The Forum for Awareness
Full Index of Issues 1 thru 14
Volume 1 Number 4
The TAT Society was formed in 1973 because a need was felt for a philosophical forum, for a meeting and working together of all manners and levels of deep spiritual study and investigation, and for a friendly dialogue between material science and mystical intuition.
The latter category is especially necessary. Science disdains mysticism but it is forever and belatedly proving things previously declared as truth by an intuitive individual. Mysticism may disdain science, but it is forever attempting to tell of its findings in a scientific manner, so that it can convince rational and relative minds of its discoveries.
A place for meeting was needed and groups were formed in many Eastern cities. A farm is now available in West Virginia as a general headquarters, and study center.
The TAT Society holds meetings in a number of different cities for study and discussion. Other events, such as lectures, seminars and films, are also presented from time to time. Telephone numbers for the cities listed below are of TAT members who can provide information about activities in their area.
Akron, Ohio - Canton, Ohio - Cleveland, Ohio - Columbus, Ohio - Pittsburgh, Pa. - Washington, D. C.
The editorial response to the recent Harvard commencement address by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the exiled Russian author, illustrates well the typical human response to bold statements of opinion. Because there are so few recognizable figures today of Solzhenitsyn's obvious stature and moral integrity, he has been favorably publicized as an eloquent critic of both Eastern and Western societies and as a voice calling for a spiritual renaissance in the world. His speech was hailed for its insight into the shallowness of our materialistic culture, but was criticized for focusing that insight too sharply on government and the press. The implication is that Solzhenitsyn is capable of a profound understanding when it comes to mankind's spiritual nature but that he errs when he applies that understanding to specifics. Or does it mean that when Solzhenitsyn generalizes he is inspiring and harmless, just as he should be?
A concern for men's spiritual welfare must be communicated tangibly and if a teacher is to help others he must provide guidance for day-to-day living as well as dispensing philosophical food for abstract thought. Popular opinion is not guided by a desire for truth and resembles in its sense of direction the circling of a headless chicken. Can an individual trying to guide others in a search for truth, or can the seeker himself, afford to bargain principles away in order to appear fashionable or to gain social acceptance? Perhaps compatibility is not a virtue in itself.
Christ said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword." Matt. 10:34. It was not the sword of warfare but the sword of philosophical discrimination what the Buddhists call prajna. P.D. Ouspensky has interpreted Christ's words, in A New Model of the Universe, to mean that the truth inevitably divides men because only a few are able to receive it. They might also mean that when truth appears in this world of relation and possibility it necessarily cuts between right and wrong, between "is" and "is not," and requires men to choose their paths.
We must not lack the courage to speak the truth as we see it in matters of daily life; otherwise, we risk the atrophy of our faculty of discernment and the inability to use it in the service of a spiritual goal. Acceptance and approval of all conceivable value-systems and types of behavior is now a popular attitude and has been recently crystallizing into a new religion called "constitutionalism." All that it reflects is the vacuum existing in people's understanding of human nature, both physical and spiritual, and a widespread fear of causing any social offense. It should be distinguished from true compassion, based on a knowledge of the varieties of human nobility and weakness and the strength to express one's opinion.
[Illustration: The Temptation of St. Anthony by Martin Schoungauer 1480-1490 (sic)]
Editor: Paul Cramer
Associate Editor: Louis Khourey
Staff Writer: Michael Baldrige
Typesetting: Cecy Rose
Printing: Robert Cergol
© 1978 TAT Foundation. All rights reserved.
Powers of Mind by Adam Smith and Possession and Exorcism by Traugott K. Oesterreich.
The TAT Forum is a reader's exchange and correspondence column. You are invited to write to this column and offer comments or pose questions concerning the articles or letters published in this journal. You may also share with other readers your discoveries, investigations or resources that you may have come across in your search. Please address your correspondence to the "TAT Forum."
Forum: Richard Rose's story of the witch was fascinating although it seemed strange. I was glad to read it through even though it was kind of frightening, because I had the feeling that I was getting a rare view of some of the things that go on in life but are hardly ever mentioned in print. I hope you have some more stories coming, because Richard Rose seems to have an unusual perspective on life and a knack for story-telling.
Forum: I read David Gold's article on recurring dreams with great interest, and actually, quite a bit of relief. It was reassuring to discover that I am not the only "nut" who is troubled and intrigued by a recurring dream. With your permission, I would like to set out my dream, in the hope that some of your readers can shed some light on its meaning.
I get on an elevator in the basement of a building. Two college boys, happy and carefree, get on, joking and rough-housing, but they get off on the first floor, I take the elevator to the fourth floor, which turns out to be as high as it goes. The doors open, but there is no floor, only an enormous desk sloping down to the first floor. I know I must get out. I slide down the desk, always in great danger, but I arrive safely at the bottom.
Any hints or interpretations which your readers could offer would be appreciated. I have had this dream at least six times in the past four years.
Forum: I thought David Gold was overdoing it a bit when he said that be had not met one person who has not experienced a recurring dream. At first I thought that surely I was an exception and that there were probably many others who had never experienced a recurring dream. However, just a week later I had the most phenomenal dream which showed me in no uncertain terms that I do have a recurring dream. Not only did I have one, but I had three - all in one night! Perhaps it sounds odd, but I felt as though my unconscious mind was showing me blatantly that I was not giving it the proper amount of consideration.
The dream I had was of a most majestic scene in a snow-filled and mountainous fantasyland. I was sailing on a motorboat around and through icebergs and islands. I kept on going deeper and deeper into layers of ice and water. It was like going into a mirror that is reflecting another mirror which goes on to infinity. When I landed in a valley between two mountains, there was a conference being held among some famous scientists. The next thing I knew, I was sitting on a rock watching the goings-on when three dreams came before my eyes. I recognized them as three dreams which I had had before. In other words, I saw three recurring dreams in the dream itself and they flashed before my eyes as most significant elements of my entire life. I woke up with a feeling of well-being, which sure changed my mind about importance of recurring dreams.
Forum: In Wilbur Franklin's interview, he stated that the results of a psychokinetic experiment were partially dependent upon belief. If a scientist can affect the outcome of an experiment by desiring a certain outcome, then it seems to me that it makes the notion of "science" absurd. If this is true, then I think the only science there is, is the study of the human mind. How else would you know if you were really doing a valid experiment unless you would come to know the experimenter who is affecting the experimenter?
This also makes me wonder how much this "belief factor" might affect our everyday lives. Does anyone have an answer to this question? If what Dr. Franklin said is true, it sure complicates things.
It is generally assumed among many spiritual groups that enlightenment, or the ultimate experience attainable by man, is something which is beyond thought. Words are said to be useless in trying to describe it and the very experience is of a realm beyond the mind - hence the inability of thoughts to comprehend it.
Since enlightenment is beyond the thoughts, many spiritual groups propose different and difficult methods to stop thought, and thus enable a person to experience what is beyond thought. There are many names for what is beyond thought. The Absolute, the Godhead, Brahman and Christ Consciousness are some of the terms used. The means used in attempting to stop thought are basically of two types: the direct and the indirect.
In the direct means to stop thought and thus realize enlightenment, the thoughts are either tried to be directly and forcefully stopped or an external aid such as a mantra or concentration on a candle flame or other object is used.
An example of indirect means are traditional Zen koans such as "What was your face before you were born?" Other koans, perhaps more realistic than the traditional ones, could be based on the conflicts of everyday life or others such as "Who am I?", "Where did I come from?", and "Where am I going." The aim of such unanswerable questions is that the Zen student will push his mind to its very limits to logically answer his questions. If the mind is pushed hard enough, sometimes, in utter exhaustion, it will quit working of its own accord and an experience beyond mind and thought will occur. In Hindu terminology this experience is called Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Magick would also be an indirect means to enlightenment.
I've met several people who have claimed that they can stop their thoughts, yet they did not seem to be enlightened nor did most of them claim to be. This always struck me very strangely. Either these people weren't really stopping their thoughts or much of the esoteric literature and teachers were wrong. I suspected the former - that most people who claimed to be able to stop their thoughts were actually "dulling" themselves or making their minds blank. They were entering a somnambulant state rather than actually "stopping their thoughts." I started doing some research and found that this pitfall or hang-up was mentioned in several places in Eastern spiritual literature. People can develop their concentration to such a degree that they are able to stop the normal thought flow that goes through their head. I found something else too. The real aim, more correctly, is to "kill the mind" and not just stop thoughts. (Superficially this is a temporary effect, since it seems that people after enlightenment can function perfectly well in the normal world.)
When a person, through one of the various meditation practices is able to temporarily stop the flow of his thoughts, the "seeds" or latent tendencies of thought remain. This can be seen by what happens during sleep. During the deepest part of sleep our ego-self withdraws into the higher self or Absolute. (Paul Brunton mentions this phenomenon in several of his books and calls our Higher Self the Overself.) Often, just before you wake up in the morning, you are dreaming about whatever subject you were thinking of just before you went to sleep the night before. Your thoughts remained latent while you went into deep sleep and withdrew to your Higher Self. As it is, you pick up wherever you left off the night before. Also, no time passed because time is of thought. The thoughts were not destroyed but remained latent. Possibly the realm beyond thought is the same realm experienced in both deep sleep and enlightenment. In enlightenment this realm is experienced consciously, while in sleep the "experience" is unconscious. (The destroying of thoughts is also why it is said that an enlightened man has no karma. Karma is of the realm of mind and when mind and thought are destroyed, karma is also.)
The simple "stilling of thoughts" can be a crux in the path of many people. Concentration exercises can develop a mechanical or simple type of concentration that is able to automatically still thoughts but also directs the person towards what the Hindus call "Yoga Nidra" or "Deep Sleep." To avoid this, meditations must remain conscious and active and not mechanical. A person may develop his concentration to a point where he is able to slow or dull the thought processes and thus believe he is nearing enlightenment, when actually he is entering a mechanical sleep-like state which can be a deceiving and subtle hurdle to further progress in meditation.
I haven't been quite right since I tripped on LSD a few years ago, and, to this day, I still question my "rightness." I only sampled the hallucinogen - once - so my brain's not of the texture of an overdone casserole. I don't mean that. I mean that I lost all sense of propriety. I misplaced my thinking cap over the acid revelation that there was, indeed, a solid spiritual or psychological security behind this everyday, mundane, fore-feet in the trough, life of ignorance and frustration. And I promptly dashed around to every New Age group and Self-Realization technique within a thumb's distance.
I bought books from Hare Krishnas at airports, queried Moonies on street corners, chanted "OM" with a group of Love lovers, and saved my dimes for T.M. and E.S.T. I hiked to parapsychology lectures and wholistic workshops, meditation retreats and dream seminars. I questioned Protestants and Catholics and Jews and Jesus Freaks. And everyone I talked to had what I wanted, what I thought would be so hard to achieve without the thievery of drugs: they all had a secure sense of conviction. Each of them was deadly sure of what he was doing and where he was going.
For five years I tried techniques and joined movements, attempting to emulate the conviction of adepts in every cult, training and religion. But, for all my effort, I couldn't attain a profound certainty about what I was doing and where I was going. So I grabbed at a solution that promised to relieve my insecurity. I came to believe that we - you, me, the kid with the runny nose - were all ONE in this vast universe of dissimilitude, that we were all the same BEING, only we didn't realize it, etc. Yet, without proof, even this belief grew heavy. I could not lug it around indefinitely, and so I dropped it, like you might plop down your souvenir-crammed Samsonites just short of the cab stand, for a breather.
For months then, maybe a year, I languished in a tepid soup of no-conviction. I neglected my yoga and my reading, and eased my discomfort with Pepsis and cheeseburgers and TV by the hour. I took a full time job. Yet, try as I might, I couldn't stop meditating. While driving to work or lying awake at night, I pondered my acid trip and wondered if the profound conviction that I had experienced wasn't, after all, an hallucination.
