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psychic phenomena

suspicious_dog1Welcome back, loyal fans, (You’ll see why that’s a pun in a minute), to part Six of my nine part series where I interview different Enneagram personalities! Click on these links for the first five interviews:

One,

Two,

Three,

Four,

Five.

Today I am interviewing the Six, also known as the Loyalist/Skeptic. (See the pun? Do ya? Do ya?) Welcome Six.

Thank you. If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you a question before we get into the interview. What are you getting out of this?

Um, what do you mean?

Why are you interviewing me in the first place? How are you going to use the information that I give you? Are you going to make me look bad?

Well…no. What incentive do I have to make you look bad?

Just because you haven’t stated one or I don’t know it yet doesn’t mean there isn’t one. I read your article with Three. I saw what he said about me. For all I know, you two are best buddies.

Everything I write is word-for-word from the interview. I don’t change or edit anything.

Fair enough. But what about ulterior motives? You really expect me to believe you’re doing these out of the goodness of your heart? Or are you doing this to get more readers and more power? Are you getting paid to write these? Are these interviews really about us, or are they about Livewithwonder? Well? I’m waiting…

Well, I don’t get paid to write these. I’m writing these because I feel like they help and inspire people, and I like how I feel when I help and inspire others. I do want to increase my readership, but the reason for that is that I want to inspire more people. Yes, I would eventually like to make a living doing this, so that I can focus all of my energy and attention on inspiring, and not have to divide myself between writing and jobs which I’m not fully behind anyway. Does that make sense?

Well…yeah. Okay, I’ll put you in my “probationary circle.”

What does that mean?

It means I don’t fully trust you yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and let you interview me.

Um, thanks…I guess?

Trust me. Most people don’t make it this far.

Okay, so what do you believe?

Well, see…that’s a tough question for me. There’s a few ideas and people I really strongly support, but that’s because they’ve proven themselves, much in the same way that you passed the first test. The way I see it, if you pardon my language, there are many BS people and ideas in the world, people who are fake, that crumble apart when things get difficult and leave you hanging when you need them the most. The same goes for ideals. Why follow an ideal if it’s a bunch of bull? So you test the people. You test the ideas, again and again and again, and if everything checks out? Congratulations, you’ve found something incredibly rare in life, something or someone to believe in.

Could you give me an example of this in practice?

Sure. Let’s say you’re dating someone, and that person tells you they love you. Well, people say that all the time. How can you be sure they aren’t full of it? You test them. You look for potential problems and ulterior motives. You bait traps, and if they fail, you know it wasn’t sincere. For example, if you think she’s merely after your money, you would provide a chance for them to get a sizable chunk of your money if they break up with you. You test to find out what is true.

Doesn’t this distrust hurt people’s feelings?

Sometimes, if they pass the test and I hurt their feelings I feel really bad about it, but most of the time, they don’t pass the test., so in that case I don’t really care if their feelings are hurt or not. They don’t really care, so why should I be loyal to them?

It’s funny that you’re called the “Loyalist” and yet you are so quick to turn away from others? Do you believe in second chances?

Hey, if they pass the test, you’ll never meet anyone more loyal. I tend to only take second chances on rare occasions. If someone fails a test, it’s for a reason.

Are there any personalities that you don’t get along with?

People always think I’m crazy when I say this, but Nine really bothers me.

Nine? Why?

Nine is always trying to play peacemaker, even when it isn’t necessary. Like, say I’m having a debate with somebody, Nine will say things like “Hey, its okay. It doesn’t really matter,” or “His points are valid too,” and it drives me nuts because it does matter and his points aren’t valid. It takes a long, long time and a lot of research for me to form an opinion on something, and I guarantee the other guy hasn’t done his research, so when she tries to tell me that his point is valid when it isn’t, well its infuriating. In fact, I get much more annoyed at her meddling than I do with the person I’m arguing with.

A day hanging out with Nine is a day staring at clouds with nothing happening. What does she even do, anyway? I just don’t see how someone could spend so much time doing nothing.

What do you think of your friends, Five and Seven?

Five is a really cool character. He’s played peacemaker with me a few times too, but the difference is that he doesn’t really care if I’m peaceful or not. He just offers some useful information and he’s on his way, and yeah that usually does calm me down.

