Ity – What is it without the Real?

True story:

A man using a phone Box, in the city of Melbou...

Once when I was a teacher, I received a phone call from the father of a child I taught.  The man was clearly in a state of the most acute distress.  He told me that his wife had been diagnosed with incurable cancer, that she was about to undergo a double mastectomy but this would only prolong her life slightly.  He said he’d done his best to explain the situation to their children and asked whether I would keep a special eye on the little lad in my class and give him as much support as I could.  Naturally, I agreed and offered my sympathy.

A week later, I had a second phone call – from the man’s wife this time.  She told me they had been to see the consultant together.  She had said she wished to have the operation as a precautionary measure, since her mother, sister and several other female relatives had died from breast cancer.  The consultant had made it quite clear that she had no trace of the disease and was entirely healthy.  However he agreed to her request.  Her husband, she told me, had completely misunderstood the situation.  She apologised for the confusion caused by the call I’d received from him and emphasised that she was in perfect health.

Chatting the situation through later with a colleague who was an experienced psychiatrist, I asked how on earth two people, sitting in the same room and hearing the same words could come away with such diametrically different ideas of what had taken place.
“Oh it happens more often than you would believe,” she replied. “Everyone brings their own expectations to the table.  I’ve sat in more meetings than you can imagine where people are simply unable to see beyond their own preconceptions into anything approaching an objective reality.”

So do we do that?  Do we bend reality through the filters of our own experience and world view, so that we end up believing – totally and utterly – our own warped version of events?  It would seem so.  Yet after pondering this subject for many years, a new thought occurred to me.  Is there actually an objective ‘reality’ out there at all?  Is there some logical, rigidly defined Truth which we all recognise to a greater or lesser degree but can only see imperfectly?  What if there is only some wavering, constantly shifting state which we are not perceiving but creating with all those preconceptions and ideas?

It’s remarkably difficult to let go of the concept of reality.  We’ve been reared to believe that there is this solid, true world, one which religious leaders, politicians or scientists, maybe, are able to explain to us and translate for us.  We’ve been buffeted for centuries with the words of our ‘elders and betters’ who tell us what to believe – what is true.

Suddenly, though – just within our own short lifetimes – ALL of their truths have been gathered together in one place and we have been given almost unlimited access to the whole lot.  We press a couple of buttons on our devices and we have our very own comparison site.  We can see the inconsistencies, the bias, the spin.  Does this help us to see to the core?  Can we now, with all that information laid bare before us, peel away the layers of the onion?  Can we search for the truth at its centre?

English: Photograph of actor Henrik Klausen as...

Henrik Ibsen had his character Peer Gynt do exactly that.  Here’s what he discovered:

What an enormous number of swathings!
Isn’t the kernel soon coming to light?

(Pulls the whole onion to pieces.)

I’m blest if it is! To the innermost centre,
it’s nothing but swathings – each smaller and smaller.-
Nature is witty!

So if there’s no objective reality – no nub of truth at the centre – just what we create for ourselves, let’s create something fantastic.

 

 

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Spectral Friends of one kind and another

Banner, Header, Angel, Abstract, BallI’d been looking forward to my one-to-one with Higgins for ages.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, Higgins is a group of beings, both physical and non-physical, who answer questions and guide those of us ready to listen through Cheryl, a lovely lady who lives in the north west of the United States.  They chose the name Higgins because it would be easy enough for a child to remember and they wished their messages to be clear enough for a child to understand.

I’ve asked questions on the Ask Higgins blog before and been able to join in group meditations with them, but this was my first opportunity to engage in an individual Q&A session.

I had all my questions prepared, but it was Higgins who brought up the subject of my friend William.  I hadn’t any questions planned concerning him or his work.  I was stunned.  How did they even know about him?  Gently, Higgins explained that they are aware of everything ‘the Entity’ (Cheryl) experiences.  Because she had read Will’s book, they knew all about it, and about him.

