Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Atheists, Christians and the Light

I have met atheists who are high in the light and full of goodness and I have met Christians who are dark, ignorant and full of malice.  Truly, what one proclaims oneself to be is often greatly removed from what one really is.

One's light quotient depends upon living with an open heart and viewing the world with benevolence and compassion.  Self-deception is all pervasive.  Very few people can look in the mirror and receive an accurate reflection of who they truly are.  For this reason many people, upon death, are surprised at the realm they end up in.  "I was a good Catholic", they think.  But the true contents of our consciousness are often not what we wish or believe them to be.

Our afterlife reality is a reflection of our mind before and after death.  It is up to us to create thought forms that are beautiful and reflect the light of the Lord rather than the darkness and ignorance of the human ego.  This is done by allowing those around us to live as they choose and for us to only view the world with love and compassion, not judgement!  Yes, we can set a good example, but it is up to other people to choose whether to follow it or not and it's not for us to attempt to force them in any way!

Sharka Todd

Are materialists doing the work of Satan?

When I mention Satan, I'm not talking about an individual entity, but rather a mindset.  That mindset is a hatred of God and all things beautiful and good.  Materialists, particularly those who spread the materialist mindset, are promoting the idea that there is no spiritual reality, no God, no ultimate good.  In this way they are assisting the forces of darkness that would like the human race to turn away from the light of God and become increasingly rebellious and decadent.  These forces would like to see humans become increasingly animalistic.  The reason for this is that these forces of darkness feed off the chaotic emotions that this degenerate state produces.  Of course, most materialists are unaware of this process as they really don't believe in the psychic or mental realm, just the realm of matter, therefore in that worldview there can be no dark spirits feeding off the emotions generated by the human race.

The idea that humans are just evolved apes is part of the effort to degrade the human race and steal the light from them.  The alternative view is that humans are spiritual beings made of light and pure in essence.  Of course, this purity is assaulted when one incarnates on earth due to the harsh conditions found here.  On earth, many humans have fallen to a very low spiritual level/state of consciousness due to their submergence into the base desires of the physical body and their disconnection and disbelief in the higher virtues of the human spiritual being.  Materialism encourages this process by saying we are just animals and there is nothing more to strive for than satisfying our bodily urges.  In this way humans lower themselves without thinking that it matters.  After all, there is no God, no ultimate good and no heaven.  So what is there to strive for?  In this way materialism supports the cause for darkness in promoting the degradation of the human spirit.

Sharka Todd

Jesus died for our sins?

Many Christians parrot the phrase that Jesus "died for our sins".  Interestingly, this sacrifice happened before we were even born.  Certainly, anyone who is crucified for teaching people about Spirit is dying as a result of someone's sinful behavior- but clearly not for possible future people whose sins have yet to occur!  In the case of Jesus it seems the sins of certain Jewish church elders were the ones responsible for his death.  Anyone that feels the need to kill a messenger of truth because it threatens their esteemed position in society is certainly in the grips of the dark ones.

Although Jesus' ministry may have, indeed, saved many future humans from stumbling around in a spiritual fog it doesn't necessarily mean he "died for our sins".  I choose to see his life as a great success because he got the message out that we are spiritual beings who are responsible for our own salvation and that this can be achieved by following the path he has demonstrated.  That is, by loving God and our neighbor as ourself!  This is the path of unity/oneness/non-duality which sees the "I" in the other, and acts accordingly!

Unlike many, I don't accept that by claiming to accept Jesus as one's personal Lord and Savior that one is automatically saved and will sit at the table with God and the prophets in the afterlife.  I actually think that how we conduct ourself and what our beliefs and motivations are will determine where one is located spiritually in this life and any future life.  So for me, Jesus gave us some of the tools by his teachings but it is up to us to make decisions in our daily lives that are in alignment with the promptings of spirit if we truly wish to be "saved"!

Sharka Todd

"Cold readings" and psychic powers

I have visited with a number of psychics, but have never experienced a "cold reading", where a fake psychic goes fishing for information from the client.

A good psychic doesn't need to ask you any questions, except to ask what questions YOU would like answered.  When I receive a reading I say very little and just listen.  They are the ones who are being fed information and it is up to me to listen to it!  If they seem to be fishing for information as cold readers apparently do then you know they are poor at their profession and are unworthy of one's time and money.  Some may say that the psychic is reading the client's body language- and this is something that can't be stopped- but only a very limited amount and type of information can be gained from body language alone.

An intelligent client knows when the information being presented is going beyond what can be ascertained from body language and "cold reading" alone.  This is what gives one faith in the process. Those that haven't had this experience are in no position to judge.  For them to say psychic powers don't exist would be like someone who has never experienced love saying love doesn't exist!  It would be sheer foolishness!

Sharka Todd

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Where does truth come from?

Truth doesn’t come through experiment, necessarily, but by awakening one’s spiritual senses.  For objective truth is a banal thing compared with spiritual truth.  For spiritual truth is the truth of the heart and the truth of our existence!  As the teacher rightly said: "the kingdom of heaven lies within"!  And the secret to unlock the door to the kingdom of heaven is to unfold the spiritual facilities that lie dormant within each of us.  And the way to do this is to open the heart, which is the key to the soul, not the intellect!  Open the heart and all will appear with increasing beauty which will eventually reveal the spiritual underpinnings of this physical world!

When our heart is open it provides the expanded, spiritualized perception that allows the intellect to be used in a way that provides real wisdom and can lead us on to greater glories and creations.  But without an open heart the intellect is a dead-end and can only lead to increasing depression and destruction!

Sharka Todd

Is God an equation?

Some people seek for meaning in life in an equation.  These people are called mathematicians and physicists.  Others seek for meaning in experiences.

The idea that a mathematical equation could somehow give meaning to life seems odd to me, yet many scientists continue to believe that maths is the only proper way to understand life.

