A Christmas Visit

Copyright 2012 D.E. Lamont

The prospect of death can be terrifying or depressing and for some can make living and life seem worthless. After all the greatness and creativity and pleasure that human beings can enjoy and invest into life, it seems the greatest bad joke of the universe that our awareness and our participation in life can simply be cut off forever.

Perhaps you, like many others, were taught that when your life stops, you stop – that you cease to exist and your awareness is gone. That is, after all, what our bodily senses and perceptions seem to indicate.

Others try to get you to accept it. “It’s a natural part of life,” they say. But the whole time you’re thinking that that really doesn’t help at all or make you feel any better.  Who wants to feel good about death?  For that matter, who wants to accept it, under any circumstances?

Well, maybe that really isn’t what happens. Maybe something entirely different occurs that has nothing to do with either ceasing to exist or going to heaven and floating on clouds and playing harps for eternity (no disrespect to religion intended).

Throughout the world, many religions and many people believe and have believed for uncounted ages that humans are really “composite” beings consisting of a soul, or spirit, and a body. Many also believe that the mind is not part of the brain, but part of the spirit. The spirit is immortal; it goes on existing through eternity, and so does the mind and the personality that is you.

A physical analogy for the spirit is electricity, which powers machines and electronics. It is obvious that when someone dies, something has left the body. Its source of power is gone. That something, many believe, is the life force – the spirit.

What the spirit does after the body dies may be somewhat different in each case, but it is not necessarily true that you are automatically sucked up into a dark tunnel with a bright light at its end.

I have personally had a few direct experiences with spirits. The most spectacular and wonderful such experience was a night shortly before Christmas back in the late 1980s.

I lived in a dramatic 2-story-tall apartment in West Los Angeles with a spiral staircase leading up to a small bedroom loft.  I had decided to decorate the apartment for Christmas by wiring faux pine garlands to the railings bordering the loft area and also down the spiral railings for the staircase. I began fairly late in the evening, and cut off pieces of green wire twist-tie from a big roll I had, to fasten the pine garlands to the rails. (Twist-ties are wire wrapped with plastic, used as fasteners around loaves of bread in the U.S.)

As I worked, I had the wistful thought that it was too bad that nobody but me would see my decorations, since they were looking so pretty!  I didn’t have plans for anyone to come over that Christmas – but I wanted to decorate anyway!

After I was done with the garlands, I used more twist-tie to put little clusters of bright red holly berries along the garlands.  I was upstairs when I finished, so I surveyed my work from above, then dropped the by-then largely undone spool of green twist-tie – which then looked like a big spiral spring – down to the floor through the spiral staircase. It fell on the carpet under the stair case.

I then busied myself straightening up in the loft. At one point I heard a noise downstairs – a definite medium-soft “thunk” of something hitting something. It gave me a start, because nobody was in the house. I instantly discounted it, because it wasn’t something that should have been possible, and kept working.

A little while later, I went downstairs to clean up, intending to pick up the loose roll of twist-tie I had dropped onto the carpet.  But it wasn’t there!  I very clearly recalled having dropped it through to the carpet and noticing how it unwound, looking much like a big green spring.  I was bewildered, to say the least.

I looked around, and then I spotted it. The roll of green twist-tie wire was sitting in the middle of my old wood eating table. And no longer was it a large disarrayed spiral resembling a spring. No! Instead it was rolled up tightly and neatly in a little spool and secured with a clever tie that I didn’t even know how to do!  It reminded me of something a seaman would know how to do. 

I became pretty creeped-out then, because I KNEW I hadn’t done that.  I nervously searched all through the apartment, checking everywhere to make sure nobody was there. There was nobody there and all the windows and the door were locked tight. The only possibility was one which I was
not entirely ready or able to accept, and it took me some time to buck up my courage and get used to the idea. And that was that I had had a disembodied visitor with remarkable capabilities, able to manipulate physical objects. 

