Category Archives: Paranormal

Enoch: A Bigfoot Story

5199PFHWJML._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

I really considered giving this blog another title but, in the end, I decided I could not.  This is a post about the book by Autumn Williams and my thoughts on what she and her witness “Mike” had to say but I want to state, up front, that this is not a review.  This book was written back in 2010 so some of the information in it may be outdated but I do not think that what I gleaned from the work will be effected by the age of the book.

First of all, I want to offer belated congratulations to Ms. Williams for what is a very well written first book.  She does an excellent job of blending her internal dialogue and struggle with the stories and opinions that “Mike” is sharing with her and I think that she handles the narrative like a professional journalist.  I had just completed Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air previous to reading Enoch: A Bigfoot Story and I think the two compare favorably.

That is as close to a review as I will get though.  Anyone who has been reading the blog for a while knows that I am of the opinion that Sasquatch is not a native of this particular plane of reality.  Looking back at the archives, there are so many articles with bits and pieces of my thinking on Sasquatch that I can not cite just one that outlines my feelings on the matter.  I think that, given some of the witness reports, at least some of the giant creatures that are being seen out there are more on the paranormal end of the spectrum.  “Flesh and blood” creatures do not disappear in a flash of light when shot at, for example.

Regardless of my opinion though, I read Ms. Williams and Mike’s words with great interest.   It is quite obvious to me that Mike is either the mother of all tale tellers, weaving a story so complex that I, a fiction writer of sizable novels, would need Evernote to keep track of what happened when, or he has had an ongoing set of experiences with something.

Is his interaction necessarily with a giant ape / relict hominid?  No.  I could very easily make the case that Mike has stumbled on or close to a portal to the Otherworld and he is dealing with manifested creatures from that realm.  There is no reason why a Sasquatch in entering our realm could not bat Mike into the swamp and Mike’s behavior : leaving food offerings, being, for the most part, very deferential of Enoch and others of his kind, not overstaying his welcome, developing a loving friendship with the being  and a willingness to go into a really wild place to interact with the being(s) could just as easily describe the life of a Faerie Seer as it could a Sasquatch witness.

Long story short, though, whether he was interacting with a giant ape, a relict hominid or some species from the Other Side, his experiences are valid and instructive.  Ms. Williams’ small appendix at the back of the book giving advice to people who think they might have Sasquatches on their land could be a primer for people seeking to interact with the spirits of their land but that is not really the point I wanted to make in this blog.

I have taken the spirit view of Sasquatch for some time but I have always said, too, that I am willing to be surprised.  What I found most pleasant about this book was the repeated advice from the author to would-be witnesses not to chase these creatures.  I have said on more than one occasion, and Ms. Williams supports this on almost every page of her book, that the person most likely to view a Sasquatch is going to be living like a Sasquatch.  Why do you suppose that hunters seem to see these creatures all the time?  Because witness testimony seems to indicate that the Hairy Ones are hunters.  If I am looking for deer and the Sasquatch is looking for deer then chances of our paths crossing increase exponentially.

Mike, of course, really did create the perfect storm of opportunity to see and interact with one of these creatures.  He basically plopped himself down in a swamp and stayed there for long periods of time, not running around hooting and hollering and banging on trees, but simply living.  As he and Ms. Williams both note, his temperament was such that extended separation from humans did not bother him and it shows in the way that he took himself out to camp and simply stayed.

Once he learned his lesson about technology and the Sasquatch, he also quit trying to film the creature and simply relaxed and enjoyed his company.  I agree with Ms. Williams wholeheartedly that all the tech in the world is not going to ‘prove’ that Sasquatch exists.  Nothing, short of a body is going to ‘prove’ to the scientists and other skeptics that these creatures are real and such a scenario would be a nightmare for the creatures and for the human who brought the creature in (not that I think that a human with a gun could manage it).

