Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Snapshot of APP Fest 2017

This was quite a different APP Fest from the previous two, as I try to convey here…

There will be forthcoming notes on the talks and the Conference, which was not recorded so as to have full focus in the room on the presentations, without tech issues, etc.

Jeff  Mishlove, a prominent parapsychologist, gave the first talk, on “Paradigms and Paradoxes”. He cited the many ways the word “paradigm” is now used, overused one should say. Then discussed Thomas Kuhn’s famous “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, about paradigm shifts in science. We are going through such a shift now, many believe, and Jeff’s opinion is that it will take “1000 years” till a new one about the nature of the universe and humankind surpasses our present heavily materialist one.

It would be too much to say that this conference represents a “paradigm shift” for APP so of course I won’t say that. However, the flavor of the “significant displacement” that took place is perhaps best represented by Janet Mitchell’s presentation.

Janet Mitchell, Ph.D., did research with Ingo Swann at the American Society of Psychical Research (ASPR) in the 1970’s. Her talk was titled, “Spiritual Revolution of Ingo Swann and Others”. On the one hand she is a hard-nosed scientist interested in approaching psi from a physics standpoint and on the other hand she considers us humans to be, fundamentally, spirits which inhabit a body. The spirit is the enduring and larger entity. Her first book was “Out-of-Body Experiences – A Handbook”. Our selves are much larger than most of us generally understand and not knowing our full and true nature has been instrumental in leading to the unfortunate state which the world is in.

The themes of our nature as humans, of consciousness, of other entities and forces in the universe took place at many of the meals and side discussions. Quite a few people related their experiences of unusual happenings, spirits or other entities being present at some point in their lives, and the same with that bugaboo of the field, aliens and UFO’s. One participant works closely with Steven Greer in his efforts at “disclosure”. Others cited having seen a UFO and/or creatures of unknown provenance.

I gave a presentation on Ingo Swann’s unpublished writings and the titles of the ms convey Ingo’s interest in these matters: “The Agony and Ecstasy of the Signs of the Zodiac”, “My 2000 Years of Reincarnation”, “Anacalypsis: A Psychic Autobiography”, and “The Emerald Kingdom”, which is about our psi abilities.

John Alexander presented numerous slides about his and his wife’s visits with Shamans in many countries and the viewpoints they have about the nonphysical and physical worlds. He believes that remote viewing, Near-Death Experiences, psychokinesis, UFO’s, Shamanism, and cryptozoology are all related.

Steve Braude presented, “The Amazing Case of Patience Worth: A Paranormal Literary Mystery”, about a discarnate being who manifested and through a Ouija board wrote copious amounts of extraordinary literary material, both prose and poems.

Some may lament remote viewing being associated with these topics (‘the other world of spiritual beings’ and UAP’s (Unexplained Aerial Phenomena) and indeed there was gross ‘distortion of the field’ from early (post 1995) unsubstantiated and reckless promotion of the connection with remote viewing. However, as this conference showed, there has long been a very strong connection based on experience between RV and the UFO/alien field, as well as ‘spiritual dimensions’ and  discarnate beings. Marty Rosenblatt, the ‘prime mover’ of APP, said he has long resisted the association with UFO’s and RV, said recent conferences have  broadened his perspective.

And oh yes, not to forget the sporting events which we remote viewed using binary ARV? With two events to go at the time I flew home, Marty’s predictions for APP, based on the sessions of all present, were 4 hits and 3 misses. Based on my own sessions, I had 3 hits, 2 misses, and 1 pass. One of our successful predictions was the winner of a horse race, with 7 horses in it, so not a binary prediction. Extra credit for that but a small payoff because the horse was among the favorites.

Finally, the spoon bending party. In the past many a spoon has been bent at these events. However, this time just one spoon, I believe but also one metal bar was bent. This was done by Nancy Dutertre, a former attorney who has developed her psychic talents and abilities. She is “The Skeptical Psychic”.  In synch with how this conference played out, her latest book is titled “How to Talk to an Alien”.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

After Charlottesville

I’ve been wondering what to post about Charlottesville, if anything – there are so many important facets to it.

