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Tony Grist

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Important Information [Jan. 9th, 2005|11:21 am]
Tony Grist
I've got this big, big book about Ghosts by Hans Holzer. Thank you jackiejj for the recommendation. It's teaching me new skills; like how to balance a book the size of a family Bible on one knee and a plate of food on the other.

Can't put it down, see.

Normally when you die someone comes over from the spirit world to talk you through it. But if you die suddenly or violently or all in a dither about unfinished business you can miss the connection. Then you get stuck.

Ghosts are people who are stuck.

Holzer talks to them. He uses a spirit medium which means he can have face to face chats. Most ghosts are muddled and fuddled. They've grasped that there's something wrong but they haven't quite figured out what. And they're too angry at their murderer or too mithered about the doubloons they've left buried under the fireplace to figure out how to work themselves free.

Holzer compares them to psychotics. We shouldn't be afraid of them he says. They're far too wrapped up in their own troubles to want to hurt us.

Often they don't know they're dead. There's no time where they live. When Holzer tells them its 1965 not 1776 they do a double-take. "I'm 56," one ghost protests, "Do I look 204 years older?"

Who wouldn't want to know about all this? It's important information. Knowing it could mean the difference between spending eternity in the summerlands with the ones you love or tripping up and down the stair-case wondering who all these strangers are and why nobody talks to you any more. Fore-warned is fore-armed.

I was lying in bed yesterday looking at the ceiling and I caught myself thinking, "I hope I'm not becoming too attached to this house. I wouldn't want to wind up haunting it."

[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-09 05:47 am (UTC)
I wonder about the scientific studies that indicate there's a spot (the "sisyphus trench"?) that is two inches about the top of the (right?) ear, and if this trench in the brain is probed, the person begins to feel he is leaving his body! He sees people coming towards him!

I don't see this in any way denegrating the nonphysical--in some ways, it validates: our brain's circuitry may encompass far more than we are usually aware of--some of us ARE psychic (all of us, finally, are, but some more obviously than others); some play the violin freakishly well at seven; some have visions.

I don't want to be creepy about this, but it's a silly fear: What if, say, you get your head blown off? Or you're Anne Boleyn? How can the Sisyphus Trench help you make your gentle transition through the tunnel to your relatives?

Where did I read about that stupid trench, anyway? In the same forgotten book that discusses the phenomenon that that the astronauts, when subjected to high-gee forces during training, suddenly experienced a sensation of being outside their bodies!

Our brains offer us a lot more than these dimensions. We're just trapped here, I think. But we have a way out.

Unless our heads get blown off...

Morbidly yours, Jackie
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-09 06:39 am (UTC)
Well yes, they do say that psychic experiences- including the near-death experience- can be reproduced in the laboratory.

I hadn't heard of the Sisyphus trench before- what a splendidly doom-laden name.

So the brain is a box of toys...I don't think this means that all psychic experiences are fake. That's too big a leap.

I used to worry what would happen if they dropped an atom bomb. How could the spirit possibly survive that? But I think the spirit can survive anything.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-09 06:27 am (UTC)
I went looking and found this.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-09 06:47 am (UTC)
Oooh, interesting. And lots and lots to read- including a 9 year old girl's instructions on how to have OBEs. I'm bookmarking the site.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-09 06:49 am (UTC)
I also bookmarked the site.

Where on EARTH did I dream up "sisyphus trench"?!

(I am delighted you like Holzer's tome. Isn't it fun?)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-09 06:56 am (UTC)
I've just Googled "Sisyphus trench". It doesn't seem to exist outside out correspondence. I'm not sure if that's a shame or rather splendid. It means- I guess- that it's your invention and you can do what you want with it.

The Sisyphus Trench- a tale of horror by Jackie J. J.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-09 06:59 am (UTC)
Another thing that's so interesting about Holzer is that you get these little glimpses into the historical past. The communications that came out of "Ocean Born" Mary's house build up a fascinating, confused but very convincing picture of the chaotic home life of an 18th century pirate.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-09 07:02 am (UTC)
confused but very convincing picture of the chaotic home life of an 18th century pirate.

Rich stuff for a future novel from you!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-09 07:05 am (UTC)
It did cross my mind...:)
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2005-01-10 05:27 am (UTC)
Ghosts are people who are stuck.

I don't know if you'll ever get the chance to see a Japanese Noh play, but if you do, go. Each play involves a ghost--someone who is stuck. They all start out the same... A traveler is walking along a path/a beach/a mountain road and it is misty. He encounters someone who pulls him into his story.