We’re both anxious in our own way, I guess. I know in your interview with Five that some of his comments about me seemed kind of harsh or negative, but that’s actually what I like about Five. He’s honest. He doesn’t lie to me to be sensitive to my feelings. He acts almost computer like.

Does Five have any flaws?

Oh yeah. Of course. For one thing, he gets all caught up in the world of his head sometimes. He once locked himself in his room for three days straight. When he finally came out, his eyes were bloodshot. I’m pretty sure he didn’t sleep most of that time. I still have no idea what he did all that time. For all I know he was playing video games.

What about Seven?

Seven is a great guy who loves to have fun. He’s great because he knows how to pull me out of his shell, at least somewhat. Say we’re heading out to a party or something and I’m freaking out about how formal it is and wondering what the appropriate attire is. Seven will pop in with an obnoxious shirt and totally put me at ease. He’s a very fun person who helps me get rid of my anxiety for a while.

Of course, he’s got his flaws too. He does tend to ditch me if there’s a crowd. He doesn’t mean to, and it’s not like I couldn’t go over and join him. I’m just not a crowd person. Seven, on the other hand, he practically needs to be around people. He’s always telling me that I need to relax, but you should see him at a party that’s ending. You’ll never see a more anxious face.

Would you care to add anything before we wrap this up?

Test everything to find what is good, and when you find it, hold on for dear life.

Thank you for your time, Six.

Thanks. You earned it.

Hello everybody, I know I promised an article on synchronicity and storytelling, but first I wanted to talk about synchronicity, dissociation, and music.

Hey, it's Dark Side of the Rainbow Dash, lolol.

Have you ever heard of “Dark Side of the Rainbow?” Basically when I was researching on synchronicity, I remembered that if you time it right, the Pink Floyd album “Dark Side of the Moon” syncs up with the film, “The Wizard of Oz” in such a way that there are many many coincidences. What would you say if I told you I may have discovered a way to create videos like that that seem to sync up in a very quick and easy fashion?

(Don’t worry, this is actually related with spirit science. Let me explain) 🙂

What my theory (and it is only in the theory stage at the moment) all boils down to is synchronicity, dissociation, and perception. Once again, latency inhibition also comes into the picture. (Yeah I’m milking that idea for all it’s worth).

Remember in my past articles, I explained that a high latency inhibition is when the brain is good at filtering out common stimuli as a way to keep sane. A low latency inhibition, on the other hand, means that a person is more likely to notice things that other people would filter out, including synchronicities/apophenia (depending on your worldview), extreme abstract thought and reasoning, etc. So for example, if you experience tinitus (a ringing in your ears) you are more likely to not really notice it with a high latency inhibition, because it probably happens all the time and you just don’t notice it anymore.

So what causes low latency inhibition? This is merely a hypothesis, but I suspect that the mental process of dissociation, if not the cause, is at least correlated with it.

Dissociation

Masks tend to have a dissociative, dehumanizing effect on people because it's harder to empathize and relate to a mask as opposed to a face. Then can be used negatively as a tool of dissociation (not in positive way, either)

According to Wikipedia, dissociation is“a term describing a wide array of experiences from mild

detachment from one’s immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from one’s physical and emotional reality. It is commonly displayed on a continuum. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality – but not a loss of reality as in psychosis.

I’m not sure I agree with that last part of the definition because it makes a distinction from being extremely detached to reality, and “a loss of reality”, but if it’s spectrum, surely dissociation can lead to a loss of reality, in my humble opinion, but I’m not a psychologist either, or a Wikipedian.

Dissociation has traditionally been explained as a defense mechanism. When a person experiences a trauma, they may mentally separate or distance themselves from reality to protect themselves. Examples include multiple personality disorder and to a lesser extent, post traumatic stress syndrome, or on the far milder side of the spectrum, daydreaming. Is this really the full story to dissociation however?

One thing to bear in mind is that dissociation is not necessarily unhealthy. It only becomes that way when a person over-relies on it as a defense mechanism. Sometimes, just facing up to the difficult or painful situations we experience is infinitely more useful for our psychological growth, but perhaps there are forms of controlled, healthy dissociation?

