Monday, 30 November 2009

Yoga and psychic dreams

Shortly after I started practicing Hatha Yoga at New York City's Integral Yoga Institute, I developed a high level of proficiency. One of the instructors there, Achalan, told me that as a result, I could expect something he called a "rising Kundalini" and that with it, I would notice certain side effects, or siddhis. These are incidental psychic events that accompany intensive yoga practice. He said they were interesting, but unimportant and should be ignored.

What he didn't know is that I had experienced siddhis throughout my life. It is true that I noticed them more after I started doing yoga, but that was because I was too young to appreciate them before.

The notion that my yoga practice affected these siddhis, principally my dreams, has persisted over the years since the question first occurred in 1988 or so. I have had many psychic experiences of various types, and I did achieve a high skill level in Hatha yoga. The inference is that they are connected. My position has long been that whether they are or aren't, the yoga effort didn't start them or stop them. I had experienced some kind of psychokinesis by the age of twelve, and out-of-body experiences starting at about eight, both long before I started yoga. Then, due to some injuries suffered in 1989, I stopped performing yoga regularly for a number of years, and have practiced only sporadically ever since, yet there has been no deceleration of psychic events in my life.

Recently, I was asked to locate which dream journal had the largest number of "veridical elements" by researcher Dr. Jacquie Lewis of the Saybrook Institute. I checked and found that almost 75% of the dream records in my third journal had been verified in one way or another. This is a much higher ratio than any other journal. It also happens to coincide, not with my most intense yoga practice, but a period when I was actively trying to determine whether my dreams were coincidentally similar to other events, or were more directly linked in some non-coincidental way.

The period of most intensive yoga study is unrecorded in my journals, because it ended before they began. One could argue that the yoga practice jump-started these dreams and put them in high gear. On a purely numerical basis, it does look that way, but then there is another important factor. Looked at more closely, all of the most fruitful periods in my dream journals are during lulls in my career, when I spent most of my time painting, both indoors and outdoors.

My impression is that the meditative mood this inspires has an enhancing effect on the quantity and quality of psychic dreams. This could be because painting is in many ways a meditation. When I paint, I barely notice the time spent actually painting because I am so focused on the job of transferring my subject to the canvas. From the moment I pick up the brush to the moment I put it back down, I am meditating strongly on a single thing, and continue until the goal is achieved. This effort, I think, is far more important than the physical exercise of yoga, and is likely a stronger contributor to my many psychic dreams than anything else.

The point though, isn't that anyone who is curious about siddhis should drop yoga and switch to painting, but that whatever you do, if you remain mindful of it, relaxed, and focused all at the same time, you will achieve a meditative state that will enhance your psychic experience.


Saturday, 28 November 2009

The future?

When I had my May 17th, 1990 dream of a disaster in lower Manhattan, I knew it would really happen. I didn't know when, but was confident that someday, I would see it occur. It was such a strong dream that I took out extra insurance, made copies of my journal entry for the day and sent them to friends, and took my wife out of town for vacation, just in case. I thought it was imminent, but I was wrong. That dream convincingly correlated with the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11, 2001, over eleven years later.

Most of my dreams of the future, at least of the ones I know about, are confirmed within twenty-four hours. A smaller number are confirmed within a few days. A very small number are confirmed years later. Some of these take so long to happen that if I didn't have my dream journal to remind me, I may have forgotten them otherwise. The problem that arises from the fact that one never knows whether a dream is of the near future, the far future, or something else, is that it is difficult to ever know how many dreams are related to real events and how many may be simple fantasies.

I had a very powerful dream that I call my "Book" dream, because a book is featured prominently in it. For years, I looked at it as a very interesting dream, but not because it was a dream of the future. Indeed, I never imagined that it could be a dream of the future. Admittedly, it had some material at the beginning and end that I couldn't account for, but this could have been a way to introduce the primary subject matter of the dream, which was spiritual in nature. As it turned out, those elements were of the future, but a future that made no sense because they required me to move to a medieval European village. I couldn't imagine doing something like that, and this failure of imagination prevented me from understanding that part of the dream for what it was.

When I look through the 2,836 records I have in my dream journals, certain dreams leap out as potentially quite interesting, but as yet unrealized visions of future events. A few years ago, I made an early attempt at writing a book about my dreams, and had an agent. This agent saw an early draft of the manuscript that included a dream that was interesting to me and innocuous to her, until after Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans. When I reminded her of the record of that dream, she was surprised to have had an early heads-up. The reason she was surprised is that before the hurricane, it would have been difficult to predict that event from the dream, yet after the fact, the relationship was clear.

Many other dreams in the journal may be like this, but it is hard to know for sure. I am tempted to publish them, despite knowing that until they are realized, they will seem too mysterious to be useful. One from 2007 can be boiled down to a simple prediction, though it is something that many people have already guessed. In this dream, I am told emphatically that President Ahmadinajad of Iran will successfully launch nuclear missiles from submarines at Israel and the US, regardless of all efforts to stop him.

It is rare for a dream of the future to be as clear as that, at least for me. More often, I see something in the dream, then have to puzzle out what it was after waking. This creates some uncertainty and that makes me less comfortable about making predictions. I'm thinking about this right now because I am contemplating publishing a group of as yet unrealized dreams. I don't want to get in the habit, but have enough of sufficient merit that it is probably worth the effort. Watch this space for some of these dreams, though do keep in mind that they aren't usually so detailed that a specific event or its causes can be identified in advance.


