Signs and wonders will be seen – You know my tears – This is the hour – No man shall stop my plan – Trust me!
Follow the hand of God – I will reach for you – Take my hand – Walk with me – Praise the Lord!
You have been called – You are my witness – The Rapture is coming – I am the Light – Expect me!
This is the time of teaching – There shall be a Crusade – Prepare for me – I have risen – Embrace me!
A new day is coming – I am building a Temple – My Church is being restored – Read the signs – Stand!
“The Last Days of Tolemac” is a book of prophecy. It deals with events that are happening in the world today and shows how they fulfill prophecies that were made many centuries ago. The book is set out in a series of questions and answers, and explains in detail:
- What is about to happen to our planet
- Why these events are happening at this time
- What places on earth will be affected
- What the new world will be like
- What we can do to prepare
If you wish to read these prophecies Click Here
As the book explains, our world is about to be transformed. We are about to experience “a new heaven and a new earth” where there will be no more suffering and no more pain. However all of us are faced with a choice. Do we wish to inherit the new world that is coming? Or will we fall victim to the catastrophes that will herald its arrival? What we need to do to survive is explained in the pages of this book.
For the information of readers, The Last Days of Tolemac is now available on Kindle Books as a Digital Download, as well as Allan’s major work entitled The Cosmic Web.
The Cosmic Web deals with the mysteries of life, and shows how we all have within us hidden powers that will transform our lives in the coming age. Many of the stories that appear on this Blog, as well as articles on esoteric aspects of life, have been taken from this book. And as usual with Kindle books, if you click on the cover of either book, you can read part of the contents for free.
Both books can be accessed here
Allan Colston can be contacted at Tolemac@shaw.ca
For the benefit of readers who might be looking for information on specific subjects related to prophecy, the following articles have been included here for easy reference. They can be found in “Articles” listed under the heading “Categories” in the column on the right:
- The Apocalypse Unveiled
- The Rapture Revealed
- The Lost Years of Jesus
- The New Golden Age
- The Last Pope
- The Death of the Pope
- The Doomsday Prophecies
- The Kachina Prophecies of the Hopi
- Rebuilding the Temple of Solomon
- What is “Wormwood” in the Book of Revelation?
- What is “Mystery Babylon” in the Book of Revelation?
- Why America is not Mentioned in “End Time” Prophecy
We who have become fully-fledged members of our society, imagine that the world to which we have become accustomed, is not only real and substantive, but is the only world that exists.
We fail to see that in our process of acquiring the culture of our society, we have voluntarily surrendered rich possibilities of experience in other worlds. However grand we may suppose our present world to be, it is a world which, by comparison, is narrow, gray and drab, compared to the immense possibilities which attended us at our birth.
Young children live in worlds of experience which seem magical in comparison with the dull, constricted world which they later inherit. It is one of the continuing tragedies that their vivid worlds of free expression are termed “imaginary” by their parents.
Children are threatened, cajoled, rewarded and beaten into submission, until they are ready to reject the exquisite feast that lies before them, for the dry repast which society has prepared in its place.
The “reality” in which young children live and express themselves, is a kaleidoscope of multi-hued experience which vibrates with the spontaneous joy of the creative spirit.
Just how rich and rewarding this world of expression is, was revealed to Samuel Silverstein, a public school teacher in Torrington, Connecticut, when he conducted a research project involving a group of eight-year old children.
These children shared a world of common experience which was incomparably richer than the world which Silverstein had come to accept as real. On one occasion the children reported that they could hear ethereal music.
Since Silverstein was unable to hear this music, and since there was no one else around who was responsible for it, he asked the children to explain where it was coming from. Some said it came from the sky. Others said it came from heaven. The explanations of these children were recorded by Silverstein in his project notebook, dated May 6, 1954.
“Several children said the sounds came into their bodies through their heads and they could hear the singing inside their bodies. Others said it could also come in through the shoulder or other parts of the body. Cathy told me more about what happened to her.
“She said she heard singing up in heaven and it started first from a flash of light in the sky. From this flash of light a huge vibration of colours came down and the next thing she knew she saw flowing colours around her body and also inside her body. And this must have made the music because she had heard it in and around her body.” 1
Unfortunately in the majority of cases, experiences such as these are rejected by adults as illusory. But these experiences are not simply the imagined fantasies of childish minds. They form the very fabric of their daily lives.
These children actually experience these things as part of their extended world of consciousness, and these “illusory” sights and sounds have as much reality to them as those things which form the limited world of their parents.
Children who recount these experiences invariably become the butt of ridicule. As a result, they learn to shut these events out of their world of common experience. As the days pass, they learn to construct a view of the world which is more in keeping with the pattern of thoughts moulded by their society.
At last there comes day when these rich tapestries of sight and sound are lost altogether. They “fade into the light of common day”.
Childish experiences are not just limited to the realm of heavenly choirs. Many children share their childhood with other playmates. Since these playmates are not visible to their parents, they are assumed to be fantasies designed to satisfy their need for companionship. These children are frequently punished for their excessive imaginations.
When the noted psychic Eileen Garrett was a young girl, she recalled how she shared her childhood with three children – two little girls and a boy. These three children came to visit her daily.
Sometimes Eileen only spent a short time with them, while on other occasions they would spend the entire day together. Not a single day passed without her seeing them. They remained her constant companions until she was thirteen years of age.
Eileen never doubted the reality of her companions. When she touched them she found them soft and warm. There was one thing, however, that distinguished them from other humans.
While Eileen saw other people surrounded by a fringe of light, her three young companions were composed entirely of this light. Yet, like most other adults in similar situations, Eileen’s aunt and uncle ridiculed the existence of these playmates. They warned her that “God will surely punish you for telling lies.” 2
Children are not only able to traverse freely across a wide spectrum of experience, but they have potential powers which far surpass the limits of their later lives. Writing in The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Joseph Chilton Pearce related how his young son became passionately attached to a soldier doll which he called “G. I. Joe”.
For almost two years the boy was totally wrapped up in this doll and played with nothing else. Then for a spell of four days Pearce noticed that his son was unusually withdrawn. He refused to leave the house, preferring to sit quietly with his doll.
Finally he explained to his father why he had been so “rude”. He said that it had suddenly occurred to him that he had the power to make G. I. Joe become alive, and that it was possible for the two of them to spend their lives together.
He realised however, that if his soldier-doll did become alive, it would only be alive for him, and that no one else in the family would be able to share in their exploits. He realised too, that by pursuing his dream of giving life to his doll, he would have to sacrifice his human family.
Pearce confessed that he did not know why the family had won out over the lure of G. I. Joe. What was more remarkable perhaps, was that the young boy had come to recognise the limits of his family’s world, and knew that by indulging his potential powers, he would thereby cut himself off from the narrow world of his family.
Pearce’s son was clearly aware that the earthly world inhabited by his parents was only part of a wider world which he was free to experience. It must have been a supremely sad moment for him to discover that the rich world which he was able to enjoy was not shared by his parents, and that what was perfectly real to him, was merely illusory to others, who could not open themselves to its reality. 3
It is usually only the impact of some traumatic shock, or else the influence of some psychedelic substance, that enables adults to rediscover this pure world of potential experience.
It was the rediscovery of this wider world which so impressed the American psychologist and philosopher William James, after his experiments with nitrous oxide led him to pen the following widely-quoted lines:
“Some years ago I made myself some observations on this nitrous oxide intoxication, and reported them in print. One conclusion was forced upon my mind at that time, and my impression of its truth has ever since remained unshaken.
“It is that our usual waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, while all about it, parted by the flimsiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.
“We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness, definite types of mentality which probably have their field of application and adoption. No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded.” 4
The young child is free to roam throughout these potential realms of consciousness. However, as it succumbs to the process of acquiring the culture of its society, this expansive world of experience becomes steadily constricted, until the child becomes confined to the consensus version of “reality”.
These cultural beliefs become the “shades of the prison-house” that begin to close upon the growing child. Young children are vividly aware of these wondrous realms of consciousness and move freely in them.
To the adult restricted to a world of “rational consciousness”, these wider realms have long since been consigned to the region of imagery and fantasy. The child’s witness to these states is all too often rejected, for they are considered to be a threat to the stability of the personality of the child.
Just as flights of fancy are not welcome in an adult, so too they are not encouraged in the child. By a process of threat and punishment, the child is all too often frightened into subjugation. It is then, as in the case of Eileen Garrett, that their companions “fade into the light of common day”.
For those who can traverse other realms, “reality” has a much wider connotation than it has for adults who are confined within their narrow boundaries of experience.
While Carlos Castaneda was being taught his new definition of “reality”, he was made to smoke a hallucinatory mixture of herbs which was called the “devil’s weed”. Under the influence of this psychedelic stimulus, and under the guidance of Don Juan, Carlos found himself turning into a crow. He described this extraordinary metamorphosis:
“I had no difficulty whatsoever eliciting the corresponding sensation to each one of his commands. I had the perception of growing bird’s legs, which were weak and wobbly at first. I felt a tail coming out of the back of my neck and wings out of my cheekbones.
