The Supernatural: A New View
By: J. Marlando
Like a great many other people, I was a skeptic if not a disbeliever in the supernatural, especially folks like palm-readers and psychics. And, certainly, our world has its population of con-artists, phonies and fakes. Then around thirty years ago my wife and I were out having dinner and cocktails when a palm-reader offered her services for five dollars. Well, we decided to have our palms read just for the fun of it and that’s what we did. I sat down and, as expected, got the usual routine of telling me about my personality and the stuff that is pretty generic for most people. Then, however, the reader looked concerned and she pointed to my life line and to a large asterix-type mark [*] near the top of my hand. She told me that I should be careful because the “sign” indicated that in around 20 years I would be struck with a very serious and dangerous illness and so, I should take care of myself to avoid it.
Well, I wasn’t going to worry about a mark on my hand or an illness that was twenty years away. But around 20 years later I did acquire an illness that was so serious that the doctors told my wife that only a miracle could save me. I recovered, however. But here’s the phenomenon: When I recovered the asterix-type mark had vanished. That’s right, gone away completely. I had seen that “mark” a great many times over those years and then it had simply gone away.
I remain baffled and amazed by this to this day. And, I am now convinced that there is something—I don’t know what—in the lines of our palms that give us at least a kind of mapping of our stories as individuals.
Such mapping indicates that at least our bodies are a product of something likened to a computer card which in turn suggests that the teleologists (those who study divine or ultimate causes in nature) are far more insightful than the rather limited thinking of the reductionists.
Actually when we think about this, DNA
And so, what Wilson also challenges us with is the idea that since life itself reveals data processing on a massive scale” what intelligence processed the data. In this light, I am compelled to also ask, what intelligence placed the asterix symbol on the palm of my hand?
The most prevalent question in regard to all this asks is there an intelligence (a mind or consciousness) that permeates all matter as the indigenous peoples around the world have always accepted as an absolute? It has not only been the “primitive mind” to assume this, however. Both Ralph Waldo Emerson and David Thoreau believed that there is a spiritual unity in all things. Today we know that renowned physicists such as Paul Davies, Hayward, Schrodinger, Capra, David Bohn and others who subscribe to the idea that as, the ancient Sage, Wang Shihuai, taught: “the universe is all mind and all phenomena.”
Based on the above my intent is not to convince anyone of anything with this article but rather to stir alternative thinking for the open minded reader. As for me, I have been contemplating the esoteric and so-called supernatural for a great many years and, yes, I have come to the conclusion that there is more—much more—to life than the apparent.
The Supernatural in Overview
In the U.S.A. Live Science reports that 71% of us report that we have had a paranormal experience—paranormal meaning a “happening” that cannot be explained scientifically. (I have had such experiences, my wife has and perhaps you, the reader have too?)
When we desire to ground the supernatural in the aspects of the reasonable we consistently turn to the ancient belief that consciousness (meaning mind) permeates all things-certainly this is demonstrated by very ancient cave art and by the earliest shamans. Shamans were the earliest healers in tribal life who were known to create the safety and abundance of the hunt, entice changes in the weather and take on the spirit of other living things.
Traditionally the aim of the shaman or medicine man/woman was to reach altered states of consciousness thus gaining entrance into the spiritual world. The techniques used to “go into trance” were typically dancing, chanting and yes, often mind altering substances—some American Indians, for example, used peyote while the old Siberian shamans probably used a mixture of wine and Amanita muscaria. The South American medicine people are known to use a mixture called ayahuasca and so forth. We now know, for example, that the ancient cave painter was also the result of ritual and there are more people who believe that those drawing tell the story of spiritual journeys as opposed to being a form of sympathetic magic as assumed for years. Note that these are all dangerous substances such as Amanita muscaria as shown here
The skeptic has a good argument here, however. He says something like—well of course they think they’ve had a spiritual journey, they got “high” and hallucinated. This certainly sounds like a reasonable assessment although we cannot know the “laws” that govern the making and taking of those substances for religious-spiritual purposes. We do know that deep meditation alone can incite extraordinary changes in the processes of the brain without the aid of “drugs” except for natural changes in the brains chemistry. And there are those who can control their heart beat, blood sugar and other physical aspects of their bodies while in meditative states.
