Archives for the month of: February, 2021

Sometimes we just want to sleep without dreams to feel more rested in the morning. Sometimes, though, it can be incredibly interesting to find yourself in a lucid dream, directing your actions instead of just reacting to the content of the dream. In this way, you can take the material that comes up naturally from your subconscious and work with it in a more purposeful way. So what are some of the advantages of lucid dreaming?

There are a number of benefits tied to learning how to lucid dream. Here are a few that often get touched on when others in the field discuss this particular experience:

  • Work out problems that have you stumped
  • Work through fears
  • Nightmares
  • Possible enhanced physical healing
  • Personal development

Solving Problems

From time to time people have been able to solve difficult problems in the dream state. With lucid dreaming, you can direct your mind to a problem if you can learn how to work with the powers of the dream state so that the natural problem solving qualities that can often be found in the dream state. It was in the dream state that the Soviet scientist Mendeleyev conceived of the Periodic Table of elements. In Mendeleyev’s Dream: The Quest for the Elements, novelist Paul Strathern describes what happened:

As Mendeleyev’s eyes ran once more along the line of ascending atomic weights, he suddenly noticed something that quickened his pulse. Certain similar properties seemed to repeat in the elements, at what appeared to be regular numerical intervals. Here was something! But what? A few of the intervals began with a certain regularity, but then the pattern just seemed to peter out. Despite this, Mendeleyev soon became convinced that he was on the brink of a major breakthrough. There was a definite pattern there somewhere, but he just couldn’t quite grasp it… Momentarily overcome by exhaustion, Mendeleyev leaned forward, resting his shaggy head on his arms. Almost immediately he fell asleep, and had a dream.

Imagine working on a problem and then going to sleep only to glimpse a solution to that problem. That would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? Since you are already in an altered state of consciousness, parts of your brain that normally are tuned out in waking are now active and can lead to enhanced problem-solving capability.

Resolving Fears

Perhaps you keep dreaming a dream that has you upset or fearful but you don’t know why. Maybe the dream is dealing with something in your waking life that you haven’t fully processed or worked through. Perhaps you are afriad to do something in waking life and you want to work through the fear in the dream state. In dreaming, you can often find novel approaches to resolving fears. Could it be that simple? Sometimes it is. The waking self, when walking in the dream world, can often clear up fears quite easily, choosing the send signals to the subconscious that it is time to dispense with a fear. HOW you do this probably needs to be in the language of the dream self in order for it to “take.” What this means is using imagery that can communicate to the subconscious self that everything is okay.

In the movie The Prisoner Of Azkaban, the students are taught how to deal with a being called a boggart that would manifest as their worst nightmare or fear. The students were required to imagine something that would turn their fear into something silly or ridiculous, which had the effect of disarming the being of its power over the individual. It is tricks like this that the dream self understands and can work with in a creative way to hep resolve the fear.

Nightmares

Nightmares work much the same way as fears, by being able to disarm them in a creative and visual way. It is also possible in lucid dreaming to offer a suggestion to your subconscious to show you what the source of the nightmare is and then wait. The subconscious does not always respond the way that the more literal logical mind does, and the mind also does not respond the same in a theta dream state as it does in a beta or waking state. Sometimes you have to seed the land of your mind with an idea or directive and then be a little patient. You could also visualize the dreams that were most troubling to you as a cue to the subconscious to begin focusing on whatever the issue actually is, but then be prepared to work with it visually and in a unique and creative way in order to trigger the resolution of the root fear that has been causing the nightmares to begin with. Bear in mind, though, that while the imagery can be quite ornate sometimes, the nightmare always comes down to one main root cause, which is fear. So? It helps to be brave and be willing to face your fear. In doing so, this is often like deflating a balloon because most often the fear itself is worse than the thing that you fixate on. It is more about the unknown, and by facing it, you make it a known. There, now that isn’t so scary, is it?

Physical Healing

While some physical conditions are the result of environmental conditions, some are caused by imbalances in the endocrine system. This part of the body is subject to feelings and it can be turned around quickly by sending your body the right signals that you want or will feel better. In sleep there are a number of important processes that take place whereby the body goes into overdrive in helping to detoxify blood and to rid itself of waste built up over the day. This can be a great time to spur greater vitality by sending the body the signals that will help boost immunity (which is known to be closely tied to our mental and emotional health as much as it is to environmental conditions). The formation of emotions, for example, the chemical side, are made up of a series of neuropeptides that literally begin to mirror emotional states. It is like the way the body creates the signs of emotion in the body. If you can hack into this system in dreaming it is sometimes possible to trigger conditions that lead to better health. There is an exercise that I used to give to my students when they felt stressed out (the spectrum of epinepherine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline) that was incredibly simple: hold your hands on your hips like Wonder Woman. Do you know that stance? It has the curious effect of combating fear and uncertainty. The body is being tricked into thinking that you are feeling confident and as a result, the body starts to flood the body with the chemical equivalent of confidence instead of fear. See how that works? It’s a hack, literally so, and it can go a long way in helping to change not just your feeling state but your body chemistry. So in a similar way, you can use images like this in the dream state to also change the outcome of those kinds of dreams. You have to think visually, which is the key. Along these same lines, being able to visualize a different physical state is important. You might imagine seeing your blood as suddenly carrying life-giving nutrients all of a sudden, perhaps a special substance causes them to glow, you don’t need to know precisely what you are after, the imagery will help to trigger those changes deeper down.