In Native cultures, the Hairy One may be scary monsters used to keep children in camp but they may, just as easily, be seen as guardians of the woods.  The First Nations folks see these beings as a separate people, a spiritual people, in much the same way that Europeans, a little more than a century ago, understood the Faery to be a people who lived side by side with them and sometimes interacted with them (and even interbred with them – try that without some sort of physical interface).  In Iceland, to this day, there is tremendous respect for the elves who are believed to live in stones and other natural features of the land.  There is a common theme here; it is a theme of relationship.

As I said earlier, the Celts and other European peoples, not so long ago, behaved toward the “Little People” much the same way that Mike behaved toward Enoch.  They offered food on a regular basis, spoke about them with respect (and obliquely so as not to draw too much attention), interacted with them when given the chance but always kept in mind that these were a strange and powerful people that you did not want to anger.

I have hammered at the idea of respectful interaction with spirits in these pages and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my urgings to the creature known as Sasquatch.  Folks, I do not care whether the Hairy One is a giant ape, a relict hominid, a spiritual creature or some combination of the above or none of the above, interacting with such a being would be a sheer privilege and that privilege should be treated as such and not squandered in the provision of some concept of ‘proof’.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Review: Wood Knocks – various authors

image

I have made my views on the creature known as Sasquatch plain in other articles for this blog. I have made it clear that I think that at least some of the giants people are seeing in the woods are kin to the Faery and do not belong completely to this world. In the parlance of modern paranormalists, I think Sasquatch is an inter-dimensional being that is capable of walking into our world and back out of it, pretty much at will.

That said, I greatly admire the work of the people who actually go into the woods looking for the creature and who spend their time talking to witnesses, setting camera traps and even flying drones hoping for a glimpse of the elusive ‘booger’. While I think that a lot of them just might be tilting at windmills, it is still admirable that they have the strength of their convictions and are willing to walk their talk.

The new anthology from Leprechaun Press, Wood Knocks, Volume 1: A Journal of Sasquatch Research is a collection of articles from the sorts of people who have devoted their lives to exploring the strange and especially to looking for cryptid creatures such as the Sasquatch. The anthology is an easy read, at just over 200 pages, so do not expect extensive or detailed articles, but it is packed with information that new and experienced Sasquatch aficionados will find interesting and informative.  In my view, the cover art by Sam Shearon is worth the price of the book, all by itself.

The meat of the book is quite good as well.  Whether we are talking Sasquatch amongst the First Nations people (David Weatherly) or hunting the Orang-Pendek in Sumatra (Richard Freeman) or talking about the presence of Sasquatch in Wisconsin and its surrounding areas (Linda Godfrey), the writing is, with one notable exception, crisp and there are cases in the book that I had not heard of, side by side, with some of the old standards. I enjoyed this chance to ‘touch base’ with the work of many authors that I admire and some that I did not know.  Freeman’s article on the Orang-Pendek made me think that the Sumatrans may have a genuine undiscovered species in their midst.

Having said that, there is one article in the anthology that is a confused, rambling mess and could have easily been cut from the line up with no damage to the work. As I noted above, readers will be able to discern this one quickly and will have to decide for themselves whether the tidbits of information in the article are worth the pain of reading the disjointed ramblings of someone with entirely too much research and not enough space to present it cogently.

I would have been quite happy if that article had been cut and the other writers given more space to present their research. I had the feeling, in several of the sections, that the authors had a lot more to say but were unable to do so due to the editorial pen or space limitations or both. This is a real shame since, as I mentioned, there is quite a lot of original research amongst the articles. I would have been particularly interested to see Micah Hanks spin his thoughts on abductions out further and Nick Redfern’s article on infrasound was interesting but too short.

Wood Knocks is noted as volume 1 of a journal of Sasquatch research. If this is going to be a continuing series of works then the series is off to a good start and, with some minor tweaks, I can see such a series becoming a respected reference amongst those Sasquatch researchers willing to flex their minds a bit and look at new ideas, even if they do not agree with them.


Re-Blog: Tulpas, Thoughtforms and Monsters, Oh My!

John_William_Waterhouse_-_Magic_Circle

This is a blog that I wrote back in 2013 but, given some of the rumblings about thought forms I have been hearing on-line, I thought this was a good time to re-post it.  

