or withdrawn a part of us never grows up. We learn to put on masks so as to look appropriate and acceptable because to not do so runs the risk of rejection. We learn to say, “I don’t care” when we really do. We learn to hide any emotion that might result in a challenge to our survival. And it’s not just physical survival we care about but our psychological, emotional and ego survival as well.

We come into this world with a number of personalities some of which are heightened and some of which are squashed. The society of children and the parents of children who have their own inner child squashed and compromised inadvertently pass on their hurts and limits until eventually very little of the soul that came into the world is reflected in the being that is enlivened by it.

There comes a time that if we express the free spirit of our childhood at all it’s only through the overindulgence of drugs, alcohol, Halloween dress-up, or singing in the shower.

Perhaps it’s time to break out of the box we’ve built and trapped ourselves in. It’s safe, yes, but safe from what? Life? All too often we are the enemy we are hiding from. We are the fox in our own henhouse.

What then? How can we protect ourselves from ourselves?

But I don’t think we came here to be safe and well protected. We came here to run, jump, play in the mud, finger paint, sing, act crazy, love and be loved. But it’s so hard to do that inside a cramped little box. The ego likes boxes but the soul does not. We try so hard to be accepted and acceptable to everyone and everything that we lose the very side of us that came here to play. And one day we wake up and say, “Where did you go?”

But slow down, take a deep breath, be quiet, and listen and just maybe you’ll hear a little voice from deep within declare,

“I’m still here, deep down beyond the masks, the walls, the fear and worry. Just take one step outside, then another and another and you’ll find me again, waiting to play. Knock on the door and giggle and romp with me, sing silly songs and we’ll tell each other stupid knock-knock jokes. Look foolish and ignore the parent for just a few playful moments, there’s plenty of time to be serious later. Don’t waste another precious moment, come to my house and let’s play.”

 

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My Friend the Dragon–a Riddler by Nature

 

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Found on http://stuffpoint.com/dragons/image/128196/old-dragon-reads-book-picture/

 

I was doing some research this morning for my website when I came across a reference for the symbol of the Dragon in a dream. I’ve recorded several symbols for the dragon (see Dragon Symbols in the Dreaming Wizard website ), but was not aware that they are often seen as riddle makers as well. Given my run in with a Riddlegnome in the book The Archipelago of dreams (see Books by Author on right hand column), I wondered what part a riddle played in fantasy stories, or dreams for that matter.

Frequently riddles are a collection of opposing characteristics describing a single person, place or thing and yet it is the essence of the answer that reconciles the opposites into a single correct answer.

Riddles are often found at the entrance to all kinds of things and are presented as a means of opening the doors to something such as a cave, lair, or bridge and as such aid in the protection of these things. The riddle’s solution is thus the answer to an achievement of something valuable and nothing worth achieving is won without struggle. So it’s no wonder that the Dragon that is often seen as the protector of human treasure is affiliated with the riddle.

The riddle also represents mystery and mans struggle to discover the truth of things. Its solution elicits many of the same feelings associated with the discovery of an unknown truth–the conquering of something heretofore bigger than oneself.

For me at least, any riddle always tries my patience and tests my wit. It is also a metaphor for something that makes me feel stupid and requiring usually a higher degree of analysis and synthesis skill than I think I have. It can often be seen as the prelude to failure and an obstruction to progress. But I must be in pretty good company, or it wouldn’t be used as a protective charm so often in stories of magic. However, I also suspect that they are used in most cases to strengthen one’s higher-order thinking skills and as such as a game to test, or hone, one’s mettle.

While researching, my own dragon entered the room and of course, true to form, posed its own riddle that I present to you now, but unlike my encounter with the Riddlegnome, I will not munch on your bones should you fail to answer correctly.

“It is as warm as a summer’s breeze, or as cold as a stone on a winters day.

It is brighter than a star, or as black as a moonless night.

It can be as hard as rock, or as malleable as clay.

It is of the flesh and of the spirit.

It opens itself up to the universe and yet it can close hard latched when vulnerable.

It is all-powerful and yet easily broken.”

 

                                                                     –RJC

What is it?

There is no reward, or punishment for a correct answer other than the one presented by your own ego. Is that not always so?

