Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jan. 10 - Seeing the light.

Dear Friends,
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Be Well.
By Gary Vey 

Seeing the light.

Until quite recently, I thought that the term "enlightenment" was a metaphor. But I met an individual who suggested that the word accurately describes the sensation when one remembers that they are something other than their human body. The phenomenon of "seeing light" with the mind is what happens when the reality of our non-material being is interpreted by our brain.

That hiatus of irrational thought made me uncomfortable and I hurried back to the rational habits that I rely upon when I encounter anything weird -- more research. What I learned about the phenomenon of "enlightenment" was quite a surprise for me. I think you will enjoy this story.

We start this journey in Greece, about 3600 years ago, during the Bronze Age. Our focus is part of a secret cult called the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The Eleusinian Mysteries

Of all the mystery cults of ancient times, none were more celebrated than the Eleusinian Mysteries. These were the initiation ceremonies for the cult of Demeter and Persephone, held at Eleisus in ancient Greece. It is thought that these initiation procedures were passed to the Greeks by the Myceneans and originated sometime before 1600 BCE. We can't be sure because the punishment for revealing them was death.

The Eleusinian Mysteries endured for 2000 years because they provided their initiates with a glimpse of the afterlife which sustained them psychologically and spiritually, dramatically changing their lives. What we have learned about this initiation has been leaked by famous personalities in history who dared to write about it.

The highest level of initiation took place in a darkened chamber or cave. What went on inside the chamber hardly seemed significant. Telling about it was certainly not worthy of death. It was such a simple thing -- yet so powerful.

"The claim is also made that men who have taken part in the mysteries become both more pious and more just and better in every respect than they were before. And this is the reason, we are told, why the most famous both of the ancient heroes and of the demi-gods were eagerly desirous of taking part in the initiatory rite; and in fact Jason and the Dioscuri, and Heracles and Orpheus as well, after their initiation attained success in all the campaigns they undertook, because these gods appeared to them." -- (Diodorus Siculus V, 48, 49)

"...He who has succeeded in getting inside, and has seen a great light, as though a shrine were opened, adopts another bearing of silence and amazement, and 'humble and orderly attends upon' reason as upon a god." -- (Plutarch, Progress in Virtue 81e)

"...saw a vision...beholding apparitions innocent, and simple, and calm and happy as in a mystery, shining in pure light, pure ourselves." -- Socrates
Called the "Contemplation of the Ear of Wheat" [above, right], the initiate was made to stare at a flaming torch. After some time, his eyes were covered. In the blackness he was directed to focus on the mental image of the flame and to see it with his mind's eye.

Dr. Lefebure and Phosphenes
Dr. Francis Lefebure is a medical doctor and devout Zoroastrian who has studied the Eleusinian Mysteries. He saw the similarities of this technique in many ancient religions whose aim is enlightenment. According to Dr. Lefebure, this method would have produced an after-image on the retina which would have persisted for a time as the rods and cones regained their neural equilibrium. It would also have persisted in the stimulation of the brain's visual cortex -- a process he identified as "phosphenes".

In his research, he noted that when this method was combined with meditative thought and rhythm there was a dramatic psychological change. Short of achieving enlightenment, Dr. Lefebure went on to develop this discovery to improve concentration, help children study and allow troubled patients to relax. But a review of history shows that this phosphene technique is really capable of much more.

Nostradamus and the reflected flame
The phosphene method was used by Michel de Nostredame, Nostradamus, in the 1500s, to see the future. It is obvious that he did not invent this method himself but it shows that staring at a bright source of light was a legitimate way to connect with the "other side."

"Gathered at night in study deep I sat. Alone, upon the tripod stool of brass, Exiguous flame came out of solitude, Promise of magic that may be believed."
The brass tripod supported a bowl of water into which Nostradamus gazed in order to see the reflection of a candle in his dark room. Being reflected, the light reaching his eyes would have been polarized. It has also been mentioned that Nostradamus would gaze at the Moon's reflection on a silver tray -- again producing polarized light. This type of light seems to have been preferred by many ancient seers. The specific mention of the "tripod" probably echoes the Oracle of Delphi [right], who sat upon a tripod and gazed at a light, reflected in a shallow bowl of water, when she made her prophecies.

The technique is the same as phosphenes -- after staring at the light, the source is extinguished leaving an after-image that, together with meditation, results in the ability to have a vision of "the other side", from which we can "see" the true reality of our being and temporal circumstance. A bowl of water can be used, but a reflective mirror, crystal ball, a puddle of water, a stream or even the ocean can successfully reflect the light of the Sun or Moon and produce the same results with the proper meditation.