Personal Development

There are all kinds of thing that you can address from the dream state. You might want to use the dream state to try and do astral projection. I have used this a number of times and I was shocked just how well it worked. Following a suggestion that Lynn Andrews, who wrote the books Medicine Woman and Flight Of The Seventh Moon, she said that providing yourself with a hypnotic suggestion prior to sleep could be helpful. She said to say to your ego, “Ego, I want you to fall asleep and drift off for a bit so I can do some work in sleep that I want to do…” In my case, I wanted to use dreaming as a spring-board to projection. I “awoke” in a dream to find that a Mayan serpent was floating towards me as I could hear the thoughts inside my head telling me that I needed to project my consciousness into the body of the serpent. Amazingly, I found that I somehow had this ability. I began to feel as if these massive wheels inside of me began to turn, a giant machinery went into hyper drive as I felt the inertial forces building inside of me like a rubber band being slowly pulled back that would be released, shooting me into the serpent. I had some issues that I hadn’t worked through in regards to the concept of this Mayan serpent in front of me and called the experiment off out of fear (I should have worked out the fear, oy!). However, this was a potent example of how the dream state can be used for doing things that you haven’t done before. You can learn to get over performance anxiety by pretending that you are speaking before a large audience, or you can work on something that you feel like you aren’t very good at in waking in order to be better at it in the dream state. There are all kinds of novel “hacks” that you can employ to develop more creative ways around all kinds of challenges. You might want to take a vacation, to visit a sunny location, go to the ocean, or fly over the ocean to another country, for example. In a dream, you can do that. In a lucid dream, you can direct more of what happens.

Techniques For Lucid Dreaming

The first technique for helping you to lucid dream more often is to simply become more aware of lucid dreaming while you are awake. You need to know how it works when awake if you are to bring it into your dream state. Another method is to think about lucid dreaming several times each day and do this consistently over a period of about two weeks time. You are seeding your mind with the idea of lucid dreaming as a thing and this needs to get into the right area of memory so that it has a better chance of being activated while you are asleep. Just thinking about it often greatly increases the chances that you will have a lucid dream soon in the future.

Before going to bed, tell yourself that you would like to have a lucid dream, that once you go to sleep and begin to dream that you will awaken within the dream. Another method that works with the REM sleep cycles is to wake up early, around 4:00 a.m., spend some time thinking about lucid dreaming and maybe even reading about it in order to fix the mind on the idea, and then after having awakened, go back to sleep. When you awaken like this and at about this time in the sleep cycle, your body is still craving sleep and it will be easier to go back to sleep but with the suggestion of a lucid dream on your mind.

Finally, there is a device that is supposed to monitor your REM sleep cycle which will send a series of lights into your eyes as a cue that you are now in the dream state. If you can remember that the lights that you see in your dream are coming form the device, it might be enough for you to develop just enough lucidity to wake up in the dream. This device is called the Nova Dreamer. It has since spawned a number of similar devices, and the reviews on them are mixed. While the Nova Dreamer is no longer being made, there are still similar devices like it out there. The reviews are mixed to negative, but some fans of lucid dreaming have had some success with the devices that can detect rapid eye movement, provides a period of time to get the dream state started before sending a light signal to the dreamer. Will it wake you up? Will it serve as the type of signal that you need for inducing a lucid dream? I have never used the device, so I can’t say. What I do know is that there are a number of devices on the market now and I suggest that you read the reviews and read the specifications closely in order to get a device that will do what it purports to do, that is, if you think using a device like this is for you.

So there you have it. Lucid dreaming is something that when you do it enough, you can get the swing of it over time. We also go through cycles in our dream states where we sleep the sleep “of the dead” with hardly any dream activity while in other periods we have vivid dreams and lots of them. It may be that timing with your cycles could be a helpful way to begin to take a step into this very interesting world of the dreaming mind. Sweet dreams!

~P.

There is one thing I have learned from my years of studying psi ability and it is this: belief trumps ability.

If you don’t think you can, you wont.

If you can suspend that belief, or clear it out, then you can.

I am a Westerner. I don’t buy into the idea that there is anything inherently wrong with psi ability. In the East they often waive their hands saying, “Don’t pay attention to those things, they represent a cul-de-sac in the spiritual journey.” Indeed, this can be true, but this is not an absolute. If you can avoid allowing these inner senses from causing the ego to become inflated, there is little cause for concern. Keep up your good work on yourself. A sense is a sense. Just because we have as a race tuned out our native psi ability does not mean there is anything inherently wrong with them. They are not some evil ghostly thing, child of the “occult.” Whether saint or sinner, people have used them down through time. It’s just that when “we” use them, it is a good thing but when “they” (the “other”) it’s not. There is an important side to these inner abilities that bears repeating, though.