For those of us who place experience above maths we are seen as believers in "woo".  Saying "God is love" is woo, whereas saying "E=MC2" is true wisdom, something that can be objectively verified, and therefore is real.

Perception is seen as unreliable by skeptics and everything that relies on one's perception, that others may not necessarily share, is seen as meaningless by them in understanding truth.  This is how far we have fallen into the cesspit of so-call objectivity!  People have lost faith in their own experience and have handed the baton for determining truth over to science.  However, science can only describe such a small fraction of the human experience that to depend entirely on it to describe truth is to make our human understanding so much poorer as a result!

Sharka Todd

See also: Ayahuasca shattered my materialistic worldview

Anecdotal evidence

When anecdotal evidence is treated as no evidence at all, then human experience is limited to that small set of things that can be described as objective and scientifically provable.

Considering that we are primarily subjective beings, who experience thoughts and feelings as much as physical sensations, then saying only physically quantifiable experiences are real is very limiting indeed.

This failure to consider personal experience as a valid form of evidence is what makes mainstream science such a narrow pursuit. This helps explain why we in the west, who idolize science, have such a poverty stricken world view when compared with societies which place their emphasis on personal experiences and the subjective realm, which are given equal billing to so-called "objective facts"!

Sharka Todd

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence?

The idea that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence is a nonsense because even if evidence was presented of an extraordinary claim being true it still wouldn't be believed- the observer would think they were being tricked, such as we expect a magician would do. For such matters no evidence would suffice if we believed that such a happening was impossible!

This is why many areas of human experience are disbelieved by skeptics. There is literally no evidence possible that is strong enough to convince them. Any evidence produced would be described as either too weak or an act of trickery. A skeptic wouldn't even trust their own senses if confronted with proof. That is why so-called extraordinary claims can never be proven to a skeptic's satisfaction if it disagrees with their strong disbelief!

Sharka Todd

Later comments:

Winston Wu's take on extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence can be read here.

Here is a sample:

Of course, skeptics have argued that all these things are possible but not probable, hence the requirement for extraordinary evidence. However, in order to really know all that is probable and improbable in the universe and reality, it would require that one have complete knowledge of every dimension and reality that exists in the universe and beyond. No one, neither skeptic nor believer, has that kind of knowledge, at least not consciously. Therefore, it would be more accurate to state that:

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to convince skeptics, but not necessarily to exist in objective reality."

2) Definitions of "extraordinary claims" vary based on prior beliefs and experiences. Not everyone agrees on whether a claim is extraordinary or ordinary. Suppose we were fishes for example, and lived underwater our whole lives without ever seeing or hearing about land. The claim of land existing above water would be an extraordinary claim to us, though not to the creatures living on the land above. Now obviously just because the claim of land is extraordinary to us as fishes does not mean that the land doesn’t exist. The point is that extraordinary claims are not extraordinary to everyone. What is extraordinary to some is ordinary and natural to others depending on their experience and level of consciousness. For example, the internal body energy of chi gong (or quigong) is mystical to Westerners but has been a natural everyday part of life for thousands of years in Asia. Chi is used, felt, and observed by its practitioners much the same as the effects of gravity are felt and observed by us. Likewise, the concept of Astral Projections and Out of Body Experiences is extraordinary to those who have never experienced them, but for those who experience them regularly, it is an ordinary thing to them that they know is a reality. In the same way, our cars, radios and cell phones are extraordinary to tribal natives in remote parts of Africa, but ordinary to us. The best solution, in my opinion, is for everybody to put their cards on the table by honestly specifying their prior beliefs. This sets the standards for what is to be expected and leads to a better mutual understanding of each other.

Winston Wu

Friday, September 26, 2014

Teaching that death is the end

Abyss (film) 

Many parents teach their children that death is the end of life, there is nothing that comes after it.  They think the historically popular belief in an afterlife is just a fairy tale created to make people feel better or to suit the agenda of a religious elite.  They believe that to be realistic is to admit there is no such thing as “heaven” and that there is ultimately no hope for the human being’s survival.

The parents that teach these things are those who limit their awareness to the announcements of mainstream science which for them is the fount of all truth about life.  What they are missing is the strong anecdotal evidence of a myriad of sources that suggests that there in more to life that meets the eye and that the human being is more that a bag of bones and flesh and that, indeed, we have a spiritual base that lives on when the physical body dies.  This evidence is widespread but given little credence by many, particularly those engrossed in materialistic view of the world.

The lack of interest by many to explore this evidence results in them holding views which are ill-informed and ultimately a life-negative parroting of the gospel of the materialists whose views are reductionist and poor explainers of human experience.

Sharka Todd

Here is a webpage with a list of books (including many free eBooks) that detail the afterlife, mostly from the viewpoint of spirit messengers, with some out-of-body experiencers thrown in.

Is living on through your children meaningful?

Whether a person’s influence “lives on” in their children, or in the world in general, is of no concern to me if I’m not there to witness it!  There is no world unless the “I” is present to observe it!  Everything else is just some kind of pipe dream that an ego, which expects its own extinction upon bodily death, holds onto!  And it's a kind of "afterlife" that is of no interest to me, whatsoever!

As far as I'm concerned, if a person doesn't live on as a conscious being then they don't live on at all. Other people's memories and experiences belong to them, not oneself!  And when (or more accurately, if) one's consciousness ceases to function, then for the "I" nothing effectively exists!

Sharka Todd

Religion, atheism and spirituality

Religions, to me, represent the attempt by various groups to own natural inborn human spirituality.  If they can’t achieve this by the positive aspects of their founding prophet’s teachings then they tend to employ emotional blackmail techniques such as: if you don’t join our church and believe what we teach, then you will go to hell.  It is this emotional blackmail that has turned many people against religion in recent times.  That, combined with the unsavory nature of some of the teachings, and the inability of many religions to grow and evolve with the changing times, has resulted in falling number of believers in most of the developed world. 