Often there is a degree of complicated ritual associated with this simple act. Nostradamus wrote of using a magic want to touch the bowl and the hem of his robe. Sometimes special incantations are said aloud or magical gestures are made. But these are irrelevant.
Zoroastrians: More Fire and Water

Zoroaster (Zarathushtra), the founder of Zoroastrianism, made reference to the mainyu athra - the spiritual fire - as one that illuminates the path of asha. Asha (enlightenment) is only available through individual choice (hence the necessity for proper meditation) and brings order to human thoughts, words and deeds. It does this by showing the initiate the real self. After this happens, a different hierarchy exists -- one which places greater value on compassion and righteousness.

Followers of Zoroaster worship fire, but not as a deity. They see fire as representing the energy of the Creator and as the messenger of truth. Devotees face the sacred flame in their ceremonies and practice the phosphene technique, mixing the light and after-image with "good thoughts". They also utilize water, which reflects the Sun and Moon. The Fire Temple of Yazd (Iran) [above] has a large pool of water for this kind of contemplation. In Mumbai (India) [right], Zoroastrian devotees worship while basking in the reflections of the sea, mixing meditation with the phosphene procedure.

Gazing at the Sun: Fatima

On May 13, 1917, three Portugese shepherd children spoke of experiencing a vision of the Virgin Mary in the Cova da Iria fields close to the town of Fatima. The eldest child was Lucia, aged ten, and she was accompanied by her two cousins, Francisco, aged nine and Jacinta, aged seven. They repeated the visions on the 13th day of each month until October.

On October 13th a crowd of 70,000 gathered [below] at the Cova da Iria in response to the children's claim that a miracle would occur on that day "so that all may believe." At the appointed time, in the middle of a rainstorm the clouds broke up and the sun was seen as a disk spinning in the sky, throwing off great rays of fantastic colors. As one columnist reported, "Before the astonished eyes of the crowd the sun trembled and danced." 

Before the solar event the three children had continually stared directly in to the Sun when they had their visions, proclaiming that they were in communication with luminous woman they took to be Mary, the mother of Jesus. This bright apparition later gave the girls a prophecy about the future and pleaded for them to pray for world peace.

Certainly the Sun did not move. It was a local phenomenon. What happened in Fatima on October 13th, 1917 was an example of a mass phosphene. All of the necessary ingredients were present to enable thousands of people to experience the portal through which they could see their own true self: they had been staring directly at the Sun for several minutes; they were praying and meditating with good intentions; and they closed their eyes to witness the after-glow and its accompanying range of colors as their retinas and visual cortex regained equilibrium. For those that did these things it was a true spiritual and life changing event.

Thirteen years after the "dance of the Sun", the Catholic Church declared that the phenomenon was "worthy of belief." 

Surprise... a white wall works just as good

Bodhidharma founded Chan Buddhism. Rejected by a local Buddhist monastary, he sat in meditation, staring at Shao Lin's whitewashed monastery walls, every day for years. Bodhidharma eventually became an enlightened master and discovered that the brightness and contrast coming into the field of vision could also produce enlightenment.

Modern psychologists have found that wall-gazing is a great way to induce alpha in both its upper and lower (and even upper theta) frequency ranges. It was the first hint at what was likely going on in the mind of the initiates and what these phosphenes were actually doing.

In this technique, called 'ganzfeld' -- a German word which means complete field -- alpha waves are generated by staring at a blank, preferably white, bright visual field and holding the eyes steadily upon it. A white-wall fulfills this condition. All that is necessary is that the wall occupy the complete field of vision so that distractions are eliminated. Once the vision of the bright wall has saturated the retina, the eyes are closed, revealing the phosphene. At this moment the appropriate meditation is introduced and the mind's eye becomes full of visions. This technique is so powerful a generator of alpha that it is practiced by monks even today. [right].

So what's going on here?

If you've read the Dan Eden's article on Left Brain : Right Brain, you’ll know that your brain is divided into two sides or hemispheres which are slightly different from each other. Each hemisphere can function independently and processes information in different ways. Our personality depends on which hemisphere is dominant, depending on the activities it is processing.
Here is a list of traits associated with each human brain hemisphere:


uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented

imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

When you measure the brain waves generated by both sides of your brain, you'll find that they're slightly out-of-sync or out-of-phase from each other. Scientists know that the more one-sided our brains are, the more erratic and higher the frequency will be.