Why do people meditate? Do they not strive to silence the ego, at least for a while? Do they seek oneness, something other from their separate personality? I know in my personal experience meditating, when I just listen and watch, it begins to feel like I am not my thoughts, but rather the one observing and experiencing my thoughts. It almost feels like I’m a radio transceiver and that I’m just picking up the thoughts, not having them. This is a taste of what monks say when they talk of transcending the ego.

And what about channeling, or similar psychic phenomena? Surely, if you put on a different lens or worldview, it looks an awful lot like multiple personalities, which is of course a form of dissociation. Like I’ve said in the past, I don’t think dissociation is unhealthy, but you have to master it for it be a useful tool and not something dangerous to you. If you cannot turn it off and on, you are stuck with an experience similar to schizophrenia, I’d suspect. But imagine if that same schizophrenic could control when he does and does not have his hallucinations. Would it be necessarily a bad thing then? Surely, he could even use his “hallucinations/channelings” (again depending on worldview) to gain some personal, introspective knowledge on his life and how to grow and self-actualize, etc. There’s also a little scientific evidence to support all these claims.

Synchronicity in music

Okay, so here’s the hypothesis: If you want to create a synchronistic music video, you need to lower your latency inhibition (at least temporarily) so you can see more synchronicities and make more connections that your mind normally wouldn’t make. To do that, you need to find stimuli that will help you dissociate, and said stimuli don’t have to necessarily be drugs.

From the video standpoint, it needs to be a fantasy, an escape type video where you are off in a different fantasy land. The less conflict the better, at least less violent. Even in a fantasy, violence could serve to snap you back into reality. This is why I think films like Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Alice in Wonderland seem to fit. They are kind of dissociative films in and of themselves.

From the music side of things you have a couple of different options. I suspect ridiculously happy music like “Don’t worry be happy” or “Somewhere over the rainbow” could work, although if you want a more scientific perspective, this journal says that “new age” music works (oh you mean the kind that aids in meditation, well what do you know?) as well as trance music. The journal says that the two types of music accomplish dissociation in different ways, but unfortunately, to find out how costs money. Myself, I could only afford to read the abstract. (sigh) oh well.

Don't worry, not this scene

So to test my theory, I tried aligning trance music up with a scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. Please note I’m not a huge trance fan myself, I’m just doing it for the science. Also, I imagine it takes some time for the human mind to get in the good state for this, so listen to the trance music for ten minutes or so first, and then restart the trance song and play it to the video. Be forewarned, don’t overdo it, or you’ll wind up with headaches like I did.

How to sync the songs:

1) Keep volume on for both videos, the audio syncs too.

2) Ignore the beginning of the wonka video. There’s some unrelated anime stuff for the first few seconds.

3) Play willy wonka first, and after he says “Boys and Girls, the chocolate room.” immediately hit play on the trance song.

These two seem to sync (at least they do to me) so much because the music and video are designed to help your mind dissociate. I imagine it’s similar with similar trance music and videos. I recommend trance songs that have no singing. They seem to work better.

Get to the point already!

Well aside from the potential these videos could have to for things like mental programming and mind control, (see project monarch), there is a second powerful point I’d like to bring on board.

Traditional science treats dissociation like it is a bad thing sometimes, and I think that view needs to change. I think a mistake that we have been making for a while now is to assume it is only a defense mechanism, nothing more. Truthfully, I’m beginning to discover dissociation, as no different from simply achieving a different mental state, one where dreams, stories, channeling, alternate selves, oneness, and psychic abilities all seem to resonate.

Harvey, nobody gives you any respect. No, not Frank. That's a different movie with a giant imaginary bunny.

It can come off as crazy to someone who isn’t in that state, but there is value in dissociation, and I don’t think people always get that. Whether you believe the beings you are communicating with in a state of dissociation are imaginary or not, you are still getting introspective advice from them, and in the sense that they bring meaning to you, they are real. If you believe that the syncronicities you experience are nothing more than common coincidences, that doesn’t mean that in a state of even slight dissociation, they cannot bring meaning to you.