Psi ability is a product of consciousness. How you use your consciousness makes the difference between good results with your inner abilities and getting misses. It can be said that there is little worse than when you are convinced that your psi ability is real and always on the mark. That, my dear friends, is a belief. Psi ability can be subject to your emotions, your biases and beliefs, forming effectively a kind of lens through which you see. These can blind you and also distort information. What I am going to propose to you, based on years of experience, is that they work best when you completely empty your mind and do not allow your inner mind to try and fiddle with the results.

Very recently I did a remote viewing exercise. I have been growing my followers on social media and I have been doing this in a pretty aggressive way as of late. As a result of this, I never know from one day to the next what my number of followers is at. I hadn’t checked this stat in almost two weeks. I have had days where I have grown followers by anywhere from 24 to 40 people in one day. I am just not at a point where I am even keeping track at this point. I have been busy getting out orders for the Valentine’s Day “holiday” too, and realized that maybe now would be a good time to remote view my current number. I have done similar experiments with items that I had no way of knowing, and I realized I hadn’t checked it in a long enough while that this would be a good target. While I knew that my followers were a little over 4k on social media, that was all I knew. Could I get it right?

I sat down and calmed my mind. I let my mind go blank. Numbers began showing up in my mind. As I watched, those numbers kept changing. It was almost like some part of my mind was trying to get it, but some other part wanted a certain result, like a child in a toy store looking at all of the red wagons, each one a little different form the other, “Oh, I want this one…..no….maybe this one! Oh wait! I want this one!!” So the numbers ping-ponged around in my head for a bit. I realized that some part of me was trying to choose something. That was the problem, though. Some part of my mind seemed to be running the show here and wanted to find a number that felt right. I wasn’t so sure that part of me really knew what was right. But wait. I know that this has nothing at all to do with what I think is the right number or result. When I get these kinds of things, they come without any sense within me of “Oh yes, this one feels right…” It just comes. It is just very straightforward. Usually. And to be clear, I don’t always get hits. I do, though, try to learn from my misses.

The results were all over the place and so I calmed my mind and asked for all of this activity to cease in my head. Then the numbers settled down and I had one number. Was it right? I jotted the number down and then went to my stats. I wrote down 4,537. The stats read 4,530. Two weeks ago my followers were around 4,300-ish. I was not hitting the bullseye, but I got it very close. Yes, two weeks ago I knew I have about 4,300-ish followers….so the question in your mind may be “wasn’t that just a very good guess?” It may very well be, in truth. The only way to know is to continue to gather information, to do similar kinds of tests over and over in order to gather more data. Yes, you can have a “lucky guess” and so this is why I advocate for gathering more and more information because as the data piles us you can have a much better view of what is at work. If I got correct “guesses” half the time, that isn’t as impressive as getting them 72% of the time with thirty attempts at the same type of experiment. I agree, it can be doubtful at first about whether this is chance or something more. So for this particular attempt, I will be doing this more when I can and when I know I don’t know my follower number (when I have not checked in about two weeks, which is more than enough time for my follower base to grow beyond the numbers when I last checked).

The mind can get in the way of the inner senses. You can get parts right and other parts wrong. I have over the years paid attention to people who have considered themselves psychic and watched what they told me that they were picking up about me. To do this requires me to be very honest, because after all, they could be seeing something that I myself cannot or will not see about myself (beliefs and inner bias about myself at work). What I find so useful about this exercise is how it can teach me a lot about how we can distort what may well be a clear stream of information. What gets distorted in these cases is always something that has to do with the person doing the sensing and their own inner story. They are in essence picking up things form within themselves and adding it in. It is also just as helpful to see what they get right, too. So when I do this inner sensing work it helps me to be aware of how my own blindsides or beliefs that I might have about a given target or scan could influence the outcome. I have also found that when I have given them feedback on what they got wrong, I tended to come up against resistance, which is another sign that this is an inner dialog that the person doing the “reading” has within them. I have only met one gifted psychic who has been largely without these issues, and she was born with these gifts and describes how she lacks the basic filters most people do (which is a double-edged sword for her).

Doing this work is very helpful when you can be completely blind on the target. You might know a person, so trying to delve into what you think they are going through might be littered with minefields for you because you think that you know them and you could be inserting narratives that just don’t fit. So much of this can be subject to more than what is real as it is our own take on how we think we know that person. That is the minefield, you see. i remember one person who used to day “Energy doesn’t lie” and I had to chuckle as I heard a narrative that literally had nothing to do with me when that person claimed to be reading me. No, energy doesn’t lie when you are being completely clear. If you aren’t, you can very easily be reading from your own inner script and it could have little to nothing to do with the “other.” However, if you take someone that you know but do something like seeing exactly what they are doing at a given moment in time (subject to telling yourself that you don’t want to be able to see anything that might be private for example) then something like this would be the best way to test your ability. You sit down and all of a sudden the first thing that comes is your friend is sitting in a chair with a lamp on a small table and they have a book in their lap and they have a cup of something hot…..tea, not coffee….in their hand. You see them turn their head and as they do so you see the person that is speaking to them. You take note of this and you note the clothes they are wearing. Then what you have is a very good way of testing your ability because by noting the time you can contact them soon after and ask them if they would take part in your experiment. You can have an easy way to then hone in on what details you got right and which ones you might not have gotten correct. So far in tests with civilians, it has been found that anyone can do this with varying degrees of results.

