Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bedtime Monsters

Bedtime - Two Approaches

1 -- It's time to go asleep and a child calls out from his bed - he's fearful after watching so much wild and violently imaginative TV programming - he's fearful about the monsters he assumes will appear under his bed once the lights go out. The parent tells him all he has to do is say a certain prayer and ask Saint RescueMe for help and this will keep the monsters away. The lights go out and the fear in the child peaks. In terrified desperation he mumbles the prayer exactly as he was taught and pleads for Saint RescueMe to intercede for him. The trauma-based conditioning has its payoff -- the monsters don't come. 

In the morning the parent asks the child about the night before. "You see, it works!" exclaims the parent. "As long as you believe in Saint RescueMe and say the prayer exactly as I told you, no monsters can ever get you." 

The parent has just reinforced in the child how real the monsters are. Having made that fear very real, now the child can be easily controlled by the threat of monsters, even into adulthood. With each stage of life, the same scenario is updated to invoke the same response. Natural urges are attributed to the monsters -- and only by doing penance to Saint RescueMe to make up for one's base and despicable nature can one avoid living forever with the monsters after one dies. This fear must never be interrupted or the control will stop. Even if the grown-up child starts to doubt the existence of monsters, he must be told that such thoughts are the ultimate trick of the monsters! 

2 -- It's time to go asleep and a child calls out from his bed - he's fearful after watching so much wild and violently imaginative TV programming - he's fearful about the monsters he assumes will appear under his bed once the lights go out. The parent tells him there are no monsters under the bed but we all can imagine all sorts of things because we are so creative, which is a good thing, but sometimes after watching wild and violent TV programs we can get our imaginations spinning in ways where we frighten ourselves, like wearing a Halloween mask and looking at ourselves in a mirror.  But always remember our imaginations can create anything -- it can just as easily create fairies and angels and funny dancing candy flowers too. The parent turns out the lights and lays down next to the child and together they explore all the fun and funny things the child's imagination can come up with to be in the room with them. The child has fun with exploring this expanding power of creative manifestation. For a while there's a flurry of zany and amusing ideas before the child eventually drifts off to sleep. 

In the morning the parent asks the child about the night before. "You see, it works!" exclaims the parent. "It's up to you to take into your dreams any playful, funny, silly thing you want! You always have that magic and always will!" 

The parent has just reinforced in the child how real his creative power is, how possible and important it is to take control of his own will and destiny, to seize his ability to direct energies towards what serves him always. The child has experienced an example of his magnificent and wondrous nature. As he repeatedly receives this message to be motivated out of positive possibilities and self-actualized interest instead of fear, the child expands into adulthood confident in his potential - plus he gets a better night's sleep.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Kirlian photography has been around since 1939 when Semyon Kirlian accidentally discovered the photographic effect. Since then the subject has had its proponents and naysayers along a wide spectrum of belief, conjecture, and outright dismissal. Many scientists don't deny the effect but they are quick to explain away any paranormal implications. They often point to the fact that many factors influence the quality and intensity of the visuals produced. 

As the Wikipedia entry on the topic readily concludes -- "The coronal discharges identified as Kirlian auras are the result of stochastic electric ionization processes and are greatly affected by many factors, including the voltage and frequency of the stimulus, the pressure with which a person or object touches the imaging surface, the local humidity around the object being imaged, how well grounded the person or object is, and other local factors affecting the conductivity of the person or object being imaged. Oils, sweat, bacteria, and other ionizing contaminants found on living tissues can also affect the resulting images."

Wherever one stands on the issue, if nothing else, the Kirlian effect is a curiosity that's interesting if not thought-provoking. Analyzing patterns in the many substances tested can lead to deductive models that point to other questions, leading to more research. It can be a fun exercise to see where, if anywhere, the pursuit of inquiry takes one. I always thought that was the heart and soul of the scientific method. So what's the harm looking into the effect? It might lead somewhere, it might not. But to dismiss it out of hand in a reactionary way because some zealots jump to paranormal conclusions seems emotional, not logical (as Mr. Spock would say).

For example, here's a series of kirlian photos -- a woman's fingertip, a man's fingertip, a couple of dimes, and a leaf. Right away we can conclude that all matter exhibits the effect, not just things we've classified as "living." It may be all of matter is "living" in some regard and our way of cataloging such things is limited and inadequate. Or it may be that all of matter is actually, as the quantum folks would agree, just a form of matter. E=mc2 proved that, didn't it? Or was it the atomic bomb that demonstrated it so well? Since all of matter is energy, why shouldn't everything exhibit the kirlian effect?

