Saturday, 29 June 2013

Extra Sensory: The Science and Pseudoscience of Telepathy and Other Powers of the Mind

Extra Sensory is a pop-science look at the untapped abilities of human beings, from ESP to Telekenesis and other real life sciences that are currently being studied today, from physicist Brian Clegg.
We'd all love to have 'psi' abilities like telepathy, telekinesis, and remote viewing. But is there any solid evidence to back up these talents, or are they nothing more than fantasy? We still only understand a small percentage of the capabilities of the human brain—and we shouldn’t dismiss such potential powers out of hand. Although there is no doubt that many who claim these abilities are frauds, and no one has yet won James Randi’s $1M prize for demonstrating ESP under lab conditions, we still have a Nobel prize winner suggesting a mechanism for telepathy, serious scientists researching the field and university projects that produced potentially explosive results. What’s the verdict? By looking at possible physical mechanisms for ESP and taking in the best scientific evidence, the reader can discover if this is all wishful thinking and deception, or a fascinating reality. The truth is out there.


Brian's most recent book is Gravity He has written eleven other science titles, including the bestselling Inflight Science, The God Effect, Before the Big Bang, Ecologic, A Brief History of Infinity and Build Your Own Time Machine.

Along with appearances at the Royal Institution in London he has spoken at venues from Oxford and Cambridge Universities to Cheltenham Festival of Science, has contributed to radio and TV programmes, and is a popular speaker at schools. Brian is also editor of the successful book review site and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Brian has Masters degrees from Cambridge University in Natural Sciences and from Lancaster University in Operational Research, a discipline originally developed during the Second World War to apply the power of mathematics to warfare. It has since been widely applied to problem solving and decision making in business.

Brian has also written regular columns, features and reviews for numerous publications, including Nature, The Guardian, PC Week, Computer Weekly, Personal Computer World, Innovative Leader, Professional Manager, BBC History, Good Housekeeping and House Beautiful. His books have been translated into many languages, including German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, Norwegian, Thai and even Indonesian.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Death and Afterwards


Book review on

Is there life after death? The extraordinary science of what happens when we die

by Anthony Peake (2006)

Reviewed by David Fontana, 2010 published in Network Review No 104
This book has a rather similar title and cover illustration to my Is There an Afterlife?, and appeared shortly after its publication, so naturally I was interested in seeing if it bore similarity in other ways to Is There an Afterlife?.  The answer is no.  The similarity begins and ends with the title and the cover, and Anthony Peake's book takes a very different view of the evidence for survival from my own.   Peake does not reject the reality of survival or criticise the kind of approach that I and others have used, but as Professor Bruce Greyson explains in his Foreword, his approach presents us with a quite different 'astounding and provocative' model for understanding the nature of death and of what happens subsequently.  In essence the model is not in fact entirely new, but it has been re-worked by Peake within the context of modern theories from quantum physics, neuropsychiatry, and clinical psychiatry.
Briefly - and I hope that I don't over-simplify - Peake proposes that after death we immediately begin our lives over again, and do so repeatedly after each subsequent death.  In each of these lifetimes, consciousness is split between a lower self that experiences physical existence, and a higher self that retains all memories of our various lifetimes but that, beyond offering occasional flashes of illumination and guidance, remains inaccessible to lower-self consciousness.  In addition to the evidence provided by these sudden illuminations, Peake refers for support to the various interpretations of reality provided by quantum physics, in particular those interpretations that relate to the role and importance of the observer, arguing that the physical universe surrounding each observer is personal to the individual, and dependent upon his or her perception of it.  When people die, they are simply dying in and to the universe of each of those observing them, but not to their own universe.  Their existence continues in their personal universe, and they proceed to re-live their life in what for them is real time.  The memories stored in the higher self enable the individual to re-experience his or her whole lifetime over again, though this time with the ability to make changes in it.
At this distance I couldn't give the references, but I first came across this intriguing theory in my studies of ancient mystery traditions very many years ago, but never found any answers to the questions it raises.  For example, if each of us inhabits our personal universe, then what position do you occupy in my universe, and what position do I occupy in yours?  And how is it that familiar individuals can relate to me over and over again as I repeat my lifetimes?  Are they merely reflections of their real selves?  Or do their various universes intermingle with mine, in which case we each live partly in the multitude of universes that surround us, and each individual's universe is therefore not after all personal to him or herself?
Peake's answer to these and related questions involves David Bohm's theory of the implicate/explicate order.  In terms of the relevant parts of the theory, the implicate order can be thought of as a giant, flowing hologram containing every region of time and space.  Like a hologram, the implicate order enfolds all reality.  And like a hologram, each part of this implicate order contains a miniature copy of the whole, including presumably the lives of each one of us.  The explicate order, the material reality in which we live, is a projection of the implicate order, and the apparent stability and solidity we experience around us is generated and sustained by a ceaseless transition of sub-atomic particles between enfoldment (the implicate order) and unfoldment (the explicate order).  The sub-atomic particles that make up the explicate order of our material reality are in fact constantly dissolving into the implicate order and then recrystallising and re-emerging into the explicate order.  In terms of our conscious existence, each individual inhabits his or her own universe at the level of the explicit order, but meshes and intermeshes with everyone else's individual universe at that of the implicate level.  At so-called death, the individual and his or her personal universe leaves the explicit universes of those at the bedside, only to re-emerge in its own universe and re-live its life.
There are elegant mathematical models that support Bohm, despite the fact that his theory goes contrary to the more generally accepted Copenhagan interpretation of quantum physics, but my main objection to Peake's use of it in support of his own model of death and dying is that his model does not represent the picture of death and dying that we receive through spirit communications transmitted through mediums, or through the picture we are given by Out of the Body and Near Death Experiences and Deathbed Visions of the next world.  A voluminous body of evidence has grown up concerning death and the afterlife since the Society for Psychical Research began its attempts to investigate survival in 1882, and virtually none of this evidence to my knowledge directly supports Peake's model.  Spirit communicators speak of levels of afterlife existence distinct from physical reality, full of experiences never encountered while in earth, and with opportunities for development towards more exalted levels of understanding.
Apart from Near Death Experiences (NDEs), Anthony Peake makes no mention of this evidence, and even regards NDEs as 'an error, a glitch in the system', occasioned by the fact the body is preparing 'itself for death by giving the person' positive rather than negative experiences.  He suggests further that it is the publicity given to NDEs and the expectations to which this publicity gives rise, that determines the form and content of the typical NDE.  In addition, he claims that 'it is usual that the approach to death is made in a cloud of painkilling drugs', and perhaps with an 'initial flood of chemicals in the brain'.  This claim ignores the fact that neuropsychiatrist Dr. Peter Fenwick in particular has pointed out, supported by a large data bank of case studies, that many of those reporting NDEs had no prior knowledge that NDEs even exist, thus ruling out the possibility that expectations play any part in their experiences.  Furthermore, in one of the most carefully reasoned and detailed analyses of the medical influences upon the brain and the NDE, Dr. Fenwick has shown that NDEs cannot be attributed to painkilling drugs or to a flood of brain chemicals, or to any of the other natural explanations that have been so diligently advanced in an attempt to dispose of NDE evidence.
If I appear over-critical of Anthony Peake's book, let me protest this is not my intention.  In one short review it is impossible to do justice to its richness.  Peake presents his theory carefully and with internal consistency, and the book is a mine of information on quantum theory, and on relevant areas of philosophy.  He is also careful to point out that he does 'not intend his theory to invalidate long-held religious beliefs about life after death'.  I welcome his attempt to present an alternative theory of what happens at death (just as I welcome the other work he does in support of psychical research), and the clarity and lucidity with which he describes his theory.  The more we advance carefully argued alternative models of what happens at death and beyond the better.  My point is simply that I think the evidence we have on dying and the afterlife supports a very different model from the one he proposes.    Doubtless he will disagree, and in the final analysis those interesting themselves in death and dying must familiarise themselves with as much of the evidence as they can, and then arrive at their own conclusions.
Fenwick, P. and Fenwick, E. (1995).  The Truth in the Light.  London: Headline.
Fenwick, P. (2008).  The Art of Dying.  London: Continuum.

