Friday

A dream within a dream

Took me a long time to encounter this poem by the one and only,the great Edgar Allan Poe.



I was reading his Wiki entry - it's a good read, and gives much more detail than many of the cites about him.

He was 40 when he wrote this  poem.  He was 47 when he wrote "the Raven" his most famous poem. He was off the planet by 49. But the poem reads like a man who has either seen his fate, met his higher self, or seen the flipside.


Poe. Wiki pic.
Poe had a history of lung problems in his family - TB - he may or may not have died of it, but his reputation of being a drunk, drug addict, or other myth seems common for the time - many in his family died of drink and other maladies common in the era.  He was just simply an excellent writer, who loved life (one of his wives left him because of all the illegitimate children he reportedly had, according to wiki) and appears to have had a lot of fun while in it.

On October 3, 1849, Poe was found delirious on the streets of Baltimore, "in great distress, and... in need of immediate assistance", according to Joseph W. Walker who found him. He was taken to the Washington Medical College where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849 at 5:00 in the morning. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. He is said to have repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds" on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say that Poe's final words were "Lord help my poor soul". All medical records have been lost, including his death certificate.

Now. Let's take this apart for a moment - one of the greatest mystery writers ever, who was fond of doing ciphers and mysteries - winds up in "dire condition" wearing someone else's clothes - (How did he get into someone else's clothes? Unless he was naked somewhere else?) And calling out the name "Reynolds."


Yours truly speaking flipside at San Diego Iands

It's like he left behind a puzzle that no one has ever bothered to unravel. "Some sources" say his final words were "Lord help my poor soul" - but we have no idea what he meant by that, or if indeed he said it. 

However, the Guardian posted this following article in 2007 - using some news reports of after Poe's body was moved - they claimed to have seen that his "brain did not deteriorate."  Modern forensics point to a tumor that did not disintegrate, that resembled the brain.

The unusual thing is - it's my contention that no one dies, that everyone is accessible.  Even Edgar.  The trick is to find someone who could access him - perhaps through an item of clothing (sometimes helps mediums or intuitives) but following the logic of my "Flipside" books - some form of our energy is retained by photographs or written materials.  So any photograph of Poe would do - as every photo contains some holographic piece of time with regard to the person in the photograph (or so claim various people while under deep hypnosis accessing the "flipside.") (See above).

So here's Edgar's photo.  Anyone out there want to weigh in on who "Reynolds" was?

I would argue - because look, no one is debating me here, so I can argue whatever I want - but I would argue that if indeed Poe had a "brain tumor" and was dying of cancer in the brain (common enough in the era) that what really happened was that the "filters" or "partitions" that keep people from accessing the flipside had dropped, and he was accessing someone that he knows on the other side.

Where's the science for this?

(Dr Bruce Greyson's talk about Consciousness and the brain)

Well this talk is reproduced in "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" in the interview with Dr. Bruce Greyson (UVA - same school as Poe!) where he points out the medical histories of patients in England who just prior to death remember all kinds of events, faces and names - when their brains have atrophied due to dementia.  That when the autopsies are done after their death - they "should not" have been able to access these memories.  But somehow they did.

In terms of Flipside research, they were accessing the "mind" which retains all of our memories - from this lifetime and others - and can be accessed under deep hypnosis, or sometimes during an "outside consciousness event" like with hallucinogens, or near death events.  For that particular cite, I point you to Dr. Greyson's excellent youtube talk "Is Consciousness Produced by the Brain?"

He argues that while it appears that certain things are produced by the brain, there are other events, memories, that are not.


Including "Reynolds."


I would further argue that the name Reynolds came from Edgar Allan Poe's youth.  How could I prove that? Well Edgar's parents were from Ireland.  They were both actors, and he is reportedly named after a character in a Shakespeare play.  His mother died of consumption at an early age, his father left the scene - so he was raised by a wealthy uncle (John Allan).  

Here's where Reynolds comes from in Eire: Reynolds
(County Letrim) Poe's grandfather was from the county next to the county where Reynolds is from. Cavan.

Is it odd to imagine that having been born and raised in Boston by an Irish family, he might have known someone in his youth named Reynolds - from the very next county his family came from - and that friend in Boston was there to greet him on the Flipside, when he crossed over?


Famous Last words?




Steve Jobs; "Oh wow. Oh Wow. Oh Wow." 

