When Jesus was but a child there were two great teachers living in Jerusalem: Rabbi Shammai, who was learned and severe; and Rabbi Hillel, who was learned and gentle. One day a seeker after truth approached Shammai and asked; "Can you give me a summary of the Law whilst standing on one foot?" Shammai was offended by this seemingly arrogant request and chased the man away with his measuring rod.

The man then approached Hillel with the same blunt request, to which Hillel replied: "That which is hateful to you, do not do unto your fellow. This is the whole of the Law. All the rest is commentary. Now go forth and spend the rest of your life studying and practicing this."

Jesus almost certainly learned much from Hillel, whose second most famous quote posed the questions: "If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And when I am for my self, then what am I? And if not now, when?"

July 29th 2010

Having established that 'to do unto others as you would have them do unto you' is the eternal truth of the Law or Dharma, all that will follow in this hopefully enduring blog will purely be commentary. For Wikipedia describes a blog as being "part of a website that is usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, description of events, or other materials such as graphics or video."

Thus today marks my first entry into the realm of written commentary on the web, which I will try to maintain like the mystery of zero-point energy that pervades the vast entirety of space, but still remains theoretically untapped. For although I have never kept a diary, I was endowed with a keen faculty of memory, where I am able to remember the lyrics of perhaps ten thousand songs, ballads and poems, and an equal number of poignant anecdotes and strange stories. Such a faculty or gift was once quite common, for the wisdom it imparts through continuity forms the basis of all oral traditions. Yet sadly we now live in an age where attention deficit disorder seems to have entered the human gene pool with a vengeance, and where even language itself may one day be viewed as a virus.

So in brief there is a wealth of rich spiritual material to draw from. And although I am known in certain circles for my work on traditional Indian, Tibetan and Newar art, iconography and symbolism, my real passion has always been the study of parapsychology and the 'afterlife'. Proust wrote that we often end up doing what we do second best in life, and in my case this is true, for what I am best at is opening my soul to those who are bereaved. And this 'gift' depends upon my understanding of the processes of death, inter-life and rebirth, both as doctrine and experience, for I now believe that 'direct experience' of the afterlife is not only possible, but also easily accessible.

Modern medical research into 'near death experiences' (NDE), especially those described by young children and those who are blind or deaf from birth, are now revealing an impressive body of evidence about survival beyond death and the relocation of consciousness, the mind, self, soul or spirit to places outside of the physical body. However, far more impressive is the powerful and enduring effect these NDE's have on many people, whose life-changing experiences are equally as profound as Saul's once was on that legendary road to Damascus. And this applies to both the heavenly 'beings of light' NDE as well as to the less frequent 'fires of hell' NDE, where people swiftly transform from being religious practitioners to spiritual performers: And if not now, when?

The late Robert Monroe (1915-95) devoted his life to the pioneering study of 'out of the body experiences' (OBE), which are a common feature of most NDE's. One interesting avenue of research that Monroe explored was the effect that out of body travel had on people who processed their journeys into conscious awareness or memory through the two different hemispheres of the brain. He found that those who processed their experience of exploring our solar system through the rational left hemisphere of the brain visually perceived or experienced it in the same way that the Hubble telescope does, as a system of vastly interspaced and lifeless planets and their moons orbiting around the sun in precise motion and time. But those whose experience was processed by the brain's intuitive right hemisphere perceived an entirely different cosmos, which was multidimensional, not governed by the physical dimensionality of time and space, but was filled with luminous energy, and teeming with an incredible variety of highly intelligent life forms.

And when I am for myself, then what am I? This may simply depend upon which side of the brain we chose to function on. However, we do have a choice, and the spectrum of this choice is as vast as the apparent distance between receding galaxies; yet paradoxically is also closer than our own jugular vein. We can either expand or contract, and the choice is ultimately one between love and fear, as Bill Hicks so eloquently used to proclaim. But we have come a long way since Hick's mass exorcisms during the first Gulf War, and now our fears concern global warming, terrorism, overpopulation, and diminishing resources: And the scientism of our time is all about wormholes, black holes, string theory, the big bang, mind-science, and genetic engineering, all of which seem to share a large and overflowing wastebasket labelled 'quantum mechanics'.

So in brief, I hope to explore the subject of life after death as one of the main topics of this blog, for this really is my greatest passion and the only certainty that we all commonly share in life. Death is far more certain and imminent than the concept of enlightenment or non-dual awareness, and concepts they remain for most people who embark upon a spiritual path. Thus I feel that death perhaps demands greater attention than anything else in life, for it is the eternal, inseparable and ultimate destination for the entire cycle of existence. It is not without reason that Buddhism frequently describes death as the 'king of all meditation practices'.

A lot of this material will focus upon the technique of 'Life Between Lives' (LBL) therapy, which has been pioneered by the groundbreaking research of Dr Michael Newton. This technique involves deep and prolonged hypnotic regression into the 'spirit world', where we are able to access the memories of our continuity of existence between physical incarnations in human form. Much of this material is extremely controversial and quite shocking to some people's established belief systems, yet this research is based upon thousands of direct individual experiences rather that any traditional religious or humanitarian doctrine. It is the sheer consistency of these NDE, OBE and LBL reports that is truly staggering in its implications, for the experience itself is sublime.

So welcome to some exciting new instalments from the Twilight Zone ..