I am an inveterate podcast listener. The job that puts bread on the table can, at times, be very repetitive, requiring little in the way of thought, so I often spice up my day by listening to one or the other of the paranormal podcasts on the Web. The other day I was listening to an interview with the noted paranormal author, Nick Redfern and the discussion turned to the place of tulpas in monster lore. I realized, as I listened to this show, that while I had referred to these beings obliquely in some of my posts, I have not dedicated a post to this subject.

First off, a point of definition. In my view a tulpa and a thought form are the same thing. The only difference is that the term tulpa originates with the Tibetan esoteric tradition while thought form is used in the Western traditions to describe the same process. You will also sometimes see Western magicians refer to a thought form as a servitor. While some people will quibble and say that each of these concepts is a slightly different thing, I am going to throw them all into the hash together and refer to them, from here on out, as thought forms.

So what is a thought form? Pared down to basics, a thought form is a being of desire, visualization and imagination (see Magical Use of Thought Forms: A Proven System of Mental & Spiritual Empowerment by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki and J.H. Brennan). To create a thought form, the magician pulls an image from his or her inner storehouse of images (imagination), visualizes it powerfully and in Technicolor detail (visualization) and empowers it to perform a certain task or tasks according to his or her desire. Simple enough until one realizes how flabby human visualization skills have gotten since the advent of television and film. The other skill that the magician must master in order to work effectively with thought forms is the skill of placing limits on them and de-constructing them once their purpose is finished.

What can a thought form be used for? Almost anything. As I mentioned, some modern magicians refer to these creations as servitors because that is precisely what they are supposed to do – serve the will of the magician. Thought forms have been used for everything from helping a writer with inspiration for a project (no, I do not use thought forms for this purpose) to providing a soldier with actual physical protection in battle. In general, a thought form is not visible to the majority of people (some psychics can see them) but, if you read enough magical lore, you will find stories of magicians who created thought forms that were not only visible but were able to physically interact with this world. In chapter 3 of the excellent book I mentioned above, one finds the story of a Tibetan lama who, after considerable effort, managed to bring a yidam, a type of meditation deity, into physical manifestation as part of his movement toward enlightenment.

That chapter is instructive not only in telling the reader about the possibilities of thought form creation but also in bringing to the attention the knowledge that the process of thought form creation is not as easy as it sounds. In order to do this type of work, one really has to be able to make an image real in the mind and then be able to infuse it with all the force of desire, directed by magical means so that the being is limited in its scope. This is important since magical lore also tells us that a thought form created without proper limits can take on a sort of life of its own.

One of the best known stories in this regard also comes from Tibet. One of the early theosophists, Alexandra David Neel, journeyed to Tibet and, during her stay there, worked on the creation of a tulpa (thought form) in the image of a short, fat, jolly monk. After several months of meditation and practice, this tulpa manifested and was seen by David Neel and others. David Neel also reported physical contact from this thought form on a number of occasions. Eventually, though, the monk began to take on a darker aspect and David Neel was forced to learn how to take the thought form apart and re-absorb it. I suspect that this had to do with David Neel’s not having a clear desire for the thought form when she created it; the being was an experiment and so did not seem to have a distinct purpose other than to assuage her curiosity.

Now, how does the creation of these magical beings tie into the world of the paranormal? I think that an excellent example might be some of the Manwolf sightings around Native American mounds in the Wisconsin/Michigan area of the United States. Archeologists argue about what purpose the mounds served but they are agreed that these were sites of importance to the indigenous people of that period. I think it is entirely possible that some of the Manwolves reported in those areas are actually thought forms, created by ancient shaman as guardian spirits for the mounds. If such a thought form were created by a group of shaman, given the assignment to guard the mounds indefinitely and then turned loose to do that bidding, there would be no reason for the thought form to dissolve. Over time, it would take on a single minded life of its own and the only thing that would prevent it from doing its job would be a lack of energy. It would have gotten a powerful shot of energy in its creation and would have been “fed” periodically by its creators but when those people died or moved away, the thought form would have languished and dissolved unless it found alternate ways to feed itself – such as scaring the heck out of people and feeding off that energy.