Napoleon: "Josephine!"
Poe: "Reynolds!"


The other day, I was interviewing someone I know who died recently. I was with Jennifer Shaffer doing the interview in our usual place, and I asked this friend of mine "So what was it like when you died?"  He said "I saw my father."  I said "So that's how you knew you had died?"  He said "when I saw my father, who I knew was dead, I realized that I also must be dead."

My pal died during an operation - so it's not something anyone was planning, or fearing, including himself.  But nice to know that his dad was there to greet him.


Here's Edgar's Poem that I ran across yesterday and wanted to comment on:

A Dream Within a Dream  
BY EDGAR ALLAN POE (written 1840)

"Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?  
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp 
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"



So let's take it apart a bit, shall we?

"Take this kiss upon thy brow" - who do you kiss on the brow? People who are departing from this life.  "His elder brother Henry had been in ill health, in part due to problems with alcoholism, and he died on August 1, 1831." (wiki)

He's not giving this person a kiss on the lips - so it's not a lover. Could be a relative - could be someone you would normally "kiss on the brow" - especially someone who is ill.

So did his brother say to him "Edgar, you're the lucky one - your days on the planet have been a dream!" As in - fortunate.  Perhaps. Or perhaps he's telling him that "life is but a dream" - (merrily merrily merrily merrily).  The song "Row Row Row Your Boat" was written down for the first time in 1852, but had been a "Popular tune for years." Wiki: "Row Your Boat" Origins:
It has been suggested that the song may have originally arisen out of American minstrelsy. The earliest printing of the song is from 1852..."  So perhaps Edgar is referring to the popular children's son: "Merrily, life is but a dream."

So perhaps he's referring to the idea that we roll along merrily in this dream state of life.

Then the reference to a night, a "vision" and then "none" - what brings on visions?  If it's true that he had brain cancer - and a tumor as noted above - perhaps he was already hallucinating.  But dreams bring on visions - but visions are not dreams, they're another word we use to describe something more vivid "more than a dream."

"Visions" - are common in people seeing events or people on the flipside - people who have vivid dreams, or lucid dreaming - sometimes see the world from outside their bodies. Out of body experiences. Floating around the room.  That too is a "dream within a dream." Perhaps he was already having "out of body experiences."


Lots of sand down there.
But then he gets to the heart of the matter; time.

"I hold in my hand... the grains of sand..." Well, some have said this was a reference to the Gold Rush (really?) but obviously it's referring to the time piece we know as life.  What if we could grasp the grain of sand more firmly in our hand? Would we be able to stop time? Or the death of a loved one?

"Can I not save one from the pitiless wave?"

So there you have it - time is like the ocean, we are but the grains of sand on the beach, and the waves come in and pulls us back out... alas...

But aha!

The waves deposit us AGAIN upon the shore. Don't they? And perhaps we're involved with the where and when and decision to return back to this beach.

At least that's what the flipside research shows.

My two cents on Edgar.






Monday

Thinking Outside the Box

"It's all about the box."

A bunch of boxes at Pere LaChaise cemetery in Paris


Some years ago, when directing my first feature film "You Can't Hurry Love," I was basing the film on my short film "Video Valentino."  And in that story, I had the character working on the beach at a skate shop not far from my apartment in the Sea Castle. I even kept the sign "Skate City" after the place was demolished - too bad it was filled with termites.



But "Skate City" had an unusual cat working there.  He lived in a box next to the shop.  I mean it was a long crate, made out of wood, the kind of crate one might ship bicycles in - about four feet high and ten feet long.  He had furnished it with books, a mattress, even had a TV in there with him.  I remember Tony showing me his box, and he said "Everyone lives in a box."  

He was slightly off kilter - and when I turned the short film "Video Valentino" into the feature length "You Can't Hurry Love" I included a Tony character in the story, played by household name and soap star Anthony Geary.  He played the role of the Greek chorus, who was advising young Eddie on how to live his life - and how to keep it "100%" while everyone else was lying.

The premise of the film - Eddie comes out from Ohio and is told by his cousin "In LA everyone makes up who they are, they pretend to be someone, and then that's their reality."  So he goes into a video dating service and lies about who he is to go on dates with women - but of course "everyone" including the women he dates - are lying about who they are as well.  The moral of the story "You don't have to be someone else in order to be liked."