A number of years ago I discovered my remote viewing ability when I began getting very vivid images of the place where someone I knew, but whom I have never met (and had only known for a short while and only tangentially on an online forum). I kept getting very clear impressions with a great deal of detail and specificity. I contacted this person privately and asked if she wanted to take part in an experiment where I would provide her with the impressions that I had and she would tell me whether I had hit the bullseye or not. Out of 24 distinct details, all but two were completely correct. The remaining two were partially correct. I had viewed that her door in the hallway had one more door beyond it, placing her at the end of the hallway. She explained that there was one more door beyond her door but that door was in the center of the hallways because it was the door to the stairwell. The kitchen that I knew existed but which I could not see visually, was in fact a kitchen that most people who entered her apartment would not be able to see because of how it was hidden from view. I was incorrect in placing the kitchen but partially correct in the notion that it was hard to see. I will emphasize that when it comes to remote viewing it is known that anyone can do this as long as you do your experiments blind (everything about the target is unknown to you). The less you know about the target the better so your own mind does not try to interpret or “fiddle” with what is coming through to you. Additionally, remote viewing my leave you cold. it might be a different way of approaching this kind of work might suite you better. You might go about it a very different way, and the thing is, just as consciousness is itself unlimited, so too are the ways that you approach this type of work. Maybe you need to surround yourself with white light first, or you might need to listen to music or maybe you need just the right scent wafting through the air. Use all of the things that you feel helps you to get there, and once there, don’t stress over it and don’t second guess yourself. You can see when you second guessed yourself, you can also see when a later impression might have been the more correct one. You can learn a lot about how your own mind works when doing this type of exercise. For one person it may not always be the first impression because maybe that person’s mind might still be ping-ponging around even in the midst of the exercise. Another person might be able to calm right down very quickly, get the right answer, but then second-guess themselves because the impression came so fast. The best way to know is to experiment to see how you operate in a moment like this. And to be clear, stressing over whether you are right or wrong can cause you problems (if you are anything like me). It helps to treat this so you have nothing invested, you are just playing and having fun. Athletes also find that they perform the best when they lay aside their stressors and allow themselves to just “get in the zone.” It is a very natural unencumbered state. The good news is that a little meditation can help with a mind that is “encumbered.”

I used to test my ability like this by viewing the pressure gauge on my propane tank. I know that this sounds weird to do but her me out. The tank was located some distance away from the building and the pressure gauge will slowly go down on the “volume” side of the tank, which is the only part that changes. I didn’t see the gauge on a daily basis, only when I would go out to look. It was always a moving number. The gauge could also go up in warmer weather, not just down as the volume dropped, which was a wild card that made guessing the gauge position difficult. It is very hard for me to guess where this volume gauge is exactly. What I want to do is not guess, but actually see right where the gauge is. When I did this the first time, I saw the image of the gauge and I saw in my mind the needle on it going wildly from one range on the gauge to another. I just lay there, eyes closed, and waited for the needle to stop going all over the place. I suspected that this was my mind trying to insert a guess. I didn’t want to guess, I wanted to accurately view it form a distance. Finally, the needle came to rest. I noted where it was, and the next day I went out to my tank with my written results in hand. I found that I was just a couple of pounds of pressure off from what it actually read. What is important here is that when the tank is full, the tank has many hundreds of pounds of pressure, indicating the volume of the tank, and this changes slowly over time until the tank is empty or near empty. It had been weeks since the tank had been filled. I found that by letting my mind go blank and stop my impulse at trying to grab for a result, I would tend to get very accurate results.

Another test that I did was I would take a book, open it so that it would open away from me, then lay it on a shelf with the book open but pointing down so I couldn’t see the page it was open to. I would then attempt to remote view the page number. You can do lots of tests like this to see where you get it right and where you get it wrong. A deck of cards can also be a good way to test yourself, too. Sometimes, I find that I don’t do as well with a target I don’t have a connection to, so a deck of cards often doesn’t work well for me for some reason, but I have been amazingly good at seeing details of where a person I know lives who I have never visited, for example. Pay attention to what you get right but also assess what you also got wrong. After a series of efforts you can begin to see what details you are better at getting and the ones you might have a “blind side” about. Those details are a sign for what you need to refine later. I got my follower number very close, but there is still work for me to do. I need to work more on clearing my mind even more. It might help me to spend more time quieting my mind and not letting additional material to intrude (I was a little focused on needing to get into the studio earlier so my mind was not at a dead stop). You can also try to read a person and then ask them to asses whether what you picked up on was a hit or a miss. Pay attention to both and also bear in mind it is possible you might have picked up on something that they are themselves not aware of. But it is also just as possible that this could have been a miss on your part. The trick is in finding out which it is. Often time will tell.

