30.6.09

David Holmgren - Future Scenarios


The name David Holmgren will be familiar to some, as it was he, along with fellow Australian Bill Mollison, who developed permaculture. Thirty years after their theories were first introduced, they still seem to be gaining new relevance with every passing year.

Holmgren’s challenge in ‘Future Scenarios: How Communities can adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change’ is to think through what we really want: “My purpose was to empower those committed to ecological values and social justice to be effective in their quest to create the world we want, rather than just resist the world we don’t want.”

To help inform and clarify that vision of the world we want, Holmgren uses scenario planning – a technique pioneered, somewhat ironically, by the Shell oil company. Like the recent Transition Timeline, the book presents four possible scenarios, depending on how fast oil supplies decline, and how serious climate change turns out to be.

David Holmgren

Those four are, roughly:

1. Brown tech: oil decline is slow and tar-sands and oil shale are pressed into service to maintain the status quo. This triggers rapid climate change, and centrally planned, fascistic attempts to control it.
2. Green tech: oil declines slowly, leaving time for investment in renewable technology and strategic localization. This is the scenario most politicians are hoping for.
3. Earth stewards: oil production crashes, making globalization impossible and forcing a bottom-up rebuild of the economy. With fossil fuel use in freefall, serious climate change is averted.
4. Lifeboats: This is the disaster scenario, where both climate change and resource decline are both severe. Society breaks down, and we all wish we’d paid more attention when Ray Mears was on.

These four scenarios are, for the most part, entirely feasible. By mapping them, we can work out what we might want to do as climate change and peak oil begin to unfold. The kinds of choices we face are exemplified in Australia, the world’s largest exporter of coal, and one of the places that will be hardest hit by climate change. There will be some very tough political decisions to make in the coming years, as growing the economy and stabilising the environment become mutually exclusive.

As Holmgren points out, “public discussion of energy descent is generally seen as unrealistic, defeatist, and politically counter-productive”. The job of activists is to change the story of peak oil and climate change, and unearth the positives. There is there for “a desperate need to recast energy descent as a positive process that can free people from the strictures and dysfunctions of growth economics and consumer culture.”

‘Future Scenarios’ rambles a bit and feels at times like a website pressed into a linear book format, which it is in fact. It is nevertheless insightful. It will be particularly helpful to permaculturists wondering if their theories extend to global problems, and those working on powerdown projects such as Transition Towns.

Holmgren and Mollison - Permaculture 1
Further reading:
Web site of Future Scenarios.org

Thanks to
One Straw for the review

24.6.09

A letter from America


I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now.


You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?

Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:



One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.



Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when hewill rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.

Thanks to The Liberty Pen

23.6.09

Seeing into the Unseen: A Personal Journey of Discovery



by Timothy Wyllie

He has been very ill and that afternoon he realizes he is dying.

He’s confused for a moment as he is plucked up and out of his pain-racked body. He looks down and can see his body lying there a couple of hundred meters below him.

When he looks upwards he finds himself inside a small cabin, a monorail car perhaps. Eight or ten others sit comfortably side-by-side. A black man, opposite him, is gently playing a trumpet. It comes to him that this little group are all dying at the same time.

A bright, yet not blinding, light appears to his left, at the end of the cabin. There is a suggestion of a form within the light. A male voice comes to him, intimate and entirely nonjudgmental. He doesn’t know whether it is inside his head, or whether the others have heard it, too. The “voice” assures him that he is indeed dying, however in this case he is being given the choice to continue, or to return to his previous life. Then, to his continuing astonishment, he is told that he has completed what he has come to do. He is 33 years old. He is free to choose.

After a few moments of deep lucidity he decides to return to life. Upon which the cabin dissolves until his whole visual field is filled with singing, celebrating angels. He is escorted by his two companion angels, across a wide plain and taken into a large structure to be healed.

Sometime later, after being shown around and told that he’d not recall what he is seeing, he is returned to his body to find himself fully healthy once again.
* * *

He is walking on a beach in Israel as dusk is starting to fall. Sitting for a moment on a large rock, he stares into the surf. It is at that point during sunset when the air can turn almost violet. The waves roll in with the surf throwing up sheets of spray that hang in the air before the next wave replaces them.

His mind is empty as he gazes idly into the violet haze. Yet his whole body jolts when he suddenly becomes aware that he is watching a group of ten or twelve beings, very tall--about twice the height of humans--with a couple of children amongst them, plodding slowly in single file up a slight incline.

This strange scenario, as real as anything he has ever seen on a cinema screen, persists in the violet mist as long as the waves replace the spray. As the light changes and the spray no longer refracts a violet glow, the figures dissolve and disappear.

It is no more a hallucination than the moving images of a film. The beings move. They walk slowly and deliberately for at least 20 seconds.
* * *

He is lying in his bathtub after a physically strenuous day. Looking up he sees two figures standing in his bathroom, just inside the door.

The taller of the two is definitely female, dark-haired, well over six-feet-tall, and very beautiful. In front of her is a far more curious affair. He can’t tell what gender it is. It’s bipedal, certainly, small, perhaps four feet tall and seemingly more crystalline than organic.

The tall one speaks. He learns the pair are extraterrestrials and that they have a large mothership parked in the fifth dimension over the mountains he can see out of his bathroom window. She explains how very different intergalactic races will often adopt one another, and she gestures at the small angular figure, when they are ready to move into the larger Universe community. She speaks of the star-system Arcturus, again gesturing at the small figure in front of her, and tells him how a planet in that system is a couple of thousand years in advance of Earth and wanted to be here to observe and advise when asked.

The language she uses is correct, fluid and sung more than spoken. A detailed and lucid 20-minute conversation follows before the pair appear to fade before his eyes.
* * *

Three encounters with unseen worlds. All entirely unproveable, with no evidence whatsoever, except how they might have influenced the consciousness of the protagonist. And isn’t that just the problem with this kind of anecdote? Until something like that happens to us individually, these experiences can seem outlandish or self-delusional. Might they simply be made up? Perhaps our poor protagonist is crazy? Anyone who has tried to tell the wrong person of their encounters with the unseen worlds will have come across these reactions. Try writing about them publicly!

Well, crazy perhaps in some peoples’ eyes, yet I pay my bills; I’m debt-free, earn a perfectly adequate living and have never needed prescription drugs to preserve my sanity. So, yes, at least I can vouch for the authenticity of all three events. They happened as reported. They were amongst the encounters I’ve had with the unseen worlds over the years which have led me to believe there is much more going on, as it were, than meets the eye.

Like many others who have had these sorts of experiences I’ve never felt any need to prove to others that these strange events happened. They did. I know. I was there. And for the scientific materialist, who might dismiss a near-death-experience (NDE) as some random firing of dying neurons, I can only say, wait until you have a full-blown NDE! Whatever a near-death-experience is, it is not random. It’s can be an astonishingly lucid affair.



The problem is that such an experience doesn’t fit into the current scientific or materialist paradigm. There is no language to accurately describe what can’t be easily sensed and measured. Thus, science has little time for the possibility of other realms of existence. The creeping realization that there may be other inhabited planets in the universe is only now starting to impinge on the leading-edge thinkers.

Physicists have flirted with the concepts of multiple worlds and parallel universes; the different String theories suggest the existence of other dimensions; and quantum mechanics, if nothing else, shows us that the nature of matter is a lot weirder and more improbable than we had any idea.

Yet little of this has opened up the contemporary scientific mind to the possible reality of other realms of existence. Apart from the CIA’s faltering explorations of remote viewing and some more detailed psychic research in the Soviet Union, there has been little advance in the study of parapsychological phenomena over the course of the last half-century. Apparently it hasn’t been cost effective. Besides, it’s a little scary.