Charles Grodin is in "You Can't Hurry Love"
Studio said "We'll make it if you can get celebs
to cameo. Charles did it as a favor. Thanks.

Oddly enough, a woman came up to me at a party some years later and said "You directed "You Can't Hurry Love?"  It changed my life."  I looked around to see what smartass had sent her over to talk to me.  I said "I think you're thinking of "You Can't Buy Me Love" - much more successful."  She said "No. I saw your movie six times. I really needed to hear the message that I didn't have to be someone else in order to be liked.  It was an key moment in my life where everyone was trying to get me to be somebody else. Thank you."

I laughed.  It's like I made the movie for this one person to see, and they got it!  No review, no comment, no critic came as close to telling me why I made that film.  And here at a party, I met the one person on the planet who understood it.

But back to Tony.

"Everybody lives in a box, man."

It's true.  We tend to think of our apartments, our houses, our estates, our mansions as "property" or something we "own."  Something we aspire to own. Something that we design, work hard on and inhabit.  It's still a box.  Just a big elaborate box.

A box of ashes of my friend Paul Tracey.

Cars are just moving boxes.  I mean, yes, there are Italian boxes, German boxes, Japanese and Chinese boxes (not too common, but I've been in them.)  Indian boxes too (Tatas rule!)  There are boxes from Detroit, boxes from Tokyo, boxes from "across the border."  But make no mistake - no matter how much money has been spent on the box; it's a box on wheels.

A royal box in the UK

There are two wheeled boxes - but that's another illusion as well.  Cars - if they were built out of glass - would be hilarious to see driving down the street. People sitting down, hands in front of them - eating chips, listening to tunes - driving glass boxes.

Then we have the stories of people in car accidents who at the moment of death suddenly say to the EMT; "I can't die now. I just one a million dollars. I just signed a contract. I have a new life to lead." (as Sam Kinison reportedly did just prior to death - argued with the guides who showed up to take him.)  "It's not my time!"
A big box in Rome

And then what happens?  

They go into a box.

Some call it a coffin. But it's just another box.

We enter the world coming from dark to light - from mom to world - from womb to birth... a metaphoric box perhaps, but eventually we all go back to the box.

Unless you're cremated. Or blown to pieces in a bomb blast.  Maybe not so much of a box, but you get the idea.  It's all temporary. 

We spend so much time trying to get into our giant box, our giant car, our expensive plane, our giant moving boxes - our floating box, put up a wall to protect our box, put concertina wire around the box - and then when we're "outside the box" - we go back home.

No boxes there. No boxes on the Flipside. 

Standing in front of one of the most famous boxes:
the mausoleum of the Taj Mahal

I mean, we can create one with our mind - we can imagine ourselves in some kind of construct where we exist in a home, or a place - even a car I imagine - but it's just a construct as well.  "living in a box."

So the next time someone says "Think outside the box" - imagine they're saying "Don't think about the things that you think you can acquire, own, or put yourself into - the box of the false sense of reality.  Put yourself outside that box, and see the nature of reality for what it really is."

Sad to say, I was on Santa Fe and Los Angeles streets  in downtown LA yesterday.  Rows and rows and rows of homeless people living in tents. Living in cardboard boxes.
A box at Alcatraz

And there are people on the planet living in giant homes. Gigantic fortresses.  Living in homes where they need cellphones just to find or reach their children.  Giant boxes.  They spend all day driving in their box, then going home to their box.  And they can't see the people who don't even have boxes to sleep in. Just tents.

What kind of screwed up planet is this?

Never mind.  

The box that you seek you will find. Even if it's only one to be put six feet under the ground. My two cents.

Outside the box in Muir Woods looking at ... a mysterious box.


Sunday

The Discovery and Unconditional Love

There's a film about the Flipside that has gained some attention lately - starring Robert Redford, Jason Segal and Rooney Mara.  Written and directed by Charlie McDowell, the premise is that Redford is a scientist who has proved that "there is an Afterlife."



The result of that discovery is that people decide they're going to commit suicide - for whatever reason - they aren't happy here, I guess, but there's an epidemic of people choosing to be somewhere else rather than being here.  It's so pervasive that people just can't wait to get off the planet, and depending upon whatever their feeling is at the moment, they're dropping like flies.