How we feel, what we think, our beliefs, all can become unrealized mitigators in our psi work. What works best is when you can successfully lay aside your filters when you do this work. Having a way to test your results also is important. Consciousness itself is the portal through which this sensing flows, but consciousness can be compromised with what we think, prefer, or believe about the target. So it is important to be as clear and as blank as you can be. This takes work because while doing this work is incredibly simple, it can be too simple for our minds to accept as the real deal. When clear psi results come they can often come with this feeling of, “Oh it can be that, that came through too fast…” Often, though, you can be right on target. We second guess ourselves, too. Don’t. Just sense and see whether you were on the mark. If you got something wrong, maybe only a cluster of items, think about how you can do better next time. Perhaps you saw our friend in my earlier example sitting there with tea but she wasn’t actually speaking to a male friend. She might, though, say, “I was thinking about my friend Ted and was thinking of calling him to tell him something I had been thinking about while I was reading my book.” Sometimes you can get parts of the truth. So often we will glom onto a result and decide it is the right one and go no further, but I would suggest that you keep at it and step back after your first dive in and try another view….and another. The trick here is not to prejudge what you are seeing or use your mind to change what you are seeing.

The method is to let your mind go completely blank and think of your mind as a projection screen upon which images will just come. Don’t try to make up images. You can sometimes feel when you are the one doing this. Focus on how it feels when you do this and at the same time, with enough practice, you can begin to associate your hits from your misses. It is just as important to pick up on how you feel when you get a hit as how you feel when you get a miss. It might take repeated attempts in order to focus on your mind state to determine the difference between the two. You can, though, do this, it just takes repeated efforts so you can stay away from the feeling states that wind up muddying the waters for you.

The best state is feeling nothing and not letting the stuff from your day to intrude. When I say “feeling nothing” I mean to be as blank or clear in your feelings as you are with your thoughts. Feelings are as potent as thoughts, and they can be equal opportunity “distorters” for our experience in the vast realm that is our field of consciousness. There is nothing wrong with feeling a sense of excitement, but be mindful of the state of mind that you go into when you do this work. When I have gotten the best results they have always come when I have not created any expectation in my mind for what the result will be. Being able to cultivate this “open-mindedness” is crucial I think for greater success going forward. Edgar Cayce explained that when he read the akashic records during his thousands of readings while he was alive, he explained that, “anyone can do what I do.” He then said something very telling. He said that he did it by going forward without any expectation of an outcome. He kept his own thoughts and feelings out of his work. The more that you do this work, the more it has a way of showing you your own biases or beliefs, so this kind of work has been known to help a person improve along spiritual lines as well as learning the type of control over thought and feeling that is required. I also want to emphasize that once you get into these states necessary for these abilities to come forward, you will likely feel all sorts of things, most of them will be like joy, excitement, wonder, perhaps even awe. Going into them, you want to have no expectation but once you are in you may well feel a stream of something moving through you that feels….more than just your localized self. Feel that stuff. But going into it, try to be neutral and quiet. In a very real sense you are changing or shifting channels in your mind and consciousness and some of them may be new “channels” to you at first, so being able to observe quietly how you go there can be helpful for next time. All of this advice is based on my own experience, so your mileage may vary in terms of what it is that gets you there or keeps you there. I am always interested in your own experience and what worked for you (so let me know in the comments).

I hope this helps you because becoming aware of your own inner superpower can help you to become more comfortable and aware of who you are and your capabilities as a being here on the planet. And who knows, you might just be able to help those you love.

Until next time,

Keep it Light.

~P.

In the past week we had ourselves a nice snow storm here in the mountains. The temperatures have dipped down low enough that it has kept the snow melt at a minimum. There is a feeling of so much that is on hold, and I don’t mean just getting out and running errands or doing things that I might otherwise be doing if the snow wasn’t there. The snow has a way of muffling sound with its soft powder acting like a noise suppressor or absorber. It does close things in, and many things come to a halt. It is in such a place, a few days ago, where I began working on a project that I have been researching for a decade and a half. In fact, the project is as old as my own awakening process is. That project is about the ties that earliest Christianity has with the phenomenon of awakening. I have gone through this, through all of the books available to us now, the history, the archeological digs, what we know about kundalini from other cultures which used to be knowledge that was only known to a select few. We are in a different time now and the doors are opening. I need to get started on this.