I stared at memories of that single psychedelic night and tugged at the knotty question of complete inner security. Eventually, exhausted from grappling with the enigma, I had to admit that the experience was real, at least as genuine as any other experience - the hot peppers I've eaten and the rocks I've kicked. Here was a useless tautology. But then a new idea struck me (or old ones dissolved): that Cosmic Assurance came to me naked! There were no concepts, persons, or things of which I was certain; I was just SURE, completely and utterly CONVINCED. I was SECURE. Nothing mattered.
I had experienced conviction by itself, without any particulars of which to be convinced. Whatever seduced my attention took on the most penetrating significance: chocolate chip cookies, beer cans, traffic lights triple-winking red, yellow, and green, flat cigarette butts in the gutter, sweet bubble gum, fat women in laundry rooms, dew, dogs with the mange, and heart-piercing stars.
I now understood how I slipped freely through the frontiers of contradiction between cults and isms. I had rapport with everyone's conviction and knew it to be real - to the limits of our senses. Christians fight Saracens and Rednecks club Krishnites (and vice versa), all performing their holy office with an unshakable conviction. So conviction, I now know, while wonderful to have and to hold, is an untrustworthy judge of particular opinions or beliefs, and, ultimately, even fact. Lao Tzu may have been onto something when he said: "The superior man is as cautious as a wayfarer on an icy stream."
Does each of us, at least once, experience THE DREAM? It comes unbidden in profound sleep, and is as tangible as anything in the waking state. For me the dream came some years ago. It was in color, clear and precise with no symbols.
This is the dream:
I get a phone call from my friend Lee. She asks me to hurry over to her house as she is being visited by her dead grandfather. I knock at a wooden kitchen door with windows in the top. I enter into a large room, a rustic kitchen. Old chairs have been formed into a circle. In the chair sits Lee, her husband and an elderly man with shaggy gray hair. He has a peaceful face and a scar on the back of his neck. Behind his chair stands a woman whose shape is not as clear as his. The old man seems illuminated. I sit within the circle and I am not afraid. We all are smiling. I ask, "What is it like to be dead?"
"The same as being alive," says he. "We are still working on our relationship." (As he states this the woman's form becomes clearer and she reaches down and places her hand on his head.)
I am surprised. "You are still working on your relationship?" Again a smile in response.
"And what is heaven like?" I ask.
"Heaven is," he starts, and as he speaks the room dissolves. We are on a high mountain, a meadow bright green with grass and full of flowers. The air is pure, and the light bright with no glare. "Heaven is," he says, "FREEDOM TO WORK."
"And what is hell?"
"Hell is being bogged down."
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The Voices We May Hear
by Alan Fitzpatrick
I read an article in the paper the other day that reminded me, once again, of the problem that we face in understanding our own inner motivations, as well as those of our fellow man. The article was the last in a series that covered the conviction of a confessed killer in North Carolina. (1) The man had gained notoriety by taunting the jury to give him the death penalty, in the same spirit as Gary Gilmore. Only this individual claimed to be in direct communication with a voice he said called itself God. A psychiatric evaluation of the man was pending. He had no history of attempts at suicide, yet he killed himself in his cell, leaving a lengthy note for the authorities. He said that he had talked to God, and that God had decided that it would be best for him to kill himself, which he did with utter conviction and no further explanation. "A real nut," I thought. Yet having casually followed the last events of his life over the past few weeks, I could not help but be left with the impression of a deeply tormented man, compelled to the point of murder, and unable to share the secrets of his mental arena with anyone. His macabre case, lost in the back pages of newsprint, also left some nagging questions pertinent to the field of psychology, if not to us all. What really caused this man to commit murder? And what was the nature of this voice, speaking only to him as God, that carried the authority for his suicide? I've done some digging into these questions, and that which follows is the substance of my findings.
When we pause and look at similar cases of strange and bizarre behavior recorded down through history and found in works by authors such as Stekel (2) and Krafft-Ebing (3), one thing becomes apparent: Man has been puzzled for a long time by the extreme behavior he witnesses in his fellow men, and has tried to grasp the motives behind such actions. Thus, the confessed killer was not the only person who heard voices directing him, from God or the devil. Recently we've heard of the capture of the "Son of Sam" in New York, a man driven to uncontrollable murder by the promptings of a voice he heard. And the battle continues today between the psychiatrists to determine his motives and sanity.
There are many people who believe that they hear voices and do not find eventual residence in institutions. They realize that they are having experiences that others do not share, and learn to keep quiet. I recall the experience that I had several years ago with a high school chum, Joe D., who had taken lessons from a woman he described as a teacher of white magic and automatic handwriting. Being naive and skeptical at the time, I paid little attention to Joe and we grew apart. One day upon paying him a visit at his apartment, he motioned me over to a corner of the room after some time and said, "Alan, don't you hear them? They're always talking about me; they just won't leave me alone." I had heard nothing, and was baffled by Joe's behavior and his description of tormenting voices. Nothing further was ever said about them, and it would be years before I would come across this unusual phenomenon again.
To the layman who has never lived through a period of mental derangement, the whole question of voice-hearing is usually of little interest, other than as a passing curiosity in the rare and sensational cases that reach the public eye. For most of us, this is the only realm that we pass through. Psychology, however, has had an obligation to fulfill, and as such has devised many theories and therapies to explain the hearing of voices. Behavioral psychology tends to view the hearing of voices as hallucinations that a person creates himself, as a sort of psychological game or role-playing. Hallucinations might be maintained for the stimulation and attention they provide the host. Thus, the behavioral model supports the belief that the mentally ill do not really hear voices but exhibit such deviant behavior because they cannot function smoothly as "normal" within society. Their condition is simply due to their being reinforced negatively by others for their behavior. A mentalistic view is not necessary for the behavioral approach denies that something is happening and says that a cure for such behavior is to change that person's contingencies of social reinforcement. This theory is somewhat contradictory in that it denies the mind and yet pins the blame for hallucinations on the individual who is being irresponsible by playing a deviant game.
Analytical psychology, on the other hand, admits to a mind, and has spent a great deal of time trying to define it, and the things that afflict it. An entire diagnostic system (DSM-2) of cataloguing the many symptoms of mental disorder has been developed by the American Psychological Association to help in diagnosis, labeling and treatment. Yet no classification has ever been satisfactory. They are only the ordering of observed symptoms which often change, and rarely tell you anything about the person's subjective point of view. The many shades of schizophrenia, for example, may or may not include the symptom of voice-hearing. Most patients do not follow any single or well-defined course of abnormal events and, as Eysenck reports, are able to cure themselves, with total unpredictability, at about the same rate as most popular therapies. (4)
What exactly is considered voice-hearing? G. Reed gives us a description in The Psychology of Anomalous Experience as follows:
"The voices range from primitive noises, such as bangs and whistles, to organized, meaningful sounds such as speech and music. Most common are voices uttering short but comprehensible phrases. The voices may be identifiable in terms of age and sex, whether or not they are of the same nationality as the subject and whether or not their owners are known to them." (5)
This description, though concise, fails to communicate the terror, anguish and confusion that a person may feel when unknown voices are first heard, as in the account by M. Sechehaye in Autobiography of a Schizophrenic Girl:
"He [the voice and apparition] took up his position at the further end near the closet on the right. Mocking voices sneered at me: 'Ah, ah, wretched creature, eat, eat, only eat, do eat!' They kept urging me to eat, knowing it was forbidden and that I would be severely punished by them if I acceded to their prompting." (6)
Such accounts appear confusing and irrational, and indicate that the sufferer has difficulty in conveying to the onlooker the nature of what is happening to him. It is no wonder, then, that the most common interpretative explanation of voice-hearing would support the view of the objective observer.
The "dissociation of consciousness" theory would apply to the Son of Sam as well as to Sybil or the child in The Exorcist. (7) Simply put, it proposes that since we are not party to the voices that an individual hears and takes for real, then the voices must be a delusion, and part of his own mind. Thus, those afflicted are in fact undergoing a dissociation or split of their normal stream of consciousness into autonomous factions or selves that pursue their own development over which the original self has little influence. Such a dissociation is considered to be a "safety valve," and as Bernard Hart explains it in The Psychology of Insanity, ". . dissociation would then always indicate the presence of a mental conflict, and would acquire significance of a defensive reaction adopted by the mind, when confronted with two incompatible systems of ideas." (8) However, as we shall see, the dissociation theory can hold little validity in light of the facts of most cases. An example of personal experience at this point will illustrate more clearly.
I had the opportunity to meet Ray G., a 22 year old man, in the fall of 1976 and subsequently worked with him on a daily basis for eight months. He was serving a sentence for a larceny conviction, but had been transferred to the maximum security psychiatric ward where I worked as a psychologist, due to sexual misconduct and felonious assault against another inmate. He had pleaded insanity to the charges, and upon arrival attempted suicide. Upon his recovery I met a man whose looks betrayed a sense of acute fear and anxiety; he gave the impression of a man paralyzed with terror and surrounded by hopelessness and despair. As Ray related to me over the weeks the nature of his condition, I found one strong thread emerging. Ray was continually hearing voices speaking to him. He had numerous blackout spells, painful headaches and ulcers which he attributed to the effects of the voices, for he said that they could seize parts of his body for their own uses and control them against his will. On describing the nature of these voices, Ray noted that he had been unable to sleep at night for years, as the voices dominated his evenings with terror. He had heard the voice of his mother calling to him at night when no one was there. Sometimes, apparitions appeared before him, with ugly faces that would berate him incessantly.
When I questioned the voices directly the only reply that I received, through Ray, was that they told him he should kill me, and shouted inside of his head not to listen to anything I said. The singular message that the voices carried was a repeated imperative to Ray to kill himself. If this were not enough, Ray possessed a violent temper and homosexual aggressiveness that only manifested after a blackout spell, and of which Ray had no memory. He was not forewarned of their advent but would suddenly get painful headaches at the top of his head, followed by a ringing in his ears and dizziness, culminating in shakes, tremors, and finally a blackout spell. A new personality would emerge, entirely different from Ray, who would seek violent sexual expression. Prior to my last visit with Ray he unsuccessfully attempted suicide again, at the prompting of the voices. Brain scans and EEG's showed no evidence of brain deterioration or epileptic dysfunction. And to the psychiatric staff he remained unamenable to therapy, and a mystery until his death by suicide some months ago. In the battle for his life, the voices had apparently won.
Yet I could not help feeling that Ray had been telling me something important about the voices that I had previously overlooked. The facts of his subjective experiences were similar to other cases. For one, why had he killed himself when he had told me many times that he did not want to die and was afraid of what the voices might make him do? The dissociation theory would say that the voices urging Ray to suicide were, in fact, only an aspect of Ray's own mind, working as a defense mechanism and ultimately as a benefit to his survival. Yet the outcome for Ray had been death, and it was the secondary emerging aspect of him, against his own wishes, that had bid for and succeeded in the destruction - not survival - of the entire being, theoretically destroying itself too. The evidence contradicts the theory.
"When I questioned the voices directly the only reply that I received, through Ray, was that they told him he should kill me, and shouted inside of his head not to listen to anything I said. The singular message that the voices carried was a repeated imperative to Ray to kill himself."
