Warning: Missing argument 2 for wpdb::prepare(), called in /home/sworld/public_html/swn-content/mu-plugins/domain-mapping.php on line 511 and defined in /home/sworld/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1154
Jung | The Real Twilight Zone

Posts Tagged Jung

TRTZ 37 : 8th November : The Tarot

The Real Secrets of The Tarot

The Star – from Crowley’s Book of Thoth Tarot

 

Tonight’s show is about The Tarot

We will be exploring some of the facts and fallacies behind this particular set of images and in the process perhaps calling into question some of the pseudo-mystical hyperbole surrounding the Tarot as well as looking at it as a symbolic system for personal exploration.

 

A bit of a plug…

I’ve got a workbook out on The Tarot. It includes a potted history, an outline of Tarot symbolism and how it can be used for your own self-reflection.

 

The Fools Journey by Alan Jones

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

 

BUT FIRST ….

Last week on The Real Twilight Zone we featured a call about a man who called 999 (911) to report a UFO only to later call back and realise that he’d been looking at the moon! This report prompted me to look at some more stories of wacky, odd and decidedly weird emergency calls…

There was a woman in Aloha, Oregon, who called 911 because she thought a deputy who had just visited her house on a complaint was good-looking. After her neighbours reported a noise complaint, two sheriff’s deputies knocked on Lorna Jeanne Dudash’s door. One of them caught her eye. When they left, Dudash dialed 9-1-1 in a desperate attempt to get the deputy she described to dispatchers as “a cutie pie” to return.

She said that she didn’t have an emergency; she just wanted the dispatcher to “throw the cute police back her way”. The “cute” deputy returned, and, once he determined there was no legitimate emergency, he arrested Dudash for misusing 9-1-1.

 

A Florida woman called 911 because she was locked inside her car. Turns out all she needed to do was manually pull up the lock on the door.

The unidentified woman was parked at a Walgreen’s store in Kissimmee. “My car will not start. I’m locked inside my car,” the unidentified woman said. “Nothing electrical works. And it’s getting very hot in here, and I’m not feeling well.” The dispatcher then suggested pulling up the lock. The woman tried it and was successfully able to open the door

John Triplette, a 45-year-old unemployed man, was charged for abusing the 911 emergency line: he made over 27,000 calls to 911.
Police says he was a lonely man who would call the dispatchers for company, sometimes hundreds of times a day. He would also make various noises, including grunts and other bodily noises, minimal conversation in a disguised voice, beeps from the touch pad, etc.

The prank 911 calls were made from a T-Mobile cell phone which leaded to his arrest after police tracked his cell signal. Police said he apologized for the calls. He said he made them “because they were free.”

Angered that her local McDonald’s was out of Chicken McNuggets, a Florida woman called 911 three times to report the fast food “emergency.” Latreasa Goodman, 27, called police to complain that a cashier would not give her a refund. When cops responded to the restaurant, Goodman told them, “This is an emergency. If I had known they didn’t have McNuggets, I wouldn’t have given my money, and now she wants to give me a McDouble, but I don’t want one.” She was arrested and the Police pressed charges for misusing the 911 system.

A frustrated German housewife called police because her husband would not stop watching porn movies. The 44-year-old woman, from Aachen, dialed the emergency police number and told the dispatcher in a weepy voice there was an emergency. But when officers arrived at the scene they found her pacing the apartment while her husband, 46, sat in front of the TV watching a blue movie. She was told however that there was nothing the police could do in such a case, but refered her to a counselor for help.

From WALES on-line there’s this interesting batch of calls

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/08/15/the-wicked-witches-of-the-west-91466-27064274/

In a report dated 15th August 2010 the news source reports..

“WITCHES could be stalking the streets of rural Wales – if calls to Dyfed Powys Police are to be believed.

The force, which covers Mid and West Wales, has received 86 reports of witches in the last five years.

The force’s police incident log reveals details of the calls. One caller reported “that one individual is a witch and had attended at the house to put salt around the bed”.

A caller in January last year claimed he had been fed a “fur ball” during a witchcraft ritual.

Following a call from Llanelli, police recorded: “Caller, who was drunk, who rang regarding a gang of witches who want to sacrifice him.”

Another call was a report of a “malicious communication: rumours that an individual’s mother is a witch”.

The details released to Wales on Sunday under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed the counties of Powys, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire are awash with reports of weird goings-on.

In addition to calls about witches in the past five years, the force has received one call about a werewolf, seven about vampires, 19 about UFOs, 13 about big cats, 73 reports of ghosts, 16 of zombies, 35 of demons, five regarding big foot sightings, 33 of monsters and 18 about wizards.

Haverfordwest appears to be the real hotbed of ghostly activity.

On the same day, one caller reported “that they had seen their father as a ghost”, while another call to the police was “regarding concern for safety – reporting that an individual is stating that ‘ghosts’ are going to kill them”.

In Lampeter, police dealt with a call “reporting concern for safety, individual believes they are a vampire”.

 

And from Cornwall reprorted on the 9th October 2011 on the website 67notout.com

A gentleman from Callington, Cornwall, reported his wife and dog being abducted by aliens. Unfortunately we don’t know if he ever got his wife and dog back.

Another man phoned to say he had spotted a UFO over a pie factory in Okehampton, Devon. I guess even aliens get hungry.

And someone phoned to report ‘a long, white cylinder thing, like a train in the sky, with orange balls moving slowly upwards and in all different directions’. Most uncomfortable.

Officers told of an emergency call from a man who had seen the ghosts of ‘two old ladies.’ The police log recorded what these two ghosts were doing: ‘The ghosts of two old ladies in a white Ford Fiesta came onto the A38 carriageway facing the wrong way. They stopped on the hard shoulder, trying to reverse back up the off slip.’ So, do ghosts need driving licences and insurance?

Yet another ghost report was recorded: ‘Caller states he has got a ghost on CCTV. Caller wanted advice on who he could contact as the footage was going to make him a million. Advised to go to the press.’

One caller claimed a spectre gave him a ‘horrible hairstyle and some dodgy photos.’ The ghost seemingly was Paul Newman!

FINALLY …

Some of my favourite transcripts..

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is the nature of your emergency?
Caller: I’m trying to reach nine eleven but my phone doesn’t have an eleven on it.
Dispatcher: This is nine eleven.
Caller: I thought you just said it was nine-one-one
Dispatcher: Yes, ma’am nine-one-one and nine-eleven are the same thing.
Caller: Honey, I may be old, but I’m not stupid.

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Caller: Hi, is this the Police?
Dispatcher: This is 9-1-1. Do you need police assistance?
Caller: Well, I don’t know who to call. Can you tell me how to cook a turkey? I’ve never cooked one before.

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Caller: Someone broke into my house and took a bite out of my ham and cheese sandwich.
Dispatcher: Excuse me?
Caller: I made a ham and cheese sandwich and left it on the kitchen table and when I came back from the bathroom, someone had taken a bite out of it.
Dispatcher: Was anything else taken?
Caller: No, but this has happened to me before and I’m sick and tired of it

Dispatcher: 9-1-1
Caller: Yeah, I’m having trouble breathing. I’m all out of breath. Darn….I think I’m going to pass out.
Dispatcher: Sir, where are you calling from?
Caller: I’m at a pay phone. North and Foster.
Dispatcher: Sir, an ambulance is on the way. Are you an asthmatic?
Caller: No
Dispatcher: What were you doing before you started having trouble breathing?
Caller: Running from the Police.

via : http://www.laughitout.com/2007/06/funnyreal-911-calls.html#ixzz1d86FZpLA

 

Some News from Catherine…

UK

The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) has announced that it has been registered with the Government as a Professional organisation in it’s’ field of study.  ‘Seriously Strange’, the groups 30th Anniversary conference held at the University of Bath this year was where the exciting announcement was made and Chairman Dave Wood declared that ‘All investigators can take pride in this recognition… we are keen for as many people as possible to be part of this.’

