activity in the temporal lobes of the brain. Temporal lobe
activity is often associated with strange sensations, time
distortions and hallucinations. It is sometimes used as an
explanation for seemingly paranormal experiences such as apparitions.
'theosophy' comes from the Greek words theos(god) and
sophia (wisdom) and it is used to refer to a school
of mystical thought and belief that arose out of the formation
of the Theosophical Society. Theosophy teaches that one can
gain knowledge through practice of the occult traditional
and claims that all religions stem from the same roots of
ancient wisdom,, and that the study of ancient myths and symbols
will lead to truth and spiritual awareness.
primary expression of theosophy is the Theosophical society,
an international, nonsectarian and non-dogmatic organization.
Founded in 1875 by Madame Blavtsky and others the society
has three main aims:
to form a universal human brotherhood without distinction
of race, creed, sex or colour:
to encourage studies in comparative religion, philosophy
and science and,
to investigate the unexplained laws of nature, power and
A type of energy medicine whereby the therapist moves his
or her hands over the patient's energy field, allegedly directing
the flow of universal life force so the patient can heal.
Therapeutic touch was developed by Dora van Gelder Kunz, a
clairvoyant and meditation teacher, and Dolores Krieger, Professor
of Nursing at New York University, in the early 1970s. The
hands are used to identify and balance out disturbances in
the energy field, or aura, of patients. It is said that this
can help alleviate pain and encourage the healing process.
location of the third eye in the middle of the forehead corresponds
to the brow chakra; psychic energies are believed to be connected
to the energy that supposedly emanates from this chakra.
mystical and esoteric belief systems postulate that in the
far reaches of prehistory, the predecessors of humanity possessed
a third eye in the middle of their foreheads which allowed
them to see the spirit realms directly. According to this
theory, as millions of years passed the third eye was used
less and less so that it disappeared into the folds of the
brain, with the result that spiritual perception was all but
there may be a degree of trust in this obscure occult doctrine.
Scientists have discovered that the pineal gland, a smallish
organ buried within the brain at the approximate site of the
third eye, has been found to retain a small degree of sensitivity
to light, leaving scientists to suggest that it might have
been an evolutionary remnant of an organ of sight. Only recently
has the actual function of the pineal gland been discovered,
It has been found to be one of the triggers in physical growth
and the hormonal changes of puberty. It also secretes one
of the so called 'feel good' chemicals known to boost mood,
believe that the pineal gland is unusually active in psychics
and can be stimulated by techniques such as massage, acupuncture,
concentration, meditation and so on, to produce psychic powers.
BOOK OF THE DEAD
known as the Bando Thodol, the Tibetan Book of the
Dead is basically a guide to the afterlife. Translated,
bardo thodol means 'liberation by hearing on the after
death plane' and aims to be an instruction manual for the
soul during the state that intervenes between death and the
next rebirth. It suggests that following death the soul is
faced with the possibility of absorption into the godhead,
but for the average soul this possibility is terrifying and
so the soul flees through a succession of dream worlds in
which the environment is unconsciously created by the expectation
of the soul.
teaches that awareness, once freed from the body, creates
its own reality like that of a dream. This dream projection
unfolds in ways both frightening and beautiful. Peaceful and
wrathful visions appear, and these visions can be overwhelming.
Since the awareness is still in check from no longer being
attached to and shielded by a body, it needs guidance and
forewarning, so that key decisions that lead to enlightenment
Tibetan Book of the Dead teaches how one can attain heavenly
realms by recognising the enlightened realms are opposed to
being drawn into the realms of seduction that pull incorporeal
awareness into cyclic suffering and rebirth. The unevolved
soul pines for the pleasures of the flesh and draws close
to the physical world. Sexual fantasies attract it towards
couples making love and it is trapped in the womb for another
origins of The Tibetan Book of the Dead are unknown. For centuries
it was passed down orally and was first put into written form
by the legendary Padma Sambhava in the eight century AD. This
Tibetan Buddhist scripture was traditionally read aloud to
the dying to help them attain liberation. It guides a person
to use the moment of death to recognize the nature of mind
and attain liberation.
between sleeping and waking, when a person is half conscious
and focusing exclusively on their internal thoughts and visions
and is unaware of what is going on around them. This altered
state of consciousness can occur spontaneously or be induced
(and self induced) by hypnosis, by shamans via sensory depravation,
by a medium during a seance, by hallucinogenic drugs, by meditation,
and by rhythmic chanting, music and movement.
of meditation, popular in the United States, Britain and Australia,
that was advocated in the 1970s by Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi, where the mediator concentrates on a particular mantra
known only to them. The aim of transcendental meditation (TM)
is to increase spiritual awareness and find inner peace by
achieving transcendental consciousness.
is said to bring results more quickly that any other type
of meditation, especially Yoga and Zen. It has been shown
to decrease drug use, to increase energy, alertness, concentration,
coordination and to ease stress and illness. Physiological
changes include lowered blood pressure and increased brain
wave activity, and practitioners report overall health improvements.
to the Maharishi, TM is so powerful because it is rooted in
traditions that are thousands of years old, for practices
that resemble TM can be found in the Hindu Vedas. The knowledge
was, however, lost and found many times over the centuries.
founding the TIM movement in the 1970s the Maharishi turned
his attention to health and world peace. His work in Ayurvedic
medicine of India and find the key to reversing ageing. His
world peace programme states that if 7,000 people collectively
practise TM the coherence of the brain waves will lead to
a reduction in crime, accidents and illness. According to
the Maharishi, 7,000 people represent the square root of 1
per cent of the world's population, which is the minimum necessary
to cause mass change.
differs from traditional Eastern teachings in that there is
no requirement for withdrawl from daily life in order to achieve
enlightenment. Instead the Maharishi insists on the importance
of well-being in the natural world, but without attachment
to it. TM also differs from other forms of meditation in that
it does not involve concentration or contemplation, but the
use of sacred sound.
