Near Death Experiences (NDE)

So straight in with the big question, no messing around: “Could human consciousness exist in the absence of a living brain?” Isn’t that the million dollar question…

I have over the years read a lot about NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) and find the whole think quite fascinating actually. I guess if one looks for evidence of non-local consciousness, then NDE’s (for me) are the most logical place to start.

Once the brain is clinically dead (and by that I infer that one is clinically dead with the cessation of cerebral blood flow and oxygen), then after a period of intense “about to die” brain activity (which could be explained as the final electrical surge during the glutamate flood), one is fact dead. Deceased. An ex-human. One is indeed pushing up the daisies…

Thinking of a logical simile, death is like a computer: when it’s time to log off you prepare yourself, click Start > Shut Down and the internal parts process such a request which results in a spike of electrical activity – shutting down all services and processes before finally presenting a black screen. Once in this mode, one can move the mouse or type on the keyboard, but alas there is no response (unless you resuscitate it by pressing the power button again of course). Our computer cannot experience or store anything whilst in this mode, so I guess this is where we as humans may differ and as such the search for synthetic or artificial consciousness will be in vain.

The catalogued NDE cases I’ve read are very interesting indeed, especially those OBE (Out of Body Experiences) where folks have witnessed items from way above their vantage points like mouse traps on high cupboards, shoes on a roof etc after all visible brain activity has ceased. No doubt there have been some seriously clever and impartial folks documenting and studying such events, and personally I would like to think that experiences like seeing deceased relatives, beings of light and tunnels are in fact evidence of something beyond this realm. If we can only experience five percent of the electro/audio magnetic spectrum of what we call reality with the limited five senses we have, then one has to conclude there is something else out there. Exactly what that is, I guess we may never know.

The more intriguing cases for me are NDE’s of the young, for surely if an infant has no preconceptions about religion, beings of light, tunnels and the concept of death, then if in those cases they were able to describe such things in detail then for me the evidence really does start to stack up. There was one case that Penny Sartori who studies and writes about NDE’s cited, whereby a four year old child (whom obviously had little/no religious experience) managed to describe their NDE in great detail; going into a tunnel, meeting people and seeing a gate which they never went through.

Whilst there are extremes variety and wealth of evidence both captured and studied, I ask myself the question whether consciousness is non-local based on the NDE’s evidence I have read thus far and can I presented can be regarded as being beyond reasonable doubt. There is still something which the logical part of me questions. Take time dilation. I have first-hand experience of time dilation when “not conscious”, through vivid dreams and the Lucid Light Device (Lucia No 3) where extensive periods of dream-time occur within seconds or minutes of real-time. NDE cases could simply be experiencing “something” during that shutdown mode when the brain is hyper-active based on preconceptions or religious/spiritual beliefs of the individual. However, what cannot be accounted for I suppose is where someone is clinically dead with no visible brain activity who experiences activities in our reality (like OBE’s in the operating theatre – as some have described in great detail) once the brain has flat-lined. What could possibly explain such a scenario other than concluding one of two things: the brain can continue to function for a time after clinical death when all observable life signs have ceased, or that indeed consciousness is non-local.

I cannot say that I have had an NDE, but I can say that whilst under the influence of Lucia No 3, I had what can only be described as near death experience “experience”. I saw a tunnel. I saw white amorphous shapes what could be regarded as beings of light. Could it be that by immersing oneself in total light, one can attain an altered state and voyage into the void, into what could possibly be the collective consciousness?

OPINION: I do believe that people do have NDE’s. I do believe that certain NDE’s are difficult to counter given some of the incredible and fantastic evidence. The more and more I read, the more and more I begin to believe that there is something else out there, and NDE’s help in some way to proving that. However, I would not go as far as to say that it is beyond reasonable doubt at this stage. No doubt if I had a full on NDE then I could be persuaded, but I’d rather not just yet if I’m honest…

The Noetic Nook

A NEW BLOG SITE FROM INFINITY BECKONS – CLICK HERE

Middle-age modern life as we know it is a very busy one. Those days of calling at a friends house and trundling down to the local pub to discuss the topics of the day are sadly long gone. The demands of the corporation and the family more often than not take priority over the wants and needs of the self.

tim

As a result, a friend and I have created another blog site, affectionately known as the  Noetic Nook, as we have been forced to take a modern approach to pub chat and more specifically book reviews. The emphasis of this site is to replace those hard to get to face to face meetings, with a clear focus on seeking out evidence to support ideas that there is more to this thing we call reality.

Each page of this site will review a specific book, with the reader/reviewer adding their own thoughts and experiences for each chapter, together with an overall rating at the end.

First up is The Immortal Mind: Science and the Continuity of Consciousness beyond the Brain by Ervin Laszlo and Anthony Peake.

Nothing will ever replace good old physical meetings, but this site will at least attempt to virtually plug that gap and act as a sounding board for those who use it (at a time that is convenient), helping to formulate an informed opinion on key subjects, ever hopeful of proving that in fact infinity beckons…

Significantly, this is blog number 101 on Infinity Beckons. The number 101 not only holds significance in The Matrix trilogy (Neo’s room number), but 101 by all accounts figuratively signifies the beginning of one’s esoteric and gnostic journey to self-actualization…

Breadcrumb Diary: Week 1 – 2015

It’s been a while since I have had the time to catalogue my synchronicities, serendipities and coincidences, but with a fully charged and de-stressed noggin (following sixteen glorious days off work) the time is right to start again…

#1: Don’t scry over spilt milk…

Due to everyone being off work or school for 2 weeks, our stocks and supplies depleted at an incredible rate during the holiday period and as a result, I found myself making many a trip to the local store to replenish rations. After a scan of the fridge, I made a mental note that we also needed milk as well as a few other bits. What struck me as peculiar was a sense of foreboding about my future dairy purchase, not that I would get run over by a Morrison’s lorry on the way, but that I had what can only be described as a future echo, a premonition of leaking milk. Thinking nothing more of it, off I trundled to the shop at the bottom of the hill and acquired the needful.

