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The opposite of life, ceasing to exist in a physical body. Also a personification of the destroyer of life typically represented as a skeleton holding a scythe.

Dying; when all bodily functions cease, is the greater unknown that neither religion nor science has been able to fully explain or understand. Because it is unknown and inevitable, death has always both fascinated and terrified the living. Some cultures, such as the Egyptians and the Christians of the Dark Age, have been absolutely obsessed by it. All cultures have had their own myths about it.

Most people see death as a time of sorrow and regret but some religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, see it as a blessed state for the soul that has gone. Funerals are a time of great rejoicing as to cry and mourn will literally hold the soul to earth.

For psychics and mediums, who say they can communicate with the dead, and those who have had near death experiences [i.e. they have died and have been revived to tell their story], death is almost always described as a beautiful process. However much pain the physical body is experiencing the moment the soul gets into the astral body this disappears and there is a feeling of lightness and peace. Typically a loving soul appears to tell them that their work on earth has not been completed and they need to go back. That marvelous feeling of peace and oneness, however, stays with them and the person is left with an understanding that death is not the end by simply the end of a cycle, for the soul goes on eternally learning lessons and seeking perfection.

Terms used to describe phenomena witnessed in psi testing. The decline effect is a term used to describe the diminishing of psychic ability when tested. The incline effect refers to an increase in ability.

Experiments to test psychic ability tend to show that the decline effect occurs more often than the incline effect. Some gifted individual's score highly consistently but many gifted test subjects, who have scored high in initial tests, report a loss of spontaneity and enthusiasm during a run of tests. This may be due to the fact that the perception of psi is a very subtle process and without feedback a subject has no way of judging his or her success. Another major factor is boredom as many tests involve repetitive tasks such as guessing numbers or cards.

An expression of familiarity that is unexpected, déjà vu is the sensation of having been to a place or experienced a situation before. The French term for 'already seen' can apply to feeling, thoughts, places, dreams meetings and living in general - whenever something familiar seemingly happens for the first time. The idea was first introduced to science in 1896 by F L. Arnaud.

Studies conducted on déjà vu suggest that it is a common experience, with more than half of those polled reporting instances of déjà vu. It also seems more common in children and women than men.

The phenomenon is thought to be a psychological process where the unconscious mind is stimulated to recall past events of a similar nature that somehow get mixed up with the present event. Some feel that it is evidence for reincarnation, memories of past lives being pushed to the surface of the mind by familiar surroundings or people in the present. Some say it happens when one draws on the collective memories of mankind - see collective unconscious - while others believe it to be the result of out of body experiences during sleep, or other extra sensory phenomena.

First documented in 1939 by Cambridge University psychical researcher Whitely Carrington, and now observed as a common occurrence, displacement is lack of synchronization in psi testing. For example, a person asked to give the order of a pack of playing cards or ESP cards may be one or two cards ahead of behind in sequence. Displacement also occurs in precognitive dreams and psychic readings, when difficult or challenging information is placed out of context or buried in non- threatening information or symbols.

Parapsychologists call displacement 'psychic noise' and believe it to be caused by the absence of earth time in the higher planes where psychic insight functions and the psychic associations of a group of potential targets that are difficult to tell apart.

The appearance of a double of a living person, thought to be a death omen, or bilocation - the astral body of someone having an out of body experience. 'Doppelganger comes from the German, meaning 'double walker'.

The belief in the spirit or soul existing in a double is ancient and widespread. The ancient Egyptians said the soul had a double or Ka, and a special kind of tomb, called the house of Ka, was reserved for the double. Doubles are said to be exact copies of the living person and are usually seen at a location distant from them.

As a death omen there are reports of seeing doubles just as the individual in question is about to die. The double usually appears real but has a ghostly, filmy look about them and can sometimes act mechanically. In some rare cases, such as that of the poet Shelly who saw his own double before drowning, the double appears to the dying individual as him or herself.

As well as being a death omen, many psychical researchers who have examined cases of doppelgangers and believe they are projections of consciousness that somehow take on a form resembling reality. This can happen involuntarily or it can be accomplished at will. English medium Eileen Garrett suggested that the double is a clairvoyant projection that can be manipulated to develop supernatural powers.

Also known as divining, rhabdomancy and water witching dowsing is a form of divination performed using a forked stick, pendulum or rods to find hidden things, in particular underground water, minerals and oil. Today it is used to locate lost objects, buried treasure, mineral deposits and water wells, and to diagnose illnesses.

Dowsing is an ancient practice with unknown origins, however it is thought to date back at least 8,000 years. Wall paintings, estimated to be about 8,000 years old, discovered in the Tassili Caves of North Africa show tribesmen surrounding a man with a forked stick, possibly dowsing for water.

How the dowsing technique was first discovered and how dowsing works is unknown, yet those who practice it are convinced that it does work. Dowsing is still very much in use today in archaeological digs, searching for minerals and missing persons and in alternative healing, when the dowser swings a pendulum over the patients body to determine the location and cause of illness.