While still somewhat nervous about it, I also felt shy, because I wasn’t sure whether he might still be there. I decided to address him (I felt that he had once been male), in case he was still there, and thanked him/her for wrapping my twist-ties back up and for coming to visit me and show me that he had been there.

This experience was so amazing and hard to believe, yet impossible not to believe, that it changed my overall view of things. It confirmed for me utterly, once and for all, the existence of the spiritual plane. I had seen for myself (and heard for myself) that a spiritual being was real – a personality that could indeed act and make himself or herself known to us. And could move objects without the need of a body!  It was a confirmation on a different level of what I had already believed, and it meant the world to me that my visitor had come to visit me and show me this truth in a whimsical and instructive way.

A postscript to this story:  As I was standing there thinking about what had occurred, I remembered that earlier in the evening, when I was downstairs and before I had started decorating, I had been walking toward my office area when I suddenly felt an overwhelming rush of love and loyalty for a certain very wonderful friend who had passed away a few years earlier.  My emotion was very powerful, and I felt just like I had walked right into a pool of intense love.

Standing there, as I recalled that event, my eyes misted over and I thought that perhaps, just maybe, my beloved old friend had been my unseen visitor that night. And that indeed, someone very, very special had come, after all, to see my Christmas decorations.

So, I would ask you, is dying the end of us?

I think not.  

D.E. Lamont

Dreams – Random Imaginings or Gateway to our Spiritual Selves?

Little-Understood and Mysterious, but Part of Us All

Everyone
has their own ideas of what dreams are, and what they mean – if
anything! Dreams might be the most often discussed yet little understood
phenomenon common to all humans – though animals also dream. Certain
professions claim dreams as their exclusive turf to define and label –
but seem to want to insist that dreams are always symbolic. That is
nonsense.

What Are Dreams?

Though
superficially dreams seem similar one to the next, not all are of the
same character. Dreams can actually be many different things, from a
random creation out of imagination and experience with no additional
significance, to a spiritual experience that is actual. At times they
seem to offer a door into an unexplored and supernatural realm;
sometimes they offer a glimpse of incredible beauty. While most seem to
be happenstance, some appear not to be. Here are some of the things
dreams can be:

  • Random creations of a person’s mind, recombining experience and imagination.
    This may be the most common type of dream. When remembered after
    awakening, often the events, objects and concepts make no sense at all,
    even though they made perfect sense in the dream. Some concepts can’t
    even be expressed! This is a fascinating aspect of dreams. The way I
    figure it out is this: if you suppose that each human being has his or
    her very own self-created spiritual universe, completely apart from the
    physical universe we all interact in, composed of the mind and anything
    else the person has put there, then it is possible to see that events,
    ideas, and objects can be created within that universe which bear no relation to our own, and can’t even be expressed in physical universe terms.
  • A
    reflection of troubling or threatening events or ideas, or of
    delightful, pleasant or exhilarating events or thoughts, changed, mixed
    and magnified in the mind
  • A reflection or elaboration of some actual incident or thought the person had while awake
  • A
    response to a person’s conscious desire to dream about something
    specific, such as the creative development of a storyline that a writer
    wishes to explore.
    When I am in the frame of mind of creating
    stories, I sometimes dream a story. Sometimes I am viewing it as an
    outsider, and sometimes I am participating in the story!
  • A
    recollection of an intense or beautiful experience or ability from the
    person’s distant past – even a past he doesn’t know he has, such as
    past-life existences
    . Over my lifetime, I’ve had vivid dreams
    in which I had the ability to create in art forms I didn’t know in real
    life. I have vividly dreamed of singing improvisationally in an
    intensely beautiful, otherworldly manner; I’ve improvised beautiful
    music on the piano; I’ve danced in a medieval castle with such grace and
    power that I literally flew; I’ve felt love as a spirit in an amazingly
    intense manner never felt while awake. From all of these dreams I
    gained a new reality: a wonderful sense that, having had these dream
    abilities and experiences, I had the potential to experience these sensations and abilities for real.
  • A perception of one’s own spiritual universe, or those of others. When
    a person sleeps, it’s possible that his/her abilities, normally limited
    to those of their body’s senses  when awake, can expand unfettered. In
    such a state, we can be in someone else’s presence, and perhaps share
    the thoughts and images of their own mind/universe.
  • A trip to another place as a spirit during sleep (out of body, or through viewing at a distance).
    A couple of times, with my body asleep, I have found myself
    inadvertently in someone’s private space where I shouldn’t have been
    (OK, someone’s bedroom!). In one instance, the person became aware of me
    and demanded to know what I was doing there! It sounded like they were
    yelling, though it had to be thought transference.) I hightailed it out
    of there and awoke in my own bedroom! I have also felt myself (as a
    separate awareness) floating distinctly above my sleeping body that was
    lying in the bed – a most wonderful sensation.
  • A
    communication from another person to the sleeper via the thought
    wavelength, where the recipient receives the communication in thoughts
    and images during sleep.
    A type of this kind of dream is a
    lesson sent from a spiritually aware person or teacher to the sleeper,
    in moving, living images in the dream, such as in story form. Such
    experiences can be interactive, containing 2-way communication, with
    both the teacher and the recipient affecting and changing the images in
    the dream.
  • A dream foretelling events in the future. I
    believe it is true that some people have the ability to foretell the
    future. But I am personally not interested in this ability, because I
    also believe we all have the ability, even if not always realized, to
    change and direct our futures in directions we determine. We need not
    fear the future, because it is ours to create. 
  • A symbol of some existing condition or omen of a future event in the dreamer’s awake life.
    Here we get to symbols – things in dreams that stand for or mean
    something else. For example, different cultures or groups may have
    traditional understandings about dreams and what they mean. These
    understandings, being widely agreed upon in the group, therefore do
    prove true among their members, even if untrue beyond that culture. An
    example is one group’s belief, told to me by one of its members, that if
    a woman dreams about fish, it means she is pregnant. She related
    several personal experiences in which that actually had occurred. Her
    comments were a revelation to me, because it showed that the nature of
    dreams varied widely from person to person and group to group, and may
    indeed be carried along with a person’s culture.

As you can
see, dreams can be useful and revelatory. They can provide us clues to
our own spiritual natures that might otherwise be difficult to
experience on our own. All that said, I have realized something very
important about this subject.

We shouldn’t let ourselves become
too caught up in thinking about dreams, introverting into them or our
own minds, and in trying to understand them or assign meaning to them.
We should always prefer the real world by doing our best to
live a vital, full, rich existence in it, filled with actual
communication, face-to-face with other people and facing the real
environment around us. We should live and love in the real world. We
should put away the smartphones whenever we can and develop interest in
and relationships with the real people around us. Therein lies the real
satisfaction and happiness of a life well-lived.

All the best!

D.E. Lamont

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Also check out my illustrated novella, The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening. Winner of two national awards!

Copyright 2012 by D.E. Lamont. All Rights Reserved.

 

Are Animals Spiritual Beings?

This article is addressed to those people who aren’t sure about the answer to this question. I am sure that many animal lovers will reply without hesitation that animals demonstrate spiritual characteristics, often to a greater degree than some humans. (!) But others aren’t so sure.

A brief manifesto here. My comments are not based on scientific evidence, but on common sense. Heaven help us humans when certain authorities insist that we cannot and should not rely on, or give credence to, the evidence of our senses, our own personal observations and our powers of deduction. How dull and meaningless life would be if we forfeited our own powers of intelligence, observation, and even knowingness – those qualities which are inborn and ours to use as we see fit.  I love science and the scientific method, but it is not the end-all of existence. It has its important uses, but should not supplant our innate abilities.

So, back to the question of animals. To tell the truth, I didn’t feel like I had the picture for many years. Not all animals demonstrate the level of intelligence of humans, and so it was hard for me to conceive of what kind of spirits animals and creatures might be. Then I read an amazing, mind-blowing book by my long-time friend, graphic artist and marine mammal advocate Jon Soeder. It is called “True Tails.” In this book Jon revealed for the first time publicly a side of him few had guessed at and that I certainly had not known.