This movement against religion has caused many people to declare themselves “atheists” and to align their beliefs with the teachings of establishment science and its reductionist, materialist view of life.  This is a shame because by adopting the scientist's godless & spiritless view of the universe people are denying their own natural inborn spiritual nature that yearns for a meaningful view of life with them included within it.  Materialism cannot provide this.  It describes the universe, and life itself, as random, chaotic and meaningless.  The human life is seen as limited, human spirit as non-existent, and death as the end of one's existence.  Hardly an optimistic teaching!  And yet the evidence for there being more to life that purely the physically measurable is overwhelming but it isn't in a form to impress most scientists with their focus on observable matter rather than people's experiences.  Much is the pity and we are poorer for it!

Sharka Todd

Religion and spirituality

Religion is a cultural phenomenon whilst spirituality is a personal matter. A person doesn't need religion to think that life is meaningful or even "divine". Neither can the concept of God, or a transcendent Good, be owned by any one religion. I also think it's possible to love many of the prophets and follow their teachings, where they exhibit wisdom, without aligning to any one particular religion. I don't think it needs to be an either/or, or divisive in any way, as many religions have made out. That is the human ego at play. Creation is one and so wisdom should also point to this unity.

Sharka Todd

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Robin Williams' entry into the spirit world- MATTHEW WARD

Occasionally a person’s passing touches the heart of the world, and so it is with Robin Williams. Our colleagues in Nirvana told us that a throng of thousands gathered to greet this soul who had given pleasure to so many during his Earth lifetime, and we hasten to assure readers who wrote that they prayed he wouldn’t be “penalized” for ending his life—he will not be.

Let us speak first about entry into Nirvana. The soul is liberated from the etheric body and the psyche, which arrive in the same condition as when the person left physical lifetime. Robin’s psyche was beset with such pervasive, painful depression that eventually it took control; he thought that only by ending his life could he escape the intolerable agony. His traumatized psyche needed to be healed, and this came with customized care and constant attention in one of Nirvana’s specialty areas that can be likened to your hospitals’ ICUs.

Our colleagues report that Robin’s psychic healing was swift due to cellular patterning of lifetimes in advanced civilizations, he had completed all major contract provisions and depression was not a contract choice, he is in the company of friends and family from his immediate past and previous lives, and he is joyously experiencing other wondrous aspects of life in Earth’s spirit world. We add our own knowledge, that lighted beings throughout the universe honor this highly evolved soul who had chosen to be generous in spirit, energy and resources and by far exceeded even that extraordinarily grand measure.

September 23, 2014.

Monday, September 22, 2014

What is the spirit world?

from Nosso Lar (film poster)

Simply speaking, the spirit world refers to realities inhabited by beings that exist in a higher dimensional frequency than here on Earth.  Just as the electromagnetic spectrum is delineated by differing frequencies, so are realities, or planes of existence.  The reality we are in is determined by the frequencies we are able to perceive and operate within.

When we are in a physical body we experience through the senses of that body which allows us to function in the material plane.  When we leave this body we will experience a reality commensurate with the frequency of our disembodied consciousness.  Even in this non-physical state it seems beings function through a form similar to the physical body but operating on a more subtle plane of existence with different characteristics.

The question may arise: where is this spiritual body now?  While we are focused through the physical body our spirit body is contained within the physical form.  It is this spirit body that provides the link between our higher selves and the matter of the physical body.

Sharka Todd

Materialism is darkness, spiritualism is light

Woe be to those who spread the doctrine of materiality- that matter is all there is.  They are spreading darkness whether they realise it or not.  They are helping to convince people that there is no spiritual reality and that all one can hope for is to grab what one can while on Earth.

Those who promote spiritualism- the idea that everything, including the material has a spiritual base- are spreading truth and light.

There is a spiritual world beyond this one, but connected to it, where we each will go when this short life ends.  Where we are will be placed within it will depend upon how we live our lives and what kind of values we are motivated by.  Selfishness will lead us to darker realms, whereas kindness and care for others will lead us to the lighter realms.  Skeptics may ask: where is the proof of these worlds?  Truly, there is no proof to satisfy the materialist skeptics of this Earth.  Their eyes are closed to spiritual things.  But for those who eyes are open, they are surrounded by a spiritual world, for the physical world too is spiritual in nature.

For those who wish to learn about the characteristics of the worlds we will enter upon our death may I recommend the many books that are compiled from spirit messagers.  I am currently reading one myself called "Astral City" (aka "Nosso Lar") by Francisco C├óndido Xavier.  There are may others including the works by Anthony Borgia and Robert James Lees.  There is a list on this webpage with links to mostly free editions to read.   These books contain detailed information about individual spirits experiences after their death in this other world.

Books and websites on people's near death experiences are also interesting but we generally find in these cases that their experience of the spirit realm is limited and that they do not penetrate too deeply into this world before they return to their physical bodies.

Sharka Todd

Peter Fendwick and the NDE

Peter Fenwick

From Peter Fendwick's Wikipedia page (my comments below):

Near-death research

Fenwick's interest in near-death experiences was piqued when he read Raymond Moody's book Life After Life. Initially skeptical of Moody's anecdotal evidence, Fenwick reassessed his opinion after a discussion with one of his own patients, who described a near-death experience very similar to that of Moody's subjects.[10] Since then, he has collected and analysed more than 300 examples of near-death experiences.[11]

He has been criticised by the medical community for claiming that human consciousness can survive bodily death.[12] Fenwick argues that human consciousness may be more than just a function of the brain.[8][13]
"The plain fact is that none of us understands these phenomena. As for the soul and life after death, they are still open ques­tions, though I myself suspect that NDEs are part of the same continu­um as mystical experiences."[14]
Fenwick and his wife are co-authors of The Art of Dying, a study of the spiritual needs of near-death patients. The Fenwicks argue that modern medical practices have devalued end-of-life experiences, and call for a more holistic approach to death and dying.[15] In 2003, Fenwick and Sam Parnia appeared in the BBC documentary "The Day I Died". In the documentary Parnia and Fenwick discussed their belief that research from near-death experiences indicates the mind is independent of the brain. According to Susan Blackmore the documentary misled viewers with beliefs that are rejected by the majority of scientists. Blackmore criticized the documentary for biased and "dishonest reporting".[16]

Fenwick and Parnia have claimed that research from NDEs may show the "mind is still there after the brain is dead". The neurologist Michael O'Brien has written "most people would not find it necessary to postulate such a separation between mind and brain to explain the events," and suggested that further research is likely to provide a physical explanation for near-death experiences.[17] Robert Todd Carroll has written that Fenwick has made metaphysical assumptions and dismissed possible psychological and physiological explanations for near-death experiences.[18]

My comments:
"He has been criticised by the medical community for claiming that human consciousness can survive bodily death."

