Archive for April, 2009

First Contact

April 29, 2009

On the West coast of Canada and the United States there are three indigenous cultures that are being literally poisoned out of existence and a fourth that is being endangered. They live along Puget Sound and the Straight of Georgia. With them we will loose two languages and four dialects. Birth rates within these communities have fallen dramatically in the last decade and their elders are dying prematurely from the PCBs that are building up in their tissues. These four communities are known as J, K and L pods and the transients. That these communities are composed of orcas and not homosapians should be fairly obvious at this point.

I’ve loved cetaceans most of my life, but I feel like I’d never really thought about them, and orcas in particular, until around this time last year. I was in Everret, Washington visiting my cousin Linda. She thought going whale watching would be a great way to spend a day together and I agreed. Whale watching is a big tourist draw in the Atlantic provinces where I’m from, but, perhaps for that reason, I’d never done it. It did turn out to be a great experience, even though we didn’t see any orcas that day. The tour guide was a young woman who was in law school and hoping to work for an orca/Puget Sound protection NGO. Near the end of the tour she informed us that orcas have language. I was expecting that this was a very loose definition of language, like cuttlefish communication, or some preliminary research, but when I questioned her she insisted that the research had been done it was genuine language and that they even had names in the human sense.

The prospect of language in orcas sent me scurrying to the internet, where I was greeted by a resounding silence on the topic. Only recently have I started to find the kinds of papers I was looking for. One of the founding papers on orca culture was published by researchers at Dalhousie University here in Halifax: http://www.bbsonline.org/Preprints/Rendell/

A somewhat more biased source, yet still interesting is Orcanetwork.org, where you can find a writeup on orca culture:http://www.orcanetwork.org/nathist/fins.html

The complete Orca Network Bibliography is here: http://www.orcanetwork.org/nathist/scifield.html#rendell

A CNN story about orcas using a planned, cooperative hunter technique to wash a seal off an ice flow. Apparently the orcas deposited the seal back on the ice flow after knocking it off. If the journalists commentary and editing is to be believed the orcas didn’t actually want to eat the seal, but were just teaching their children how tot use that technique.

I’ve daydreamed about alien life everyday since I was a small child. Science fiction was my great literature. At this point in my life I’m fairly well convinced that humanity actually made first contact with alien intelligences many thousands of years ago, and I’m not talking about the Pleiadians or the Reptilians, or whatever lost histories you prefer. I think we were, and are, too limited in perceptual range and imagination to recognize the sentient beings who have been with us all along. When we face up to what we really recognize as intelligence, it is the ability to make matter toys. It is the ability to carve bulk matter into shapes and structures to accomplish plainly recognizable physical tasks. Any other way of being, even among our own species, is either shunned, or, less often, revered as transcendental.

De(Re)programming: I

April 28, 2009

There is almost nothing more freeing than to realize that you have almost no idea what is actually happening.

Cristian Suteanu, my environmental information management professor, told us a story about a fisherman who had lived on a small tropical island all his life. Upon being shown a news broadcast from some world city he remarked “Wow, so much is going on so far away from everything.”

“Ignorant: a state of not knowing what a pronoun is, or how to find the square root of 27.4, and merely knowing childish and useless things like which of the seventy almost identical-looking species of the purple sea snake are the deadly ones, how to treat the poisonous pith of the Sago-sago tree to make a nourishing gruel, how to foretell the weather by the movement of the tree-climbing Burglar Crab, how to navigate across a thousand miles of featureless ocean by means of a piece of string and a small clay model of your grandfather, how to get essential vitamins from the liver of the ferocious Ice Bear, and other such trivial matters. It’s a strange thing that when everyone becomes educated, everyone knows about the pronoun but no one knows about the Sago-sago” – Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett

At the beginning of the post I said that it is freeing to understand how little you know. I said this because each of the cultures you have just heard about has a way of knowing that is vast enough to consume a life time, and you can’t tune into MSNBC or Fox News to find out what they think.

Boundaries: I

April 26, 2009

One of the primary limiting factors I encounter when working with other incarnate humans is that they hold onto the view of themselves as purely physical, separate entities. This attitude cuts off experience of the energetic world. This has one positive aspect, as it helps to keep energetic interference out, but it also prevents energetic sensation, help, information gathering and general development in this area of life.