“The wings were folded deeply. I felt them coming out by degrees. The process was hard but not painful. Then I winked my head to the size of a crow. But the most astonishing effect was accomplished with my eyes. My bird’s sight !” 5
When Carlos later experienced the sensation of flying through the air, he became obsessed with the need to discover whether what had occurred to him was “real” or whether it was imaginary. “Did I really fly, Don Juan?”
“That is what you told me. Didn’t you?” Not satisfied with the authority of his own experience, Castaneda pressed his mentor further. “You see, Don Juan, you and I are differently oriented. Suppose for the sake of argument one of my fellow students had been here with me when I took the devil’s weed. Would he have been able to see me flying?” 6
Castaneda was at the time still dominated by the consensual belief system of western culture, which held that it was impossible to fly. Since he felt that he had really done so, this must surely have been a hallucination of his mind. The classical way to determine whether or not he had really flown, seemed to him to depend on the corroboration of a friend who was there at the time.
In answer, Don Juan explained that whether or not anyone else would have seen him fly, would have depended upon the cultural conditioning of the person concerned. If he or she was capable of sharing Castaneda’s new description of the world, they would surely have seen him fly. If not, they would simply have continued to see him as he was.
The doubts expressed by Castaneda speak for the entire human condition. We constantly doubt the value of these paradoxical and philosophical explanations, for we remain convinced that there is some absolute standard whereby “reality” can be affirmed.
But the reality of what is seen always depends upon the observer, and draws its validity from that act of observation. As the Indian sage Sri Dattatreya remarked to his disciple:
“I will tell you the truth of the objective world, as it is. What is seen is absolutely nothing but sight.” 7
We not only learn to create the world around us by linking images together in memory, but at the same time that we create the world, we also create ourselves. The universe is nothing but a series of images in consciousness, that are renewed from moment to moment.
We derive our sense of personality through these self-same images in consciousness, and we reinforce our image of ourselves with every passing moment. When I look at a tree, its reality is based on a series of mental impressions registering upon my consciousness, and my reality is derived from the fact that these images occur to me.
Since the tree registers upon “my” consciousness, “I” interact with the tree. Every subsequent interaction serves to reconfirm “my” existence, as well as the existence of the world around me.
But we play this game in every mental state, whether we are dreaming, or engaged in a psychedelically induced vision, or subject to some other form of trance. We attribute reality to what we experience, and we derive our identity in that state from the fact that whatever is experienced presumes that there must be an “experiencer”.
But there is in truth only the process of perception, whatever sense or senses happen to be involved. By this process of perception, we infer our own reality from what we experience, while we attribute outward reality to the objects of our experience.
The only world we can possibly know is the world that appears before us in consciousness, which is then projected outside of ourselves by our consciousness. However the world that is projected upon my consciousness is a product of my thoughts, reinforced by my beliefs.
The world which appears to others is built up in the same way. There can in fact be no world that is common to us all. We all live in separate compartmentalised worlds of our own making. The enlightened being, by contrast, is freed from this identification with successive images, and so lives in the freedom of pure Awareness. As Maharaj points out:
“In your world you are truly alone, enclosed in your-ever-changing dream, which you take for life. My world is an open world, common to all, accessible to all. In my world there is community, insight, love, real quality; the individual is the total, the totality in the individual. All are one and One is all.” 8
We cannot share in this world of the One in all, until such time as we surrender our lives and the desires that bind us to the private world that we have made. To the questioner who asked whether his mind and the mind of Maharaj were similar, the latter replied:
“How can it be? You have your own private mind, woven with memories, held together by desires and fears. I have no mind of my own.” 9
We find it impossible to believe that this vast universe could be a product of our own individual minds. How could this be we cry out in amazement? Our world is populated by billions of other people who are born into our world, and who subsequently live, die and disappear.
Our common sense tells us that it is we who are born into the world. How then can the world be born in us? This question was put to Maharaj:
Question: “How can it be? A child is born into the world, not the world into the child. The world is old and the child is new.
Maharaj: The child is born into your world. Now, were you born into your world, or did the world appear to you? To be born means to create a world round yourself as the centre. But do you ever create yourself? Or did anyone create you? Everyone creates a world for himself and lives in it, imprisoned by his ignorance.” 10
As Maharaj points out, the fact that other people are born and die within our world of personal consciousness, does not mean that there is a real world outside of us, in which we appear to be but a tiny part.
The existence of other people, together with their apparent births and deaths, are movements within our own pageant of consciousness. These people do not have an existence that is separate from our consciousness.
They may be said to exist, but their reality as persons stems from the reality with which we have endowed them. Because we believe that we ourselves are “real” people, we assume that all other people who appear in our consciousness are equally “real”.
But if the reality of our own identity is brought into question, then the fate of all the others hangs in the balance as well. For as Maharaj stresses:
“When you believe yourself to be a person, you see persons everywhere. In reality there are no persons, only threads of memories and habits.” 11
(Continued in Part Three)
1 Samuel Silverstein, “Out of the mouths of babes“, Fate magazine, May 1979, pp. 128-129.
2 Eileen Garrett, “My Life“, Rider, London, 1939.
3 Joseph Pearce, “The Crack in the Cosmic Egg“, Pocket Books, New York, 1973, p. 29.
4 William James, “The Varieties of Religious Experience“, Mentor, New York, 1958, p. 298.
5 Carlos Castaneda, “The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge“, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1968, p.189.
6 Ibid, p. 147.
7 “Tripura Rahasya“, op.cit., p. 78.
8 “I Am That“, Conversations with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, translated by Maurice Frydman, Book I, Chetana, Bombay, 1973, p. 20.
9 Ibid, Book II, p. 150.
10 Ibid, Book I, p. 238.
11 Ibid, Book I, p. 42.
As was explained in the previous instalment (Our Magical World), the world that we see around us is completely different from what we have imagined, as well as what we have been taught. And the reason is this.
We are not born into this world….. It is the world that is born in us.
What this means is that the world that appears so vividly to our senses is not an objective reality that exists independently of us in space. Instead, it is a subjective manifestation in consciousness that we have created and then learned to project outside of ourselves.
The entire universe that appears to surround us and dwarf us with its immense majesty and size, is actually a tiny microcosm that has been created within our own minds. The process of this creation begins from the time that we are born.
When a child first begins to experience the world, it does so in the form of a series of fleeting images. These images register upon the child’s consciousness, but they leave no trace at first in the child’s memory.
An infant’s attention is easily diverted from one object to another. As each new object is seen, it becomes the total focus of attention. No residue of the previous image remains, and the child has no recollection of the previous object.
As the young child grows, it learns not only to recognise images, by repeated observation and the faculty of memory, but also to objectify them – literally, to make “things” out of these images, and to project these things into a specific location in space.
We can get an idea of the way in which the young child learns to objectify images, from an unusual experiment that was conducted in 1896 by George Stratton, a professor at the University of California.
Stratton fitted himself with a pair of goggles with inverting lenses, which had the effect of turning everything upside down. At first, Stratton was extremely disoriented, as the objects that he was looking at were not only upside down, but appeared to float in space. As he wrote at the time:
“It did not feel as if I were visually ranging over a set of motionless objects, but the whole field of things swept and swung before my eyes.” 1
It took Stratton several days before this gyrating field of images began to stabilise, and he could begin to recognise objects located at specific points in his visual field. What Stratton had to learn to do, was to project these images into three-dimensional space, and then stabilise them there as solid-looking objects.
Henry Margenau and Lawrence LeShan call this ability, this talent for creating a “thing” out of a series of mental impressions, “reification”, based on the Latin term “res” meaning thing. 2
In his extensive research into the behaviour of infants, initially with his own children, and later at his Centre of Genetic Epistemology in Geneva, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget found that this process of reification takes place over a period of about two years from the time of birth.
During the first few months of life, the infant has no concept of objects. After several months, however, it becomes able to recognise images and follow them with its eyes. By six months, the infant can anticipate the future position of a moving image.
If it passes behind a screen, the infant turns its eyes towards the far side of the screen, and waits for the image to re-appear. If a baby is given a solid object, it will grasp and hold it. If this object is then taken away from it and hidden under a blanket in full view of the child, it will not attempt to find it.
For a child of this early age, any object that is out of sight is out of mind. It still leaves no permanent impression on the mind. It is as if the object simply ceased to exist. By the age of one year, however, the child has acquired a sense of permanence.
If an object is now hidden from its gaze, the child knows that the object still exists, and will try to find it. If it is unsuccessful, it will frequently burst into tears of frustration.
By the age of two years, the idea of physical permanence of objects in space is fully established, and the child begins to classify these objects into various categories, and to differentiate between itself and these other objects.
Because these names and the objects to which they are related are shared by all, the child comes to adopt a view of the world that is in common with the consensus view of its society. It is in this way that the child’s view of reality becomes a description of the world which is shared by the community.
The images and events which the young child learns to project and identify, are not only common to those around it, but are also “real” to the child concerned. This “reality” stems from the fact that these occurrences are not only things that are experienced by the child itself, but are also things which are experienced by others with whom it associates.