The point is that it seems apparent that there is more to us than the totality of our body parts and that mind is not, as so many scientists claim, a mere epiphenomenon of the physical brain. Colin Wilson, mentioned earlier, seems to agree that “waves” are the basic vocabulary of the universe and that we can think of life—of all matter—“as being due to waves that have somehow been *cybernetically programed. If this is so one must ask who or what did the programming.
*At bottom line cybernetics is the study of systems with fields of study of control and communication in animals and machines; it is applicable to psychology, logic modeling sociology, philosophy, organizational theory and so on.
My conclusion is that all matter, including ourselves, is a combination of energy and information in the particle or, in other words, the physical state. I do not suggest this as a wild, unfounded guess but as a result of having a NDE (near death experience) during which I was out-of-body or, if you will, simply returned to wave status.
A great number of scientists scoff at NDEs and OBEs but note, those that do never experienced either!
In overview then, the supernatural implies meaning. That is, something beyond or behind the life force—some call it God, other’s consciousness and yet others, spirit.
Aspects of the Supernatural
First of all we must be receptive to the observation that everything has a certain amount of consciousness in it; the tree, the blade of grass, the flower, the giraffe, the bunny and of course ourselves. In this view, the first question is what gives these things what we can call, “the spark of life.”
The biologists say that anything that contain nucleic acid or in other words can grow and reproduce is considered “alive.” As I understand it, however, neither DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) nor RNA (ribonucleic acid) are themselves alive and can be imagined as mechanical functions that, along with proteins, automatically encode and transmit genetic information like tiny little robots that appear to be alive but are not. In animal life, of which we humans belong, the brain is part of the structuring of the physical body. The body, however, is a dead thing until consciousness enters it somewhat, I suspect, like a light bulb which is a dead thing until electricity “turns it on.”
Interestingly enough, Jeremy Hayward tells us that the human cortex contains around the same number of neurons (nerve cells) that our Milky Way galaxy contains stars. (This is even more indication that the universe is “cybernetically” programmed). In any case, the amazing thing is that all cells emit light. And, as Hayward tells us, “The light from a fresh egg laid by a free-range chicken is considerably more coherent than the light emitted from a mass produced egg.” What this tells us is that health (and probably attitude) plays a role in the brightness of our cells. Hayward continues to say, “The light emitted from a cancer cell is clearly less coherent than the light from normal healthy cells. And a dead cell has no light at all.
It seems then that light is intrinsic to life—I remind the reader of the light bulb metaphor when I say, when consciousness enters our bodies, the lights go on.
The major indication here, however, is that we are not our bodies although our brains no doubt believe they are us. If by chance you recall the movie 2001, A Space Odyssey, this is a kind of “HAL” syndrome where artificial intelligence attempts to take control of its human operators. When we think of our brains as mere receivers and transmitters of information we can easily grasp the similarities. Nevertheless, Dr. Paul Pearsall tells us, “We can tell our brains not only what but how to think.” In other words the “I” of us is not the “it” of us. And, it seems that we know this intuitively since most of us believe the body to be temporal and the soul (or spirit) to be being infinite.
As a quick aside, those who believe in the existential projection of being and nothingness simply cannot accept the subjectivity of supernatural awareness. Another way of putting this is that such people belong to their brains and their brains believe that they are in charge.
The power of the mind (or consciousness) that defines our essence, however is proven time and time again as we overrule the brain’s decision making—that we can consciously choose feelings over thoughts is a clear indication of our independence. There is also the placebo affect and methods such as **Psycho-Cybernetics to consider.
**Psycho-Cybernetics is a self-help method written by Maxwell Maltz. At bottom line it is creating positive results through visualizing them. A great many athletes use this method to improve their abilities just as many entrepreneurs use the method as a tool for greater success.
What we need most to note here, however, is that the spiritual acts upon the physical-it is the life force in all things and again some name it God, other’s soul or spirit and yet others name it Mind. And so, consciousness, by any other name apparently works both inside and outside of us. We’ll talk about that next.
It was once thought that consciousness was located somewhere in the brain—indeed, some scientists still assume that this rather old view is true. Progressive thinkers like Candice Perk the neuroscientist is however, convinced that consciousness is everywhere in the body and certainly when we think of supernatural forms this begins to make absolute sense. This not only makes sense on a supernatural level but on a practical level as well—how do all the countless cells communicate so fast within our bodies?
