June 23, 2006

For Homie, who asked for more.

In the book I am devouring (in between work, theatre, and Craig Parker excursions), Daimonic Reality: A field guide to the Otherworld by Patrick Harpur, there is a theory put forth about psychic reality. In an effort to credibly examine such seemingly disparate and generally criticized phenomena as alien sightings, fairy encounters, and (yes, Homie) Bigfoot beliefs, the author refers to many old world philosophers such as Plato and Socrates and one relatively modern (1950s era) analytical psychologist named C.G. Jung. Psychic reality is the active theory that Jung details, spawned by other like forward thinkers such as Plato, to explain the unexplainable.

In the Greek the word "soul" is "psyche" and in Latin it is "anima". Both refer to an element of ourselves and the world around us which modern thinking has lumped in with spirituality. However the soul, which was left out by the Church Council of 869 which decreed that man is comprised wholly of only the two parts of body and spirit, is a vital element of our existence. The soul, or psyche, is not the same as the spirit nor is it physical reality, or body. Instead the soul inhabits a region greater than our personal inward realm. It is part of the outer world as well, a sort of invisible overlay to the physical reality that we account for with our everyday five senses. In this manner, Jung puts forth the theory of psychic reality - that is to say that the realm of the soul, or psyche, which is both inner and outer simultaneously, operates as the intermediary between the separate realms of body and spirit. The "soul world" therefore connects our physical reality to the spiritual realm. It is why Jung believed so strongly in the messages of dreams. As Greeks believed, dreams happen to us, they are not created by us. Therefore dreams are communication from the spirit to the body within the soul realm. Psychic reality, then, can accomodate any number of apparitions or encounters because they are actual elements of our soul world, just not regularly seen physical elements. (Reference pgs 34 to 37; Daimonic Reality; Patrick Harpur)

This is, of course, a controversial theory to put to a Christian and scientific modern world. Psychic reality can not be accounted for either scripturally or logically. Our present world is one of a strictly dual view. There is the body and there is the spirit. Science dictates the realm of the physical and God controls the spirit. There isn't room in our current way of thinking for a third realm, one both inner and outer that cannot be tracked by instrumentation or labelled by a Bible verse. But the ancient philosophers and societies of our world had a strong grasp on the concept of soul as separate from body and spirit. Plato and Socrates had no trouble discerning that a form of Jung's psychic reality accounted for a lot of visions and dreams and connected mortal man to the deities of the spirit realm. All early civilizations, tribes, and non-Western societies have imbedded folklore that include encounters with any number of "unbelievable" beings such as elves, nymphs, jinn, fairy folk, trolls, or even guardian angels. These are not hallucinations or even myths, is the point of Harpur's book. According to Jung, they are the inhabitants of psychic reality. The messengers between spirit and body who can speak in dreams and appear in the physical realm at will and in any form. Every civilization on earth, every tribe, every people, has a folklore. The names of the beings are different in each case but the ideas of the visions, the otherworldly aspects to the creatures, and the either beneficial or alarming nature of the encounters are the same.

Agree or not, how then can we deny that psychic reality is at least a possibility?

June 21, 2006

I am presently reading a book called Daimonic Reality: A field guide to the Otherworld by Patrick Harpur. It's mesmerizing. I re-discovered my joy of libraries after finally getting myself a library card here in Middle-earth (they do a background check via palantir - eerie) and have been subsequently reading all sorts of wonderiffic titles that I'd otherwise ignore. Before this tome, I absorbed a book called The Sacred Executioner: Human Sacrifice and the Legacy of Guilt which challenged many assumptions and a few beliefs I'd held without reason until now.

Anyway, due to my love of all things magical, mystic, unbelievable, Elvish, faerie, spiritual, and fantastic, I find Daimonic Reality just a truly fascinating journey. One quote in particular stood out to me yesterday as I read at a window seat in a brick cafe by Oriental Bay. "It must be emphasized that although dreams are inner experiences, they are not subjective. That is, our conscious minds do not create them. They do not belong to us; they happen to us. The ancient Greeks were correct when they never spoke of having a dream, but always of seeing a dream." [pg 19; Patrick Harpur]

How gorgeous. How utterly profound. And how very non-Western in thinking. We are a selfish culture. We own everything and worlds of our own creation revolve eternally around us. Yet for all our deific delusions, we have done away with anything resembling the magical, mystical, or unexplained. Any vision, any encounter, anything that is not scientific or logically accounted for, we file under "UFO Sighting" and label the believer either nuts or morbidly lonely. But what of dreams? How do you explain dreams? If it is true that dreams (real dreams we're talking about, not daydreams or fantasies) happen to us instead of simply being created by us, then what is the scientific rationale? You can't label every dreamer as a UFO nut because we all have them. And so we are all touched by the mystical and unexplained every night.

I have dreams that I can't account for nearly every night. Dreams that leave me unsettled, fill me with a sense of quiet awe, stir my passions, or baffle my thoughts. Don't you? So tell me some...

June 19, 2006

Why Sir Ian McKellen, actor extraordinaire, is a vegetarian....

Read it here.

Why Gabrielle, the VampireNomad is a vegetarian....

Well you don't need to eat the flesh to consume the blood, now do you? Little monster lesson, my pretty mortals. Zombies eat flesh. Vampires drink blood. And we can do so without murdering countless numbers of cute-as-hell bunnies, lambs, and calves, too. Just as any mortal can survive without consuming hunks of once-living animal flesh. I like being a vegetarian. It makes me feel clean somehow.