As with all the theories I discuss on this blog, I do not think that thought forms constitute the universal field theory of the paranormal but, given what is known about them, they should certainly enter into the consideration of any paranormal investigator.


Cops and the Paranormal

image

Most people think of police officers, military police and public safety officers of varying sorts as being reliable witnesses.  Such individuals are trained observers, often with extensive experience in documenting what they observed and with a finely honed sense of the verity of those they come into contact with.  I just got finished reading Cops’ True Stories of the Paranormal: Ghosts, UFOs and Other Shivers compiled by well known author Loren W. Christensen and had to get my two cents worth in on this subject.

About the book, Mr. Christensen seems to have been a little short of stories of a particular type for the book so he pads the contents with news stories and pretty much takes a kitchen sink approach to the paranormal, throwing in everything from ghost stories to tales of ‘divine intervention’ to his own UFO experiences working as military policeman in the 1960’s.   The tales themselves are worth a read; more than one of the stories will make even the most seasoned paranormalist do a double take, especially when considering that the witnesses are public safety personnel.

Having spent a considerable amount of time working security of one type or the other when I was young, I had my own interesting experiences of the paranormal kind. The two incidents that stand out for me both happened when I worked as a security officer for a popular tourist hotel on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas (no, this was not the haunted Menger hotel, it was one of the structures that went up to accommodate the crowds that came for Hemisfair in 1968).

The top floor of this hotel was actually a large ballroom and, of course, it was a place that the security staff had to make certain was secured after hours since I and other officers had encountered adventurous lovers in various states of dress (or undress) when someone had forgotten to lock the doors.  Given that one never knew what one might stumble over and that walking the empty floor of the ballroom in the dead of night, with no light coming in but ambient illumination from the street below, was spooky even without the story below, patrolling the ballroom was not a duty that officers looked forward to.

I was working the midnight shift when a call come through from one of the other officers working that night to meet him in a service area on the floor below the ballroom.  I hustled to get there since the officer sounded a little panicked on the radio and, when I arrived, I found that the other security person working that evening had also responded.  “George” (names have been changed since I do not have express permission to use them), the officer who had called, was in a state.  He was pale, his hands were shaking and his eyes were so wide that I could see the whites all the way around.  At first, he could not seem to get out what the matter was but eventually, he led “Maria” and myself up the stairs to the ballroom.

It seems that George had been on patrol, walking the top floor of the hotel.  He unlocked and came through the double doors to the ballroom and, after re-locking the doors, noticed that there was someone standing in middle of the ballroom floor.  This, by itself, took him aback since he was certain that there was no one there when he came in.  He told himself that it had to be one of the banquet staff who had been behind the partition that hid the serving area from the main floor.  George hailed the figure standing in the middle of that large expanse of dance floor and, when he got no reply, turned his flashlight on.  The figure promptly disappeared and George made record time getting down to the next floor and calling back up to accompany him upstairs.  We cleared the area and there was no one there.

I might have been inclined to treat George with a strong touch of disbelief if I had not had an experience over the winter that convinced me that something odd was going on in this hotel.  Strangely, it happened that “Maria”, the officer who had accompanied us to the ballroom that night, was on duty with me that evening as well.

It was shortly before Christmas and, as happens with some hotels, our property was experiencing very low occupancy.  As such, “Maria” and I were covering the whole hotel for the evening.

I was about an hour away from finishing up my shift at 11:00 p.m.and was looking forward to meeting some friends for a friendly round or two after work when the call came in.  A guest was complaining of work men hammering in a room adjacent to him.  I responded to the area and did not hear anything and “Maria” showed up a couple of minutes later.  We stood in the hallway and listened.  There was no noise at all except for the murmur of a television down the hall.  After a few minutes, I knocked on the guest’s door, identified myself and spoke with him once he opened the door.  He invited “Maria” and I in and, sure enough, as soon as we were in the room, something banged on the wall in the room next door.