They become accepted as “real” because there is agreement on the nature and validity of these experiences among all members of that community. So, for example, I call an object “real” because I can see it and experience it, and because other people are able to see it and experience it in a similar fashion.
If I claim to see or experience something that is also seen or experienced by someone else, then, for the two of us, what was seen or experienced forms part of our shared “reality.” But if I see can something that my friend beside me cannot see, then we have a difference of opinion.
While in my opinion what I see is “real”, in the opinion of my friend it is “unreal”. If I am the only person who claims to see something, and all my friends are unable to see it, it is clear that what I claim to be “real” is out of step with their experience. If I wish to share their world, I have to learn to link my view of “reality” to theirs.
Common “reality” then, is purely a matter of consensus. Although I may personally be convinced that something that I see is “real”, it remains an individual experience, a personal hallucination, unless it can be shared by others. The larger the group that comes to share my experience, the more convincing is the proof of its “reality”.
Now the universe which the child comes to inhabit, and which nurtures its experience, is a world of objects bearing common names, and consists of events that are commonly experienced. This universe comes to be regarded as “real” by virtue of the consensual acceptance of the group to which the child belongs.
The child does not awaken to a world of outward objects that is uniform for all. Instead, it learns to create a universe of objects, referred to by commonly accepted names, and to interact with these objects in commonly accepted ways.
The child thus learns to create a world that matches the common description of its society.
As we have already seen, however, the universe that we believe to be real does not exist “out there” objectively in space, as something that is the common matrix of everyone’s experience.
Whatever we see, in fact, is what we project with our minds, and what we project with our minds is what we have learned to project, according to the beliefs of our society.
Our universe appears real to us and permanent, simply because we have become convinced that it is so. Our world has become so real and solid because we believe it to be real, and it is this conviction that has been confirmed by the opinion of others.
We are all, in fact, constantly reinforcing our description of the world every moment of our waking lives. Its reality is confirmed by our moment to moment conviction of this reality.
This vindication of experience, through the persistent belief that these experiences represent the true reality, is explained in the ancient Vedantic classic, the Tripura Rahasya, in the following way:
“One starts imagining something; then contemplates it; and by continuous or repeated association resolves that it is true unless contradicted. In that way, the world appears real in the manner one is used to it.” 3
The world appears so convincingly real to us as an objective reality because we have convinced ourselves, through a life-long process of conditioning, that it really is so. As Nisargadatta Maharaj points out:
“The world appears to you so overwhelmingly real because you think of it all the time; cease thinking of it and it will dissolve into thin mist.” 4
Similarly, the Yaqui man of knowledge, Don Juan Matus, describes the process by which we create our world of reality as follows: “We maintain our world with our internal talk”.
He explains further that “the world is such-and-such or so-and-so because we tell ourselves that that is the way it is. If we stop telling ourselves that the world is so-and-so, the world will stop being so-and-so.” 5
The world which we experience is not only maintained by our internal flow of thoughts, it is moulded by these thoughts, and so it comes to reflect a character in keeping with these thoughts. For as the Tripura Rahasya states:
“The world becomes for one whatever one is accustomed to think of it.” 6
Once we can grasp the idea that the world that appears so vividly to our senses has no objective reality, but is actually a series of subjective images in consciousness that we have learned to project outwardly into space, then we are ready to recognise that our life is like a dream.
And just as different people have different dream experiences, so not everybody around us shares our concept of the world, or experiences the world in exactly the same way that we do. It follows that a society which describes the universe in different terms will experience that universe in different ways.
The aboriginal peoples of Australia have learned to describe their universe according to a description that anthropologists have called “dream time”. According to this description, natural phenomena can be charged as power objects, which can then be utilised to fulfill desires.
The gulf that exists between western man and the animal kingdom does not exist for the Australian or the North American aboriginal. They are able to communicate freely and easily with all creatures, as well as with the spirits of those who are classified, according to the western description of the universe, as “dead”.
These differing descriptions of the universe have been investigated by cultural anthropologists, who have characterised them as primitive variations of the western model of reality.
But the experience of these differing world descriptions remains closed to outsiders. They are worlds in which the westerner cannot share, as long as he or she clings to the western cast of mind, or description of the world.
In order to participate in these other worlds, the westerner must be prepared to submit to the mental reformation necessary to attain a new view of the universe, couched in new descriptive terms. The westerner must literally be born again.
When Carlos Castaneda began his apprenticeship to the Yaqui sorcerer don Juan, he was forced to relearn his description of the world. It proved to be an agonising process, as anyone who has undertaken such a precarious venture will tell.
As Castaneda became increasingly committed to his new description, he became of necessity more and more remote from the world he had left behind. The challenge that confronted him, and which therefore called for an accomplished guide, was to retain his sanity while he oscillated between these two contradictory versions of the world.
His personality, which had hitherto been built upon interactions with a universe couched in western terms, had to be torn apart and rebuilt in an entirely new pattern of relationships.
The more Castaneda succeeded in adopting his new description of the world, the more he was obliged to alienate himself from the old. Judged from the standpoint of the western milieu, therefore, he was perceived to be an increasingly shadowy and inexplicable figure.
The more unpredictable his behaviour became in western terms, the more uncomfortable his former associates became. Since his behaviour continued to be judged according to the western convention of thought, it was hardly surprising that various articles and books came to be published portraying Castaneda as a fraud, and his mentor don Juan Matus as an imaginary figment of his imagination.
But in his adventure into the world of Yaqui sorcery, Castaneda had done more than adopt a new description of the world. In his success, he served to undermine the comfortable assurance of the uniformity of the western mould of reality.
Among his more perceptive readers, the awesome doubt began to grow that the accepted western image of the universe might not be as fixed and as assured as they had previously imagined.
It was inevitable therefore, that Castaneda’s works would be subject to a barrage of criticism, and his veracity and integrity impugned. For it is the mark of the conviction with which every society clings to its own description of the world, that prompts it to reproach another.
Those who most strongly defend their own view of reality are quickest to attack the claims of another, and in the most strident of terms. They rest their defence upon their knowledge of the known.
But the knowledge on which they base their concept of the world is fundamentally flawed. What they claim to be the foundation of true knowledge, has been moulded by their belief. The knowledge which they claim to be true is itself delusory. As Sri Dattatreya explained to his pupil Bhargava:
“The greatest of all delusions is the conviction that knowledge is not a delusion.” 7
Throughout its process of growth in the world, the young child is encouraged by every means available to conform to the accepted outlook of the world. The primary force in this moulding process is “love”.
Drawn naturally to its parents by this primal bond, the infant strives to match its behaviour to the expectations of its parents, on whom it is totally dependent for the satisfaction of its needs.
Throughout its long apprenticeship towards the accepted viewpoint of its society, the child is continually motivated to conform. The alternative is isolation, a prospect that is terrifying to the vulnerable child.
Meaning, in all life, stems from association. The stronger the child’s association is with those around it, the greater the meaning and satisfaction which those relationships provide.
The child is thus not moulded by circumstance alone, for it chooses to comply with the consensus view because of the very real emotional benefits which this compliance brings.
But the child pays a heavy price for this affiliation, for, in adopting the view of reality imposed upon it by its society, it almost always irrevocably limits its freedom to experience life in other ways. Much of the spontaneity and joy of youthful expression is surrendered.
The child succeeds in winning full membership of the adult group, but in so doing it sells its birthright of creative freedom. As the English poet William Wordsworth wrote:
“Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy.
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
(Ode – Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.)
(Continued in Part Two)
1 George Stratton, “Vision without inversion of the retinal image“, Psychological Review, Vol IV, No.4, 1897, p. 344.
2 Henry Margenau and Lawrence LeShan, “Einstein’s Space and Van Goch’s Sky“, Macmillan, New York, 1982, p. 58.
3 “Tripura Rahasya“, translated by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1962, p. 100.
4 “I Am That“, Conversations with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, translated by Maurice Frydman, Book II, Chetana, Bombay, 1973, p. 276.
5 Carlos Castaneda, “A Separate Reality“, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1971, pp. 263-264.
6 “Tripura Rahasya“, op.cit., p. 88.
7 “Tripura Rahasya“, op. cit., p. 157.
The final instalment of the Blog posts entitled “Creatures of the Mind” ended with the following words:
“Our world is not the product of some supernatural creator. It is instead a magical kaleidoscope of form that is ever linked to the creative power of thought. And we who sojourn in this wondrous world of form, are actually the true makers of its magic“.
It is likely that most readers of this paragraph dismissed these words as a florid example of intellectual speculation that bore little relevance to the world of pots and pans, and the realities of cruelty, hardship and hunger that bedevil our planet at this critical time.
The idea that our physical world, consisting of things that can be seen, touched, smelled, tasted and heard; that appears to be the same to everyone, could be created by something as evanescent and variable as the mind, seems to defy all rational logic.
The tough-minded realist scorns such an idea. For him, or her, reality is self-evident. The reality of anything is determined by its impact on their senses.
