Telepathy and Eye Contact.

“When eye contact between two people is initiated and maintained, an invisible energetic circuit is established between the two participants, dissolving the barriers that ordinarily separate them from each other, drawing them ever closer into a shared awareness of union.”
— Will Johnson, The Spiritual Practices of Rumi: Radical Techniques for Beholding the Divine.

“Portal sits deep within the eye.
The eye of yin’s severity
rewards understanding.”
— Mudvayne, Mercy, Severity.

In addition to my personal experiences, parapsychological research suggests that not only is eye gazing unnecessary for telepathy to occur, but distance between the subjects in question ultimately makes no difference, either. Despite this, eyes certainly hold a particular and peculiar power for me and I continue my struggle to understand why. It doesn’t help matters that aside from the alien abduction literature in general and my own experiences in particular I have only heard of experiences of “ocular telepathy” through two other sources.

Years ago, when I found Koda on the net, he had yet to write his 2004 book Instant Enlightenment: Metaphysical Fast Food, which I have since purchased. His interest in metaphysics was first sparked as a teenager in the early 1970s after experimenting with psychedelics. Since then he has explored the paranormal through conversation and tested out various techniques on his own.

His first attempt at telepathy occurred when he and a friend were alone, smoking hashish, and the technique was a rather basic one: Koda tried to focus on and “send” a letter as his friend tried to “receive” it. After visualizing a letter for about five minutes, his frustration grew and he screamed to himself mentally, at which time his friend screamed it quite verbally. They tried to repeat it several times that day and failed, but now that he had confirmed telepathy to his satisfaction he decided to see what other questions in this area he could lay to rest.

After attempting and accomplishing two other paranormal feats while alone in his bedroom that evening, as he explained it, “My ego was glowing profusely.” Upon going to the local coffee shop and telling some of his friends and classmates, however, he was met with only disbelief and ridicule. Frustrated, he was immediately set on revenge, and he stumbled upon the means some weeks later at that very coffee shop.

They often held staring contests and one girl always seemed to be better than the rest. Whenever he challenged her he would be doing fine for a short while before he cracked a grin and lost the game. He finally thought he would try thinking of a joke during their staring and telepathically “send” it to her to see if he could get her to laugh. It worked, even during the rematch she demanded. When she asked how he had done it and he told her, she confessed to using the same technique.

He then began practicing telepathy far more blatantly — and with a certain vengeance. He would begin the process using cold reading, approaching a friend, looking in their eyes and saying,”Let me see if I can read your mind.” Judging from their facial expressions he could easily determine that they thought he was full of shit, so he told them just that. They would confess it was so but maintained that it proved nothing. Then he would declare that they were now trying to think of something more specific and less obvious. Then he would tell them that they were beginning to wonder if he really could read their mind after all given his accuracy this far. At this point he began to generate fear in them, which as a consequence made them focus all the more intensely on whatever they were thinking about.

Up to this point, it was all cold reading, but it became, in this way, effective foreplay for telepathy. He slowly and systematically built up fear in them that he could read their minds and once that emotional component achieved sufficient intensity — typically when he went one step further and accused them of being terrified that he might be capable of knowing their deepest, darkest secrets — their focus became so locked on their specific, sustained thoughts that, as he put it, they essentially broadcasted their thoughts to him. He would then tell them what they were thinking, which by this point was something very specific, and they would confess that he could do it after all.

He did this daily for two weeks and got quite proficient at it before deciding he had had enough. Not only did he finally feel that he gotten even with them, he could no longer deal with the feelings of absolute terror he generated in them in the process. To make matters worse, even after making it known that he had stopped, people still avoided him for roughly two months.

It was two years before he started investigating telepathy again, this time with the intent of teaching others how to do it. In time he developed what he came to call the “Psychic Window Technique” in which two people engage in prolonged staring or mutual gazing at a short distance. According to Koda, this technique has a few effects.

In the midst of prolonged eye-gazing he would perceive strange illusions in his partner’s face: areas would often appear blurry, darker, or become more pronounced. Sometimes these distortions gave way to full-blown hallucinatory shape-shifting into the faces of strangers, animals, and even stranger things. His partner, it turned out, would see the same illusions, simultaneously and with equal intensity on his own face. He came to call this effect “visual telepathy,” and it is essentially this that first brought him to my attention. It helped explain an incident I’d had on December 15, 2001.

For some time I had been working at a particular fast food restaurant where I also often spent a considerable and embarrassing amount of my time off. A few hours before work I would come in, get my free and essentially bottomless cup of coffee, sit in my booth in the smoking section and spend my free time writing, reading, thinking and, in my idle time, people-watching. It was one of the few unofficial benefits of the job.