What a terrible thing to claim!  That there may actually be some hope for the dying!  Doctors and scientists, it would seem, would prefer people bought into their own dogmatic view that there is no soul and that death of the body equals death of the consciousness!

Of course, there is plenty of evidence (but not the kind most scientists and believers in scientism are interested in) to support the contention that the human being is primarily non-physical and that they only take on a physical body for a short period of experiencing on Earth before returning to the spirit world.

Why so many scientists and so-called "skeptics" are emotionally attached to the idea that there is no non-physical element to the human being (or life in general) and that life can only be understood by appealing to what can be observed with the 5 senses I find strange to conceive.  What kind of happiness or comfort they derive from this belief, which doesn't correlate with the evidence, I do not know.  When somebody, particularly a scientist, makes the claim that many people's experience points to the existence of a "non-physical" aspect to the human they are rigorously attacked.  It will not do for a scientist to suggest that the prevailing materialist dogma may be incorrect!

For physical things there is physical proof and for spiritual things there is spiritual proof. And for the physically focused scientist this is usually seen as no proof at all! But for those who research widely, comparing human experiences, a worldview is built that is able to contain all of it. And that worldview, for many, includes the belief in a spiritual dimension, similar to this one, but just more subtle in character!

Sharka Todd

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why doesn't God end our suffering?

Waking Life (film)

Many people look at the conditions on Earth, with many people suffering from famine, plague, wars and brutal dictatorships and ask: if God exists why doesn't he stop our suffering?

This question presupposes that there is no value to suffering and that to end it would be preferable to allowing the situation on Earth to play out according to the behavior of the actors involved.

In many religions there is a strong belief that a creator God created the human race with free will.  This means we were created to make our own choices, not to be the puppets of some creator God. This, of course, is a two-edged sword.  If we have free will then we are free to make choices which are life-enhancing as well as those which are life-negating and ultimately destructive.  Luckily for us, we are helped in this decision making process by two wonderful characteristics we possess: the ability to feel pleasure and pain.

The existence of emotions and the ability to feel pleasure and pain are essential if we are to be guided towards behavior that is constructive for ourselves and others and away from behaviors that are destructive.  Actions and thoughts which are life-promoting generate pleasure in a psychologically healthy human being.  However, actions and thoughts which are life-negating generate pain.  The existence of pain acts as a warning sign to tell us to stop what we are doing that is causing this pain.  Only our indifference to pain will result in us continuing in our destructive behavior.  Pleasure, on the other hand, acts as an encouragement to continue the activity which gives birth to it.  Thanks to satiation, such activities are usually not undertaken to excess.

On the planet at the moment many people ignore their emotional suffering and persist in destructive behavior.  This causes suffering for themselves and others.  When conducted on a large scale we have a humanity out of balance and destructive behaviors which threaten life as we know it.  The solution to this is clearly for people to pay greater attention to their emotional state so that they can engage in activities and thoughts that promote a pleasurable state and productive, life promoting behaviors.

With regards to the role of a possible Creator, the existence of suffering on Earth says one of two things- either that the existence of suffering is a necessary part of human evolution towards a wiser state or that God has no power to end the suffering.  Either way, we are left to clean up our own act, free from any obvious divine intervention.  Of course, if a God existed which granted us free will then to intervene to end suffering on Earth would be a violation of our free will.  After all, humans have created the conditions on Earth and it is us to us to fix them.  Otherwise, how will we ever evolve to become constructive co-creators with God rather than undisciplined ne'er-do-wells dependent on the intervention of a higher power?

Sharka Todd

See also: Is suffering necessary?

Is suffering necessary?

"Pain God" by Barclay Shaw

The simple answer is: of course!

There are two basic kinds of suffering: physical suffering and emotional suffering.  Physical suffering occurs when things go wrong with the body and emotional suffering occurs when something happens which results in a emotionally painful pattern of thought.

Physical suffering is absolutely essential if we are to live in this reality with a physical body.  Without pain sensors the body could not be kept safe from injury and could be maneuvered in ways which damage it.  Pain is just a warning signal to tell us to stop what we are doing.  Similarly with emotional pain- it is the emotional body's warning to us to stop thinking what we are thinking as it is damaging us on a mental and emotional level and also, ultimately, on a physical level.

To come to the end of suffering on an emotional level we need to practice what the Buddha taught which is detachment from events- the ability to feel equanimous no matter what happens.  Any kind of agenda or attachment to outcomes will result in emotional suffering, sooner or later.

When it comes to physical pain this can be avoided in two main ways.  One is to treat the body with care and act so that the probability of injury is minimised.  Secondly, pain is avoided by not encouraging disease in the body by poor habits, including habits of mind.  The physical body is the last warning system we have (after the emotions) to tell us that our thinking habits are poor.  The existence of disease in the body generally suggests either a poor diet, a lack of appropriate exercise or a lack of attention to our emotional state.  Uncomfortable emotions will eventually result in a sick body.  This is avoided by focusing predominantly on thoughts which feel good emotionally as we think them.  This will minimise, if not eliminate, pain causing conditions in the body.