The Scientific and Medical Network

Psychic Exploration

Psychic Exploration

Psychic Exploration

A Challenge for Science, Understanding the Nature and Power of Consciousness

by Edgar D. Mitchell, ScD

Psychic Exploration, A Challenge for Science is a primer on psychic research, life's purpose, and the meaning of the universe. Originally published in 1974, this landmark anthology of nearly thirty chapters on every area of psychic research is finally available again. Edgar D. Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut and moonwalker, as well as a distinguished researcher of the study of human consciousness, brought together eminent scientists to write about issues once considered too controversial to discuss. This book includes fascinating chapters on the history of parapsychology, telepathy, hauntings, psychic phenomena, and consciousness, along with an extensive glossary and index. This timeless anthology continues to be appealing as a reference work for those curious about the history of parapsychology, fans of the world of psi, and readers interested in the meaning of the universe. Contributors include: Willis W. Harman, Jean Houston, Stanley Krippner, Robert Masters, William G. Roll, Russell Targ, Charles T. Tart, Montague Ullman, and many more.

Ref Institute of Noetic Science

Dean Radin

I thank John Zeuli for taking the above photo in August 2005.

New (June 2013 update): Evidence for psi and Supernormal book.
Ultra Short Bio: Dean, Chief Scientist, IONS.
Very Short Bio: Dean Radin, PhD, is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at AT&T Bell Labs, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, and SRI International, where he worked on a classified program investigating psychic phenomena for the US government. He is author or coauthor of over 200 technical and popular articles, a dozen book chapters, and three books including the award-winning The Conscious Universe (HarperOne, 1997), Entangled Minds (Simon & Schuster, 2006), and most recently, Supernormal (Random House, 2013).
Short Bio: Dean Radin, PhD, is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University. His original career track as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a BSEE degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude with honors in physics, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then an MS in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. For a decade he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories. For over two decades he has been engaged in consciousness research. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, and several Silicon Valley think-tanks, including Interval Research Corporation and SRI International, where he worked on a classified program investigating psychic phenomena for the US government.
He is author or coauthor of over 200 technical and popular articles, a dozen book chapters, and several books including the bestselling The Conscious Universe (HarperOne, 1997) and Entangled Minds (Simon & Schuster, 2006). These books have remained in print since they were first published and they've been translated into ten foreign languages. His latest book, Supernormal (Random House, 2013), will be published in July 2013. His technical articles have appeared in journals ranging from Foundations of Physics and Physics Essays to Psychological Bulletin and Journal of Consciousness Studies; he was featured in a New York Times Magazine article; and he has appeared on dozens of television shows ranging from the BBC’s Horizon and PBS's Closer to Truth to Oprah and Larry King Live. He has given over 250 interviews and talks, including invited presentations at Harvard (medical), Stanford (medical and statistics), Cambridge (physics), and Princeton (psychology), for industries including Google and Johnson & Johnson, and for government organizations including the US Navy and DARPA. In 2010, he spent a month lecturing in India as the National Visiting Professor of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, a program in the Indian government's Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Extended Bio: I was born on February 29th. For my 13th birthday celebration I rented a roller skating rink for an evening, invited all my friends, and we ate hot dogs, cup cakes, and shared a Spiderman-themed birthday cake. I am looking forward to my 21st birthday in 2036, when I can finally buy a beer.
My first career interest, at chronological age 4, was to be "jet propelled." It took many years before I could better articulate what I meant by that, but that's how I responded when adults asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. My next career interest was the classical violin, which I started at age 5 and continued to play for the next 20 years, the last five as a professional. Then I switched to fiddle and 5-string banjo and played in bluegrass bands for a number of years. Between gigs, I pursued other interests and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude with senior honors in physics, from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), a masters in electrical engineering focusing on cybernetics and control systems from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and then a PhD in psychology, also from UIUC. For my dissertation I developed and tested what may have been the first computer-based, artificial-intelligence enhanced, touch typing training system.
For a decade after my PhD I worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories and later at GTE Laboratories on advanced telecommunications R&D. Projects included designing the human interfaces to network operations centers in the US and Japan, developing a rapid prototyping system for complex human-computer interface designs (before there were personal computers), and studying ways of enhancing brainstorming and creativity in industry. While at Bell Labs, for fun I wrote a series of humorous articles for the science spoof magazine, Journal of Irreproducible Results. One of those articles later almost accidentally started World War III in a way that would have appealed to Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove.