I’ve thought for some time that Trump’s candidacy was a proto-fascist one but that he came along before the powers that be actually needed fascism. However the events at Charlottesville are being recognized throughout the country as a step too far, a tipping point for the country. Trump’s statements of energetic support for the marches and actions by white Nationalists and Nazis pull off the hood, so to speak, on his candidacy and presidency. While he has said he is opposed to those specific groupings, still he emboldened them with his stunning and clueless remarks about the nature of the Friday procession and the Saturday events -- as shown by their statements, 'Thank you very much!’ So now the alt-Right, Nazis, et al. will hold more rallies, including here in Berkeley and San Francisco, feeling they have the backing  of the pinnacle of the US government.  

How to respond? One important issue is – Is the ACLU right to defend their right to speak?

I was part of and arrested in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement in 1964 but even at the time I did not think one could always stand for unqualified free speech. What if a group’s platform is the eradication of humanity as a blight on the planet? What if a group wants free speech to argue for the eradication of the Jews? I thought there could be limits, depending on the circumstances - and my stepmother called me a hypocrite for taking that position.

So what about now? Tonight I heard Mark Bray on “Democracy Now!” He is a Dartmouth historian who has studied the rise of fascism in Germany, Italy, Spain and elsewhere. He has written a handbook on fascism which I plan to purchase. (And here is a link to a Feb 2017 discussion with him.)

As a long-time radical, NOT a liberal, I basically agree with his position. (And in the article he discusses differences between radicals and liberals on the free speech). The basic belief is that fascism proved so destructive to humanity that we must prevent its ever arising again. And he notes that Germany has laws which prevent the promotion of Nazism in public, but otherwise has healthy dialog and discourse. And if anyone, they should know. Bray says the lesson is not to let a tiny fascist group grow, to nip it in  the bud. Elections are no guarantee that all will be well - the Nazis used a parliamentary system to their advantage. The long history of white supremacy in this country and the admixture of Nazism make for a lethal combination.

In his Democracy Now! interview, Bray concludes that fascism must be opposed and prevented “by any means necessary”. I agree.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A while ago I asked myself why I often listen late at night for an hour or so to "bracing music" - music which builds me up. For me, it's most often Sibelius, but also Procol Harum, rock/pop songs, Rachmaninoff, sometimes Mahler, and more. I think it's to counter all the negativity in the media and the world these days. Plus as a one-time Left activist and (still) a Marxist, you absorb a lot of negative news and history. So I've got a backlog. So this music for me is a balancing measure toward  a positive outlook.

In that vein, with all the attacks on simple truth, veracity, straightforward reporting of what's there, and esp. the gagworthy crapola from the current administration (not to mention the Right-wing echo chambers), "Nothing but the truth" just rings very true and feels very good.

Procol Harum: Nothing but the truth"

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Making a portal

I decided to create a more uptodate web site and link to my existing web sites (hosted by StartLogic). I considered WordPress, which is very flexible, but then decided to try Wix, which has a free version. (The link to the portal is in the Links section).

Wix is very easy to use - it took about 4.5 hours to put up the site with links to 120+, ABCZ, and other entries.

Starting in October I worked on a book on the remote viewing company called TransDimensional Systems and after about 8 months, it was done. I used CreateSpace, which is a kind of do it yourself site, to self publish it. I learned this weekend that about 750K titles are self published now each year! So it's clearly a very popular and increasingly acceptable way to publish. (The links to the Amazon and Kindle versions of Remote Viewing from the Ground Up are in the Links section.)

This is becoming a "literary year". Allison Hepler, a Professor in Maine had written a book about my mother and her case during the McCarthy era and Allison wrote me recently that she had finally found a publisher. The book will be out within a year.

In addition, my sister and I are going to be working on getting my father's autobiography, "Passing Through" published. Clive Knowles was a Unitarian minister turned Communist and CIO organizer. He was an organizer with oil workers in Texas, meatpackers in Iowa, farmworkers and carpenters in California. He led an amazing life.