I am not expecting people to be perfect and the idea that we should be living a pain-free existence may be actually a barrier to living a largely painless life by making us feel a failure for not doing so.  However, it is important to realise for most of us that we have a great deal of control over how much suffering we actually experience in our own lives.

Sharka Todd

See also: Why doesn't God end our suffering?

Is God all powerful?

Many believers in a creator God believe this God to be all powerful.

Literally, they believe there is nothing He cannot do.

Although there is no evidence that this is true, this belief is based on certain quotes in the Bible.

In particular, Jesus is quoted as saying

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why PSI won't be proven to skeptics

Image: Cold Souls (film)

For the so-called skeptics amongst us to believe in something they require scientists and scientific establishments with strong reputations to conduct research that supports the contention.  In the case of PSI research there is a great barrier to established scientists and institutions working in the field- the lack of prestige such research generates.  There is also no money in it.  Only a scientist with no interest in building a career and participating in the current research funding model is likely to work in the PSI field.  And the results of this research are likely to end up in a dusty old journal that nobody reads.  So it's a dead end for an ambitious scientist and it's unattractive for even an unambitious scientist who just wants a solid unheralded career in science with a decent income.

Those who are experts in the PSI field say that PSI has already proven itself scientifically in a multitude of well-constructed trials.  However, this is irrelevant to many people, including skeptics.  They only trust scientific results when, either, they support their own cherished beliefs or when they are undertaken by scientists they are familiar with and hold in high regard.  As established scientists avoid PSI like the plague (to avoid having their reputations trashed) this will not happen anytime soon.  Otherwise, skeptics easily dismiss the undesired results generated by unknown scientists as being biased or the result of poorly constructed trials. 

For these reasons it is unlikely that skeptics will be convinced of the reality of PSI anytime soon.

Sharka Todd

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Did God "explode" into pieces (of consciousness)?

Image: Stephen-Van-Vuuren

If I was God I would split myself into trillions of pieces, each an individual soul, to explore and create worlds upon worlds!  These trillions of pieces would be self-aware entities, free to create, explore and encounter each other to their hearts content!  This is exactly what some say is already the case in the universe we know.  That is, the original being that created the universe, created it out of its own being, imbuing it with its own life, its own consciousness.  And so each life form contains within it the consciousness of the creator.  Literally, the universe we see and the worlds we cannot see are simply the creator exploring itself through myriad evolving life forms which provide an almost infinite number of perspectives on this almighty creation!.

Why stay as one being when you can split yourself into trillions of beings and experience so much more?

Sharka Todd

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Discovering truth for oneself

There is a phenomenal world out there to explore and understand, no doubt!  We would not be in such an environment if we were not meant to explore it!  (Here I am assuming meaning to our life).  Without assuming meaning, we could just say “why not explore it and see what works for me, what brings me pleasure and happiness?”

How we choose to interpret the world is up to us.  It boils down to what works for us as an individual, not what works for other people- what brings us happiness, what helps us achieve our goals. Beliefs that are seen as false or unproductive won't work for us and will be rejected.  Only those beliefs that agree with our experience and help propel us forward will be retained!

“Truth” is such a lofty word and is so often used to beat other people over the head with.  “Truth” is often defined by those with power and imposed upon those without.  However, even the most authoritarian ruler can't control what goes on in one of his subject’s minds!  This is one area where even the apparent slave is free.  And if we are a blind follower of someone else’s truth then we really are a slave of the worst kind- a mental slave!

Sharka Todd

Save us from the death cults!

Cartoon by Michael Leunig

Touched by the hand of God (pic)

Photo by Sharka Todd

Respect life is all I ask!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beyond the 5 sense prison

Art by James in the Shell

The world is full of people who are blinded by the 5 senses and the messages they supply to the brain. They believe that is All There Is. And anybody who says Something Else might exist and that they may have even experienced Something Else, well, they are proponents of "woo" and therefore not worthy of paying any attention to, whatsoever! They may even be deluded or mentally ill!

The cult of "5-sense reality is All There Is" is the one that has most of the world in its grip. They believe we are purely physical bodies trapped in a 3 dimensional box and there is nothing we can do about it! This is a true prison, indeed!  But many of our most advanced citizens, our deepest realizers, tell us otherwise. They say that the world we can see, hear, smell and touch is but a fraction of the true dimensions of reality that are available to us.

How do we access these other realms, these other viewpoints? Simply by withdrawing our attention from the 5 senses. When we do this we naturally experience other, "inner" worlds. Yes, materialists will say these worlds are simply the largely meaningless firing of the neurons of the brain when it is shut off from 5 sense data. But many who have had these experiences say otherwise. They say these are real worlds, organized and meaningful, and that we can inhabit and interact within them and learn from them.

Even in our waking life we can use input that comes from sources other than the 5 physical senses to enrich our lives and make improved choices. These subtle feelings or sensations that some call intuition, gut feeling or just "feelings" (in the Star Wars films, for example), can provide input that we can use in our decision making process to achieve a better outcome for ourselves and others.  Why is this?  Because they come from a deeper, wiser, broader part of ourselves which isn't so stuck in time and space as we seem to be!

See also: Intuition: our inner guidance system

Sharka Todd

David Icke addresses this theme here:


Yes, I am a proponent of "woo"!

Exactly.  Woo.  That is: anything not included in the small basket called "establishment science".

My own undeniable experience went way beyond the confines of materialism many years ago so I had to adopt a broader view. This mirrors what happened to physics when the quantum revolution happened.  Some scientists changed their worldview to reflect the revolution, while most clung to the old, now discredited, materialistic paradigm.

It's all about explanatory power.  We create a worldview able to hold everything we have experienced and believe to be true, and for me materialism doesn't even come close!  As a result I live in the land of "woo".  And let me tell you- "woo" is where it's at, man!

Sharka Todd

Who owns God and who cares?