When I got back I placed the milk in the fridge, the bread in the bin and collected the pooch for his evening exercise. I was accompanied by Dr Ervin Laszlo via a podcast I had downloaded earlier, in which he described the Akashic Field, a theoretical and mystical cosmic field that connects and informs everything, everywhere and everywhen, both at the quantum and material level. It was very interesting and I look forward to reading his new book (with Anthony Peake) I gifted myself as a Yuletide present over the next few weeks.

After de-leading the dog, and putting the kettle on to thaw out my frozen digits, I turned to look at the fridge, and lo – there was a white substance oozing from the door. I opened the fridge door to see that the milk I had placed there forty-five minutes earlier had in fact leaked, dripped into the salad compartment below and out through the ageing front.

I don’t recall ever having such a strong feeling of precognition before (albeit on an incredibly mundane scale), but I’m certain this was a full on premonition. Why it occurred and why it was shown to me through the medium of milk, I cannot comment…

#2: Together in Electric Dreams…

I guess it is never wise to watch a “thinking man’s film” just before one retires for the evening but that’s what I did last night anyway. The film in question is called Primer, a sci-fi time travelling affair created in 2004 for a mere seven thousand dollars (grossing five-hundred-thousand dollars since then), which for the very limited budget was and is quite remarkable. It’s one of those Inception type movies where you will have a general idea about, then you’ll go and do some Googling, then watch it again, have a chat to some friends then watch it again, satisfied that you still don’t have a clue…

My youngest son had watched it over the holidays and said he’d like to watch it again so with the females in the house safely tucked up in bed, the three amigos (my eldest included) sat down to watch, deliberate and cogitate the films content before during and after the movie. We all came away a bit confused but in agreement that it was a bloody good effort.

I crawled into bed near midnight my mind still fizzing somewhat at what I had just seen. When I woke in the morning, the wife was not impressed. By all accounts, I spent the night ‘fitting again’ as she calls it. The dream I had was a tremendous one. I was in a town somewhere in the US minding my own business with the wife and daughter when all of a sudden dark clouds appeared on the horizon and quickly made their way towards us. As they approached, the winds started to whip around us and all too soon there was a panic in the streets and my wife and daughter where swept off in the midst of the crowds, separating themselves from me and then my vision. I made for a nearby hill to get a better look to see if I could spot where they were, when all of a sudden the buildings that lined the road to the top of the hill slipped down the hill (all in one piece though as if on a conveyor belt), and there I stood high the grassy peak, as the storm’s epicentre made it way directly for me.

It was then that it hit me, literally. There was a huge white flash as the lighting strike hit me directly on the top of my head. I recall a loud sound accompanied the blast as well as the force which came with the bolt, but it did not harm me, instead it gave me a gift, the gift of foresight. I made my way down the hill which one again turned into a town and made my way towards the train tracks. Thankfully the train was still stationary at the station, so I made my way towards the first carriage in which there were two passengers. The first passenger (who my message was not for) was David Bowie dressed as Ziggy Stardust who sat calmly and statically as I ripped the entire side off the train with my bare hands. The second passenger (who my message was for) was still seated, and looked over at me.

“You don’t know me Anthony [Peake], but you must get off this train now as I have had a premonition that it will crash as it approaches the main station at Liverpool”. He took my advice and the pair of us left and made our way to some sort of lab / facility where he worked. Oddly when we got there a friend of mine “M” was there and I introduced him to Anthony and Anthony to him, quipping that up close he looked like Sting with white hair – which he quickly corrected “light blonde”. He shuffled some papers and I turned to him and asked what he thought was going on and as he opened his mouth to answer the scene faded and I woke up…

This morning I looked up nocturnal epilepsy to see how that was defined and what the symptoms of it were. Although that sounds a bit over the top, I do on occasions suffer from something rather interesting. I have a strange ability to fall asleep instantly, sometimes within thirty seconds of my head hitting the pillow I’m gone. Sometimes I also experience strange sensations which wiki defines as either Exploding Head Syndrome or Hypnic Jerk (my wife concurs with the jerk tagline).

Exploding Head Syndrome
Exploding head Syndrome (EHS) is a form of hypnagogic auditory hallucination and is a rare and relatively undocumented parasomnia event in which the subject experiences a loud bang in their head similar to a bomb exploding, a gun going off, a clash of cymbals, ringing, an earthquake, or any other form of loud, indecipherable noise that seems to originate from inside the head.

This noise usually happens at the onset of sleep or within an hour or two of falling asleep, but is not necessarily the result of a dream. Most episodes occur just after falling asleep or just prior to waking up, and are not associated with occurring in any certain sleep stage. EHS is an uncommon, usually nocturnal parasomnia that arises from the transition between different sleep stages.

Interestingly these noises are a common feature of out-of-body experiences.

Hypnic Jerk
A hypnic jerk, hypnagogic jerk, sleep start, sleep twitch or night start, is an involuntary twitch which occurs just as a person is beginning to fall asleep, often causing them to awaken suddenly for a moment. Physically, hypnic jerks resemble the “jump” experienced by a person when startled, often accompanied by a falling sensation. Hypnic jerks are associated with a rapid heartbeat, quickened breathing, sweat, and sometimes “a peculiar sensory feeling of ‘shock’ or ‘falling into the void.’

As I have tinnitus, then it’s logical to some extent to link the EHS / HJ to the point at which I fall asleep, my inner ear balance changing as I drift between states. I’m not overly concerned by it all and from what I have read do not think I have any links with epilepsy, nor do I get stressed about having EHS / HJ episodes. I know that I have more of these when I’m overworked or overtired, and restoring the balance via meditation and improved sleep patterns is the cure should I need it.

But that’s the logical view point, what if it is not that at all…

ADDENDUM: I just got a cold call from a life insurance company, should I be worried now?

Down the rabbit hole…

If I’m certain of one thing in relation to consciousness, it’s time dilation.

I had one of the most profound dreams I’ve ever had two nights ago, one of those meaning of life experiences. Sadly as the events of the previous night involved a bit too much festive cheer at the work Christmas Party, the contents of the dream remain a mystery.