Symbol Of Infinity Of AutismWilliam, they told me, and all those on the autistic spectrum, represent an evolutionary step forward.  They are able to connect differently and feel differently to the rest of us.  They are far more sensitive than the rest of us.  All this, they conceded, I already knew.  However many people make the mistake of believing that those on the autistic spectrum have something missing or lacking and treat them accordingly.

They went on to talk more about the special sensitivity of those on the spectrum.  They asked me to consider those most sensitive of all humans, the schizophrenics – people who pick up the thoughts of others so freely, they hear them as actual voices in their heads.  The autistic population has a sensitivity akin to this, which means that although they are not hearing our thoughts as words, they are picking up on the general ideas we project at them and about them.  This can create a density – a kind of fog – around them, making it far harder for them to break through negative expectations and create a good life experience for themselves.  Mixing with the non-harmonious population is difficult for them at the best of times.

Fog, Landscape, Forest, NatureI’d never heard it expressed in those terms, although all they were saying was very familiar to me.  Higgins encourage those of us who connect with the autistic spectrum to keep seeing these people as fully fulfilled.  In this way, our positive thoughts lessen the density they have to move through.  At one point they referred to physical life as ‘wading through molasses’ when compared to the non-physical.  It seems that our friends on the spectrum are somewhere between the two.

IMG_20151205_070812Next Higgins expressed great enthusiasm for the book Will and I had put together (The Words of William Volume One).  They said he used different vocabulary but was giving the same message that they were.  Also, they felt it enabled people who read it to recognise the understanding and knowledge of those on the spectrum, while enabling William to get positive feedback from those who read and appreciate it.  “Keep going!” they said, and encouraged me to work with him on producing Volume Two.

We spoke about the remote viewing William and I have been engaged in for the last year or so.  In this, they said, we are ‘pressing into the future – the unknown’.  By moving our experience on in this way, we are expanding All-That-Is.  They suggested we keep moving forward and explore further, as it is of great benefit.

The ‘Why?’ is sorted (probably)

BLW The Last Judgement

The Last Judgement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well here’s a start.

Maybe this is the introduction.  Very much a first draft, but feedback would be welcome.

Apologies for the western slant. Perhaps it will not hold so true for readers with other cultural references (but I’d be fascinated to know how much of it does…).

So in place of a proper blog post this week, please accept and comment, if you wish, on this extract, while I get back to the matter of the book.

Why am I writing this book?

Because for many centuries people have been persuaded by religious leaders that, one way and another, they’ve failed miserably at being human, which means that a very nasty afterlife awaits them (unless of course they are either incredibly saintly and prepared to die to prove it, or obscenely rich and able to buy their way into Heaven via generous gifts to said religious leaders).

Because over the last few generations humans have largely stopped believing the Hell story and more-or-less let go of the Heaven one too.  They’ve settled for the RIP version, where we just doze off for eternity.  It doesn’t sound great, but is at least preferable to the Day of Judgement, when all those skeletons in the cupboard could begin rattling nastily.

Because given that there doesn’t seem a lot to look forward to, humans have invested a massive amount of time, energy and money into trying to cling on to life – to staying human for as long as possible.

Because the current attitude towards death is deeply weird.  On the one hand, we fill our television channels with police dramas, hospital dramas, whodunits and tales of autopsies, with news reports of starvation, wars, fatal accidents and murder.  We play video games in which killing is not only commonplace, but usually the entire point.  We conduct wars in which the technology enables ‘push button death’ with any emotional attachment carefully removed; a soldier no longer needs to see the whites of his opponent’s eyes in order to kill him.  WMDs and IEDs abound.  And yet… Death is a taboo.  We avoid discussing it wherever possible. We change the subject with a nervous laugh.  “Yes, well, shall we talk about something a bit more cheerful?”

Because when we hear that someone is terminally ill, we don’t know what to say.  When friends are bereaved, we don’t have ways to comfort them.  We maybe send a card with a bunch of white flowers or a vaguely ecclesiastical-looking gateway on it and tell them we hope they’re getting over it now and that, after all, life must go on.