Second, Ray strongly believed the voices to be real but not a part of him, as he could clearly distinguish between his own thoughts and those of the voices. In fact, he said that the inner voices compelled their thoughts to turn in certain directions and to dwell on certain topics, thus interfering with his own. This was a key point because the dissociation theory assumes that the new voices or selves originate from a singular mind or intelligence, that is, the one observable. Yet not only could Ray distinguish his thoughts from those of the voices, but the voices communicated to him in an intelligent manner by revealing motives, will, authority and information from a source or memory which Ray had no prior exposure to. Thus it would seem that Ray, as a consistent mental intelligence, struggled against another that was alien and strategically more powerful. Furthermore, Ray was aware at times of the onset of voices and could pinpoint their arrival in his mind, as if they were invading him from the outside. He said that they had first come after he was raped in a boys' reformatory some years before. I found a similar testimony of invasion in the case of the maid of Orlach, as documented in the works, of Kerner in 1834:
"Then she sees him [the apparition] approach, always from the left side, feels as if it were a cold hand which seized the back of her neck, and in this way he enters her. She then loses the sense of her own individuality; properly called." (9)
These facts, combined with the clue that I could find no research that would indicate that a person can consciously produce or simulate such bizarre and complex hallucinations experimentally, suggests to me the possibility that voices like those heard by Ray do not arise from a person's self-initiated thoughts, but in a field that encompasses the individual mind. Lang, an independent researcher of voice-hearing, reached a similar conclusion:
"...[T]he complexity of the patterns of hallucinations suggests the existence of some form of organizing factor. This factor must at least operate as a physico-chemical agent - say some form of energy system. Difficulties in locating and isolating such a factor within the human organism suggest the possibility of the entrance of an external agent. The question is raised as to whether the theory of spontaneous generation of psychopathological phenomena may not be retarding the clarification of the actuality behind hallucinations. The possibility that hallucinations may be produced by the intrusion of some psychic infective agent is one that requires attention." (10)
If psychoanalytic theory is inadequate, then what is the true nature of the voices?
I have found that occultists, for centuries, have believed in the theory of spirit possession to explain people hearing interior voices other than their own. Christ and his disciples in their time are said to have exorcized or expelled hundreds of demons from the possessed. The theory of possession is age-old and has been periodically reaffirmed by the intuitions and lifetime research of men such as Paracelsus, Swedenborg and Percival, who used the method of studying the mind directly, rather than objectively in a laboratory. They believed that the mind exists within a psychic field that our senses cannot know, and that we dwell in a collective mental dimension inhabited by other intelligences or thought-forms that are not visible, just as certain wavelengths of color, like infrared, are imperceptible. They called these creatures entities, elementals, familiars, incubi, succubi and dispossessed spirits of the dead, and each is believed capable of inhabiting and controlling a human host by invasion of the delicate nervous system, thus flowing into a man's feelings and the matrix of his mind much like a parasite traveling the circulatory system of the body. (11) A very good description of a possession is provided by Gerber in his investigation of the maid of Orlach:
"But the transformation of personality is absolutely marvelous. It is very difficult to give a name to this state; the girl loses consciousness, her ego disappears, or rather withdraws to make way for a fresh one. Another mind has now taken possession of this organism, of these sensory organs, of these nerves and muscles, speaks with the throat, thinks with these cerebral nerves, and that in so powerful a manner that the half of the organism is, as it were, paralyzed. It is exactly as if a stronger man drove the owner from his house and looked out of the window at ease, making himself at home. For no loss of consciousness intervenes, a conscious ego uninterruptedly inhabits the body. The mind which is now in this girl knows perfectly well, even better than before, what is going on around it; but it is another occupant who dwells in the house." (12)
"Psychologists have erroneously discounted voices as separate entities invading another's mind because the scientific method is only one limited mode of investigation, and exploring the mind demands an approach utilizing more acute sensitivities."
It is no wonder then that psychologists have never been able to pinpoint the origin and cause of voice-hearing or any psychosis, but choose to call it spontaneous generation, or a phenomenon of sudden beginning. This is what one would see if using the objective scientific method of measuring events with the human eye. Psychologists have erroneously discounted voices as separate entities invading another's mind because the scientific method is only one limited mode of investigation, and exploring the mind demands an approach utilizing more acute sensitivities.
At this point we need to stop and ask if this theory of entities appeals to common sense. Is such a theory plausible? Possession would suggest that we can be affected by unseen external forces. Let's take a look at the mind directly, to see if we possibly are susceptible to influences that we are unaware of. Consider, for instance, our motivations. What happens to us when we decide to do something? We can easily see that when we first want or need something then a picture of the object of our desire appears before the mind's eye. If I am reading a book and suddenly get hungry, I'll get an image in my mind of a peanut butter sandwich. This impression seems to arise within my mind, and I then go about finding the ways and means to fulfill this need. I say to myself that I'm hungry so I'll go to the kitchen to make my sandwich. Yet the curious thing is that if we observe carefully the functioning of the mind at such moments, we can see that I only verbalized my need and intention to act after the initial impression was received upon my mind in the form of an image; I reacted to these. And by this simple observation we can find that all our reasoning for doing things is subject to initial thoughts and images within our minds, including even our most complex or obscure thinking.
This curious aspect of the mind demonstrates something clearly: We cannot really say that we exert complete control over our minds or thoughts, if we are always reacting to initial impressions entering the mind. Do we cause, in a logical manner, these original thoughts and visions to occur in our minds that we can then consider and act upon, or do they arise spontaneously? Common sense would point out that if I am acting as observer of my mental processes then I could not be creating the percepts too. We notice that we observe and respond to our thoughts as they arise, and strike upon our consciousness.
What I have proposed is evident to us all, if we just test our ability to stop and start our thinking. Rather than directly controlling our thoughts we are impressed by them automatically, much like radios receiving signals. Then we realize and react. If I pinch you without your expectation, you will jump with a start and then react. The pinch has happened before your reaction, and you move irrespective of either the previous thoughts in your mind or your will power. When this happens you realize or think about what has happened and give me your opinions about the pinch. You did not cause the pinch. Thus, much of our thinking is forced upon us by the environment. Hypnotists have known this simple fact for some time, and are able to create visions or illusions upon the minds of suggestible subjects so that they believe that the chair on which they sit is very hot, or that a fly is resting on their nose. The suggestion is so strong that they are compelled to react to situations which do not exist outside of their own minds. All of this can only mean that if we do not entirely control the thoughts arising in our minds, then the environment holds a far greater mental influence upon us than we imagine. What causes thoughts? Psychologists would say that my need for a sandwich is merely a result of hunger, and that hunger is instinct, or the way of the flesh. Then what is instinct? How would a body made of singular cells possess the capability to convey to the mind its message of desire? We are left with the possibility that things act upon us from the external, mental and physical, environment. How else would people who appear to possess rational faculties suddenly experience, a change of mood that would compel them to join the army in a moment of glory; marry or rape in a moment of passion, or kill in the moment of anger? In this light, the theory of possession or influence from an external mental dimension becomes plausible.
"When questioned as to their motivations for either their uncontrollable acts or sexual perversions, many pointed to the voices they heard or to the irresistible obsessions that came from nowhere."
We notice something else intriguing about the mind. Not only do we have mental associations for hunger that arise spontaneously in patterns upon the mind, but for other desires as well. If we look carefully at ourselves over any period of time, we can see that the sexual impulse holds great influence over us. We do not need to be ingenious to recognize its powerful impact upon thoughts and actions that can cause catalytic changes in the moods and character of the personality. How many times have we found, in the middle of some daily activity, that the sexual impulse will flood out feelings and change our mood? Our previous thoughts become obscure and sexual thoughts dominate in a manner that leads to arousal and new activities diametrically opposed to those of the last moment. And we tell ourselves that we changed our minds as we travel to visit a mate unexpectedly. This ability to change the mind dramatically is what baffles us most about sex. Every alcoholic goes through a similar interior change in his struggle with booze. The effect upon him, depending upon his degree of drunkenness, results in a difference like night and day; sex can have the same Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde effect upon our personalities. We like to think that we cause or possess our sexual desires but the results often tell us that they possess us. Nearly everyone will admit some difficulty in this area such as in controlling persistent irritating reverie, fluctuating moods or excessive practices. From a common sense standpoint, if we were able to control and cause willfully our sexual lines of thinking, as psychologists would have us believe, then why would we tie up all the time and energy that we do in a pursuit that results in a moment's pleasure? The fact is that we do not control the sexual impulse and we cannot take the credit for all of the conflict and suffering that result from our actions inspired by sexual states of mind. Would hundreds of rapists have lost their heads in a moment of lust when they knew they would pay with their lives?
If we observe the effect of sex on our minds we realize that it is one of the most dynamic forces acting upon us. Because of its ability to drastically change us internally, we must admit that sex, of all the desires that move the mind, is the one that we control the least. Sex is an irresistible suggestion, and when we probe for its source we must consider an external influence. The precise seasonal clocks and mating timetables in other animals would suggest that the reproductive urge is universal to all life as a force of nature. We are acted upon by it, or else it is extreme coincidence that 99.99 per cent of all humanity chooses child-rearing as an occupation or life's work.
An interesting correlation of sex to possession now arises. For we can find in studies of the criminally insane, such as Psychopathia Sexualis by Krafft-Ebing, that people with the most bizarre criminal behavior are also those who have the most aberrant sexual perversions and, coincidentally, admit to the least control over their own states of mind. In nearly all such cases I have found one outstanding symptom that emerges: When questioned as to their motivations for either their uncontrollable acts or sexual perversions, many pointed to the voices they heard or to the irresistible obsessions that came from nowhere. In the case of the Son of Sam, Berkowitz admitted that he killed on the commands of a spirit within him and a neighbor's dog named Sam. In testimony he openly told police that the spirit Sam was actually a six thousand year old man who spoke to him through a dog and who was living in his own mind. "Sam's a thirsty lad and he won't let me stop killing until he gets his fill of blood." Due to a court order, little information concerning Berkowitz's sexual habits has emerged, though lawyers have said publicly that Berkowitz, "told us what he did, everything about the murders. It is fascinating. He is lucid and rational in his reasons, but they would seem irrational to us. There is a lot of sex in it." (13) In the case of Peter Kurten, the "Dusseldorf Ripper," a 1931 trial for mass murder and sexual assault revealed him as driven by uncontrollable sexual rage. In the words of Donald Rumbelow, Kurten, "in the past fifteen months had carried out a series of sex murders and attacks which are almost without parallel in the annals of crime. He was a pyromaniac, a fetishist, a masochist, a sadist and a sex killer. (14) When questioned as to his motives he said that he was compelled to murder for sexual relief. Psychiatric evaluations indicated that he suffered from the hearing of voices that directed him.
"I believe the link between voice-hearing, madness and possession to be sexual. We find that occultists knew this to be true long before psychology denounced their findings as superstitious."
Such cases are exceptional only because they are sensational to the public. They cannot be discounted on the ground that such individuals are simply fringe lunatics and thus have nothing to offer us. In fact, I believe the opposite to be the case. Psychology has never been able to explain adequately why such people as these cannot control their wild impulses that distort their personalities and combine bizarre actions with unbridled sexual perversion. I have found that these cases reveal a valuable fact that psychologists refuse to consider. Objective psychology must have objective motives that are rational by their conceptual standards of what constitutes objective reality, or sanity. And when one person's motives appear irrational or without a direct cause and effect, he is considered insane. Psychologists use this label to mean that they do not know, but cannot admit so. I do not mean by this to denote madness as a virtue, but an obvious fact has been overlooked.
In all of the cases that I have studied, from the Son of Sam to the Boston Strangler, each was found to have bizarre sexual fetishes. And each, including Ray and many people like him that I have worked with, pointed directly to the cause of their fetishes and compulsive bizarre behavior. They pointed to an intrusion of voices upon them that forced them to do what they do. Many can pinpoint a past experience of traumatic sexual nature as the catalyst for the onset of madness. Because of their subjective point of view they are in a position to tell us what they think is the source of their problem. They appear insane or irrational because we see only their apparent objective inconsistencies from our consistent point of view. We miss an appreciation of their true mental perspective. The Son of Sam expressed no personal guilt for his actions which he nevertheless admitted committing. His rationale was that he was a helpless victim of a more powerful intelligence, an entity named Sam, which Berkowitz said lived within his mind and yet was definitely not of him. He said, without apparent intention to deceive, that, "I was doing it for Sam. Sam can do anything. I was driven to do it for Sam. Sam, not me, loves young blood" (15)
I believe the link between voice-hearing, madness and possession to be sexual. We find that occultists knew this to be true long before psychology denounced their findings as superstitious. Paracelsus believed that perverted sexual practices both attracted and were the cause of possession, and that entities could render a victim insane through the traumatic opening of the mind by way of its susceptible weakness - the sexual door. He noted that, "a healthy mind is like a castle, that cannot be invaded without the will of the master, but if they [entities] are allowed to enter, they excite the passions of men and women, and create cravings in them injurious to the mind." (16) His simple cures were most profound. Paracelsus felt that neither exorcism nor holy water would help. Only abstinence from mental reverie and physical sexual release combined with prayer could free the mind from its alien inhabitants. He advocated morality and felt it to be an essential natural protective mechanism from intruding thoughts that could eventually lead to possession.