It was only after going through the entries of the Notes app on my iPhone that there was some semblance of recall. This is what it said:

What I do remember is climbing (crawling) into bed around 2am, and at some point waking up from a dream and reaching across to the bedside table in the hotel and picking up my phone, the scraps of dream content being type with some accuracy (given the state I must have been in) in the same way I once kept my Lucid Dream Diary.

Time. Time is the only thing I remember about the dream. The visual representation has been lost, no pictures were stored to hard disk, but what I do remember is that the dream lasted quite literally an eternity. I had with the space of 2 hours of ‘real time’ lived not only a previous life, but the entire history of human consciousness.

Time really is wonderful, as is the perception of time. Clearly, our consciousness (our “awake-state”) perceives time as linear, with each segment clearly defined, measured and going from left to right. However, the same cannot be said for our sub-conscious / unconscious self (our “not awake-state”), the rules of the game are different and simply do not apply.

It is as if we have in our noggins two distinct consciousness’s, Observer 1 who observes time in accordance to the rules of being awake, and Observer 2 who operates in a time with no real rules at all. These consciousness’s have the ability to talk to each other, to commune and share each other’s experiences and it is the duty of Observer 1 to interact with other conscious or awake Observers (you) in what we call reality.

What is reality? Reality it seems depends on which Observer in charge; both could argue that their definition / experience of what reality is, is correct.

So how far down the rabbit hole are we; is there an Observer 0? Is what we think Observer 1’s reality just a part of the “super-consciousness” of Observer 0, in the same way that we think that Observer 2 is simply a subordinate of Observer 1, our waking self?

I’m not sure, but “I” hopes to find out one day…

Accessing The Source…

There’s waking up in a dream and waking up from a dream, and last night it could be argued that I did both…

I’ve been purchasing a lot of secondhand books recently, taking stock for what will soon be my ‘meditation loft’ in the house, contained within it my very own ‘Noetic Nook’, a gallimaufry of works from Anthony Peake, Brian Inglis and J.W Dunne to name but a few.

After all but finishing Anthony Peake’s thought provoking ITLAD, my search for other mysterious tomes took on frenzied vigor and speed; soon books were being delivered at a high rate of un-nautical knots. As much as I am a gadget man, it must be said that I’d much prefer a book than a Kindle. I have dabbled with a Kindle before but for me the novelty soon wears off.

I went to see the rather excellent British psychedelic / space rock band Ozric Tentacles last week and engaged in debate with some friends over the pros and cons over digital versus the printed word. My argument was that as much as one can store ridiculous amount of books on these lightweight and portable variants, for me the digital experience cannot compare to aged or aging book (as detailed in my poem of last week). Coupled with the fact that I am such a slow reader and a soul that can only read one book at a time (and not having the need to carry several tomes around with me at the same time), it was a no-brainer. Books.

I quipped that come the apocalypse, any associated EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) from a nuclear blast would render the electric Kindle inoperable, which was met with ‘you can’t exactly read your book when your flesh has been ripped from your skeleton in the aforementioned explosion now can you?’, a good response, and a fair one…

And so to last night’s dream…

I am middle aged, I see my middle aged self in the mirror; a common sight these days. However, as I look in the mirror at my reflection today something is different, a vision or a memory from another “time” is flooding in to my mind. It’s a very odd feeling, a feeling that the memory is not from this lineage. It feels like a long lost time, a connection to another me in a separate lineage to the one I’m living right now. All of a sudden, it is clear to me. I have “lived” or experienced other timelines before, many other timelines.

Call it the eternal return, call it reincarnation, but this is not the first time that I have lived, nor is it the first time that I have seen myself from behind the mirror (even though only now have I recalled this).

That’s it. The mirror. I am looking at a subjective view on a material reality which is right now focusing on my reflection, but behind the mirror is another me. This other “me” has made contact with me, perhaps not for the first time. It has communed a message directly to me, a message which is saying that all is not what it seems.

It is clear; there is something beyond the material universe; there is a source. This source is where our consciousness is stored, not within our brain (our consciousness is not simply an epiphenomenon of an evolved brain, it is something more majestic, more divine), but somewhere else; somewhere non-local.

I leave the house and follow an untrodden path up an unknown hill. The sky is very blue and clouds are wispy, dreamlike. Atop the hill is a glass pyramid, and upon approaching I see some sort of display panel, but a display to what – the source? I approach it and see there is a keypad, which looks like it will require some sort of password to open the glass door. I search deep inside myself and key in the following letters: L A S Z L O…

The panel makes a noise and at once, the screen above the keypad presents an image, an image of an old man who is walking towards me. I recognise the man instantly; it is Dr Jacab Bronowski, creator of the Ascent of Man essays and documentaries.

“Congratulations” he says, “You have found the answer to the question you have been looking for. Welcome to The Source”. And with that the door starts to open, but everything around me starts to fade…

This was a not a lucid dream as I never gained that realisation that I was dreaming, but it felt quite profound as I lay in bed, reflecting. I was experiencing in a dream (or was it), what Anthony Peake refers to as the Eidolon (Lower Self – the “I”) and the Daemon (the Higher Self – the “Immortal Self”); the duality of human consciousness (or unconsciousness in this case) making a connection with each other. I guess the image of Dr Bronowski was my mind throwing me a curve ball, as the man in question believes not of externalism, but of materialism, chance and probability, all very unromantic.

A few days back I looked at the bibliography at the back of ITLAD and ordered some books from there, including Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything by Ervin Laszlo and there will be a joint effort released next week from Peake and Laszlo entitled “The Immortal Mind: Science and the Continuity of Consciousness Beyond the Brain” so maybe this is where my noggin is getting all of its dream content from (as well as keypad passwords to the other side).