On the day in question a guy I had briefly worked with at another fast food job saw me, took a seat at the opposite end of my booth and we engaged in a short conversation. He was there with some guy, perhaps a brother, who had a young kid with him. After we concluded our conversation, he got up and left. I went back to my writing, lost in my own personal trance, having assumed that was the end of it. I could not have been more mistaken. As I have previously written:

“I was jolted… by the sound of something hitting the far end of my booth. Startled and curious, I looked up to find a dome of blond hair poking out from just beyond the end of the table. It was the upper hemisphere of a toddler’s head. One hand of his was grabbing a hold of the end of the table; in the other, he held his cup with the sippy-top. He was looking dead at me, and instead of meeting his eyes I just sort of laughed under my breath, turned my head back down, placed the pen to the page and continued my writing. My eyes didn’t even reach my notebook before I heard it again. Looking back up, I immediately locked eyes with the kid and found myself imprisoned there. The gateways to my mind were being held hostage.

My peripheral vision was suddenly enshrouded in this dark, blurry overcast. While the eyes at the end of the tunnel shared the shadowy opaqueness, it was also possessed with a hyper-vivid quality. This sense of pressure built in my head, as if energy from his eyes were literally pushing into my mind, as if breaking and entering the mind and scanning and downloading personal files. A virtual form of search and seizure or, in this case, a telepathic analogue.

After a moment, he seemed satisfied and strangely amused, looking at me in a creepy way, as if he knew a “dark secret,” as I had later phrased it, that somehow connected him and I. The edges of his lips then curled slowly upward to an unnatural height, almost as if this surreal Cheshire Cat grin belonged somewhere in the twilight betwixt reality and cartoon.

Soon he walked away slowly with who I presume to be my ex-coworker’s friend holding his hand, but my line of sight was still ensnared by his eyes. He held me in his ocular tractor beam until he was out of my line of sight, at which time I felt him release my mind from his psychic grip.

Sinking down into the booth, I was cold and trembling, heart pumping wildly beneath gooseflesh. My eyes felt a strange, widened sort of pain, and it felt as if I could still feel the residual feeling of him being inside my head. I tried to look intensely out into nowhere, to “stare” the feeling out of me as if I were trying to flush out the psychic lines or something.”

According to Koda, this mutuality of experience does not end with visual illusions and hallucinations of the face, either, but extends to emotional states and physical sensations. One can even play a game, he suggests, in which one takes on the role of the blind receiver as the other intentionally generates and attempts to communicate a specific emotion or sensation.

This brings us to the 1998 book, Dancing Naked in the Mind Field, by Kary Mullis, a biochemist who won the Nobel Prize for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 1983. Despite his accomplishments and credentials he is, to put it mildly, a controversial figure and an interesting character with even more interesting personal anecdotes to relate. In a chapter entitled, “Intervention on the Astral Plane,” he recounts his experience with a woman he introduces as Katherine O’Keefe who had astounding abilities — though I will focus on a single instance he cited which occurred on the day he met her “in the flesh,” in December of 1978. They met first at a Bakery and she then followed him home:

“We talked briefly about nothing much in kitchen and then made love before I knew anything more than her name. She looked deep into my eyes and did something to me with her mind that was ecstatic. It seemed to me as if a little tentacle had reached into my mid-brain and tickled my hypothalamus” (p 93).

In 2002, while I still worked at the fast food restaurant previously mentioned, I had met Angela, a beautiful girl that had some strange experiences of her own. When we worked nights together she used to get up real close to my face and stare at me in the eyes, which I always enjoyed. At one point, while staring at me in that way, she did something akin to what Mullis described. I received this intense, joyous, almost orgasmic high that reached a fever pitch, overwhelming me and causing my field of perception to ripple like the surface of a disturbed body of water.

I had experienced such perceptual distortions before, to be certain, though the emotional component had never before achieved such intensity. One of the first occasions this happened, I was attending a dance with my girlfriend at the time at her school. In passing, as I was walking behind her through a crowded room, I happened to lock eyes with a random girl and the same thing occurred: a rising high with rippling vision. And she had done it at some distance, too.

Koda also writes about telepathically transmitting and receiving emotionally-charged imagery. Having read it for the first time in the process of writing this, it made me think of two experiences of mine.

The first happened during high school sometime after the flashbacks. I was in English class and we were all in our seats working on our papers independently and the teacher was walking up and down the isles, observing us as we worked. Occasionally she would stop and talk to a student in whispered tones. She walked up to my desk, leaned down to talk to me and as I looked up I happened to look her directly in the eyes. It was as if I was sucked into the vortex of her pupils. Inside, I saw things rotting, dripping with a venomous, sewage-like substance, absolutely grotesque, ill and deprived of life. And in an instant I broke the link, looking away from her, totally confused as to what had just happened.

Years later, the same sort of thing happened to me with a kid on April 8, 2002 as I was in a booth at work talking with a Tess, a co-worker and passing romantic interest:

“As her and I spoke, I found myself a bit distracted when this family of four came in. There was a curly-haired brunette lady who I presumed to be the mother; a tall, dark-haired man who’s face I never saw, and two kids. There was a younger one who had blond hair and blue eyes and looked rather frail-looking. His head was kind of big, too. The other was older with dark hair. The mother sat down in the booth behind my friend – booth number five – with the frail boy between her and the wall. Across from her and back-to-back with my friend was the tall man. Across from the blond haired kid and tall man sat the dark-haired boy.