God, as a word, is open to interpretation and redefining.  No religion owns the patent to that word.  I actually like the word myself but can see how others don't due to the attempt of many religions to own, control and define it, often in ugly, self-serving ways.

How we define the source of all things (if we believe in such a source, or think such a source necessary) is important in how we choose to understand life and live it.  Although this essence that we call source or God is to a large extent unknown it doesn't make it unknowable.  If it were then there would be little point talking about it and all the monks in the world (with the exception of the Buddhists) would be wasting their time!
Of course, from the materialistic viewpoint all this is meaningless because even if an entity did somehow give birth to the universe that entity must remain separate from us and therefore unknowable.  From such a view talk of a cosmic source remains an unsubstantiatable flight of fancy!

Only from the idealist viewpoint does the idea of a God or source of being that we can communicate with make any sense.  If the universe is mind outpictured as matter then God/Source becomes relevant, otherwise it is just a word, like the spaghetti monster, that people can endlessly, emptily, debate!

Sharka Todd

God must remain meaningless to a materialist

If we look at life using only our 5 physical senses combined with our intellect terms such as “God” or “ground of being” become effectively meaningless.  If there is no reality beyond the physical then terms such as "being" only refer to physical beings, not to any other kind of living entity that may exist in another realm or reality beyond the physical.   In the case of a God, if we cannot communicate with or sense such an entity then they may as well not exist.

The person who holds the belief that the physically universe is the only one that can be experienced or observed cannot be aware of non-physical entities and therefore must treat them as if they don’t exist.  For others who have experiences that go beyond the materialist worldview the possibility of being aware of and communicating with non-physical entities may be seen as entirely possibility.  In this case the idea of a reality that lies unseen but yet can be experienced by the usually physically focused consciousness is seen as a possibility.  Therefore the notion of a non-physical God/source of being is seen as a possible reality rather than an imaginary notion as materialists must see it.

Sharka Todd

The building I love (in Tbilisi)

Photo by Hund Welt

The Bank of Georgia Headquarters, Tbilisi, Georgia.

A scientist experiences cosmic consciousness

My Experience of Cosmic Consciousness
by Allan Smith 

My Cosmic Consciousness event occurred unexpectedly while I was alone one evening and was watching a particularly beautiful sunset. I was sitting in an easy chair placed next to floor-to-ceiling windows that faced northwest. The sun was above the horizon and was partially veiled by scattered clouds, so that it was not uncomfortably bright. I had not used any marijuana for about a week previously. On the previous evening I probably had wine with dinner; I do not remember the quantity, but two glasses would have been typical. Thus, we would not have expected any residual drug effects.

The Cosmic Consciousness experience began with some mild tingling in the perineal area, the region between the genitals and anus. The feeling was unusual, but was neither particularly pleasant nor unpleasant. After the initial few minutes, I either ceased to notice the tingling or did not remember it. I then noticed that the level of light in the room as well as that of the sky outside seemed to be increasing slowly. The light seemed to be coming from everywhere, not only from the waning sun. In fact, the sun itself did not give off a strong glare. The light gave the air a bright thickened quality that slightly obscured perception rather than sharpened it. It soon became extremely bright, but the light was not in the least unpleasant. 

Along with the light came an alteration in mood. I began to feel very good, then still better, then elated. While this was happening, the passage of time seemed to become slower and slower. The brightness, mood-elevation, and time-slowing all progressed together. It is difficult to estimate the time period over which these changes occurred, since the sense of time was itself affected. However, there was a feeling of continuous change, rather than a discrete jump or jumps to a new state. Eventually, the sense of time passing stopped entirely. It is difficult to describe this feeling, but perhaps it would be better to say that there was no time, or no sense of time. Only the present moment existed. My elation proceeded to an ecstatic state, the intensity of which I had never even imagined could be possible. The white light around me merged with the reddish light of the sunset to become one all enveloping, intense undifferentiated light field. Perception of other things faded. Again, the changes seemed to be continuous. 

At this point, I merged with the light and everything, including myself, became one unified whole. There was no separation between myself and the rest of the universe. In fact, to say that there was a universe, a self, or any ‘thing’ would be misleading — it would be an equally correct description to say that there was ‘nothing’ as to say that there was ‘everything’. To say that subject merged with object might be almost adequate as a description of the entrance into Cosmic Consciousness, but during Cosmic Consciousness there was neither ‘subject’ nor ‘object’. All words or discursive thinking had stopped and there was no sense of an ‘observer’ to comment or to categorize what was ‘happening’. In fact, there were no discrete events to ‘happen’ — just a timeless, unitary state of being.

Cosmic Consciousness is impossible to describe, partly because describing involves words and the state is one in which there were no words. My attempts at description here originated from reflecting on Cosmic Consciousness soon after it had passed and while there was still some ‘taste’ of the event remaining. 

Perhaps the most significant element of Cosmic Consciousness was the absolute knowingness that it involves. This knowingness is a deep understanding that occurs without words. I was certain that the universe was one whole and that it was benign and loving at its ground. Bucke’s experience was similar. He knew, ‘... that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all, that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love and that the happiness of every one is in the long run absolutely certain’ (Bucke, R. M., 1961. Cosmic Consciousness. New Hyde Park, New York: University Books. p. 8. Originally published 1901.).

The benign nature and ground of being, with which I was united, was God. However, there is little relation between my experience of God as ground of being and the anthropomorphic God of the Bible. That God is separate from the world and has many human characteristics. ‘He’ demonstrates love, anger and vengeance, makes demands, gives rewards, punishes, forgives, etc. God as experienced in Cosmic Consciousness is the very ground or ‘beingness’ of the universe and has no human characteristics in the usual sense of the word. The universe could no more be separate from God than my body could be separate from its cells. Moreover, the only emotion that I would associate with God is love, but it would be more accurate to say that God is love than God is loving. Again, even characterizing God as love and the ground of being is only a metaphor, but it is the best that I can do to describe an indescribable experience. 