As I was typing this up, the postman has just dropped of my latest book, “The Daemon – a guide to your extraordinary secret self”. Now that is quite peculiar…

I’ll finish on a song, the opening lines from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody:

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality… Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see…

ADDENDUM:

Imagine my surprise when resuming my reading of ITLAD, and upon turning the first page I come across the following italicised statement, apropos NDE’s and OBE’s:

“…I was faced with an image of my own face (as if looking in a mirror)”…

Furthermore, upon leaving Starbucks (the location of my Friday afternoon read), I looked up to the sky, which was hours earlier very grey and very wet, for it now to reveal an incredible blueness with ethereal wispy clouds. As I approached the Marine Park, my focus turned to the roof of the wooden structure in its epicentre, a building painted dark brown, save the apex which was painted a brilliant white, for all intents and purposes the representation of a pyramid…

A whiter shade of pale

We tripped the light fantastic,
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the doors (of perception),
I was feeling kind of far out,
And the mind called out for more…

My spiritual journey has been on the road now for exactly two years this week. I look in the mirror from time to time, the face is still the same (albeit with a few more lines and the levels of monochrome in the facial fur department have increased), but looking beyond the physical manifestation lies an inner self which is, to me at least, almost unrecognisable.

I reviewed my commitment today to both myself and others, a commitment which was a sincere pledge undertaken during those dark times and I’m happy to say that I’m on track. My personal outlook is and will continue to be my priority list. I’m a firm believer that it is our priorities that define who we are and how we are perceived by others, and when these priorities change, the universal order of things becomes chaotic, fragile. Often when one changes priority, it’s most often as a result of the ego kicking in, want and desire taking president over need and reason. My priority list is quite simple really:

  1. The Wife and Children.
  2. My health, well-being and search for enlightenment.
  3. My friends.
  4. Everything else.
  5. Work.

Work really is a distraction to what is important to me, but a necessary evil nonetheless. So when I do have to work away from my number one priority, I try to keep myself distracted, to fend off the pull and energy drain of “The Corporation”. This week saw me climbing over the roof of Millennium Dome on Tuesday with my brother-in-law, and Tuesday marked another milestone in my search for “the source”.

Following on from reshuffling of the priority list deck two years ago (whether that took place on a prioritisation table I’m not certain), I took up yoga, meditation and reiki which really help ground me, the glue to who I am now. At that time, I also saw an opportunity to open my still sceptical mind to alternative ways of thinking, alternative ways of operating, which inevitably led me to the door of my good friend in Eastham.

The catalyst to this change in consciousness was a gig in Chester. We went to see Nick Harper (a personal favourite of ours) but instead of taking up our usual front row seats, decided to stop at the bar and talk. And talk. And talk. Nick played majestically on his “Last Guitar”, as our conversation delved deeper and deeper, from quantum physics to Everetts Many World Interpretation, as Anthony Peake stroked Schrödinger’s Cat in a parallel universe somewhere.

Fascinated by all of this, I drove us both home (stopping to relieve myself on the way due to all the soft drinks) and bid my Peroni pal a fond farewell, with a mission to find out more about this Anthony Peake character. The next day I found that he had quite a few books out and more immediately available was a plethora of podcasts, vodcasts and articles on the web. I duly ordered ITLAD and downloaded most of his audio files. It was quite a departure from the former me, no woo-woo name calling was to come from my lips.

There was one particular podcast which drew my attention, it was his theories relating to the pineal gland. The pineal gland makes/secretes melatonin, the chemical which puts us to sleep each night. Peake posits that there is more to this pine-cone-shaped walnut than meets the (third) eye, in that it has the ability under certain conditions to
self-produce “metatonin”, a DMT-based neurochemical which can put the “secrete-ee” into altered states of consciousness.

One such “under certain conditions” is Lucia No 3, a Lucid Light Machine. This device is comprised of several halogen bulbs placed within what resembles a shower-head; it combines a stroboscope with a constant white light which induces a transcendental experience for the viewer.

So a few weeks back, I sent out a list of potential things to do with my chums in work whilst I was in London this week, including running events, the cinema and a “trip” to Light Eye Mind studio in Finsbury Park. I wasn’t hopeful that anyone would go with me to see Lucia, but was happy when “M” decided she would go with me, the lads stating that they would meet us up after for a spot of tiffin.

Eager to read as much of the remainder of ITLAD that I could before our visit, I managed to cram in a hundred pages on the redeye down to London, both eager and a bit apprehensive about what was to come.

Our journey to Finsbury Park took a while, but we arrived a little early and had to wait a wee while (apt as we were desperate for the toilet) for our hosts for the evening. Talking outside the store, “M” and I swapped our own stories about our own experiences, of spirituality, of alternative therapies and holistics.

We were met by “A”, “N” and “D” from Light Eye Mind, and within minutes it was clear that there were no egos involved here which was great. There was no big sell, all very humble and approachable folks. “A” resembling a young Russell Brand (hope that is taken as a compliment should he ever read this :D) introduced us to both the studio (which was displaying some cool artwork by Danny Wilder) and Lucia No 3. His suggestion of an initial three minute tester was well met by both of us, a sample of a longer session to follow if we felt ok with the machine.

Waiver forms dutifully signed (that we didn’t have epilepsy or deep rooted psychological problems), I stepped up as guinea pig and took to my seat. I decided to bring my own music, my approach was one of deep meditation (if that was possible) so on went my Kundalini Yoga playlist from Spotify, as did Lucia. In bright light with the eyelids closed, I guess we would all see a peachy glow, and before the strobe kicked in, that’s exactly what I saw, but once the strobe kicked in, everything changed. Everything changed. I saw art. My art. My eyelid was the easel, my mind the painter. Even though the tester session was brief, I managed to see / create fractal vistas of magnificent colours, a gallimaufry of spirals and shapes, more colours, more shapes, downwards spirals.

When the light dimmed, I took a deep breath and passed the cans over to “M” who selected some of “A’s” own tunes by a band called Carbon Based Life Forms and assumed the position. The three minutes went fast and she was done. She opened her eyes with the same “wow-look” I’d had and immediately wanted more, to get back to that place she had just been, and so she remained in-seat and took a further fifteen to twenty minute session.