The book tells how at the age of two he discovered that he could hear the thoughts of the animals and other creatures around him, and was able to converse with them via thought. In this book he narrates many anecdotes from his lifetime in which he had communication with animals, birds, insects, reptiles.  By reading these stories, you become aware of the distinct and unique nature and personalities of various animals, and what kinds of things they communicate about and live for. This is no airy-fairy invention of complex personalities like the Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland with his stopwatch. No, some creatures have very very simple, survival-oriented lives and don’t get into things of cosmic complexity, because it isn’t in their nature.

In his stories about the animals he has encountered, Jon makes sure to mention objective facts such as observation of the unusual animal behavior by others in his surroundings – often these observations are evidence that something out of the ordinary did transpire.

Jon’s book was a revelation to me that moved me profoundly. It connected me with the world of animals in a way that hadn’t been possible before, because finally I knew that we are dealing with spiritual entities – like us, spirits playing the game of the physical universe in the form of particular animals.

It is clear to me that Jon (and other sensitive individuals) could not communicate with animals through the exchange of thoughts and images if there were no spiritual entity to receive – and send – that communication. A dead piece of wood and a stone normally do not think or speak. They do not possess living energy. But an animal does, and it is that living energy which is the spiritual part of the animal. 

My friend, Khanada, told me of things she does with her dog that demonstrate the dog’s psychic ability to read her thoughts. She wrote to me:

      “You know if you have a pet there are ways to test this ability and get instant results. One of my dogs cannot help but come to me when I visualize an invisible collar and leash and I pull her toward me when she doesn’t want to come.

      “When my other dog doesn’t want to come then I visualize petting and loving on her and she cannot help but come to me. Of course, once she gets to me I always reward her with that love before doing what I originally intended to do (such as clip her nails). Anyway, the power of the mind is awesome. I’ve found that animals are 100% attuned to this power and I believe it is how they communicate since they don’t use words.”

I do not believe that dogs could have such sensitivity to their humans’ thoughts if they themselves did not themselves have extra-sensory abilities – that is, have a spiritual nature. 

Native Americans had a profound belief in the spiritual nature of everything in the universe; their spirit guides were and are invariably an animal or bird or other creature.  In fact, they believe that every object and animal was created from and possesses spirit. To the modern person, that may seem extreme. I do not believe it is extreme in the least. I believe it is profound, particularly from the perspective that the entire universe was created by one or more great spirits.  What is it that keeps matter together?  At its heart, not in contradiction of scientific laws, it could be the original commanding thought, “Let there be matter.”

                                                        *            *            *

Many many years ago in the chaparral hills of Southern California I heard coyotes howling together at the moon in an eerie and haunting wail.  I wondered what made them create such a mournful, wistful sound.  The thought came to me that they were mourning their ancient loss of freedom… they were longing for the days when they
flew free of earthly bonds, as powerful, free spirits.

Perhaps…

“Unexplained” Phenomena (Supposedly)

In my last post on this blog, Are We Really Living in the Matrix (also posted on my new blog, MagicalMysticalYou.com), I talked about the possibility that we can affect the physical universe around us through our intention.

A similar phenomenon is people’s demonstration of “kinetic” psychic abilities – they can control movement at a distance (without physically touching an object). Of course the movies have dramatized the disastrous or evil possibilities of this ability ad nauseum, such as with firestarters or poltergeists, not to mention ghosts. But such abilities are not very common in our age, as it takes a being with quite a bit of “horsepower” to directly manipulate the physical universe in that way. Apparently, not too many of those are still around, either in or out of bodies. You read about an incident involving such ability now and then in the news or in a book.

For many, believing in these phenomena seems to require a leap of faith.  I prefer a leap of understanding – of what exactly we’re talking about. Such phenomena can’t be explained unless you understand that humans have two main parts: the spirit and the body, and the spirit is normally senior to and controls the body. A body without life (the spirit) doesn’t do anything, because it is inanimate matter – it is dead. A brain by itself cannot reach out and affect matter apart from the body.