It's formulaic, sort of, but there are lots of twists and turns and the language is lovely. If you look for translations, I can recommend the ones by Royall Tyler.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-10 03:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this suggestion.

I love Japanese movies. Exploring Noh would be the next step.

I'll have a look for the Tyler translations.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2005-01-10 03:31 pm (UTC)
I looked on Amazon (US version). There is http://tinyurl.com/3rt95, which is a book of fairy tales--the "Customers who bought this book also bought" section is interesting. It includes his translations of Noh--http://tinyurl.com/3re7m. But other stuff, on ghosts and the Japanese.

He was my professor/mentor/hero in undergraduate school, and was so relieved when I decided to go for linguistics instead of lit, it was rather pitiful. However, the fact that he was so wonderful at literature made me understand how inadequate I am in that area.

I hope you get to look at these and like them--he is an amazingly artful translator.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-10 05:53 am (UTC)
Interesting: There's an interview going on right now on the national Today morning news show. A woman who can see dead people is on. She says, Sure, I can see dead people all the time. Yes, here in the studio.

She says she bridges the living and the dead, and that she usually keeps her walls up and lives her life, but if someone needs her, she can help.

Imagine, she says, if you try to talk and no one can see you and no one can hear you. But I can, so I can help.

She's been studied, with impressive results, for four years at two major universities.

She says, If your grandmother dies in her sleep at 93, there's no trauma. It's the ones who have traumas who need help.

You can see dead people on the street? Here in the studio? asks the interviewer.

Sure, she says. Yes.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-10 09:48 am (UTC)
I knew a chap at theological college with the same gift. He saw dead people all the time, everywhere. He accepted it as the wall paper of his life. He didn't talk about the gift and he didn't use it either.

He is, presumably, now a priest. I wish I knew his surname, then I could Google him and find out what he's doing.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-10 06:01 am (UTC)
Watching this woman being interviewed, I thought again about the latest brain studies, which seem to offer a physical explanation for OBE.

I think, just like there are people who are savants with numbers, so are there people who can see other dimensions.

If Jesus's words were true, then he surely was very psychic--why not? I've met a very good psychic. He plucked things out of my life that he couldn't possibly have known about (he'd never met me, didn't know I was coming).

Jesus said (paraphrased) that there were other worlds around us, that the Kingdom of Heaven was all around us, but that we didn't see it.

He told people their secrets. He told the woman at the well about her many husbands.

I think our brains are just part of it. Like radios--they are transmitters.

Have you ever read Depak Choprah? He says the body is a mechanism that is inhabited by mind. He says, have you ever fallen asleep on your arm and felt it to be alien to you, like a cold fish?

He says our bodies are clothing for our minds.

And Carl Sagan, perhaps more cynically, said our bodies were festooning for DNA, so it could walk around and evolve...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-10 09:53 am (UTC)
I agree with Depak. I think our bodies and brains are machines for the use of our minds.

In the end there is only Mind. Matter is nothing but a solidification of energy, or- as mystics and poets in every tradition have been saying all along- nothing but an illusion, a dream.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-10 10:05 am (UTC)
I took Thomas Moore's The Soul's Religion along with me on my walk this morning, and he was talking about how religious institutions have become defensive and hidebound and are driving people away. And he talked about emptiness.

He says the Hopi pueblo people of the American Southwest have a legend about the first appearance of their people "in the time of dark purple light, the people had moisture on their foreheads and a soft spot at the top of their heads. Eventually this soft spot hardened, but occasionally they can open it like a door and make themselves available to the influence of the spirit world. As they were drifting on the water looking for a livable fourth world, 'not knowing what to do, the people stopped paddling, opened the doors on top of their heads, and let themselves be guided.'"

I don't know what to do. I think I will try opening a door.

It's wonderfully exciting to turn everything around and say, this isn't as real as the Mind.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-10 10:52 am (UTC)
The church certainly drove me away. It seemed like this dead-end enclave of conservative values. I was stifling.

I'd like a door to open in my life too. I don't feel I can force the issue, though. I have to wait- and wait- and see what the gods have in mind.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-10 12:08 pm (UTC)

I know all about waiting.

The wind doesn't blow. As Annie Dillard says, "Nothing sounds."

I remember being pregnant, all those years ago, in Atlanta. Long walks alone, wondering if the baby would ever be born, if it would be a boy or a girl.