 

Love

 

200.gifAhh, it’s that time of year again when the mind turns toward love, something that’s always in the heart, but most often missing in the mind.

Eros (love), not as a god, or as a thing, or a behavior, or something that engenders pleasure, is an act of being. It’s a meditation of the soul that softens our ego boundaries and allows us for a time to become a part of another person. It gives us a chance to be in the moment, and as such, to touch the eternal.

But it’s not very long-lasting is it? That’s because it’s mostly an act channeled through the ego and therefore subject to all biological and social conditioning.

You’ve heard me speak of the Animus–the male aspect within the female, and the Anima–the female aspect in the male? We all have these dual and somewhat conflicting aspects, but we usually, through conditioning conscious and unconscious, learn to suppress the influences of our opposite gender nature. This suppression makes it difficult to communicate well with the opposite sex that of course leads to misunderstandings.

But the problems don’t stop there because fundamentally we are all solipsistic e.g. mostly self-absorbed and self-interested. In short, the ego-us loves itself and the love for an “other” is often limited by the belief that the “other” is not us.

There’s all kinds of Love; Altruistic service ala Mother Teresa that requires the sacrifice of the ego demands; friendship, also requiring self-sacrifice; erotic love, that for brief moments gives insight into another’s psyche by allowing us to let go of our vulnerabilities and protected self and thus giving us insight into true intimacy; and the mother-child relationship, also requiring sacrifice, service, and vulnerability. When Love comes to the forefront of our lives, compassion–the act of being in another’s shoes–blossoms.

Note that all forms of love require that we give up ego-dominance and that we be willing to let go of self-interest. Actually, it may be in our self-interest to let go of self-interest if we ever want to truly feel that we belong and are loved. This includes giving up the idea of separation between each of us and the separation between our masculine and feminine aspects, as well as our shadows and lights, within us. Love may be the purpose for our existence e.g. to learn to let go of that which reinforces separation in order to experience true wholeness.

Now I know it looks like I’m ego bashing, as though I’m advocating getting rid of the ego, but I’m not. What I am suggesting is that we let go of the dominance of the ego both as it is expressed in the individual and in the world. Perhaps it is the soul and the world that also need to unite for us to experience what we are in order to lift ourselves out of the despair of our human predicaments?

Love I believe is always in us, someone doesn’t put it there, but we can experience it through the opening to another being. I believe that we are here to teach each other the meaning of love. We may be here to open each other up and release our spirits.

 

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” ~Rumi

 

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Functioning from Source, the nonlocal “I”

 

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For the past two weeks I’ve been writing about intention, practical magic, and the universal soul.

I’ve suggested that intention is the basis of all creation because it is ones intent that comes before all learning, reasoning, inference, recall, and action. I’ve tried to show that we are all our deepest intent– our deepest desire. Down in our center we intend that which will ultimately fulfill us e.g. what will make us happy at our spiritual level.

There seem to be two levels to this spiritual level– this soul level. One is our personal soul that which makes up all our personal desires, holds our individual egos (the “I” that we think we are), our experiences and conditioned behaviors. It’s that part of us that operates within the world of space/time, what might be considered our local mind.

Outside of the local mind is the universal soul where the nonlocal or superlocal mind resides. Our “I” self is but a reference point from which we view the greater Self that is the place where together the observer and the observed, the “seer” and the “seen” experience and create. It is in this place where everything is possible because at this level everything already exists. But when we trap ourselves in the box of the local mind, the limited mind of the ego and its conditioned behaviors, we cannot imagine anything from the universal and thus are limited in what we can create.

In short, that part of us that you and I believe is the real us, that part we call “I” is the ultimate limiter of the extraordinary beings that we really are. It is this limited local “I” that needs to be transcended, laid aside, before the real magic of our being can be practiced. The individual “I”s need to cooperate i.e. as Deepak Chopra said, “the trees must breathe so I can breathe” so that the illusion of separation can be transcended and we can collectively move beyond our constricted awareness.

We do this by asking ourselves a very simple question when attempting to manifest our intentions, 1) How will attainment of this intention serve me and how will it serve everyone else around me?