When we stub our toe for example, the brain instantaneously communicates the pain. So what it seems is that, if we have concluded correctly, since consciousness lights up every cell in our bodies then mind is in every cell of our bodies. I believe that it is safe to say that the physicist Jeremy W. Hayward certainly agrees with this assessment. In any case, what this strongly suggests is that we simply are NOT our bodies and that our bodies are merely necessitated for the physical experience they deliver.
What is difficult for some people to grasp is that the world is NOT as we see it but rather as we make it. For example, if you could see the tree outside your window as it really is, you would no longer see its surface which is only your brains translation anyway, but you would see a particular energy field maintaining the shape of the tree in vibrating patterns of activity.
While I realize that the above is an inept description, it is the best I have. Nevertheless, the point is that nothing we see is as it appears to us; it is merely how our brains’ processes the image that becomes our perception. In other words, you have never actually seen the painting on your wall you have only seen your brains projection of it. This is true of your wife, husband, the flowers in your garden, your pet pooch and the bird flying overhead. This is indeed true for all things that we deem to be matter.
Consciousness then, by any other name—God, Mind, Spirit—can be said to be the light and life of all living things of which, in a normal state, we recognize all that exists outside ourselves only by their surfaces.
All of this was (and is) known by indigenous people world-round. The indigenous such as our own Native Americans communicated with nature and considered the trees, plant life, rivers, animals and birds their brothers and sisters. Indeed, a beautiful Arapaho proverb tells us. “All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them.” They simply realized that consciousness, which they named “Spirit”, dwelled in all living things.
In regard to this, even some scientists are now agreeing that we do not have to have a brain in order to think and comprehend. This is something that everyone who has ever had a NDE or OBE has always known; that it is the “I” of us that maintains conscious awareness and not the mechanical functions of the complex gland that we call a brain.
The Collective Unconscious
Thus far in this text we have not at all talked about the supernatural in terms of “magic” but the attempt has been to ground the propositions on a sound foundation. That is, it is one thing to say that there exist such powers as clairvoyance, telepathy, remote viewing and seeking answers how these phenomena unfold.
It is virtually impossible to speak of the spiritual or supernatural without talking about Carl Jung. Dr. Jung recognized, through fifty plus years of study, that there is what he termed “a collective unconscious” which connects us with everything (and everyone) else.
There are still those so-called scholars and scientists who scoff at this observation but there is too much proof in the supernatural ointment to discard the concept as so much poppycock. No human being escapes his or her ego-consciousness. This consciousness places the individual in the center. And so, as long as we live our lives from the ego-psyche we can never be fulfilled. For one thing, as long as we live in the center we remain isolated in an “I” and “it” and “I” and “thou” world. This malady especially belongs to the westerner who constantly makes the unhappy-making error of judging self by others and others by self.
In any case, Jung realized that we are far more free and so in charge of our own lives than was ever conceived in our so-called civilized world. He offered that opposed to the Newtonian mechanical view of life where every effect has a cause, there exist an acausal organizing principle which he named synchronicity.
A perfect but easy explanation of synchronicity is, let’s say, you have not heard from or seen an old friend for many years. Nevertheless, for some unknown reason you bring your old friend up to your husband or wife saying something like, gosh I wonder what ever happened to so-in-so. Then, the telephone rings and its “so-in-so.” Jung called this a positive coincidence and these kinds of synchronicities happen to us all the time. I had a friend who was out of work and going for a job interview when he had a flat along his way, He swore not only because he had a flat and not only because he was never going to make his appointment but because he had no spare. He stuck out his thumb hoping for a ride into town so he could call someone for help. Soon enough a car stopped and offered my friend a ride into town which he gladly took. On their drive my friend talked about how frustrated he was for missing his appointment for a much needed job. As it turned out, the man who had stopped to give him a lift was in management of a large manufacturing company. On their way into town my friend landed a better job than he was originally going to interview for. That’s synchronicity!
It should be noted that synchronicity was not—is not—the result of a psychologist’s clever pen, the recognition that synchronized events occur in all of our lives and that that those events were more than random coincidences was the result of not only Carl Jung’s brilliant mind but also of the renowned physicist, Wolfgang Pauli’s thinking.