Since this stultified approach so clearly denies the persistent reality of the transcendent in human experience, we are left to work it out for ourselves - if we are so inclined. Movies, TV and horror novels titillate us with imaginative stories of ghosts and vampires. Some find themselves turning to astrology, numerology or the I Ching; perhaps it’s Tarot cards or crystal balls, or any other system of divination, to peer for a moment into the unseen realms. Just as people from the dawn of the historical record have attempted to talk to the dead through mediums and sibyls, flick on a cable channel in the US on any evening and you will find the medium, John Edward, apparently passing on messages from dead relatives to a thrilled audience.

Others, throughout history and in many cultures, have sought to speak with their angels, their ancestral spirits, or spirit guides. Whole systems have been created categorizing and attempting to order the angelic realms. These were no fly-by-night operations. Kabbalah – Jewish mysticism - for example, traditionally doesn’t allow a person to study angels unless they are mature males over 50 years old. In Sufism – Islamic mysticism – as well, angels came to play an essential part in the spiritual lives of its devotees.

While we can be grateful to much of modern scientific skepticism for clearing away the superstitions of earlier eras, there is no denying that throughout human history there has been, and continues to be, a deep intuitive acceptance of other levels of reality.

A brief history of the unseen

There is little doubt that early humans must have been a jittery lot. If it wasn’t a tiger behind every tree, it was thunder and lightning or the terrifying and unexpected darkness of a total eclipse. Evil spirits lurked in the flickering darkness, outside the safety of the fire. Natural events had to be controlled somehow; invisible forces behind them needed to be mollified. Ghost worship surely emerged to placate the evil spirits.

Then, as the millennia passed into recorded human history and humanity started to cluster into larger communities and then cities, it can be seen in their records that something profound was changing. As if the ghosts and spirits of earlier eras had resolved into the more defined pantheons of Sumerian and early Egyptian cultures, gods and goddesses became the central feature of the peoples’ lives.

Easy, of course, to dismiss as mere superstition, as hallucinations, or as some sort of internally generated archetypes. But hold on a moment. Our forefathers and mothers weren’t stupid. They had to make their way through life just as we do, facing and dealing with many of the same issues. If we are to credit our ancient forebears with any reasonable degree of intelligence, we have to admit that whoever these gods and goddesses were, they were very real indeed to our ancestors. They profoundly influenced the lives of individuals as well as whole cultures. They gave men their identities and appear to have had children with mortal women. Cities rose and fell as warring quasi-divinities goaded their human worshippers into vengeful killing sprees.

Gods and goddesses, we are told, came and went at will. One moment they were visible - the next, they had disappeared. They demanded worship and sacrifice. They were cunning, often cruel and uncaring and, to the modern mind, all too human in their attributes.

It is condescending to dismiss our forebears’ concern with these apparent divinities as delusional. Or, as merely the hallucinated “voices” of their non-dominant hemispheres, as Julian Jaynes attempts to show in his elegantly written, The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Dr. Jaynes, a Princeton psychologist, bases much of his reasoning on observations made of the hallucinations of schizophrenic patients and yet never quite makes the case as to how an individual’s personal hallucination can manifest to whole groups of people. And while his research is encyclopedic and his writing is gorgeous and persuasive, Jaynes never appears to consider the possibility that the non-dominant hemisphere of the brain may be where we process telepathic input, rather than it simply being the generator of hallucinated voices.

We have to look elsewhere for a deeper understanding as to what might have been going on in those early days of human history.

The Urantia Book, transmitted, we are told, by the angels in the early years of the last century, because accurate information was apparently so badly needed, presents a rather different point of view. They tell us that these “gods and goddesses” were very real indeed. Except they weren’t divine. They were, according to the book, a group of beings, neither human nor angel, but as the Urantia Book calls them, Midway Creatures, or more colloquially, Midwayers, since they are said to inhabit the frequencies midway between mortals and the angelic realms.

This isn’t the place to describe what these Midwayers were doing here, except to say their presence on this world, according to the book, is a perfectly normal part of the gradual upstepping of conscious intelligence that every inhabited planet goes through. However, because this world has had such a troubled early history, most of the resident Midwayers had apparently spun way out of control. It was these beings who I believe were masquerading as divinities, subsequently coalescing into the pantheons of the ancient religions.

Saying that most of the Midwayers had lost their way, of course, covers a large swathe of prehistory, so it’s something of a relief to know that their continuing abuses of power ultimately led to their summary removal.

If we are to believe the Urantia Book this has left us with less than nine thousand of these beings currently on the planet - a much reduced number than was originally intended. And since it is this group of beings who have the ability to interact with our dimension and whose function it is to further the work of the Celestials on this level, it’s perhaps little wonder this world also appears to have become so troubled.

The reason I’m focusing on the Midwayers is that it is these beings whom we first encounter when we venture out of our limited terrestrial playpen. Occult literature speaks of the Guardian of the Threshold, and Beings of the Violet Flame, entities that can be fearsome or welcoming, dependent on our state of mind. And since they can manifest in our dimension, if you are fortunate, it will be a Midwayer who plucks you out of the car window just before it crashes, as it was a Midwayer, according to the Urantia Book, who rolled aside the millstone in front of the Master’s tomb.

In the light of this, I have come to believe it was indeed a small group of Midwayers of whom I was privileged to catch a glimpse, trudging along in their own dimension, and refracted in the ultraviolet spray on the beach in Israel. If I put myself in their immortal - and very large - shoes I can appreciate that the ones remaining here, the few who weren’t removed, have served on the planet for so long they probably think it belongs to them. Little wonder there was so much sadness in their trudging steps.

Returning to Julian Jaynes’s book. He makes a solid case that it was indeed the removal, or at least the gradual absence, of the hallucinated voices of these gods and goddesses that directly threw the great civilizations of the second millennium before Christ into such chaos. Humans, always vulnerable to giving away our power to those we think of as more powerful, had apparently come to rely on their deceitful divinities for every decision, large and small.

Then, gradually, the gods no longer spoke to them. It must have been a desperately confused time.

Thus we move into the modern era, with the racial memory of these Midway creatures as very real and demanding of worship and obedience. The disappearance of the gods and goddesses then led to the worship of empty thrones and statues that no longer spoke; then again, in an increasingly desperate attempt to stir up the absentee voices of the gods, there was more and more emphasis on diviners and auguries, on oracles and astrology.

By the Sixth Century BCE, human beings were starting to replace the unavailable voices of the Midwayers. Prophets and priests, kings and queens, all claiming to represent God, or the gods, contributed directly to Western culture swinging wildly between dark ages of superstition and brief times of enlightenment.

As the major Western religions became more formalized, they all claimed an omnipotent, invisible Deity at the center of their creeds and theologies. With priests taking over as interpreters of Divine will and the voices of the gods no longer guiding the way, human beings were left on their own to puzzle out the mysteries of the Universe. Inspired individuals, men and women who have themselves peered into the unseen worlds and returned, emerged over the next two millennia to remind humans of a transcendent reality.

Over the last two centuries we have prided ourselves on having explained away the superstitions of the previous eras. Yet for all our down-to-earth materialism, it is somewhat ironic that it is these same inspired individuals, with their claims of the unseen dimensions of life, who we most revere.

Challenging human senses

Dolphins perceive sound up to 200,000 Hz, whereas the limit of human hearing is a mere 20,000 Hz. Dr. John C. Lilly’s research has led him to calculate that a dolphin’s sense apparatus works from 10 to 20 times faster than ours.

I recall the first time I witnessed dolphin telepathy firsthand, standing waist-deep in Clearwater Bay and wondering just how long it would take for a dolphin to cover the intervening distance between us. It wasn’t simply the dolphin’s telepathic sensitivity, but the extraordinary speed of its response, that astonished me. It was almost too fast to be noticed.

Since dolphins use a sound-based echolocation to literally “see”, it could be said that dolphins “see into the unseen”, at least as far as our limited human sensorium is concerned.

However, the implications of this are more profound than merely the speed of their senses.