I talked outside to “A” and shared my journey over the last two years with him, and he listened, really listened. It’s so refreshing to talk to folks like him, folks in-tune and attuned to one’s own frequency, not ridiculed or pilloried for looking at things in a different way. I told him I’d been reading a lot of Anthony Peake and studies into consciousness (Piero Scariffi), watched a great many videos regarding DMT and ayahuasca (Rick Strassman) and experienced first-hand universal energy flow via yoga, meditation, reiki (advising that I was now Reiki Level 2), and having listened to podcasts pointing the way to Lucia No 3, I’d decided give it a try and here I was.

When “M’s” session came to an end, “A” went to her to gently wake her as she  remained static. She opened her eyes, there and not there, seemingly having a full on hypnogogic experience, managing to finally reconnect her out of body consciousness with her physical form. We made sure she had settled before I took to the chair, the details of her trip to be shared after my own journey.

As the session was a lot longer, I decided to settle into a seated yoga position, and with mudra fully deployed I relaxed into it. Once again I began to create my own William Neal / Roger Dean prog-rock-album-cover type vistas. Isometric shapes began to form, mandalas created by thin illuminous “Tron-esqe” lines appeared, followed by what can only described as wormholes, deep blues and greens spiralling inwards and outwards. Then I saw a swastika, not the revolting symbol of the Nazism, but the softer ancient Hindu symbol, growing in size from central core before disappearing.

The most profound part was yet to come. I felt myself departing into a middle state, not conscious nor subconscious nor unconscious but somewhere in the middle. I remember being surrounded by a warm glow, with a central elipse of orange light (an eye if you will, or tunnel even), a place of peace, and for the first time I saw (or created) white light, three forms or shapes of white light presented themselves. Initially the three small star-like shapes (reminiscent of looking at a far off light source from underwater) moved and twisted, and then grew to be larger amorphous forms, the one on the left staying significantly smaller than the two on the right. It was then that the full on kundalini experience kicked in. I felt a surge of energy in my spine, emanating out from the base and traversing upwards through each chakra, through each of the seven tattoos on my back and out to the meridians.

Whether I was conscious, hypnogogic, unconscious or in another place altogether, I couldn’t say. Gradually the white forms faded and the whole scene turned a blood red orange and then upon reaching the darkness I came out of my altered state and opened my eyes. The energy did not stop however, it continued whilst I gave “A” and “M” commentary of my experience, as it did all of the way back to Finsbury Park train station.

I asked “M” about her experience on the way back and she said she too had seen swastikas, but associated these to the Second World War, and saw ghostly images (like those on film negatives) of soldiers passing her line of vision one by one.

We both felt quite tired and drained, but nonetheless we made it to the Brazilian restaurant where our work chums waited patiently (albeit with beers in hand), for the inevitable closed-mind ribbing and they did not disappoint. We were both fully prepared for the abuse, and took it all, good natured as it was.

One thing “A” told us was to watch out for our dreams that night, as a lot of people have very strange and vivid visions post-Lucia sessions. When I got in to work the next day, I asked “M” how she felt and did she have any interesting dreams, but sadly her dreams were even crapper than mine. She dreamt that she was in work testing a new IT product, mine was running a 10km race which involved climbing up a hill covered in snow, all rather boring…

ADDENDUM: Always a Cynic     

I got in late last night to a message from a friend of mine who’s into his metal in a big way. A favourite band of his is called Cynic (oh the irony) and he sent me a link to their latest video, them having taken a fork in the road to a more progressive rock style. The video itself was surreal, fractal art central, mandalas everywhere. Coincidence or just another universal synchronicity presenting itself?

Along came a spider

Of late, I have been reading “Is there Life After Death: The Extraordinary Science Of What Happens When We Die” by Anthony Peake (also known as ITLAD). The book is a fascinating read, so very interesting and covers a great many topics (some of which my limited brain can only take in on the first reading).

The section I have just finished (Echoes of the Future) relates to an attempt to describe / prove (both scientifically and experientially), precognition. In short (and my interpretation which is very basic in stark contrast to the book), it is the concept that we have a lower self (our physical form experiencing the external (objective) world subjectively) and a higher self (perhaps best described as the subconscious or the “non-local us” – the premise that our consciousness exists not inside us but “out there”). Furthermore, it is suggested that from a precognitive perspective, certain folks have the ability to tune in to future echoes, via dreams (day or night) or via visions / messages (via mediums). Anthony posits that our higher selves may in fact have lived a life already, our life the we are currently living, and that the likes of precognition or déjà vu is our higher selves way at saying that we know what’s coming next and here is a message, a breadcrumb if you will. The book cites several cases, most notably a precognitive dream a little Welsh girl had the day before the Aberfan mining disaster, sadly her request to stay away from the school that day being denied, and not averting the course of her future and immediate demise.

So it came as no coincidence that I could well have had my own precognition today, my very own Minority Report. As Morrissey once said “Last night I dreamt”, sadly not about someone who loved me, but spiders. At the age of forty two, I have pretty much overcome all of the fears of early life (including some rather irrational ones), namely tall buildings, dentists, sprouts on ironing boards and dying. There really is only one left, spiders (again quite irrational for someone who lives in the UK).

In my dream, I was back living in the Far East and recall that I was on a trip to Thailand, somewhere in the jungle outside Chang Mai. All of a sudden there was a huge down pour and I looked for cover and found a wooden terrace which was only about two foot high. I wriggled snake-like half way down the terrace, when from above spiders (black and yellow) started to descend on fine wires landing on my naked torso, giving me the fear. I woke up in a sweat, itching all over and it took me a while to get back to sleep (after checking under the covers just in case any of the little bleeders where in there).

Maybe it was the fear / negativity within dream or perhaps lack of sleep which put me in the worse mood I’ve been in for quite a while. Maybe it was that work is a real drag at the moment which doesn’t help, stuck in endless days of mind-numbingly-boring contract documentation. Some days (thankfully very rarely) I wake up and without reason and without justification, stay subsumed within a dark cloud, stuck within its black sticky “mono-filament-esque” web, unable to cut myself free. This in itself is ok as long as others are not affected by it. Sadly in a busy house that can be a real challenge.