I already have an unwieldy manuscript that I began writing a couple of years into awakening that I felt could serve as perspective on the experience, a kind of memoir of sorts that was started before this book concept about early Christianity was begun. The problem for me with this first manuscript was that at the time I was trying to write it, I was so deep into altered states, doing release work, and being swept away by this powerful force in my awareness, that it was really hard to write a book that had a cohesive feel. It grew to 750 pages…..I spent months editing it down to 180 pages, only to find I had lost the heart of the work. It was frustratingly difficult. Then my friend and gifted intuitive Ali said when I was getting ready to gas up the car on the way to the airport, “Don’t you have a second book, Parker?” As I was getting ready to get out of the car to gas up I quickly said, “No I don’t.” She did that thing she does which tells me she is scanning something. She looked out across the lot to the road into the distance with that look. Ali is never wrong. I know it is tricky when we speak in absolutes, but Ali’s ability to dig into something she knows nothing about is astounding. I know that might be hard to believe, but it is true.

At the time, my mind wasn’t on another book, my mind was on this book I had been wrestling with, this memoir. She added while she sat there musing, “My guidance is telling me that you have a second book…” I knew what she was talking about, but I wasn’t thinking about it as a book. It was an idea for a book, something I hadn’t told anyone else about. The last thing I wanted to do at that point in time was to start a new project. I then admitted to her so her own inner intuitive abilities wouldn’t be jammed up in her head, “I have an idea for a book, but it isn’t anything I have started on.” She continued looking out into the rain as we sat parked under the canopy of the gas station, adding, “My guidance is telling me that your second book needs to be your first.” When I heard this, I was stuck with the idea of getting this first manuscript into a better state before I could begin contemplating this concept which I hadn’t even started on, beyond just research. “I don’t feel like I can begin another project right now, I have so much to do on this first one!” She took in a breath and steeled herself a bit, she knows how I am. I am hard-headed and I can be difficult to deal with when I get in this kind of space. “My guidance tells me that this is THE book, Parker, that it needs to be the first one, then finish your second one later….how about you just put this book you are working on aside for a bit and give this second one they are telling me about a try?”

I was dismissive and impatient with all of this. I was stuck wrestling with this first project that was at that time in front of me, which had so many arms. I wish I could have been more patient with her ideas, which she was getting in an authentic space where she nearly always hits bullseyes. What I did do over the next nine months was I promised myself that after digging into a major edit, I would try to put it aside to see what would come up in regards to this second project. One edit turned into about half a dozen, and this process took nine months. I have close to a dozen variants of that project saved on my computer. I finally just walked away from it, cleared my head and forgot about writing at all.

Only after I did this, did ideas begin to slowly filter in about that second project. I didn’t put word to paper for years but instead immersed myself in study and research into a field that most Christians think they know a lot about and have some very strong opinions on. I’m not a historian on the subject, and while I have spent a good deal of time in academia both as a student as an educator, I didn’t get my degree in divinity. I had a lot of work to do, a lot to learn. Luckily, I was able to begin learning what the last hundred years or so have turned up since archeology became a serious field of study. The earth has given up her secrets and we now have more information on the history of Christianity than we have ever had, short of the documents that the church has held in their collections (which has formed most of our thinking before this period in our history). The problem though, with what the church has held and what the earth has offered up, is that what we keep finding are not books or fragments of books that are Orthodox in nature, but heretical ones. Additionally, the more work that is being done on this front, the more the subject of heresy keeps coming up in the historical record, and not in the way that the church has used it, which has been to put down any story that it felt stood at odds with the standard they were bearing. I am not using “heresy” in this case to mean what is not true but what has been labelled by the church as not true. You perhaps can see where I am going with this.

What we know now is that essentially the Orthodox church chose books that it agreed with, that it understood. It put those books forward….but there were other books. While it is true that there were many books that were deemed by the church as non-authentic, such as stories of the early life of Jesus clapping his hands and making something he made out of mud turn into birds and fly away, there is the issue of a body of work that was completely suppressed and nearly destroyed in order to keep those stories from coming forward. The church will say that those books were heresy and this is why it acted as it did. However, what scholars are seeing in this last century is that this was more about choosing what stories you wanted put forward in order to formulate doctrine based on those narratives that the Orthodox wing of Christianity thought it understood. There were some very important books that were simply dismissed out of hand because (I suspect) they were so poorly understood. They were poorly understood because of the nature of the writings themselves and what it was that they were intended to achieve. What this body of work did was to pull back the veil on consciousness to reveal a capacity that all humans have for realizing the divine within. As I will show in my book, what they were on about was revolutionary for the location, the religion that it came from (Judaism first, then Christianity later), and the culture from which it sprang. It wasn’t a bunch of incoherent gobbledy-gook, however, despite how some have received these newly discovered texts and gospels. In some important cases, these books represent some of the most sophisticated writings having to do with how to reach enlightenment and to achieve a full activation of awakening, something which the Hindu call kundalini and what the Taoists call the Golden Flower. It doesn’t help that the scholars who first examined these books (Thomas and Philip to name a few) were not versed in world religion or philosophy because they described them as being influenced by Hermeticism. To say this is like saying I was influenced by the Hermetic teachings because I had awakened even though I was completely unfamiliar and unschooled in that strand of philosophy that emerged in Egypt. But the fact that these books were found in Egypt doesn’t mean they are Egyptian in character. The only thing the discovery reveals is that the dry desert of Egypt helps to preserve documents on papyrus very well (as many texts that are not Christian that have been unearthed there attest to). There is a lot to cover in this book, the least of which is how Orthodox Christianity developed ideas over time which appear to us today as having always been there. No, Christianity evolved like all religions evolve. It was the Orthodoxy that put forward the idea that what they had to say about Christianity and Jesus himself had always been from the very beginning when in fact this was not the case at all. Rather than trying to tear down Christianity, I am seeking to correct the record using historical evidence, archeological discoveries, studies of the texts both within the so-called Gnostic strand as well as the Orthodox strand of the same religion. While that will be looked at askance by many, there is evidence that now exists for why this second look is necessary if we are to understand Christianity and how the victors in the battle of the “truth” got to tell their story while another deeper story didn’t get to be told until 50 years ago when the Nag Hammadi Library began hitting bookstore shelves after a protracted period of translating the codices.