Suppose, for example, I stand in front of a large tree. I can see the tree clearly in front of me. By touching the trunk, I can feel that it is solid. I can feel the particular texture of the bark and leaves. I can smell it and note its distinctive scent. If I take a leaf and chew it, I can taste its flavour, whether pleasant or otherwise.
If I break off a branch, I can hear it snap, and feel the force with which it resists my effort. But that isn’t all. I can also ask a friend to describe the tree to me. When they describe its height, colour, shape and so on, I find that we both agree on our descriptions.
From this I gain additional information about the tree. I know that it inhabits my friend’s world in the same way that it exists in mine. We both agree that the tree exists, and that it has character and substance.
This combination of sensory experience together with the evidence of those around me, confirms for me the reality of the tree, and that it exists in space as a real physical object, separate from myself.
I can also, if I wish, climb the tree. If I then decide to jump out of the tree, I will fall to the ground with a considerable impact. It is this impact that further confirms for me the reality of the tree, and the world of which it is a part.
My subjective experience, or rather the sensations which the tree inspires in me, serves to define the nature of the tree. It seems obvious to me that the tree exists quite independently of myself and that it is totally separate from me. There seems no link between me and the tree.
And that is the way I come to relate to everything around me. My world appears to exist as an assortment of physical objects located separately from me in space, while my life consists of my interactions with these objects in a separate dimension called time.
So when Western scientists began to examine the world around them, one of the first things they wanted to know was what this “real world” was made of. They little realised at that time that this would be a journey that would last over five hundred years, and would lead them from the solid ground of physics, to the ethereal world of mysticism and metaphysics.
When Galileo developed his telescope, he was convinced that the world he was investigating consisted of solid, physical matter that moved in empty space. The wonder of his telescope was that it permitted him to discover just how vast that macrocosm of space really was.
The scientists who succeeded Galileo continued to build their theories upon this foundation of solid matter. The entire edifice of scientific thought in the classical (or pre-twentieth century) era, was founded upon the unchallenged evidence of the senses.
With the coming of the atomic age, scientists began to unravel the secrets of those tiny particles of matter that had hitherto been too small to investigate experimentally. As the inner secrets of the atom came to be revealed, so the awesome doubt began to grow that the essential fundamentals upon which the whole of classical science had been built, might actually be false.
Galileo and his colleagues had believed that everything in nature could be investigated in an objective and neutral way, and that the experimental data derived by any single scientist could be replicated by any other scientist who was prepared to adopt the same scientific protocols.
The discoveries of Quantum Mechanics in the 20th century proved that this was not so. When reduced to its essential nature, all physical matter was found to be a manifestation of energy. However, this energy did not consist of separate, indivisible bits, which could subsequently be re-combined to form the whole of the phenomenal universe.
Instead, this energy was found to manifest in particular patterns, and these patterns showed an amazing capacity for transforming themselves into yet more patterns. Scientists found to their dismay that all physical matter was composed of particular patterns of energy that were constantly being created and destroyed. (The Embarrassing Menagerie)
Furthermore, it was found that these patterns of energy could not be investigated independently. In some strange but infuriating fashion they were found to be inextricably bound up with the nature of the observer.
The scientist could no longer view nature in an objective and impartial manner, as men like Galileo, Newton and Kelvin had imagined. In fact the result of any scientific experiment was seen to be crucially dependent upon the expectations of the person conducting the experiment.
Nothing could be observed in nature without that act of observation fundamentally altering the very nature of what was being observed. It became clear that it was impossible, even in theory, to examine nature “as it really was”. It could only be investigated in that form in which it appeared in consciousness.
In the new world of Quantum Physics, Nature could no longer be thought of as something that existed independently of consciousness, but was something that was moulded and shaped by consciousness itself. As the physicist Henry Margenau has succinctly explained:
“There is no purely objective way to perceive something, to perceive it as it is before consciousness shapes it into something we can perceive. What looks objective to us is what we construct and are accustomed to see.” 1
The witness was no longer the neutral observer of what was seen, but was now an active participant in the creation of what was observed. The impact of this discovery served to shatter forever the concept of the universe operating as a sort of Giant Machine.
The devastating blow which the discoveries of Quantum Mechanics dealt to the world of classical science, was that the idea of a separate, objective universe, independent of the observer, was seen to be illusory. The universe was no longer something that existed apart from the witness, but was something which resolved itself ultimately into consciousness itself.
All that could be said about the universe was that it existed, and that it did so in the form of various impressions in consciousness. The world of physics, the study of outward natural phenomena, had led to the world of metaphysics, the study of the mind.
Physicists had now begun to glimpse the world of matter as a manifestation of mind. This was a discovery which was to become increasingly in harmony with the experiences described by mystics.
To the mystics, consciousness was the basic source of all manifestation. Not only was matter a manifestation in consciousness, but it was actually shaped by the nature of that consciousness.
According to the mystics, the universe was not some aggregate of objects located independently in space, but was a series of images projected upon consciousness. In this bio-centric view of the universe, the testimony of the Sages served to restore the medieval belief in man as the centre of the universe, albeit on a more exalted level of thought.
The individual was no longer an inconsequential cog in the Giant Machine, but was in fact the actual creator and sustainer of the universe. The shape in which the universe manifested was moulded by his or her thoughts. And as these thoughts changed, so the experience of the observer and the nature of the universe changed as well.
In this new view of the universe, the search to understand the true nature of reality has taken a dramatic and unexpected turn. Attention has now become focused on ourselves. Since everything that is seen and experienced in the universe is a reflection within consciousness, there can be no objective “reality” in the universe itself.
Not only are these images of the universe not real, but they vary from individual to individual. What this means is that there is no single universe that is common to all minds, and which is experienced in the same way by every person. Different people experience the universe in different ways
Each of us conjures up in consciousness our own unique world in which to function. However, as we grow, we are taught, initially by our parents, and then by all the other people with whom we come in contact, to shape our world so that it is similar to that which is experienced by the people around us.
In this way, we learn through a process of cultural conditioning to create our own personal universe in terms which are common to those people who share our own particular culture. However, different cultures experience the world in different ways. So the world of an Australian aborigine or of an African bushman is strikingly different from our own.
But whatever sort of world we learn to create in consciousness, the “reality” with which these images appear to be endowed is not an intrinsic feature of the images themselves. Instead, they manifest a character which is derived from the inherent nature of the projecting consciousness.
Nothing that is witnessed is or can be real, for all images in consciousness are transitory and illusory. It makes no difference what level of consciousness is involved. After-life images have no greater reality than those of waking consciousness, hallucination or dream.
The truth is that the world that appears so outwardly real to our senses, is in fact a subjective creation of our own minds.
Because the universe that we have created for ourselves is a subjective projection in consciousness, rather than the outward manifestation of an external Creator, it follows that this universe of ours cannot be bound by restricting rules and laws.
The so called “laws of science” to which the universe appears to bow in homage, are simply the manifestations of our codified thinking. Our world expresses order and law because we have chosen to make it so. Our universe has come to be revealed to us in the manner that we have come to think of it.
If we should happen to change our way of thinking, our universe will reveal itself afresh, in ever new and wondrous ways. The limits of the universe are in fact the limits of our minds, for as we believe it to exist, so it comes to manifest. This is the message of the Sages.
In our daily lives we are free to express ourselves in unlimited ways. The thoughts that we generate in our minds are the seeds which germinate in the form of our experiences. We are free to tailor our experiences in life therefore, by deliberately choosing those thoughts which give birth to the creatures of our desires.
We truly are the creators of our lives, free to follow the longings of our heart-felt hopes. The major barrier which prevents us from achieving our desires is simply the belief that we are bound. But as we find recorded in the ancient Hindu text Tripura Rahasya:
“The strongest fetter is the certainty that one is bound. It is as false as the fearful hallucinations of a frightened child.” 2
In projecting a universe that is in accordance with the consensual views of our society, we inevitably come to impose upon ourselves the limitations which are inherent in our group beliefs. Our universe comes then to reflect these limitations in ways which curtail the free expression of our desires.
It is the nature of our beliefs, rather than of any inherent shortcomings in the universe, which then prevent us from experiencing our full potential. The universe in which we live reflects the current thinking of our times. It is not static, but changes as the underlying thoughts themselves change.
Every individual therefore, is not only bound by a comprehensive description of the world, but continually contributes to it as well. Any individual who, perhaps through intuitive inspiration, comes to view the world in a novel way, may ultimately come to influence the combined world view of an entire society.
Our western scientific description of the universe has in fact been moulded by such singular individuals as Galileo, Newton and Einstein. In experiencing the universe as they have taught us to describe it, we imagine that we have come to see the universe “as it really is”. All we have done in fact has been to change our thoughts. The universe, which mirrors these thoughts, has then modified itself accordingly.
When we seek to fulfill our desires, we do so within the framework of our accepted patterns of belief. Within the constraints imposed upon us by our world description, our desires become fulfilled in direct proportion to the energy with which they are invested.
When we recognise that the limits imposed upon us by our world are actually the reflections of our own beliefs, we then become capable of redefining our description of the world, and by so doing demolish our former limitations.
