With the recent post about Tibetan delogs [here], this ongoing discussion of distressing near-death experiences shifted its exploration of the Western idea of hell to a wider setting. Today it widens yet again, this time not geographically but conceptually, with a guest post by Micah Hanks from the blog Mysterious Universe.
A prolific writer and researcher, Micah addresses a variety of unexplained phenomena in the more esoteric realms of the strange and unusual as well as cultural phenomena, human history, and the prospects of our technological future as a species influenced by science. He is the author of several books, including Magic, Mysticism and the Molecule; is an executive editor for Intrepid Magazine; writes for a variety of other publications, including Mysterious Universe; and produces a weekly podcast that follows his research at his popular website, www.gralienreport.com. Hanks lives in the heart of Appalachia near Asheville, North Carolina.
This article originally appeared on Mysterious Universe and is reprinted here with permission.
Universal Knowledge: the Akashic, Jung, and
the Unconscious Mind
My interest in the myths, symbols, and the unusual aspects of life often leads me into some fairly strange sub-adventures that underlie my day-to-day life. There are even certain points where I begin to feel that there is something of a continuum between them, and that particular themes will begin to emerge over and over again, until they finally command my attention. And interestingly, these sorts of instances often will yield the most fruit in terms of insights I am able to come away with regarding odd bits of esoterica.
One such instance involves a rather strange series of events surrounding the historic figure known as John Dee, a scientist, advisor, and spy for Queen Elizabeth I, in addition to having undertaken a variety of magical workings in his day. Knowing my interest in (and aptitude for) matters involving symbology, a woman had contacted me a while ago to ask whether I might know the meaning behind a certain strange little symbol: it resembled a stick man, with what resembled horns protruding from the head. Indeed, I did recognize the symbol, and within a few minutes, after initially mistaking it for being associated with the magician Aleister Crowley, I managed to confirm that it was the Monas Hieroglyphica of John Dee. In doing so, I also managed to spark a strange debate about the origins of symbols and information that the human mind seems capable of accessing at times… a process which some feels has ties to the otherworldly.
Once it was revealed that I had given the correct answer (which was posted on a Facebook group where others were attempting to solve the same riddle), I was subsequently contacted by a woman who wished to know how I had deciphered the symbol. She then told me she was a psychic, specializing in remote viewing, and wondered if I too, as she had done, managed to decipher the riddle “by consulting with the Akashic Record.” For the moment, I had somehow managed to give the impression that I was in touch with some kind of extra-bodily universal intelligence… but where, in fact, did my knowledge of the Hieroglyphica come from?
I found this question rather strange, and while I had to admit that I had not knowingly been in direct contact with a nonphysical “library”, of sorts, which stored universal knowledge, I had been intrigued by symbols like Dee’s Monas (pictured right) for quite some time, and had merely stumbled across the image at some point. But the question of whether I had been able to consult with “Akashic Records” was somewhat synchronistic all the same, since I had only recently been contacted by a friend, who after reading my book The UFO Singularity, asked me whether I thought artificial intelligence in the future might be able to solve the UFO riddle by accessing the Akashic Records.
For those unfamiliar with the topic, the so-called “Akashic Records” refers to a concept found in the mythos surrounding many spiritualist and religious teachings, believed to contain “all knowledge of human experience and all experiences,” along with the complete history of the cosmos. This information is “written”, woven, or encoded into the very fabric reality, a state sometimes referred to as the ”aether.” The name itself is derived from the old Sanskrit “akasha,” a word used to express similar aether-like concepts of an all encompassing “substance” that permeates all creation.
Edgar Cayce, the great “sleeping prophet,” was actually said to have attained his knowledge of ancient lost civilizations by directly accessing the Akashic Records while in a trance state, though this was not asserted by Cayce himself, but revealed later in the first book in an odd series, called The Law of One, where it is stated that Cayce obtained the information (here again, this “answer” is channeled in similar fashion), revealing that humans occasionally access such realms of knowledge that exist beyond the mind alone. The relevant passage reads as follows:
“We have explained before that the intelligent infinity is brought into intelligent energy from eighth density or octave. The one sound vibratory complex called Edgar used this gateway to view the present, which is not the continuum you experience but the potential social memory complex of this planetary sphere. The term your peoples have used for this is the ‘Akashic Record’ or the ‘Hall of Records’.”