Let’s say you play some of that trance music or even meditative new age music when you’re walking down the street. Do the stop signs start to turn in time to the music? How about the flasher lights on cars? Thank your music for helping you reach that state where you can appreciate the interconnectedness of the universe. I’ll even go so far as to say that dissociation is a blessing, provided you learn to control it.

As a side note, I’m interested in trying what I like to call the “techno lithmus test” on certain pop videos. Basically, it’s synching up trance to popular muted music videos that conspiracy groups say are full of “Illuminati” symbolism. If you get any weird feelings, that could mean that there’s subconscious symbols in the video affecting you. I tried it with that techno song I linked earlier and Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”, and it just seemed really odd and off. I can’t put my finger on it, but that lowered latency inhibition does make you more aware of that kind of stuff. In fact watching it kind of gives me a headache. If it does it to you, I suggest you stop immediately, especially if you believe you were a victim of mind control at one time. (Hey I’ve never met anybody but you never know. The world’s a funny place.)

Until next time, don’t lose your wonder, see the value of everything when it falls into place.

Hey kids, it's Carl Jung, the man who coined the term "synchronicity!" I hear he did some other stuff as well.

The term “synchronicity” is thrown around quite often these days. I first heard the term a few years back when I was reading Steve Pavlina’s blog. More recently, I learned that the man who first came up with the term was none other than psychologist C. G. Jung.

For those who are unfamiliar with Jung or his work, much of it was focused on his idea of a collective unconscious, and archetypes – common themes that keep popping up within the collective unconscious. One such archetype that Jung recognized is the “shadow“, which is a part of the mind consisting of repressed weakness, shortcomings, and instincts. When you take all of this into consideration, you can see how much influence Jung has had on various new age movements.

However, what I want to focus on today is the concept of synchronicity. What is it, how does it work, and what if anything does it say about the nature of the reality we live in?

What is synchronicity?

What do we mean by "meaningful coincidence" anyway?

In his book “Synchronicity”, Jung defines synchronicity as a “meaningful coincidence.”

I think the best way to approach this is to start with a few famous historical examples of synchronicity to get an idea what I mean.

“A certain M. Deschamps, when a boy in Orleans, was once given a piece of plum-pudding by a M. de Fortgibu. Ten years later he discovered another plum-pudding in a Paris restaurant, and asked if he could have a piece. It turned out, however, that the plum-pudding was already ordered-by M. de Fortigbu. Many years afterwards M Deschamps was invited to partake of a plum-pudding as a special rarity. While he was eating it he remarked that the only thing lacking was M. de Fortigbu. At that moment the door opened and an old, old man in the last stages of disorientation walked in: M. de Fortigbu, who had got hold of the wrong address and burst in on the party by mistake.”

Jung himself experienced a synchronicity like this in his youth:

“When a young man, Jung saw a solid oak table suddenly split right across. Soon afterwards a strong steel knife broke in pieces for no apparent reason. His superstitious mother, who also witnessed both of these events, looked at him significantly, and this made Jung wonder what it was all about. Later he learned that some of his relatives had been attending seances with

a medium: they had been wanting to ask him to join them.”

These are the kind of coincidences that make you stop and think that maybe there is something different going on in the world than what you initially thought. These connections are strange, coincidental, acausal, and personal. But what about the “meaningful” part? Where is this meaning coming from, and why do certain coincidences make us feel the way we do?

What the Skeptics say

Are the rings on these puddles all lining up for a reason? The universe, it's speaking to me!

To have a full perspective on things, we have to know what the skeptics think, too. So let’s crack open our skeptic dictionary and dump a little cold water on this idea.

“What reasons are there for accepting synchronicity as an explanation for anything in the real world? What it explains is more simply and elegantly explained by the ability of the human mind to find meaning and significance were there is none (apophenia)…If you think of all the pairs of things that can happen in a person’s lifetime, and add to that our very versatile ability of finding meaningful connections between things, it then seems likely that many of us will experience many meaningful coincidences. The coincidences are predictable, but we are the ones who give them meaning.

Even if there were a synchronicity of the mind and the world such that certain coincidences resonate with transcendental truth, there would still be the problem of figuring out those truths. What guide could one possibly use to determine the correctness of an interpretation? There is none except intuition and insight, the same guides that led Jung’s teacher, Sigmund Freud, in the interpretation of dreams. The concept of synchronicity is but an expression of apophenia”

And Just so we’re clear on apophneia, let’s get the short definition for that too, also from the skeptic’s dictionary.