It is said that the possession of the nuns at Loudun, France in the seventeenth century began with uncontrolled sexual hysteria that spread like an epidemic. Interestingly enough, many of the priests sent to Loudun to perform exorcism rites became equally possessed, as documented in the letters of the priest, Surin, concerning his condition after visiting Loudun. Oesterreich, in Possession and Exorcism, discusses this unusual phenomenon without offering any insight. In light of the works and investigations of Paracelsus, we can only wonder if the priests themselves had sexual habits, perhaps resulting from years of sublimated fetishism, that allowed them to be so easily overwhelmed with cruel vengeance. Surin, in his autobiographical account, does not reveal the source of his compelling madness from which he suffered greatly and with which he died.
But why do people become possessed by entities through the opening of the sexual door? What is it about sex that is so important? Oesterreich points out that he considers the outcome of true possession to be "the complete disappearance of consciousness of the original personality in the possessed person." In the cases that I have studied this fact seems to be borne out. The outcome is irreversible and few people survive their possession and return to their former sanity. For most, such as Ray, their former sanity, wholeness of mind and will to live are robbed. And as their mental vitality diminishes, the degree of possession and sexual degeneracy proportionally increases. The hint that we get from this is that somehow the energy generated from our sexual impulse is related to our overall vitality. Freud proposed the idea of libido in his psychoanalytic theory to mean that we possess a sexual energy related to our psychic energy, acting as a creative force and affecting our vitality. Thus we can see that increasing sexual perversion could have the effect of fragmenting the mentality of a person, opening him to possession from outside entities that would invade for the purpose of tapping the libido, sexual energy or vitality in much the same way that a mosquito would steal his blood.
Is the fountainhead of our life's energy, our creative force, a commodity for consumption on a market that we do not fully appreciate? Although direct proof may be impossible, I think that an answer may be evident in the subtle patterns of nature. We can observe the fruits of our sexual impulse. We reproduce and fulfill a biological destiny in a process similar to all forms of life. Yet when we study the sexual patterns of animals other than man we find something unusual. All undomesticated animals mate and reproduce according to seasonal calendars which are dependent upon the estrus cycle or fertility of the female. Mating occurs only at these times. Man is the only animal with a sexual frequency disproportionate to the requirements of reproduction. Animals with the same gestation period as man mate only prior to pregnancy during the estrus cycle of the female and may never mate again until after the female has given birth and come again into estrus or fertility. With man, sexual frequency is not dependent upon the requirements of reproduction and mating is continuous, and may be daily for a greater part of life. Why is this so? Our sexual habits appear excessive and wasteful in relation to the rest of the animal kingdom. Was sex then given to us alone for our pleasure, or is there another more subtle meaning behind it?
We notice when observing the relationship between predator and prey in nature that all life forms take their place in a hierarchy where worms eat microbes, birds eat worms and cats eat birds. The hierarchy begins with primitive life forms and ends at the top with man, the supreme predator that eats all other life forms. And as predator we take the vitality of the flesh of our prey for our consumption and in turn generate a vitality of our own, perhaps the most subtle on the face of the earth, which is dissipated through our various activities including a sexual frequency far greater than any other animal. The laws of energy suggest that our energy is flowing somewhere. Missing from this apparent scheme of predator and prey is a visible predator of man to prey upon our vitality. In the absence of one seen we can only conclude that we are host to invisible parasites or entities that affect us from a more subtle dimension for our more subtle energy.
Despite the apparent impossibility of objectively proving that possessing entities exist, the overwhelming subjective evidence of human testimony, combined with my intuitive inferences, have convinced me that what we can observe as madness, voice-hearing or schizophrenia can be caused by such psychic parasites. In almost every historical culture we can find references to demons and possession, as man has passed on his warnings and safeguards from generation to generation. By determinedly refusing to consider the idea of possession as anything but superstition, psychology may have precluded the possibility of developing a complete theory of the forms of mental illness. As William James so aptly put it:
"[T]he refusal of modern 'enlightenment' to treat 'possession' as a hypothesis to be spoken of as even possible, in spite of the massive human tradition based on concrete experience in its favor, has always seemed to me a curious example of the power of fashion in things scientific. That the demon theory will have its innings again is to my mind absolutely certain." (17)
My criticism of modern psychology has not been solely because of its scientific skepticism concerning the value of subjective experience and intuitive evaluation. Psychology has had an obligation to fulfill in the protection of our sanity and, for its performance in this role, an indictment is definitely in order. It may be more than peculiar that today, as attitudes towards sex have become liberal and uninhibited and the tolerance by psychology for wide varieties of sexual practices has increased, so has the rate of mental illness grown at an alarming rate. (18) This is not just the function of a growing population unless that population and the authorities within it are encouraging madness. Psychology, in its quest to be scientific and objective, has applied the same yardsticks to sanity, and decided by legislation what it should be. A few years ago, homosexuality was voted out as a mental illness by a referendum majority of the American Psychological Association, and the diagnostic manuals changed, to suit the increasing public popularity. Thus, modern psychology believes that our sanity can be simply voted upon, regardless of the actual impact that certain detrimental experiences may have upon the mind. Masturbation, homosexuality, lesbianism and sodomy are no longer considered to be the manifestations of a diseased mind, but experiences to embrace and integrate into ourselves. By disposing of morality as "old-fashioned restraints," now extinct in a modern society with sophisticated sexual itches to scratch, psychology has developed a philosophy that advocates dissipation and debauchery, thus endangering all who follow the therapeutic approaches that advise the opening of the sexual door for the sake of experience. Through such irresponsibility (or ignorance) psychology can only encourage a courtship with possession and the creation of madness, rather than its prevention.
Incidences of voice-hearing, murder, madness, sexual perversion and schizophrenia are undeniably linked. The evidence from case histories bears this out. These afflictions to the personality all seem utterly irrational when viewed from the majority's perspective of agreed upon sanity. Objective attempts by psychology to study these irrational states have failed because researchers and therapists have refused to grant credence to the victims' descriptions of phenomena such as voice-hearing and apparitions. Treatments such as insulin, shock and chemotherapy treat only physiological symptoms and may provide some temporary relief, but can in no way be considered as cures. The possession explanation for voice-hearing may be too obvious for the modern mind used to abstract formulations. It is, after all, based upon the direct testimony of those humans who have suffered from this strange ailment.
The Columbus TAT Society
Carl Jung Study Group
A group has recently been formed to study the psychology and philosophy of the eminent psychologist and psychoanalyst, Carl Gustav Jung. The purpose of the group is twofold: first, to seek a deeper intellectual and intuitional understanding of the psychology presented in the works of Carl Jung and, second, through comparing and relating these ideas to our own personal lives, to come to a truer understanding of ourselves. Call _______ for information.
Free public lectures are given on alternate Sundays at 7:30 p.m. at Buckeye Federal Savings and Loan, 3180 East Broad Street.
July 23 - Steve Horvath: "Dowsing"
August 6 - William Strandwitz: "Iridology" August 20 - Jon Cook: "Your Personal Horoscope"
Tales of Love
by Richard Rose
A few years ago I visited Niagara Falls for the first time. I found an atmosphere of magic there that first time that I have not found since, but I have a memory of magic that keeps me going back, not to look at the gorge or river as much as to watch the different expressions on the faces of the tourists. Seemingly I am looking for the same face, or a similar one, of a person I met there.
I had made the trip with my son James and daughter Ruth. They had gone into a novelty store very close to the falls. I went over to the rail, and was looking down into the turbulence where a boat, "The Maid of the Mist," was wallowing around in the heavy swells very close to the cataract.
I became conscious of an old man standing near me. He looked like a lonely old man, but he was not pushing his loneliness. He had a quiet friendliness that wanted to find an open door, but his look of resignation showed that he would go away as happy as he came even if I did not speak to him.
I had seen men like him before. Something like a philosopher-hobo. Generally they never get married because they are averse to watching suffering. They meet people only in happier moments, to share a handout, a glass of beer, a few secrets about making money without losing freedom... and they always hurry away before their acquaintanceship gets to the point where they might have to share suffering, or anger with their fellow-wayfarer. Their lives contain reels of stories of friends found joyously and lost the next day. They keep only good memories. They know other men like books, but recall only the beautiful elements of the people that they meet.
And so I thought I knew this man. I felt that I could predict the exact reaction that I would get from him, by meeting him on his own ground. Share a few words and memories together. Do not ask names. Do not talk about aging... now is forever. Do not gripe about things... only look at the fair side of things because if you feel like griping it is griping at restlessness within. In this manner both of us would bypass all opinions (which require endless description and apologies), and go right to a common state of mind, and float like two swallows on the breezes of happenstance and hope and wait to see if we were successful in making the trick work. The trick of instant rapport with infinite lights and dimensions.
"There is a lot of power there. I wonder how deep that water is at the foot of the falls," I noted.
"Yeah. Looks threatening the first time you see it. . . but after that it. . . well it changes...."
A few seconds of silence followed as we both stared at the spectacle. "Where you from?" "West Virginia. . . . Where's your home?"
"Oh. . . I'm a hopper. Been hopping around for years. I was an orphan. Now I am a bum that poses as a writer." He gave a broad grin. "I pick up material here for stories. Lot of stories come here. Honeymooners... but not as many as used to. Lot of young people with their families. Lot of old people taking the only vacation that they had time to take, or money enough to take."
"That's odd. I had the same impression. I have seen a lot of beautiful old couples here. They seem to be capping some sort of mutual ambition... or fulfilling some selfless phase of life."
"Right! Right!" he whispered enthusiastically. "You know it. It's their romance. They've survived a life of struggle. . . maybe even a bit of hell together... but they generally have given up all the physical or selfish reasons for sticking it out... and they come to find a deathless relationship... friendship."
"Love." He tightened his jaw as he said it. He meant it.
"Never believed in love. I always thought people meant something else when they dropped the word." I tried to grin too. I wanted him to notice that I had made a few observations about people and their devious methods.
"Oh, you know what I mean. This is the place of love. Millions of people have come here because they were in love. Young honeymooners who saw beauty in the other one's eyes. The Falls only gets the best of them. They come here all charged up with love and beautiful dreams. They will go home and pull each other's hair out the next week, but the Falls never sees it. The old people fought and scratched for years. . . but nobody ever seen it. All we see here is two gentle old people who value each other a terrible lot."
"Maybe so. Death and love magnify each other."
"I've heard that before. . . . Who said that?"
He grinned broadly, patiently. "Me. I don't read much except what I write. Sounds hard to buy, ya think?"
"No. I feel the same way. It just seemed familiar."
He pressed on earnestly. "You see, we are not talking about some biological urge. We are talking about a principle. Blake said that Eternity is in love with the production of time. People in love sense that they have touched almightiness. It's like this river rushing for the sea where it will be nothing. The big moment for it is here, right here. One big fling. One roar of joy.
"These people don't know it, but they come up here to show their love to the world, to the elements. . . and maybe to God. They go out in that boat as if to say—We are greater than death. We cannot be killed. We may lose our bodies, but in this love we will be together forever. Never again alone in the universe like the old God of Adam was."
"That's interesting. . . ." And it was.
"Let me tell you some of these cases of love. A young bride and groom came up here in the winter. The falls were frozen solid, so a lot of people were out there on the ice. Some had built shacks for tourists. But the ice gave way and started to sink into the hole at the foot of the falls. It must have been the greatest spectacle for this region. I guess most of them made it off to the shore, but three people went down for sure.
"The young couple never tried to go. Quietly they embraced, and held each other until they disappeared. Their love-challenge was answered, and they knew beyond a shadow of doubt that their love was still greater than death.