It’s been my own experience, and that of many others who have been open to it, that dolphins possess some form of telepathic ability. How they do it remains a mystery and it is impossible to pin down, let alone replicate, since almost all the evidence is anecdotal. Besides, if it were true it would fly in the face of the contemporary scientific paradigm.

Possibly that is why an article which I recall appearing briefly in the late eighties, disappeared just as quickly. It was an account of a US Naval research project in which two dolphins were held in separate laboratories many miles apart. The labs were linked electronically and tests were devised and given which demonstrated the two dolphins were reacting, in the moment, to one another. There’s a tone of reserved astonishment in the statements of the scientists quoted. The final paragraph has the scientists speculating about a matrix of some sort, perhaps telepathic, that links up all intelligent sea creatures, no matter the distances involved.

Even within our own human sensorium events occur in the course of a life that appear to happen at the edge of our ability to perceive them. People will often know, for example, the precise moment a loved one dies when they are far away. Authentic crop circles question our understanding of how the material world works. The alien abduction phenomenon, with its reports of floating through walls, pushes at the very limits of our assumed relationship to physical reality. An out-of-body-experience, if it doesn’t occur in a dream state and thus can be easily dismissed, challenges what it means to be in a physical vehicle. A near-death-experience will not only convince the subject that consciousness survives death, but also that the Multiverse is peopled on its many levels and dimensions with other intelligent beings. Angels have appeared in virtually all cultures throughout recorded history, under different names, yet with surprisingly similar characteristics. The very continuity of these reports down through time suggests they are more than mere superstition.

All these reports and experiences likely will be explained away, or dismissed as fantasy, by the skeptic or the scientific materialist, and yet the conviction that life has a spiritual dimension continues, with personal experience increasingly becoming the yardstick of belief.

A working model of the unseen dimensions

No one can say with any degree of evidential certainty how the mysterious unseen worlds actually function, or even how they come to be. All that has really emerged from the probing and testing is that human potential is far more substantial than anyone had thought. Scientists risk the derision of their peers and a sudden dearth of funding if they attempt to seriously research these enigmatic areas of human reality.

I suspect that this level of excessive skepticism cloaks not only a terror of ridicule, but perhaps a more legitimate fear that there might be something to it. If angels actually exist, if mediums really do talk to the dead, if dolphins are telepathic, if extraterrestrials are visiting our planet, if Midwayers are actively involved in shaping our lives - if all these things are true, then what ever would it mean for way scientists conduct their research?

Consider the research of the celebrated professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, Gary E. Schwartz, and his associates. Reported in The Afterlife Experiments, they have demonstrated in double-blind studies, that selected mediums can often achieve an 80% to 90% accuracy rate when passing on messages from deceased relatives or friends, or describing their personalities to the subject. Yet, however consoling it might be for a person to know that Granny lives on and still loves them, almost nothing of general, or lasting, value has been communicated through the mouths of mediums. For researchers, what little information has surfaced over the years has been rendered arbitrary by its very unproveability.

All of which throws us once again back on our own resources. There really is nothing to trust but our own intuitions and that inner sense we all possess, of knowing the truth if we experience it.

In trying to get a handle on how these unseen worlds - or more literally, frequency domains - might all fit together, I have found amongst Western thinkers that Itzhak Bentov’s holographic model of the universe, and the subsequent more detailed work of the quantum physicist, David Bohm, gives us a general model that includes a wide spectrum of frequency domains.

Ben Bentov was an inventor and a scientist, as well as something of a mystic. In his classic Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness, he lays out a very simple scale of frequencies. Just as the electromagnetic spectrum covers wavelengths from thousands of kilometers to a fraction of the size of an atom, so also, Bentov reasons, can intelligence be plotted on an ascending and descending scale of frequencies. The simple orders of life are presented with very few choices and they have sufficient intelligence to deal with them. Ascending the ladder of life, we can see how the higher animals are faced with more choices, and thus have the appropriate level of mental complexity to deal with them.

In Bentov’s model he doesn’t stop at the human level, but makes the logical - and for him, experiential - step of extending his scale of frequencies up into the celestial realms.

If indeed there is a direct relationship between the EM spectrum and inhabited frequency domains, we would expect to find the next frequency domain somewhere within the ultraviolet wavelengths of the spectrum. Beings within these wavelengths would be invisible to us and yet, according to Bohm’s thinking, since higher vibrational domains enfold and interpenetrate lower frequencies, they would be aware of us.

Turning from attempts to understand the unseen from within the Western scientific paradigm, I have found two other invaluable sources that have helped make a little sense of what I was experiencing.

It first came together as I was meeting shamans from different cultures and learning about the chakras and how to work with them. I then found that the angels, in Gitta Mallasz’s profoundly important book, Talking with Angels, had transmitted a teaching called the Seven Levels of the World. Here they lay out a scale divided into seven fundamental realms: mineral first, then plant second, animal third, human as the fourth, angel as the fifth, then what the book calls “Seraph” yet might also be thought of as archangel as the sixth, and the seventh, at the top, what they modestly call “the Seventh.” I quickly understood that these divisions could also be thought of broadly as frequency domains. Then, in another intuitive flash, I saw that these seven realms can be mapped isometrically over the seven primary chakras of shamanism.

Pulling together these two very different sources gave me a down-to-earth, somatic, way of using the chakras as portals to these seven distinct realms. Of course, I soon found I had a lot of work to do to clear out my three base chakras before I could make reliable contact with my own companion angels, located in the fifth chakra behind the throat. In this I was helped initially by the very somatic thought of being able to “listen with the ears of my throat.”

I’ve written about this in considerably more detail in Ask Your Angels, the book I wrote with Alma Daniel and Andrew Ramer. The interested reader can apply the various meditations for themselves.

The unseen: a personal approach

As will have been already made clear we can’t rely on either the religious or the scientific establishment for cogent answers to what they can’t explain or measure. This leaves it up to each one of us to make personal sense of the glimpses we get into the unseen worlds. And perhaps that is as it should be. These are very personal matters, after all.

I now regard it as fortunate that I started off my journey as a skeptic, as hardheaded as they come. As a kid I’d been thoroughly turned off the Anglican religion by the boredom of their services and a priest’s angry inability to answer my perfectly reasonable questions. It set me up nicely as an arrogant young skeptic by the time I was in my teens.

Over the years, however, it was as though the invisible world was provoked by my thick-headedness to break through my shell. A series of powerful entheogenic experiences in my early twenties tore apart my materialist view of the world to demonstrate unequivocally that there was much more going on behind the scrim of reality than I had any idea.

Much of what I saw and felt I found impossible to rationalize, but what I soon understood was these strange experiences that were blowing my rational mind wide open weren’t there to be explained or proved. They were there to be experienced and learned from, not to be overly probed and picked apart.

Trained as an architect, I thought of myself as fairly down-to-earth and practical, so when these experiences occurred I focused on bringing as many of my senses to the events as possible; that, and recording the essentials of the events afterwards as honestly as I could. It’s such a subtle, ephemeral, area of research that I knew that if my accounts were to be of any value to others I would have to record them as perceptively and as accurately as possible.

This approach, I soon discovered, allowed me to appreciate that I had embarked on what I now know were a series of initiations, each one leading on an invisible thread to the next opening.

The near-death-experience I relate at the beginning of this essay occurred at the midpoint of my life to date, and it was that event that initiated what has become an overriding interest in non-human intelligences: in dolphins, nature spirits, angels and extraterrestrials.

So what can be learned from all this? A terrestrial lifetime can seem puzzling and complex enough, some would say, without having to factor in the possibility of unseen realities. However, if these are authentic personal experiences, that happen for a reason and clearly have a spiritual integrity, then surely there is value to be derived from explorations into the unseen realms.

To compress a great deal of hard-won experiential information into a series of bullet-points risks their being dismissed merely as New Age clichés. So I can only hope my words will resonate with the reader’s experience sufficiently to reaffirm the authenticity of their own glimpses into the unseen world.