But the notion that humans may be capable of accessing information they would otherwise not be capable of attaining is mirrored in the study of psychology as well, particularly in the works of Carl Jung. In his essay, Confrontation with the Unconscious, he notes the appearance of an archetype he calls “Philemon,” which was an older male figure he refers to as a guide throughout his various imaginary visions. At one point, Jung begins to recognize the information imparted to him by Philemon as seeming to emanate from someplace other than his own mind:
Philemon and other figures of my fantasies brought home to me the crucial insight that there are things in the psyche which I do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their own life. Philemon represented a force which was not myself. In my fantasies I held conversations with him. and he said things which I had not consciously thought. For I observed clearly that it was he who spoke, not I. He said I treated thoughts as if I generated them myself, but in his view thoughts were like animals in the forest, or people in a room, or birds in the air, and added, “If you should see people in a room, you would not think that you had made those people, or that you were responsible for them.” It was he who taught me psychic objectivity, the reality of the psyche. Through him the distinction was clarified between myself and the object of my thought. He confronted me in an objective manner, and I understood that there is something in me which can say things that I do not know and do not intend, things which may even be directed against me.
It is a very strange notion indeed, that some aspects of human existence may be rooted within a complex collective unconsciousness, as Jung supposed; even more strange and perplexing is the idea that the human mind might even draw information from elsewhere… places or planes of thought and imagination that exist beyond the mind itself. I certainly don’t feel that I’ve done this myself, especially in my modest ability to reflect upon seeing, at one point, John Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica; let alone do I acknowledge that there are components within the mind that, in scientific terms, might be capable of extending beyond the physical. But the prevalence of this concept in various cultures and traditions, along with allusions to similar processes expressed by Jung, do provide some compelling and challenging notions about the inner workings of the human mind.
I’ve been fascinated by Jung’s dialogues with Philemon for many years now – hence my use of the name Philemon. I have not had the sort of active imagination experiences that Jung and other have had, but I do have fairly regular and memorable dreams. For instance, just last night I had a dream in which I was talking to L. Ron Hubbard – as portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie, “The Master.” In the dream, Hubbard was adamant that I should be a Scientologist. He kept demanding that I convert to Scientology and that I couldn’t accept portions of his ideas without accepting the entirety of his dogma. He was very angry with me and was essentially threatening me with his disapproval and the withdrawal of his friendship. I responded that if this is what he felt was necessary, I wasn’t going to argue any further with him and would accept that we wouldn’t be friends anymore – but told him that I thought he was at his best when he kept his focus on possible ideas for personality transformation without insisting on them as being absolutely True and that, if he were to empirically test his ideas rather than creating dogma about them, he might find that he would eventually stumble onto something worth holding onto rather than having to hide behind some pseudo-religious dogma and bullying people into submission like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz.
In sum, I refused to be manipulated by this dream character, pointed out his weaknesses – the reasons why I wouldn’t simply go along with whatever he had to say – but then I also complimented him on his creativity and passion for what he was doing and suggested there were legitimate routes for realizing his passion in life that I would like to see him take up.
In my “real” waking life, I have no sympathies with Scientology and am rather frightened by what I’ve heard about it. I share this because I have many such conversations with dream characters on a regular basis. I find last night’s exchange interesting because I am the one offering an opinion rather than the one on the receiving end. Another character I’ve encountered a handful of times is – of all people – Donald Sutherland. In a dream a year or more ago, I met this Sutherland-character on the top of a large mountain, in something akin to Roman ruins. He met me at a table situated in the middle of the structure, looked me in the eyes and said, very ceremoniously, “Marinara or Primavera!?” – as though this were some tremendous choice for me, and I had better choose carefully. Sort of like choosing the red pill or the blue pill in The Matrix. I didn’t know what to make of it. Then, a few weeks ago, I had another dream with this Sutherland-character in it and he was more clear about what he meant. He said, “If I were you, I would work on building up my zest for life!” (As someone who regularly thinks about the afterlife, NDE studies, etc. I think I was being told I am a bit out of balance – I ought to be investing myself more heavily in the here and now – something I find myself hard-put to do as I feel unable to “build up a zest for life” when the the much greater vista of death so obviously cradles the whole of life in it’s palm!)