So before I logged in, I decided to have a quick round up of the news via The Guardian and the BBC website (my last visit to Auntie honest) to see what was going on in the Scottish elections. On the BBC homepage was a picture of a spider. Knock me over with a “magic feather”, what a coincidence. The story behind it read that the UK is set for an invasion of giant spiders by all accounts. Excellent news….

By lunch time, I decided to take my mood into my own hands and sat out in the garden and decided to meditate during lunch. The weather was fine, so on went the Kundalini Yoga playlist, down went the eyelids, up went the mudra and I was taking back the natural order of things, control. It was serene, it was calming. In my hypnogogic state I drifted in and out of consciousness for about an hour, not dreaming, but feeling (not seeing) kaleidoscopic colours and soothing warmth of the sun. Towards the end of my chill out time, I felt something on my left arm, a tickling sensation. Upon looking down I found that there was a “money” spider weaving in and out of the hairs, laying behind it coils of silk. I picked it up with the end of my finger and drew it close to my face, and there it sat not moving for what seemed like hours, just staring directly at me (not that I could see its eyes, it may well have been its arse – I was still feeling quite sleepy and my glasses were still in the office). I gently placed it on a nearby rose bush and trundled back to work feeling much better.

With the wife at college on Thursday nights, I made sure all the kids were settled before I took the dog for a long walk. Still feeling a little dazed from the dark morning cloud, I decided to lighten the mood further by listening to Bill Hicks, a natural pick-me-up of mine whenever I’m feeling blue. Towards the end of our walk, we have to pass an embankment and the right hand side of the road, a high sandstone wall with only earth behind it which acts as foundations for the houses above. There is a rather curious feature on the wall, one which always catches my eye each time I pass it. Half way along the wall there is a door. A door which leads to nowhere. I glanced up at it to see that right in the middle was a huge spider web, with a disproportionate common garden spider sat still in the middle, just as Mr Hicks informed me once again that life was just a ride.

After the wife got back in from college, I went for a late night run with my eldest down on the promenade and told him of the events of the day. He is very logical and put it all down to pure coincidence, and the former me would have done exactly the same. I said that it would be a shame if everything was reduced to materialism, and to me what matters most just now is not matter at all. I concurred that the logical part of my conscious state agrees somewhat to his argument that if I hadn’t have had the dream in the first place, those things may well have been there today anyway, it’s just that my sense have been alerted to their presence (all very mature for a 17 year old boy). The romantic in me would like to think beyond the logic though.

One thing is for sure, I love my new-found thirst for the exploration of the Universe (both outer and inner). There are so many interesting and diverse interpretations “out there” that my reading list grows day-by-day (especially the writings of Mr Peake). I love the fact that for the first time in my life, I can’t get enough of reading and writing about reading. Long may it continue…

ADDENDUM 1: As I type this up, my spidy-senses are once again tingling, allowing myself one final arachnid-based chortle. On getting out of the car (after dropping the wife off at work), I glanced at the wing mirror to make sure there were no cards coming before I opened the door, only to find a further two micros-spiders fighting it out over a well trapped breakfast.

ADDENDUM 2: I just met my wife for a coffee in Starbucks and without knowing that I’d uploaded a blog or even be aware of the whole spider thing as I’ve not spoken to her much since yesterday morning, she said that after she had finished her massage session at the salon, she had heard an almighty scream coming from outside. She quickly went to see what the commotion was about, when she was confronted by a stylist in floods of tears. She asked her what the matter was, and she said that earlier, she thought she had flicked a huge spider from a cardigan she wearing, but was unaware that it hadn’t dropped on the floor, but it had moved to the back of her arm, and eventually crawled itself up her back and then up her neck to the underneath her hair, snuggling in nicely under her right ear lobe to keep warm.

Enough already…

Reiki Diary: June 2014 Reiki Share

A reiki share does exactly what it says on the tin. It is an opportunity for reiki practitioners of all levels to get together and discuss their recent experiences and  post-attunement consolidation. The last three months have been really busy for me, intense period in work, renewing my wedding vows in Las Vegas, on the hunt for a new job and taking up new hobbies in Standup Paddle Boarding (SUP), which involves standing up on a modified surfboard and paddling with a long oar through the water, and Land Standup Paddle Boarding, (Land SUP) which involves standing up on a longboard (four foot long skateboard in my case) and propelling yourself along the road/pavement a long oar with a rubber foot on the end.

As is the way with a life of constantly competing priorities, little time has been afforded for the practice of reiki in the usual sense. I’m still on “me-mode” with reiki and probably will be for quite some time to come, but what I have now put in place I think is rather special. I started of discussing combing reiki, meditation and yoga into one holistic approach to well being recently with “L” (my reiki mistress), and decided in the little spare time that I had to create my own technique which involves all three disciplines. OK this may well have been done before, but as a person who likes structure, I’ve not seen any guides out there which combines all three into one. And so I did, the output of my outpourings resulted in a forty-five page guide which I have had reviewed by several people (including reiki masters and holistic therapists) all of who think it’s pretty special. Now that it’s out there (far out…), all I need to do now is to set up sessions on the beach near to where I live and practice what I preach (or is it teach…).

And so to last night’s reiki share. I was due to be in attendance with my significant other, my now wife for the second time, but she has been feeling stressed of late with college work and although I tried to convince her that in itself it was a sign to go, my powers of reasoning fell short and off I went alone.