But the “life principle” or “animating principle” is the spirit, and it is the spirit which possesses intelligence and potentially unlimited abilities, including those which take precedence over the physical universe. The spirit and what it influences are not necessarily limited to, or by, the body.

Now for the fun part! I have had several amazing, distinct supernatural experiences during my lifetime that appeared to be demonstrations by someone else of this ability, although in all cases there was nobody else present besides me anywhere in my vicinity! 

The first incident was amazing, and it saved my life. I was in college in the late 60s and my boyfriend and I had taken a secret drive up to the Sierra Nevada to hike and camp in the backcountry. My parents didn’t know and I didn’t want them to find out!  I had to be back for class on Monday morning. We started driving back quite late and were probably going to have to drive all night. It was somewhere on old Highway 99 leading down through the California central valley toward Los Angeles, in my boyfriend’s old ’56 Chevy.

I was driving, unbelievably tired, and I kept almost dozing off and just barely catching myself. Finally I fell sound asleep. Next thing I knew I was jerked into consciousness because the steering wheel suddenly started shimmying crazily back and forth with my hands on it. It jerked me into full wakefulness.  I was still on the road and the car was going straight, but I realized I had been asleep and I was shocked and alarmed.

I frantically asked my boyfriend if he had seen anything or if the car had been shimmying or swerved. He said no, nothing happened, he didn’t see anything. And I realized, even without knowing anything about such a thing as a spiritual being, that somebody, some force, had saved our lives by making the steering wheel either start shimmying for real, or by giving me the distinct illusion that it was shaking hard, and waking me. I was filled with a profound relief and amazement, and I never forgot the experience.

Later, in the 80s, I seemed to have a “guardian spirit” with me at times who would find ways to give me a little tip that I should or should not do something, kind of a reminder to do what I knew I was supposed to do. It felt like a mother-figure. A couple of times, I was alone in my apartment, reading in bed. Both times I was really into the novel and I kept reading waaaaay too long past the time I should have turned off the light and gone to sleep, because I knew that otherwise, it was going to be very difficult for me to get up for work next morning.  But I didn’t have the discipline to stop reading.

All of a sudden, the lamp on my night table starting flashing and blinking on and off erratically — just like in the movies!  It did it for about a second, just long enough to definitely get my attention. I instantly got the idea that somebody was telling me “Go to bed!” so I closed the book, ready to sleep. As soon as I did, the light was steady again. I hadn’t gotten anywhere near the light and there was no physical explanation for the blinking.  The light bulb was fine next day and did not burn out for some time!

Another time, in the same bedroom, I was reading really late, being really bad. There would be consequences in my having difficulty getting up next morning to go to work. All of a sudden the closet door, which was a normal hinged door and which was within my line of sight, began shaking rapidly back and forth, back and forth, all by itself!  It moved about an inch in each direction, very rapidly. There was no denying it, and it was making a noise, a little squeaking sound as it went back and forth.

I could barely believe my eyes! I freaked out for an instant – it was really creepy!  But again I got the distinct impression that a friend in spirit form was saying to me, “Come on, put that darn book down and get to sleep!”  I spoke aloud to the spirit, whoever it was.  I said “OK, I will go to sleep, and I appreciate your caring enough to help me stop reading, but please don’t do this any more … because it really does kind of of creep me out, and I don’t like the feeling that somebody is always here watching what I do. It is too introverting!”  Then I went to bed.  And what do you know, the guardian spirit honored my request – because it never happened again!

Later, reflecting back on the incidents in my bedroom, I was thrilled and humbled to realize that I had had encounters with a quite capable spiritual individual. It meant something to me that someone cared enough for me to try to help me be a better person, even in little ways. 

And of course, I will never forget that out on Highway 99 in Central California in the middle of the night, some very aware, compassionate being found me in my moment of need, and gave me a new chance at life.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

All the best,
D.E. Lamont