Bearing in mind that all true knowledge has to be experienced personally, these are some of the things, and in no particular order, that I have learned for myself from my own encounters with other realms of being. It really helps:

• To deepen and enliven the quality of a terrestrial life to know - to really know - that life continues after death.
• To understand the mechanics of belief and to know that belief systems - to paraphrase Dr. Lilly - are but rungs in the ladder of knowledge.
• To know what it feels like to step outside the ego-centered structure of my personal mind and step into the collective mind.
• To know that all matter is to some degree animate at its most basic subatomic level.
• To know that the Multiverse is teeming with intelligent life, both on the inner and outer realms.
• To know that being in contact with one’s companion angels is to launch out on one of life’s most intriguing and challenging adventures.
• To know I can heal myself by the focused intention to communicate with the organizing principle of my body - my body deva - that which knows intimately how my physical vehicle works.
• To trust my intuition. It’s not always right but at least I make my own mistakes.
• To take into account that in general the world appears to be upside down. Almost everything the world believes is opposite to the truth. This is a convenient formula for deconstructing the many confusions of consensus reality.
• To realize that most of what is forbidden contains essential truths.
• To realize that trusting in the authenticity of a transcendent experience encourages further synchronicities.
• That doubt is healthy in its place; yet to know how to leave it behind in the heat of the moment; doubt can always be picked up later.
• To know that from the angels’ point of view, they regard it as perfectly natural to talk to us. It is our doubt and lack of self-confidence that blocks the communication.
• To understand that emotional intelligence is distributed throughout the natural world, each species possessing it to the extent of its needs.
• To appreciate viscerally that in consensus reality we are all swimming in a sea of fear. To know that every moment presents each of us with the choice of responding to life with fear or with love.
• To know that angels are powerful and intelligent beings and not the whimsical flying babies of Victorian iconography.
• To have observed that surrounding every sacred space there is a ring of demons and to know that demons can be defused by focused love from the heart center.
• To know that we get what we deserve if we don’t listen; and we get what we need, if we do.
• To know if I meet a flaming angel, to embrace him.
• To know that, in spite of appearances, all is deeply well; that what appears to be the chaos of a frantic world is well-understood and guided by unseen hands towards a truly extraordinary destiny.
• To know that for reasons that have little to do with humans, this planet is regarded as being of extreme importance to the larger universe context.
• To know to take the time and attention to delve as deeply as possible into the true nature of dolphins and whales; that they are a key to the nature of non-human intelligences.
• To know the joy of sharing the planet with another species of comparable or higher intelligence.

Not an exhaustive list by any means, yet with few exceptions I don’t believe I would have had a chance to know these things without the access I have been given over the years to the subtle realms.

I don’t believe that as a human being I am out of the ordinary, merely enthused, or curious enough, to have thrown myself wholeheartedly and with as much of an open mind as I could summon into exploring what I was being shown. In fact, I have come to believe that access to these unseen realms is actually our rightful spiritual heritage that was blocked, through no cause of ours. On the positive side this has allowed us, by default, to develop extremely strong and independent spiritual and emotional bodies - much admired and respected, so the Urantia Book tells us, by our angelic counselors.

Times are changing, however.

What I have been shown over the course of my spiritual journey is that we are entering a new phase in our planet’s universe career. The reasons for our planet’s isolation from the rest of the Multiverse have been recently resolved and we are being swung back into normalcy.

Without knowing all the implications of this, it seems to me that the veils separating the worlds are already disappearing. More and more of us are being drawn to the dolphins; environmentalism is opening people to the nature spirits; the Government’s denial of an extraterrestrial presence is looking more hollow by the year; and the angels are as enthusiastic as ever to speak with us.

The unseen realms are there for the seeing. With a little focused intention on our part, and an open heart and mind, they are as close as a heartbeat. He has been very ill and that afternoon he realizes he is dying.

He’s confused for a moment as he is plucked up and out of his pain-racked body. He looks down and can see his body lying there a couple of hundred meters below him.

When he looks upwards he finds himself inside a small cabin, a monorail car perhaps. Eight or ten others sit comfortably side-by-side. A black man, opposite him, is gently playing a trumpet. It comes to him that this little group are all dying at the same time.

A bright, yet not blinding, light appears to his left, at the end of the cabin. There is a suggestion of a form within the light. A male voice comes to him, intimate and entirely nonjudgmental. He doesn’t know whether it is inside his head, or whether the others have heard it, too. The “voice” assures him that he is indeed dying, however in this case he is being given the choice to continue, or to return to his previous life. Then, to his continuing astonishment, he is told that he has completed what he has come to do. He is 33 years old. He is free to choose.

After a few moments of deep lucidity he decides to return to life. Upon which the cabin dissolves until his whole visual field is filled with singing, celebrating angels. He is escorted by his two companion angels, across a wide plain and taken into a large structure to be healed.

Sometime later, after being shown around and told that he’d not recall what he is seeing, he is returned to his body to find himself fully healthy once again.
* * *

He is walking on a beach in Israel as dusk is starting to fall. Sitting for a moment on a large rock, he stares into the surf. It is at that point during sunset when the air can turn almost violet. The waves roll in with the surf throwing up sheets of spray that hang in the air before the next wave replaces them.

His mind is empty as he gazes idly into the violet haze. Yet his whole body jolts when he suddenly becomes aware that he is watching a group of ten or twelve beings, very tall--about twice the height of humans--with a couple of children amongst them, plodding slowly in single file up a slight incline.

This strange scenario, as real as anything he has ever seen on a cinema screen, persists in the violet mist as long as the waves replace the spray. As the light changes and the spray no longer refracts a violet glow, the figures dissolve and disappear.

It is no more a hallucination than the moving images of a film. The beings move. They walk slowly and deliberately for at least 20 seconds.
* * *

He is lying in his bathtub after a physically strenuous day. Looking up he sees two figures standing in his bathroom, just inside the door.

The taller of the two is definitely female, dark-haired, well over six-feet-tall, and very beautiful. In front of her is a far more curious affair. He can’t tell what gender it is. It’s bipedal, certainly, small, perhaps four feet tall and seemingly more crystalline than organic.

The tall one speaks. He learns the pair are extraterrestrials and that they have a large mothership parked in the fifth dimension over the mountains he can see out of his bathroom window. She explains how very different intergalactic races will often adopt one another, and she gestures at the small angular figure, when they are ready to move into the larger Universe community. She speaks of the star-system Arcturus, again gesturing at the small figure in front of her, and tells him how a planet in that system is a couple of thousand years in advance of Earth and wanted to be here to observe and advise when asked.

The language she uses is correct, fluid and sung more than spoken. A detailed and lucid 20-minute conversation follows before the pair appear to fade before his eyes.
* * *

Three encounters with unseen worlds. All entirely unproveable, with no evidence whatsoever, except how they might have influenced the consciousness of the protagonist. And isn’t that just the problem with this kind of anecdote? Until something like that happens to us individually, these experiences can seem outlandish or self-delusional. Might they simply be made up? Perhaps our poor protagonist is crazy? Anyone who has tried to tell the wrong person of their encounters with the unseen worlds will have come across these reactions. Try writing about them publicly!

Well, crazy perhaps in some peoples’ eyes, yet I pay my bills; I’m debt-free, earn a perfectly adequate living and have never needed prescription drugs to preserve my sanity. So, yes, at least I can vouch for the authenticity of all three events. They happened as reported. They were amongst the encounters I’ve had with the unseen worlds over the years which have led me to believe there is much more going on, as it were, than meets the eye.

Like many others who have had these sorts of experiences I’ve never felt any need to prove to others that these strange events happened. They did. I know. I was there. And for the scientific materialist, who might dismiss a near-death-experience (NDE) as some random firing of dying neurons, I can only say, wait until you have a full-blown NDE! Whatever a near-death-experience is, it is not random. It’s can be an astonishingly lucid affair.