In the 1970s, psychologists were experimenting with brain waves and discovered that "enlightened" individuals (i.e. Buddhist monks and Gurus) had a remarkable synchronization of their brain waves in both hemispheres. As a result, their overall brain wave patterns were slower.

As brain wave synchronization increases, the two sides of your brain communicate more with each other -- and that's what is important. If your brain waves slow down enough, you'll eventually enter Theta (a bridge to the subconscious and insight and creativity) and maybe even Delta brainwaves (a deep dreamless state or extremely deep meditation). 

Further brainwave synchronization will lead to both sides of your brain being so balanced that your brainwaves will merge into a single coherent brain wave pattern. Some people believe that at this point, the normal conscious mind is bypassed and you finally achieve the "it", the "oneness" or enlightenment -- the awakened mind.

The theory makes sense because in order to know (left brain function) our real self, we must experience or feel it (right brain function). 

" is like Aristotle's view that men being initiated have not a lesson to learn, but an experience to undergo and a condition into which they must be brought, while they are becoming fit (for revelation). -- (Synesius Dio 1133)

Others have described brain waves as like ripples on a pond. Only when the pond is smooth can it reflect the light like a mirror. Only when our brains are quiet can our real self be remembered.

Phosphenes and Enlightenment

As the knowledge about brain wave synchronization became known, an assortment of different apparatus were developed and marketed. Bio-feedback machines allowed the user to experiment with different meditation techniques to lower their brain waves and audio CDs promised to synchronize the hemispheres with subliminal sounds. A few apparatus tried to use blinking lights to do this visually -- but the results have been abysmal.

It makes sense to use visual stimuli to synchronize the hemispheres for a number of reasons. Humans rely primarily on their vision to survive. Our consciousness and attention is primarily in visual language and the brain devotes a significant portion (visual cortex) of its neurons to process the sensory data from our eyes. Just close your eyes for a few seconds and you will experience a dramatic change in your consciousness.

Each retina in our eyes is connected to both the left and right hemispheres of our brain. The left field of vision goes to one hemisphere while the right goes to the other. This division is un-sharp and a narrow strip of the visual field midline is represented in both hemispheres. This overlap of the visual field is important to our discussion.

Because depth perception requires the coordination of both eyes, communication between the two visual centers is usually made through the corpus callosum -- a bundle of nerves that connects the two hemispheres like a network cable. Recent experiments have shown that this inter-hemisphere communication is not necessary for visual data coming from the midline of our visual field, or macula. This central point in our retina is the focus of our vision and its information is hard-wired to both sides of our brain. 

It is well know that our visual system has a high degree of specialization. Neurons in some areas of the visual cortex process information only from a restricted range of features. Things like form, color or motion are analyzed independently by separate processing systems. All of these processing activities require excitation of the brain waves as they try to interpret changes in our field of vision.
So here it is: The phosphene method saturates the midline visual field with intense light. It is almost an overload. Visual data is sent to both hemispheres simultaneously. The visual cortex stimulates the entire hemisphere. The visual data is coherent, with minimal variation in form, color or motion and the involvement of both hemispheres in synchronous. By closing the eyes, attention is shifted from the external world to the inner one and, with pre-requisite meditation and preparation to be receptive of the truth, the real self is experienced as light. 

A Warning To All

First, don't look at the Sun for more than a few seconds. In fact, it is better to use an ordinary light bulb in a dark room. The results will be the same. In my research I have read that a 60-watt incandescent bulb placed two meters (about 5 feet) away is sufficient to produce the effect. Then, of course, there is always the white wall... (But the wall must take up the entire field of vision to avoid distractions of form, shape or color.)

Next, there is the matter of the pre-conditioning of the mind. Enlightenment is something you must allow to happen. It cannot be rushed or wished for. It requires a fertile environment brought about by good thinking, good living and good intentions. Some have said that this part of the quest for enlightenment requires the help of an enlightened teacher. Others say that good intentions will allow your own self to show you the way.

No one can tell you about your true self with words. We simply do not have an adequate vocabulary for this. The experience that one has is unique and unlike anything in this mortal experience. It is emotional and enduring. It is felt (right brain) and understood (left brain). 

Let me know your thoughts on this.

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:

Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:

Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.



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What time is Around the World?


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NGC - UFO's in EUROPE (Porugal included)

FEBRUARY 7, 2013 - 7:00PM EST

FEBRUARY 7, 2013 - 7:00PM EST