"Another fellow, a man, had come out alone. He did not try to mingle with them too closely. He retreated inside himself, knelt down on the ice and prayed until he was gone."
I was thinking of the poor fellow who had to die alone. "I get the idea of what you're talking about. ... but it seems that the few cases of beauty are outweighed by the millions of cases of lovelessness, of squalid human existences, of murder, crime, hate, and retaliation."
"They are all part of the picture of love. These are all love stories, and love's defiance of human fear. The hunter goes out and kills for his loved ones. The soldier and the gangster do strange things to prove their stature. And let us say that the reliefer that keeps his family on welfare is a coward of sorts, but his is still that quiet defiance of obstacles to his created love-unit or family. . . even though to us it is a damned bummy existence."
He hesitated a moment. He looked more serious as though he were remembering something way back in the past. "Ah. . . yes. I see. I said something a minute ago about Eternity being in love with the production of time. I quoted Blake and Blake was talking about the stage... so to speak... not only the stage or planet, but show-schedules, billions of opening times and closing times. . ."
"The Cecil B. DeMille of the original production of The Ten Commandments." I threw that in because I thought it was appropriate.
". . . Right. In a way.... Have you ever heard the Kabbalistic twist to the creation? Not hard to relate to. Before all things got started there was only one consciousness. . . God. Anything alone that long has to conjure up some company."
"So now we have to suffer. And does this make us any more than shadows in another being's reveries or conjurations?"
"Maybe. I don't know. The male black widow spider makes love, knowing that he is going to be immediately nothing more than a meal for the gut of his mate. He must know it, because he usually tries to get away from her. But that is his capacity for love. Maybe the old lady spider pays a price too, to prove herself. I've heard that she has to stand by and watch the babies eating one another."
"What about those who pay, and never get the chance to love... like the little spiders?"
"Every reproducing creature loves. You're thinking about the millions of teenage soldiers who die on the battlefield and never had a girl friend. But you do not see their drama. The locust digs for seventeen years to sing his song for six weeks, and dies. He never sees his children. Never knows if they made it or not. The soldier is very romantic. Nearly every one has a girl friend. Most of their girl friends are unreal, super-imposed dream-copies projected upon the memory of the girl next door... or the pin-up in the barracks.... But he's a lover. He is the creator of love stories that never come true because they have never happened yet. He is still a child enough that he loves his mother. When the moment of death comes for him, he calls for her and immortalizes her. He dies protecting her, or protecting one of his buddies, and immortalizes himself. And he sees it all coming and doesn't mind."
"But why all the pain?"
He paused, and stared at the sidewalk for a moment. "There's no pain. You are looking from the outside. The audience suffers, not the actor. The more trauma in the script, the greater the glory. The story is what's important. That's why I wanted to take a crack at writing.
"You see, love is more important than empire-building. Empire building is a vanity, unless done for the love of someone else. It is love too, but it is a frenzied method of torturing yourself to death while often alienating yourself from the real people that you might love.
"Eternity may have produced endless space and endless time... but life is something else. Love is the song of life. The Kabbalistic God hungers for the experience of love. He got hungry, he groaned and out came the Logos. The word. The story. The stories multiplied."
I still felt that he was missing a point. "How do you account for the evident unbalanced situation... the cost seems to exceed the reward. A man has a moment of love, but he pays for it with years of suffering. Or a man goes through years of sacrifice and suffering, getting an education... if he survives the gauntlet that he has to run with the army and other dangers... and finds that he has just prepared himself to start sacrificing himself for this thing called love... for the rest of his life!"
He was waiting patiently for me to finish. "Maybe we have to prove our claim to love. In a relative world-picture we would need the pain to identify the love. Better than identifying it with hate. But I think that through this ambiguousness, or polarity of thinking, we do experience a relative love. The hunger that we really have then is to eternalize that feeling. And we do not know it at the time, perhaps, but we are helping to create a cosmic picture, which might be a cosmic experience. . . eternalizing the love phenomena."
I felt like saying that we might well be eternalizing man's ability to fool himself, but I knew this would throw cold water on the warm friendliness and candor of our relationship. I made some excuse and suggested that we go sit down in his car or mine. He wanted a drink. We were on the Canadian side of the border and I did not know if they served alcohol near the falls: It turned out that he wanted a soft drink, so we picked up a couple of sodas and sat in my car. I cannot remember every detail of the conversation, but I remembered a lot of that which was said because he made an impression on me later, which somewhat intensified my memory of nearly all that was said.
I remember that when he sat down he said, "That falls is a young man's tallest tree. . . and for every woman it is the symbol of the most terrible sacrifice of masochism. . . an initiation for an eternal motherhood..."
I felt that I knew what he meant. Boys start off climbing a tree to impress their girl friends. Then they climb tall buildings or take dangerous jobs to guarantee their mate's security. Some grown men actually try to overcome the falls itself. Quite a few went over the falls in barrels, and some of them died. Some died just trying to ride through the lower rapids. Looking across to the American side I saw several wrecked automobiles at the foot of the cliff at the water's edge. I wondered if the drivers had committed suicide on a dare... daring the everpresent threats of nature... for a final time. If they survived they are forever fearless, and if they died they will be free of fear.
Strangely, only one woman had tried to conquer the falls in a barrel. I saw her picture in one of the souvenir-booklets describing the falls. She looked as though she suffered from an unwelcome masculinity, and I do not think that she ever expected to survive: I think she wanted to experience masochism in its most extreme form.
I knew that there was some wisdom in this man, and it occurred to me that I valued his fellowship. I did not even know his name and I knew that I wanted to keep in touch with him. I could not get the idea of the falls being a proving ground for the young man in search of ultimate self-validation. That same day I had to pull my son from the wall, and once he succeeded in getting through the pipes above the wall, pretending to retrieve something that had fallen on the grass on the other side. I realized at the time, that James would not try it again because he had made his point. He had something to brag about when he returned home. And he felt satisfied with himself.
"What's your name?. . . . Mine is Rose,—Richard Rose."
"Adam." No great joy to him to know my name, this I could see.
I waited, thinking that my wait would bring out his full name and maybe a little personal history. He knew about my tactic.
"Just Adam." And this with a look that seemed to say that we were both O.K., and did not need to get into personal gossip.
I was amused by his refusal to be pressed into the simple conformity of an introduction. But I felt that I knew his reasons.
"I will remember Adam... but maybe I would not remember Adam Jones or Adam Smith who I would try to relate to all the Joneses or Smiths that I ever knew... right?"
"Meeting people is like ships passing at sea. It serves no purpose for one ship to turn around and follow the other ship just because they did not fire upon one another. Maybe that don't put it the way I want to. . . ."
"I know... I know ......
"I prefer to be a story for you. I want you to know only the good part. . . a few nonpolitical. . . hopefully non-egotistical minutes. The writer never tells the real nature of his characters... just the good part. . . and that is the part that we are interested in. Who knows, maybe we will meet again... if so, that's good. But we have no shackles if we do not. People like to make themselves miserable sometimes... now I am not aiming at you. . . but people can't let go... and when they get tight about leaving a pleasant scene they destroy the memory of the scene. All relationships have to turn into agonies. I think that is the reason people lose track of one another when somebody dies. They have a wall of agony between themselves and the person who shipped out."
"I can see that this is consistent with your idea of real love. Real love deals with people but not with capturing or holding......
"Each man is a story... maybe he can be a better story... or maybe he can just play it out better. You are a brief walk-on in my story. I am a brief walk-on in your story. Our story is more vital if we play brevity to its best.
"One of the greatest stories was the life of Christ. I wonder, though, if people really see how well He told His story. There is an art to allowing oneself to simply allow the story to happen. The art is chiefly not falling for lesser love-impulses. You see, Christ played the role of a man who loved supremely. Maybe if He had played His cards right He would have been King of the Jews. Or He could certainly have gotten rich if He healed people a little under that which was the going AMA rate. But He was healing people so that people would love Him and so that He could sell out that lesser love itself. Now that sounded damned weird... but I think you pick it up. He decided to be the greatest love story. So He had to show the difference between all the different forms of human love and universal love. He died in the prime of life when He would have been able to maturely love individuals, a wife or lover, or friends. And He had that type of love too maybe.
"So He gave them all up and immortalized them besides forming for all time a new, non-relative love. A love beyond the pain and the payment. He rejected the payment of His love for His mother and family which tempted Him to cling to them in a dreary life of mutual watching over, of identification with everything that afflicted Him or them. He rejected the role as king because that role always calls for more human hate than love. He had created an esoteric brotherhood, but He gave up that fellowship, knowing that maybe by bidding for the greater goal He may have interpreted His role in the drama incorrectly, and maybe had lost the impersonal love that the brotherhood represented, and which may have been his real purpose for living. . . .
''He must have had some shaky moments... but He played it out because it was placed before Him. Just imagine having to hang there and watch your family going through more pain than yourself. ... He must have been half dead by the time they got Him nailed to the cross... or in shock. So the pain at that moment was not significant. His pain would have been the surrender of His concern for those in his immediate circle that only knew about personal love. He was bound to have had a sympathy for their love.
"His brotherhood had scattered. They suddenly became body-conscious. A few morbid people were now his only following. . . that is, besides the family. He also gave up his reputation... and the reputation was the catalyst that may have helped effect all those miracles. But He gave that up too, for the long shot."
I was getting an inkling of his picture, or thought I was. "I always thought that later historians and devout but happy morbid minds, detracted from the figure of Christ by drawing bloody hearts and lacerated bodies. Christ became for centuries a fetish for a weird form of meditation."
"Not at all. Don't get carried away by the drama. Noble actors must occasionally play the part of the creep. Why was he noble? All men are noble... they just have to take the role that allows them to learn about love. Judas had to become a classic heel... the greatest historical heel. . . then the noble Judas kills the Judas creep... and the light and attention validates the theme of the drama, because it is all reflected in the direction of the Christ-objective.
[Illustration: Maid of the Mist. Illustrating an Indian legend. —From a painting.]
"It was the greatest drama ever enacted. The actors had to be the greatest. They were called upon to give up the most. When young lovers die in an unconsummated love... they die for human love. Their story is good. . . but we always have the feeling that if they had lived it would have become very carnal once it had been consummated. The Romeos and Juliets gave up their physical experiences. . . in the name of selfless friendship. . . but not universal love. The manifest dream of the Romeos and Juliets is an eternal love in which those two will immortally share a bodiless love. Just those two. The hell with the rest of humanity."
"Is that wrong?" I asked, meaning was it wrong to reject humanity?
"No... no. I was just trying to point out lesser love stories. But these lesser love stories are greater than most of our stories. We act out our parts well, but we just do not sign up for the real good stories.
"But every man and woman is a lover... and every life is a story. We like to think that we are conscious actors. . . . I say we have to be conscious of our act and then we can see it from the audience for what it is. We get too identified with a stage-play, and feel responsible for writing the play. Occasionally the creep believes that he really is a creep. He does not realize that he surrendered himself into that play before he was born. Sometimes the greatest sacrifices are made before we were born.
"Christ was aware of that. Once He was asked for the cause of a certain man's affliction. The guy asking the questions thought that the afflicted guy had some genetic defects or some curse that lasted for seven generations. And Christ replied that the man was born to be healed by Christ,—made sick so that Christ would heal him. From this it is evident to me that Christ knew that He was acting out a drama. The stage had been set a long time ago. Yet it is possible that Christ through some exceptional talent was merely able to see conditions that launched Him into this life. It could be that Christ had a power over events, but it looks more to me like He too surrendered to the terms of a contract written before He was born."
Adam saw everything as aimed at love... mostly human, selfless, love. People act out selfish lives to glorify that much more—the selfless type of human personal love. The human personal love can be witnessed. Impersonal love is very hard to witness.