Armed with only two Lego figures and a pair of socks, I set off for “L”s house and put on Track Nine of Weather Systems by Anathema, a song worthy of any reiki warm up and warm down. Whilst I’m on the subject of Lego (and believe me that had a really key part to play last night which will be revealed shortly), I have recently been looking at Pinterest for ideas for a number of things, my next tattoo (which is this Saturday), making craft items from driftwood I find on the beach, and ideas for Lego creations when I have lost afternoons with my daughter and son, spent building cool stuff from  “fake plastic briquettes”. On browsing, I saw some photos of a Lego character with a hat and a camera, caught in the moment on DSLR (for example, the Lego camera guy taking a picture of another Lego character who has just slipped over on a banana). These pictures looked awesome and gave me the idea to create an alter-ego for myself made from Lego. And so YogaMike was born. The name itself came from “L” herself originally; when I was attuned almost a year ago now, there were two Mikes in the room, one was renamed DrummerMike and myself YogaMike. So wherever I go now, YogaMike comes with me as you can see below (New Brighton, UK; London, UK; Hoover Dam, USA):

Upon entering the “Buddhist boudoir” I was greeted by “L” with a beaming smile as per usual, as well as three new recruits, “S”, “K” and “J”, all seemed really nice. They had recently been through their Level One attunement and started off the session by sharing their experiences since then. “S” seemed to have done the most consolidation, and shared a nice tale about how she “resurrected” a butterfly at the side of the road, where she saw it lifeless and on its side, so she carefully picked it up and gave it reiki in her closed and cupped hands, after a time she felt it running around. She opened her hands and there it was upright and awake, after which she placed it on a nearby bush and went on her way. She also shared that her husband went for a job interview recently and beforehand he was really stressed so she gave him reiki the night before to calm him down and ease the load on him. He got the job. I asked her for some magic my way as I find out by next Monday if I have got the job that I have applied for recently. On that, I had a really strange dream last night that I was working in Cape Town, not the Cape Town I have seen from photographs, but Cape Town nonetheless, the exact location my potential future boss is located, I have recently found out.

“K” and “J” said that they had had a dabble but nothing really significant to date, quite like me in many ways I guess when I first started off. I then shared my journey to date with all in the room, from the dark days of two years ago, on through the turbulence and out into the light. I shared that reiki comes in many ways, not just the structured way in which “L” conducts her therapy-like sessions. For me, it comes through me via meditation and yoga, for my SUP friend “J”, it comes through him when he is out on the waves cutting the surf, feeling the kinetics of the tides and the lunar energy pulls of the moon.

I was first up on the bed for reiki, and all four ladies assumed various positions. The session was good, feeling a surge in energy through “K” through my crown and anja chakras, a churning in my core from “S” and an intense heat in my knees from “J”.

Next up was “S”. I adopted the feet position and quickly drew the power symbol before commencing. I have never really got anything from feet or legs (most of my intense experiences have come from the crown/third eye or the heart chakra). About half way through the session I felt a huge surge of energy coming from the soles of “S”s feet, so much so I had to open my eyes and take a step back. I saw “L” smiling as I did, who acknowledged what was going on too, so I grounded myself (something I had forgotten to do at the start) and went back into the soles (or was it souls) of her feet to finish off what I had identified.

I shared with her (when it was my turn to do so) my experience and she told the group that she had recently had a foot injury, something she had not shared with anyone in the room, which for me was a little shocking as that was really the first time I had picked up on a physical ailment, unknowingly.

“K” and “J” subsequently assumed the position on the bed, with only minor energy fluctuations reflecting in and from me. “L” closed the session and as we chatted for a while before we departed, I sneakily place a Lego figurine behind her on the side table and as I stepped through the door, I told her there was a present for “P” (her partner) behind her. I uploaded a picture on Facebook of the said plastic man and “P” declared his interest in securing it to the dashboard of his works van, and after seeing it she laughed out loud and said he would be made up with it.

“J” stayed behind and “S” and I walked down the path to our respective cars. I turned to her and asked her how it was she injured her foot, and to my complete and utter shock, she said she had injured her foot on one of her kids’ Lego briquettes. Now that is too spooky…

Dream Diary: If at first you don’t succeed, stop trying…

Like a great many things in life, the harder one tries sometimes, the further away achievement advances.

A classic example of this syndrome was my pursuit for a soul mate. I recall nearly 15 years ago that I lived alone, in a house that I could barely afford, begging friends or foes to lodge with me so that I didn’t have to foreclose on my property.

Thankfully, someone did take me up on that offer, and at once I set off on a quest to get out there, cover in man-oil, prowling the rock clubs and pubs of Liverpool and Birkenhead in search of girls.

I tried. Then I tried. And then I tried. Nothing. Nada. The harder I looked, the cheesier the lines, all my hand was showing was a picture card high, miles away from the full house I was seeking.

So eventually, fatigued I stopped looking. Stopped trying. And then I saw her. A chance meeting on the Liverpool waterfront, our eyes met and there was an instant connection. Something special. 15 years on and we are still together. Granted the road took a sharp bend and nearly threw us out of the car, but we were both strapped in and clung on for dear life.

Similarly (after some serious digression), my first lucid dreaming experience happened in the same manner. In the weeks leading up to my sojourn into this night-time activity, I read and read it, discussed and discussed it, and eventually I started. I tried for the first week without success, and then life got in the way slightly, my focus turning to the setting up of a local meditation circle (and associated technique I have developed) to the family, (the wife having corrective surgery post-cancer), Stand Up Paddleboarding (which is my new weekend hobby) and work.

On Monday night this week, it started. I woke at 07.00am when my alarm went off. Snooze button. Buzz Buzz, 07:09am. Snooze button. Buzz Buzz, 07:18am. Snooze button. And then something happened. Between 07:19:am and 07:26am I managed to fall back asleep. In my dream, I was out jogging when I came across an old friend who was also out jogging. He had long hair again and I recall him having it tied back in a pony tail, complete with a pretty yellow ribbon. We had drifted apart many years ago and haven’t really spoken since a chance meeting at the supermarket a few years back.

He jogged past me and didn’t seem to want to stop. I let on to him and he nodded as I asked how he was and how his new partner and child were doing. Without turning, he ran up a set of stairs in front of us which led to a bridge over a train track. As he carried on up the stairs, I thought sod you mate, I was only trying to be friendly and followed the path he trod. When I got to the top he was waiting for me, and we swapped pleasantries about our respective families, after which he asked if I wanted to back to his for a while.