Because those who feel the need to know that something conscious remains of those they have lost will turn to mediums and spiritualists who, apparently, have polite queues of departed souls waiting to reveal themselves as someone on the mother’s side who had a problem with her knees or a military man who smoked and had breathing problems. Not, please understand, that I’m suggesting the mediums themselves are charlatans.  It just seems strange that Great Uncle Cedric should be hanging about for eternity, waiting to reveal his penchant for growing prize vegetables to a great niece who had been hoping desperately for news of her recently departed mother.

I’m writing this book because none of the above sounds particularly healthy to me.  Death casts a long shadow, and I’d prefer it not to.  I’d prefer ‘life’ to be something wider, richer and stronger than inhabiting a physical body for a while.  I’d like it to encompass what came before and what comes after, with death as simply one of the transitional states that lies within it.

Guidance…

Well that was unexpected.

A request from a potential new Facebook friend.  The name’s distantly familiar.  So is the face, when I take a look at his profile, and those dim bells clanging at the very back of my mind are telling me he’s somehow connected to the school I worked at, before everything changed.  His profile says he’s from my old town.  Slightly bemused and curious, I press the Accept button.

An hour later, the young man messages me.  He’d been a student teacher at the school for a few weeks, it emerges, while I was working there.  We’d chatted several times in the staff room.  I feel slightly less embarrassed now that my recall was somewhat dim.  In the intervening years, he’s moved around the country, married, had children and is now back there and doing my old job – teaching Year 6 at the same Essex school.  Somewhat synchronous…

He tells me about life there these days.  Sounds ghastly – endless new initiatives imposed by clueless, reactionary politicians, ‘special measures’ imposed on the staff, ‘academy status’ whatever that is – more and more control from above, obviously – and packs of disaffected kids prowling the building and contemplating escape.  I suddenly feel very safe and cosseted by my present easy lifestyle.  Also mildly guilty for getting out when I did.

Then he totally amazes me.
“I read your book,” he says.

Available in paperback and Kindle editions

Really?  I can’t imagine anyone in Essex reading my book.  He tells me it inspired him and that he now has a totally new attitude towards education and is considering getting out of the crumbling system and educating in other ways.  He’s been on a Forest Schools course.  He’s thinking about working for a local wildlife trust and using that as a base for educating.

Good grief!  What did I write in that book?  It’s been a long while since I read it, so I take it off the shelf and have another look.

It most certainly isn’t about education, or how to educate.  It does have a rather teacherly style, though.  Re-reading it makes me wince slightly.  Did I really explain a multi-dimensional universe by instructing the reader on how to make a paper model?  It reads like the script of a 1980s episode of Blue Peter, for those who know what that is.  And yet it kind of works…

English: 42, The Answer to the Ultimate Questi...

What I was trying to do, when I put it together, was to write a book about the meaning and purpose of Life, the Universe and Everything which avoided all the wafty new-age psychobabble, mystical ramblings and cliches, (How DO you insert an acute accent on WordPress??) that were so prevalent when it was published in 2012.

The video game analogy is hopelessly overworked; the style (in an attempt to draw in a ‘youth’ audience) veers much closer to patronising than I’d now wish, yet it still has a sort of raw charm and honesty, I suppose, and a few ideas and insights which I haven’t seen expressed anywhere else.  Not a complete waste of time, then.

So how the young man discovered it and chose to read it, I’ll probably never know, but I’m all about encouraging everyone, myself included, to move out of the comfort zone and into newer and greater experience.  That appears to be – so early indications are suggesting – what 2016 is all about.

And what is the message for me?  There definitely is one; it says so in the book:

These synchronicities act like a sort of mental sticking plaster and are strong enough to hold the two of you together; to keep you talking and interacting until you both get the information or experience that you need…

Is this episode telling me to stop faffing about and to get on with writing the next book… and making it better?

Probably.