“Apophenia is the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena.”

and an example:

“Soon after his son committed suicide, Episcopalian Bishop James A Pike began seeing meaningful messages in such things as a stopped clock, the angle of an open safety pin, and the angle formed by two postcards lying on the floor. He thought they were conveying the time his son shot himself.”

So to summarize: the two main critiques of skeptics are:

1) More coincidences happen than we notice. So when we say “That couldn’t have been by chance.”, we have to realize that in the broad scope of things coincidences happen fairly often.

2) We’re merely seeing meaning in things where there is none.

A Matter of Fact or Perspective?

Perspective is a funny thing.

I don’t really have a sufficient mastery of statistics to give a sufficient answer to the first question, but I would like to write on the second point.

A synchronicity is a meaningful coincidence. Apophenia is when you perceive a coincidence to be meaningful when it isn’t. But this begs the question: Who decides what is meaningful and what is not? What has meaning to one person doesn’t have meaning to another.

The question of who decides meaning has been debated over by philosophers for quite some time. Personally, I consider myself closest to an existentialist worldview, so in my opinion, we each get to decide our own meaning. Whether that’s right or not depends on who you ask. Of course, we have to ask what we mean by the actual word “meaningful.”

Do we mean “meaningful” in the sense of “Wow, that was a really cool experience, I’m just blown away!”

Or do we mean meaningful in the sense of “Wow, that was so amazing, it had to be God/The Universe/Source/ (fill in the blank here) doing it.”

I’m assuming the skeptics are more concerned with the second sense of the word. “Why does it have to be supernatural?” The skeptic would rightfully say, “When it’s probably just you seeing too much into things? Why does is have to be a meaningful coincidence (again second sense of the word) , when it could just be a regular coincidence?

The answer, as trite as it sounds, is because I choose to see it that way.

Is Everything Connected, or Not?

Remember Louis Wain, our cat loving, schizophrenic artist? Is this the picture of a man's mind slowly abstracting into madness, or slowly seeing the underlying geometry of existence, or both?

Remember in my past articles, I talked about latency inhibition and occam’s razor. These are two important keys to understand here.

In the former, I wrote that low latency inhibition affects schizophrenics because a key symptom of that disease is “perceiving meaningful relationships everywhere, even when there aren’t any.” (or apophenia). I then went on to explain that maybe schizophrenics are seeing a more accurate model of the universe because their brains are noticing things that we naturally filter out, such as audio “hallucinations”, “synchronicities” or Hey, have you ever thought you saw something out of the corner of your eye? It’s probably just the brain misfiring.

So if a person experiences more “synchronicities”, it means he is lowering his latency inhibition, which means he is more likely to experience personal supernatural events, because his mind is starting to notice things it would be otherwise filtering out, and making connections it would otherwise not be making, to the point where it appears like he is not mentally healthy to anybody with more latency inhibition. So which is it? Is everything meaningful? Is nothing meaningful, or is it somewhere in-between?

In my other article, I wrote that Occam’s razor is inherently biased, because what is considered an “extraordinary claim” depends on who you ask. There is no hard-pressed line between ordinary and extraordinary. It’s a spectrum, and the line is different for everybody. The bias, in this case, is to see “chance” as an ordinary claim, and “the supernatural” as an extraordinary claim, when in fact there’s no evidence for either one. There’s evidence that coincidences happen, sure, but no evidence that what causes coincidences is chance, or some determinist variant thereof. How could there be?

As most conversations like this go, the deeper you get, the muddier the waters get, and the more you get entangled with definitional issues that make determining the truth impossible. Philosophical matters are kind of like quantum physics in that way. On the surface, everything makes sense and is a-ok, but the deeper you go, the less things make sense, the harder it is to observe and make meaning from things.

When you reach that point, you are left with a choice, the choice to decide what you believe with the information you have, the choice to determine how to interpret the facts. Should you choose not to accept synchronicity, I understand. That seems like a perfectly valid choice given what little information we have of what goes on behind the scenes. If you do believe in synchronicity, I think that’s an equally valid view, and not something to be looked down upon or scoffed at. At the very least, it will leave you open to a plethora of amazing experiences.