This book will be a story about two competing camps and how their perspectives were very different. One was an outer understanding stripped of a deeper knowledge and carried elements pointing to this deeper knowledge, while the other was representative of a deeper knowing, both of who we are and how the divine works in us. The two diverged in degrees over time until the two were only partially related. When you look at the two camps today, they look almost completely unrelated. Neither camp had writings that were “perfect” in the sense that there are transcription errors, or deeper doctrinal issues that keep scholars busy at work printing books on the subject. They are both, though, speaking to the same phenomenon but with a different understanding. It is a bit like holding a piece of string that is white on one end and blue on the other. The two look completely different at their most extreme ends, but they are in fact all the same string. One camp, the Orthodox one, fought very hard to dismiss this other camp and did so by flatly stating that what these so-called Christians were on about was sheer heresy, nothing more. The Orthodox church had books that proved it. But what was actually going on was a war over ideas and values about the very foundation of human spirituality. The Orthodoxy won out and they continued to choose the stories that agreed with their particular view, and they had the resources to press their view, making their imprint on humanity appear as though it had always been the view, and never-mind those dirty heretics. This is the perspective we still have today as codified by the Orthodox view, and it only looks like it was always that way. Billions of believers think so to this day. It wasn’t always that way, however. Not by a long shot. Yes, in light of what Orthodoxy has put forward, this other camp which got buried in this conflict looks very strange and incompatible….heretical, even. Like I have said, though, the earth keeps offering up her truths and we have learned a lot in a pretty short time.

Many cornerstone concepts of Orthodoxy were created. To the casual observer, this isn’t obvious at first. The effort will be to show what new knowledge we have from our most recent discoveries and see how it compares with the historical accounts and what Orthodoxy has put forward, at least in part. An example of this is the divinity of Jesus as the son of God. This wasn’t something that was known about from the get-go. This only came along later, it was a development that grew with each generation. We know enough about when the synoptic gospels were written and scholars today can trace the development of the ideas surrounding Jesus’s divinity and identity as human, as God, or as someone who was adopted at God’s son (these ideas were all existing at the same time early on) for example. Some of the synoptic gospels don’t mention Jesus being God. This was something that the church came up with and put it into the belief system and then said “world without end, amen” and that was that. You also wont know the full story if you don’t go looking, but given how belief itself works, who is going to bother to question their beliefs or what they perceive is the foundation of their faith? This is one example how doctrine was formed and how human a process it was. There were other ideas that some take as an article of faith today that are just like this.

The camp that lost out was a group of Christians who formed the esoteric wing of the faith which we call today the Gnostics. They didn’t call themselves Gnostics, though. If you asked any one of them they would have said that they were Christians. These people and their teachings seem strange to us today in large part because we have been fed a steady diet of Orthodoxy, the outer-most understanding of the deeper principles within Christianity. Some of what the so-called Gnostics have on offer cast new light on our spirituality and they also reveal discrepancies with regard to the Orthodox view. One example is that Orthodoxy essentially says that you need to accept Christ into yourself, to accept his act of sacrifice in order to be saved. The so-called Gnostics, however, pointed out that Jesus was teaching his closest followers how to BE Christs. Like all esoteric traditions, though, they veiled the teachings in order to make them inaccessible for all but those who were in the process of being initiated into the deeper teachings and experiences that led to an innermost realization which they called gnosis, or knowledge. For these Christians, you didn’t need to believe in the crucifixion and what that meant, instead it was the knowledge that would save and free people. What is so interesting about this process and these teachings is that they describe in identical form, but using different vocabulary, identical concepts contained in other esoteric traditions the world over. There is no evidence that suggests that there was contact between the cultures of India and Judea during this time. While modern scholars suggest that the Gnositc texts have ties to Hermeticism, I suggest in my book another possibility and it is informed by my own experience with awakening.