It was the blond that first caught my attention. He was a cute little kid with bright blue eyes, but something about him made me uneasy. Though I was quick to attribute it to paranoia, for a few moments I watched him closely just to be sure. As I was scrutinizing, both kids stood up at once, leaned towards one another from across their table and placed themselves forehead to forehead, like playful bucks locked in a duel, staring dead into one another’s eyes. The mother lightly backhanded the blond kid and told them both to stop.

My attention slipped back to Tess, who was still talking. I had absolutely no fucking clue what the hell she had been saying, and even what she was saying at present seemed to be empty words lost in a jumble. I was getting really, really uncomfortable, and I had no idea why. It all seemed very odd. Somehow, something just didn’t feel right.

Then I looked back up over her shoulder. The dark-haired kid seemed to sense my eyes on him, and he suddenly turned around and looked dead at me and have me a Cheshire Cat grin. When I meet his eyes his pupils grow large, darker-than-dark, and it suddenly it feels as if I’m violently dragged forward and right into them. It’s like we’re in this foggy bubble where we’re only eyes and mind, and only him and I exist, and the rest of the world grows blurred and distorted. It was definitely visual — he looked magnified, abstract and surreal, and I could still see that Cheshire grin, wide and cartoon-like. It certainly wasn’t limited to image, though. It was as if our eye contact had merged us mentally, fused us. I felt as though I was in his mind, or that he was in mine, or that we now shared a mind.

I looked away. It took me a few seconds or so of staring at the table in front of me to realize just what the hell had happened. I knew I wasn’t sleeping, so I couldn’t be dreaming. I wasn’t on drugs. Tess was still talking, but when she looked up at me she did a double-take and then stopped dead in her tracks. I imagine the look on my face must have been about as fucked up as I was feeling. She studied me another moment before asking what was wrong.

Looking at her, staring deep into her eyes, I found that nothing happened. If this was in my head, I wondered, wouldn’t looking into her eyes do the same thing? I looked back at the kid, thinking this might have been something I’d imagined — half hoping, as a matter of fact, that it had truly been something that I’d imagined. Then it all happened again. He goes into my head, grinning again, almost as if he’s a fucking cartoon. If I focused at all, I feared I might be locked there forever; that I might be trapped there and the rest of reality might fade away.

He looks away. While I’m sitting there pale as a ghost and freaking out, he’s sitting there amused. It’s almost as if he thought it was funny that he could do this. He leaned over the table again and whispered to the blond haired kid. Then he turns back to me and does it again, grinning that wide and freaky Cheshire cat grin, eyes as big and black as universes.”

Koda ultimately experienced something far more extreme than me in this respect, however. In the summer of 1984 he writes how he was practicing the technique with a friend of his in a coffee shop when, for roughly six seconds, they both suddenly saw the same detailed scene from the same perspective:

“I was looking directly at a very pretty blond girl about nineteen-years-old. She was perhaps six feet away, facing slightly toward my left as she sat in front of an old-fashion chest of drawers topped with a large, ornate mirror. Her dress was bright yellow, laced up the front and had a white, ruffled collar. She was brushing her long blond hair with very slow strokes, looking rather absent minded, as if she were daydreaming about some hoped-for future. To the left of the dresser was the closed bedroom door. Without knowing why, I was certain there was a hallway on the other side of the door. I knew that toward the right the hall lead to the back door and the barn area, while on the left the hall opened into the living room. On the other side of the hall from the bedroom was the kitchen. I knew where all the pots and pans and lanterns were hung, that the road came in from west in front of the house and most of the fields were in that direction. I knew everything about the place as quickly as my mind could scan the area, including the ‘fact’ that I was in a farmhouse in Southern California in the late 1800s” (p 18).

In rare instances, he says, even thoughts can be communicated — as exemplified to some degree in his initial experience with his friend on hashish and his subsequent mind-reading of his friends and classmates. It also brings us back to Mullis. In a chapter of the aforementioned book entitled, “My Evening With Harry,” Mullis recounts an experience he had in 1978 in San Francisco.

He was sitting at his kitchen table with his friend, Harry, a fellow chemist, who he had not seen in some time. They both drank some beer and Harry smoked a joint. After explaining that he wanted to show him something, he turned to Mullis with wide eyes and asked him to stare into his eyes and do his best not to blink or react if his face happened to change. As Mullis goes on to explain:

“His face did change. It was still Harry, but varieties of Harry I had not seen. Different faces appeared out of the familiar flesh, which now wasn’t so familiar. Some of them were humans I didn’t know, some were not human at all. They were animal. They were all Harry in some way I couldn’t explain. I was seeing things in him that were him but not a part of the life we had shared. It was a little scary, but Harry was somehow underneath it smiling that confident smile” (p 86).