Now, this was alarming since our dispatch had confirmed that there were no guests in the rooms around the complainant.  There were no room renovations in progress and no reason why the maintenance crew would be working so we swiftly moved out into the hallway and used a master key to enter the other room.  It does not take long to check occupancy on a hotel room.  There was no one there but, as we stood looking confused, we heard the banging clearly again.  Only this time, the sound seemed to be coming from the room on the other side of this guest’s room.

Again, we sprinted past the occupied room and entered the unoccupied room where the sound seemed to come from and, again, the rom was completely vacant.  Since the hotel was almost empty, “Maria” and I spent the next half hour systematically checking all the rooms above and below the guest’s room and never found anyone.  We did, however, hear the banging two or three other times, always in rooms that we had either just left or in rooms that we were going to next.  Eventually, we explained to the guest that we were unable to locate the source of the noise and offered him a change to a room several floors below the one he was in.  He accepted gladly and that was the end of the problem.

The property was fairly old so I suppose that the banging could have been caused by pipes or some other mechanical issue but the trickster nature of the whole incident still gives me pause.


Opening to the Paranormal

cemetery

Between blog posts and my fiction writing, I have been putting in some hours getting words on the page lately so, when the evening rolls around, I like to watch an hour or so of TV to let my mind unwind.  Of course, some of the things that I watch are back episodes of paranormal shows and, of course again, watching those shows queued me up for yet another blog post.

If you have been following the blog for a while, you will know that I am all for people doing paranormal investigation (and I include things like looking for Sasquatch here) as long as they do it in a safe manner.   Safety starts in the physical world with using your common sense and staying out of crime ridden neighborhoods and old unstable structures, not trespassing, having survival gear packed if you are going into the woods and so on.  I should not even have to mention this but the tragic stories that come out, now and then, about people who are injured or killed because they ignore basic safety precautions encourage me to remind folks to be careful out there.  Chasing ghosts and other things that go bump in the night does not obviate the need to pay attention to what is happening on this level of reality.

Watching these paranormal shows, though, I am struck, over and over, by the need for investigators to follow some basic energetic safety protocols.  I can not count the number of times I heard someone on one of the shows talk about opening themselves up to whatever was going on in the site they were investigating.  As I have pointed out, again and again in these pages, you want to know what you are opening to before you make such an invitation.  It is the height of idiocy to walk into any haunting, especially one that is being presented as hostile and open yourself to whatever presences are there.  Even mediums, who work day in and day out with spirits, know that there are basic protocols to follow when making contact with the Otherworld and that those protocols help to keep them safe.

Safety is not gained by trying out your new Shakti Helmet in the midst of a haunting where  a young girl is being plagued by a being described as a ‘lady vampire’.  While, in actuality, this entity did not turn out to be one of the astral predators that feed on energy, the investigator in this case did not know that at the time that he undertook this experiment.  As I have pointed out on a number of occasions as well, safety is also not gained by going into hauntings with a deliberately provocative and belligerent attitude.  Such behavior may stir up activity and make for good television but there is a reason why magicians have a saying that one should not call up what one can not put back down.

In a very real sense, the paranormal investigators who are walking around, calling out to spirits that are supposed to be in a place are practicing a rough form of evocation that can lead not only to paranormal activity but to attachments and worse.   I am minded of one investigator who stated that he was effected for several days after a particular encounter.  This should not happen; investigators should, at a minimum, have the tools to cleanse themselves energetically after ghost hunting.

Every occultist has favorite techniques for protecting themselves but, if you have no experience in this realm then I encourage you to read Michelle Belanger’s The Ghost Hunter’s Survival Guide: Protection Techniques for Encounters with the Paranormal.  Occultists of all stripes love their ‘tech’ and, reading some of the books out there on psychic protection and/or self defense, you might become convinced that you have to become a practicing witch or ceremonial magician to take care of yourself energetically during a paranormal investigation.  Ms. Belanger approaches psychic hygiene from a non-denominational viewpoint and allows anyone with an open mind to learn how to work with energy and how to use it to protect and cleanse themselves in the ghost hunting milieu.  This is a good book to get the rookie ghost hunter started in protecting themselves and makes a good companion volume for Ms. Belanger’s other book, The Psychic Energy Codex: A Manual for Developing Your Subtle Senses, a book that will get the novice started on developing the sensitivity to know what sorts of energies they are coming into contact with and what level of protection they might need.  Sometimes, with some wrathful entities, it is better to back away and re-group than to stay.