Which is pretty funny if you think about it.  (Actually, I laughed often watching the film, seeing the writing of it as a comedy, and the dark music and cinematography betrayed what is - in my mind - a dark comedy).  People who are so unhappy with being on the planet they can't wait to get "somewhere else."

Only in this story, without going into what happens too much (spoiler alert), we discover that things aren't what they appear to be.  That this version of reality - might actually be somewhat manufactured.  Which of course leads us to a myriad of other questions - what other details in the storyline are manufactured? Imagined?  And if all of it is a construct, then why this particular construct?  And why the idea that Jason Segal needs to fix anything? If it's a construct to begin with - what's the point of reliving the construct if you already know where the story will conclude?

Here's the good news - they're making films about the Flipside.  This allows people to examine it, talk about it, be part of that journey.  So that's a good thing.

The bad news - they're still trapped in the idea that being on the Flipside - outside your body - is a bad thing.  I'm not saying it's a good thing - I'm just saying "It is what it is."  If you chose to come here to the planet to live this life (as all the research points to that only conclusion) then there's a pretty good reason why you're here - on this stage, on this playing field, in this game.  In this construct, if you will.

And the reason to be here is to figure that puzzle out. To realize why you're here, and what you're here to learn, to teach, to explore.

Ain't no pizza on the flipside.  Ain't no cappuccinos either.  Oh, to be sure, there's plenty of fun things to do over there, and quantitatively, people report consistently that it's "better" over there - because they're this feeling of Unconditional Love.


Let's chat about that for a moment.


A majority (roughly 70%) of people who've had near death experiences say that at some point in their journey they experienced "unconditional love."  I've been filming people under deep hypnosis for the past decade, and out of the 35 cases I've filmed, a majority of them say something equivalent.

Further, as I've interviewed people (who are fully conscious) about their experience and journey, when I ask them to "examine" those moments - they can actually feel that experience again.  Feel the feeling of unconditional love.

What the heck is it?

It's not something that we commonly speak of. There are no books about "unconditional love" - no TV shows, no movies, no commercials. "Hey drink this beer and you'll feel unconditional love."  In fact I have no idea of the entomology of the concept - "unconditional love."  It's just what people say about the afterlife.

Consistently.


This guy.  Still loving from the Flipside. Makes an appearance in "Hacking the Afterlife"

That while they were there - during an NDE, during a between life hypnotherapy session - they argue that they had this feeling of "unconditional love."

When I ask them about it - they'll say "It's like nirvana. It's blissful. It's all encompassing. It's beyond words to describe."  

We know what unconditional love is here - it's that love between a parent and child (often) or a person and a pet (often.)  It's love without conditions.

As I'm fond of saying "hard to do when someone runs over your foot. Or pointing a gun in your face. Or claiming they're going to build a wall."  We tend to love "conditionally" while on the planet. If you love me, I'll love you.  Or... I love the way you love me, I wish I could love you that much. Or... I love you so much I don't know myself - but when you reject me, I can't stand the thought of you.

Conditional Love.

Then we have this unusual description of "what or who God is" in the book "It's a Wonderful Afterlife."  "God is beyond the capacity of the human brain to comprehend, it's just not physically possible. However, you can experience God by opening your heart to everyone and to all things."

That's a pretty good description of what unconditional love is.

Open your heart to everyone and all things.

Easy to say, hard to do.

But if we can conceive of it - we can understand it. And if we can experience it, then we can know it.  So you want to know what God is?  Just open your heart to everyone and all things.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

But while I'm waiting, back to the film.

Yes, the flipside is a place of unconditional love. No, you shouldn't be in a hurry to get there. Why?

Because you chose to be here. You came for a reason. You may even have come "under a contract" - meaning you agreed to come and experience things and learn things and teach things that are hard for you to experience, learn or teach while you're here - and seem impossible to do - but you promised your loved ones, your spirit guides, your soul group that you would accomplish these things. You promised you would.

If you break your promise - there's no hell waiting for you. No punishment, other than disappointment - from yourself mostly, for setting out to accomplish something and screwing it up.  But no one is going to spank you, put you through the spanking machine (as we used to have in "kick the can") - but you will be disappointed because you screwed up everyone else's play, you screwed up everyone else's game, out of selfish reasons. "I couldn't take it anymore. I know I signed up for this life, but I just couldn't hack it. It was too hard."