If the answer is about fulfillment and happiness for all concerned, i.e. for the universal “I” versus the individual “I”, then we begin to create the extraordinary and magical world about us.

 

Another covenant with reality

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Just as the New Testament of the Christian Bible attempts to portray a new covenant with human reality there is an equivalent in physics. The old world idea of reality can be outlined in what is known as Newtonian physics. You know Newton he was the guy who started pondering the geometry of the universe because an apple fell on his head. In this point-of-view the world outside ourselves was thought to behave in a particular way i.e. individual events were predictable and from this predictability a precise schematic of reality could be deduced. This was the world of Einstein and Sherlock Holmes.

But along came a new guy in town, quantum physics–the study of sub atomic phenomena– and a new testament to reality was born. In this new take on the way things are the predictability of the Newtonian world is turned on its head, instead of being dropped on the head as with the apple, and the predictable becomes unpredictable and probabilistic. No longer can individual events be predicted because in this reality only groups of events have any potential for reality.

It gets weirder in the quantum reality because in this world you and I create reality through our experience and there is no reality beyond our experience of it. In this fundamental world that lies at the foundation of all that we see or seem the old adage that “seeing is believing” is wrong because here “believing is seeing”– we see what we’ve programed ourselves to see (though I contend that outside the physical world this has always been the way for human beings, socially, politically and psychologically i.e. we only see what we want to see).

In the tiny world of the quantum everything seems mystical, intuitive, and irrational. In many ways the left-brain rational view of reality that adheres to a rigid understanding of cause and effect has to give way to the irrational, nonlinear, and whole pattern experience of the right brain.

Note that these descriptions of rational vs. irrational, linear vs. creative, logical vs. intuitive follow the psychological profiles of the inner feminine and masculine that I’ve been writing about. Once again a singular left-brain masculine view of reality begs to be balanced by the right-brain feminine view. i.e. the world can be, and I assert that it should be, both assertive and receptive, rational and irrational1. Most societies reflect a left hemisphere bias on reality, the world of trying to understand everything. But there is room for the right hemisphere that stands in awe and wonderment.

Here’s an exercise to strengthen your right brain experience of reality: the next time you are awed by something just let the feeling be. Don’t try to figure out, label, or understand it. Just let the feeling sit within you–within the right hemisphere of your consciousness. Don’t engage the feeling with thought and logic, let the left-brain rest. Eventually you will ‘understand’, but in a whole new way, a way that words and formulae can’t describe, but every bit as real.

Do this with everything, a leaf, a bird flying across the sky, the rustle of a tree branch, the honk of a horn, the smell of food, a flower, or of a pretty girl walking by. Don’t identify it, label it, categorize it or phantasize about it, just “be” with it. It’s hard, I know, because we’re so used to giving precedence to our left, language based, and rationalizing brain. Practice this when it’s practical to do so (trying it while a truck is bearing down on you and blaring its horn is not a good time to “be with” the experience of it all) and you will experience the world in a much larger way.

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1When I use the word “irrational” I don’t use it in the derogatory sense. I use it to refer an other than linear cause and effect way of seeing things an “other than rational” experience such as is experienced through intuition, or the so-called sixth sense.

Peace: An expression of the ‘free range’ soul.

 

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If we are to have peace at any time we need to shift the inner and outer dialog from “How do we prevent violence, how do we make things safer or how do we get rid of fear?” to one of “how do we make ourselves peaceful and soulful?” You see the difference, from a focus on the negative to one focusing on the positive.

It’s a moment-by-moment choice to either act out of fear that is out of a negative context, to one where we choose to act out of love, to express our soulful self.

When I use the term fear I’m talking about the fear that one may experience in jealousy i.e. if you show interest in someone else or love for someone else that means less interest or love for me or the fear that if you have more money than me that means there’s less for me (note how close money mirrors love here). There’s also the fear that if you get to be more powerful than me that means I’ll be less powerful or if you get to be right that means I’m less right or even (shudder) wrong.

This is all ego stuff because that’s what the ego is all about. The ego knows that it’s small and weak so it believes it needs to protect itself and it does that by convincing you that you are small and weak and the only way you can overcome that is through protecting yourself from any further loss– after all there’s only just so much love, safety, money, and power to go around– right?