It is not widely known but petrochemical companies employ dowsers to confirm underground sources of oil and gas, and dowsers have also made contributions towards the understanding of mysterious earth energies, such as those represented by ley lines. The American Society of Dowsers estimates there may be as many as 30,000 dowsers in the United States, but despite this, dowsing still struggles to be regarded as a legitimate field.

Dowsing attracted some well-known figures from history, including Leonardo de Vinci, Robert Boyle [considered the father of modern chemistry] and Charles Richet [ a Nobel Prize winner], Albert Einstein was also convinced of the authenticity of dowsing:

"I know very well that many scientists consider dowsing as they do astrology, as a type of ancient superstition. According to my conviction this is, however, unjustified. The dowsing rod is a simple instrument which shows the reaction of the human nervous system to certain factors which are unknown to us at this time."

Recent experiments in Russia have shown that dowsing rods can be sensitive to electromagnetic fields and that almost anyone can learn to dowse - although women tend to be more successful at it that men. Scientists believe this may be because unknown force fields respond better to the polarity in women's bodies. Skeptics argue that dowsing is a matter of luck and that those with a high rate of success just have good instincts for where objects or water may be found. For both believer and skeptic there is no definitive evidence either way.

Everyone dreams. It is estimated that in an average lifetime a person will spend approximately 25 years asleep and experience at least 300,000 dream, regardless of whether these dreams are recalled on awakening. Researchers believe that babies dream the most, children dream for four or five hours a night and adults for one or two hours. Animals also appear to dream.

Research from the University of Chicago, has shown that dreams occur during the rapid eye movement [REM] period of sleep, which occurs for between five and forty minutes every sixty to ninety minutes of sleep. Most people only remember the last dream prior to waking, but if they are woken up during earlier dream periods they will recall other dreams.

Unless written down immediately on waking most dreams fade within a few minutes. Dreams usually occur in colour but seldom have smells or taste, and this may be due to the fact that only visual brain neurons fire during REM. Almost all dreams use metaphors to deal with issues in the life of the dreamer, and every event in the dream is believed to have some kind of significance for the person dreaming it.

C.G.Jung Memories, Dream and Reflections p.413 "The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recess of the psyche, opening into that unconsciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego consciousness may extend. . . All consciousness separates; but in dreams we put on the likeness of that more universal, truer, more eternal man dwelling in the darkenss of primordial night. There is still the whole, and the whole is in him, indistguishable from nature and bare of all egohood. Out of these all-uniting depths arises the dream, be it never so infantile, never so grotesque, never so immoral." ( Civilisation in Transition, Coll. Works, Vol. 10.)


A brief history of dreams
People have always been fascinated by dreams and what they mean. All primitive religions viewed dreams as ways for the spirits or deities to speak to humans. The earliest known dream dictionary dates back around 4,000 years. Now called the Hester Beatty Papyrus it came from Thebes in Upper Egypt and is kept in the British Museum. In the Chester Beatty Papyrus dreams are interpreted and translated as omens or prophecies. For example, dreaming that your teeth fall out is interpreted as a loved one trying to kill you.

In ancient Greece dreams were also through to be unlucky or lucky predictions. The Old Testament makes countless references to dream interpretation.

The importance of dreams and their meanings were prominent in the writings of the Early Church Fathers, including St Augustine, up until the time of St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) who regarded dreams as insignificant and for several hundred years afterwards, dreams were no longer considered important. Even Shakespeare called them 'children of the idle brain'.

Although dream interpretation did continue to be an important part of the service of magicians and astrologers, the fact that 'dreams should be ignored' school of thought persisted until the nineteenth century. The along came psychiatrists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, the two men who have had the greatest impact on the way we look at dreams today.

No one knows how but dreams seem to be able to link the conscious (waking) mind with the hidden part of the mind called the unconscious or intuition and by so doing they provide a rich and powerful inner resource that can enhance life considerably. Today dream interpretation is extremely popular, with a unique and very personal sources of comfort, guidance and inspiration.

Dreams, health and creativity
Scientists tell us that dreaming is essential to our mental, emotional and physical health and well-being, because dreams can help us relax, release frustrations, sort out information, solve problems or alert us to them, play out fantasies, offer inspiration and restore balance.

There are numerous famous examples of dreams offering inspiration. Solutions to problems, ideas for inventions and artistic endeavors have all found their way to the conscious mind via dreams. Mary Shelley dreamed of the creature that was to become Frankenstein. Other famous literary dreamers include Edgar Allen Poe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charlotte Bronte, Robert Louis Stephenson and J R R Tolkien. Paul McCartney heard a haunting melody in one of his dreams and wrote it down. It became the song 'Yesterday'. Inventions and ideas that have sprung from dream include the model of the atom, the M9 analogue computer, the isolation of insulin in the treatment of diabetes and the sewing machine.

Dreams and paranormal
Dreams of the dead are viewed in the West from a psychological perspective and not as actual encounters with ghosts, but many believe that the dead appear in dreams because they have a purpose: usually to offer advice and instruction. Some dreams involving the dead are also thought to be death omens. In the eighteenth century Lord Lyttlton dreamt of a fluttering bird and a woman in white who told him he would die in three days times. Despite his best efforts to prove her wrong, Lyttleton died as predicted.