Be aware though that, in my experience, once you have developed some talent for energy work, you begin to ask “well, what else can you do with this stuff” and the next thing you know your bookshelves and Kindle are crowded with books on esoteric subjects.  You have been warned, the rabbit hole awaits!!

 


The Role of Psychism in the Paranormal

Brown_lady

I was listening to Marie D Jones on Into the Fray radio today and something that she and Ryan Sprague were talking about hit the “I need to write a blog on that” chord.  Basically, the discussion revolved around how, in some paranormal cases, one person will experience an event while another will stand to the side and wonder what all the fuss is about.

I first noticed this phenomenon in magical circles many moons ago.  In the more public era of my pagan life, I participated in quite a number of different rituals.  I would often come out of these rituals thrilled at the energies I had experienced only to have someone standing around at the feast afterward saying something like “it was a lovely ritual but I did not feel much”.  I remember thinking, in my more youthful hubris, that such people must be “concrete heads” not to have experienced anything in the ceremony.

In the same manner, two investigators may walk into a house that is allegedly haunted. One investigator may have multiple experiences while the other sits in the dark all night and experiences nothing, even with a coterie of electronic devices to keep that investigator company.

It seems, at times, as though the paranormal is controlled by an intelligence that is determined to leave humans standing, scratching their heads.  Given the many legends of trickster spirits, I think there is likely something to that idea but I also think that, often, there is a much simpler explanation of the seemingly random firing of the phenomenon that we study: sensitivity.

In the more public period that I spoke of above, I used to earn part of my living doing readings at my local metaphysical book store.  I can not begin to tell you how many people I looked at and asked “why are you talking to me, you could be doing this reading for yourself?”  Mouths would drop open and expressions of denial would spring to their lips but the truth was that , even though they denied it, these people had a lot of latent psychic ability.

You might recognize these folks: they are the people who ‘just have  a feeling’ that they should turn right instead of left and avoid an accident, who always seem to know who is calling or who have dreams about things that subsequently happen.  They do not think of themselves as psychic since only “those” people (you know the ones with the dark, incense laden parlors, cheesy robes and turbans) are psychic.  Whether they own the title or not, these people have enough ‘bleed through’ of their psychic abilities to respond to them, even if it is only at a barely conscious level.

On the other hand, you have people who, for one reason or the other, have sealed themselves away from their psychic selves, put those abilities behind a door and throw away the key.  I referred to these people as ‘concrete heads’ above and this is a pretty apt description; nothing short of the physical manifestation of the Archangel Michael or a strong poltergeist slapping them in the back of the head is going to get through to these people.  Whether it is their upbringing in a fundamentalist setting or simply their fear of being outside societal norms, these folks will not allow themselves to utilize the psychic, at least not consciously.

Psychic sensitivity runs a continuum, of course, from those that are aware of their abilities and use then to those that simply refuse to acknowledge psychicsm at all and will consciously ignore any input that does not arise from rational thought.  Add to this the fact (at least in my world) that no two psychics are the same and may have quite different modes of psychic perception and you begin to understand why two or more people in the presence of a paranormal phenomenon may have markedly different experiences.

Let’s go back to our haunted house and add another ghost hunter.  So, we have one ‘concrete head’, one sensitive person of some sort and one person who identifies as a medium.  The person who has shut away their psychism will very likely experience nothing or only have vague feelings of disturbance that they may or may not be able to verify with their equipment.  The sensitive may feel cold spots, have the feeling of being watched or may actually feel that they have been touched.  The medium, if there are spirits present may actually be able to see or hear those spirits and communicate with them.  Different level and varieties of psychic talent; different experiences.