(p 86)

They both admitted to being inside each other’s minds (“the front room — the reception area,” Mullis explained) and then Mullis broke it off for a moment, grabbed two pens and some index cards.

“We were being scientists. We both wrote down a word and then showed each other our cards. It was the same word. Just a word, nothing cosmic, but it was the same, and we knew it would be. We did it again and again, and we knew every time it would be the same. We were watching something — always present but usually dormany — from a privileged position that we had created by putting ourselves together in some way. It was absolutely normal and yet it wasn’t” (p 87).

Recently I came upon some articles regarding eye-gazing experiments that inspired me to try researching the subject again, hoping to find something. While I found no further personal anecdotes, I did happen upon some interesting and relevant studies. In a video by The Liberators International they invited strangers to publicly engage in eye contact for one, whole, psychologically-juicy minute. After the predictable awkwardness produced at the onset, participants reported the very heights of elation. This predominantly emotional experience may have been overshadowed by some haunting hallucinatory phenomena if ocular engagement had continued for ten minutes, however, at least according to experiments conducted by Giovanni B. Caputo, a psychologist at the University of Urbino in Italy.

I was first introduced to Caputo’s work through an article regarding his studies on mirror-gazing in which he found that after perhaps no more than a minute of staring at one’s reflection subjects experienced what he called the Strange-Face-in-the-Mirror Illusion. Features would darken or become more pronounced; people would see, instead of their own faces, those of strangers, animals, or monstrous beings. In further experiments in which he explored the effects of what has been variously referred to as interpersonal, intersubjective or mutual eye-gazing, he found that the same basic manifestations emerged.

In a paper entitled, “Dissociation and hallucinations in dyads engaged through interpersonal gazing,” Caputo described an experiment in which he paired off 20 people (15 women, 5 men) and had them sit facing each other at a distance of roughly three feet in a dimly-lit room where they were instructed to gaze into one another’s eyes for ten minutes. There was also a control group of 20 placed in more or less the same conditions, though in this case they were instructed to gaze at a blank wall. Each group then completed three questionnaires relating to their experience. The initial dealt with dissociative states, the remaining two focused on their experience of the point of focus — the control group’s wall or the face of your partner. The results were astonishing:

“The participants in the eye-staring group said they’d had a compelling experience unlike anything they’d felt before. They also scored higher on all three questionnaires than the control group. On the dissociative states test, they gave the strongest ratings to items related to reduced colour intensity, sounds seeming quieter or louder than expected, becoming spaced out, and time seeming to drag on. On the strange-face questionnaire, 90 per cent of the eye-staring group agreed that they’d seen some deformed facial traits, 75 per cent said they’d seen a monster, 50 per cent said they saw aspects of their own face in their partner’s face, and 15 per cent said they’d seen a relative’s face.”

As explained elsewhere, a cocktail of neural adaptation, psychological projection and facial recognition would explain the surreal effects that can manifest during mirror-gazing; the same would appear to be true for mutual gazing. This would not, at least so obviously, explain why interpersonal gazing would constitute the more intense experience of the two — nor would it begin to explain the seemingly telepathic effects. There are, however, at least two separate studies that may offer some insight. One was conducted by psychologists from the University of Stirling involving 20 five-year-old children. It concluded that those who averted eye contact in order to consider how they would answer questions were more apt to answer correctly than those who maintained their gaze. In another study conducted at Kyoto University in Japan (the results of which were published as “When we cannot speak: Eye contact disrupts resources available to cognitive control processes during verb generation”) participants played word association games of varying complexity while looking at a variety of faces that were either staring or looking away. During eye contact, they did more poorly during the most complex questions.

In both cases, then, it was suggested that cognitive effort and eye contact interfered with one another. While neither study so much as references hypnosis, the conclusions of both appear to resonate well with hypnotist Scott Jansen’s allegation, which is that sustained eye contact generates “psychological pressure” that diminishes conscious thinking. Subliminal or unconscious thought then rushes in to compensate, heightening one’s suggestibility. In other words, eye contact could be seen as the most basic form of the most typical of induction techniques used by hypnotists both on and off the stage: what is variously known as the direct gaze, fixed gaze or fixation method of hypnotic induction. Though this can be used to refer to the subject’s fixation on nearly anything — a candle’s flame, a finger, a swinging watch — among the objects of potential focus are the hypnotist’s eyes. The issue here is that inducing hypnosis does not alone explain the seemingly telepathic effect, as there are no clearly no overt, hypnotic suggestions to follow in the midst of silent, mutual gazing — and they would prove difficult to deliver, too, perhaps, given the interference it evidently has with respect to cognition.