The problem is that such an experience doesn’t fit into the current scientific or materialist paradigm. There is no language to accurately describe what can’t be easily sensed and measured. Thus, science has little time for the possibility of other realms of existence. The creeping realization that there may be other inhabited planets in the universe is only now starting to impinge on the leading-edge thinkers.

Physicists have flirted with the concepts of multiple worlds and parallel universes; the different String theories suggest the existence of other dimensions; and quantum mechanics, if nothing else, shows us that the nature of matter is a lot weirder and more improbable than we had any idea.

Yet little of this has opened up the contemporary scientific mind to the possible reality of other realms of existence. Apart from the CIA’s faltering explorations of remote viewing and some more detailed psychic research in the Soviet Union, there has been little advance in the study of parapsychological phenomena over the course of the last half-century. Apparently it hasn’t been cost effective. Besides, it’s a little scary.

Since this stultified approach so clearly denies the persistent reality of the transcendent in human experience, we are left to work it out for ourselves - if we are so inclined. Movies, TV and horror novels titillate us with imaginative stories of ghosts and vampires. Some find themselves turning to astrology, numerology or the I Ching; perhaps it’s Tarot cards or crystal balls, or any other system of divination, to peer for a moment into the unseen realms. Just as people from the dawn of the historical record have attempted to talk to the dead through mediums and sibyls, flick on a cable channel in the US on any evening and you will find the medium, John Edward, apparently passing on messages from dead relatives to a thrilled audience.

Others, throughout history and in many cultures, have sought to speak with their angels, their ancestral spirits, or spirit guides. Whole systems have been created categorizing and attempting to order the angelic realms. These were no fly-by-night operations. Kabbalah – Jewish mysticism - for example, traditionally doesn’t allow a person to study angels unless they are mature males over 50 years old. In Sufism – Islamic mysticism – as well, angels came to play an essential part in the spiritual lives of its devotees.

While we can be grateful to much of modern scientific skepticism for clearing away the superstitions of earlier eras, there is no denying that throughout human history there has been, and continues to be, a deep intuitive acceptance of other levels of reality.

A brief history of the unseen

There is little doubt that early humans must have been a jittery lot. If it wasn’t a tiger behind every tree, it was thunder and lightning or the terrifying and unexpected darkness of a total eclipse. Evil spirits lurked in the flickering darkness, outside the safety of the fire. Natural events had to be controlled somehow; invisible forces behind them needed to be mollified. Ghost worship surely emerged to placate the evil spirits.

Then, as the millennia passed into recorded human history and humanity started to cluster into larger communities and then cities, it can be seen in their records that something profound was changing. As if the ghosts and spirits of earlier eras had resolved into the more defined pantheons of Sumerian and early Egyptian cultures, gods and goddesses became the central feature of the peoples’ lives.

Easy, of course, to dismiss as mere superstition, as hallucinations, or as some sort of internally generated archetypes. But hold on a moment. Our forefathers and mothers weren’t stupid. They had to make their way through life just as we do, facing and dealing with many of the same issues. If we are to credit our ancient forebears with any reasonable degree of intelligence, we have to admit that whoever these gods and goddesses were, they were very real indeed to our ancestors. They profoundly influenced the lives of individuals as well as whole cultures. They gave men their identities and appear to have had children with mortal women. Cities rose and fell as warring quasi-divinities goaded their human worshippers into vengeful killing sprees.

Gods and goddesses, we are told, came and went at will. One moment they were visible - the next, they had disappeared. They demanded worship and sacrifice. They were cunning, often cruel and uncaring and, to the modern mind, all too human in their attributes.

It is condescending to dismiss our forebears’ concern with these apparent divinities as delusional. Or, as merely the hallucinated “voices” of their non-dominant hemispheres, as Julian Jaynes attempts to show in his elegantly written, The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Dr. Jaynes, a Princeton psychologist, bases much of his reasoning on observations made of the hallucinations of schizophrenic patients and yet never quite makes the case as to how an individual’s personal hallucination can manifest to whole groups of people. And while his research is encyclopedic and his writing is gorgeous and persuasive, Jaynes never appears to consider the possibility that the non-dominant hemisphere of the brain may be where we process telepathic input, rather than it simply being the generator of hallucinated voices.

We have to look elsewhere for a deeper understanding as to what might have been going on in those early days of human history.

The Urantia Book, transmitted, we are told, by the angels in the early years of the last century, because accurate information was apparently so badly needed, presents a rather different point of view. They tell us that these “gods and goddesses” were very real indeed. Except they weren’t divine. They were, according to the book, a group of beings, neither human nor angel, but as the Urantia Book calls them, Midway Creatures, or more colloquially, Midwayers, since they are said to inhabit the frequencies midway between mortals and the angelic realms.

This isn’t the place to describe what these Midwayers were doing here, except to say their presence on this world, according to the book, is a perfectly normal part of the gradual upstepping of conscious intelligence that every inhabited planet goes through. However, because this world has had such a troubled early history, most of the resident Midwayers had apparently spun way out of control. It was these beings who I believe were masquerading as divinities, subsequently coalescing into the pantheons of the ancient religions.

Saying that most of the Midwayers had lost their way, of course, covers a large swathe of prehistory, so it’s something of a relief to know that their continuing abuses of power ultimately led to their summary removal.

If we are to believe the Urantia Book this has left us with less than nine thousand of these beings currently on the planet - a much reduced number than was originally intended. And since it is this group of beings who have the ability to interact with our dimension and whose function it is to further the work of the Celestials on this level, it’s perhaps little wonder this world also appears to have become so troubled.

The reason I’m focusing on the Midwayers is that it is these beings whom we first encounter when we venture out of our limited terrestrial playpen. Occult literature speaks of the Guardian of the Threshold, and Beings of the Violet Flame, entities that can be fearsome or welcoming, dependent on our state of mind. And since they can manifest in our dimension, if you are fortunate, it will be a Midwayer who plucks you out of the car window just before it crashes, as it was a Midwayer, according to the Urantia Book, who rolled aside the millstone in front of the Master’s tomb.

In the light of this, I have come to believe it was indeed a small group of Midwayers of whom I was privileged to catch a glimpse, trudging along in their own dimension, and refracted in the ultraviolet spray on the beach in Israel. If I put myself in their immortal - and very large - shoes I can appreciate that the ones remaining here, the few who weren’t removed, have served on the planet for so long they probably think it belongs to them. Little wonder there was so much sadness in their trudging steps.

Returning to Julian Jaynes’s book. He makes a solid case that it was indeed the removal, or at least the gradual absence, of the hallucinated voices of these gods and goddesses that directly threw the great civilizations of the second millennium before Christ into such chaos. Humans, always vulnerable to giving away our power to those we think of as more powerful, had apparently come to rely on their deceitful divinities for every decision, large and small.

Then, gradually, the gods no longer spoke to them. It must have been a desperately confused time.

Thus we move into the modern era, with the racial memory of these Midway creatures as very real and demanding of worship and obedience. The disappearance of the gods and goddesses then led to the worship of empty thrones and statues that no longer spoke; then again, in an increasingly desperate attempt to stir up the absentee voices of the gods, there was more and more emphasis on diviners and auguries, on oracles and astrology.

By the Sixth Century BCE, human beings were starting to replace the unavailable voices of the Midwayers. Prophets and priests, kings and queens, all claiming to represent God, or the gods, contributed directly to Western culture swinging wildly between dark ages of superstition and brief times of enlightenment.

As the major Western religions became more formalized, they all claimed an omnipotent, invisible Deity at the center of their creeds and theologies. With priests taking over as interpreters of Divine will and the voices of the gods no longer guiding the way, human beings were left on their own to puzzle out the mysteries of the Universe. Inspired individuals, men and women who have themselves peered into the unseen worlds and returned, emerged over the next two millennia to remind humans of a transcendent reality.

