Author Archive | David Metcalfe

There Are No Simple Answers

We all know the drill, there’s a burst of PR, a promise of untold secrets revealed, and a fee to get in the door. In the world of UFOlogy it’s become a standard trope of the Disclosure Movement to pull together a team of experts for a conference that offers the hope for some final revelation, a closing solution, to that nagging question of what the hell are all these people seeing in the skies. Howard Tullman, President & CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, recently spoke at the Chicago Council on Science and Technology and, unknowingly, offered some very pertinent advice to would be anomaly hunters: “Games are a marketers dream.”

When we enter the Fortean fields of the unknown, it’s best to be wary of what engages our attention, because what engages our attention also trains behavior. Labyrinths have one path in, and one path out, and those who design them know the markers that lead the way.… Read the rest

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Muerte, Mi Amor

In a culture, such as ours, that does everything it can to deny our inevitable mortality, when a folk Saint appears clothed in the visage of death it can cause a bit of a stir. Santa Muerte, for her devotees, is an all encompassing friend, a beneficient mother, giver of gifts that no other Saint would sanctify, and available to all who seek her favor. The Western media, however, only sees her as an archetypal image to promote fear mongering over the complex issues of immigration, drug trade and violence.

Last Friday I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. R. Andrew Chesnut, Endowed Chair in Catholicism at Virginia Commonwealth University*, whose recent book, Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint, is one of the only (if not THE only) in-depth resources on La Niña Blanca (The White Lady) available in English. The book is a fascinating look at one of the 21st centuries most nuanced devotional traditions, which Dr.… Read the rest

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DIY Ganzfeld Hacks

The sound artist Kim Cascone passed along a great link for making DIY Ganzfeld goggles.  When I was at the Rhine Research Center we were able to see their Ganzfeld rooms, and I’ve been interested in experimenting with the technique once I get more time. These kind of ‘hacks’ are a great way to work with some of the consciousness studies research without having the benefits of grant funding or donors!

“The Ganzfeld effect is a form of visual sensory deprivation.  The idea is to give the open eyes a blank visual field of uniform color.  Since there is nothing for the eyes to see, the brain cuts off the unchanging input, and often manufactures its own images – these may be thought of as mild hallucinations.  Personally, I haven’t experienced any vivid hallucinations via a Ganzfield, but I find the effect to be rather relaxing.  I’ve found that a Ganzfeld is very good for helping to eliminate excess chatter in the mind, especially when practicing meditation.… Read the rest

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Reincarnation as a Plausible Explanation

One of the things that surprised me most about attending the Parapsychological Association conference in Durham, North Carolina this year was how areas of science that receive the most criticism for being 'pseudo-scientific' are, in some cases, areas where the very basic elements, the most elegant elements, of the scientific method can be explored. Dr. Robert Almeder, Georgia State University, wrote the introduction to Chris Carter's new book Science and the Afterlife Experience, from Inner Traditions/Bear & Co., and he speaks here of the Dr. Ian Stevensen's research at the Univ. of Virginia on cases in which the data seems to point to reincarnation as a plausible explanation. Rather than scoffing and dismissing this outright, Dr. Almeder presents a provocative argument for why such investigations fit very soundly within the scientific milieu.
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Everybody Talks About Aliens and UFOs, I Intend to do Something About Them…

"The Reptoid God is Caught Red Handed"

Not one to take the possibility of being harvested as human cattle lightly, Art Greenfield (not to be confused with Allen Greenfield) is on a mission to warn the world with his aptly titled publication:

WARNING!

I discovered this anti-reptoid prophet when he jumped into a LinkedIn message board conversation I had been following in order to learn more about the noted parapsychologist Barry Taff’s latest book, Aliens Above, Ghosts Below.

Perhaps due to the title of Taff’s book, Greenfield felt called to post a lengthy series of spontaneous missives, and excerpts from his own book, expounding on the well worn notion that society has been infiltrated by ancient alien ‘repto-sapiens’ hungry for human flesh. As one person put it, Greenfield contributed to the conversation “a book…in one night.” However, they added diplomatically that, “nobody is listening to this ‘outer limits’ conjecture.” A less diplomatic poster expressed his opinion that nobody wanted to engage Greenfield’s “awful drivel.”