I felt like such a biological convenience for the gods.

Which I was! Amazing!

I was too young to realize what we were building, Mind and I.

I'd just take walks and feel awkward and tired.

Then, in the delivery room, wide awake and without drugs, I was pushing and I imagined myself as a Center of Life. I felt I was in a vortex that was all around me, that I was part of something much greater than what was taking place in that room. I felt--observed. And appreciated, and understood.

When they handed my daughter to me, she looked at me and her face lit up. We said hello to each other. Then she went back into the machinery that was surrounding her mind, and she began to be a baby human.

But for that one moment, we saw each other, soul to soul.

Waiting takes place here, and takes place There, until the fullness of time.

I'm waiting, too. I've felt pregnant for years now.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-10 03:05 pm (UTC)
That's extraordinary. I've never known childbirth spoken of in such terms before. What you've said is- literally- a revelation.

I'm just a man. This is a mystery I can never experience.

Not in this incarnation anyway :)

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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-10 03:42 pm (UTC)
It only happened that strongly in my first pregnancy, perhaps because everything was new, or perhaps because I was so exhausted that "the door in my head" was open, as the Indians say.

My son's birth was precipitous, and, although it was also a natural childbirth, it was much easier--and more earthbound!

What I felt was just a glimpse, no matter what the mechanism, and very soon I was back to being my regular self again.

But that moment of greeting! I'll never forget it! Kate's eyes widened. She smiled at me and looked at me a very long time. I said hello! And then the moment was gone, and she was just a wobbly newborn.

I swear, Tony, that has to have been the moment when she came into this world, and I got to see it.

Maybe it all was an illusion. But I choose to believe that I participated in one of the "common miracles" and that I also glimpsed just an edge of the Kingdom of Heaven, "all around me."
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-10 06:09 am (UTC)
I must clarify:

Jesus probably never said anything so happily succinct as "There are other worlds all around us." That was wishful thinking on my part.

What I do recall his saying (perhaps in a renegade gospel like Thomas) was something like: The Kingdom of Heaven is all around you, and you don't see it.

He also referred to other sheep, not of this fold, which I find a beautiful and intriguing statement that could mean anything--other continents? Other planets? Other dimensions?

Or it could be all wishful thinking on the part of a scribe in the year 400.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-10 09:56 am (UTC)
Just because it was said by a scribe in AD 400 doesn't mean it isn't true.

Anonymous scribes can also be divinely inspired.

There's a saying I like from the Gospel of Thomas that goes something like-

"Lift the stone and I am there.
Cleave the wood and I am there."
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-10 10:09 am (UTC)
Yes, I remember that saying now.

Our church always ties helium balloons to the pews for Pentecost, and people have forgotten why--they think it is a celebration. But I think surely it must be to show the wind moving the balloons--to highlight the negative spaces in between, to show the Breath of God.

We can't see it, but the Kingdom of Heaven is all around us, in the Negative spaces in between.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-10 10:59 am (UTC)
The metaphor of the wind is so powerful.

"The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the spirit."

The wind cannot be captured. It cannot be institutionalized....
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[User Picture]From: kaysho
2005-01-10 03:00 pm (UTC)
Which begs the question, if one is stuck, how does one get unstuck?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-10 03:07 pm (UTC)
One has to be helped. If one is lucky someone like nice Mr Holzer will come along and talk one out of it.

Of course some ghosts don't want to be helped.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-10 03:50 pm (UTC)
Okay, here is another question:

If one gets "stuck," then why isn't there another resource available? Why is there only that one chance to get together in the right way?

Because if it doesn't happen, one would think there would be some backup system--counselors, kindly angels--whatever--to help the transitioner along to Level II.

But now I am thinking that there must be an interference that shuts off that communication, the interference being from a refusal to enter or believe in the dimension entered.

Resistance, maybe, that takes the form of energy that sort of short-circuits and keeps the personality (whatever) from speeding up--it's heavy, coated with energy, "stuck" in a slower dimension.

Oh, I don't know...just typing.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-11 01:43 am (UTC)
Holzer's suggestion that ghosts are "psychotic" is helpful. People in the grip of psychosis can be unreachable.

But, I agree. You'd think that there would be "rescue squads" operating from the other side. Actually, I believe some spiritualists think there are. Hauntings do sometimes stop- just like that. Perhaps these unexplained exorcisms can be chalked up to the "angels".

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