There may very well be nonverbal hypnotic suggestions at play here, however. Consider that eyes are essentially extensions of the brain that not only receive external signals as sense organs but can also transmit the brain’s own signals to other pairs of eyes. When you engage in eye contact with another person you pick up on the expressions on their face and, of course, the movements of their own eyes. While you can consciously perceive the eye movements known as saccades, such as when the person looks back and forth, there are various forms of subtler, involuntary movements that occur even when those eyes remain fixed on your own, and they may also communicate nonverbal information regarding their inner state. By picking up on these external, nonverbal reactions to their own minds we may instinctively decode those signals and replicate the other person’s inner state within ourselves. Hypnotic trance through silent, prolonged mutual gaze would only amplify such effects.

Those effects are certainly there, too, whatever the cause. In a 2015 study published in the journal Neuroimage, 96 volunteers were split into pairs and proceeded to engage in mutual gazing under the watchful eye of fMRIs. It was found that not only did the pairs begin blinking in unison, their brain activity synchronized in the area of the right inferior frontal gyrus. The remaining question is whether these mundane processes are enough to explain the effects of what I, perhaps lamely, have referred to for some time as ocular telepathy. To put it more plainly: if through prolonged mutual gazing you are capable of sharing or exchanging hallucinations, emotions, mental images and even thoughts with your partner, does it remain a viable hypothesis that the aforementioned normal — as opposed to paranormal — processes are the culprit?

Taken as a whole, it seems a stretch. To break it down in specific bits: being capable, in the midst of locked gaze, of reading emotional states through nonverbals and experiencing them as your own — or experiencing them as emotions from an external source, namely that of your partner — is a hypothesis that would be relatively easy for me to accept, especially given what we know regarding our inherent capacity to subliminally and automatically translate body language. When it comes to sharing hallucinations and subjective imagery, however, I am far more skeptical, and when it comes to communicating thoughts — say in the fashion of Mullis and Harry at the kitchen table exchanging those index cards — it seems absolutely absurd.

So how might one explain this?

We know that ordinary sense perception exists. Our mundane senses do not operate in isolation, however, but are in constant concert, influencing one another with the aim of delivering a seemingly seamless sensory experience to consciousness. Smell, for instance, affects taste, as anyone who has had nasal congestion can attest to. Wine tasters swirl the fluid in the glass, take a hearty whiff, and then sip, utilizing all relevant senses as they contribute to a more holistic, mindful experience of the taste.

There is sufficient data in parapsychological studies to suggest that extrasensory perception exists. While we accept the community or senses as a factor for clear reception with respect to the clarity of reception provided by any singular, ordinary sense, we are for whatever reason suddenly prone to amnesia when it comes to exploring the extra-sensorium. Here, frustration and discouragement overwhelm us when we learn that, for instance, telepathy is difficult to isolate with any certainty from other senses — or potential extrasenses — in the laboratory setting. When we do manage to fashion experiments that isolate specific psi, we are frustrated and discouraged when the effect, though exceeding chance, is relatively weak. We fail to consider the fact that in their natural environment, so-to-speak, they may complement and be similarly influenced by a community of extrasenses just as ordinary senses are.

Not only that, but we should expect these two distinct sensory systems to influence one another as well, which would certainly serve to complicate matters. Assuming this is the case, it could go some way to explain what many interpret as a failure in parapsychology, which is to say that any detectable effects are prone to being relatively weak in nature. After all, when we take average individuals and subject them to parapsychological studies with rigid controls meant to remove any evidence of sensory (if not other extrasensory) influence, we are in effect removing their given extrasense (telepathy, in this case) from its natural context and placing it in an isolated, alien environment in which it is not only virgin but necessarily abandoned by its typical support system. We should be astounded that parapsychological experiments reveal any psi influence at all.

Perhaps the coupling of mutual eye-gazing, subliminal cold-reading and telepathy could better explain the phenomena experienced as ocular telepathy. It works so well, its effects are so predictable, immediate and intense in comparison to telepathy as it is ordinarily explored, simply because it utilizes the parapsychological in tandem with the psychological and biological.

No doubt a relevant form of training might help discipline our natural ability to conjure such capacities through the Psychic Window Technique, and the literature which I have referenced in quotes in this article already provide some clues as to what training might be optimal. Consider, for instance, the conversation between Mullis and O’Keefe following the incident in which she seemed, according to him, to have tickled his hypothalamus:

“I asked her what the hell she had done to me.

She replied, ‘You’ve been playing with your mind, but you don’t know anything yet. No one has ever properly taught you.’

I was excited. ‘Will you show me how to do that? What you did?’

‘You already know. You just need to practice'” (p 93).

Though Mullis reported that she did indeed teach him to practice, he gave few details, in the end only offering the reader her diagnosis of his condition. “She told me that I had abilities that I hadn’t tapped into and that I had to learn to quiet myself inside,” he wrote. “I had to learn not to think so much.” Though she never said it outright so far has Mullis himself has conveyed, it seems clear to me that she was talking about meditation — something akin to the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist practices of samatha and vipassana, which cultivate the power of attention.