November 1st: Court Oak Pub in Harbourne, Birmingham apparently suffers from a rather unusual haunting, it has been reported by manager Anne Tayler.  Every Halloween for the past few years she states that she discovered the house wine in the cellar smashed to pieces until she had it upgraded to a better quality brand, thus resulting in the pub regulars dubbing it ‘Corky’, or ‘The wine-snob ghost’.  The pub is part of the chain ‘Sizzling’, though it has a unique location on a 17th century hanging ground.  Other customers and many of the staff claim to have felt the presence of something while they were drinking or serving and some report sightings of man in his 60s behind the bar.

November 6th: The Retford to Huddersfield train was subject to delays owing to the fact that they may or may not have been ‘a lion on the line’.  Police in West Yorkshire received two unconfirmed reports of a lion and cub ‘jumping on the tracks’ and accordingly scrambled a police helicopter to search the area as well as twelve officers to search the area at ground level.  Nothing has thus far been found and train services have resumed as normal.  Police say that they will resume the search on Monday if anymore sightings are reported.

November 7th: Hikers in the English countryside have been coming across some weird and wobbly discoveries recently.  Named ‘star jelly’ according to some folklore (Based on the theory that it appears after a meteor shower) the translucent goo has walkers and scientists confused.  Apparently the blobs of jelly have been appearing in puddles and pools around the Lake District in the last few weeks in particular and theories as to what it might be are many and varied despite the fact this stuff made its first appearance in the 14th century.  Botanist Dr Hans Sluiman states that it is mostly water but that apart from that very little else could be uncovered about it.  Many suggest it has something to do with frogs, as it has the consistency of frogspawn without the spawn.

International

November 1st: Vladimir Tsar’kov took a paragliding trip over the Indian Himalayas only to have it turn nasty after a large eagle collided with the chute he was using on his descent.  The bird had been surveying him at a distance with it’s mate before becoming coming in for a closer look and becoming tangled in the lines of the parachute.  The parachute was thusly rendered ineffective as the tangled twine twisted it out of shape and Tsar’kov began to fall.  Fortunately he kept his head and deployed his reserve parachute to keep him from plummeting to his death and he managed to land in a clearing, despite hitting some rather thorny looking trees on the way down.  He also managed to release the trapped bird, who promptly flew off without a scratch!  The whole event was captured on Tsar’Kov’s helmet camera and can be viewed here.

November 2nd: There have been some strange things done in the name of art, but Jasha Lottin from Oregon took them to new (And somewhat disturbing) levels when she decided to take some unusual photographs with boyfriend John Frost.  They had had a 32-year-old horse in their care for some time, but its’ health was declining and the pair decided to put it out of its misery, believing it to be the humane thing to do.  Having put it down, they then proceeded to gut the animal so that Lottin could take off her clothes and pose nude, and smiling, inside the carcass for photographs.  Furthermore, they then went ahead and posted the pictures onto the internet where they were, not surprisingly, met with a torrent of disgust and accusations of animal cruelty.  The local authorities say they cannot arrest the pair as they have not technically committed a crime, had the animal been killed purely for the purposes of the ensuing photo shoot then circumstances would be different, but as the situation stands, there is no case against them.  The couple argue that they wanted to ‘feel at one with the horse’, which logically (?!) led to them eating the remains after the photoshoot.  If you would like to see the aforementioned photographs (You should definitely take the time to consider the answer to that!) then you can click here. Please keep in mind that they graphic images and not suitable for all.

November 4th: On November 8th, a large asteroid will pass earth at a distance of 201,700 miles.  Asteroids often pass earth at this distance (And closer) but they are not normally large enough to spark any media interest.  This one is 1300 feet wide and ‘roughly spherical’, and NASA hope it will aid them in further investigation of the field as their scientists do not normally get to examine an asteroid this closely.

Astrophysicists have hit upon a new way of searching for the potential of extraterrestrial life: look for the lights.  The proposal is in accordance with the notion that intelligent life on other planets would likely evolve some way of producing light during hours of darkness.  This light would result in an noticeable difference in the overall amount of light produced by a star or planet naturally, and therefore could be detectable.  ‘The total flux from a planet with city lighting will vary in a way that is measurably different from a planet that has no artificial lights.’  Avi Loeb from The Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics believes that though it may be a long shot, it will not require any extra resources and the discoveries made could change the nature of human perception of our place in the universe.

Catherines Primer on The Tarot

Tarot and Playing Cards History, Origins and Uses

 

The origin of Tarot is somewhat unclear, many contradicting historical sources coming forward to claim they started the mystical practice.

One fairly solid theory outlines its origins in Italy in the 15th century, sometime between 1420 and 1440.  This at least gives us the origins of the first tarot cards, though where the inspiration came from prior to the tarot cards (The origins of playing cards) themselves is harder to say.

In c.750-800 China, the Kuei t’ien lu, (an eleventh century book of anecdotes by historian Ou-yang Hsiu) outlines implications that playing cards were invented in c.618-906: the middle of the T’ang dynasty, around the same time as the printing of some of the earliest books and thanks to the invention of paper there.  There are questions about the translation for this, as the Chinese word for playing cards is ‘yeh tzu’, which makes reference to dominoes.  However, these could be thought of as the ancestors of what we perceive to be playing cards anyway. Additionally, the Chinese word for gaming tiles was also used for playing cards. (Pái)

The Chinese domino deck contains the 21 combinations feasible on a pair of dice.

The earliest quotable reference that speaks of playing cards still has its origins in China (969) under an entry in the ‘Liao shih’ of T’o-t’o, a history of the Liao dynasty written in the 14th Century describing Emperor Mu-tsung playing cards on New Year’s eve.

These ‘money cards’ had four suits, coins, strings of coins, myriads of coins or strings of coins, and tens of myriads.  Each were represented by a pictogram with ‘numerals of 2–9 in the first three suits and numerals 1–9 in the tens of myriads’.

There are suggestions from some historians that the earliest cards may also have been an actual currency, used as both gaming totems and as something to play for.

Chinese playing cards are very different to early European designs however, being long and thin and there is some debate as to whether these are where European gaming cards came from.

Another theory puts the cards entrance into European mainstream down to Gypsies, but they were too late for this to have been possible, widespread almost 100 years after card games appeared.  Additionally, their use of cards to tell fortunes was ordinary playing cards before tarot cards.

It has been suggested that playing cards entered European history after being brought back from the Holy Land by Crusaders. However, the last crusade ended in 1291 and playing cards were not documented as existing in Europe until almost 100 years beyond this time.

Indian cards, though very different to Mamluk (See next point) cards, are debated about as well.  ‘Ganjifa’ was the earliest Indian card game known to Europeans, dating to the 16th century.  It is sometimes disputed whether these cards influenced the design of the Mamluk cards or vice-versa.  They were usually round, made of ivory, paper, cotton fiber, or even mother of pearl or simple palm leaves. Cards were represented by ten suits, each comprised of 10 numeric and two court cards.  One court card from each suit depicted an incarnation of the God Vishnu and the second showed a detail related to that particular incarnation.  Other cards in the suits were Soldiers, demons, women, elephants, horses, and ships.

The most commonly held theory is that European playing cards came from Egyptian Mamluk cards.

‘A deck of cards discovered in the Topkapi Sarayi Museum, Instanbul, in 1939. The Mameluke Deck, discovered by Professor L. A. Mayer, dates from the 15th century. However, subsequent finds have yielded even older examples from the 12th century.’ ~ http://whiteknucklecards.com/history/originofcards.html

The Mamelukes ruled parts of Egypt in a period reaching from 1254 to 1517.

The deck consists of 52 cards divided into 4 suits of 13 classes.  The suits were swords, polo-sticks, cups and coins and each suit comprised of numbers One to 10, which were characterised by their suit symbols.  Each suit additionally had three Court Cards of King, Viceroy (Or deputy) and Under Viceroy. (Malik, Na’ib Malik, and Thani Na’ib)

The court cards were not signified by faces, but by geometric patterns, apparently very similar to early Italian court cards.

Some propose that the Mamluk cards could’ve reached the rest of Europe through Spain instead of Italy, but Venice was the main trade route of the time and it is thought that the Italian packs resemble the Mamluk packs more closely than the early Spanish ones.

It is thought that Spain was therefore the second in line on route of card games spread through Europe, followed by Germany then France.