The supernatural implication of synchronicity is, first of all, that we are not subject to fate but rather that we actually have influence over what occurs in our lives. Since we can describe life being constantly at a fork in the road, we can grasp synchronicity by saying our decision to go one path or the other determines futuristic events. In other words, you are not merely an observer but part of the workings of the universe.
The above makes ***Paul Davies (the professor of physics at the University of Adelaide) statement comprehensible: “Nature is a product of its own technology, and the universe is mind. Our own minds could then be viewed as localized ‘islands’ of consciousness in a sea of mind.
***Quote from Jeremy W. Hayward’s, Letters to Vanessa.
Our own ego-psyche appears to be a barrier or veil that keeps us from conscious contact with he collective unconscious but, nevertheless, the collective unconscious contacts us through dreams and visions. One of the major purposes of deep meditation is to reach the flow of the collective or, in other words, to become one with everything else. This occurs when we have escaped ego-consciousness and joined the collective mind of nature. Indigenous people who were (or remain) close to nature typically live in a universe that is both inside and outside of physical existence!
The early American Indian for example had a greater comprehension of his collective unconscious and he used his own dreams to guide him to food sources, healings and other acts of clairvoyance were an integral part of his daily life. This is certainly true or Australia’s Aborigines whose “magic” challenges science to the hilt—some individuals from this ancient tribal people are known to de- and re-materialize at will and climb trees using invisible ropes or cords. I assume that most of their esoteric skills arrive from what they call their ****dreamtime. One major points about the Aborigines’ ”dreamtime” is that it is based on a continuum of past, present and future.
****It seems that no outsider including those who have talked directly to the tribes people can fully grasp what exactly Aborigine “dream time” is beyond knowing it gives the dreamers artistic and meaningful images. Dreamtime, however, takes the dreamer out of this realm and returns him or her into a eternal land from which we come at birth and where we return at death.
Also, the tracking skills of some Aborigines are most amazing and some offer that they have remote viewing talents as opposed to excelling in reading sign. That is, instead of using sign, they simply “see” where their remote “object” is located and go there.
Remote viewing sounds a little farfetched for the average person who has never thought much about it much less researched it. After all, most people can’t imagine what someone else is doing in the next room much less a few miles away. Nevertheless, the CIA did a lot of experimenting with remote viewers just as did the KGB during the Cold War. And, that remote viewing is possible was absolutely demonstrated!
As a quick aside, I believe that city dwellers would discover far too many distractions to ever be able to develop remote viewing with the clarity that the aborigines have. My reasoning is that their environment is all natural and therefore uncluttered by cars, signs, different architecture and so forth. However there have been especially police psyches that have zeroed on lost victims and/or evidence.
The collective unconscious then plays a most significant role in what we tend to call “the supernatural.” In a sense, remote viewing and other psychic phenomenon like mental telepathy and clairvoyance is riding the wave of the unconscious. A purpose of vision seeking for the indigenous people of the world as is the devotion to meditation for others is in quest to merge their conscious awareness with that mysterious (collective) unconscious. As said, this so-called “mysterious unconscious” is thought to be the Great Spirit for some, God for others and yet for others, Universal Mind.
Every individual one of us has a direct relationship with the “supernatural” which exists in the realm of the unconscious, that cohesive force that connects each of us to everything and everyone else. And we use that power unwittingly daily. Synchronicity, talked about earlier, is certainly an example of this. While a lot of people do not like to admit it, the world is virtually what we make it. As I have said many times, name the rose bush a thorn bush and that is what it will “magically” become…for you. You can test the “magic” of the creative force of your own words by deeming your marriage happy or unhappy, you job fun or miserable, your life joyful or despaired. You have this power within you!
I personally do not subscribe to any organized religion but there is tremendous power in sincere prayer. The skeptics argue that God could not possibly hear the billions of prayers that occur all the time but when you can comprehend “All in One and One in All” than you will grasp that each prayer is heard even before it is said. And speaking of prayer, some years ago I interviewed Bernie Siegel, the renowned cancer surgeon, lecturer and writer. In his most inspirational book, “Peace, Love and Healing” he tells us: “The more I see the workings of our universe, the more mystical I become. I’m not mystical in spite of being a surgeon; I’m mystical because I am a surgeon. I watch miracles daily.”