A little context will make my topic much clearer. When a soul incarnates, it almost always creates or accepts a set of contracts. These contracts assure that the soul will have certain experiences while incarnate. The most basic contract to all souls incarnating on this Earth dimension is an agreement to accept physical space-time and the physical body as the overriding reality. Any action the individual takes that is perceived to violate this contract won’t be accepted energetically. A materalistic mindset and attitude usually develop over the contract, re-enforcing it. In my experience, for energy work to be effective it is essential to suspend the materialistic mindset, and for advanced techniques, to let go of the space-time reality contract entirely.

One of the most basic ways to temporarily bypass the materialistic mindsets is to inform the person you are working with that they are composed of electromagnetic fields and that these fields interpenetrate and have no definite boundaries. Being composed of interpenetrating electromagnetic fields means that it’s quite reasonable that one person’s fields could interact with another’s at a distance. This bypasses the matterialistic mindset by eroding the perception of physical separation. I personally don’t prefer the electromagnetic explanation because I’m fairly sure more is going on than the interaction of a few fundamental fields. I want to be up front about what I think is going on while not trying to tell another person what they should think about the nature of reality.

I’m not the most skilled worker when it comes to bringing physically locked-in humans to a state where energy work can be effective. I’m too easily frustrated by having to convince the person I’m working with to let go of what I perceive to be hurting them. I’m working on this, and commenting on it externally will hopefully give me enough perspective to re-examine my feelings, as it did with my previous post on taking money for energy healing (Thanks Paul, I have been thinking about what you said).

My applied approach varies greatly depending on who I am talking to, but I’ll give a generalized form here. The following exchange is completely fictional and takes place after I have talked with the person about their experiences and what they might want to change in their life, but before I begin to probe or examine with my own senses or question my guides in earnest:

Energy worker: “May I and my guides look into you to help find what is preventing you from making the changes in your life that you want?

Other person: “Sure, go ahead.”

(Depending on the person and the situation, this kind of statement may be enough to effect an energetic change. If they are still holding themselves back, or didn’t take sufficient note of your request and thus didn’t alter their energetic state to match, then ask the next question.)

Energy worker: “Would you say ‘I agree to have (insert energy worker’s name) and his guides look into me for the purpose of finding what is stopping me from making the changes I want in my life.'”

Other person: “Okay. ‘I agree to have (insert name) and his guides look into me for the purpose of finding what is stopping me from making the changes I want in my life.'” (It’s important that they say this clearly and completely, or it will likely not have the desired effect.)

Energy worker: “Good.”

I would now begin to look into the person and ask my guides to do so as well. For me a very sensitive approach us usually best. I ask my guides if there is any aspect of the person that minds being examined, and with my own senses I try to tune into the person’s soul. If the soul resists the tuning-in then I try to open a dialogue, asking permission the view it. If the soul doesn’t wished to be viewed there will probably be interference and difficulties in making anything more than a superficial change to the person’s energetic systems.

Assuming all aspects of the person are willingly allowing me to view them and that I have identified an issue within the their energy field I talk to them about what I have found and try to assess if they are ready to let it go. Being ready is a combination of being able to let go of the issue itself and being able to accept the treatment. Being able to let go of the issue itself is a post of its own, but being able to accept the treatment in an energetic sense can be just difficult.

I might say something along the lines of the following to help a person get out of a materialistic mindset:

“Would you agree that you are more than your physical body? I see us as beings of light, all connected and woven together. Would you agree, if these things are true, to allowing me to help you let go if this (Insert: Block, knot, karma, timeline) within your body of light.”

Western Magick

April 22, 2009

I have very limited experiences with the practice of Western Magick. I’m much more familiar with modern energy medicine, shamanic and neo-shamanic practices. Having said that, I’ve very much enjoyed reading the work of Jason Louv, author of Generation Hex, editor of the journal Ultraculture and head of the Jason Louv Company, specializing in green advertising.

I found his Ultraculture article “A Grammary” particularly insightful. It recounted his journey into magickal practice, his experiences with many different systems and methodologies and his thoughts and opinions on a number of related topics. Out of the whole whole article I think the following passage is the one my mind returns to most. This is only a short excerpt of the whole section, but conveys the experience:
“In the structure of the game, each student in the class took on the role of some form of wizard, sorcerer or spell-caster, which were represented on a giant map of a fantasy landscape with small Velcro figures. Each week we would have various adventures and encounters with monsters which were meant to help teach us grammar and spelling (Get it? Spelling? If you don’t, then you don’t yet understand one of the critical secrets
of “real magick” either…). Every week we would take a class spelling test, and whoever passed the test was raised a grade. There were ten grades to Wizardry in the game, and each time you advanced a grade your wizard became more powerful. Everybody in the class was in a fierce race to see who could make it to the end. By the time the game finished, only two people had made it to the supreme tenth grade, and I was one
of them. Mr. White (of the Great White Brotherhood?) then informed me that the other person who had achieved the tenth grade wasn’t as naturally gifted at spelling as me, so my achievement actually mattered less than his. Hah hah, take that! But then, after achieving the top grade, he allowed me to progress to making up new rules for the game and adding my own personality to it. Take that story for what you will, if anything at all.”

