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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.)
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.
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
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 .
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.