We know of the existence of card games in Europe mostly by the fact they were frequently banned, their prohibition outlined in several documents of law.  Firstly the City of Florence forbade (by the vote of 98 to 25) playing the game ‘naibb’, in 1376.

This can be translated from the Spanish ‘naipes’, meaning ‘playing cards’.

Later, the German city of Regensburg proclaimed card games ‘punishable by law if played for high stakes’ in 1378.

The Chronicle of the City of Viterbo also mentioned ‘Naybb’ in 1379.

Paris and St. Gallen outlawed card playing to the working classes in 1377 and 1379.

By the 15th century card games were fairly established in Europe and had reached England with Italian-Spanish-French designs.

The English manufactured French-based packs of cards in 1450 and began the tradition of making the cards recognisable from both ends and of decorating the ace of spades.

Many religious leaders prompting people to burn their decks to resist the evils of gambling.

The first playing cards in America are thought to have come with the Spaniards.  Cards used by Indians shared the names for court cards and suits with Spanish cards.

The 15th century decks typically had four suits, sometimes five.  German suits included, Herz/Rot (Hearts), Schellen (Bells), Grün (Leaves), and Eichel (Acorns).  These are still used in Eastern and Southeastern German decks today for many games.

Italian and Spanish cards used swords, wands, coins, and cups.

The four suits most common in most of the world today (Spades, diamonds, clubs and hearts) originated in France around 1480.

The Tarot was invented in Italy in the 15th century also.

 

The tarot deck that originated from Italy was specifically created in Milan.

The deck consisted of a standard 56 card deck interlaced with 22 figurative trump cards, resulting in a 78 card tarot deck, or a carte da triofi (Cards of triumph).

The subjects used for the symbolic or allegorical cards remained fairly consistent, variants on a theme remaining still somehow rooted to the original archetype.

The tarot cards were used for trick-taking games and a card game akin to bridge.

Variations of the tarot pack included the extension to 97 cards by adding more trumps, the removal of low-value numeral cards resulting in a 63 card pack, the conversion to French suit-signs, and the removal of all numerical cards to reduce the pack to 54 or 42 cards.

A trial in Venice in 1589 suggest that tarot may have had links with witchcraft according to the accusers, but subsequent to this, there are no more references speaking of any connection between tarot and divination  or occult magic until the 18th century.

Ordinary playing cards were connected with divination as well, and far earlier than tarot cards, dating back to 1487.

The intentions of the original designer of the tarot trump and fool cards are unknown and open to speculation.

Early poets also used the titles of trump cards to create verses known as tarocchi appropriate.  Girolamo Bargagli described the process as follows (in Siena in 1572). Each player would be assigned a tarot trump by an opponent, who would then go ahead and explain the reason for the association poetically if they could.  It was often used to describe ladies of the court.

There are records of mystical affiliations to tarot cards in the early 1700s, specifically in Bologna, this being the first solid evidence of tarot divination (As we understand it).  But the currently popular interpretations of the cards originated in France according to the Tarot de Marseilles packs that were derived from it.  These were used in France until the switch to the French suited cards.

The earliest extant rules for the game of tarot were published in 1637.

The 1700s seem to be the high point in tarots popularity with the introduction of a modernized deck.  The French suit-signs replaced the Italian ones and the trumps became double headed during the 1780s.

The medieval metaphorical pictures associated with the tarot were replaced with barely related illustrations and large roman numerals during this period also.

The later 18th century saw the development of tarot cards beyond their original use for play and leisure.

In the 1500s, the fortune-telling aspect of playing cards developed from their use as a device with which to randomise the selection of a page in a book of fortunes.

The 1600s saw the production of fortune-telling decks specifically designed for just that.

The 1700s saw regular decks being attributed with occult significance after the publishing of the first book on cartomancy in 1770 by Etteilla, the first professional cartomancer.

Etteilla went on to found occult Tarot along with two other French writers. Collectively, they cultivated a great deal of the fortune-telling methods and associated folklore that left us with the reinvention of the tarot deck as an occult device in the 1800s.

The original meaning and use of the tarot deck were paid little heed in the reinterpretation of the images.

‘They used the twenty-two trumps as signs designating the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. These newly-minted correspondences made the Tarot deck into a novel emblem system for Cabalistic magic and mysticism. The two esoteric uses, Cabala and divination, became permanently attached to Tarot.  The authors of this newly invented Tarot also wrote up a detailed fantasy about Tarot’s origin and history, involving Egyptian initiations, Jewish mystics, and vagabond Gypsies. These fictional histories were intended to validate the correspondences the occultists had devised, by appeal to alleged ancient wisdom and secret traditions.’ ~ Tarotpedia.com

Christian mystic and scholar of the occult Arthur Edward Waite, rejected occult Tarot and he went on to write his own novel interpretation of the trumps, drawing on varying sources (occultists included) to produce a diverse interpretation of the ‘mystical Perennial Philosophy’.  He wished to remain in ‘keeping with common ideas of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century regarding comparative religion and the universality of myth and mysticism.’ (Tarotpedia.com).

This new deck was designed to be ‘not occult, but mystical’.

This deck serves as the template for many future variations and modern versions.  The twentieth century user utilised it more in conjunction with free-association and redefinition of the tarot deck in this period had significant influence from Jungian psychology.

Contemporary tarot methods are sometimes used in psychology as part of therapy.

Today, Tarot still makes appearances in various mediums.  It has appeared in Xena, Warrior Princess, Life on Mars, Mad men, Torchwood, Synasty, the Simpsons, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Supernatural, X Files, True Blood, Bones, Live and Let Die (Bond), The Red Violin, Just My Luck, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The House of the Dead, Silent Hill and many, many, many other films, games and TV shows.

Perhaps somewhat ridiculously, you can find Pokèmon tarot decks, Star Wars tarot decks, Star Trek tarot decks and so on and so forth.  In fact, if it exists there’s probably a tarot deck of it!

 

The music provided tonight from Mevio’s Music Alley.

Check it out at ‘music.mevio.com’

http://music.mevio.com

Bands & Songs:

7 Million Gigawatts : Got You Covered

2012 : Testify

Heart : Crazy on You

American Head : Just So You Know

Delina : Spiritual Suicide

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

TRTZ 29 26th July

The topic for this week is “Psychic-Intuitive Readings” and the Psychological issues which surround them.

BUT FIRST some ODD NEWS collected by Fee

Odd news for 26th

Deep Sleep: Hole Nearly Swallows Gran’s Bed

A grandmother in Guatemala City has had a lucky escape after a huge sinkhole suddenly opened up under her bed as she slept.

Inocenta Hernandez woke up on July 18 to discover she was lying just inches above a 12m (40ft) deep sinkhole.

Mrs Hernandez was startled by a large booming sound which she thought was a gas explosion outside.

The sound was actually the earth under her bed imploding to create a deep and almost perfectly circular hole.

If the pit had been a few metres larger it may have swallowed the pensioner as she slept.

The 65-year-old said: “My son was crying because you never expect something like that in the bedroom.

“When they raised the bed and I stood by this big hole my son then said that we have to call the firefighters because they need to come.

“Thanks to God and the holy Mary that nothing bad happened, it was an accident.”

In the weeks before the pit appeared neighbours had reported hearing strange sounds coming from the earth and now fear further implosions.

Guatemala’s national disaster relief agency have come to Mrs Hernandez’s home to investigate the sinkhole and determine if there are any risks to residents in the area.

Investigator David De Leon said: “The whole city rests on volcanic material which means that some areas are not stable.”

Sinkholes, formed by the natural process of erosion, can be gradual but are often sudden.

Guatemala City is especially prone to them.

They are often blamed on a leaky sewer system or on heavy rain.

In 2007, the country’s largest sinkhole swallowed homes and a truck and killed three people as the ground suddenly gave way.

25th July South African ‘corpse’ wakes up

A 50-year-old South African man thought to be dead woke up in a chilly morgue on Sunday and shouted to be let out, scaring off two attendants who thought he was a ghost, local media reported

“His family thought he had died,” health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo told the Sapa news agency.

“The family called a private undertaker who took what they thought was a dead body to the morgue, but the man woke up inside the morgue on Sunday at 5:00pm and screamed, demanding to be taken out of the cold place.”