Throughout my formative years and first jobs, I never forgot my original interest in being jet propelled. Ultimately I understood that what I was trying to express as a child was an overriding fascination about the outer limits of inner space -- the depths and capacities of the human mind. As a pre-teen I read everything I could find on mythology, fairy tales, folklore, eastern philosophy, western psychology, and lots of science fiction. Around age 12, as my interests in science and engineering grew, I started to conduct experiments on hypnosis and psychic (or "psi") phenomena. In hindsight, I think these interests were probably encouraged by growing up in an artistic family and bolstered by practicing the violin one to two hours a day for many years.
While at Bell Labs I started to publish some of my psi experiments. Then I attended the annual conferences of the Parapsychological Association and the Society for Scientific Exploration, and to give presentations at their annual meetings. I was delighted to find groups of scientists who were as interested in these phenomena as I was, and the contacts I made eventually led to my gaining appointments to conduct psi research at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, SRI International and Interval Research Corporation. At SRI International I worked on a then secret US government-funded program of psi research. Portions of that program, now known by its last codename, Stargate, have since been declassified and accounts about it (some more accurate than others) can be found in many books. In 2000 I cofounded the Boundary Institute and in 2001 became Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). I also hold an adjunct appointment in the Psychology Department at Sonoma State University and have served as a member of the Distinguished Consulting Faculty at Saybrook Graduate School.
I've now spent the majority of my professional career doing what the 4 year old Dean expressed as being jet propelled -- experimentally probing the far reaches of human consciousness, principally psi phenomena. Very few scientists are actively engaged in research on this perennially interesting topic. This is not because of a lack of interest. I've found that most scientists I've spoken to are very interested in psi phenomena, but science, like any social enterprise, has strictly enforced rules of publicly acceptable beliefs, and so it is not safe for one's scientific career to pursue highly controversial topics (that goes for many topics, not just psi). In addition, funding and controversy in science are inversely proportional, so even iconoclasts who don't care much about what other people think are severely resource limited. Perhaps because of my unusual choice of profession, and the risk that that choice entails, I was featured in a New York Times Magazine article in 1996.
My interest in psi was originally motivated out of a child's intuitive sense that the mind is far more mysterious and powerful than we know. Through education and experience I've also come to appreciate that these experiences are also responsible for most of the greatest inventions, artistic and scientific achievements, creative insights, and religious epiphanies throughout history. Understanding this realm of human experience thus offers more than mere academic interest -- it touches upon the very best that the human intellect and spirit have had to offer. I discovered while working on these topics that I enjoy the challenge of exploring the frontiers of science, and that I am comfortable tolerating the ambiguity of not knowing the "right answer," which is a constant companion at the frontier.
After studying these phenomena as a scientist for about 30 years, I've concluded that some psychic abilities are genuine, and as such, there are important aspects of the prevailing scientific worldview that are seriously incomplete. I've also learned that many people who claim to have unfailingly reliable psychic abilities are often delusional or mentally ill, and that there will always be reprehensible con artists who claim to be psychic and charge huge sums for their "services." These two classes of so-called psychics are the targets of celebrated prizes offered by magicians for demonstrations of psychic abilities. Those prizes are safe because the claimed abilities of these people either do not exist at all, or they're much weaker than sincere claimants may wish to believe. There is of course a huge anecdotal literature about psychic abilities, but the evidence that convinced me is the accumulated laboratory performance by people who do not claim to possess special abilities, collected under controlled conditions and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
There is ample room for scholarly debate about these topics, and I know a number of informed scientists whom I respect who have reached different conclusions. But I've also learned that those who loudly assert with great confidence that there isn't any scientifically valid evidence for psychic abilities just don't know what they're talking about. In addition, the hysterical rants one finds in various online "skeptical" forums appear to be motivated more by fundamentalist beliefs of the scientistic or religious kind than by a rational assessment of the relevant literature. Regarding religion, I was raised in a Jewish family but religion played no part in my life, and I remain agnostic. I do maintain a daily meditation practice, primarily because the evidence in favor of meditation's health benefits are so strong that I feel it would be foolish to not meditate.
You may contact me via email as dean at noetic dot org, but due to the huge volume of emails I receive, I can't promise to reply.
home Conscious Universe Entangled Minds Supernormal Activities Bio

Enter Esoterics

Physicists may consider esoteric philosophy to be irrational nonsense with no empirical basis - for good reason, since most of what is called "esoteric" is not the genuine esoteric science at all. Having studied this subtle science for many years, however, I have come to know it as profoundly logical and not incompatible with the facts of physics. In these papers I demonstrate that the esoteric science shines a powerful light of understanding upon the big problems of contemporary physics, providing vital clues to their resolution. While written for any intelligent reader, those with some physics background will gain the most. Please leave your assumptions behind, follow the logic, and make up your own mind.