I felt that I had suddenly been taught something by Adam. He was deliberately giving up the importance of Adam Jones the lover so that I could get a glimpse of Impersonal Love itself. To him the prostitute gives up the sweet role of loveliness to publicize and endow loveliness. The hater becomes the black paint on the back of the mirror of love... so that we will only wish to see love. The killer kills the lover and not only immortalizes the love of the lover, but immortalizes goodness as well.
The man who works for forty or fifty years in the mill, or in the mine, does not do it for himself. He places his loved ones above him self... and he may drink himself to death just to hold his job for them.
Then we see the man who gets drunk and loses his job, and becomes a bum. And his wife and children descend into poverty. This man has a family that has problems that require hardship in the prescription for their evolvement. Perhaps the bum is under contract for hardship for the same reasons. And so he acts it out, suffering greatly because he cannot help those that he loves any better.
I knew I had a lot of questions to ask Adam, and the first one had to do with getting a line on his activities for the following day. I knew that I had to find my children and prepare to camp for the night.
Then I remembered that he did not wish to be obligated to any social requirements. I could not call him up if I did not know his name. So that when I left him, I tried to be as casual as possible. I said, "Maybe I'll run into you tomorrow. If I do not, I'll sure remember the Story.
He cocked his head and grinned, and shook my hand. Even handshaking to him was an unnecessary formality, but he obliged.
I got out of the car to lock it up preparing to go up on the hill to the pylon where the children had headed several hours before, but as I locked the car I saw them coming only a few feet away. So I unlocked the door again, and went back to the driver's side and started up the car.
We drove back to the American side to camp along Lake Erie. We were all tired and sleep came easy, even in a camper. I have forgotten the name of the park into which we pulled, but the sunset was very beautiful. A long pier extended out into the water. It was concrete and may have been placed there to prevent erosion. We walked out on it and took a few pictures.
I fell asleep and was awakened by a dream. It was morning. The heavy hues had left the sky. It was clear and cheerful, and the birds seemed in agreement. I had been dreaming of Adam.
We had gone down to the pier and taken some pictures. Adam had appeared and I was overjoyed. I realized I should have gotten his picture at the falls since we had a camera. So he walked out on the pier and we snapped the shutter. All dreams have strange abilities for change. My camera was a small Kodak instamatic that held film in a sealed plastic cartridge. But in the dream it had now become a Polaroid. Ruth and James were hovering over the camera as we waited for the picture to emerge.
When it came out, there was no pier, only the sky with all of its different shades of red, yellow, blue and vermillion. The picture now apparently had not fully developed. We stared in amazement as a face appeared in the picture taking up the whole horizon. It was Adam, and he was grinning.
The pier now appeared slowly across the bottom of the picture. And as we watched them forming, two words appeared printed the length of the pier. They were—IN TECHNICOLOR.
I had to wait a while for James and Ruth to awaken. I could hardly wait to tell them about the dream. After we had washed, we sat at the large rustic picnic table allotted to us, and had breakfast.
"Had an odd dream about Adam last night."
Ruth said, "Oh?"
"It seems that we were down there on the lake, and we took a picture of the sunset, and it turned out to have Adam's face in it."
"Adam who?" Ruth asked pedantically. "You know, the fellow I was talking about on the way over here last night."
"You mean the bum."
"No, he wasn't a bum. He was well dressed. He paid for his own drink. . . in fact insisted on paying for his own. But you saw him. I was shaking hands with him when you walked up to the car."
"If you say so, daddy." She gave an impatient sigh.
"What do you mean by that..... 'If I say so?'"
"Daddy... you were asleep when I came up to the car."
I never saw Adam again. In a way I never expected to. And I realized then that if I were ever to tell this story I would have to surrender any claim of immunity to senility... to get it told.
TAT Book Service
By buying in volume, we are able to save our readers a few dollars on many books that are not sold at all bookstores. We also invite our readers to write in if they have books to sell. The books listed here are all new. To order.... [[List of books here]]
Part Two: Uncovering the Recurrent Dream
by David Gold
I'm back in high school. Final exams are tomorrow, and I'm totally unprepared for them. I haven't opened a text book or attended any of my classes. Fear and frustration well up within me. How could I have been so short-sighted and lazy and let this crisis build to such ahead?
The most enjoyable part of a dream similar to the one set out above is awakening and discovering that you have indeed been dreaming. And once awake, how quickly we forget the terror and trauma of the sleeping hours! By the time the teeth are brushed, chances are that the anguish of being completely unprepared for an upcoming test will have dissipated, and been replaced by the petty hopes and fears of the day ahead.
The pain of total vulnerability may disappear, but what of the hidden weaknesses which may have prompted the dream? Can we fall asleep to inner messages by merely awakening to the trivia of everyday existence? Or will we plunge fearlessly into the deeper recesses of the self, and dynamically attempt to unravel the secret of the dream, and the motivations which lie beneath it?
Often, a dream will recur with such regularity that it soon becomes more difficult to ignore its possible message than to attempt to decipher it. If you have been utilizing dream recollection techniques similar to those outlined in the first part of this article (see TAT Journal, Volume 1, Number 3, Spring, 1978), or if you are just naturally sensitive to your dreams, you probably are aware of a dream which recurs with some frequency. (The dream set forth at the beginning of this article is my recurrent dream.) Therefore, assuming that at this point you have become conscious of a recurrent dream, and that you are sufficiently impressed by its recurrence to attempt to define it, I will present a system for the interpretation of the recurrent dream.
Effective interpretation of the recurrent dream involves the utilization of the same tools which lead to success in all facets of life, from playing the horses to building a financial empire. These are Emotion, Intellect, and Intuition. A successful dream interpreter must be able to recapture the emotional drama and trauma of the dream, break down and analyze the various symbols in the dream, and become sufficiently familiar with the subject matter so as to be capable of directly experiencing the message behind the dream. The preponderance of my analysis will deal with that aspect of dream work which is most explainable - symbol-interpretation.
For purposes of illustration and clarity, I will use my personal recurrent dream (R/D) as an example throughout this article. I would recommend at this time that you reread the dream at the beginning of this article.
A. Feeling Behind the Dream
It is extremely important that you recognize the emotional import of your R/D. A thousand hours spent in symbol analysis will not be as revealing as a simple remembering of the gut feeling experienced upon awakening. Your emotional reactions are the heart of the dream, and should be written down upon awakening.
When I awaken from my R/D, my emotional associations are best described as:
Panic - Frustration - Fear - Worry - Helplessness - Self-destructiveness
Within an hour or two, the emotional impact of the dream will have disappeared. By noting and expressing the emotional tenor of the dream, the dreamer captures an invaluable backdrop, against which he can place the actual symbols of the dream.
Developing a sensitivity to the emotional makeup of a dream is helpful to the understanding of the hidden feelings demanding expression during the sleeping hours. But emotional recognition alone will not tell you the source of these feelings, or why this message has chosen this particular mode of expression. To grasp the true meaning of the dream, one must work with the individual dream symbols.
Many readers are undoubtedly aware, of the plethora of systems which exist for the interpretation of dream symbols. Each system takes one aspect of human (or sub-human, or super human) existence, and sets forth that particular quality as the dominant theme of life, and of dreams. Be it sex (Freud), universal patterns or archetypes (Jung), spiritual or psychic evolution (Cayce), or simply experiencing life (Gestalt), these schools of symbol classification generally assume that every dream of every individual is activated by one major catalyst.
While each system may shed some light on the meaning and significance of dreams, no one of them can answer this extremely basic question: What did last night's dream mean? And the reason for this deficiency is obvious. No single cause, or motivation, is behind every one of your dreams.
For one dream may be an expression of sexual ambivalence towards an acquaintance, while the same night may witness a dream which is actually a contact with a universal belief structure. A dream about climbing a mountain may be representative of a spiritual quest, or may express a hidden desire to climb a mountain. Freud, Jung, Cayce, or Perls would all offer varying explanations as to why you dreamt the dream you did.
This is why no system of dream interpretation is really accurate, or even very helpful, beyond providing some food for thought about what your dream may have meant. Only you know, or can learn to know, what aspect of your self is stimulating a dream. You must go within, and examine your life and being for clues, if you wish to understand the messages that you receive.
Rather than relying wholly on any single system, I would recommend that you utilize your own methods of interpretation, and do so by drawing on whatever common sense tools, or ingenious techniques, that your intellect or imagination can devise.
One such seemingly simple technique consists of writing down the dream. And while this step may appear to be quite obvious, I find it truly remarkable how many people attempt to analyze their dreams without first transcribing them. In addition to providing the interpreter with a more concrete entity with which to work, writing the dream brings to consciousness many aspects of the dream which one might otherwise fail to remember. It is almost as if the process of writing down the dream forces the dreamer to mentally complete the dream in much the way that an author would a story. So that one automatically probes the memory for the missing pieces which will make the dream "story" complete, and fill whatever gaps that the memory failed to recreate. This is of particular importance when working with the recurrent dream, for often one can only remember a particular segment of his R/D, while being left with the conviction that there was definitely more to it. Eventually, persistent transcription will reveal your recurrent dream to you, and reveal it in its entirety.
But in addition to the recollection factor, writing down the dream triggers a fascinating phenomenon which I call "Creative Recollection." As you write, the story takes shape, so that the writer sees meaning in the dream even as he writes. The sentences begin to display a pattern, and what began as mere words suddenly take on the body of a real story being told by a deeper part of the dreamer.
To illustrate this process, I will once again refer to my R/D. As that dream closes, I am left with a nebulous feeling of fear and impending disaster. But as I articulate these thoughts on paper (How could I have been so short-sighted and lazy and let this crisis build to such a head?) I begin to see the source of these feelings, that is, letting things merely happen instead of taking control and doing what I know is necessary to avoid danger or harm. The writing of the dream transforms raw feelings and emotions into concepts and patterns which can be analyzed and eventually understood.
Having transcribed the dream, the next interpretation step involves the listing and deciphering of symbols. This step actually involves two separate processes: 1. Breaking the dream into segments; 2. Dealing with individual symbols within these segments. As one becomes more adept at dream recollection he finds that dreams usually consist of a number of "scenes," often seemingly unrelated. It therefore becomes necessary to divide dreams into parts and treat each scene separately, while simultaneously remaining sensitive to the possible relationship between the various parts.
Since the recurrent dream generally occurs as part of an entire dream sequence, involving companion dream scenes which are not recurrent, it becomes particularly important to recognize each individual segment. And once the general message of the R/D is understood, that message can be used as the keystone for deciphering companion dream segments.
To clarify, I'll set out the last dream which accompanied my R/D:
I am at a major league baseball game. I want very badly to catch a foul ball. I snag one and am ecstatic. I catch another and it turns out to be a piece of fruit, which is mushy. I re-examine my first ball, and it also turns out to be rotten fruit.
This dream is evidently a separate entity from my "high school" dream, and lends itself to innumerable potential interpretations. But taken in conjunction with the R/D segment, this dream reveals quite clearly the message which the inner self is attempting to express to the dreamer. This will become evident after exploring the second step involved in intellectual symbolic interpretation.
This step involves the heart of dream interpretation: Listing and interpreting the individual symbols in the dream. This can best be effectuated by listing each symbol, by dream segment, in the left margin of your dream notebook, while making sure to leave sufficient space between each symbol for future interpretation. My R/D at this stage would look like this:
High School _____________
Final Exams _____________
Cutting Classes _____________
Major League Ball Game _____________
Foul Ball (Prize) _____________
Piece of Fruit _____________
Of course you, the dreamer, must decipher what these symbols mean to you. And at this stage traditional, or even offbeat dream systems, may be helpful. For while some symbols may immediately shed their disguise and reveal their true meaning to you, others are simply "stumpers" and appear to have no personal significance whatever.
The first question to ask, therefore, is, "What does ________ mean to me? (substitute the symbol). To some, high school may be reminiscent of education, social hypertension, or a time of sexual awakening. To garner its personal meaning, explore your memories and emotions. What was the outstanding memory from high school, what trauma or peak experience would cause "high school" to be a symbol figuring prominently in a dream which occurs periodically throughout your life. Even psychological techniques, such as "free association," may be helpful in discovering the secret of your R/D symbols.