He opened the door to his house and all I could see were lionesses. In the hall with the door open I could count four or five of them, wandering around the ground floor of his house, quite sedate.

I recall turning around quite shocked, and my vista changed in an instant and I was standing in my bathroom, my wife brushing her teeth in the mirror. I told her that I had bumped into A” and give the lowdown on the lions in his house.

She turned to look at me and laughed “You have either gone mad, turned into a liar or you are just dreaming”. At once, I realised that it was the latter. I was dreaming and for the first time since taking up lucid dreaming, I remembered how it was I could check.

I tried to lift my right hand to put it in full view of my face and it felt really heavy. When it eventually came into view I could not discern any of the digits, the hand was grey and devoid of fingers, like a bulbous flipper. All of a sudden a huge wave of energy came over me (feeling quite alien and strange), and I came out of my dream.

I woke up really excited though. Without the rules and regulations, the constant reality checks, the constant overlooking at dream signs and the like, I had had (albeit briefly) my first lucid dreaming experience!

So it was then that I realised I needed to get up, get dressed and ferry my wife to the hospital for her surgery. And it was then that I became a little anxious. “L” my reiki mistress told me a few months back to look out for energy waves, especially when you are not expecting them, they are a sign that the energies are shifting. On thinking that, I temporarily thought the worst and had a sense of foreboding about the events of the day.

Later on after I had dropped her off, I sat and meditated back in the garden and sent healing energies to her, whilst at the same time I sent “L” some information to support her bid for a local venture and realised the energy surge I had had in the night was a positive one, not negative, and all of a sudden the weight bearing down on me was lifted, and I knew the wife was going to be fine.

And was she! The surgery was better than we had both hoped and fingers crossed she will only need one more operation before things are back to the way they were.

We spent the rest of the evening in each others company and went to bed, holding each other.

Lucid dreaming must be like buses, you don’t see any for ages and then two come along at once!

Part way through the night, I dreamt that I was back in Malaysia and out to lunch with some colleagues. I recall wandering off on my own to a bookstore. Something wasn’t right about the scene, where had my colleagues gone, and more importantly, why was I back in Malaysia. And then it dawned on me, I was dreaming. I knew what to do, so I tried to raise my right hand, this time no issues, No blurred vision, no bulbous abomination instead of a fist, a normal right hand. I took the two fingers from my left hand and pushed them straight through the palm of my right hand. And then there was a buzz, not as intense as last night, more like a shift in the Matrix  (cheesy I know) and then everything became crystal clear. The bookstore was in ultra-high definition, I could make out the individual spines on each tome from the other side of the store. I needed to do one more reality check, I looked again at my right hand and could see the lines as I traced them across my hand. Upon realising I was lucid, my mind turned to one thing, levitation, so I dropped both arms to my side and looked up. To my shock I was no longer in the bookstore, I was in a wine store and a man in a smart suit and chiselled features (looking like the guy from The Hunger Games Part One with the ridiculous facial topiary stood in front of me and boomed “You cannot do that, I am the one who controls your dreams”. And with that I left the store and went back to work on the 19th Floor of the Petronas Towers, ready for the afternoon shift…

I will return to bringing some structure back to my lucid dreaming and catch up on the backlog of emails I’ve been sent via The World Of Lucid Dreaming website on the train back from London tomorrow. Who knows it may bring even more success, as long as I don’t try too hard…

Dream Diary: Day 4

DATE: 16th April 2014
TIME: 8 Hours 28 Mins
MEDITATION: Yes (30 mins before bed – Tai Chi / Zazen / Reiki)
REALITY CHECKS: Yes (a few times during the day)
MIND CHECKS: Yes (during meditation)
SLEEP TALK RECORDER: Yes (nothing of interest , other than a muffled “parp”)
HYPNOGOGIA: No
DREAM SIGNS: Yes
LUCIDITY: No

RECALL ALL: I was flicking, through the channels on the TV. Sugar mice in the rain…

Last night’s dreams are difficult to recall, to put into words. I can liken the imagery as I woke up to sitting on the sofa with the Sky remote, starting off at BBC on Channel 101 and ending up on Scuzz Channel 367, giving each channel on the way through a few seconds to impress me before I realise they are all full of boring dross and turning over to the next one.

It started off with me being in London and watching the second film in the Matrix trilogy, where Neo and Trinity getting jiggy with it, except this time it was odd. Very frickin odd. I can only liken it to the David Kronenburg film “Videodrome”, where James Woods takes hold of a revolver and his body morphs around it so it becomes part of him. Likewise in the dream, both Neo’s and Trinity’s arms and legs morph into the others until they become one amorphous abomination. Although it started off with me watching it on the silver screen, my vista soon changed so that I was in the room with them. Soon after a different scene, with me packing several suitcases in a hotel room, which almost as quickly changed into me taking part in the next version of Hunger Games, again almost as brief, my only recollection was being in a forest trying to activate a glow stick (but it was more of a transparent canister), with dire consequences as it heated up exponentially, a bit like the power cell in Superman I, which melted through the floor.

After I awoke briefly, I drifted off again and back to London, where I was in the office, my last day on the project. All I remember was that “S” was sitting next to me smoking a joint (I do remember smelling it, something I didn’t think one could do in dreams [like my ability to read in dreams which I have experienced this week], recalling that it smelled like a normal roll-up rather than the good stuff). Both he and “R” decided not to give me my leaving present which was on a folder up piece of paper, before an ex-colleague “F” who had a head full of hair (very improbable) asked me where I was moving to, his face fading and the dream ending.

Dream Signs: Neo/Trinity (Form/Context); “S” smoking (Context) Hunger Games (Action); “F” with hair (Form).

(NOTE: So after 4 nights of trying, the Dream Signs are most definitely there that is for certain, but there is no indication as of yet that my conscious state has the ability to recognise them and attempt to persuade my subconscious to look at my right hand. That is what I am looking for in my dreams, as soon as I see my right palm coming into focus, I will know that there has been progress. I will not lose faith, I will persevere. Patience is a virtue, as well as an awesome song by Guns N Roses…