Is this Real Science?
According to the philosopher Karl Popper, empirical science is that which can be falsified. By this definition, this framework is indeed science. Each of these papers presents a clear prescription to mathematical physicists. When the mathematics is carried through, what was obtuse should become simple and transparent. If that doesn't happen, the framework falls.

Download Papers  Imaginary Physics (pdf, 70p, 550k). Version 1: Oct 22, 2012. (Archived on viXra.)    Ready for a different perspective on the Universe? My most recent paper goes back to the very fundamentals, the ontology of imaginary and complex numbers, and starts from there. In a nut shell, the argument derives the esoteric model on the basis of physical and mathematical principles alone, while illuminating a variety of scientific mysteries along the way. It corrects and advances the scientific content in my earlier papers without resort to esoteric content. Be ready for some abstract thinking, and be sure to let logic be your guide. (Note that a full understanding of this paper becomes possible only when the philosophical aspects are brought to bear, being the focus of current activity. Nonetheless, the physical/mathematical argument supports itself as presented here.) My earlier two papers (below) approach the framework from both scientific and esoteric perspectives. Technical readers will note some minor technical errors and misteps in the presentation - note that these do not influence the central argument, which in each case remains valid and intact.    Framework for Unification of Physics (pdf, 29p, 400k). Version 2: Oct 15, 2010.    Attributive Quantum Fields (pdf, 23p, 233k). Version 4: May 26, 2011.      Creative Commons License
These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. They may be shared, copied and distributed under the conditions of the license.



The following is from the RationalWiki which offers critical views on all things parapsychological.


The chakra or chakra points are an idea appropriated from Eastern, particularly Indian, beliefs.
The basic idea is that there are a series of points along the middle of the body where energies gather. Those points then regulate those energies within you. It is possible for those points to become clogged or out of whack, and that "re-aligning" these chakra points can cure many ailments. It may appeal to this market for several reasons. For one, it is easy to extrapolate the 'functions' of the chakras to actual organs in the body, considering they are a bunch of lore trying to explain aspects of the human body. In addition, it has a low entry level; little needs to be bought in order to follow new age chakra woo except maybe embarrassing yoga outfits and a foam mat to carry around under your arm. Chakra woo also goes together with other kinds of woo very easily, because chakras seem to have to do with many other factors, such as diet and the body posture. Finally, chakras are pretty: thanks to American New-age marketing, they now sport all the colors of the visual light spectrum and look great in advertisements. Especially alongside crystals of convenient matching colors (also for sale). Throw in a double rainbow arcing over a tropical sunset or two for good measure while you're at it.
On its own, as a mystical system of enlightenment, it is no worse or better than any other. As a means of explaining treatments that seem to have some utility, it's highly dubious. As a method of diagnosis, it is bunk.
(It should be noted that most of the people in the United States and the rest of the West who go on about chakras have very little training in Indian mysticism, and thus are missing out on a great deal of the philosophy and understanding behind it.)



[edit] In brief

Chakras have matching colors. Arse red, elbow attached nearer blue.
There are a million names for each chakra, sub-chakras, differences in tradition, and other discrepancies. For the purposes of sanity, each here will be listed accorded to the Tantric hindu tradition. If you seriously are taken with researching more on the more complicated and detailed aspects of chakras, by all means go and check out Wikipedia's entry and related pages. Actually looking into the tradition reveals that there are far, far more specifics than the bare minimum woo-meisters use to extract money with.
Statements below can be assumed to be 'in the tradition of' this practice, so stating that a chakra 'does' something or enables something should be taken to indicate the function within the tradition. It should be fairly clear that mystical energy points don't actually control human organs or mentality.

[edit] 1. Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra.

This chakra is at the top of the head, and for some reason is often represented with violet (and on this page for readability reasons) when it's actually associated with white: a white lotus of one thousand petals to be precise. It's supposed to be the chakra of higher consciousness and awareness. For some reason people connect it to the pituitary gland in humans, though how hormones relate to higher consciousness is as mysterious as anything else. Traditionally, mastering meditating upon it bestows occult powers and at least partial omnipotence. Although the feats of many yogis are indeed amazing, it's highly unlikely that magic superpowers are the case.

[edit] 2. Ajna, the Brow Chakra.

This indigo chakra is otherwise known as the third eye and deals with visual and perceptive consciousness. It is represented by a lotus with two petals: two petals for Shakti (female) and Shiva (male) energy, two petals for two psychic channels, and various other symbolisms. It has been associated with the pineal gland, and meditating to it is suggested to give one psychic powers. The outlook for that looks... hazy.

[edit] 3.Vishuddha, the Throat Chakra.

This chakra is represented by blue, but in Tibetan Buddhism it is red. Either way, it is the chakra of expression, fluidity, independence, freedom of thought, feelings of security and all of that good stuff. It is represented with 16 petals, and it's pretty important in Dream Yoga. That is to say, meditating on it supposedly promotes lucid dreaming.

[edit] 4. Anahata, the Heart Chakra.

Represented by twelve petals and a hexagram, this green chakra mandates a whole host of things. Physically it is tied to well-being, circulation, stress, and other bodily functions, and in the nonphysical realm it covers love, compassion, devotion, and other feel-good things. It is often connected to the thymus gland. It is far more important in Tibetan Buddhism, as it in that tradition also handles reincarnation. However, meditating on it allegedly allows one to body-surf, become a master of public speaking, and be dearer than the dearest to women.'[1] No scientific studies have so far located a reputable source of magic date-finding powers, however.