Tune in next time for part two, where I will discuss how synchronicities relate to storytelling and dreams.

I am stoked to have a patchman now. For the record, this pic looks nothing like me, except for the excited expression of course.

I would like to apologize to all my regular readers who probably assumed that I dropped off the face of the earth. The truth for me is, that 2012 has already been a year of huge changes for me, and I’m trying my best to adjust. Some of the events I’ve worked with just this year include a new move, a new baby on the way, a near death in my family, and a sick dog. As one might say, life just keeps on rolling. However, the year has also been full of wonderful changes as well. The move itself is pulling in all kinds of new experiences, people, and challenges and I’m just loving it.

Anyway, lets get to today’s topic at hand:

“Okay, I bought my shovel, now where’s my hole?”

I heard these wise words from a woman named Ramona down at Stonekeepers metaphysical shop in Murfreesboro Tennessee. I’ll explain them shortly. This woman is full of fascinating stories, her shop was honestly the first real metaphysical shop I’ve ever visited, and I’m glad I did.

Ramona told me that when she started her business, she knew nothing about metaphysical stuff. She opened her crystal shop envisioning that it would be a jewelry and gift shop. She had crystals yes, but knew nothing about their metaphysical properties. I believe she told me that she had difficulty with business at first as well. More people were buying her gems and crystals for metaphysical reasons than for simple knick-knacks. One day, a man walks into her store, sees a large crystal cluster and says, “Excuse me maam, that’s my crystal over there.”

Ramona told me she was taken aback at first by the man’s nerve, explained how expensive it was, and he just repeated that it was his crystal. The man turned out to be a shaman. Between her conversation with him, and a friend giving her The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life by Drunvalo Melchizedeck she became quickly hooked and her store began to take a more metaphysical turn.

How not to use crystals – a lesson in hoarding and intent

On my entire drive to Tennessee, I was thinking about how I would finally be able to purchase crystals on my own without having to worry about a thing. I was excited about it, but I had no idea where to look for a metaphysical shop. When I arrived in Tennessee, I went into one of those Earthbound trading company places in a mall somewhere. They sell some crystals, but the selection isn’t as good as an actual crystal store. Ryan Boyd, the writer for astral 101, had suggested I look for Citrine and Prehnite starting out. I didn’t find either of these there, so I instead bought a few random bags of crystals and said to myself I’d find those other crystals elsewhere. One of the shopkeepers mentioned Stonekeepers, so I wrote it down and told myself I’d look for it the next day.

I went to bed that night excited to try my crystals out, so I quickly half-assed a “dedication”, stuffed the entire bag under my pillow and waited to see how I felt. I felt a few tingling sensations, but no better dreams, no super rested feelings. What’s am I doing wrong here? I thought. Have I been deluding myself about this stuff all along? After all, experience is how I know whether there’s validity in a thing.

A shot of the outside of stone keepers. Did I mention this place is awesome?

The next day, I left for Stonekeepers, determined to find “the right stones”, the ones that would work for me.  When I got there, I asked Ramona for some citrine, and prehnite tumble stones, and a copy of the crystal bible. I cracked the thing open and looked up my crystals, hoping that the stones would help me do the kinds of things I wanted to do. After a while of my random browsing, Ramona offered to show me around her store and we got to talking. I asked her if she had any resources that explain how crystals work, and why they help us.

“Let me share a word of advice for you. All of those crystal books each say a different thing. Now if you’re curious what they say, that’s fine, but by trusting in only the books, you’re giving an awful lot of your power away to them. Which one are you going to trust? I don’t know if it’s good for business or not, but when people shop for crystals, I encourage them to search for what feels right.”

The shovel part

Hey! This thing is busted!

Here’s the direction the conversation took next:

“Let me ask you a question. What does a shovel do?”

“It digs holes,” I tell her, curious about where she’s going with her line of questioning.

“Can you dig a hole without a shovel?

“Yes.”