The book will do its best to make the case for the Gnostics and why their work deserves a second look. It is a story about how the kingdom was found, then lost, within a century or two. Part of the book will be my own experience, notes taken from my journal in those first weeks and months after awakening happened and the observations that I made at a time when I had no idea what was happening to me. I will show how what I observed as the central symptoms of the experience match those in the Gnostic texts as well as parts of the Orthodox ones, and how this then reveals at the least that the Gnostics had grasped something that is incredibly rare and difficult to reach for the average person. It will show how a school sprung up around this knowledge which was later put down by the tide of Orthodoxy that came after the “heretics” came onto the scene, not before. We know this because of careful research that has been conducted by numerous archeologists, a linguist, and other researchers. I will reveal that while the early church had these heretical teachings at its earliest core, the look and feel of the church was also very different in its earliest days. The beliefs were different, too, as the ideas that would become the Orthodox view would evolve over time into what many of us know today.

Concurrent with the later tide of Orthodoxy came an effort to marginalize the role of women in the church. Hand-in-glove with this effort was also an effort to marginalize knowledge of the true source of the Holy Ghost as a feminine quality of the divine. As above, so below. I will show that the early church was a very different animal from the one it is today, and how it is that we are all poorer for it. The book isn’t out to seek converts but instead may well be a cautionary tale about what happens when we allow an authority who is less capable than ourselves to call the shots. Augustine, who was one of the early church fathers, once said that he would not believe anything unless the church itself said that it was true. Most people just want to be told what the truth is without ever really examining it and doing the vetting themselves (“The kingdom is within’). The Orthodox story is a great one but it isn’t the only one and isn’t the whole story given how much that we now know. It is just one strand of comprehension about a drama that played out while Jesus lived on earth. We now have evidence that women served as bishops in early Christianity. So much for the writer of Timothy (which most scholars today explain is a forged letter attributed to Paul) telling women to shut up in Church and submit to their husbands. For Timothy, a woman could save herself by bearing a man children. Yes, the early church was a very different animal than it was just two hundred years later.

I am not writing this book in an effort to fuel controversy, however. My purpose is to show how the Gnostic texts are tied to an authentic phenomenon in consciousness and how it fuels a transformation of the personality and self. It will also show the discrepancies that are contained in the Orthodox view and how what it said does not mesh with the facts. Many Christians believe that the Bible is a perfect document given from God. That notion itself is simply not true and I will show how this is so. From miss-translations, to outright forgeries, the story has been massaged and changed in key ways in the Bible. The book will be an effort at laying out the facts instead of resting on just what those in Orthodoxy have said was the truth (“trust us” they have said, “what we tell you IS the truth!”). Trust but confirm. The book will be about how two different camps were addressing two ends of the same string and that both have something to tell us about ourselves and our ability to reach the divine that is found within (“The kingdom is within you”).

What I will also be doing with the book is bringing contemporary voices into the divide to help illuminate how awakening is the same thing that early Christianity was teaching about privately to those who were prepared for it. My hope is to add enough voices to help to paint a picture and make the case for why the Gnostics had something important going on in regards to understanding the Christ drama. My hope is to be able to assemble numerous first-hand accounts of contemporary awakening stories. To that end, I am interested in your story should you be interested in contributing to this project. One aspect of this book will be to point out that awakening does not require belief in any religion in order to achieve it and that those who were on to this rare phenomenon were themselves probably not well understood in their day and that much of the deeper teachings of Jesus were lost for a very long time. It is my sense that awakening was precisely what Jesus was speaking to when he was quoted in both Philip and Thomas and that he was showing a way for a person to know themselves better and their place in the divine drama. To that end, accounts will not be tied to the religion as much as they will be tied to the phenomenon described in the Nag Hammadi Library and how this was fed into the ministry of Jesus. I understand that for some people, there is a concern about remaining anonymous, so any material that you provide me will be treated in the manner which you have requested. The effort here will be to shed new light on an old story and how Christianity as we know it might need a second or third look. If you are interested in finding out more, you can contact me, Parker Stafford, at info@staffordartglass.com.

photo of a stack of books

I am currently working on a manuscript about awakening and the experience of the transcendent. While a part of the book will involve my experience, I am wanting to reach out to others who have had experiences involving transcendent states in the hope of building a base for illustrating how these states are being experienced in our current time. What I would like to have are others’ perspectives and experiences in order to broaden the discussion in certain portions of the project. The book is part look into earliest Christianity and another part look at other traditions. A religious belief is not a requirement nor is it a detriment, as both sides will be welcome.

While it would be helpful to be able to use your name, this is not necessary for contributing to this project. I will have a survey and some focused questions to direct discussion initially, but I am open to your own observations in your own words. I also will be able to provide you with more details on what the book will be about with greater detail to the degree that I can at this early stage (there is a lot of research still ongoing, so what is found will also help to form the content of the book).

If you are interested in contributing to this project, or know someone who you think might be, feel free to share this post with them. You can contact me, Parker, at info@staffordartglass.com.

Bests,

Parker Stafford

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