[edit] 5. Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra.

This ten-petaled yellow chakra is associated with the digestive system of the body, as well as all manner of growth physical and spiritual. This includes issues of growth and change, such as power, fear, and forming opinions. Mastering meditating on it is said to bestow the occult power to create and destroy the world. Thank goodness nobody's actually gotten good at meditating on it yet.[2]

[edit] 6. Swadhisthana, the Sacral Chakra.

Associated with the testes or ovaries, this six-petaled orange chakra is said to preside over adrenal hormones in general. Spiritually, it's supposed to govern things like desire, basic human needs, violence, creativity, and happiness. It is a troublesome chakra in the tradition, and many holy figures have supposedly suffered under its sexual temptations. Mastering meditating to it supposedly quells fears of drowning and allows the invoker to taste anything they want. Next to the whole 'destroy the world' power this seems a bit of a sham.[3]

[edit] 7. Muladhara, the Root Chakra.

Located in the base of the spine, in the pelvis, is this four-petaled chakra. It is famously associated with the actual sex organs and sensuality as well as flight-or-fight response and simple survival. It competes with the Sacral Chakra for which is the sexiest chakra. This chakra doesn't exist in Tibetan Buddhism. Mastering this chakra is said to make the invoker a king of all men: knowing everything and immune to all diseases.[4]

[edit] Other Chakras

There are many, many minor chakras and lesser chakras as well as sub-chakras and other artifacts. Not even experts are sure how many there are in total. It's safe to say that when cultures make up many congruent spiritual traditions, the result will be as numerous as there are people to claim mastery over that tradition.

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

Near-death experiences occur when the soul leaves the nervous system and enters the universe, claim two quantum physics experts


  • Ground-breaking theory holds that quantum substances form the soul
  • They are part of the fundamental structure of the universe
By Damien Gayle   Source Daily Mail Online


    Life after death: Dr Stuart Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona, advanced the theory on a television documentary
    Life after death: Dr Stuart Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona, advanced the theory on a television documentary
    A near-death experience happens when quantum substances which form the soul leave the nervous system and enter the universe at large, according to a remarkable theory proposed by two eminent scientists.
    According to this idea, consciousness is a program for a quantum computer in the brain which can persist in the universe even after death, explaining the perceptions of those who have near-death experiences.
    Dr Stuart Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and the Director of the Centre of Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, has advanced the quasi-religious theory.
    It is based on a quantum theory of consciousness he and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose have developed which holds that the essence of our soul is contained inside structures called microtubules within brain cells.
    They have argued that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in these microtubules, a theory which they dubbed orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR).
    Thus it is held that our souls are more than the interaction of neurons in the brain. They are in fact constructed from the very fabric of the universe - and may have existed since the beginning of time.

    The concept is similar to the Buddhist and Hindu belief that consciousness is an integral part of the universe - and indeed that it is really all there may be, a position similar to Western philosophical idealism.
    With these beliefs, Dr Hameroff holds that in a near-death experience the microtubules lose their quantum state, but the information within them is not destroyed. Instead it merely leaves the body and returns to the cosmos.
    Shocked back to life: The theory holds that when patients have a near death experience their quantum soul is released from the body and re-enters the cosmos, before returning when they are revived
    Shocked back to life: The theory holds that when patients have a near death experience their quantum soul is released from the body and re-enters the cosmos, before returning when they are revived
    Dr Hameroff told the Science Channel's Through the Wormhole documentary: 'Let's say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing, the microtubules lose their quantum state.
    'The quantum information within the microtubules is not destroyed, it can't be destroyed, it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large.
    'If the patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says "I had a near death experience".'
    He adds: 'If they're not revived, and the patient dies, it's possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul.'
    Evidence: Dr Hameroff believes new findings about the role quantum physics plays in biological processes, such as the navigation of birds, will one day prove his theory
    Evidence: Dr Hameroff believes new findings about the role quantum physics plays in biological processes, such as the navigation of birds, will one day prove his theory
    The Orch-OR theory has come in for heavy criticism by more empirically minded thinkers and remains controversial among the scientific community.
    MIT physicist Max Tegmark is just one of the many scientists to have challenged it, in a 2000 paper that is widely cited by opponents, the Huffington Post reports.
    Nevertheless, Dr Hameroff believes that research in to quantum physics is beginning to validate Orch-Or, with quantum effects recently being shown to support many important biological processes, such as smell, bird navigation and photosynthesis.

    Thursday, 27 June 2013

    Tattva Vision


    Version 2.11

    Introduction to Tattva Vision

    Lea este artículo en español: Visión tattva
    Tattva (also transliterated as tattwa) (तत्त्व) is a noun, meaning “true or real state , truth , reality” and is said to comprise the two words tad (तद्) and tvam (त्वम), to give the literal meaning of “that [art] thou”. It is also called mahā-vākya (महा-वाक्य), “the great word by which the identity of the whole world with the one eternal Brahma [tad] is expressed.”2
    The tattva vision exercise is based on the information and exercises of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Therefore it can be considered to be of the Western Magical Tradition and it may not be historically or philosophically correct from the original Eastern teachings of the tattvas3. The basics of the technique are the same as for shamanic journeying and pathworking. It can be considered a type of astral projection or astral scrying.
    For a background to the Western Tradition interpretation of tattvas see the article ‘An Introduction to Tattvas‘.
    The tattvas are said to be the ‘astral’ forms of the magical elements: earth, air, fire, water and spirit. The following table lists the correspondences:
    Akashablack vesica pisces / black eggSpirit
    Tejasred equilateral triangleFire
    Vayublue circleAir
    Apaspurple half circle / silver crescentWater
    Prithiviyellow squareEarth
    The Golden Dawn taught that the tattva vision exercise assists the development of astral clairvoyance. It is considered one of the easiest, fastest and most effective methods of exercising and enhancing the clairvoyant abilities.
    I have intentionally left out various aspects taught by the Golden Dawn, such as the astral currents, use of a tattva tide clock, other methods of choosing a tattva to work with, and ritualized aspects of performing the technique. Read the original Golden Dawn documents4 if you want the Golden Dawn methods.