The knowingness of Cosmic Consciousness permanently convinced me about the true nature of the universe. However, it did not answer many of the questions that (quite rightly) seem so important to us in our usual state of consciousness. From the perspective of Cosmic Consciousness, questions like, ‘What is the purpose of life?’ or ‘Is there an afterlife?’ are not answered because they are not relevant. That is, during Cosmic Consciousness ontologic questions are fully answered by one’s state of being and verbal questions are not to the point. 

Eventually, the Cosmic Consciousness faded. The time-changes, light, and mood-elevation passed off. When I was able to think again, the sun had set and I estimate that the event must have lasted about twenty minutes. Immediately following return to usual consciousness, I cried uncontrollably for about a half hour. I cried both for joy and for sadness, because I knew that my life would never be the same. 

Contributor's Comments on the Experience
Cosmic Consciousness had a major impact on the course of my life. I had received a national prize for my research and had a grant funded for five years, but any interest I had in becoming a famous academician evaporated. My research seemed more like an interesting puzzle than work of immense importance to the world. I left my secure and successful university faculty position and supported myself as a part-time freelance clinician. I needed time to explore spirituality and to integrate the Cosmic Consciousness experience into my life. Those explorations included theology, psychology, mysticism, eastern religion, parapsychology, consciousness studies and holistic health. Eventually, I earned a M.A. in Consciousness Studies and another in Theology. Since Cosmic Consciousness, I have not had a ‘career’ in the usual sense of the word. 

One important after-effect of Cosmic Consciousness that I soon discovered was the ability to create a subtle shift in consciousness. By quieting myself within, my inner mental chatter almost stopped and I became calm and present centered. Perception of the world and myself were both especially clear. The world seemed benign and ‘right’ with everything as it was ‘supposed to be’. There was a great sense of inner peace. As the years passed since Cosmic Consciousness, my ability to attain this state at will has diminished. When it does occur, it seems less profound than previously. I am personally very sad at this loss. 

Cosmic Consciousness did not make me into an instant saint or enlightened being. I still occasionally lose my temper, worry, judge people, and need ego support. But from the time immediately following Cosmic Consciousness there were lasting personality changes. My general anxiety level was considerably reduced and remains low. I do not (usually) strive at living, but truly enjoy it. When I do ‘lose it’, there is a subtle way in which I can mentally ‘step back’ and see the real significance (or lack thereof) of whatever disturbed me. I have not been able to return to Cosmic Consciousness, although I have a real longing to do so. However, I can usually recall enough of the experience to know that the world is benign and that my ordinary conscious phenomenal experience can only hint at the true nature of reality. 

The Cosmic Consciousness experience occurred in 1976. I did not make any notes until about a month later. Unfortunately, those original notes are lost. Even so, I feel quite confident that my memory of the essential aspects of Cosmic Consciousness is accurate. There are several reasons for this belief. (1) The Cosmic Consciousness experience was the most powerful event of my life and such a momentous experience is not possible to forget. (2) From the early weeks afterwards, I compared my experience to published accounts of Cosmic Consciousness. The comparisons constitute an independent way to stabilize the memory. (3) I frequently review the experience as a technique to achieve inner peace. (4) My remembered accounts are similar to the accounts reported in the literature. In addition, many other Cosmic Consciousness experiencers have reported that their experiences have remained fresh after the passage of many years (references in published article). 

Further comments by contributor:
A few comments on my personal background follow. I was raised in a traditionally religious household, where I learned that God was both demanding and vengeful. Throughout most of my childhood my relation to God consisted of a mixture of guilt and fear. I had very little exposure to other traditions and therefore little chance to explore other thought systems until I entered university. There I was influenced by people who seemed (to an impressionable eighteen-year old) quite sophisticated and bright, but did not believe in God at all. The thought of Jean-Paul Sartre was very much in vogue and by the end of my freshman year I had become an atheistic existentialist. Such a rapid ‘deconversion’ was surely facilitated by a strong late adolescent reaction against orthodox religion. I was angry that I had been deceived by my parents and teachers into believing a collection of fairy tales about the existence of an imaginary God who had made my childhood so miserable. The anger gradually faded over the years, but had not quite dissipated when I experienced Cosmic Consciousness at age 38. By that time religion had no place in my life at all. I was an academic researcher, scientist and materialist. I was not interested in nor was I searching for any sort of transcendent or supernatural experience. I had no idea of what a mystical experience was. 

At the time of the Cosmic Consciousness event I had never taken a psychedelic drug, but did have some previous experience with marijuana in social settings. 

Allan Smith

Further accounts of scientists who have experienced expanded states of consciousness can be read here.

The purpose of life?

To me the purpose of life is growth in consciousness.  To a materialist this may be seen as a meaningless statement.  Consciousness doesn't grow, only forms do that.  But, no, the body can remain the same size or even shrink while the consciousness grows with every experience we have!

What is the goal of this growth in consciousness?  More growth in consciousness!  Perhaps until we have reached the state of cosmic consciousness as a steady state!  And then?  A movement back into a more specific focused form of consciousness and then more growth again?  Much like the boom bust model of the universe that some physicists hold!

Sharka Todd

I am not anti-war, but...

I am not anti-war, I just believe that if we can hold ourselves back from actively engaging in any conflict with others (internet based or real world) then we will be happier and more at peace. It's OK for other people to have a different opinion to our own. We don't need to destroy them or prove them wrong. If other people wish to engage in conflicts and even fully fledged wars, that is their choice.

 It could be argued that many innocents get caught up in these wars and this is clearly an infringement of their free will to live as they choose. This is the self-centered nature of those who engage in warfare- a lack of concern for others. The ultimate form of narcissism. So be it. But to attempt to stop such people from their war games is to draw ourselves into them. This will then ruin our life and the lives of those we touch. Better to walk away, run if we must.