Okay. No one is going to punish you. But think of all the work it took to get you to that sentence - think about having to do it all over again. Just to learn the same damn lesson.  Kind of annoying to think about isn't it?

So stick around.

When science proves there is an afterlife (and I've had it proven to me dozens of times, and I write about it in my books, and I can't change anyone else's mind - because everyone has their own path and journey and if it's not in the cards for you to change your mind about life and death this time around - hey, that's allowed, it's okay) I don't think everyone is going to sign up to get off the planet.

 But for those of you who are looking to see into a deeper reality, see beyond the limitations put upon us by society, see what the science really says (and I mean science in terms of consistent results that are replicable under any circumstances) - then it's okay to go down this path with me.



But - now the question is - how do we experience "unconditional love" while we're here on the planet?  What is that?

Well, get a pet is a start.  You can experience it while you stare into your pet's eyes.  Or have a child. Hold that baby in your arms and look into its eyes and ask yourself "why have you come into my life?"  You'll hear an answer - you may dismiss it, but you'll hear it.  Then practice unconditional love when you're out in the world - someone got your order wrong, screwed up your plans - smile at them. Say "It's ok, I understand. No worries" when you're really saying "I love you unconditionally. There's nothing that you can do wrong or that would screw up my appreciation of being on the planet.  I'm here. You're here. We both get to experience this together."

As one famous film director said to me recently - from the flipside, he's been off the planet for awhile now, and he showed up while I was interviewing Jennifer Shaffer - with a message for his widow which I passed along - he said "No one comes over to this side wishing that they had "held back" more during their lifetime."

Think about that for a second.  "No one on the Flipside wishes they held back more."  How cool is that????



That applies to all of us. Don't hold back. You're having a hard time? Don't hold back. You're feeling judgmental? Let it go. Don't hold back. Someone is making it hard to love them unconditionally? Don't hold back.  Let it go.  Let it be.  Let it surround you.  If you can't love unconditionally, then live unconditionally.


My two cents for the day.

POST SCRIPT:

I mention this in my books, I usually mention it - if you're having suicide ideation, you need to seek out some experts in this field.  It turns out that a side effect of SSRI drugs is suicide ideation - and it's also why doctors prescribe SSRI drugs.  I would ask anyone who is depressed to seek professional help - as the brain can trick us into wanting to check out.  

Trick us?

I say that because the monumental study done by Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin shows that "Meditation can cure or alleviate the symptoms of depression."

CURES DEPRESSION.

How does that work? Well, I attended a lecture he gave at UCLA. He showed that the study proves that meditation can "cure or alleviate depression." Because meditation affects the amydala - which is the regulator of serotonin.  Why is this important?

Because people who have amygdalas that aren't working - have misfiring serotonin.  We find misfiring serotonin in people who are having trouble sleeping, people who are depressed, upset, or some other brain function that is awry.  And meditation helps the amygdala - in fact "one session of meditation can change the shape of the amygdala."  This isn't opinion - it's in the study. Scientific fact.

I asked Richard what form of meditation he was using in the study. He said "Tonglen, but a non specific version."  Meaning instead of the typical Tonglen session where a person imagines curing or helping another person using only their mind - they would imagine the planet Earth was in need of being cured instead of one person.

Why is this important? Tonglen is a meditation that allows the meditator to try and "cure" or "help alleviate" pain in someone else. And it turns out - the amazing fact is - that it cures or alleviates depression in the meditator.

Do the meditation, do it every day, like doing pushups, and the depression, the ideation of harming yourself will GO AWAY. Without drugs.  There's no side effects.  If you have depression, or symptoms of depression - seek out someone who can help you find the best meditation expert near you.  See your doctor - indeed - but make sure your doctor has seen the statistics that show up to 15% of the people who use SSRI drugs have ideations of suicide (this state comes from a friend who is a doctor) - and make sure your doctor has seen the evidence that shows that meditation can "cure or alleviate the symptoms of depression."

I can promise he or she is not aware of it - unless they were at the lecture that Davidson gave. And there were easily 500 people in the room, many who identified themselves as psychiatrists "trying to learn a way to wean their clients off Prozac" or to "find an alternative to prescribing SSRI drugs to their teenaged patients."

Okay?  Seek a doctor, but make sure the doctor knows about the research that you've already done into the condition.

The Dalai Lama and his pal Richard Davidson, University of Wisconsin

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