This caused two mortuary attendants on duty to flee the building in the small town of Libode in the rural Eastern Cape as they thought it was a ghost.

After calling for help and returning to find the man alive, an ambulance was sent to fetch the man who had “been exposed to extreme cold for nearly 24 hours” said Kupelo.

He said the public should not assume that a sick person had died and contact a mortuary, the report said.

“Doctors, emergency workers and the police are the only people who have a right to examine the patients and determine if they are dead or not.”

Child found home alone with 19 snakes

A 28-year-old man was arrested and charged after allegedly leaving his child home alone with nearly two dozen dangerous animals in Suffolk.

Emmanuel Valazquez was charged with cruelty and injuries to children, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to Suffolk police spokesperson Debbie George.

Valazquez’s 7-year-old son called police to let them know that his dog was missing.

Police came to the house and found that the child was home alone with 19 snakes, one of which was a 14-foot Python, two bearded dragons, and two pit bulls. There were also feeder mice found in the home.

Police asked where the mother was in all of this, and he said they were divorced. Police said it is legal for the homeowner to have these animals.

Man Drops Wallet In Manhole, Gets Stuck

A man dropped his wallet inside a manhole and got stuck trying to fetch it, police said.

Jared Medeiros, 21, was in head first when Ceres police discovered two legs flailing in the air Friday. When police tried to pull him out, his waist wouldn’t budge from the tunnel.

The fire department had to assist to pull him out. When they did, about 40 minutes had passed. They assessed his medical condition and found some minor scrapes and contusions. Police said he was slightly intoxicated but not impaired.

The wheels on the bus…

Terrified passengers had a right bus strop when their oblivious driver motored on – after the wheels had fallen off his coach.

Driver Shi Shao, 48, told police in Shaoyang, Hunan province, southern China, that he thought he’d hit a pothole and was returning to his depot to have the suspension checked.

But his horrified passengers begged him to stop when they saw the bus’s rear axle behind them in the road and could feel the floor of the vehicle turning red hot as it scraped along the road.

“The potholes around here are bad but nothing could be that bad,” said one passenger.

Police – who say the stranded bus caused a three-hour tailback in rush hour traffic – explained: “The driver may now face charges of endangering public safety.”

Couple arrested for sex in cathedral

Two protesters were arrested after stripping off naked to have sex in front of the alter in the middle of a service at Oslo Cathedral.

Police arrived to seize the pair – members of the F*** for Forests group – after one shocked churchgoer dialed 999.

Other furious parishioners pulled the couple apart and held them until police arrived, and also grabbed a man that had been taking pictures of the act.

A police spokesman confirmed: “We arrested three people for sexual activity in front of the altar in Oslo Cathedral.”

A spokesman for the trio – who have not been identified by police – said: “We had to pay a small fine or spend 16 days in jail. We chose the former because we didn’t want to spend so long without having sex.”

Swedish pressure group F*** For Forests is trying to publicise global deforestation by having sex in public to draw attention to the problem.

It believes in campaigning for the cause by outraging public decency.

Note To Mechanic

An auto mechanic received a repair order that read:

“Check for clunking sound when going around corners.”

Taking the car out for a test drive, he made a right turn, and a
moment later he heard a ‘clunk’.

He then made a left turn and again heard a ‘clunk’.

Back at the shop he opened the car’s trunk, and soon
discovered the problem.

Promptly he returned the repair order to the service manager
with the notation, “Removed bowling ball from trunk”.

Creative Writing

A creative writing class at Slippery Rock University was asked to write
a concise essay containing the following elements:

Religion
Royalty
Sex
Mystery

The prize winner wrote:

“My God,” said the queen, “I am pregnant! I wonder who did it?”

Wacky 911 Calls

A call came into 911 Emergency because two couples were going to share a hotel room and there weren’t enough towels.

A man called 911 and said: “Please connect me to Switzerland.”

A lady called 911 because of a fight going on in a parking lot. When asked to describe the combatants, she said: “I’ll try. There’s one man, and he’s dressed like Elvis. He’s kicking another man who’s laying on the ground and screaming ‘You ain’t nothing but a hound dog.'”

Another person called to report he had the hiccups.

A thirteen-year-old boy called to report he had “stuff” coming from his navel. Paramedics examined the boy and all they found was belly-button lint.

A male complainant called and requested police call gas stations on a main route to find out which ones were open.

A woman called emergency to report she had seen a wild mouse in her house.

Someone called 911 to report the parrot got out of his cage and is in a tree outside.

A man broke up with his girlfriend and wanted police to go by her house and report to him the owners of any cars, other than hers, in her driveway.

A man called to report he had a roach stuck in his ear.

A guy called to ask if they delivered dope. When the person answering told him it was the Sheriff’s Department, he hung up.

Another winner called to ask when the Cinco de Mayo celebration was. (Cinco de Mayo means the 5th of May)

A female complainant called to request a police officer come to her residence to change the battery in her smoke detector. She couldn’t reach it.

A drunk called 911 to order a pizza.

A woman called to report that someone had trespassed on her property.
When asked how she knew this, she reported that the person had trimmed her rose bushes, and she knew it was her next-door neighbor.

A person called to find out the number to the police station

I find it really interesting how different people perceive and understand what they see, hear or read.

Like many shows, The Real Twilight, has been trying to evolve a format which makes it different – something that is important bearing in mind that Haunted Cornwall FM is a partner show on the same networks.

I posted this on Facebook last week…

Our planned guest interview fell through, but from previous weeks comments, partcularly from our friends at Inception Radio, we thought we take a look at Psychological issues related to ‘readings’ of the psychic/intuitive kind this will cover the issue of Cold Reading and may lead to a discussion of fraud within the psychic world – The Real Twilight Zone Tuesday 26th July 8pm – 10pm BST

One commentator wrote –

Not being Adversaterial… is this going to be one-sided Al?

To which my responses led to the observation from the same commentator….

So it won’t be 1/2 hr news 5 mins intuitive reading, 1 1/4 hr all readers should be put to the torch and 10 mins of The Truths music then…. Odd thought – if less intuitive ppl were to explore their intuitive abilities then they wouldn’t get ‘fooled’ by cold/fraudulent readers!

(my emphasis)

Well you’ll have to listen and read on to find out I guess….

I want to make these statements of PERSONAL TRUTH or BELIEF at the outset…

1) Psychic – Intuitive Readings have a real value for most of the people who seek them

2) If the ‘reader’ is coming from a space of support and empowerment the value is greater

3) For the most part it may not matter if the Psychic, Medium, Intuitive can prove their abilities to the scientific community.

4) Pseudo-Skeptics (those who set out to debunk rather than question) are closed minded

5) New Age Space Cadets (those who accept without question) are, in an odd way, also closed minded

6) Psychic Fraud is a reality as are those who profit from the need, pain and dependence of others.

I think that’s clear?

To take things a step further…

In order to set the record straight I need to make it clear that I have given ‘readings’, do ‘readings’ and will probably continue to do ‘readings’ – and I do work in Mind Body and Spirit fairs from time to time and run talks, workshops and sessions on many topics that would be familiar to with those who enjoy the mystical/spiritual side of things. (see here for more information)

However I make no claims of psychic ability and in many ways I feel these claims are redundant and simply part of the marketing label some folks require.

I have studied the Tarot (I had my first deck over 40 years ago); I have read into and worked with Numerology, Astrology, Palmistry amongst other so called divinatory ‘arts’. They are interesting symbolic systems and although they (may) have no scientific validity (in a objective, measurable way) it is clear that they have a personal resonance on a subjective and hence formative level.

I agree totally with skeptic Brian Dunning who makes the following statement…

“This is where I break ranks with the majority of the skeptical community, and come out, surprisingly, generally in favor of those who peddle the paranormal, in cases where no harm is done.”

“In our society, people have the right to purchase things they want that are of no benefit, or even harmful. Cigarettes, alcohol, expensive cosmetic products containing questionable ingredients like “extract of oleander” — these are just a few examples. It’s a free country, and most people want these things. We’ve decided, as a nation, that the preferences of a few should not curtail the freedoms of the many. And I believe most skeptics would agree: paranormal services from palm readers to homeopathy stores have every right to exist.”