Not listening? Awful drivel? Well, some may have been put off by his aggressive verbosity, but Greenfield’s heartfelt outpouring (or brazen marketing) lead me to check out his work.… Read the rest

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Read this Proclamation to the Snake Worshipers! This Practice Must Stop!

Handling serpents at the Pentecostal Church of God. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky., 09/15/1946 (Photographer: Russell Lee)

American Evangelicalism is best know these days for its brash political pandering and social engineering attempts, but deep in the Appalachian mountains the tantric tremor of serpents and strichnine has been a staple of worship in some churches since 1910 when George Went Hensley brought the practice of snake handling to his pastorage of the Cleveland Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Dismissed by the orthodox on all sides, scientific, skeptical and religious, these folks cook up some of the best rockabilly that you’ll ever hear (check out the Jolo, West Virginia snake handling clips on YouTube if you don’t believe me) and the only trouble they cause is usually one of their own members dying from a snake bite.  The extreme nature of their rites reflects the dismal living conditions that attend the areas where these churches find a home.… Read the rest

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Dreams, The Royal Road to Enlightenment

 

Photo: Jean-Bernard Restout "Morpheus" (PD)

From Reality Sandwich

An upcoming conference at the  Royal Geographical Society in Kensington Gore, London, titled “Gateways of the Mind” will feature a select coeterie of the world’s leading dream researchers. Setting it apart from other conferences on the subject is the speaker selection, which includes a number of psychologists and researchers who straddle the scientific, devotional and initiatic divide in an attempt to explore the Mysterium Magnum of our sleeping state.

“A third of our life is spent sleeping — this relates to approximately to 25 years of the average person’s life! For most people this is either a blank void or a time when the best we can hope for is some confusing and often incomprehensible dream memories. What if we could utilize that one third more effectively, so that it becomes as important a part of our lives as the other two thirds, which we spend physically and actively awake?… Read the rest

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Are We the Invisible Masters?

Photo: National Media Museum (PD)

Original link from Forteania, as pointed out by the Society for Psychical Research

‘Invisible Masters’ pop up in surprising places. Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophy movement, founded and maintained in part from communication with discarnate beings, influenced folks as disparate as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Frank Loyd Wright and the 33rd Vice President of the United States, Henry Wallace.  Even Napoleon Hill, whose book on success, Think and Grow Rich, has remained at the top of Business Week’s list of best sellers for over 70 years, admited later in his career to having received his inspriation from a council of 33 ‘invisible masters.’

The question is, exactly who are these masters?

Dr. Andrija Puharich, a researcher who worked with the Stanford Research Institute during their human potential studies brought this concept into the late 20th century during his experiments in communicating with with a group of discarnate galactic intelligences called ‘The Nine.’ Over 2 decades he met with some of the most influential socialites, military and intelligence officers, and scientists such as Arthur Young, who invented the Bell Helicopter, in a series of seances that brought forth supposed revelations for humanities future.… Read the rest

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What is Magic?

D.I.Y. MagicThe official demise of Arthur Magazine, Jay Babcock’s carefully cultivated psychedelic culture journal, left many fretting their future prospects for an intriguing, in depth, and off-color window into the fractuous mindstream of contemporary culture. Thankfully the digital beast we ride would never allow such a thing, and Arthur Mag lives on through online archives, and a new Tumblr feed, which is already bearing fruit as evinced by the news of the upcoming publication of Anthony Alvarado’s initiatic indulgence D.I.Y. Magic, a book born from a series of articles that ran in Arthur Magazine:

“What is magic? It is the fine and subtle art of driving yourself insane! No really, it is just that. It is a con game you play on your own brain. It is the trick of letting yourself go crazy, and when it’s done right, the magus treads the same sacred and profane ground where walks the madman…

We can read descriptions of myths, of the practices of shamans, but the descriptions we might read by a Pentecostal believer, or a voodoo practitioner ridden by the loa, will be meaningless to us unless we have already been in the state they describe.… Read the rest

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