Ultraculture One can be downloaded in PDF format from
The Grey Lodge Occult Review:
http://www.greylodge.org/occultreview/glor_018/ultraculture.html

PS I recently learned that Jason Louv did an interview with Jamais Cascio, another of my favorite bloggers at openthefuture.com and one that I found through Mac Tonnies’ Posthuman Blues. It’s an interesting, if tenuous, connection to me.

PPS I should also say that as of the time the article was written Louv had ceased practicing Western magick and was recording his experiences for posterity and so he felt he could let go and move on in his new endeavors.

Plural Identity II

April 20, 2009

This video reminds me of something I wrote about a year ago: “Would you like to hear a story? Bacteria communicate with each other through complex chemical systems. This communication allows bacteria of different species to co-operate in the construction of colonies and complex structures called biofilms. Under starvation conditions entire colonies reorganize into exquisite fractal patterns (as shown in the title picture for this blog) that maximize surface area to search for, and consume, nutrients. These bacteria make your life possible every single day. Billions of them are inside you right now. Your body wouldn’t function without them. They are part of you, not just your body. Your heart, through your limbic system, feels all the joy and pain before your brain. The bacteria are part of your organs and tissues. Your heart. They are part of you. Who are you?”

When you can realize that you are physically plural it becomes much easier to recognize mental, emotional and energetic plurality.

I’m sure the limbic system connects the heart and brain, but I’m not certain about the order of feeling. The pop science article I read on the subject said that victorious runners hearts’ showed signs of elation before their brains, but I can no longer find it.

For just $9.99….

April 19, 2009

Just looking around some other energy medicine blogs I got a little disgusted. I understand the desire to live and profit by your abilities, but from my limited knowledge I think Pete Seeger was probably a lot more developed in his perspective on physical and monetary needs than most of what I’ve seen in the shamanic/energy medicine business.

I think the operative word here is business. The entire idea of taking money for healing or helping others is personally abhorrent. Having said that, I have gone to those who charge for their services for many years, and I can deal with it.

I reluctantly asked my guides if I could take money for my shamanic work. They conveyed that it would not go well for me if I took monetary compensation. I could take food, or clothing, shelter or help offered in kind, but not money. If you can do it and live in wellness, okay, but I don’t think I can.

Guides: Communication Basics I

April 17, 2009

Communication with guides is one of the most central aspects of my practice. It is also one of the most frustrating and potentially deceptive.

The relationship between accurate/precise information and the human being can be likened to that between light and crystal. The quality of the information is based on the clarity of the crystal and the purity of the light. To receive information you need to be clear of mental, emotional, physical and energetic distortion. This sounds exactly like what it means. Removing these distortions will consume several posts, but now I will just focus on one basic technique for safely tuning into and communicating with non-physical entities.

Before anything else you need to decide what force, being or entity you want tune into and communicate with. My two suggestions in this regard are 1. try talking to various aspects of yourself first, such as your autonomic nervous system, or inner self. This will help you start to self monitor what the various parts of your being think and feel. 2. Tune into what most workers call the Universal Healing Energy. The UHE is exactly what it sounds like, a universal force devoted to all energies of healing and the highest good of every being. For the left-brained: No, I don’t think there is actually a UHE, but if you tune into that concept it will put you in touch with the force or being most closely matching it that you are able to mesh with at this time. For the right-brained: just forget what I told the left-brainers and tune in that universal healing energy.

Once you have decided on what you are tuning into, it helps to carefully write down some of the questions you want to ask. For this technique stick to questions with a yes or no answer. Your intention to ask a question isn’t enough for most energy beings to understand, you need to actually word your questions to start. The words themselves aren’t important, but the coherent thoughts that they create are what energy beings can understand. Until you learn to think much more coherently than most ever will, you’ll need to word you questions.

Examples of questions:

Bad questions:
1. Where did I leave my car keys?

2. Will the Mets win tonight?

Good question:
1. Even though I think I’ve resolved it, am I still angry at my sister on some level?