There is a lot of controversy about the effects of prayer of course but I believe that one problem is that a great many civilized people have lost touch with their mystical insights and powers. And so, as a result, a mistake that nearly everyone makes is that they are forever seeking the miracle while they should be seeking the miracle-maker…themselves!
A problem with this is that the ego-psyche belongs to the brain and the brain pompously believes itself to be objective and therefore serves as a wall between itself and the heart’s intuition. It is probably safe to say that we have all said, at one time or another, oh, if only I had followed my heart. The reason we didn’t is because our brains got into our way.
It was our advancing ego-psyches that began our trek away from our connectedness to all else and our separation from all else. Hunting gathering people like the early Cro-Magnon and the Neanderthals no doubt had developed tribal rituals as we clearly see by the cave painting of Cro-Magnon
With shamanism, cults began to emerge around certain individuals that slowly began the march toward centralized government and an “us and them” mentality. By the time of agriculture and the advent of cities being built along the Nile, the Indus and other rivers temples and thrones emerged and demagoguery began to rule. The ego-psyche of priests and god/kings began teaching their innocent followers that the god or gods, the great invisible spirits, could be reached only through themselves and they of course began making up the rules for everyone else. As a result centralism was born and soon enough the two great enemies of peace, freedom and spirituality—religion and nationalism—unfolded. And the rest is history!
In indigenous life as well as so-called civilized life there has always been wise teachers, sages and holy men and women such as the Buddha/Christ/Black Elk/Dalai Lama, all personalities who, it seems, somehow transcended their ego-psyches and remained true to their devotions to the wholeness of “actuality” as opposed to the fragmentation of “reality” the rest of us tend to live in. The result, incidentally, of living in a fragmented world of centralism as mentioned in the above, the mother of greed, is self-centeredness and…war.
This is not just a whim of my own thinking but also that of many new physicists who follow David Bohm, a most revered quantum physicist, who told us that: “Ultimately the entire universe, has to be understood as a single, undivided whole, in which analysis into separately and independent existing parts has no fundamental status.”
Bohm has named the see, touch, feel world that we experience the “explicate order” which provides our everyday world of things and others; the world of matter! The undivided whole, however, he calls the “implicate order.” The explicate order is where the supernatural occurs such as telepathy, clairvoyance and other psyche phenomenon; our connectedness to the whole through Universal Mind by any other name.
In view of the above and as it turns out, there is no supernatural but instead two aspects of the same process called life. In other words, both are functions of Nature—one apparent and the other subtle; one of matter and the other of mind.
In modernism—our technical world—the ego-psyche has become likened to HAL, as said earlier, the computer that attempts to take over its operators in the movie 2001. In the doing, it rejects the subjective in its egocentricity of believing it is us and so believes that the ‘”I” of us is mere matter as it is. We are much more than this, however.
In order to clarify what I’ve just said, I will quote Doctor Paul Pearsall who said, “The ‘I’, the self, is much more than the reverberation of neurons and we are much more than what we ‘think’ we are” and the renowned neuroscientists, Candice Pert who said, “I can’t relate To the mind/body dichotomy anymore…is your mind in your head? No it’s in your whole body.” And Paul Davies, the Australian physicist that told us that our own minds can be viewed as localized ‘islands” of consciousness in a sea of mind.
As for we humans I always return to Joseph Chilton Pearce’s most elegant statement: Mind mirrors the universe that mirrors man’s mind. Creator and Created give rise to each other.
References & Further Reading
Bohm, David * Wholeness and the Implicate Order *Routledge
Davies, Paul * God and the New Physics *A Touchtone Book
Dougal-Roney, Serena * Where Science & Magic Meet *Element
Hayward, Jeremy, R * Letters to Vanessa
Peat, David F * Synchronicity * Bantam Books
Pearsall, Paul * Super Joy * Bantam Books
Reanney, Daryl * After Death * Morrow
Goswami, Amit (With Richard E Reed and Maggie Goswami) * The Self-Aware Universe * Tarcher/Putman
Wilson, Colin * The Occult* Barnes & Noble
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