Although dreams that focus on communication between the living and the dead have been accepted in many cultures since ancient times as proof that the dead have to ability to interfere with the lives of the living, dreams have also always shared a strong link with supernatural powers, in particular with precognition and telepathy.

Although rare, precognitive dreams are ones in which you see the future before it happens. The ancient Chaldeans, Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Native Americans all believed dreams were a method of foretelling the future, and even, today there are instances when people claim to have dreamt of things before they happen. Many people, for example, claim to have had dreams of the 9/11 World Trade Centre disaster before it happened. There are also stories of people who cancelled trips or flights because of a foreboding dream or people who dreamt the winning lottery numbers.

There is strong evidence that some precognitive dreams warn about future health problems. Jung noticed that if his patients dreamt of injury to a horse - the archetypal symbol of animal life within the human body - they were often in the early stage of serious illness. A 1987 study at Michigan State University showed that cardiac patients who dreamt of destruction were far more likely to have worse heart disease than those who did not. Dreams also serve as preparation for death, with terminally ill patients sometimes reporting transitional dreams of crossing bridges or walking through doors just before death. These dreams often bring peace of mind.

Dream telepathy has interested psychical researchers since the late nineteenth century. The founders of the Society for Psychic Research in London collected numerous dream telepathy cases in their study of paranormal experiences published in Phantasms of the Living [1886].

A number of telepathic dream studies have been conducted since, the most famous of which is perhaps the one conducted at the dream laboratory of the Maimonides Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York from 1963-1974. When subjects were in REM stages of sleep, a person in another room attempted to transmit images to the sleeping subject and the correlation of dream images was significantly above average.

Some dreams are interrupted as having past-life content. Recurring dreams which involve the same action, people and scenery are thought to be memories from past lives that have lingered for some reason and the dreamer needs to work out why. Others are thought to be out of body experiences when the astral body travels - seven out of ten people experience the sensation of flying in their dreams at some point in the life. Another type of dream is the lucid dream in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming and is able to influence the content of the dream and, in some instance, the outcome.

Many believe that dreams are a powerful way to connect with and harness psychic power. Studies of ESP experiences show that dreams are involved in between 33 and 69 per cent of all cases. In precognitive cases dreams are involved around 60 per cent of the time and in telepathic cases dreams are involved around 25 per cent of the time.

Most of us forget our dreams immediately on waking. There is so much to do when the new day starts and the wonderful world of meaning which dreams has release to us is neglected. According to a Jewish proverb, 'An unremembered dream is like an unopened letter from God.'

To work with your dreams you do need to remember them. Keeping a dream journal and recording your dreams as soon as you wake will help your dream recall. If dreams are not written down they will fall away. The technique of dream recording is simple, you leave a notepad and pencil within reach of your bed and immediately on waking your write down whatever you can remember about your dream - the people, the colours, the places, the events - every detail, however small, is significant.


Interpreting your dreams

Have you ever wondered why dreams are often hard to make sense of? Its because the information they contain is presented in the language of images and the number of images your brain can present is endless. Those who work with dreams like myself believe that the images are your own thoughts, feelings and ideas turned into a series of pictures and scenes and its up to the individual to translate and interpret them.

Your unconscious mind is working all the time using images, feelings and pictures from your past and present and linking them in with the issues currently concerning you. For example, if you feel stressed you may have a dream where you are swimming and cant keep your head above water: If you feel confused you may have a dream where you are lost in a dark wood. Some of these images can be universally recognised - a boat, for example, is typically a symbol of transition - but most of the images in your dreams can only really be interpreted by you. That's why a dream dictionary isn't always helpful as the interpretation in there will be universal and not unique to you.

A good way to uncover the meanings of your dreams is by free association. You simply go with the first thing that pops into your mind when recalled an image you had in a dream. For example, if you dream of a dog what are the first thoughts that come into your mind when you think about dogs? Forget about universal associations with dogs; what are your personal associations with dogs? What a dog means to you and what a dog means to someone else may be entirely different. Perhaps you had an unpleasant encounter with a dog once and rather than being symbols of love, loyalty and devotion dogs represent fear and trauma for you?

The more you work with your dreams the more familiar you will become with your personal images. Always bear in mind that your dream symbols and images will be unique to you. What do you think your dream is trying to tell you?























The use of drugs and the visions they induce in religious ceremonies is an age old practice. Opinions vary greatly as to whether certain drugs can stimulate genuine psychic experiences or not. Some believe that drugs can duplicate mystical experiences and brighten the emotions, and are of value to psychotherapy. Others believe that drug related experiences are simply illusions.

There have been a number of tests on drugs and their effects on psi ability since the 1920s. Both caffeine and alcohol have been shown to both improve and depress test results. Marijuana and other strong psychedelic drugs, such as LSD and mescaline, which loosen the boundaries of the ego generally, trigger too much instability to yield meaningful conclusions. [c.f. Aldous Huxley] In general results have been largely inclusive as drugs affect each person differently.

Most psychics would discourage the use of mind-altering drugs, believing that true insight and power can only be created or raised from within, not from without.




(c) Steven Warren - 2005 -2016. All rights reserved.