2. Do I have any blocks in my energy systems? Are they in my energy body? Are they in the left arm of my energy body?

3. Is there anything that my soul wants me to know? (<– Specifically for UHE)

4. Did I make any agreements before incarnating in this life. (<– Specifically for UHE)

You need to be in an aware, yet clear and receptive state. Any personal need or desire will interfere with getting clear answers. Using whatever relaxation or meditative techniques you prefer to clear yourself beforehand is advised, particularly if you aren’t used to communication with energy beings. When you feel centered, say the following outloud “I know wish to communicate with (insert:my inner self, the UHE, etc.) and only (insert). I wish to ignore all deception and interference. I now wish to tune into and hold the signal of (insert).” As you say the last sentence begin to mentally reach out for the being that you want to contact and try to hold a connection with them. If you feel like you are forcing the connection something is probably wrong and you shouldn’t continue unless you are very confident of your energetic senses and abilities. Alternatively you may feel nothing, which is fairly normal and you should continue to the next step.

Place the thumb and middle finger of your right hand together to form a loop. Place this loop between your left thumb and middle finger and bring them together to form another loop linked to the first. At this point understand that if the answer to your question is “yes” that one of the loops will break when you try to pull them apart, and that if the answer to your question is “no” that the loops will not break when you try to pull them apart. You should now verbally ask a test question such as “Am I (insert your name)” and other simple things that you know the answer to already. The only way this can really go wrong is if you aren’t using your real name. Use the method described bellow to get answers to the questions. If these test questions work you can now verbally ask the first question that you have written down.

After asking the question, try to pull apart the loops you have made with your fingers and thumbs. Only use about the same amount of force to hold them together and pull them apart. If you are getting good answers it won’t take much force to get a positive and almost no amount of force will break a negative.

You are now ready to start figuring out how to make this work for you. Everyone is different and I suspect you will need to modify this technique slightly to get it to work for you.

I didn’t create this technique. I originally learned it from the energy medicine worker who I mentioned in my post on initiation. It is a variety of what is called “muscle testing” in energy medicine. I suspect a text on some of its uses could be tracked down through cross referencing those two terms.

Final pieces of advice: Never be too sure of who or what you are really talking to and never make deals. They never work out.

A Night in Santa Fe

April 13, 2009

I wrote the following account on the night it happened in March of last year. The rest of the conference I was attending turned out much better than this story might suggest, and I met some very interesting people. It’s from what feels like a very different time in my life, but it also feels like belongs here:

“Long story short, I’m bumming around Santa Fe, New Mexico. There’s a conference in town. Tenth Annual International Conference on Science and Consciousness, in fact. It’s heavy on the consciousness, light on the science, if you take my meaning. I’m there to try to find people who have had similarly weird experiences as my own, e.g. literally feeling rage, oppression and fire welling up out of the soil while I was in Chicago recently. Finding other people who have to deal with that stuff on a day to day basis would really help me deal with it better. No, I won’t be offended if you suggest I seek professional help.

I get to the opening evening event and it’s like I’m back in “training” in the youth program that let me get some government work a couple of years back. We get told to walk around in a big circle and join hands and sing and do little dances that elderly people with no rhythm can sort of follow. And it’s all an ode to the hope for oneness and unity in the world. Imagine this happening in the most wide-eyed, new-age (in the pejorative sense), kindergatenesque way possible.

I’ll just note here that the conference is quite expensive, which isn’t a problem for me, but is something I think about in terms of how someone else could have made their life tangibly better with that money.

Needless to say, I am more than a little miffed. I quietly excuse myself and exit the hotel, hoping the the actual lectures and sessions in the coming days will be better. Pondering one’s place in the universe and wandering around downtown just seem to go hand in hand, and so I did. The painful irony of the thing is what got to me. These people at the conference have put down at least a couple hundred to contemplate the mystery of the universe itself and to explore a supposed dawning age of empathy and understanding and their spending an evening badly, and not very interestingly, dancing and singing ancient and meaningful words that they don’t understand, all at the direction of glorified kindergarten teachers while hungry, homeless men are walking around on the street outside. It’s goddamn funny. Painfully funny.

Speaking of which, Santa Fe has the nicest homeless people I’ve ever met. The first guy I met was very smooth. Got his message out quick and even said that I should tell him if he caught me too many times around town. He wanted to get himself some pizza, which made me realize that some pizza would really hit the spot. I gave him two quarters and went on my way. I immediately wished I’d asked him to show me a good pizza joint. I could have bought him a slice for his trouble. It’s too late though, I’m already out of sight and it just doesn’t feel right to go back.