    Tattva Cards

    The tattva cards can be any size. In general the size is about that of a tarot card, but square instead of rectangular. A larger size could be used if you wished to mount it on the wall, at a greater distance, for practicing the tattva vision exercise.
    The most basic set of tattva cards contains the five tattva symbols, one on each card.
    A more advanced form consists of 25 cards. It can be considered as five suits, Akasha, Tejas, Vayu, Apas, and Prithivi. Each suit has a card for the main tattva symbol, plus 4 additional cards containing smaller images of the remaining tattvas. For example, Akasha suit contains: Akasha (main card), Tejas within Akasha (Fire of Spirit), Vayu within Akasha (Air of Spirit), Apas within Akasha (Water of Spirit), and Prithivi within Akasha (Earth of Spirit).
    You can construct the cards using white cardboard, and either painting the symbols directly onto the cards or by cutting the shapes of the tattva symbols from coloured paper or card and gluing these to the white card. You can also print the tattva symbols directly onto white card or photographic paper.
    While it is recommended that you construct your own cards, you can download PDF files of cards suitable for printing from the following links:
    • Coming soon- Tattva cards (Golden Dawn)
    • Coming soon – Tattva cards (alternative design)

    Tattva Vision Exercise

    IMPORTANT: Before attempting this exercise read the following set of instructions two or three time to ensure you have a good understanding of it.
    1. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
    2. Sit comfortably with a tattva card positioned at an appropriate distance.
    3. Gaze fixedly at the tattva symbol. Try not to blink.
    4. Breathe deeply and regularly5.
    5. Allow the image to fill your consciousness. Imagine that you are soaking in the energy associated with element. Feel the qualities and sensations associated with it. You could use a mantra to keep your mind occupied while visualizing6.
    6. Continue this until you see the astral colour7. It may ‘flash’ slightly around the edges of the symbol. Experience will teach you how long it is necessary to stare at the image for.
    7. Put aside the tattva card and close your eyes8.
    8. Allow the astral version of the tattva symbol to glow strongly in your minds eye.
    9. Imagine the symbol glowing on a doorway, or that it is a portal through which you can pass.
    10. Enter through the symbol doorway.
    11. On passing through the gateway observe the scene around you.
    12. Take time to let the scene build up before you. Use all your senses to take in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations of the place.
    13. You may summon a guide to help you explore. Do this simply by requesting a guide appear to assist you. Alternative you could call upon your Higher Self to assist you.
    14. What you explore, and how you interact is your choice9.
    15. When you have finished exploring return to the portal, and return back through it.
    16. Start to bring your attention back to the physical world by listening to any sounds.
    17. Take a few deep breaths, and when you are ready open your eyes.
    18. Record every detail in a journal10. This is essential for improving your skills, correcting problems, and gaining some insights into certain symbols and events which occur during a session.

    Notes on Tattva Vision

    • Form on the astral is symbolic11. The appearance of entities or objects is not only interpreted literally, open to any method of symbolic analysis. There can be many layers of interpretation and meaning. There can be cultural and archetypal interpretations as well as personal interpretations.
    • The ‘true’ nature of anything on the astral can be sensed, rather than ‘seen’. An intuitive approach and ability to ‘feel’ or ‘sense’ the energy associated with an entity or object is necessary, and it is through practice that this skill is improved.
    • If in initial sessions the scene does not come spontaneously, use constructive imagination and picture a landscape or scene as you imagine it would look. Use all you know about the elements so that the scene is in harmony with the element.
    • It is also possible for tattva vision to be performed as a guided meditation. One person can lead another individual or a group by adapting the exercise, and allowing those experiencing the journey plenty of time to explore. With a one-on-one situation the external guide can assist by suggesting questions to ask, or suggesting certain objects or entities be examined in more detail. It can be of great benefit, as initially it can be difficult to think ‘logically’ while in the meditative state, and sometimes golden opportunities to ask something specific are missed. An external guide may see things from a more logical and rational perspective, adding an extra level or dimension to the experience
    • It is possible to use more complex symbols such as tarot cards, glyphs, runes, or the Hebrew alphabet.
    For other information on tattvas and tattva vision see the following links:

    Tattva References

    1. The first version of this article and exercise is can be found here.
    2. Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary (2008 revision).
    3. Tattvas is the commonly used plural for tattva. Previously I used tattvum as the plural, however I haven’t been able to find the source I originally used, so have gone with the standard English method of pluralization by simply adding the final ‘s’.
    4. The Tattwas of the Eastern School; Tattwa Flying Roles
    5. One method of breathing that you may find useful is the connected-breath. This is used in rebirthing and holotropic breathwork. Breath deeply, and as soon as your lungs are full breathe out. Ideally you breathe from the diaphragm, pushing the air out of your lungs by contracting your stomach muscles, and allow the air to ‘fall’ into your lungs rather than sucking it in.
    6. One possible mantra is Tat Tvam Asi – “Thou art That” from the Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda.
    7. This is the complimentary colour, and will appear as an afterimage once your eyes are closed. See the Wikipedia entries Complimentary_colours and Afterimage for more details.
    8. Some people suggest tilting your head back to improve the effect. However as you will journey into the astral for a period of time it may be more suitable to lie down.
    9. A suggested starting point for exploration is to summon a guide and ask to be taken somewhere, perhaps to meet someone who can teach you an important lesson. If you do this, you can also ask the person or entity for a gift that symbolizes the lesson.
    10. You can also record your session onto a tape, mp3 player, or computer by speaking out loud during the session. This is most useful when you are familiar with this kind of astral journeying and you can take on the form of the entities you encounter and speak as them.
    11. For more detail on symbolism see the article: Symbolism: What Does It All Mean