There was also a detailed practice offered by Koda, however: the aforementioned “The Psychic Window Technique.” He suggests that you and your partner sit down and face one another at a distance of perhaps two to three feet, sure to maintain “open” body language devoid of defensive barriers like crossed arms or legs in the process. Both of you then decide which mutual “side” will hold your attentions when you stare at one another: either you focus your eyes on your partner’s right eye as they focus on your left or vice versa. It is of vital importance, I think, to focus mutual attention on a mutual “side,” as it makes certain you are both focusing on the eye of the other that is focusing on you. This would also make it indistinguishable from samatha meditation.

Once the “side” is established, you both stare into one another’s eyes unwaveringly, without blinking, all the while trying to expand your field of clear perception to encapsulate the entirety of the face: then the weirdness begins…

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A Reason to Fight.

I cannot be
like you, for that
would impede
upon my individual
responsibility
to be true

to myself and, by extension,
impede upon
my responsibility to feed
the diversity
that keeps the fires of life
as a whole
blazing.

To be anything less
than who I am
would be to dishonor
life from all conceivable
directions, so I am afraid

I must decline
your invitation, as it does
not resonate
with my inner core.

Push me? I push you.
You crossed
the line, I am just guiding
you back.

Don’t make
me have to violently
increase the distance,
or, in an animalistic
manner pluralize
your existence,
your precise
location in time
and space.

Its a form of rape.

I know revenge
is just an attempt
forced empathy.

I will never do
what you do to me.
You, you’ll never get it.

Freedom, truth,
individuality,
choice
is everything,
and among
you, it all dies.

A reason to fight?

Fuck yes,
that is enough for me.

For the Sake of a Better Big Sleep.

Descriptions of the “intermission” periods during incarnations (cases which Stevenson and Tucker refer to as CORT-I cases) resonate well with descriptions of near death experiences. In both cases individuals describe two realms: the familiar world we call physical and another, otherworldly realm. Both realms are also described by those who have exosomatic or “out of body” (OBE) experiences. Sometimes they are referred to as the gross or physical plane and the subtle or astral plane.

Religion has set up expectations of what the afterlife will be like based on the kind of person you are through the eyes of that religion. That explains the clear cultural influence and cross-cultural inconsistencies found among and between CORT-I, NDE and OBE cases — revealing them to be dreams. The lucidity that characterizes them and seems to set them apart from common dreams may be a natural result of a disembodied mind dreaming lucidly during an exosomatic state.

Whereas the embodied state of dreaming always anchors you to some degree to the gross world because of bodily sensations and processes, the “collapsing inward” of the disembodied mind, devoid of such requirements, may involve a far more complete state of absorption into the dream material. It may come on abruptly, making the transition from the disembodied state to the dream state seamless in some cases, which may be quite confusing as it would likely take on the form of a false awakening: it would, in other words, provide a dream environment modeled almost entirely by memories of the gross environment you just seamlessly phased out of.

Another possibility is that the transition from the waking disembodied state to the dreaming disembodied state may have a hallucinatory segue where you traverse from the “extra-sensorimotor” system to the “inner-sensorimotor” system in degrees spanning the spectrum. This is sleep paralysis without the paralysis to serve as a telltale sign. These may be the cases in which people find themselves up on the ceiling of their hospital rooms looking down on their dying body and suddenly see a portal or tunnel opening up in the nearby them. These transitions — tunnels, vortexes, doorways, bridges — are what lucid dreamers often use to ease from one dream environment to another.

These may very well be personal dreamscapes, but this need not necessarily be the case. Many cases of telepathic dreams (correspondence, mutual, synchronized) have been reported, as is the case, it would seem, in the dreams shared between the living and the dead (departure, arrival, visitation). There seems to be little reason there would not be such dreams between members of the deceased, and given their are tales of telepathic dreams shared by more than two people, the implications begin to get rather interesting.

To begin with, if the person believes this dream to be his unavoidable afterlife, it would confirm his religion to him and in so doing reinforce the illusions that seemingly confirmed it. This self-reinforcing feedback loop could ensnare a person. They may remain locked in a dream of this type for an untold amount of time.

When you factor in telepathy, the implications get broader and considerably weirder. The telepathic element in dreams of and between either or both the living and the dead suggest that such dreams may not only be dreams populated by one, but many. That kind of self-perpetuating, full-scale, collective delusion might have enslaved entire cultures, be it with a hellish realm or a more heavenly one (to stain my words with Christian influence). In the East, shared beliefs turned into a mutual telepathic dreamscape would serve not so much as an afterlife as it would an existential intermission, as they embrace a belief in reincarnation. Though it certainly shares the deceptive nature of the West, it seems far less threatening in its status as a realm one merely passes through on one’s way to the next fleshy receptacle.

While it seems to devalue the otherworldly aspects of these experiences in a way, it is only because we take dreaming to be something opposed to otherworldliness. Consider that the telepathic element of dreams and our capacity to utilize that ability in dreams regardless as to whether we or our partners are dead or alive seems to render the dreamscape indistinguishable from a parallel world or alternate reality.