Since the universe is always a personal projection of our minds, we are always free to redefine the terms of our personal universe, whether or not this meets with the collective approval of our society. We may then be able to act in ways which seem impossible according to the world-view of the group.
Let us suppose for example that I have been injured in an automobile accident. My neck is broken and I find myself paralysed from the head down. It may be that the collective medical opinion which contributes to my description of the world, decides that nothing further can be done for me, and that I am doomed to remain a quadriplegic.
If this is the case then I have two options before me. I can either accept my handicap as bravely as I can, as an unfortunate “fact” of life, and learn to adapt my life to the severe limits which this handicap entails. However, I also have a second option which, although revolutionary, rests upon impeccable grounds, attested to by the Sages.
I can if I wish, and if I have the courage, simply alter my description of the world.
I can choose to create a new description of the world in which my injury is able to be healed, allowing me to walk again and to recover the complete use of my body. Of course my physician, schooled within the traditional description of the universe, will assure me that I am mad.
But my paralysis is not an irremediable “fact” of nature, but only becomes so when I believe this to be true myself. If I can replace my former belief with the new belief that it is possible to overcome my physical handicap, then I can certainly achieve the impossible and overcome my paralysis.
In order to do this I need three requirements. First of all I need an intense desire to be healed. Secondly I need the concentration of mind necessary to visualise this desire, the image of the body healed. Finally I need the faith, the inner conviction that it will be healed, and the commitment to continue holding to this new belief until my healing is complete.
I need to be careful however not to underestimate the challenge which lies before me. In order to succeed, I not only need to energise my new belief to the point where it reaches physical manifestation, but also to overcome my old belief which suggests that what I am attempting to do is impossible.
My efforts will also fly in the face of those around me who are still committed to the old belief, and who will attempt, no doubt out of “love” for me, to persuade me that what I am doing is hopeless and doomed to failure.
I have, however, one trump card in my favour. My ultimate success in redefining my world of thought may encourage them to do the same, and in so doing, may help them to break down their own barriers of unbelief.
We tend of course to be trapped into thinking that what is possible in life is limited by various “laws of science” or “laws of nature”, and that these laws impose irrevocable limits on our capabilities. Yet according to the mystics there are no such laws.
It is worth recalling the words of Jesus, who told his disciples that anyone who possessed the faith of a tiny mustard seed would be able to move mountains, and that “nothing shall be impossible to you”. (Matthew 17: 20)
Jesus didn’t qualify this statement by saying that nothing was impossible as long as it didn’t conflict with the laws of nature. In fact all of his miracles proved that it was possible to do things that modern science deems impossible, as long as one had the necessary faith.
What we consider to be “laws of nature” are merely those beliefs within which we have chosen to imprison ourselves. The truth is blindingly simple. The universe is a product of thought. The sole purpose of the universe is to mirror our thinking. It does not matter what these thoughts are.
As Maharaj has pointed out, “Space is neutral – one can fill it with what one likes.” 3 There is no limit to what we can achieve, as Maharaj has confirmed:
“The desirable is imagined and wanted and manifests itself as something tangible or conceivable. Thus is created the world in which we live, our personal world.” 4
In spite of the wonders which the prescriptive thoughts of science have wrought in our world, they remain a constricting web of belief which limits our freedom of expression. The “laws of science” do not pose ultimate limits on what we can or cannot achieve. They simply represent the codified thinking of the scientific community.
Our scientific beliefs are chains which deny us the fulfilment of that inherent potential which is our birthright. If we can bring ourselves to transcend the limits of our own beliefs, we can inherit a world of wonder that dwarfs our imagination. In fact, wonder is that vital ingredient in life that has been vanquished by the materialism of modern science.
The constricting mould which presently dominates scientific thinking is that our world is ultimately law-abiding and predictable. It is this basic predictability and conformity that has robbed us of something essential to the spontaneity of life.
The narrow confines of the scientific description of the universe have stripped life of much of its intrinsic majesty and worth, and have deprived us of that sense of mystery and delight which is so much a feature of the outlook of the child. As Carl Jung wrote in his memoirs:
“It is important to have a secret, a premonition of things unknown. It fills life with something impersonal, a numinosum. A man who has never experienced that has missed something important.
” He must sense that he lives in a world which in some respects is mysterious; that things happen and can be experienced which remain inexplicable; that not everything which happens can be anticipated. The unexpected and the incredible belong in this world. Only then is life whole.” 5
The universe is ever free and unfettered. It is a place of mystery and wonder. Events continually occur which are unplanned and unexplained. No theory of the universe can hope to circumscribe all its contents. The universe will always be too rich for any theory.
It is at heart an unfathomable and exhilarating place. In its free and untrammelled expression the universe constantly defies our understanding. In the words of the Yaqui sorcerer don Juan:
“The world is incomprehensible. We won’t ever understand it; we won’t ever unravel its secrets. Thus we must treat it as it is, a sheer mystery!” 6
To the mystic the world is at once mysterious and profound. In the ebb and flow of its expression it continues to defy analysis. Those of us who have adopted a scientific description of the world take comfort in the fact that science has helped to render our world reliable and predictable.
In so doing it has served effectively to banish the phantoms of our fears. We have become sufficiently emboldened by this success to believe that we can challenge the insight of the Sages. For as one visitor to Nisargadatta Maharaj remarked:
Visitor: “The sciences have made much progress. We know the body and the mind much better than our ancestors. Your traditional way of describing and analysing mind and matter is no longer valid.
Maharaj: But where are your scientists and their sciences? Are they not again images in your mind?
Visitor: Here lies the basic difference! To me they are not my projections. They were before I was born and shall be when I am dead.
Maharaj: Of course. Once you accept space and time as real, you will consider yourself minute and short lived. But are they real? Have you ever investigated?” 7
It is the investigation into the world of space and time that reveals the inexpressible wonder and power that lies at the root of all manifested life. In tracing the origin of matter to its source, the world is seen to be a creature of the mind, shaped by the swirling waters of thought.
Our fragile egos are built upon sequential experiences in a world which we have learned to shape in ways that are in consonance with others of our culture. When this consensual description comes to be threatened, we react with dread at the threat it poses to our very personalities.
Our personalities have been built upon a pyramid of fears, and ignorance of our real nature has served to enshrine these fears. It is only when we come to see that we ourselves have spun the web of circumstance which now imprisons us, that we may discover that our fears are groundless. They are impediments to joy. As Maharaj reveals:
“Once you realize that all comes from within, that the world in which you live has not been projected onto you, but by you, your fear comes to an end. It is only when you fully accept your responsibility for the little world in which you live and watch the progress of its creation, preservation and destruction, that you may be free from your imaginary bondage.” 8
It is through the investigation of our own internal being, shining within us as the “I Am” sensation, that the path to Ultimate Reality can be found.
This Reality, the sun of pure Awareness, is not a product of consciousness, nor can images in consciousness lead us to it. It transcends all images, and the only way to experience it is to transcend all images and all levels of consciousness.
Only those who are prepared to transcend the limited worlds of consciousness can come to know the unlimited expanse of the true, unblemished Reality.
The call of the mystic, the good news of the Sage, ever beckons us to the rediscovery of our ancestral home. The joy that lies in the welcome of that home-coming is beyond all telling. It is the measureless depth of eternal Awareness, freed from the boundaries of experience, exulting in its blissful nature.
It is the perception of this goal, and the quest for its attainment, that lends new meaning to our lives. Our steps are then marked with value, verve and grace. When, like the prodigal son of old, we return at last to our own true home, there is great rejoicing.
We who have for so long sought our comfort, wealth and pleasure in a myriad different things, and pursued them down the course of a myriad different lives, now rest at peace in the splendour of Our Father’s Mansion. The purpose of our lives is finally fulfilled.
The nature of this victory is captured in the words of the American naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau:
“I am from the beginning, knowing no end, no aim. No sun illumines me, for I dissolve all lesser lights in my own intenser and steadier light. I am a restful kernel in the magazine of the universe.” 9
1 Henry Margenau and Lawrence LeShan, “Einstein’s Space and Van Goch’s Sky“, Macmillan, New York, 1982, p. 189.
2 “Tripura Rahasya“, translated by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1962, pp. 153-154.
3 “I Am That“, Conversations with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, translated by Maurice Frydman, Book I, p. 100.
4 Ibid, Book I, p. 11.
5 Carl Jung, “Memories, Dreams, Reflections” recorded and edited by A.Jaffe, Pantheon Books, New York, 1961, p. 356.
6 Carlos Castaneda. “A Separate Reality“, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1971, p. 264.
7 “I Am That“, Book I, op. cit., p.287.
8 Ibid, Book II, p. 42.
9 Henry Thoreau, “Essays, Journals and Poems“, edited by Dean Flower, Fawcett, Greenwich, 1975, p. 598.
The idea that physical objects, and even enigmatic creatures like lake monsters and hairy anthropoids could be created by human thought seems to defy all rational analysis. However, the mystics of old insisted that this was actually possible, and they demonstrated the truth of their words by their actions.
Many instances of this are recorded in Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, in which he describes such extravaganzas as Babaji’s materialisation of an entire palace in the Himalayas.