With some symbols, however, absolutely no associations which would apply to your life come to mind. Or, even more confusing to the interpreter, you may arrive at interpretations which simply do not make sense when they are placed together as a unit. At this point, it may be helpful to consult the works of Cayce, or Jung, or Ouspensky, or any writer who has done some thinking and research in this area. Their expertise may illuminate a symbol's meaning which your personal background would not otherwise expose to you.
After thinking, reading, meditating, or whatever else it takes to bring you to an understanding of your dream symbols, you should come up with a sheet that looks like this:
High School: Structured social insanity, unlimited potential, apparent control of your destiny.
Final Exams: Failure equals end of growth, passage equals victory and acceptance, failure equals repetition (of same mistake?)
Cutting Classes: Laziness, weakness, being a cork instead of a ship.
Major League Baseball Game: Excitement, childhood unadulterated pleasure.
Foul Ball (Prize): Getting something everyone wants but few obtain, fate smiling on me.
Piece of Fruit: Disappointment, a lemon, tricked into lusting after something I really don't want.
Prior to the final step of "putting it all together," the interpreter must be sure that he has called on all his faculties in order to arrive at a valid interpretation. These include the aforementioned emotional memories, intellectual symbol interpretations, and a certain intuition which can best be developed through continued practice and perseverance.
First a word about intuition. It is a term which I use with some reluctance, because of controversy and misunderstandings which surround that faculty. Some write off intuitional experiences as merely being correct guessing, or coincidence. Others confuse intuition with intellect, or instinct, or deny it as a separate tool or talent. In spite of this disagreement (stemming in large part from modern psychology's reluctance to accept that which is not easily explained or measured), a phenomenon does occur, after persistent effort, which cannot be ignored. Continued attention focused on a particular subject will enable an individual to gain instantaneous insights into that subject matter which logic or feeling alone would not have opened up to him.
It is clear that even this explanation of intuition requires a bit of intuition to understand. The proposition is one that has already manifest its validity to you many times. Creativity, and even flashes of genius, come to those who diligently use all available tools to study their subject.
We cannot really hope to unlock the mystery of the recurrent dream unless we continue to seek out better ways and means of understanding that phenomenon. We should be working with a definite discipline of some sort, while experimenting with new tools, so that we come to possess both the intellectual background and the freshness of mind which lend themselves to intuitional insights.
Trying to explain the worth of intuitive insights is akin to having to prove the benefits of a long journey to a beautiful city prior to embarking: you have to make the trip yourself to appreciate the goal. But effort will lead to intuitive realizations, and it is important for the interpreter to be sensitive to those flashes of insight which may abridge hundreds of hours of reading and thinking, as well as to continue to work in such a manner as to stimulate your intuitive faculties and capacities.
Eventually you can come to possess the emotional, intellectual, and intuitive tools which are instrumental to understanding the R/D, and learn to apply the R/D message to its companion dreams as well as your waking life. For working with any dream, including the R/D, deepens your awareness of your inner self, as well as the events which transpire during your life which trigger the dream message.
D. Putting It All Together
The time has finally come to apply all that has been written to my own recurrent dream, as well as its companion dream, while paying particular attention to my life and mood prior to and after the dream.
In my high school dream, I noticed that preceding the dream, life brings me face to face with an aspect of my personality which I'd rather not see. Perhaps I catch myself ignoring a familiar neurosis instead of working through it, or it could be that I've fallen into a habitual behavior pattern which I cannot seem to shake. Whatever the particulars may be, this R/D appears to have its roots in some personal recurring weakness.
I invariably awaken from this dream in an extremely agitated and worried state. Procrastination has finally caught up with me, and disaster is imminent - so imminent that I feel no real relief upon awakening. Some crisis is awaiting me, and I cannot flee into this seeming reality we call wakefulness to avert it.
With these "bookends" around my dream (background and mood upon awakening) I finally possess a workable perspective on my dream symbols. Putting it all together, my recurrent dream interpretation is this:
The test I have been avoiding is a crisis similar to one I faced in high school. I was unprepared to meet it then, and I am unprepared to meet it now. The weakness in my self is the same, and until I see this problem through, it will continue to haunt and block me in my growth.
This interpretation may not come as a revelation to the reader, but it does have quite a significance to an individual who has fought his way through to an answer to the recurrent dream mystery. An individual who is committed to understanding his deeper self, including its expression in dreams, gains more than an insight into one particular dream. For once the R/D is understood the dreamer immediately gains a greater insight into the dreams which accompany the R/D. The R/D is analogous to the plot of a story, a theme which runs as a lifeline throughout your experiences. The dreams which occur with the R/D are subplots that reflect specific incidents which have impressed themselves upon some inner consciousness.
Referring now to my personal accompanying dream, the "foul ball" dream, one sees that this dream has an almost infinite number of possible interpretations. This dream evidently has something to do with a disappointment in discovering that a highly coveted prize is actually a "lemon," but beyond this no personal significance is readily apparent when the dream is examined independently. Coupled, however, with the high school R/D, its relevance to my life becomes clearer: I'm making the recurring mistake of pursuing the wrong goals. Rather than strive towards what I know is worthwhile, I am placating myself by momentarily playing a particular game which I realize will ultimately disappoint me. As a result, I'm no closer to my true goals and values. And, with specific reference to the R/D, although critical points in my development are at hand I'm unprepared for them, because I have been wasting my time and energy instead of pointing my life's direction towards what I know is worthwhile.
It is possible, of course, that I am off base in my R/D interpretation. The only way to actually verify my findings is to complete the final stage of dream interpretation, and that is reflection, or meditation. Dreams are an excellent method of stimulating the mind to work toward a greater understanding of the self, and meditation or reflection is in turn invaluable to understanding the dream. By viewing your interpretation as a tentative hypothesis, to be validated or disproven by honest, critical analysis, the dream interpreter can prove to his own satisfaction whether his efforts have revealed the true dream meaning, or if it is necessary to return for further interpretational efforts. This process of reflection will be covered in detail in the last segment of this series.
To briefly summarize the system of unraveling the recurrent dream:
I will close with the same thought which finished the first segment, dealing with dream recall, entailing my recognition that very few of the readers will put this system to work with any regularity. And to be realistic, no one has the time to dissect every dream with the detail that I have just described. But occasionally a dream will touch you, and stir within you the conviction that some part of you is trying to convey a very significant and meaningful message. And if the dream recurs, you may be left with a sense of urgency about deciphering that message. Those who truly hunger for self-understanding and definition inevitably come to the realization that life provides very few clues into its patterns and mysteries. When the recurrent dream opens the door to the workings of the inner self, it behooves us to take a long, hard look at what lies within.
Coming in TAT Journal:
The Recovery: Acting Upon the Recurrent Dream
A Memorial to Wilbur Franklin
by Michael Baldrige
On April 10, 1978, only a few days before the Spring TAT Journal arrived from the printers, Dr. Wilbur Franklin died of massive pneumonia at the age of forty-four. That issue contained an interview that I had conducted with Dr. Franklin on December 21, 1977 at Kent State University.
Ironically, his death came at a time which showed great promise for the furthering of his work. He was becoming increasingly in demand in regard to both teaching and lecturing on the paranormal and had recently received national publicity on some of his experiments. In fact, some of his colleagues have commented to me that he had appeared particularly inspired in the months preceding his death. Once again, we can only stop to reflect upon our own temporal positions.
In the last few years, Dr. Franklin had emerged not only as an enthusiastic scientist but also as a good friend to many TAT people. When I left his office in December, he spoke to me in an emotional tone about how important he thought it was that the TAT Society continue its efforts to reach people and thereby raise public awareness on psychic matters. It was apparent to me than, as it was to many others who heard him talk, that he felt deeply about the pursuit of knowledge and its use for the betterment of mankind.
Dr. Franklin's field of specialization was psychokinesis or the interaction of mind with matter. He was one of the first scientists in the United States to meet with Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the former astronaut, and to work with Uri Geller in 1972. From that time on, he was one of the chief instigators of psychic research in the United States. He brought many renowned psychics through the Kent, Ohio area and gave the first known course in paraphysics at a graduate level at Kent State. It seemed that he always had some scheme in mind whereby he could bring people together or do experiments and add to his knowledge. Whether it was at casual get-togethers experimenting with table-tilting or more complex laboratory tests with a strain-gauge, Franklin was responsible for bringing many people into both educational and friendly settings. He also kept up correspondence with some of the foremost scientists in the field which allowed for some valuable comparisons and discussion. He attended the Tarrytown conference in New York in 1974 which brought physicists, engineers and medical doctors together to study and discuss the phenomena that Uri Geller produced. He gave lectures at this and other conferences, like the International Parapsychology Association Conference in 1975 and the Frontiers in Physics conference in 1977. The latter, he felt, was one of the most important in the history of mankind because it emphasized the humanitarian utility of psychic phenomena.
Dr. Franklin was a rare type of scientist in that he was involved in a "search." Many scientists are hard to approach, but Wilbur was open to new ideas because he valued the pursuit of knowledge more than dogma. At lectures he often spent hours talking to people, answering questions and, most importantly, listening to some of the unusual case-histories that were brought to his attention. Some scientists would have seen these unusual psychic stories as a threat to their scientific stances, but Dr. Franklin seemed to marvel at the possible grain of truth that might be present. He learned many things that few other scientists would have had the guts to admit - things which throw the validity of the scientific method into doubt. He felt that a new way of looking at things was needed. But he still had the attitude of a good scientist, feeling that nothing should be taken for granted until verified.
Dr. Franklin was the first scientist to take an interest in the work of the TAT Society. He spoke at some of the earliest TAT Chautauquas and introduced Elaine Fortson, the Akron psychic, to the public. He sometimes traveled long distances to be at our symposia and was always an interesting speaker. He would often speak emotionally about the potentialities which seemed to spring up at those events by virtue of the stimulating environment for discussion. He had a fond and subtle sense of humor which made him dear to his colleagues, family and friends. I personally admired his openness and frankness. When I talked to him about the providence which caused him to meet Edgar Mitchell in 1972 he was very modest. He just kept saying to me, "Yeah, well there's nothing special about me." Looking back on it now, I think it was his very openness which indeed made him a "special" individual and a brave scientist.
I am sure that I cannot capture what he meant to all those who were close to him in this short memorial. Let it suffice to say that his presence will be sadly missed by many people - among them his family, his colleagues in the psychic field, his friends in Kent, and the TAT Society.
TAT News Calendar - Summer
The Pittsburgh TAT group has gravitated towards a discussion format. Meetings are every other Tuesday at the University and City Ministry, 4401 Fifth Avenue in Oakland. The group is publishing a local newsletter which serves as a good vehicle for exchange. For a subscription write to: K.D. Weeks, _______
In April Eleanor Edwards gave a very understandable talk on graphology. She is president of the Hypnosis Society and is writing a book on psychology. Eleanor Iskander followed two weeks later with a discussion of out-of-the-body-experiences (OOBE's).
In June Dr. Lindsay Jacob gave a talk called "Rudolf Steiner and the Mind of Man." For the last twenty years Dr. Jacob, a Pittsburgh psychiatrist, has been involved in extensive research into parapsychology, dreams, the Great Pyramid and the lost continent of Atlantis. Following his talk, the TAT group held a discussion to explore his ideas more fully.
The quarterly TAT meeting in April brought a host of inquisitive people down to the farm. The air was a bit cool but the sky was a perfect blue for two days of discussion and socializing which gave many TAT members the chance to roam the countryside and get acquainted. Discussions trailed late into the evenings, dealing mostly with the philosophic issues that individuals had been dealing with in their daily lives. Impromptu singing by the now infamous "Frog Prince Chorus" momentarily brought the house down with a blues version of "John Sholander, Why Did You Go To Chicago?"
