Just Because You Can't See the Ship…
I hit a figurative brick wall while trying to create this week’s blog. I spent days trying to generate an idea that would not only be deemed acceptable, but something that would be different and exciting. By the third day, third hour of uselessly thinking up topics that had been done to death, I took stock of my mental state. It was a bit cluttered with stray thoughts and improbable concepts, as per usual. In addition, I realized that I had been mentally humming one of the songs in the movie “Matilda” for the last few hours. If you’re unfamiliar with this story by Roald Dahl, one of the primary elements is that the protagonist develops psychokinesis, the ability to move objects with her mind. I’ve always been thoroughly fascinated with the subject PK phenomena, so it would seem like a perfect subject. And I will get back to it in a future article, but there’s a bigger topic in place here: the unconscious mind.
Even without approaching the paranormal realm, there are some truly peculiar things the unconscious mind offers us. For example, it had decided to click the link to this blog up to eight seconds before you were consciously aware of the thought. By utilizing fMRI technology, researchers are able to be consciously aware of decisions full seconds before the decision maker. This is truly uncanny. While the implications for situations requiring quick decision making are staggering (pilots, soldiers, and stockbrokers to name but a few), one critical issue that has been raised is the question of free will. Are ‘we’ the products of our unconscious minds or is it the other way around? In the end, my unconscious decided that the real question was ‘why is there a separation in the first place?’ We’ll get back to that.
If the unconscious mind has the power to make decisions like that, what else can it do? How about affect the way in which we perceive the world? There are numerous examples of this, but let’s start with perceptual blindness. In short, if an object is too alien to our mindset, one simply doesn’t see it. There is a popular tale told where natives of a certain area are unable to perceive ships. Who these natives are seems to vary (Peru and Australia are named) as are the peoples of the ships (Magellan and Captain Cook are listed.) But really it just illustrates a point: without the ability to perceive, we are effectively blind. Here is another rather famous example for you to try on your own:
So what does this have to do with the paranormal? Well, if you miss the ship, why not a ghost, angel, demon, or Vorlon? “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. ” So if you have an individual without the ability to dream up such an entity (and is therefore unable to register it) does that mean the entity is not present? You’re just as well off asking what impedes your boat from leaving the dock.
Of course, it may be possible to get around that particular problem by simply ‘talking’ to your subconscious. It’s something you do every day, though one rarely acknowledges it. At least not in polite company. However if one consciously attempts to contact the unconscious, well, either it will work or it won’t work. Fancy that, I know. Thing is, you can try to actively access your unconscious mind through a variety of techniques, or you can try a bit of subterfuge to get the message through, wherein the message relay is a heck of a lot sneakier. And it depends on the person as to what technique will be most useful.
Why would you want to do this? In order to “know thyself” (not to be taken as an admonition, this time.) You need to be able to know your unconscious mind, its puzzles and peculiarities, and its labyrinthine minefield. Sure, there are moments when it will still take you for a loop, but it’s still better to know what monsters are under the bed. Forewarned is forearmed, after all. Of course, knowing oneself is not that only reason. The mind is a powerful thing. It seems more and more likely that the way to understand this ‘invisible’ world around us, will be first to understand ourselves in totality. This isn’t a lofty bit of New Age clap trap, but something that can benefit even the most skeptical mind. It certainly worked for James Watson and Elias Howe.
Let’s start with actively accessing your unconscious mind. You can meditate, for starters. Or you can use Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP), self-hypnosis, word association or a myriad of other tactics. I’ve seen a few guided visualizations for groups that seemed to be rather effective (for example, Michelle Belanger’s ‘Shadow’ lecture at the 2011 Keprian Gather). I rather prefer self-guided visualization, wherein I can set up the place to meet my unconscious face to face, but that’s a personal preference. There are plenty of other ways to actively try to, well, talk to yourself, but the effectiveness of the technique depends entirely on the person trying it.
Let’s get sneaky. There are a few different ways to do this, although what I’ve learned has been primarily from a few sigil making classes and fans of artist/magician Astin Osman Spare. Take a message, jumble it up, turn it into a symbol, art-piece or what-have-you. Now you can either risk nearly killing yourself…something I don’t endorse…or you can place it somewhere where you won’t notice it directly. Shown in a bathroom mirror, for example. Or (and I find this rather ingenious) at the bottom of a coffee mug. Anywhere the symbol is barely perceptible.
Getting answers back can be a bit of a challenge, but if you keep relaxed and patient, eventually the message will come through. Sometimes it comes as a symbol, other times as a dream, or a stray thought. And still other times it shows up days late…and with a soundtrack.