    Blogger Reference Link

    Tattvas and Gunas


    The Origin of the Universe      


    In the beginning was SHŪNYĀKĀSHA – “emptiness” or “the void”.
    Shūnyākāsha is more than “nothingness”, it is an immense potency of dormant energy in which “everything” exists in a latent state of potentiality. Everything conceivable can be brought into existence, just like text written, or pictures drawn, on an empty sheet of paper.
    As creation began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first and original vibration manifesting as the sound “OM”.
    Just like light, sound is vibration, energy. Light and sound are the forms that the Divine Self takes in the Universe. OM is the reflection of the absolute reality. OM is “Ādi Ānadi” - without beginning or end.
    In the Vedas it is said:
    NĀDA RŪPA PARA BRAHMA – The form of the Supreme is sound.
    The vibration of OM symbolises the manifestation of God in form. The silence between two OM-sounds reveals the formless, divine principle.
    OM embraces “all that exists” – past, present and future, all spheres of the Cosmos, the world and its underlying reality, mind and matter, cause and effect, the path and the goal. The Mantra OM is the “name of God”, the vibration of the Supreme, the all-encompassing Mantra. The essence of all wisdom has its roots in this sound. In the triad A-U-M the divine energy (Shakti) is united in its three elementary aspects as:
    BRAHMĀ SHAKTI – the creative power that manifests the Universe
    VISHNU SHAKTI – the preserving power that sustains the Cosmos
    SHIVA SHAKTI – the liberating power that brings about transformation and renewal .
    At the beginning of creation as the sound of OM divided the unity of Shūnyākāsha, two powers emerged from it:
    PURUSHA – original consciousness
    PRAKRITI – primordial nature
    Prakriti is the eternal stream of divine energy and Purusha is the divine Self, the unchanging, omnipresent and omniscient witness of all events and mutations of Prakriti. To ensure that nature (Prakriti) would always maintain a connection to the divine (Purusha) the force of attraction developed as an aspect of Prakriti.
    The desire for union and the striving for expansion are “natural”; they are intrinsic impulses of nature. Why does the seed that was planted in the lap of the earth sprout? Because the impetus for growth and duplication lies in its nature - uniting, unfolding, growing, multiplying, protecting, preserving and nourishing; put concisely, “loving” is the fundamental characteristic of Prakriti. Love contains the impulse for development and expansion, and this love is part of the Divine Being.
    In a progressive sequence the three GUNAS (essential qualities) and the five TATTVAS (elementary principles) emanated from Prakriti. These form the basis of all manifestations, of all subtle and gross forms.

    The five Tattvas are:

    PRITHVĪ – Earth
    ĀPAS – Water
    TEJAS – Fire
    VĀYU – Air
    ĀKĀSHA – Space
    However, without some impetus the Tattvas cannot unite. For that they require the participation of the Gunas, which are characterised by the following qualities.