The June Chautauqua on hypnosis involved good deal of work and preparation by the men in the Wheeling area who keep up the farm. Once again, they are to be commended for their work which made the Chautauqua a success. The second summer Chautauqua at the farm will be two days of presentations and discussions dealing with the topics of nutrition and health. It will be held on August 5 and 6. Contact your local TAT group or write to the TAT Foundation for more information.
[Illustration: Photo of the TAT Farm Chautauqua building]
This spring the TAT Society in Columbus presented four programs dealing with reincarnation, dreams and depth psychology. Elizabeth Bacon spoke on the history and theory of reincarnation in April. She also led a group meditation using different eastern chants and mantras. In the same month Joyce Cascioli covered a fascinating aspect of dream interpretation by discussing the most frequently recurring dream symbols and some of the best methods for recording your dreams. On May 7 Dr. David Dillahunt took the group into some case-histories involving the psychological technique of hypnotic regression. This is used to uncover past traumas and events which are buried within the unconscious mind. Dr. Dillahunt suggested that these unconscious contents represent a force which disrupts our conscious selves in the form of different types of neurotic symptoms and problems. Finally, on May 21, the Columbus Marian Center gave a lecture and slide presentation on "The Latest Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary" and the most recent cases of priests receiving the stigmatic wounds of Christ. Visions of "Our Lady" reportedly occurred over two thousand times to four girls in Garabandel, Spain between 1961 and 1965.
Meanwhile, the Carl Jung Study group has continued meeting every other Monday at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Lila Dennis, a Jungian psychologist, has been giving introductory lectures and leading discussions on Jungian terminology. On June 5 George Pettit discussed Jung's views on good and evil. In upcoming months the group will concentrate on The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campbell. The meeting place for the remainder of the summer is still tentative, so call Bill Bush at _______ for more information.
Regular TAT Society meetings, free and open to the public, are held every other Sunday at 7:30 p.m. They have recently been moved to a new location, the Buckeye Federal Savings and Loan at 3180 East Broad Street. The first two speakers this summer were oriented to the discussion of eastern religions. On June 25 Emanuel Weiss was scheduled to discuss "Early Buddhist Thought" and Daniel Quigley was set to lead a discussion on Zen philosophy on July 9. A presentation on dowsing by Steve Horvath from the Ohio Chapter of Dowsers is set for July 23, and on August 6 William Strandwitz will speak on iridology. Iridology is a method of learning about the body's state of health by reading the iris of the eye. Mr. Strandwitz is a teacher of iridology and will explain the basis and method of the art, as well as relating it to an overall program of health and well-being.
Jon Cook of Springfield, Ohio is planning, "The interpretation and Discussion of Personal Horoscopes," which will be presented on August 20. Jon has been studying and working with astrology for ten years. At this upcoming TAT meeting he plans to discuss the charts of some of the people attending the talk, so those who have had their horoscopes done should bring them along if they wish an interpretation. If you want to obtain your computer horoscope before the meeting contact Bill Bush before August 5.
Richard Rose said that two of the underlying mechanisms at work in the process of hypnosis are "uncertainty and belief." As he swayed his shoulders behind one young lady, she gradually became faint and dizzy. He had suggested to her that she was floating in a rocking canoe. As he swayed behind her a condition of "uncertainty" was created. This left her open to the suggestion until finally the actuality of the canoe became a conviction, a belief. Eventually, she passed into a state of sleep.
Throughout the weekend, the two ideas of uncertainty and belief were utilized by Rose to present an intriguing demonstration and discussion of hypnotic techniques. On Saturday, Alan Fitzpatrick laid the groundwork for the demonstration by presenting a basic, introductory overview of hypnotic techniques and the history of hypnosis, along with some personal experiences. Frank Mascara, an authority on "direct mind" systems, brought the affair to a more personal, developmental level. He had people pair off to work on dynamic, mental exercises aloud, at the same time that a hypnotic pinwheel spun and a tape recorded continuously exhorted the participants to "sleep." The idea of the exercise was to train the mind to focus on one selected piece of data out of a jumbled mass of incoming impressions, a necessary skill for becoming a good hypnotist. It was quite a spectacle to see 120 people reciting the exercise aloud, while each tried to isolate the "right" answer amidst the collage of noises and movements which filled the pavilion.
Over the entire weekend, Rose gave the participants an opportunity to learn some of the inner mechanisms which are at work in the process of hypnosis. He would demonstrate the techniques first, and then explain what had happened. There was plenty of time for questions which brought out some of the deep psychological knowledge which is necessary to understand hypnosis.
One of the more interesting experiments involved seven women who were put into a hypnotic state open to suggestion. They were all given the suggestion that they were women with superior intelligence and intuition, that they were, in fact, prophets. Then they were asked some questions that dealt with the future of the country. Six out of seven thought that the country was headed for a depression and the seventh woman was unable to answer.
Rose concluded the program with a class in hypnotic techniques and put one woman into a regression which took her back through the fourth grade. At one point, she recounted an experience with a UFO, to the surprise of the audience. The entire program was quite an adroit display of hypnosis and psychology.
Powers of Mind
By Adam Smith, New York, Random House, 1975, Pp. 418, $10.00 (TAT $6.00)
Just another dilettantish reporter, I thought to myself, as I discriminately scanned the book for the first time. After all, Adam Smith (alias: George Goodman) was an unknown in the field of psychic studies.
But, to my pleasant surprise, the author demonstrated a witty and skeptical approach; his style proved to be informative, entertaining, and well-documented. His critical, yet open-minded analysis of the major trends in the esoteric branches of psychology, medicine, and physics cover a wide range of inside conversations on such topics as biofeedback, yoga, transcendental meditation, Zen, EST, Gurdjieff, Sufism, Carlos Castaneda (of Don Juan fame), Baba Ram Dass, Robert DeRopp (author of The Master Game), Uri Geller, Carl Jung, John Lilly, ARICA, as well as the diverse movements springing out of the home base of humanistic psychology - Esalen Institute.
Powers of Mind is a fine source book for obtaining a broad overview of contemporary esoteric movements that are presently influencing and challenging the traditional mind sciences of the western world. The inevitable tension between the rational/objective paradigm and the more intuitive/ subjective approaches to psychology is explored in an intelligent and engrossing manner.
The author's honest skepticism permeates the book and is clearly reflected in one particular comment on the immaturity of many individuals who decided to join different esoteric or spiritual groups:
"But the Dupes were really falling for a lot of nonsense, too, by even the most charitable standards. Sweet children were leaving school and home and three drops of vinegar in the nostril and cry hum! - following the newest Oriental preacher and expecting the world to change next Tuesday."
Such a public declaration of the glaring absurdities of some movements is long overdue. . . critical thinkers are hard to find these days. Smith does not hesitate to call the spiritual supermarket a big business. The packagers of the spiritual-psychological growth movements of the 1970's have kept their criticisms of competitors within private circles, or not had the courage to express them at all. A gentleman's agreement not to topple each other's overflowing tithes, perhaps?
The writer's strength lies in the fact that he is not obligated to endorse any system, and he does not hesitate to quote other's critical opinions: "Don't go to Gurdjieff, Ouspensky told DeRopp. 'Gurdjieff s quite mad.'" The strongest criticism that could be mustered against the author rests in the fact that he does manifest, at times, as another reporter-dabbler in the field who wrote primarily to make a quick dollar before returning to his cozy Bardo as a financial analyst (and writer) on Wall Street. Nevertheless, Powers of Mind successfully appeals to a wide variety of readers, as shown by its being at one time on the national best-seller list. Novice, as well as professional psychologist, scientist, and general connoisseur of the psychic arts will surely discover this literary offering to be a delightful treat.
Possession And Exorcism
By Traugott K. Oesterreich, New York, Causeway Books, 1974, Pp. 400, $12.50 (TAT $6.00)
The idea of possession is one of those things that many people would rather put out of their minds. It seems like a frightening possibility. We have enough problems without adding to them by bringing into our awareness the possibility of debilitating and yet invisible influences. Despite this fear, there is enough evidence to suggest that we would be better off to study the matter. Man finds his greatest vulnerability in ignorance and this is evidently true concerning the subject of possession. Just as our knowledge of physical laws allows us to protect our bodies, our knowledge of psychic laws can help us to protect our spiritual selves.
If we consider some of the evidence at hand, the idea of possession does not seem as far-fetched as one might think. Our language is full of intimations which hint at possession. For instance, who has not seen derelicts on the street who appeared to be "beside themselves?" These same derelicts are seen wandering down the street muttering inane conversations with what psychologists might call their "alter egos." And when we speak of schizophrenics, we talk of a "split personality." Where does this second personality come from? Even the court system has invented a term which it calls "temporary insanity" to give a harmless label to unusual behavior. If we study the literature of depth psychology, again there are references to psychological complexes which behave strangely and even independently, yet many of the explanations for these phenomena seem inadequate or incomplete.
Traugott K. Oesterreich opens up the field for serious psychological evaluation by presenting a large volume of dramatic case histories and discussion. He begins with the chapter, "The Constant Nature of Possession Throughout the Ages," in which he attempts to show through examples that references to possession were not restricted to biblical times or any other time, but have always been with us. In the next sequence of chapters, he explores possession from a psychological viewpoint. By using anecdotes and descriptions, he attempts to show the external symptoms of possession which leads to the third chapter, "The Subjective State of the Possessed," and finally to the fourth, "The Genesis and Extinction of Possession," which deals with the possibility of a cure for possession.
The latter half of the book is mostly centered on the cultural distribution of possession and its relationship to various religions. Again, the text is impregnated with examples in the form of anecdotes and quotes which depict some rather unusual notes dealing with spontaneous and voluntary possession of primitive peoples, shamans and higher civilizations. At the end of the book there is an appendix on parapsychology which correlates the symptom of possession with the manifestation of certain psychic phenomena. This may be of interest to parapsychologists, for it may serve as a complementary or alternative explanation for many unusual events.
An essential value of Oesterreich's work (and also some fascinating reading) lies in the many case histories which must have been laboriously collected over a period of many years. There is ample material from which one can form his own opinions. Thus, Possession and Exorcism becomes a most valuable reference concerning the subject. In fact, William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist, has called it the "definitive study" on possession which, he stated, has not been nearly matched by the efforts of modern psychiatry. Oesterreich's approach is indeed comprehensive and thought-provoking, placing it among the select when it comes to dealing with a rarely treated subject.
West Virginia Camping
at the TAT Farm near Wheeling
Enjoy a peaceful and relaxing vacation camping out on TAT's 200 wooded and hilly acres any time except Chautauqua weekends (August 5-6). The farm is open only to TAT members at $3.00/day and to TAT Journal subscribers or Chautauqua attendees at $5.00/day. It's an ideal site to find solitude in hiking or to meet others in the farm's community room.
For reservations and information write: TAT Foundation, _______
[[Classified rates and two display ads]]
Nutrition Wholistic Health Sciences Chautauqua
Diet • Megavitamin Therapy • Human Energies • Acupuncture • Kinesiology
Over 200 Wooded Acres - Available for Hiking - Fishing Lake
Free Brochures - Write of Call ______
Exit 5 I-70 Write or Call ______
Saturday - August 5th
Sunday - August 6th
[[TAT membership and TAT Journal subscription form.]]
Do you have:
We would like to hear from you!
Submission deadline for Autumn issue is September 1, 1978. Send to: TAT Journal _______
TAT Foundation was begun with the stated purpose of helping seekers of truth to contact each other and to provide them with a regular means of communication. You can help us realize this goal, while earning a free subscription for yourself, by getting interested friends to subscribe to the TAT Journal. If you send in two, one-year subscriptions (with $4.00) we will give you a free, new or renewal subscription for one year. If you are fortunate enough to know ten people with inquisitive, philosophical minds who wish to subscribe for one year, send in their names and addresses with the $20.00 due for ten subscriptions and you will receive a free, lifetime subscription.
TAT has always been a grassroots organization and with your help we can continue to grow through personal contacts, a rare achievement in this age of mass (non)-communication. This offer will remain open until December 1, 1978.
© 1978 TAT Foundation. All rights reserved.