Sunday, 8 November 2009

Welcome to Mundus Virtua

"Mundus Virtua" literally means "virtual world/universe", a term that is becoming common these days. For this blog, and the site it is attached to, it is the second of five mundii, or universes.

1) Mundus Limus: this is the entire physical universe
2) Mundus Virtua: a hybrid of the mundus limus, via the physical act of typing and using computers, and the next, non-physical universe.
3) Mundus Alo: a completely non-physical environment that is associated with the mundus limus and supported by the spirit entities that congregate here.
4) Mundus Sublimis: the lofty, or elevated, universe. This is what most people would describe as "Heaven"
5) Mundus Divinus: the place from where all things were created.

I made the Mundus Virtua site and blog because I've been getting a number of questions now that I've finished my book, Dreamer: A 20-year Odyssey from Atheism to Spiritual Awakening, and need a place to put the answers. Not only that, I'd like to have a place to put the questions also. If it wasn't for some questions from Dr. Gillian Holloway (author of Our Dreaming Mind, and other dream books), I might not have written this book. Her questions, and questions from other people, friends, family, and even strangers, made Dreamer into a very different book than I originally intended to make, and a better one also. More importantly, they got me thinking about dreams and spiritual subjects in a very exciting way. Now that it's started, I hate to let go of that feeling of exploration and discovery just because the book is finished.

It will be a little while before it is available in bookstores, but in the meantime, you can have an idea what it is like by following this blog or by looking at some of the material on this site. I have posted some documents of my dreams to give an idea what they are like. One group are some dreams I had in 1989 and 1990 that later proved to relate to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, and another document shows what my "image match" dreams are like. Later, I will add other dreams.

Until then, please enjoy the blog and site.



When I was writing Dreamer, I kept bumping into old-fashioned terms that couldn't come close to describing the things I was trying to describe. It was a strange experience. Ever since I was very young, I'd both wondered where words come from, and had the idea that there were enough to describe anything. While writing the book, I found out that wasn't true at all. Even more, I discovered that while I was trying to figure out how to describe the things I wanted to describe (an exercise that ultimately forced me to create a number of new words), I also found that I understood my subject better because of it.

Take the word "ghost" for instance. At first brush, it seems pretty straightforward. Everyone knows what a ghost is, right? Not so, as I quickly discovered while working on my book. Here's the reason: "ghost" can refer to the spirit of a living or a dead person, and if left unmodified, is assumed to be a discarnate spirit. Right there, three options for how to use the word are clear. Now, the problem I had is that I wanted to point out that a discarnate spirit is in all respects save one identical to the ghost of a living person. The difference is that one is associated with a living body, and the other is not.

This is a meaningful difference because my contention is that ghosts of living people are frequently mistaken for discarnate spirits. This is made even easier because the word "ghost" isn't particularly clear. There is another type of spirit also, though theoretical, and these are spirits that have never been incarnated at all, or are no longer associated with a body, living or dead. How can this be? If a person dies with a strong attachment to the world, his mind may force his spirit to remain in the Mundus Limus, focused on physical things. This is a classic "ghost" who can also be a "haunt." What if this ghost gives up on haunting the Mundus Limus, after having his consciousness raised by an angel? Then he leaves the Mundus Limus, no longer associated with a deceased body. Previously, he was attached, but by his own effort. Similarly, what do we make of the moment before a spirit is associated with a living body? If it hasn't been associated with one before, or has broken the connection to its most recent incarnation, then it is unassociated. There is no word to describe this state.

To separate these three states, I made up these words:

"Lebengeist" : a spirit associated with a living body [GER, leben=life, geist=ghost]
"Todgeist": a spirit associated with a deceased body [GER, tod=death, geist=ghost]
"Freigeist": a spirit with no physical connections [GER, frei=free, geist=ghost]

There is one last, very important step I had to take. So far, I've only touched on the problem. Based on information in my many dreams, as well as observations made from other writings, it occurred to me that it is highly likely that beings identified as "angels" are more often lebengeists or freigeists than genuine angels. I think the reason for the misidentification comes partly from not understanding the difference between the three states described above, but also some prejudices dating back to the early days of the Catholic church that have since been adopted by most Christian denominations. According to this doctrine, any active spirit is evil. Good spirits take their rest after death in "Abraham's bosom" until "the end of days" when they will be resurrected. This means that, if inexplicable events occur, particularly those of a benevolent nature, then the only two choices a person would have (if he or she subscribed to this doctrine) would be to assign credit to either angels or evil spirits. Naturally it is preferable to say an angel did a good deed than otherwise, so this is the default answer in place of a better one.

My impression is that there is good reason to believe that the lebengeists of living people are very active while their bodies sleep. One of the things they will often do is help other people out, in much the same way a "guardian angel" is given credit for doing. This continues after death by freigeists. The todgeists generally do not do this because they are too preoccupied with their other concerns, but it is not impossible for them to be helpful either. To describe a spirit who is helpful in this manner, I use the term "servo spiritus", which just means a spirit who provides a beneficial service.

The big issue with all this is that if it is true, then the Abraham's Bosom doctrine is not.