He also quotes examples of such saints as Lahiri Mahasaya, Yukteswar Giri and Swami Pranabananda, who were able to materialise physical doubles of themselves in other places, even though their bodies remained in full view of their devotees.
Sathya Sai Baba
Other mystics, such as Ganda Baba, were able to materialise food and other delicacies. More recently, the South Indian saint Sathya Sai Baba was renowned for his ability to materialise at will such things as sweets, watches, jewellery and other trinkets.
As Yogananda explains, “The actual form of the projection (whatever it be: a tree, a medicine, a human body) is determined by the yogi’s wish and by his power of will and of visualization.” 1
Yogis are not only able to create projections of any form they desire, but they are also able to animate objects which are normally considered to be inert. Yogananda recalls occasions when the great sage of Dakshineswar, Sri Ramakrishna, would converse with a stone idol, which was observed to come to life and communicate with him. 2
In a similar fashion, St Theresa talked to a statue of the Madonna, which came to life through the power of her devotion. Commenting on this ability, Ramana Maharshi remarked: “The animated figure indicates depth of meditation. There is a process of concentration of mind on one’s own shadow which in due course becomes animated and answers questions put to it. That is due to strength of mind or depth of meditation.” 3
While Westerners seldom create thought forms consciously, largely because they have never taken the trouble to develop their minds in this way, they often create doppelgangers unconsciously, in times of great emotional trauma.
As we have seen, the emotions are able to provide a powerful animating force for any particular form of thought. This is particularly so at times of violent death.
Activated by a momentary burst of intense emotion, a phantom is created which reflects the nature of its creator. The doppelganger which is then formed is what we commonly call a ghost. This phantom image varies in clarity according to the strength of energy that created it.
This image tends to become associated with the physical environs at the scene of death, leading to what we normally think of as “haunting”. The ghost is merely a shell of thought. It is not a source of being, but a reflection of that source.
Yet it takes on the character of that person, and acts in a manner that is appropriate to that person. If the phantom is sufficiently energised, it may even talk to others, in a voice which is identical to that of the deceased person.
An Eastern Airlines Tristar
When a Lockheed Tristar operated by Eastern Airlines crashed tragically in the Florida Everglades on December 29,1972, the captain Bob Loft and Second Officer Don Repo were among those who died of injuries sustained in the crash.
Shortly after this event, rumours began to circulate that the ghosts of these two men were being seen aboard other Eastern aircraft. It was the persistence of these rumours which attracted the interest of John Fuller, and led to an investigation which culminated in the publication of his popular book The Ghost of Flight 401.
With the aid of other airline personnel, Fuller was able to record many of the accounts of these witnesses.
On one particular flight from New York to Miami, an Eastern Airlines Flight Attendant pulled back the compartment door to an overhead bin during a pre-flight check of the first class cabin, and found herself looking directly into the face of Captain Loft, a man she had known and flown with on numerous occasions in the past.
Bob Loft was seen again in the first class cabin by a Flight Captain and two Flight Attendants during a pre-flight check at Kennedy Airport in New York. These three people saw and talked to Loft, who suddenly disappeared from their sight.
During a Miami turnaround on a flight to New York, a Vice-President of Eastern Airlines boarded the plane, a Lockheed Tristar, prior to embarkation by the regular passengers. As he entered the first class cabin, he saw that it was empty except for a man occupying one of the seats, who was dressed in the uniform of an Eastern Airlines Captain.
The Vice-President stopped to speak to the man, and recognised him as Captain Loft, who then disappeared in front of his eyes. An immediate search of the plane revealed no sign of any other person.
When a crew of Marriott Caterers were placing food-trays aboard another Tristar of the Eastern Fleet, several of them confessed that they had seen the figure of a Flight Engineer standing in the galley. As they looked at the man he simply disappeared.
On another occasion, an Eastern Airlines Flight Engineer who was performing his usual pre-flight inspection aboard a Tristar, was surprised to see a man dressed in the uniform of a Second Officer sitting in his seat at the instrument panel. The Engineer immediately recognised him as Don Repo. Repo turned to him and told him not to bother with the pre-inspection as he had already done it. With that, the three-dimensional image of Repo abruptly vanished. 4
The apparitions that were witnessed in these cases looked completely real and, on occasions, even spoke to the witnesses before disappearing from their sight. These phantoms behaved in characteristic fashion, and looked, acted and spoke exactly as the real persons would have done had they still been alive.
These phantoms were, however, tulpas of their makers, who did not survive the crash. They were created out of the emotional psychic force which accompanied the trauma of the crash. Similar phantoms have been created by numerous other victims of violent death.
Again, these images often appear to be perfectly real to those who see them. If the creative force which generates them is strong enough, phantoms may even appear to have animate existence, talking to others and acting in life-like ways.
Although some tulpas or phantoms may appear to be fully-fledged three-dimensional beings, interacting with their environment exactly as real persons would have done, it is more common for them to be less substantial.
Ghosts are frequently described as transparent wraiths, apparent in outline, yet lacking the solid features of three-dimensional form. In these cases the energy which generated them was significantly less.
In other cases phantoms may appear outwardly real at the time they are seen, only to be revealed later as incorporeal because they failed to leave physical evidence such as footprints. We have already noted the incident of the bigfoot that left no footprints even though the ground was soft and muddy.
Snow Hiking in Colorado
Another example of phantom beings occurred in the Hall valley region of Colorado in the western United States. Earl Mortimeyer, Dale Howes and Dave Dallas had arranged to hike into this remote region of the Rocky Mountains, in order to stake out a uranium claim.
Although it was late in May, deep snowdrifts still filled the valley. As the three men made their way to their prospective claim site, they often had to plunge deep into the moist snow, leaving their trousers soaking wet up to the knees.
After having reached the site at the top of a steep incline and taken the necessary rock samples, the three were preparing to leave when they spotted two men accompanied by two women coming towards them. What seemed particularly surprising was the fact that the newcomers looked like two prosperous suburban couples out for a Sunday stroll.
Except for their footwear, none of them were dressed in outfits suitable for mountain climbing, but instead wore light summer garments. One of the couples seemed to be in their mid-thirties, while the other looked to be well past sixty. The men found it astonishing that two such elderly people should be trekking in such arduous country.
The two groups exchanged pleasantries, but the men were somewhat bemused by the strange answers they received from the two couples. When asked where they had left their car, one couple indicated that they had left it at the highway, while the other said that it had been left at the campground. What was odd was that these two places were five miles apart.
When asked whether they had come up on the road past the campground, one of the four responded that they had passed the “two-wheeled vehicles”. When Dale Howes asked him if he was referring to the motorcycles he had seen parked down below, the man looked puzzled, and then repeated “the two-wheeled vehicles”.
After a short conversation this man announced, “Well, a storm’s coming, so I guess we’ll go on up the ridge and across the mountain to Montezuma“. The three men were astounded. Montezuma lay more than five miles away across some of the most forbidding country in the Rockies, and necessitated a crossing of Red Cone mountain at an altitude of 12800 feet (3900 metres).
The two couples then took off up the ridge while the three men set off on their return journey. Having gone several hundred yards downhill, they looked back to see how the two couples were faring. To their amazement the four had covered almost twice the distance.
They continued to watch as the distant figures surged up the steep mountain slope until they were lost to sight. The three men carried on through the deep snow until they reached the log where they had stopped earlier for lunch.
It was at this point that Dave Dallas said very quietly. “Their legs weren’t wet!” There was one other feature which none of them could explain. The four strangers had not left any tracks in the snow. 5
Every thought that we think appears as a real manifestation upon a particular plane of consciousness. As Thomas Bearden puts it, thoughts are “real, physical objects in their own world domain.”
In this subtle world frame domain they are initially indiscernible. Yet if they are sufficiently energised, these thoughts come to manifest themselves upon that level of consciousness that we call our waking world of reality. When they do so, they arrive complete with their own milieu and validity.
Joseph Chilton Pearce
Joseph Pearce calls this arrival the Eureka! insight. When our thoughts suddenly appear in form before us, we are startled by the shock of recognition. “Why, of course”, we say, “that is the way things really are. That is the way things always were, but we just never realized it before“.
We imagine in this discovery that we have gained a new and deeper understanding of the universe, as it really is. What the universe has actually done, however, has been to reflect our own thoughts back to us in form. It has moulded itself according to our belief.
Thoughts take shape according to the underlying landscape of belief, and bring to each generation a reflection of its own psychology. We are the sole architects of our universe, for, as Pearce remarks, “We are the determinant, the prism that shapes inner and outer into a meaningful pattern that is the only reality we shall ever know.” 6
The more a thought form or tulpa is reinforced through repetition, the easier it becomes for that form to manifest on the physical plane, and the more likely it is to reappear.
As Bearden explains, “As interest in sasquatch/bigfoot grows and the effort to discover him intensifies, the kindling of the tulpoidal form intensifies. With this intensity of kindling it is getting easier to evoke a bigfoot type tulpoid, and as it continues, sasquatch is going to be tuned in and stabilised.