Over the last two centuries we have prided ourselves on having explained away the superstitions of the previous eras. Yet for all our down-to-earth materialism, it is somewhat ironic that it is these same inspired individuals, with their claims of the unseen dimensions of life, who we most revere.

Challenging human senses

Dolphins perceive sound up to 200,000 Hz, whereas the limit of human hearing is a mere 20,000 Hz. Dr. John C. Lilly’s research has led him to calculate that a dolphin’s sense apparatus works from 10 to 20 times faster than ours.

I recall the first time I witnessed dolphin telepathy firsthand, standing waist-deep in Clearwater Bay and wondering just how long it would take for a dolphin to cover the intervening distance between us. It wasn’t simply the dolphin’s telepathic sensitivity, but the extraordinary speed of its response, that astonished me. It was almost too fast to be noticed.

Since dolphins use a sound-based echolocation to literally “see”, it could be said that dolphins “see into the unseen”, at least as far as our limited human sensorium is concerned.

However, the implications of this are more profound than merely the speed of their senses.

It’s been my own experience, and that of many others who have been open to it, that dolphins possess some form of telepathic ability. How they do it remains a mystery and it is impossible to pin down, let alone replicate, since almost all the evidence is anecdotal. Besides, if it were true it would fly in the face of the contemporary scientific paradigm.

Possibly that is why an article which I recall appearing briefly in the late eighties, disappeared just as quickly. It was an account of a US Naval research project in which two dolphins were held in separate laboratories many miles apart. The labs were linked electronically and tests were devised and given which demonstrated the two dolphins were reacting, in the moment, to one another. There’s a tone of reserved astonishment in the statements of the scientists quoted. The final paragraph has the scientists speculating about a matrix of some sort, perhaps telepathic, that links up all intelligent sea creatures, no matter the distances involved.

Even within our own human sensorium events occur in the course of a life that appear to happen at the edge of our ability to perceive them. People will often know, for example, the precise moment a loved one dies when they are far away. Authentic crop circles question our understanding of how the material world works. The alien abduction phenomenon, with its reports of floating through walls, pushes at the very limits of our assumed relationship to physical reality. An out-of-body-experience, if it doesn’t occur in a dream state and thus can be easily dismissed, challenges what it means to be in a physical vehicle. A near-death-experience will not only convince the subject that consciousness survives death, but also that the Multiverse is peopled on its many levels and dimensions with other intelligent beings. Angels have appeared in virtually all cultures throughout recorded history, under different names, yet with surprisingly similar characteristics. The very continuity of these reports down through time suggests they are more than mere superstition.

All these reports and experiences likely will be explained away, or dismissed as fantasy, by the skeptic or the scientific materialist, and yet the conviction that life has a spiritual dimension continues, with personal experience increasingly becoming the yardstick of belief.

A working model of the unseen dimensions

No one can say with any degree of evidential certainty how the mysterious unseen worlds actually function, or even how they come to be. All that has really emerged from the probing and testing is that human potential is far more substantial than anyone had thought. Scientists risk the derision of their peers and a sudden dearth of funding if they attempt to seriously research these enigmatic areas of human reality.

I suspect that this level of excessive skepticism cloaks not only a terror of ridicule, but perhaps a more legitimate fear that there might be something to it. If angels actually exist, if mediums really do talk to the dead, if dolphins are telepathic, if extraterrestrials are visiting our planet, if Midwayers are actively involved in shaping our lives - if all these things are true, then what ever would it mean for way scientists conduct their research?

Consider the research of the celebrated professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, Gary E. Schwartz, and his associates. Reported in The Afterlife Experiments, they have demonstrated in double-blind studies, that selected mediums can often achieve an 80% to 90% accuracy rate when passing on messages from deceased relatives or friends, or describing their personalities to the subject. Yet, however consoling it might be for a person to know that Granny lives on and still loves them, almost nothing of general, or lasting, value has been communicated through the mouths of mediums. For researchers, what little information has surfaced over the years has been rendered arbitrary by its very unproveability.

All of which throws us once again back on our own resources. There really is nothing to trust but our own intuitions and that inner sense we all possess, of knowing the truth if we experience it.

In trying to get a handle on how these unseen worlds - or more literally, frequency domains - might all fit together, I have found amongst Western thinkers that Itzhak Bentov’s holographic model of the universe, and the subsequent more detailed work of the quantum physicist, David Bohm, gives us a general model that includes a wide spectrum of frequency domains.

Ben Bentov was an inventor and a scientist, as well as something of a mystic. In his classic Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness, he lays out a very simple scale of frequencies. Just as the electromagnetic spectrum covers wavelengths from thousands of kilometers to a fraction of the size of an atom, so also, Bentov reasons, can intelligence be plotted on an ascending and descending scale of frequencies. The simple orders of life are presented with very few choices and they have sufficient intelligence to deal with them. Ascending the ladder of life, we can see how the higher animals are faced with more choices, and thus have the appropriate level of mental complexity to deal with them.

In Bentov’s model he doesn’t stop at the human level, but makes the logical - and for him, experiential - step of extending his scale of frequencies up into the celestial realms.

If indeed there is a direct relationship between the EM spectrum and inhabited frequency domains, we would expect to find the next frequency domain somewhere within the ultraviolet wavelengths of the spectrum. Beings within these wavelengths would be invisible to us and yet, according to Bohm’s thinking, since higher vibrational domains enfold and interpenetrate lower frequencies, they would be aware of us.

Turning from attempts to understand the unseen from within the Western scientific paradigm, I have found two other invaluable sources that have helped make a little sense of what I was experiencing.

It first came together as I was meeting shamans from different cultures and learning about the chakras and how to work with them. I then found that the angels, in Gitta Mallasz’s profoundly important book, Talking with Angels, had transmitted a teaching called the Seven Levels of the World. Here they lay out a scale divided into seven fundamental realms: mineral first, then plant second, animal third, human as the fourth, angel as the fifth, then what the book calls “Seraph” yet might also be thought of as archangel as the sixth, and the seventh, at the top, what they modestly call “the Seventh.” I quickly understood that these divisions could also be thought of broadly as frequency domains. Then, in another intuitive flash, I saw that these seven realms can be mapped isometrically over the seven primary chakras of shamanism.

Pulling together these two very different sources gave me a down-to-earth, somatic, way of using the chakras as portals to these seven distinct realms. Of course, I soon found I had a lot of work to do to clear out my three base chakras before I could make reliable contact with my own companion angels, located in the fifth chakra behind the throat. In this I was helped initially by the very somatic thought of being able to “listen with the ears of my throat.”

I’ve written about this in considerably more detail in Ask Your Angels, the book I wrote with Alma Daniel and Andrew Ramer. The interested reader can apply the various meditations for themselves.

The unseen: a personal approach

As will have been already made clear we can’t rely on either the religious or the scientific establishment for cogent answers to what they can’t explain or measure. This leaves it up to each one of us to make personal sense of the glimpses we get into the unseen worlds. And perhaps that is as it should be. These are very personal matters, after all.

I now regard it as fortunate that I started off my journey as a skeptic, as hardheaded as they come. As a kid I’d been thoroughly turned off the Anglican religion by the boredom of their services and a priest’s angry inability to answer my perfectly reasonable questions. It set me up nicely as an arrogant young skeptic by the time I was in my teens.

Over the years, however, it was as though the invisible world was provoked by my thick-headedness to break through my shell. A series of powerful entheogenic experiences in my early twenties tore apart my materialist view of the world to demonstrate unequivocally that there was much more going on behind the scrim of reality than I had any idea.

Much of what I saw and felt I found impossible to rationalize, but what I soon understood was these strange experiences that were blowing my rational mind wide open weren’t there to be explained or proved. They were there to be experienced and learned from, not to be overly probed and picked apart.

Trained as an architect, I thought of myself as fairly down-to-earth and practical, so when these experiences occurred I focused on bringing as many of my senses to the events as possible; that, and recording the essentials of the events afterwards as honestly as I could. It’s such a subtle, ephemeral, area of research that I knew that if my accounts were to be of any value to others I would have to record them as perceptively and as accurately as possible.