    RAJAS – activity, movement, restlessness, passion
    TAMAS – rigidity, laziness, darkness, ignorance
    SATTVA – harmony, light, purity, knowledge
    Tattvas and Gunas are the primordial forces that have an effect on both the physical and astral planes. They influence all forms of life physically, psychically and spiritually from the beginning of their earthly existence to their end. Through the multi-layered combinations of these basic powers the human body, with its highly complex organ, nerve and brain functions, comes into existence and the psyche and mind are formed.
    The diverse interactions between the five gross Tattvas, which form the physical body, are known as Prakritis (natural forces). There are twenty-five Prakritis that influence and regulate the systems of the body.
    The Tattvas that are flowing aimlessly around in space are independent forces without visible effect. It is not until several of these primordial, undirected forces are concentrated at one point that something qualitatively new is produced. However, first an assembly point must be formed so the energy can be focused and assimilated. The most highly developed and most powerful centre on earth is the human. So just as bees collect around the queen bee, all forces and Tattvas follow when the Ātma enters the embryo. In order for a human form to be constructed the orderly combination of an immense number of effects is necessary. In the same way, but at a lower intensity, animal and plant life come into being.
    The Cosmic forces are collected within the human body at certain central points, the CHAKRAS. These function like powerful power stations. They draw in cosmic energy, transform, store and distribute it, and then radiate it out into the Cosmos again.
    The Tattvas that combined to form the body as a dwelling for the soul again detach from one another at death and return to the Cosmos. The soul then continues to wander, waiting to produce a new form again under suitable conditions. This cycle is known as CHORASI KĀ CHAKRA , “The Wheel of Rebirth and Death”.
    According to Indian philosophy there are 8.4 million types of living beings that are divided into three categories: NABHA CHARA, THALA CHARA and JALA CHARA – living beings that exist in the air, those that live on or under the earth and those that live in the water. They are further divided into four different classifications according to their method of birth in these three earthly spheres:
    JARĀYUJA – in the womb (humans and mammals)
    ANDAJA – in an egg that is hatched (birds, reptiles, fish, etc.)
    SVEDAJA – through division (lower forms of life, bacteria, etc.)
    UDBHIJJA – through seed (vegetation)
    Each of these groups has certain aptitudes and abilities called KALĀ in Sanskrit. Plants possess one Kalā, lower life forms two, egg-laying animals three, and mammals and humans four. While plants and animals remain at the level of their genesis, humans can develop up to sixteen Kalā through exercises, concentration and following the principles of Yoga. They can acquire twelve supernatural powers in addition to their four natural aptitudes.
    Therefore, the attainment of a human birth is the greatest stroke of luck for the soul. To enable this, with God’s grace, innumerable Cosmic powers act in combination; and this joining is comparable to a great fire. Qualitatively the souls of all beings are the same: they are differentiated only in the degree of their development. A small candle flame is “fire”, but when several flames are combined a brighter light, a stronger power, results. A human lives more intensively and more consciously than an animal, and is distinguished from all other life forms through the gift of the intellect (BUDDHI).
    Without faltering the wheel of rebirth keeps turning, and the soul wanders through the circle of existence driven by God’s plan and KARMAS (actions) . Human life offers the only possibility of ending this cycle. The cyclic laws of nature also bind humans, but with the help of the intellect they are capable of exploring the world, themselves and also the supernatural powers. Only humans are capable of understanding “What is God”. Only humans can realise God. That is why it is possible for them to emerge from the cycle of rebirth and, as a consequence, also help others to do so.
    The practice of Yoga supports and accelerates the development of humans as it imparts to them knowledge of the true dimension of earthly life, its purpose and potential.
    The evolution of consciousness attains fulfilment in the divine state of SAMĀDHI where Knower, Knowledge and the Object of Knowledge become one. Since the beginning of its existence the individual self has sought to gain knowledge about “the Self”. While in Samādhi the self recognises that it and the one sought for are one and the same – therefore also “the Knower” and “the object of knowledge” are the same – and so begins the blissful experience of unity, displacing the wrongly cherished illusion of duality.
    This supreme knowledge is transmitted to us through two spiritual Tattvas, ANUPADA TATTVA and ĀDI TATTVA . Anupada Tattva (also called Guru Tattva) is the universal, divine principle that leads the creation from “darkness into light” – from unconscious existence to conscious existence. Ādi Tattva is the divine Self, ĀTMĀ . Therefore it is also called ĀTMA TATTVA or ĀTMA GYĀNA .
    Self-Realised Yoga Masters are known as BRAHMANISHTA SHROTRIA, the knowers of Brahman, and TATTVA DARSHI, the knowers of the Tattvas. Their knowledge and experiences are unlimited; they transcend time, space and intellect. One who possesses self-knowledge and knowledge of the Tattvas has acquired the highest knowledge realisable by a human – with this one becomes the “knower of God” (BRAHMA GYĀNI) and the Self merges into the divine consciousness and becomes one with God.
    Srī Mahāprabhujī wrote in one Bhajan:
    Infinite is the experience of the Tattva Darshi Gurudev.
    The blessed ones who have recognised this cross the ocean of ignorance.
    I had searched everywhere – including heaven and hell –
    And in all three worlds I found no-one comparable to the Sataguru.
    The struggle of the Yogi to become free of passion, anger, attachment, greed and ego
    Is more difficult than the battle waged on the battlefield.

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    Francis X. King

    Francis X. King (10 January 1934–8 November 1994) was a British occult writer and editor who wrote about tarot, divination, witchcraft, magic, sex magic, tantra, and holistic medicine. He was during his life a member of the Society of the Inner Light, an offshoot of the Alpha et Omega, which in turn was an offshoot of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.[1]

    Controversy [edit]

    King's 1973 publication of 'The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O. infuriated their order head Grady McMurtry, because the fraternity's secrets were being published. In an O.T.O newsletter McMurtry stated the O.T.O. policy at the time writing: "We do not endorse the publication of this material because the so called 9th degree section does not include the paper (titled IX degree Emblems and Modes of Use) which Aleister Crowley handed me at 93 Jermyn St circa 1943-44 e.v. without which the whole thing is nonsense." Francis King is thought to have been given the rest of the rituals (sans the missing one) by Gerald Yorke.[2]

    Partial bibliography [edit]

    • Techniques of High Magic with Stephen Skinner (1976)
    • Tantra: A Practical Guide to its Teachings and Techniques
    • The Cosmic Influence
    • The Magical World of Aleister Crowley (1977)
    • Christopher Isherwood
    • Ritual Magic in England: 1887 to the Present Day (1970)
    • Sexuality, Magic and Perversion (1971)
    • The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O. (1973)
    • Satan and Swastika (1976)
    • The Rebirth of Magic (1982)
    • Tantra For Westerners: A Practical Guide to the Way of Action (1986)
    • The Encyclopedia of Fortune-Telling (1988)
    • Tarot (1990)
    • Rudolf Steiner and Holistic Medicine (1987)
    • Witchcraft and Demonology (1991)
    • Mind & Magic - An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Mysterious and Unexplained (1991)
    • The Flying Sorcerer: Being the Magical and Aeronautical Adventures of Francis Barrett (1992)
    • Nostradamus: Prophecies Fulfilled and Predictions for the Millennium and Beyond by Francis X. King (1993) With Stephen Skinner
    • The Complete Fortune-Teller with Paul Cooper (1994)
    • Encyclopedia of Mind, Magic, and Mysteries (1995)
    • The Hamlyn Encyclopedia of Fortune-Telling: Predict the Future and Plan Your Life with This Practical Guide to Techniques (1997)
    • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fortune-Telling (2001)

    Notes [edit]

    1. ^ Colquhoun, Ithell, Sword of Wisdom. MacGregor Mathers and the Golden Dawn, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1975, p. 189,
    2. ^ Cornelius, Jerry (2005). In the name of the Beast. California: Red Flame. p. 104. ISBN 0971237654.