“If so the past will just be changed, and we will be able to dig up ancient bones of sasquatch, and find his lairs, and track him down with dogs and capture him. In that case sasquatch will become a respectable animal and will stabilize in our reality.” 7
If what Bearden has suggested should actually occur, and bigfoot come to take its place among the accepted species in our menagerie of life, we will have remade our own reality in accordance with our beliefs. Bigfoot will then be revealed to us as a new Eureka! experience.
Anthropologists will confirm its place in the hierarchy of species, pointing to its role in the developing saga of human speciation. This new creature will be catalogued according to its diet and behavioural characteristics, which will no doubt show a remarkable fidelity with other ape-like forms known to science.
We will wonder why we never discovered its existence earlier, since the evidence will now be obvious for all to see. Scientists trained within the “normal” paradigm of science will then point to those very anecdotal reports which are rejected by scientists today, as evidence that bigfoot always was with us.
Yet they will inevitably miss the subtle way in which our “reality” will have come to rearrange itself. For as Pearce points out, “The normality into which it will be translated will be a reality that has itself been translated, or transformed into terms compatible with the new desire.
“The ‘ecological’ satisfactions demanded by the new idea and its radiating contingencies will somehow be met. The vast network of our reality will make adjustments for inclusion of the new concept. The infinite process of change will have its logical, normal, and reasonable working out. The action of psyche and physis will have gone full circle.” 8
The universe represents a continuing manifestation of our thoughts, hopes and dreams. It constantly renews itself according to whatever paradigm of ideas currently holds sway. The universe is not a fixed array of objects grinding their way remorselessly to extinction.
It is instead an unbelievably coherent yet complex reflection upon the screen of consciousness of whatever thoughts and desires we hold dear. Because we have become indoctrinated by the sophistication of the current scientific paradigm, we tend to laugh today at the legends of past centuries, and ridicule beliefs that characterised past generations.
When we read tales of vampires, fairies and werewolves, we consider them to be the superstitious folly of unreasoning folk, the stuff of human fantasy. Yet at a time when vast numbers of people believed implicitly in the reality of werewolves and vampires, tulpoidal phantoms which bore out these beliefs would have been as certain to appear as those tulpoidal creatures which appear to us today.
The vampires which are linked in legend to Transylvania and other parts of eastern Europe undoubtedly existed. To those people who were unfortunate enough to encounter them, they must have appeared as real and as terrifying as bigfoot encounters are today.
Furthermore, as each new grisly occurrence was reported, it would have helped to stimulate belief, which would in turn have added yet more kindling to these tulpas. The only reason why they are not rampant to this day is because our underlying patterns of belief have changed.
In our modern world, it is our own lack of belief in their existence that has robbed them of their power. Yet they could re-emerge again at any time if the weathervane of belief should happen to swing again in their direction. As it was with vampires and werewolves, so it is with fairies.
Image of Faerie Deva
As Thomas Bearden remarks, “When enough human unconsciousnesses have the idea of fairies deeply ingrained in them, occasionally a real, living, breathing fairy pops out of the collective unconscious.” 9
Fairies may no longer be as common as they once were, due to the overall decline in belief, but occasionally a real, living fairy still does pop out into our reality.
In 1960, when Dale Martin was a young child, she was living in Picton, near Kingston, Ontario. One summer evening around half-past seven, Dale was in bed but was unable to sleep. At that hour the sun was still in the sky and dusk had not yet fallen. As she lay in bed, Dale was astonished to see a tiny creature fly in through the open window. She looked at it in amazement.
“My eyes widened at the shock of seeing this beautiful, fairy-like creature. It was almost translucent. I’d say it was about two to three inches high. It floated around my bed and landed on the dresser beside me. I couldn’t believe it and reached out to try and touch it.
“As I put my hand out it landed on my hand – effortlessly. I sat up in bed looking at it with awe. It was just beautiful. I was smiling at it and it looked at me. I wanted to touch it and stroke its wings, but it flew off in a semicircle out of the window. I’ll never forget it!” 10
Our universe of “reality” is far richer than we have hitherto imagined. Not only does it encompass creatures which conform to our conditioned view of nature, but it also contains an astonishing array of anomalous manifestations which appear to defy our accepted understanding of reality.
While these anomalies are difficult to explain according to the classical viewpoint of reality, they derive validation and meaning in terms of the tulpoidal thesis of form. For these unusual creatures, whether they are lake monsters, bigfoot, fairies, angelic or demonic beings, are not real creatures as we have come to know them.
Instead, they are creatures of the mind.
These tulpoidal creations are visitors from more subtle realms of consciousness. Tulpas, being drawn from the collective unconscious of humanity, are free to draw upon anything that exists within this collective bank of images.
Just like dream creatures, which are similar emanations from a subconscious source, tulpas are free to manifest in unlimited ways, without being restricted to accepted laws of physics or to the normal standards of behaviour.
Yet the hairy anthropoids that lurk in lonely forests, or the aquatic creatures that loom unexpectedly out of solitary tarns, are not simply visitors that tantalise us with their fleeting and enigmatic form. Their very appearance is fraught with meaning.
Though disguised in mystery, they nevertheless beckon us towards a deeper understanding of nature and of ourselves. For behind these strange manifestations of mind lies a vital clue to the real meaning of the universe.
Our world is not the product of some supernatural creator. It is instead a magical kaleidoscope of form that is ever linked to the creative power of thought. And we who sojourn in this wondrous world of form, are actually the true makers of its magic.
1 Paramahansa Yogananda, “Autobiography of a Yogi“, Self Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, 1977, p. 316.
2 Ibid, p. 241.
3 “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi“, op, cit., p. 362.
4 John Fuller, “The Ghost of Flight 401“, Berkley, New York, 1978, pp. 150-152.
5 Earl Mortimeyer, “Four Solid Hiking Ghosts“, Fate magazine, October 1977, pp. 80-84.
6 Joseph Pearce, “The Crack in the Cosmic Egg“, Pocket Books, New York, 1973, p. 102.
7 Thomas Bearden, “Excalibur Briefing“, Strawberry Press, San Francisco, 1980, p. 71.
8 Joseph Pearce, op.cit., p. 103.
9 Thomas Bearden, op.cit., p. 189.
10 Dale Martin, personal communication.
Thomas Bearden believes that manifestations of bigfoot and other crypto-zoological phenomena are, in fact, materialisations within our physical world of thoughts which reside within the collective unconscious of humanity.
These thoughts are able to materialise themselves temporarily into physical form whenever they are sufficiently energised – a process Bearden calls “kindling”. “We will discover”, he writes, “that thoughts and thought objects are real, physical objects in their own world frame domain.
“As such, thoughts or thought objects, or thought constructs can be and are functional devices within the thought world domain. In that domain they are as physical as a rock. We will also discover that thought energy can be turned into electromagnetic energy by kindling, and can even be materialized if kindling is of sufficient intensity.” 1
According to this concept of reality, all physical matter has its origin in subtle dimensions of consciousness. For anything to appear in the physical realm, it must first be preceded by its subtle equivalent in the non-physical realm. This subtle counterpart of matter always antedates the appearance of form in the physical world.
Within this frame of reference, thoughts manifest initially on subtle planes of consciousness. If these thoughts are sufficiently energised, or kindled, these non-physical creations of mind subsequently manifest on the physical plane of existence which we call the “real” world.
However, these forms are not necessarily permanent creations. At first, they merely pop into the physical realm, stay awhile, and then slip back into the more subtle planes of experience. It is only when kindling grows to a particular level of intensity that these thought creations come to stabilize themselves, and appear then to be genuine physical creatures.
As John Keel points out, while they are in their physical mode of manifestation, these thought forms are “temporary transmogrifications”. For as long as they appear in the physical realm, these temporary transmogrifications are indistinguishable from “real” creatures.
In their appearance and disappearances, they appear to the observer to materialise suddenly out of empty space, and then to dematerialise again just as swiftly and mysteriously into nothing. This symmetrical feature of manifestation between non-physical images and their physical counterparts appears to be finding increasing favour in the world of science.
One of its proponents is the Stanford University professor William Tiller. Tiller regards the universe as a conjugate system consisting of both positive and negative space-time frames. In the course of manifestation, Tiller argues that creation takes place initially in negative space-time, a realm which cannot be discerned by the senses, and which therefore appears invisible and undetectable.
With increasing energy, however, the negative space-time construct appears in positive space-time, where it takes on the form of a “real” physical object. From the viewpoint of the physical world, this construct appears to be a sudden materialisation into physical reality.
For as long as it continues to manifest in positive space-time, this thought construct is accepted as a genuine “fact” of nature. When it returns to the negative space-time frame, it appears to vanish instantaneously.
From the viewpoint of the physical world, matter appears to have been created suddenly out of nothing. Yet as Tiller points out, matter is neither created nor destroyed, it merely alters its level of manifestation.
“We see further that dematerialization and materialization phenomena are accounted for and note that matter does not actually disappear from space but it changes its character to become a non-observable relative to the physical sensory system and all apparatus based on that logic. It only appears to be dematerialized, the object only appears to change its form.” 2
The creative force for all manifested form, whether in the negative or positive space-time frame, is thought, and all physical forms are ultimately thought clothed in energy.