This approach, I soon discovered, allowed me to appreciate that I had embarked on what I now know were a series of initiations, each one leading on an invisible thread to the next opening.

The near-death-experience I relate at the beginning of this essay occurred at the midpoint of my life to date, and it was that event that initiated what has become an overriding interest in non-human intelligences: in dolphins, nature spirits, angels and extraterrestrials.

So what can be learned from all this? A terrestrial lifetime can seem puzzling and complex enough, some would say, without having to factor in the possibility of unseen realities. However, if these are authentic personal experiences, that happen for a reason and clearly have a spiritual integrity, then surely there is value to be derived from explorations into the unseen realms.

To compress a great deal of hard-won experiential information into a series of bullet-points risks their being dismissed merely as New Age clichés. So I can only hope my words will resonate with the reader’s experience sufficiently to reaffirm the authenticity of their own glimpses into the unseen world.

Bearing in mind that all true knowledge has to be experienced personally, these are some of the things, and in no particular order, that I have learned for myself from my own encounters with other realms of being. It really helps:

• To deepen and enliven the quality of a terrestrial life to know - to really know - that life continues after death.
• To understand the mechanics of belief and to know that belief systems - to paraphrase Dr. Lilly - are but rungs in the ladder of knowledge.
• To know what it feels like to step outside the ego-centered structure of my personal mind and step into the collective mind.
• To know that all matter is to some degree animate at its most basic subatomic level.
• To know that the Multiverse is teeming with intelligent life, both on the inner and outer realms.
• To know that being in contact with one’s companion angels is to launch out on one of life’s most intriguing and challenging adventures.
• To know I can heal myself by the focused intention to communicate with the organizing principle of my body - my body deva - that which knows intimately how my physical vehicle works.
• To trust my intuition. It’s not always right but at least I make my own mistakes.
• To take into account that in general the world appears to be upside down. Almost everything the world believes is opposite to the truth. This is a convenient formula for deconstructing the many confusions of consensus reality.
• To realize that most of what is forbidden contains essential truths.
• To realize that trusting in the authenticity of a transcendent experience encourages further synchronicities.
• That doubt is healthy in its place; yet to know how to leave it behind in the heat of the moment; doubt can always be picked up later.
• To know that from the angels’ point of view, they regard it as perfectly natural to talk to us. It is our doubt and lack of self-confidence that blocks the communication.
• To understand that emotional intelligence is distributed throughout the natural world, each species possessing it to the extent of its needs.
• To appreciate viscerally that in consensus reality we are all swimming in a sea of fear. To know that every moment presents each of us with the choice of responding to life with fear or with love.
• To know that angels are powerful and intelligent beings and not the whimsical flying babies of Victorian iconography.
• To have observed that surrounding every sacred space there is a ring of demons and to know that demons can be defused by focused love from the heart center.
• To know that we get what we deserve if we don’t listen; and we get what we need, if we do.
• To know if I meet a flaming angel, to embrace him.
• To know that, in spite of appearances, all is deeply well; that what appears to be the chaos of a frantic world is well-understood and guided by unseen hands towards a truly extraordinary destiny.
• To know that for reasons that have little to do with humans, this planet is regarded as being of extreme importance to the larger universe context.
• To know to take the time and attention to delve as deeply as possible into the true nature of dolphins and whales; that they are a key to the nature of non-human intelligences.
• To know the joy of sharing the planet with another species of comparable or higher intelligence.

Not an exhaustive list by any means, yet with few exceptions I don’t believe I would have had a chance to know these things without the access I have been given over the years to the subtle realms.

I don’t believe that as a human being I am out of the ordinary, merely enthused, or curious enough, to have thrown myself wholeheartedly and with as much of an open mind as I could summon into exploring what I was being shown. In fact, I have come to believe that access to these unseen realms is actually our rightful spiritual heritage that was blocked, through no cause of ours. On the positive side this has allowed us, by default, to develop extremely strong and independent spiritual and emotional bodies - much admired and respected, so the Urantia Book tells us, by our angelic counselors.

Times are changing, however.

What I have been shown over the course of my spiritual journey is that we are entering a new phase in our planet’s universe career. The reasons for our planet’s isolation from the rest of the Multiverse have been recently resolved and we are being swung back into normalcy.

Without knowing all the implications of this, it seems to me that the veils separating the worlds are already disappearing. More and more of us are being drawn to the dolphins; environmentalism is opening people to the nature spirits; the Government’s denial of an extraterrestrial presence is looking more hollow by the year; and the angels are as enthusiastic as ever to speak with us.

The unseen realms are there for the seeing. With a little focused intention on our part, and an open heart and mind, they are as close as a heartbeat.

Thanks to Reality Sandwich

13.6.09

Bill Mollison talks the talk and walks the walk

Bill Mollisons is the founding father of the design system called Permaculture
and a voice of sobering clarity.


Bill Mollison was born in 1928 and has been called the 'father of permaculture', an integrated system of design encompassing not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology but also money management, land access strategies and legal systems for businesses and communities. The aims to create systems that provide for their own needs, do not pollute and are sustainable. Conservation of soil, water and energy are central issues to permaculture, as are stability and diversity. Bill Mollison in 1978 founded The Permaculture Institute in Tasmania.

Mollison's two early books, Permaculture One: A Perennial Agriculture for Human Settlements (with David Holmgren, Transworld Publishers, 1978) and Permaculture Two; Practical Design for Town and Country in Permanent Agriculture (Tagari Publications, 1979) have sold over 100,000 copies and been translated into eight languages. Since then, he has published three books, Permaculture - A Designer's Manual (1988), Introduction to Permaculture (1991) and The Permaculture Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition (1993). His latest book is Travel in Dreams (1996). In addition, Mollison has written various articles and reports on permaculture for governments, educational and voluntary organisations and the general public.

The main focus of the Permaculture Institute is education. Since its inception in 1978, its certificated design courses have attracted more than 40,000 people, most of whom are now active in the practice or education of permaculture around the world. Independent permaculture institutes have been established in several countries and the movement is linked by biannual international conferences.

In addition to his work at the Institute, Mollison consults and educates extensively elsewhere in Australia and abroad. He has worked, for example, on village housing and planting design in Brazil; tropical polyculture systems in Hawaii, Fiji and the Seychelles, and design strategies for city farms in the UK and USA. He has developed a teaching manual in arid land techniques for the Australian Department of Education's Technical and Further Education Colleges and has advised on this topic in Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Brazil and the USA. The Permaculture Institute endeavours to spread its practical work internationally by training a core of local people in different countries and then assisting them with backup resources through a Trust in Aid Fund until they are self-sustaining.



In 1991, Mollison was elected in Kursk as a member of the Russian Academy of Agriculture Sciences, founded by the the former biogeographer Nikoli Ivanovich Vavilov. Bill is the only Australian to be honoured so.

Other initiatives of the Institute include the formation of an Earthbank Society, which holds seminars on ethical investment and publishes on alternative economic and financial strategies; and the initiation of a Tree Tithe Programme which voluntarily taxes the proceeds of all permaculture publications to invest in permanent tree-planting. So far the Programme has funded tree-planting groups in South and Central Australia, New South Wales, India, Nepal, Chile and Spain.



In 1994, a Permaculture Academy was established to enable graduates of permaculture courses to achieve tertiary qualifications in practical work. There are now few countries worldwide which do not have a permaculture group or association, and many countries have adopted permaculture as a sustainable land-use ethic.

About the Right Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to honour and support those "offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today".

It has become widely known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' and there are now 133 Laureates from 57 countries.
Quotation

"All my life we've been at war with nature. I just pray that we lose that war. There are no winners in that war..."