Since everything has a kirlian energy signature, then the real interest shifts into how these signatures differ. Are there patterns? How do these patterns morph under different effects? Can emotions effect the patterns? Can contact with other people or objects affect the patterns? Can one's thoughts modify the patterns? What are the catalysts for change, amplification, and attenuation? So many routes of scientific inquiry have been explored.

A Kirlian Photography, female 1989
A Kirlian Photography, female fingertip 1989

A Kirlian Photography, male 1989
A Kirlian Photography, male fingertip 1989

Kirlian coins
Kirlian coins

Kirlian Photograph of a Coleus Leaf 1980
Kirlian photo of a Coleus leaf

Doing science on such things can be great if the scientists remain open to their own method. It's terrific when separate studies overlap and add to each other, filling in puzzle pieces in our understanding. Modern science, over-classified and segmented into discrete disciplines and sub-specialties, often times is hampered in achieving this synthesis. Add to this the fact that each discipline produces so much data, a scientist nowadays would be hard pressed to keep up with the latest going on in their own sub-specialty, let alone study others and work on ways to combine them. The internet has helped with this, but one can't help but feel so many opportunities to put things together are missed by the sheer volume of information pouring out. Maybe someday an AI computer will help pull it all together but right now, science is racing to keep up with itself.

Since the scientists point to moisture and humidity as one of the factors that can interfere with kirlian results, it's interesting to note the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto and his bestselling research work, "The Hidden Messages in Water."  What does it say when we combine Dr. Emoto's research with findings by the Kirlian photographers? Maybe nothing. Maybe something. If nothing else, Emoto's findings add another wrinkle to proper interpretation of the kirlian effect.

In light of Dr. Emoto's work, I find it interesting that 99% of our spinal column's CSF is water, a fluid that circulates up and down the spine and bathes the pineal gland. What effect do our thoughts and emotions have on this fluid? For that matter, what effect are we having on all the cells of our bodies since they're all 70% water. There's much to read online about the CSF process from spine to brain and back, such as the following from the Science and Non Duality site:

"The third ventricle is a space in the mid-brain filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)...The CSF is a conveyor of energy. An adult produces 500ml of CSF daily. While the CSF is 99% water, the CSF is also rich in proteins, ions, lipids, hormones, cholesterol, glucose, and many other molecules. The CSF is home to many neurotransmitters and signaling molecules providing an elaborate range of biological functions. The CSF utilizes volume transmission and its components can potentially be dispersed quickly and target key brain regulatory centers simultaneously due to its fluid nature. Moreover, along the third ventricle, the pineal gland makes direct contact with the CSF, and releases information directly into the CSF for volume transmission to the rest of the brain. In addition, the CSF contains the ‘spirit molecule’ DMT that is released by the pineal gland."

Regardless what all the opinions are about all of this, I still found a 2012 study in Brazil quite intriguing - especially since I've participated in quite a few Ayahuasca ceremonies. The Brazil study by Krishna Madappa included Electro Photon Imaging of an Ayahuasca Ceremony. The kirlian-type devices clearly showed that energy centers along the spine of the participants (some call them chakras) were aligned after ingesting the plant medicine. 

Beyond that, a single drop of the Ayahuasca brew was analyzed by the photographic machines. The energetic signature of that single drop was recorded. For what it's worth, in this one experimental situation, a drop of Ayahuasca displayed its energy pattern. Yes, as Wikipedia would so readily point out, many factors were in play. But the signature is still there, for what it is. Having felt the Mother plant spirit within me, I can't help but also feel an intuitive affinity to the signature I see in the video. 

Yes, naysayers can easily dismiss my affinity -- and I can easily dismiss their resistance to explore in new ways the "what-if's" that surround us. The old naysaying adage, "If you can't see it, touch it, measure it, sense it, I don't believe in it" just doesn't hold its water any longer. 

Before Geiger counters, scientists walked over rocks that emitted radioactive signatures and had no idea what they were near. Before microscopes, scientists bled people to remove the "bad humors" because they couldn't detect microbes. Before wide-spectrum telescopes, scientists believed only visible light luminous stars existed - now they routinely study x-ray and gamma-burst sources in far reaches of space. Before techniques existed to study the electrical-chemical actions of brain neurons, scientists routinely lobotomized patients to relieve adverse psychiatric conditions - now they administer a pill to correct the chemical imbalance. When was the last time your local hospital down the street performed a lobotomy? 

Think about it -- these were scientists, just as sure of themselves and dismissive of new ideas as many of those plying the same profession today. What pulled progress forward were the outliers, the fringe people, the ones who at first got laughed at and ostracized. The history of science has this pattern. Does anyone really think the pattern's stopped? Yeah, today's scientists do.