For me the phrase “WHERE NO HARM IS DONE” is crucial – and this is where I part company with a number of those ‘peddlars of paranormal patter’ who have no ethical, moral or intellectual integrity.

I think I do need to define ‘my terms’ so that what I am saying can be understood in the way that I want it to be understood…

A ‘reading’ as defined by most would refer to a situation where an individual (the client) receives insightful information from a ‘reader’ who is using some psychic, intuitive, mediumistic or symbolic system.

The ‘reader’ acts as a listener, confident, advisor and perhaps councillor (in the broadest sense).

The ‘client’ receives ‘information’ from a third party who is removed from their own personal situation and can offer ‘insights’.

In this situation all things being equal there is no need to demonstrate scientifically the reality of any claim made by the reader as the assessment is being made by the client as to the relevance and value of the information. It matters little  if that information is vague; comes from spirit; personal insights or messages in the sand – and if it does matter then this is either in the mind of the persona giving the reading or in the type of reader preferred by the client.

I have never liked the notion of ‘reading’ since the process for me is always about a conversation, a dialogue in which the ‘intuitions’ of the reader based upon whatever system they use are part of a transformational process.

Apologies if that does sound a little ‘fluffy’, but in a very real sense we can call be changed by the conversations we have and in the situation of a ‘psychic reading’ the potential for impact-full dialogue is great.

A Psychic is …. ???

In another career under a different pseudonym I wrote ….

Psychic is a much used term and one that immediately creates in the mind of the listener certain presuppositions. The word itself comes from the Greek word psychikos which means “of the soul” or “mental” and in common usage usually implies an ability in ‘extrasensory perception'”

This was an attempt to make it clear that when I used the word ‘psychic’ it was in the sense of attempting to create deeper understandings and meaning through the integration and use of all of the senses. I argued against the idea of ‘extra-sensory’ perception in favour of ‘total sensory’ perception. In this usage of the term the ‘psychic’ attempts to become open to all of the conscious and unconscious information available so as to communicate clearly and effectively.

I was interested by the closing comment made by my Facebook commentator..

Odd thought – if less intuitive ppl were to explore their intuitive abilities then they wouldn’t get ‘fooled’ by cold/fraudulent readers!

First I might say, and this will be controversial, for the most part cold reading can be as valid and useful to the ‘client’ as a ‘real’ reading.

What matters is the quality of support the ‘reader’ is giving and as long as the conversation leads the ‘client’ to options, choices and reflection there, for me is no issue.

As soon as one reader makes they statement that ‘theirs is the BEST and ONLY’ valid approach the whole discussion moves from the impact and value to the listener to the need to validate and prove that claim. We move from mystical-subjective to rational-objective and hence scientific.

It should be noted that to stay within the Letter of the Law UK all readers are required to state that their readings are for entertainment purposes and there is no scientific validation to what they are doing.

For example below you will find an example of a ‘disclaimer’ used by a popular ‘psychic’ chat room.

“Please note that this site is for entertainment purposes only. Any information given in readings and/or from members or staff of the site is not in any way guaranteed correct and accurate. Guidance and advice can be given, readings and healings can also be given, but please note that at no time should any readings or healings susbstitute advice and/ or treatment given from your GP or hospital, or treatment from mental or physical healthcare professionals, either given in the past, present, or future. Advice should also sought from the correct authorities for financial support and guidance, legal support and guidance. If in doubt, please refer to support from these authorities/ professionals as we are unable to help”

To reiterate then, it is about the EFFECT a reading (from whatever source) has on a CLIENT.

This brings us to what I believe are the core issues related to READINGS – putting aside any interest in the desire to ‘test’ claims of the psychics, mediums, intuitives, spiritualists, gurus and the vast array of symbol-readers (cards, sand, ink, paint, wax, water, fire, clouds…..)

Let’s look at a typical list of  ‘sceptical’ objections to ‘readings’

The existence of these abilities has yet to be satisfactorily established

OK, accepting the paucity of scientific evidence, a reading is about an exchange of ideas and information generally between one ‘believer’ and another. Proof of method is less important than personal value and meaning drawn from the exchange.

There are no standardised qualifications or levels of experience required

A bit of a problem for the sceptics this one – if you can’t validate the abilities how can you derive a standardised test for them? Is the issue more to do with ethics and ethical regulation?

Practitioners have no governing body therefore no accountability

Ah there we go – ethics. Actually the same can be said to be true for other professions. Car Mechanics, Private Investigators, Psychotherapists for example have no over-arching governing body although many are members of bodies which require adherence to a code of conduct, carrying of correct insurance and requirement for ongoing professional development.

I think, personally, some voluntary registration to an agreed code of ethics, insurance and professional development would be a positive thing for ‘readers’.

However, the sceptic is right here, formally a psychic/medium cannot be ‘struck-off’ some national register.

The trade offers a service to which there is no effective redress in law unless conventional fraud/deception can be proven

Actually the repeal of the Fraudulent Mediums Act a few years ago does mean that there is a better level of consumer protection BUT it’s not clear what the consumer is protected against. In many ways going to a reading is like seeking advice from another person so surely the caveat must be ‘take care when listening to the advice of others’.

Said services can potentially cause physical, financial and or psychological harm

At last a sceptical comment that I totally support in the context of readings.

There are cases where psychics, mediums, healers and readers have given advice which has proven to be detrimental to the physical, psychological and financial health of the client.

I most of these cases the psychics, mediums, readers and clairvoyants I have worked with (both in this current persona and as a previous persona) are equally disgusted as to the abuse of power and maliciousness of the ‘mystic’ involved.

The website WHAT’S THE HARM is a depressing reminder of how those who want to take advantage of others can and do cause real harm. This is the seedy, dangerous and manipulative side of the paranormal/alternative coin.

OK so let’s get a little Psychological…

What is said and what is heard are two different things…

In any reading the client, the listener, will be wanting to hear things which relate to them and their situation.

The human brain has a tendency to ‘pattern match’ and ‘make associations’ from what is seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelt.

There is also a tendency for the individual to identify with (or reject) emotional images, ideas or words. That is they apply the emotion to themselves and their own understandings (experiences) of it.

Actually it is true that most of us understand the world personally, from a self-focussed perspective, initially.  The degree of personal empathy we have as individuals in many ways controls the degree we can not only identify the emotional states of others but also allows us to stand back and decide what ‘stuff’ is ‘ours’ and what ‘stuff’ is ‘theirs’.

There was a fantastic Star Trek Episode called The Empath in which the conflicting emotions of Kirk, Spock and McCoy caused the death of a woman who was completely empathic. That meant she was overwhelmed by the feelings, emotions, desires and hidden-agendas of others and so became unable to ‘be herself’. Such total lack of ‘self’, in the story, caused her to die. It’s a great, little repeated, episode.

So let me introduce psychologist  Bertram R. Forer (1914-2000). He  found that people tend to accept vague and general personality descriptions as uniquely applicable to themselves without realizing that the same description could be applied to just about anyone.

Forer gave a personality test to his students, ignored their answers, and gave each student the above evaluation. He asked them to evaluate the evaluation from 0 to 5, with “5” meaning the recipient felt the evaluation was an “excellent” assessment and “4” meaning the assessment was “good.” The class average evaluation was 4.26. That was in 1948. The test has been repeated hundreds of time with psychology students and the average is still around 4.2 out of 5, or 84% accurate.

Forer, B. R.. (1949) “The Fallacy of Personal Validation: A classroom Demonstration of Gullibility,” Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 44, 118-121.

When I run sessions on Astrology I prepare a chart for all participants based on their birth charts and then write a generalised personal profile based upon the data. I give the charts out at the session and then ask the participants to read and assess them.

They are generally 85% – 95% accurate and in some cases said to be ‘spot on’. I then show folks that they have all had the same personality profile – as you can imagine a discussion then follows about the value, if any, of such readings.

Here’s an example of a Forer style statement. Imagine that this has been prepared for you and read it carefully..

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.

Now critically listen to any reading given by a reader and you will find similar generalised statements. This will be especially true if you are listening in on a reading being given to someone else.

What is important perhaps is not the fact that you can hear the generalisations but what effect they have on the person being given the reading.