Bill Mollison





Permaculture Design with Bill Mollison (Part I)

Last month I had the privilege to speak with Bill Mollison, visionary and creator of the revolutionary and true reality-based design science of permaculture. The interview is published here, so that those of you who are new to permaculture can discover the history of its founder and the nature of the concepts embodied in his philosophy.

This is the first part in a two part series. Please listen and enjoy, and come back soon to hear part two.

The World According to Mollison (Permaculture Part II)
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

In the second part of our interview with Bill Mollison, Bill’s humor, wisdom, and philosophy are on display as he opines about Peak Oil, global warming, and the future of our planet. This one is not to be missed.


Bill Mollison (co-popularizer of permaculture ideas with David Holmgren) narrates a four part series exploring successful permaculture strategies in four different climatic contexts around the world.

1 - Tropics


2 - Dry


3 - Cool


4 - Urban


Further reading:
Bibliography

* Permaculture One: A Perennial Agriculture for Human Settlements (with David Holmgren, Trasworld Publishers, 1978) ISBN 978-0938240006
* Permaculture Two: Practical Design for Town and Country in Permanent Agriculture (Tagari Publications, 1979)
* Permaculture - A Designer's Manual (1988) ISBN 978-0908228010
* Introduction to Permaculture (1991, Revised 1997) ISBN 978-0908228089
* The Permaculture Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition (1993, Revised 1997) ISBN 978-0908228065
* Travels in Dreams: An Autobiography (1996) ISBN 978-0908228119
* The Permaculture Way: Practical Steps To Create A Self-Sustaining World, with Graham Bell (2005) ISBN 978-1856230285
* Smart Permaculture Design, with Jenny Allen (2006) ISBN 978-1877069178

10.6.09

Diet Soap podcast with Neil Cramer - bringing clarity as only The Cleaver can


Diet Soap is a ‘Zine and a Podcast
We are who we say we are.

Doug Lain recognizes that he is a member of the entertained public — a public that Guy Debord described in his 1978 film In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni as “dying in droves on the freeways, and in each flu epidemic and each heat wave, and with each mistake of those who adulterate their food, and each technical innovation profitable to the numerous entrepreneurs for whose environmental developments they serve as guinea pigs.”

Last week Lain drank six Starbuck’s coffees and daydreamed about revolution 12.5 times. Douglas Lain lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and four children.

M.K. Hobson has nothing to say about herself at the present time.



Diet Soap Podcast #6: Neil Kramer Unplugged (from the Matrix)
The sixth episode of the Diet Soap podcast features Neil Kramer of the blog the Cleaver. Neil is a mystic and gnostic and he discusses the Matrix with me in what turned out to be a two part interview. Neil is a frequent guest of the fine podcast the C-Realm and other interesting podcasts such as Stormy Weather. Also in this episode is Kaolin Fire's story "Keep to the Fringe." Kaolin Fire is the editor of GUD Magazine (Greatest Uncommon Denominator) and this story originally appeared at the How to Write Stories about Writers webpage at dietsoap.org. Please send feedback on this episode and others to info@dietsoap.org.




Diet Soap Podcast 7: Transcending the Ego
May 27, 2009

Neil Kramer is back for the second half of a conversation about the control system and the self. This episode also features a reading of Gary Snyder's "Buddhist Anarchism," and the voices of Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, Jill Bolte Taylor, and Slavoj Zizek. If you've been listening and have a comment write to info@dietsoap.org and your comment will be read in the next podcast.


The Cleaver

7.6.09

Britain: the depth of corruption




by John Pilger

The theft of public money by members of parliament, including government ministers, has given Britons a rare glimpse inside the tent of power and privilege. It is rare because not one political reporter or commentator, those who fill tombstones of column inches and dominate broadcast journalism, revealed a shred of this scandal. It was left to a public relations man to sell the “leak”. Why?

The answer lies in a deeper corruption, which tales of tax evasion and phantom mortgages touch upon but also conceal. Since Margaret Thatcher, British parliamentary democracy has been progressively destroyed as the two main parties have converged into a single-ideology business state, each with almost identical social, economic and foreign policies. This “project” was completed by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, inspired by the political monoculture of the United States. That so many Labour and Tory politicians are now revealed as personally crooked is no more than a metaphor for the anti-democratic system they have forged together.

Their accomplices have been those journalists who report Parliament as "lobby correspondents" and their editors, who have “played the game” wilfully, and have deluded the public (and sometimes themselves) that vital, democratic differences exist between the parties. Media-designed opinion polls based on absurdly small samplings, along with a tsunami of comment on personalities and their specious crises, have reduced the “national conversation” to a series of media events, in which the withdrawal of popular consent – as the historically low electoral turnouts under Blair demonstrated – has been abused as apathy.



Having fixed the boundaries of political debate and possibility, self-important paladins, notably liberals, promoted the naked emperor Blair and championed his “values” that would allow “the mind [to] range in search of a better Britain”. And when the bloodstains showed, they ran for cover. All of it had been, as Larry David once described an erstwhile crony, “a babbling brook of bullshit”.

How contrite their former heroes now seem. On 17 May, the Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman, who is alleged to have spent £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on “media training”, called on MPs to “rebuild cross-party trust”. The unintended irony of her words recalls one of her first acts as social security secretary more than a decade ago – cutting the benefits of single mothers. This was spun and reported as if there was a “revolt” among Labour backbenchers, which was false. None of Blair’s new female MPs, who had been elected “to end male-dominated, Conservative policies”, spoke up against this attack on the poorest of poor women. All voted for it.

The same was true of the lawless attack on Iraq in 2003, behind which the cross-party Establishment and the political media rallied. Andrew Marr stood in Downing Street and excitedly told BBC viewers that Blair had “said they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right.” When Blair’s army finally retreated from Basra in May, it left behind, according to scholarly estimates, more than a million people dead, a majority of stricken, sick children, a contaminated water supply, a crippled energy grid and four million refugees.

As for the “celebrating” Iraqis, the vast majority, say Whitehall’s own surveys, want the invader out. And when Blair finally departed the House of Commons, MPs gave him a standing ovation – they who had refused to hold a vote on his criminal invasion or even to set up an inquiry into its lies, which almost three-quarters of the British population wanted.



Such venality goes far beyond the greed of the uppity Hazel Blears.

“Normalising the unthinkable”, Edward Herman’s phrase from his essay The Banality of Evil, about the division of labour in state crime, is applicable here. On 18 May, the Guardian devoted the top of one page to a report headlined, “Blair awarded $1m prize for international relations work”. This prize, announced in Israel soon after the Gaza massacre, was for his “cultural and social impact on the world”. You looked in vain for evidence of a spoof or some recognition of the truth. Instead, there was his “optimism about the chance of bringing peace” and his work “designed to forge peace”.

This was the same Blair who committed the same crime – deliberately planning the invasion of a country, “the supreme international crime” – for which the Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop was hanged at Nuremberg after proof of his guilt was located in German cabinet documents. Last February, Britain’s “Justice” Secretary, Jack Straw, blocked publication of crucial cabinet minutes from March 2003 about the planning of the invasion of Iraq, even though the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, has ordered their release. For Blair, the unthinkable is both normalised and celebrated.



“How our corrupt MPs are playing into the hands of extremists,” said the cover of last week’s New Statesman. But is not their support for the epic crime in Iraq already extremism? And for the murderous imperial adventure in Afghanistan? And for the government’s collusion with torture?

It is as if our public language has finally become Orwellian. Using totalitarian laws approved by a majority of MPs, the police have set up secretive units to combat democratic dissent they call “extremism”. Their de facto partners are “security” journalists, a recent breed of state or “lobby” propagandist. On 9 April, the BBC’s Newsnight programme promoted the guilt of 12 “terrorists” arrested in a contrived media drama orchestrated by the Prime Minister himself. All were later released without charge.

Something is changing in Britain that gives cause for optimism. The British people have probably never been more politically aware and prepared to clear out decrepit myths and other rubbish while stepping angrily over the babbling brook of bullshit.