I wander around for a while. There’s a big ditch/river that runs along the edge of downtown Santa Fe. It’s been channelized and has vertical sides. I find a concrete bench along the side where the railing is gone for some reason. It’s like a little cliff. I like cliffs. They put everything into such clear perspective. I think about going back to my hotel room. It’s a thought too depressing for words that that could be the most interesting thing I can think to do. That’s why I get up and head back into downtown.

Almost immediately I run into another guy asking for change. He’s looking to get himself some dinner to, and this time I say right off I’ll get him anything he likes if he can show me a decent pizza place. He thinks for a minute and finally comes up with a name. We start walking. His name’s Kevin and he’s come up from New Orleans looking for work. We talk for a minute and I realize the serious shit this guy has probably seen. He’s apparently camped out somewhere while his wife is staying with some people she knows. I believe him. He looks too embarrassed to be a grifter. We get to the pizza place. It’s perfect. Classy, but not pretentious and it smells good. I ask Kevin what he wants. He picks out a nice calzone with eggplant and I have the cashier ring it up. It’ll be a little bit before it’s ready, so we chat a little bit. He shakes my hand and thanks me for helping him and his wife. I shake his hand and thank him for helping me find a good place to eat. He asks how long I’m going to be in town and says that if he gets a job and sees me he’ll pay me back. I tell him not to worry about it. I feel really good for the first time all day.

I set about ordering my pizza. The cashier is a smart little blonde and helps me make a custom order when I don’t see Greek pizza on the menu. Mozzarella, Gouda, some Feta, red onions, a bit of tomato sauce, some spinach, and kalamata olives to top it off. I sit down to wait. Next to me is a guy who looks a bit like me in twenty years. He’s sitting alone. It reminds me that I’m alone in Santa Fe and sets my mind down an old and familiar path to the door of a young lady I once new. The pizza arrives, and it is delicious. The only better Greek pizza I have tasted is from the renowned La Have Bakery of my home Province of Nova Scotia. This probably has more to do with my limited experience with Greek pizza than with anything else, but it was wonderful none the less.

I set to watching the people around me as I eat. I’m surprised that I’m not uncomfortable. Crowds usually bother me, but I’m just happy. I feel like I earned my place there, which feels like an odd thing to say about a restaurant, but that was how it felt.

I noticed a lot of interesting people there. Hipsters, hippies, a girl, her boyfriend and her family that looked like they were having a graduation dinner or something, and a group of girls probably at the end of high-school or just in University. One in particular was very beautiful, with the kind of strong features and big, expressive eyes I find so compelling.

The waitress is bringing me and my +20 doppleganger our doggy bags and I realize that he knows her and that they’re flirting. Ahhh, love is in the air. Well, not love, but close enough. Sucking down the dregs of my coke and grabbing the bag, I walk up the the young woman’s table and say “Excuse me. You are the most beautiful woman I’ve seen in weeks, and I just wanted you to know that.” She looks surprised for a second and says “Oh, thank you” In a tone, that at least in my memory, is like getting the best Christmas gift that you weren’t even expecting. I tipped an invisible cap to her and her friends, said good night and went out the door, checking with the cashier that my friend Kevin had got his order all right.

I got lost on my way back to the hotel, but it didn’t matter. In this one moment I am in love with my life. Plus, Santa Fe isn’t a bad city to be lost in. The stars are fairly bright and there are the most interesting smells.”

Posthuman Blues

April 12, 2009

Posthuman Blues has been one of my favorite blogs for almost a year now. It’s written by author and futurist Mac Tonnies. I often feel that Mac is akin to a science fictional monk, wandering the edges of an epistemic breach. He sends us back postcards of the serene, prophetic and catastrophic. He’s also pretty funny.

I interviewed Mac last January. He was in Nova Scotia to shoot a portion of his recent appearance on Supernatural Investigator, if I recall correctly. I recently misplaced the notebook from that interview, so the details aren’t at hand. I will be posting some of the details as soon as I get it back. I originally planned to write an article for a university paper, which never happened.

I was surprised to read one of Mac’s post’s a little over a month after our interview where he identified with the role of shaman. This had nothing to do with me, as I never mentioned being anything else aside from a mild mannered student of environmental science. I was being much less open about my experiences at that point. I new Mac had seen and read the work of Terrence Mckenna, but seeing him say that helped me be open about how I perceive the world.

Thanks, Mac

Dreams

April 12, 2009

My dreams have the unfortunate quality of often feeling like bad movie sets. As if they were designed to distract and annoy me.

I have the strong suspicion that when I am able to stop chasing my own tail and walk off the set I’ll find myself in a very interesting place.