As Bearden goes on to describe, these thoughts, which reside within the collective unconscious of humanity, occasionally conspire to produce three-dimensional forms which appear, for as long as they manifest in positive space-time, to be real physical creatures.
These creatures may take on any shape or form, and may appear to be either evil or benevolent. As he remarks:
“Angels, imps, Virgin Mary’s, UFO’s, sasquatches, Loch Ness monsters, lake monsters, sea monsters, mystery lights, fairies, elves, devas, devils, ogres, Mothman, men in black, goblins, large monster birds, etc., are all kindled by the same process.
“Any tulpoidal materialization may be physically real during its stable period. It may make large tracks in the ground, operate ship-like space vehicles, break tree branches, take human specimens on board, examine human specimens, etc.
“The tulpoid may appear benevolent or harmful, and it may actually be so in the stably materialized mode. The full content of the human consciousness is there to be materialized in physical form – all the good, all the bad, all the noble, all the sly aspects.” 3
In making reference to tulpoids, Bearden has drawn upon a system of belief which has existed in Tibet for centuries, and from whose culture the word tulpa is derived.
Alexandra David-Neel photographed in Tibet
Alexandra David-Neel, who spent fourteen years living in Tibet absorbing its culture and religion, was given a document by the then Dalai Lama, whom she met in 1912, which described the nature of the tulpa. She quoted from this document in her book Magic and Mystery in Tibet.
“A Bodhisattva (Being of high spiritual attainment) is the basis of countless magic forms. By the power generated in a state of perfect concentration of mind he may, at one and the same time show a phantom (tulpa) of himself in thousands millions of worlds.
“He may create not only human forms, but any forms he chooses, even those of inanimate objects such as hills, enclosures, houses, forests, roads, bridges, etc. He may produce atmospheric phenomena as well as thirst quenching beverages of immortality. In fact, there is no limit to his power of phantom creation.” 4
David-Neel goes on to add, “The power of producing magic formations, tulkus or less lasting and materialized tulpas, does not, however, belong exclusively to such mystic, exalted beings.
“Any human, divine or demoniac being may be possessed of it. The only difference comes from the degree of power, and this depends on their strength of the concentration and the quality of the mind itself.” 5
The creation of tulpas, or the materialisation in the physical realm of phantom forms, constitutes a unique feature of Tibetan, or Tantric, Buddhism. It serves to reveal their deep insight into the illusory nature of the phenomenal universe.
In order to convey this insight to the neophyte, the Tibetan pupil is isolated in a tiny cell and ordered to devote his or her entire energy to meditation. The object chosen for this meditation is the Yidam, or tutelary deity. Examples of Yidams can be seen adorning the walls of Tibetan monasteries. They can be either fearsome deities or angelic gods.
A Typical Tibetan Kyilkhor or Magic Diagram
At first the novice is taught to concentrate his or her thoughts upon the particular Yidam selected, imagining it in the shape and form illustrated on the temple walls. Together with this, the disciple is required to repeat certain mystical formulae, and to construct particular kyilkhors or magic diagrams.
These rituals are structured pathways of thought which have traditionally been followed throughout the centuries, and they assist the pupil in the attainment of the goal. After many months of this solitary practice, there comes a day when the student succeeds in obtaining a glimpse of the chosen Yidam.
At first it is nebulous and fleeting. As encouraging as this is, the disciple is ordered to continue his or her efforts until the image attains complete clarity of form. Even when this achievement is reached, the pupil is entreated to proceed further, to the point where the Yidam actually becomes animated. David-Neel describes this stage of ultimate success.
“The successful disciples see the Yidam taking on life. They distinctly feel the touch of his feet when, prostrated, they lay their head on them. They feel the weight of his hands when he blesses them. They see his eyes moving, his lips parting, he speaks and lo! he steps out of the kyilkhor and walks in the tsamskhang (isolated cell).” 6
This prolonged exercise in concentration is not mere mental diversion. The sublime purpose of animating a thought form is to teach the disciple that the chosen image, which has finally reached complete physical reality, is nothing more than a creation of the disciple’s own mind.
This leads finally to the realisation that all the forms of the physical universe are similar constructs of the mind. As David-Neel explains:
“However it is not to amuse the hermits that these exercises have been invented. Their true aim is to lead the disciple to understand that the worlds and all the phenomena which we perceive are but images born from our imagination. They emanate from the mind and into the mind they sink. In fact this is the fundamental teaching of Tibetan mystics.” 7
It is also the central teaching of all other mystics, of whatever outward culture or religious affiliation. Men and women of high spiritual degree, as well as those who have learned to focus the power of their minds, possess the ability to create the physical counterpart of any mental form they wish.
But whereas the student may take years to animate these forms and manifest them on the level of physical reality, for the master this process is immediate. Although these forms are in fact phantoms, there is nothing unreal about their manifestation.
They appear as solid and material as any other object. Furthermore, each phantom form exhibits a character and behaviour that is appropriate to that form. David-Neel comments:
“These phantoms do not always appear as impalpable mirages, they are tangible and endowed with all the faculties and qualities naturally pertaining to the beings or things of which they have the appearance.
“For instance, a phantom horse trots and neighs. The phantom rider who rides it can get off his beast, speak with a traveller on the road and behave in every way like a real person. A phantom house will shelter real travellers, and so on.” 8
Alexandra David-Neel was not just content to take these teachings at face value. Being a pragmatic student, she was determined to try out these ritualistic procedures for herself, to see if she too could conjure up one of these phantoms of the mind.
She therefore withdrew into a cell for an extended period, in order to achieve the necessary concentration of thought. She chose for her experiment what she described as “a most insignificant character: a monk, short and fat, of an innocent and jolly type“.
After several months of intense effort, she reported that the apparition of this monk began to manifest in her cell. The monk gradually assumed a life-like character, and became a kind of guest, living in her apartment.
Later, when she broke seclusion, and undertook a tour on horseback, she found to her surprise that the monk included himself in her party.
“The phantom performed various actions of the kind that are natural to travellers and that I had not commanded. For instance, he walked, stopped, looked around him. The illusion was mostly visual, but sometimes I felt as if a robe was lightly rubbing against me and once a hand seemed to touch my shoulder.” 9
It was at this point that what had started out as an innocent experiment in mind control, assumed a more sinister aspect. David-Neel found that the character of the monk began to change.
It no longer manifested in its “jolly” aspect, but began to grow leaner, and its face assumed a sly, malignant look. Alarmed by this disturbing transformation, she decided it was time to dissolve the phantom completely, lest it escape her control.
However, this task proved to be more difficult than she had imagined. She found to her consternation that, once a mental creation has stabilized in our world of “normal” reality, this creature clings to life with all the zeal of a “real” person.
“I succeeded, but only after six months of hard struggle. My mind-creature was tenacious of life”. 10
The crucial element of the tulpoidal thesis is that physical matter can be created by the direct agency of human thought. Unfortunately, we tend instinctively to reject this idea because it runs counter to our customary ideas of reality.
Yet this outrageous thesis rests upon impeccable grounds, supported by the Sages of every generation. The revelation of the mystics is that everything that we experience as the “real” world is actually a projection in energy of those thoughts present in the collective mind.
Not only is this “real” world a product of thought, but as our thoughts change, so our personal universe comes to change as well. This is what the Buddha referred to when he said:
“What we are today comes from the thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts create our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.” 11
This same message has been conveyed by the modern Sage Sri Ramana Maharshi:
“The thoughts are the content of the mind and they shape the universe.” 12
His words echo the teachings of the ancient Rishis who wrote:
“The world becomes for whatever one is accustomed to think of it.” 13
These statements are the natural consequence of the unification of matter and mind. For, as Nisargadatta Maharaj has explained:
“Matter and mind are not separate, they are aspects of one energy. Neither comes first, for neither appears alone. Matter is the shape, mind is the name. Together they make the world.” 14
(Continued in Part Five)
1 Thomas Bearden, “Excalibur Briefing“, Strawberry Press, San Francisco, 1980, p. 144.
2 William Tiller, “The Positive and Negative Space/Time Frames as Conjugate Systems“, in “Future Science“, edited by John White and Stanley Krippner, Anchor Books, New York, 1977, p. 262.
3 Thomas Bearden, op.cit., pp. 188-189.
4 Alexandra David-Neel, “Magic and Mystery in Tibet“, Penguin, New York, 1971, pp. 120-21.
5 Ibid, p. 121.
6 Ibid, p. 285.
7 Ibid, p. 267.
8 Ibid, p. 298.
9 Ibid, pp. 314-315.
10 Ibid. p. 315.
11 “The Dhammapada“, Translated by Juan Mascaro, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1973, p. 35.
12 “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi“, Recorded by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1968, p. 93.
13 “Tripura Rahasya“, Translated by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1962, p. 88.
14 “I Am That“, Conversations with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Translated by Maurice Frydman, Book II, Chetana, Bombay, 1973, p. 164.