Maintaining personal peace is a duty for those who wish to impact the world in a positive way. And for those who choose to fight, their free will must be respected, but we are under no obligation to support them in their quest.

Sharka Todd

Ayahuasca shattered my materialistic worldview

by Steve Young, Mar 19 2013

I've taken Ayahuasca many times, and I was also educated to PhD level in theoretical quantum physics. For me, the Ayahuasca experience obliterated the dogmatic, materialistic worldview I had been indoctrinated with over 10 years of physics education. It helped me to see how utterly small and incomplete science is in comparison to the mystery of creation. Rupert Sheldrake is right to call it a 'delusion' - this widely held belief that science has explained everything, and dis-proven even the existence of a creator. I was there, that was me for many years.

Ultimately, I came to Ayahuasca searching for purpose in my life. Science taught me that the universe is fundamentally random, made up of dumb particles of matter floating around aimlessly, and this existence is just a happy cosmic coincidence, witnessed by an illusory consciousness in my brain. That worldview never felt right to me, I could sense a depth within myself which I had barely explored, as I had spent my life so focused on the outside world.  Ayahuasca promised to help me dive within, and boy did it deliver.

I can only describe it as an infinitely intelligent, infinitely creative, infinitely loving field of consciousness.  It has the unique property that when it is witnessed, when it is felt, it is able to transform our understanding of reality in ways we could never have previously imagined. It REMINDS us of our eternal nature, by showing us our truest essence.  And it's important to note that this is not like LEARNING - like reading a textbook, or doing an experiment - it's a KNOWING, a REMEMBERING. It is shown to you.

Once you've been there and seen this thing, you MUST adjust your worldview to accommodate its existence. This is what Hancock is going through now. I applaud him for his profound honesty and bravery, and I KNOW that he speaks the truth. It's a shame so many other people (including TED) can't yet see that, but it's not surprising. The truth will only reveal itself to those who seek it.

This was written by Steve Young as a comment on a page about Graham Hancock's "banned" TED talk on the spiritual use of the herbal medicine, Ayahuasca.

See also: Science and the richness of life

The best way to end a war...

is to not participate!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Calming hospital exterior

Good Samaritan Hospital, Phoenix, AZ.

This hospital has the ability to heal people just by looking at it!  Very calming!  I walked past it on a trip to America a few years ago and was very taken with it.  I  later found out that its architect was the same one who had designed another building I am very fond of- River City in Chicago.

Architect: Bertrand Goldberg

James Randi and anti-spiritualism

I applaud James Randi’s efforts to expose fraud where he finds it, but his crusade to destroy any credence given to spiritual or psychic phenomenon I find deeply misguided.

Randi is a lightning rod for the anti-spiritual movement which seeks to destroy belief in anything that is outside the domain of the materialist world view.  This level of fanaticism and bloody-mindedness is something to behold.  Not everyone’s experience of life fits neatly into the materialist paradigm and I think it’s fair for such people to construct a broader philosophy, the kind of one that seems to irk the anti-spiritualists so much.

The desire to destroy that which we don't agree with is a common human trait built from some kind of insecurity, but this desire is one we need to overcome.  The beliefs of our neighbor really are none of our business.  Our own concern is the domain of our own mind.  It is there we must exercise our intelligence and self-control.  We discover the truths that agree with our own experiences and then we express these while allowing others to express truth as they see it.

Conflict between alternative views of truth really is a sign of great emotional immaturity!  We are each born with free will to construct a world view that we find appropriate.  To say another person's world view is the wrong one is to misunderstand the gift of free will we have each been given!

Sharka Todd

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The New Age concept of Christ

In traditional Christianity the label "Christ" is applied to one man- the historical figure known as Jesus of Nazareth.  It is a title used to depict his privileged status as the savior of mankind.  In New Age thought the word Christ is generally not used to refer to a particular person, but is instead used to describe a state of consciousness called "Christ consciousness".

"Christ consciousness" is an exalted state of consciousness where the person experiences a sense of oneness with all creation.  In this state it is impossible to do harm to another for that "other" is seen as part of one's own larger self.  This state is in contrast to the "duality" state of consciousness, also called the fallen state, separation etc.

In the state of duality the person experiences themselves as fundamentally separate from the rest of creation and they believe they can harm another without harming themselves.  This is the state many live in and according to certain spiritual teachings the spiritual path represents a movement from the state of duality to the state of oneness or Christ consciousness.

Christ consciousness is what is believed to be described in the famous quote of Jesus: "The kingdom of heaven is within".  That is, the kingdom of heaven is a state of non-dual (unity) consciousness which is available to anyone who seeks it, without the need for an outer authority to grant it!

Shark Todd

Friday, September 12, 2014

Spirit is beyond human morality and social norms

Spirit cannot be placed in a box called “moral code”.  It’s bigger than that and doesn't operate according to limited human beliefs or expectations!  It may, in fact, compel us to do things that other people would say are wrong or inappropriate.  And yet, if we believe spirit is calling and we have become obedient to the call (realizing it comes from a larger, wiser part of ourselves) then we must obey, whether it makes us look foolish or not!

Sharka Todd

For more information on this topic I recommend the Heart of Jesus series of books by Kim Michaels.

We choose heaven or hell (not God)

Photo by Sharka Todd

The choice between living in heaven or hell is not made by an external entity but rather by ourselves.  It is we who choose whether to live in light or in darkness.  Light is always present but we can choose to close ourselves off from it.  There is no punishment but that metered out by ourselves.  There is also no reward but that created by ourselves.  We really do receive what we think we deserve.

For those living their lives in an attempt to please a fictitious external entity (an external God) to "earn" their place in heaven this could come as either a relief or an annoyance.  There really is no one to please but ourselves!  The kingdom of heaven really is inside, meaning there is no God or heaven external to oneself.  Heaven is created by ourselves and therefore we hold the key as to whether that is where we shall reside or not.  The choice really is ours!

Sharka Todd