Its association with notions of illusion are based upon both its strictly personal nature and its transience, as evidenced upon our awakening and ultimately at death revealed to be, like our consciousness, a mere epiphenomenon. Yet ample evidence (though by necessity anecdotal) suggests that the dreamscape is neither personal nor is it (or consciousness) such an epiphenomenon. Even it’s supposed transience upon awakening may be open to question, for even if a dream is reliant on a dreamer, mutual dreams suggest that you may not be the only one. So long as there is the consistent presence of at least one dreamer in the dream, the dream endures. If there is a great dream population, many could come and go at once and over time and the dreamworld would be as stable as the gross reality.

An element exists in both the personal and telepathic forms of these dreamworlds that makes them seem even less of an illusion. It stems from a notion I first came across when reading William Buhlman’s Adventures Out of Body, and it deals with regarding these environments being sensitive, responsive or reactive to both conscious and unconscious content, which makes it sound indistinguishable from a dream. In that way, it fits snug into what I have already written here, but it adds the important element of habit into the equation. He distinguished between different environments which he believed to be characterized by nothing more than their degree of sensitivity to consciousness. Some were empty voids, others came fully furnished with structures that were easily malleable given deliberate conscious intent, others seemed more resistant to consciousness and so on.

Upon the dreamscape, mind makes reality. With telepathy, minds share the realities they have made. Given reinforcement, these realities stabilize.

If the otherworldly aspects of the aforementioned categories of exosomatic experiences can be explained by personal or mutual disembodied dreams, then conscious lucid dreaming would be an invaluable art to master. Through repeated visualization procedures, one could create a customized afterlife — if serving as nothing more than a personal place to pass time away in the Big Sleep rather than be caged by conditioned cultural expectations. One could also execute more disciplined navigation through dreamscapes in general.

IMU.

Its not so much physical death that irks me as a concept, as in my mind the two most likely possibilities are (a) disembodied consciousness roams about, perhaps eventually reincarnating or (b) nonexistence of consciousness and we become worm food. I lean towards (a) as I see sufficient evidence suggesting it is the case, but if the case were instead to be nonexistence, it wouldn’t bother me too much. Its pretty damned silly to fear the concept. You will simply not be there. Despite this, the concept of merging with group consciousness, ripped free of ego is one that utterly horrifies me.

My earliest memory of fears associated with this concept occurred when we all lived in our first house, so I know I was no older than ten. Running barefoot through the back yard, I had stepped on a bee. The stinger hurt, of course, and I had killed the bee, but what I truly feared now was retaliation of his hive.

Somehow I had latched onto the idea that a hive of bees constituted little more than one disembodied or telepathic mind with many bodies and they would seek me out as a swarm and attack me. This quickly became a serious worry. I was afraid to leave the house and when I did I felt as if they might happen across me any moment and, realizing who I was, riddle me with stingers.

This fear erupted again when I was in Jimmy’s backyard, where my childhood friend had managed to catch a bee in a jar. He was fascinated, but I was worried about his friends coming to get us and was on the lookout.

Again it returned, this time when I was sixteen or so. Amidst my cramming on alien-related books during high school, I came upon Thomas E Beardon’s book, The Excalibur Briefing, where he suggested that the solution to all world problems and the means to the next step in evolution rested in developing and implementing a technologically-mediated hive mentality for the human species. One mind, many bodies. Just like the goddamn bee belief.

In July, 1999 I was sorting through silverware at my dish washing job when I experienced a flashback of the night before. I was standing in a big, vacant city on a street lined with tall buildings on either side. From the distance a sky-high wave of fire came racing and it was impossible to escape its path. I opened my arms and embraced the fire, letting go of everything and accepting my fate without fear — much to my utter disgust in retrospect.

Sometime between getting off work and taking a nap, I compulsively drew two boxes in my notebook. Beside the first, it read IMU: Death of the Ego, Dawn of the One; beside the second box, which I checked after a moments contemplation, I wrote Never. The association was the consuming nature of the rolling wave of fire and how, in what I suspected to be an alien-induced vision, I had, in the face of inevitability, opened myself up to embrace it.

The next instance occurred when I had smoked pot with my roommate, Sandra at the second house we lived in together. I had bad experiences with the drug at the time but kept finding myself trying it again anyway. On that occasion, I got so anxious that I retreated to my room when company came, and at some point I got absorbed in my mind and had an inner experience difficult to articulate. It was as if rows upon rows of closed eyes appeared before me, and when they opened. My consciousness somehow became each of those individual eyes, able to look back at where I had been but was no longer. Then I pulled out of it, literally feeling as if I were pulling myself together.

It was around that same time, and I believe it was afterward, that I had a strange and rather impacting dream that I have tried again and again to properly articulate, only to meet, by my measurement, with utter failure.

It was sort of like a huge indoor funhouse, and I was with a group of people, all of us wearing costumes, I believe. We walked through rooms, met challenges and so on. At one point we bump into another group and one of the members does something absurd that scares one of us. Suddenly I remember having been that person doing the scaring, only I had been in a different costume at the time. While the dream was difficult to explain, the realization at that point of the dream went beyond it, and while I was still asleep, no less.