Wrong! It’s unlimited and the only way to access that power is through love, compassion, caring, giving i.e. the continuous expression of the soul.

Acting out of fear only generates more fear– it sells guns, security systems and elects politicians but it doesn’t make for a peaceful world. It only creates a fearful world with lots of guns, walls (both physical and emotional), domination, and hoarding to prevent loss. And because that doesn’t work to make us feel more peaceful we pile on more of the same– more security, more laws, more and bigger walls, and more restrictions– simply put guns never bring about peace, love brings about peace.

So if this were such a simple thing why haven’t we done it yet? Because peacefulness is not something external to us or something or someone we can manipulate to our will as we’ve been led to believe, it’s an internal condition– an expression of the soul. We cannot be peaceful without being in touch with and expressing our soul. And that’s what most of have forgotten how to do, express their soul– we choose fear instead of love, we choose not to find answers to love but to find answers to fear.

When we operate out of love whatever comes our way can be embraced in love– as a way to express love. For example, I don’t always feel love for my wife or my friends but I always try to choose to act out of love. I don’t love a bigoted message or messenger but I can choose to express another way of being that shows love and compassion.

Many in this country, or the world for that matter, have so walled themselves off with fear that they have become soulless. We spend so much precious time talking about banning people, closing doors in their face, building walls around ourselves, and restricting people’s freedoms which is all soulless rhetoric and only serves to rid us of our soul expression, of love, community, and the essence of ourselves and our lives. We need to resist the temptation to embrace the negative thus living our lives in fear.

We need to embrace our better natures and not those of our basal, more animal aspects. We are not what we think we are, what our tiny egos have convinced us we are. We are so very much bigger than that. When we truly get that, miracles happen, peace happens and there’s no need for the walls against fear.

 

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Consciousness. What is it?

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“There is an Indian fable of three beings who drank from a river: one was a god, and he drank ambrosia; one was a man, and he drank water; and one was a demon, and he drank filth. What you get is a function of your own consciousness.” 



                                        Joseph Campbell, Myths of Light, “The Jiva’s Journey,” p. 46

 

Of what do psychologists and philosophers speak when they invoke the word “Consciousness?”

At a rudimentary psychological level some define it as “awareness,” that is further defined as knowledge gained through personal perception, the recognition of something felt—that is ‘sensed.’

In the above quote from Joseph Campbell there seems to be another layer implied e.g. something residing between what is perceived and what is processed. In short, something is acting upon the information coming into the individual that affects the processing of it—a filter if you will.

Filters, we all have them–they are our judgments, biases, expectations, beliefs, philosophies, experiences and memories. Whether this material resides in our conscious mind or in the shadows  of our unconscious, these things affect our level of consciousness, our level of alertness to reality if you will.

At a deeper, and more spiritual, level consciousness has been defined as the “Knower” or the “Observer”–something that observes itself, its feelings and its thoughts, the ground-state of our being. It is, some say, what you experience when you have quieted the mind from its incessant chatter. Others say it is what the chatter is being directed toward e.g. what is listening when you talk to yourself.

At first glance this consciousness, this knower, appears to be located somewhere alongside our mind that is the ego-thing that’s doing all the chattering. But is it? How do we explain the phenomena of distance viewing, or distant communication as when you’re thinking of cousin Harry whom you’ve not heard from in ages and the phone rings?

There’s a great deal of research that’s been done (some funded through DARPA) looking into the reality of distant viewing and finding it to be real under certain conditions. Some people can instantly ‘see’ things that are happening miles away (The Russians just love this stuff!).

Some physicists (e.g. Fred Allan Wolfe and Gary Zukav) have played around with the ground-state, or ‘universal field’, idea of consciousness as well as the concept of remote connectedness that is implied by remote viewing and have made some tentative conclusions that consciousness is independent of the sentient creatures it seems to inhabit–so much so that it exists eternally, or at least since the Big Bang.

It seems that to the degree to which a person can cleanse their perception-filters and thus get a clearer perception of reality this also affects their ability to connect with this level of consciousness. It may even be this consciousness that makes it possible to see things beyond ones temporal and physical location.