I don’t think that it’s just psychic/intuitive readings are prone to over generalisation (and hence pattern-matched, personal acceptance). I would argue that many psychological profiles suffer from the same problems.

If these tools (astrology, ennaegram, tarot, palmistry, MBT) are used for analysis and over-simplification of the c0mplexity of human experience then all are equally dangerous.

If they are used as a basis or framework for discussion and exploration then perhaps they are useful?

Back to the sceptical stuff…

It is easy to see how the Forer (or Barnum) effect leads into a discussion of what has been called Cold Reading.

Basically Cold Reading is the ability to make accurate statements about an individual based upon a series of Forer  (Barnum) style statements and then following up by restating or reframing what you say based upon the ‘feedback’ you get from the person being ‘read’.

For me this is REAL READING in the non-mystical sense because you are ‘reading’ the responses of the individual. It is an art and when used by a skilled ‘reader’ looks like ‘psychic ability’ and according to a definition above IS psychic ability.

The Cold Reader will augment their statements with ambiguous statements which can be interpreted as being correct no matter what the response..

eg:

“You’re not thinking about money right now?”

To which the skilful follow up could be “Yes I thought so!” or “No, I didn’t think so!”

The statement is never wrong!

What about this…

“What is it about your and…. water?”

This could mean absolutely anything – but the listener may well ascribe meaning to this and hence the reader has ‘hit on’ another personal bit of information.

Let’s face it the people in any culture will have broadly similar concerns and in terms of a reading these concerns can be broken into broad headings of Health, Wealth, Relationships and Love.

Of course the Cold Reader, unless they are totally without morals, cannot make any claims about ‘the beyond’ or convey messages from ‘lost loved ones’. HOWEVER there have been numerous examples of mediums who make these claims and are doing little more than playing the odds; cold reading (often badly) and being totally ambiguous in their claims.

The website www.woogooandmuckymuck.com was collating examples of this kind of fraud.

Some of these frauds go as far as to use HOT READING – that is the solicit, collect and research information on those in their audiences.

For some more on Cold Reading visit The Rational Mystic Blog and Cold Reading 101

So back to readings…

Let me introduce  Carl Jung

According to the theories of Carl Jung, tarot cards, particularly the Major Arcana (the first 22 cards of the deck) can be used during psychological analysis.
While considered unscientific by most, Jung believed the symbolism contained within the Tarot could be extremely useful to followers of analytical psychology. By using a selection of the cards to create a story, the symbols can be related to the problem being discussed.

Jung’s Archetypes

In psychological terms, an archetype can be broadly described as a model of a type of person or behaviour that can be used in an interpretive manner. Jung identified five main archetypes, these were:

  • The Persona: The face we present to the world
  • The Shadow: The part of us unacknowledged but that exists nonetheless
  • The Self: The essence of the psyche, what enables the individual
  • The Anima: The female image in the male psyche
  • The Animus: The male image in the female psyche

There are endless archetypes but the above five together with a small amount of others tend to be the most prevalent. For example, The Mother, The Child, The Wise Man are all archetypes which recur regularly. Archetypes relating to behaviour include that of endurance and sacrifice, related to Strength and The Hanged Man cards respectively.

The Minor Arcana

Further to attributing archetypes to the Major Arcana, Jung also attributed certain functions of the mind to corresponding suites of the Minor Arcana:

  • Wands: Intuition
  • Cups: Feeling
  • Swords: Thinking
  • Pentacles: Sensation.

Now we’re not in the realm of scientific rationality here, but within the mythic (mystical) world of subjective experience. Jung has been called the ‘darling of the New Age’ because he openly spoke of astrology, tarot and the importance of the transpersonal/mystical experience. He himself practised ‘automatic’ writing and had two key ‘spirit guides’ called Philemon and Basilides.

Jung was not afraid to cross the boundaries between ‘reality’ and the world of ‘symbol’ and ‘metaphor’. For me the key challenge is that oversimplification and misquotation of his work, ideas and approach is common amongst those who have only red his work referenced on New Age Fluffy sites.

“[t]he images of the collective unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man. Failure to understand them, or a shirking of ethical responsibility, deprives him of his wholeness and imposes a painful fragmentariness on his life.” (Jung 1989: 193)

Again, back to readings…

Are the readings being given by the multitude of readers out there ‘transformational’ in any way?

Do they ask the ‘client’ to explore and reflect upon their situation and their own inner world or are they simply vehicles for the ‘reader’ to show off their ‘spiritual prowess’ and own ‘advancement’.

Does the reading become a monologue with the reader seeking ‘proof’ of connection in some way or is the reading a dialogue, a conversation around which images, ideas, emotions are discussed.

I am afraid I see a lot of the former and less of the latter.

Some of the psychological issues related to this kind of reading (where the ‘reader’ tells) is that the client can have a sense of  ‘disempowerment’ and this of course will lead to an abdication of personal responsibility.

As I have mentioned on Haunted Cornwall FM at one time I was invited to be a ‘reader’ on one of the UK’s leading psychic/intuitive  web-sites and found that there were folk who were becoming ‘hooked’ on getting readings.

They would call and get advice from their favourite reader on almost every decision. So I seen this industry from the inside; from the point of view of how it was in the readers best interest to keep these folk on-the phone and spending money. Make no mistake this is an industry and it is profitable.

As those who know me will understand, as soon as I realised that the enterprise was not about empowerment but about ‘capturing’ clients I left and chastised myself for my own naivete.  I was younger then and perhaps hadn’t quite seen behind some of the fraudulent psychics whose company I was keeping. It was shortly after this experience, and in conversation with a fellow conjuror, who under another name is a well kn0wn ‘reader’, that I started to try to bring some of my disparate worlds together and begin considering the way I wanted to work – but I digress.

Apart from creating ‘dependency’ in a client the reader has a tremendous responsibility for the emotional and psychological well-being of those they read for.

It is a sad fact that not all of those folk seeking a reading are, shall we say, in the most balanced of mental or emotional states. I would hope that any reader who has the simplest of psychological/counselling backgrounds may be aware enough and so not put their psychic foot in it and make matters worse. It’s relatively easy to find examples of where this has happened.

Of course it’s not only psychic and not-so-intuitive readers who cause problems in this regard. What about the Priest who tells a manic-depressive that she’ll get better if she accepts God – she does – she doesn’t improve and the Priest suggests that she’s deserted God. The woman throws herself off a cliff! (I know about this because I worked with the family and the aftermath)

One of the big differences between counselling and amateur counselling is that the former recognises that there is a process; that the process comes from a particular way of thinking and that the clients experience is uniquely theirs. (With apologies for simplifications to the various schools of thought)

Amateur counsellors frequently make the assumption that because they have had a particular experience they have a ‘authority’ to talk about someone else’s parallel issue. I hear it a lot in training sessions…

“I’d be good working with those who have suffered loss because I lost my….”

Well, fine that person may be good at working with others but will only make an effective counsellor if they recognise that their experience is theirs and not necessarily that of the clients.

Why this digression?

Well a psychic reader often comes from a particular metaphysical perspective – which is great when they read for those who share that truth…. but what happens when their client is coming from another space or is seeking?

There are several cases of well meaning spiritual folk imposing their dogmatic views onto those they are supposed to be supporting. As a key example the Orkney Satanic Abuse cases where interventions by Social Services were skewed by beliefs and perhaps ‘spiritual agendas’. This happened under ‘regulation’ … h0w much more prevalent is it in the New Age Spiritual Reader Community?

Lucy B (named changed) has had a string of bad luck; her relationship of ten years ends messily; the kids start misbehaving; she is depressed. She visits a New Age fair and following the suggestion of a friend seeks a ‘reading’ from a ‘spiritual medium’.

All starts well and Lucy feels that the ‘reader’ is ‘on her wavelength’.

On the recording that was prepared for her it is clear that the ‘medium’ is ‘on the money’…

“You’re having a very difficult time at the moment…. I think there’s been a recent loss”

Yes – Lucy volunteers – my partner

“Oh, that must have been difficult ….. his passing was quick”

Yes – Lucy says – he just up and left… I didn’t expect him to leave me and the kids

“…. yes of course and with his leaving quickly its like… well, you’re grieving…”

Yes

“…. now everything is confusing isn’t it – I sense a young person involved – no, wait, two young people – about 10 and 6 … they are crying a lot aren’t they?”