I saw the circumstances of the dream as indicating a larger truth: there is one soul, one consciousness that reincarnates. It reincarnates linearly for a long time and then steps out if time and space (moksa) and as a consequence is able to re-enter spacetime at any point and start a new journey. This one soul is everyone in the universe, and so indeed we are all one consciousness, but not in the way I traditionally interpreted it. You have been or will be and yet in another sense are everyone that ever was. Karma suddenly made sense in this context, and liberation from the wheel of samsara through achieving nirvana, nibbana, samadhi, moksa — this was achieving escape from time and space.

The notion did not serve to ease my terror when it came to the subject of one consciousness. It bothers me on a meta level as well, as I know this is an irrational fear. After all, on the surface it would seem synonymous with death as nothingness. Why does it strike me as distinct — and, unlike the option of the final destination being a true finality, why does it seem so ominous?

Frog Soup of the Soul.

Call it “creeping normalcy” or “frog soup,” the logic holds: when change happens gradually enough, we don’t notice it at all. This is true for a single individual within a single lifetime, so one could imagine that generations are even more blind to change. To have the proper materials for knowing one must look in retrospect and compare, and retrospect for a culture is through oral or written history, and neither seem immune to the metastasiziation of myth. In oral traditions, stories mutate in standard Telephone Game fashion. In written traditions, editing, altering and translating allow the written tradition to be subjected to the same forces as the oral, and where they cannot provide sufficient obscuration, mere interpretation picks up the slack with ease.

If we lift a middle finger to tradition — and even smaller-scale, uprooting ourselves from the transient though recurrent trends — and we instead dig, escavate, collect the pieces and try to put the puzzle together in retrospect from various angles, we can see what we never could with the naked eye of experience pressed so close against life he could only see it for what it seemed to be at the time. We can see evolution in our mind as it happened all at once, from the pegged beginning to the present. We can experience clearly the tsunami of change rising up out of a vast sea of probability, both blind to the meaty molecule temporally-bound to the droplet.

We are seeing the current state of development of our extradimensional entelechy.

Think of a vessel in the ocean equipped with a GPS tracker, enabling you to see on a hand-held monitor your course from departure to present in the form of an ever-growing red, squiggly line on the ocean map. Each person’s world-line is like that red, squiggly line on the monitor: it is the characteristic temporal trajectory that we, as individuals, have carved in 4-dimensional spacetime. Our body is the vessel, the ocean is time, and how far we have come in our life journey at this point is our world-line.

Now consider it not in terms of the physical body, but of our character development within our personal story arc. Let’s zoom in on the neurological thread in the world-line, composed of who we have been at every point in our lives, from the levels of moments to decades, including who we are now. Not merely who we believe we are, but who we are. Most of the time, we are like the vessel out on the ocean without the GPS, or any map at all, and so he’s left to guess his way through life’s endless shit-storms. We do not have the necessary feedback to discern where we are or how we got here, and we cannot see where we came from over the fluid horizon. Yet if we are capable of receiving feedback and exercise that potentiality, if we could only see our personalities from a psychological dimension upward, we could see not only who we are but who we have been.

If we are fated, we live the experience of our true self being unveiled in a seamless flow of fragments, a blossom of true beauty we will miss if we do not excavate and embrace ourselves in totality by the time of our demise. If we are free, we live the experience of our own fifth-dimensionally blind, misguided psychospiritual creation unless we are willing and successful at glimpsing ourselves from a single-framed, well-Windexed Johari Window and cough up the transtemporal identity we‘ve fashioned so far as an extradimensional analog to what late, great painter Bob Ross referred to as a “happy mistake“ or “happy accident.”

Jung, Buddha and the Evolution of the Self.

How does one evolve the self? How does the soul grow?

Whereas Carl Jung suggests the transcendent function is the antidote, Buddhism suggests that vipassana meditation is the answer. In the eyes of Jung, the answer is to unify the polar aspects of the unconscious and conscious by eliciting the transcendent function through the medium of active imagination techniques. In the eyes of the Buddha, the answer is to distance yourself from conscious thoughts by neither accepting nor repressing them, by investing nothing at all in them, by just letting them arise and pass away. No love or hate, only indifference. So far as I know, Buddha says nothing of unconscious thought, but perhaps through un-hinging one’s awareness from conscious thoughts and withdrawing to the perspective of a mere spectator, one also distances from the unconscious processes as well. These unconscious processes are inextricably tied to consciousness, after all, as evidenced by their influence.

Jung appears to seek mending the split between consciousness and unconsciousness contents, whereas the Buddha aims at dissociating awareness from conscious contents and unconscious influence. The difference in aim is clear enough, I think: Jung seeks to build better character; Buddha, to escape the game altogether for a goal that can only be explained indirectly, through negation.