The Maharishi maintains it can only be taught through personal
instruction by a qualified teacher. The student is given a
personal mantra and instructed how to use it while meditating
twice a day for around 20 minutes. The mantra has no meanings
or associations and is not chanted verbally or mentally, rather
it is a sound that it thought.
chief feature of TM is that regular use of the mantra enables
the practitioner to reach a higher state of consciousness,
which the Maharishi describes as pure creative intelligence
or pure thought. Thoughts arise from the depths of the mind
like tiny seeds rising to the surface, growing in size until
they reach the level of conscious awareness. TM enables practitioners
to experience the origin of thought and thereby gain greater
access to the state of creative intelligence where the true
self lies in a state of restful alertness and where there
is no mental activity. This is the fourth state of consciousness,
different from waking , sleeping and deep sleep, where boundaries
between subject and object disappear and the two become one
to find silent joy in seeming emptiness.
higher states of consciousness, called the fifth, sixth and
seventh states, can be achieved with practice. However, these
states can only be achieved when one is permanently and totally
free of stress and the aim is to attain absolute awareness
of the external world and one's essential unity with all that
is. The Maharishi claims that with TM it is possible to reach
this enlightenment in around five to ten years, as opposed
to decades or a lifetime through Yoga or Zen.
a a controversial school of psychology that tries to understand
what parts of mysticism, peak experiences and transpersonal
experiences play in forming personality and character. In
a transpersonal experience the consciousness overcomes space
and time to identify with other consciousness, phenomena or
states. Various paranormal phenomena, including telepathy,
out of body experiences, clairvoyance, precognition and time
travel, are regarded as transpersonal experience.
the early twentieth century, Italian psychiatrist Roberto
Assagioli (1888 - 1974) developed what he called 'psychosynthesis';
an approach to psychology that focuses on achieving a coming
together of various parts of the personality. Once a person's
lower self has been psychosynthesized together they can then
turn their attention to the 'higher' or 'transpersonal self'.
This gives life purpose and meaning, which all people need
to feel psychologically healthy.
transpersonal psychotherapy ego is illusion, something that
must be transcended so that the individual can identify with
total self. Body and mind are not separate but subsystems
of each other, and everyone therefore has the capacity for
self-healing. Transpersonal psychotherapy includes both Eastern
and Western methods of working with the consciousness, including
Western methods of dream analysis and imagery and Eastern
meditation and Yoga.
symbol that is central to the practice and philosophy of Kabbalah,
the Jewish mystical religion. The Tree of Life incorporates
10 circles, symbolising 10 different spheres of knowledge
(known as sephiroth) that a person must achieve to
attain wisdom of the 'godhead'. These sephiroth are usually
perceived as energies or states on the physical level but
also exist in defined places on the astral plane. Connecting
each of these spheres to one another are 22 pathways, comprised
of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each path is a specific
astral track to be studied and investigated by the initiated.
of the Kabbalah must work their way up the Tree of Life from
the foundation of the tree by study and initiation into the
secret knowledge associated with each level, before moving
up to the next sphere of wisdom. The base sphere of the Tree
is call Malkuth and it signifies the physical aspect of reality,
the every world we live in. Above Malkuth is the sphere of
Yesod, which is associated with imagination and the astral
plane. To Kabalists Yesodis the literal foundation on which
physical reality rests. As the Kabbalist moves upwards through
the spheres of Hod, Netzach, Tiphareth, Geburah, Chesed, Chokmah
and Binah more and more subtle aspect of reality are reached,
until the final sphere, Kether, is attained, which symbolizes
the essential unity of the universe. Combing the 10 spheres
and the 22 paths, Kabbalists believe there are 32 ways to
reach Kether and the self-development work to get there is
known as pathworking.
of the most beloved authors in American literature, Twain
achieved international aclaim when he penned such classics
as 'Tom Sawyer' and 'The Adventures of Hucklberry Finn'. His
interest in the paranormal began in his youth when a travelling
mesmerist visited his hometown of Hannibul, Missouri, to give
a demonstration of hypnotism and 'mind reading'. Later in
life Twain noted on several occasions that he had premonitory
dreams and joked that he was capable of 'mental telegraphy'
: a term he coined to describe the mental exchange of letters
and thoughts with his wife. He also reputedly visited numerous
haunted locations and claimed on a few occasions to have spotted
joined the Society for Psychical Research in 1885 and his
interest in paranormal research became even deeper following
the death of his daughter, Susy, at the age of 24.