“Can you do other things with a shovel? You can use it to prop open a window, right? You can use it to dig or fill holes. There’s a bunch of different things you can use a shovel for. It’s just a tool. Crystals are the same way. What works for you may not work for somebody else. When you buy a crystal, you’re putting your energy and intention in it. It’s that intention that works the crystals. So many people who come in here want a magic solution to a problem. Usually they are looking for either love or jobs. They buy the crystal thinking it’s going to just magically solve the problem. That’s like saying, okay I bought a shovel, now where’s my hole? Without the intention and action, it won’t help.”

He’s just not that into you – crystal edition

So I had all of these crystals, but when I bought them, I forgot the most important step, to use my energy and intention to actually put meaning into them. Since everything is energy, I wouldn’t be surprised if you could do it one way of the other with virtually anything. We’ve seen the example of what happens when you write the word “love” on a glass of water. What you intend in your life is what you manifest in your life. If anything, crystals are beautiful. Why wouldn’t you want to manifest beauty into your life? Just remember, that the crystals aren’t going to do all the work in your life and magically make everything perfect. If you want to change, you have to strengthen your will, make intentions, and act. Please remember that last one, because without it, you’re merely dreaming with stones in your hand, not using crystals to help focus and manifest what you want.

I have an additional story to share about Ramona next time, but I will save that for next time when I talk a little about Jung and synchronicity.

So until next time, don’t just buy your tools, use them.

Livewithwonder can be contacted though email at livewithwonder@thespiritscience.net, his blog at livewithwonder.wordpress.com, or on twitter at @mrthejazz1.

A work by cat artist Louis Wain. He made this while being treated in a mental hospital for schizophrenia.

I’m beginning today’s article with a little disclaimer: I am in no way, shape or form making light of what schizophrenic people, nor the family members of schizophrenic people go through. Neither am I romanticizing the condition. I am merely exploring a potential idea and seeing where it leads. If you or someone you know has been officially diagnosed with the condition, you should seek professional help because schizophrenia can negatively impact a person’s functioning in society, or cause a person to hurt himself or herself.

Good. Now let’s get started.

For a long time I have been tossing around in my head the idea that those with schizophrenia are more attuned to the supernatural, or perhaps are experiencing some form of extrasensory perception. The reason for my disclaimer (and the reason I hesitated in writing this) is if a person with schizophrenia accepts these beliefs, it may actually impede their progress in attempting to reconnect with reality. However, if we are to be diligent and not dismissive, we still need to explore the possibility, and there’s actually a decent amount of evidence supporting that claim.

To begin with, what differentiates a person with psychic abilities and a person with schizophrenic beliefs and hallucinations? Both claim (or can claim) to witness things that seem incredible, whether you call them hallucinations or spiritual experiences. I think the main thing that differentiates the two is the ability of the professed psychic to shut off the extrasensory perception in question.

I’m going to use lucid dreaming to establish a baseline here. When you lucid dream, you become aware of your dreams and are thus able to take command of them and do as you wish. Once you have that awareness, you are able to bend the rules and manifest all kinds of bizarre things in dream reality. Psychics, in my mind, are kind of like the lucid dreamers of the dream world we call “reality”. It is their increased awareness of the world around them that enables them to bend the rules, kind of like how being aware of our breathing enables us to control it.

Now imagine that you were experiencing all the bizarre occurrences of a lucid dream only without the awareness that you are dreaming. What would you call that roller coaster of an experience? I would call it either a regular dream, or if it was bizarre enough, a nightmare, and in the same comparison to psychics, I think of schizophrenic sufferers as perhaps those experiencing a nightmare in the dream world of reality. It is the inability to take command of the dream that hinders them. If this model is correct, their problem isn’t the ability to see the depths of the universe, it’s the ability to stop seeing.

So to summarize, in the dream of “reality” you have three kinds of people:

1) Those who don’t “pierce the veil” so to speak. They don’t really develop their awareness and never really realize they are dreaming, so to speak. (Regular dreamers)

2) Spiritual people, psychics, and other people who have some level of awareness that they might be dreaming (lucid dreamers).

3)  People who are seeing bizarre things that shouldn’t be a part of reality like schizophrenics, but who have no control over what they see and what they shut out (Those having nightmares)

Since the idea that the world we live is some kind of shared dream is basically unprovable (although if we were in a dream proof wouldn’t matter) I can’t really say this idea is “the truth.” However, there are some related links to the puzzle I can prove.