I would make the argument that it is good to have different types of people on an investigation team.  If you have a whole team of mediums on a ghost hunt things are going to get out of hand pretty quickly.  On the other hand, a team of concrete heads will find that their investigations are, for the most part, not very interesting.  If you have different levels of ability on a team though then you have the opportunity to cross check what is going on around you.  If the medium on point says that they feel a spirit in a location and the concrete head tells you that there is a twenty degree temperature drop in the area the medium is pointing to then you can be pretty sure something is happening.  If the concrete head is even feeling a vibe about a place, then you might want to hold your medium in reserve or have them go in shielded to avoid over-taxing them.

 


Otherworld Influence in Crime

wall-of-fire

I sometimes think that the Powers that Be place things in my path to write about for this blog.  In the past couple of weeks, I have had the pleasure of reading Audrey Brice’s Outer Darkness, a fictional book that deals with the restless spirit of a suicide victim who influences some unbalanced individuals to try to kill the heroine of the story.  I also happened to listen to the Into the Fray podcast about serial killer John Patrick Addis who, amongst other things, claimed that he sometimes saw small people running about when he was in the woods.  In different ways, both of these pieces of media got me thinking.

How many times, when you have heard of a particularly heinous crime, have you said something along the line of “that person was just nuts” or “he had to be crazy to do that”.  I fully agree that people who do terrible things often suffer from mental illness, if we think about the interesting theory that the brain is a signal receiver for consciousness, and not the source of consciousness, then is it not possible that certain influences can create situations where the brain is receiving information other than what we normally perceive in our consensual reality?

I had a friend, many moons ago, who was an exorcist.  Not the holy water splattering, cross waving type of individual who charges into a bad situation and can make it worse.  No, this person was intimately involved with the spirit world and quite capable of removing the influence of spirits that did not vibrate in harmony with the person they were influencing.  This individual also worked in the mental health field so he understood mental illness.  He told me, on more than one occasion, that he kept ‘demon traps’ (large chunks of specially programed dravite – a brown tourmaline) at the door to his office and that, on many occasions, a very disturbed client would be brought into his office, past the traps and suddenly become much calmer.  He shrugged this off as the client leaving their detritus at the door but I think that he was on to something.

Science has spent a lot of time looking at the neuro-chemical foundations of mental illness and those working in this field have made great strides in discovering what the physical roots of ‘madness’.  Part of the intensity of this quest has been the scientific desire to ‘prove’ that mental illness is simply another physical disease and not, as was thought in more ‘superstitious’ times, the result of interference from spirits of various kinds (depending on the culture we could be discussing the djinn, faery, demons, etc.).  Mental illness can therefore be treated like physical disease, using the pharmaceutical model of changing the body’s chemistry to produce a healing effect.  If, however, we take the position that the brain is a consciousness receiver, a theory that is just as relevant as the idea of brain as consciousness producer, we immediately run into my friend’s assertion that mental illness can be caused and/or exacerbated by spiritual influences.

As with most ideas that I discuss on this blog, I do not think there is any one answer.  Some mental illness is certainly the result of brain chemistry imbalance (perhaps that imbalance impedes the normal reception of consciousness?) and can be treated by careful alteration of the chemical balance in the brain to a more ‘normal’ level.  Some mental illness, such as forms of schizophrenia, may be caused by the brain’s inability to filter out the myriad sense perceptions that we normally screen to prevent ourselves from being overloaded with input on a moment to moment basis.  Interestingly, some of the input that is screened out may be psychic perception so, in some cases, the mentally imbalanced person may be perceiving things outside the realm of ‘normal’ consciousness, thus adding to the notion that they are out of touch with ‘reality’.

Finally, though, we have to consider that some forms of mental illness may be caused by spirit influence, in other words, contact with the spirit may cause the imbalance, or the brain chemistry may already be off and the contact may be exacerbate the issue.  We know that an untrained medium basically sends forth a beacon on the astral that attracts spirits and one of the medium’s tasks in life is to learn how to deal with the extra input, screen out ‘undesirables’ and organize the spiritual input in a way that they can deal with.  What if certain brain chemistry imbalances draw in beings that have no care for the best interests of humans?  I do not think it is a long step to theorize that some of the particularly heinous crimes we read about could come about as a dual process of mental illness and the influence of disharmonic entities, working in synergistic effect.