Consciousness

Challenging the Reality Consensus

by Patrick Marsolek

The movie What the Bleep Do We Know!? has people talking about what constitutes reality and how our consciousness affects it. In this film, the strange realm of Quantum Physics serves as the launching point into an alternate perspective of the universe. The message of the film is simple: our consciousness does have a role in creating the reality we experience. This message has attracted the interest of a wide range of people. Groups like the Unitarian churches, the Bahá’í faith and the Institute of…

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Plato and Near-Death Experience

By Philip Coppens

We usually consider studies in near-death experiences to be a relatively modern phenomenon, coming into vogue only after doctors began to take notice of how patients reported anomalous experiences following a return to life after being declared clinically dead. But people have been at the brink of death, and returned to tell about it, for as long as we have existed as a species. The Greek philosopher Plato is, at least in alternative circles, probably best known for his description of Atlantis. But, less well…

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Christianity and Enlightenment

By John White

Sacred traditions in both the East and the West and some hermetic schools aim at what they term, “enlightenment” and “stepping off the wheel of death and rebirth” into a condition of existence described in one holy scripture as “that which never dies and that which was never born.” In the course of seeking enlightenment or “God-realization,” practitioners in those traditions and schools have, it turns out, over millennia gained astounding knowledge about the psychophysical operation of the human body-mind and how to cultivate our…

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Judgment Day

BY MICHAEL E. TYMN

After many years of murdering, raping, and pillaging with malice aforethought, twin brothers Jed and Ned were final­ly stopped by the police. Jed was shot and killed instantly, while Ned was apprehended and sent to prison for life. Dur­ing his confinement, Ned “found” God and repented. Jed and Ned are fictional characters created here to examine divine justice as perceived by familiar biblical ortho­doxy (a view which does not accept the justice-providing mechanism of reincarnation and karma—Ed.). The predom­inant view is that Jed faces eternal…

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Dying Words

By Michael E. Tymn

At the October 16, 2011, memorial service for Apple founder Steve Jobs, Mona Simpson, his sister, delivered a eulogy in which she told of her brother’s final words: “Oh Wow! Oh Wow! Oh Wow!” The initial reports did not include the exclamation points, but a believer might very well infer them. Simpson said that before her brother’s “embarking,” he had looked at his sister Patty, then at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, then over their shoulders past them before uttering those curious…

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Philip K. Dick & Reshaping the ‘Matrix’

By Sean Casteel

Everything we think we know about the world and the universe in which we live, whatever we have been led to believe concerning the course of human history, could very well be completely wrong and misinformed. There is a growing belief that some unseen—unknown—intelligence or force may assist or, perhaps, hamper our daily existence and take away our free will. The late science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s gift to mankind was his ability to show us alternate realities that may or may not be…

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Kundalini

By John White

Sexuality and spiritual experience have traditionally been linked in the literature of mysticism. Religious ecstasy seems strikingly similar to erotic excitement in the accounts of saints and holy people who have spoken of enlightenment—knowing ultimate reality or, in their usual term, God—in language which resorts to sexual imagery. Such im­ages, they said, were the best they could find for describing an otherwise indescribable experience. Such terms as rap­ture, passion, union, and ravish occur frequently. St. Theresa recorded that she felt stabbed through and through by…

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Beyond the Brain

By Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D.

Does the physical brain produce consciousness and the mind? Are consciousness and mental activity simply epiphenomena of brain activity? In other words, are our mental activities and the consciousness that we experience nothing more than byproducts or secondary effects of chemical, electrical, and other processes among the neurons that make up our brain? Does biological death, cessation of the physical body and the workings of the brain in particular, extinguish the mind and consciousness? Most neuroscientists today, as well as most scientists more generally, would…

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The Psi in CSI

By Barbara Jason

Are police departments today more willing to utilize something other than traditional techniques—including the psy­chic—for solving crime? Do ongoing developments in forensic science and technology obviate the use of the mind in criminal detection? Where does the future lead us? In truth, the traditional role of the detective is itself a relatively new development in law enforcement. An out­growth of the recognized need for specialists who could keep some distance from ordinary street policing led to the development of a group of specialists who could…

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Machines to Talk to the Dead

By John Chambers

Emerging from a coma a few days before he died, the great American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) suddenly opened his eyes and gazed “upward into space, his face illuminated with a smile as he said, ‘It is very beautiful over there.’” When he died his clock stopped, as did those of all his top executives. Experiences of telepathy or telekinesis, either occurring spontaneously or evoked by his experiments, hounded the inventor all his life. The rumor mill has speculated for 80 years that he…

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