For example, what if I told you I could establish a strong link between schizophrenia and spiritual/psychic experiences?

The temporal lobe

Location of the temporal lobe

Canadian neuroscientist Michael Persinger has invented what people are commonly calling a “God helmet.” The device works by generating a weak magnetic field over brain’s temporal lobe, causing it to have “microseizures”, which are smaller and more focused solely on the temporal lobe than regular seizures.

According to the book Entangled Minds by Dean Radin, up to 80  percent of test participants who wear these helmets experience some form of psychic or spiritual phenomena, including experiences of “vibrations, tingling sensations, odd touches, inability or reluctance to move, odd smells, odd tastes, fear or terror, intense dream-like images and the presence of another (sentient) being.”

Those of you who have experienced similar events may see a stunning amount of parallels between both astral projection and sleep paralysis, as well as telepathy and other spiritual experiences. My hypothesis is that we often experience sleep paralysis when we are close to astral projection.

While medical professionals seem to think temporal lobe seizures are different than schizophrenia, there does seem to be some kind of link. Here’s a site that compares the two. And this site suggests a common susceptibility between the two. Things like meditation and psychotic drugs can have an affect on the temporal lobe as well.

I believe that while temporal lobe seizures are correlated to spiritual experiences, I don’t think they cause them, just in case you wanted to dismiss the spiritual as the brain messing up. Here’s why: Radin said “Persinger’s team conducted a thorough neurological investigation of renowned psychic and artist Ingo Swann. Swann is the developer of a method of training remote viewing (in earlier times this was called “traveling clairvoyance”) as used in the U.S. government’s STARGATE progam of psychic spying. Swann has repeatedly demonstrated verifiable remote viewing expertise under controlled conditions, and evidence for Swann’s accurate remote viewing ability was also found in Persinger’s study. So the story of psi is not as simple as a misfiring brain.”

Latent inhibition

Another topic Radin touches on is a little psychological phenomena called latent inhibition. Basically latent inhibition is when the brain is biased in a way that it ignores stimuli that have already happened in the past. If, for example, somebody rings a bell outside your door every day, it becomes harder to notice after a while, unless you really are aware and really pay attention. If you want a good example of how this phenomena works, watch this 1 and a half minute video.

People who are considered “healthy” actually have a high latent inhibition, because it allows us to do everyday tasks like driving a car. If we didn’t have that, we would be so focused on every element that driving requires that we wouldn’t be able to drive. Radin says that “low latent inhibition has been studied extensively in schizophrenic patients because a key symptom of that disease is perceiving meaningful relationships everywhere, even where there aren’t any.”

Aha! So right there, if we turn that idea on its head, what if schizophrenics have such a low latent inhibition that they are just more perceptive of us, and able to see meaningful relationships that we just are unable to see? Perceiving meaningful relationships everywhere, from a spiritual perspective, could be the same experience as oneness, or synchronicities. If we are all one or connected, perhaps schizophrenics are blessed with the ability to see that oneness. What is the purpose of meditation? Is it not to increase our awareness?

Dr. Shelly Carson, a researcher on creativity and psychopathology suggested that “some psychological phenomena might be pathogenic in the presence of decreased intelligence…but normative and even abnormally useful in the presence of increased intelligence. That is to say, perhaps intelligence enables us to expand our awareness more without causing us to go mad. Or perhaps schizophrenics are super aware but just not ready for what that awareness means for them yet.

That’s a tough claim to make though. As I said in my disclaimer, I don’t want to encourage a schizophrenic person in a potential delusion. Even if the experience of a “hallucination” is real, it doesn’t mean that “hallucination” is looking out for your best interests. To me, I think delusions are the more dangerous part of schizophrenia, especially if the person in question is experiencing “command” hallucinations. Perhaps the voice commanding is a real spirit, but that doesn’t mean listen to the damn thing! As usual, this is me toying with ideas, so if you don’t believe it, it doesn’t bruise my ego, and just because I posted all this doesn’t make it true. Please do your own research and let me know what you think.

Until next time, stay eccentric but “sane” (or not)   🙂