Yes – Philip, my oldest is 15 and Dan my youngest is 9 –

“…. yes …  I see and …. there’s lots of books around not being read – Philip – is he studying at the moment …”

Yes he is…

“…. ah well he can’t concentrate because what has happened – he’s very concerned about you you know…”

Ok – put aside any comments about the quality of the information actually offered and the nature of confirmation bias suggested by Lucy’s own responses, it’s not the ‘reading’ per se that was of concern. Later in the tape the ‘medium’ suggests that Lucy’s run of misfortune is because an un-named, but mean spirited departed relative is causing mischief.

The offer of a ‘house cleansing’ at the cost of £65 is accepted.

What follows is a series of ever increasing problems defined by the ‘medium’ in subsequent sessions. In the space of four months Lucy has 10 readings (at £25); a ‘house cleansing’ (£65); a blessing (£45) and a special healing session for herself and two sons (£65).

Now I know some of the ‘readers’, ‘mediums’ and ‘psychics’ reading this will throw their arms in the air and grit their teeth. Of course NOT every reader is in this category and many will have given sound, emotional and possibly spiritual support to Lucy. I wonder, however, of those colleagues of mine who work in this area and who are coming at the venture with positive intent, could fairly easily identify some readers they have seen behaving in a similar way?

Psychology’s Forth Wave

In general terms there are three schools of psychological thought and focus…

Psychodynamic

The First Wave :  Psychodynamic, began with Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis, which has been expanded through the insights of Ego Psychology, Interpersonal Psychology, Object Relations, and Self Psychology.

Behaviourism

The Second Wave : Behavioral : championed by B. F. Skinner and others. It has been augmented by Cognitive Psychology theory and methodology during the last four decades.

Humanistic Psychology

The third wave, Humanistic, spearheaded by Carl Rogers, has been amplified by innovotions such as Focusing.

These approaches said little about the nature and value of altered states of consciousness and awareness. With Carl Jungs work on dreams, mysticism followed by the research of Roberto Assagioli, Ken Wilbur, Charles Tart, Stan Grof, Kenneth Pelletier, and Charles Garfield the FORTH WAVE of Psychology was has been defined as Transpersonal Psychology

In essence Trans-Personal Psychology places emphasis on the trans-personal, transcendent or spiritual aspects of human experience.

The British Psychological Society says that Transpersonal Psychology is:-
“….the psychology of spirituality and of those areas of the human mind which search for higher meanings in life, and which move beyond the limited boundaries of the ego to access an enhanced capacity for wisdom, creativity, unconditional love and compassion. It honours the existence of transpersonal experiences, and is concerned with their meaning for the individual and with their effect upon behaviour….”

For me the link between Rationalism and Mysticism can be found within this area of Psychology. Whilst honouring the need for questioning, evaluation and empirical research it is clearly possible to explore those things which are not easily measured, captured, objectively defined.

As I said at the outset the know-it-all-pseudo-skeptic and the know-it-all-self-referencing-new-ager are two sides of the same coin.

One sets out to debunk everything which they deem to be outside current scientific rationale…

The other sets out to deny the value of ‘research’ and questioning because they have answers from a higher source which need not (or cannot) be questioned….

So back to a statement made earlier by my Facebook commentator… viz …

Odd thought – if less intuitive ppl were to explore their intuitive abilities then they wouldn’t get ‘fooled’ by cold/fraudulent readers!

I would love to accept this a truth but I like many can identify examples of ‘intuitive’ folk who have been fooled, conned and taken for a ride. It’s easy to suggest that they we’re either ‘listening to the wrong voice’ of intuition or ‘listening but not heeding’ – and more to the point I think cold reading isn’t the issue – it’s the con-artist who takes money, self-esteem, creates a cult following using direct emotional, spiritual and psychological coercion.

Here’s some personal truths…

The world is not always the most wonderful place to be..

Life has its sweet moments, it also has it’s share of knocks, heartaches, difficulties and problems

The universe is REALLY BIG

Sometimes people feel really SMALL

There are so  many things that don’t make sense and so many things seem to be done to us

Then along comes a psychic, spiritual guru or ‘reader’ who promises to help make sense of it all. If we are desperate we may well accept with question the simple answers they provide. Indeed there may be a simple answer….

More often than not the problems we face require us to deal with them – either by facing them or by having developed an attitude or coping mechanism. Note it is the INDIVIDUAL who has to deal with it.

Good readings, whether they be from your metaphysical world view or from someone who offers insight and reflective questioning can be empowering.

Some working in this area lack the self-reflection, empathy or intention to empower the client to make their own choices can create a range of problems for their clients.

Some feel that their way is the ONLY way that they cease to be effective people helpers and become advocates for their truth to the exclusion of anything else. They KNOW they are right!

A few use their abilities (skills) to obtain money, property, services, power – they are the ones who are really dangerous.

An email from a reader READER!

This was emailed to me when I put the notice on Facebook, I thought I would share it…

A Professional Reader Writes :-

Firstly I want to say that I do not call myself a Medium nor do I claim I can connect with the dead and I do not believe that you can connect with the dead in the sense that you can hold a conversation with them.

I read cards and do Ouija boards and also am able to connect to inexplicable energies if you want to call them that.

I do not “talk” to the dead as they have no voice box but their souls or spirits – the electric life force does have some sort of a voice as they are able to change atmospheres.

This is what I believe we pick up.

If there is a bad atmosphere in a room we walk in to – say people have had an argument and you have walked into the room – you can tell they have argued by the vibe or the energy that is surrounding them.

This is what I believe I am able to connect with.

I think that when we say we can talk to the dead – it’s their vibes we pick up. When we move our lips to talk we create movement in our atmospheres particles and I think that if you are tuned in enough, you can feel the change in these particles and pick up what seems to be a conversation.

Most of the time I believe it’s a sub-conscious thing – when you’re working with pendulums – it is working on your unconscious most of the time – when you’re working with a reader or Medium and you are genuine it is either a sub conscious thing or an change in energy reading.

Take God for example..

Millions believe he/she exists but no one has ever been able to hear him/her talk like we would talk to each other. We can only hear his/her voice in our heads but not full sentences but the odd word. This is because we are expecting this to happen – we are actively looking for a voice and there for we expect it – we hear it – on a subconscious level we are creating it ourselves.

But just because we can’t really hear him/her or see him/her doesn’t mean he/she doesn’t exist does it??????

Now your probably thinking how can I say this when I do boards – well I believe that the life forces can move things around somehow – take the wind for example it can shut doors or make trees move and we can feel it but we can not always see it. This is how I think the energies work along with again a sub-conscious workings behind it sometimes.

Now I have come to learn that so many people are being taken advantage of by some people that call themselves Mediums/Psychics or Psychics. Where better to cash in but to claim you can talk to the deceased loved one for a client or discover hidden feelings, thoughts or motivations.

Have you noticed that they are not always direct these readers??

They often fish for answers for example –

Medium/Psychic:- I am connecting with a woman – I believe someone’s Mother possibly

(Here is the perfect opening – saying the word possibly means that there is room for adjustment for if someone says no then you only have Nan, sister, niece or cousin to work through – but lets say for this that it is the mother the client is wanting to connect to)

Client:- Yes it is my mother

Medium/Psychic:- She comes across as (then they describe personality.)

(Here is where cold reading comes into place – you can automatically tell most of the time the personality and traits of the “deceased” by the way the client is and how they look when they think about the mother. This is called body reading. Again the Medium/Psychic will try to fish out info from the way the client is behaving and will try to avoid using words that they can’t quickly go back on without being noticed.)

Medium/Psychic:- Your mother died suddenly didn’t she?

(Here we go – foot in the door – there are only 2 ways to die suddenly or slowly.)

Client:- Yes she did

(The Medium/Psychic has now got the clients attention as the Medium has got a few facts right.)

Medium/Psychic:- She died from…….heart attack – cancer etc

(Here they will touch parts of his or her body or only say part of the word looking for movement from the client almost looking for a signal)

Now some Mediums/Psychics work with closed eyes where they claim they cannot read body-language or physical responses – well this does not mean they can’t cold read.