Anyway – if you pay attention to your dreams, I think you will become convinced that Jung was on to something with his ideas. I would never personally criticize my own interest in NDEs, spirituality, the paranormal, etc. – I find them all to be very logical interests and pursuits in light of our mortality. I think we all should devote time to such considerations! Something else, however – perhaps something with access to a wisdom we are unable to access on our own, comments on my circumstances from quite another perspective.
Nan Bush says
Your Scientology dream made me laugh. I do wish L.Ron Hubbard had paid attention to your wise advice!
A little rambling…
Where does a great symphonic composition ‘come from’?
How did Einstein ‘come up’ with his theories of relativity, and how did he ‘know’ about the photoelectric effect (for which he received the Nobel Prize )?
Sure, there was quite a bit of logic behind ol’ Al’s mathematical formulas, but they were unusually creative. The space-time continuum is not quite common sensical.
In a very real way, many of the worlds best ideas seem to appear out of thin air, albeit after a lot of hard work. On the distressing side of the coin, the same can be said for diabolical genius.
Now, I think that most people would agree that Albert Einstein was a pretty smart guy, but big deal – so were a lot of other folks in his day. There had to be someone running around with a greater I.Q. than him. Hermann Minkowski (his mentor) comes to mind.
It took something more, some Secret Ingredient. I believe that Secret Ingredient is at the disposal of every one of us, although it obviously isn’t distributed equally.
Einstein credited intuition and imagination for giving him and other scientists the ‘secret ingredient’ that created breakthroughs in our understanding of the cosmos.
Here are a few quotes:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
The point is, it takes more than brains. Call it intuition, imagination, psi, access to the Akashic Record or whatever, in my opinion it all comes down to that hoary question “What exactly is consciousness”? I suspect that modern reductionist materialist science isn’t coming up with a consensus answer because it’s not asking the right questions to begin with.
As Robert Burton points out in an interview with Salon (yep, he has a book to sell):
Believing that knowledge of brain wiring can tell us the nature of consciousness is like predicting what sound will come out of a set of speakers by looking at wiring diagram of the component parts“.
“ Even organisms without nervous systems, such as slime mold, can collectively solve complex mazes in order to obtain food.
Respected philosopher Thomas Nagel has recently come out with with a book , “Mind and Cosmos that calls reductionist materialism into question. Since I’m already wearing out the quotation marks and italic html codes, I’ll just link to an article.*
When high profile materialist intellectuals who have no inclination toward spirituality start raising red flags, you know that the collapse of a paradigm is underway.
I give it another generation. Max.
*Sorry Nancy, I know it’s knuckle-dragging conservative rag, but I have no shame. 😀
Nan Bush says
Love it. You’re continuing your gem-like contributions. Thank. (What’s the knuckle-dragger?)
What an interesting conversation. Writer Martha Beck talks about being a “Stargazer” who is in touch with a fund of awareness and knowledge beyond oneself, sort of like the Every-When of the Dreamtime from in Aboriginal myths. And that if one is in tune with this reality, whatever it is called- the Tao, the Spirit, whatever- that things fall into place in a sychronistic way. I’ve certainly experienced this in my own life, that when I’m “in tune”, things fall into place in weird ways. I think that is where most creativity comes from, not only Einstein, but people like Eric Clapton, who says that “Layla” seemed to just arrive from someplace beyond himself, like a gift.
When I try to understand this in some rational or materialistic way, I give myself a headache! Joseph Campbell talks about the feeling that his life is being helped along by “hidden hands”. Sometimes you have to just “Let the Mystery Be”. (Song by Iris Dement).
Thanks for the thought-provoking blog!
“(What’s the knuckle-dragger?” – Nan
Ahh, the right calls the left “bed-wetters”, the left calls the right “knuckle-draggers”. Personally, I’m dismissive of both sides, except on specific issues.
As far as The Weekly Standard having a conservative tilt, here’s a cut ‘n paste from Wikipedia (an allegedly left-leaning site):
“Since it was founded in 1995, the Weekly Standard has never been profitable, and has remained in business through subsidies from wealthy conservative benefactors such as former owner Rupert Murdoch.
IMO, there’s too much left and right divisiveness in this world.
Nan Bush says
I meant, what publication were you referring to?
I meant, what publication were you referring to? – Nan
Oh. My link to the article about Thomas Nagel led to the Weekly Standard – a decidedly neo-conservative publication – hence, the asterisks.