Some work in way in which they cannot be challenged.  Describing what the world outside this world is like and baring in mind none of us have actually been there and back – we cannot disagree.

There are however some readers that do not work like this – some readers can get info like exact dates and times and nicknames and info that no one else would of known and will not be fishing for info. Some readers cannot explain how they do this but my guess is that they are just in tuned with something unknown or are sensitive to the surroundings.

I myself try not to do face to face readings if possible as I  find it works better not being able to see the person so therefore there is no way possible for look for signals.   But I have done face to face readings but I do not guess – I cannot fully explain how I do it or how some others do it really but I can only give you my explanation on how I think it works – and that is what you read at the beginning.

Most important question regarding Readers?

Do readers do it for self gain using other’s misfortunes?

I think many do – they pray on the bereaved or people desperately looking for answers.  If a Medium says to you that your mother has told you that she gives her blessing for you to get married – who are we to question this – where is the evidence that suggests that the medium is lying?

There isn’t any – we go on trust and we put our trust in that Reader so there for what the reader has told you must be true.

Some Mediums/Psychics work to try and help others come to terms with a hard period in their lives, I do not see anything wrong with that UNLESS they are knowing that they have no gift and just want to pretend to be something they are not – this is when I feel that the reader is using someone’s misfortune to gain wealth and power.

I believe that when it comes to things like this – if you’re going to call yourself a reader and claim to want to help others – you need to go through training to be a counsellor too as there are too many Readers given false hopes that sometimes leave people so cut up and distraught that they end up making the ultimate sacrifice to find peace – taking their own lives.

This is my view on readings –

My view doesn’t mean that you should not go to a medium or to a reader – my only intention is to give you an insight into the world or readers and Mediums/Psychics and to always be careful.

Writer asked for identity to be kept secret.

Tonights Music from:

Sam McKenzie – Anywhere : support the Long Rock Village Hall by contacting alan@aljones.net

Callel – Try to be Quiet from Aardvark Records

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TRTZ 21 31st May

Tonight’s topic is the The Nature of Evil..

What is it?

Is it simply a philosophical construct or something tangible; something physical.

As ever we will publish the ‘primer’ material researched by Catherine Baker and Fee.

BUT FIRST… THE NEWS

From Catherine we have …

May 25th: The lakes and parks surrounding London are being invaded! Several species of rare hybrid turtle are residing in our waterways, including African turtles in Camden Park.  Terrapins are also being discovered and numbers are increasing. Theories go that they became popular in the nineties because of the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ cartoon and though they were banned in 1997, a similar species is still sold in pet stores.

May 26th:  Jim Morrison, singer from ‘The Doors’ who died in 1971 from an alleged drug overdose, is supposedly haunting his childhood home in Arlington, North Virginia.  Rhonda Baron, the current resident of the house on 28th Street, states that she had seen him lying down on her bed as she’d been about to go to sleep.  She believes that he is haunting her home because he had been an unhappy individual who wanted to be somewhere he had been happy as a child.

Recurring apparitions this week  according to the Paranormal Database include…


01 June (reoccurring) Hairy Earth

Location: Wistow (Leicestershire) – Wistow’s Grave
Type: Legend
Further Comments: Concealing the heir to the kingdom of Mercia’s body, this grave is reported to sprout hair throughout the month of June, starting on the first of the month.

01 June (reoccurring) Woman’s Singing

Location: Hickling (Norfolk) – Hickling Broad, south of village
Type: Haunting Manifestation Further Comments: Once a year a gentle female voice can be heard singing. This could be the Woman in White, seen punting from one side for the Broad to another, heading towards a mill. Another ghost is associated with the broad; a drummer is said to be a Napoleonic soldier who drowned while skating across the ice, en route for a secret rendezvous with his girlfriend, can sometimes be heard.

02 June (reoccurring) Ammunition Train

Location: Soham (Cambridgeshire) – Approach to the station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Further Comments: Every 2 June an accident that cost the lives of two people is re-enacted. An ammunition train caught fire, the explosion shattering every window in Soham and destroying the old station. The rebuilt tracks no longer follow the scene of the accident.

02 June (reoccurring), or thereabouts, after sunset White Figure

Location: Newtyle (Angus) – Bulb Farm (no longer standing, replaced by housing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Further Comments: A white figure, thought to be decapitated, was said to move slowly around the area, as if looking for its missing body part. Groaning is also heard in the area.

Other News

In Florida, a ten year old boy dragged a 5ft long alligator home from a fishing trip and suffered only minor scratches.  He says that it’d snapped his fishing line and taken a run at him, at which point he’d starting hitting it with a stick and jumped on its back, dragging it home to be discovered by his grandfather on the front lawn.  Not surprisingly, he has had a stern talking-to.

From Fee we have

Animal rescues cost fire services £3.5m in the last three years and include the rescue of  a lost duckling, a cow and a snail!

Firemen helped 17,000 animals over the period, and only four of Britain’s 56 fire services have passed on the cost of the rescue to the owners.

The figures were uncovered by a Freedom of Information request for BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme.

A crew of nine with ladders and nets rescued a cat that had been stuck 60ft up a tree near Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, for three days.

In total more than 2,400 cats, 2,180 dogs and 1,700 horses have had to be rescued by firemen. Crews saved 2,090 birds, including 1,244 seagulls, 159 pigeons, 57 swans and 12 parrots.

Twenty-six foxes, 19 squirrels, seven ferrets, seven badgers, ten hamsters, 15 snakes, 11 fish and seven dolphins were also rescued.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance questioned the used of resources, but the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) insisted distressed animals could pose a danger.

Twenty-five fire services supplied the programme with figures detailing their total costs for rescuing animals.

Of those, Northern Ireland spent the most with £813,485, Devon and Somerset came second, spending £561,912.

Anton Phillips, animal rescue specialist at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “If we don’t rescue that animal somebody else will or will try to. I’ve seen people have their arms trapped in drains trying to rescue ducklings and we’ve actually had to dig the road up to get the person out.”

Some rescues were complex, especially those involving large animals, such as horses, stuck in ditches.

Others were more trivial; Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service removed a snail stuck halfway up a wall after being called out by a distressed elderly lady.

Jim Green, an animal rescue specialist, told the BBC: “The cost attributed to sending a couple of blokes down the road to help the lady and to reassure her, that was merited, and the actual problem, the snail, might seem ridiculous but it was that lady they were going to help.”

Police Officers are being issued with ‘lifestyle’ guides suggesting bedtime routines and healthy eating options!

It is a far cry from the world of hard-living fictional detectives like Gene Hunt from Life on Mars, but modern day police officers are being issued with “lifestyle guides”, suggesting bedtime routines and healthy eating options.

Among the pearls of wisdom offered in the documents are that officers should assist their spouses with household chores and do activities such as gardening and dancing to keep fit.

The guides even offer advice on what fillings officers should have in their sandwiches.

In a survey of UK forces, around half admitted to issuing staff with such guides, which they claim helps ensure the health and well being of officers. But critics say they are “frankly ludicrous” and say that they treat officers like children.

Between them, forces have issued thousands of pages of such advice, delivered by their occupational health departments, delving into the minutiae of their officers’ home lives.

The guidelines recommend healthy activities for officers when they are off duty and even going as far as providing tips on how they treat their spouses.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland suggests officers get more exercise by doing activities such as “gardening, dancing or housework”.

Another, from Durham Constabulary, urges officers not to “expect your wife to do the chores” and to “make dates with your spouse”.

Much of the advice relates to healthy eating. One document, from Suffolk Constabulary, suggests officers go shopping on a full stomach, so they are likely to buy less food; another, from West Yorkshire Police, advises them to “eat sitting down” to avoid consuming too much.

Several forces advise staff about the sorts of healthy sandwiches they should bring to work. The Metropolitan Police urges officers to “choose brown or wholemeal bread rather than white and avoid mayonnaise based fillings and add an extra helping of salad if possible”.

Durham Police – which trains young officers in “lifestyle management” – suggests a number of fillings: peanut butter and grated apple, tuna and sweetcorn – as well as other items for officers’ lunch boxes: maltloaf, flapjack, boiled eggs, nuts.

But staff are reminded – “if you make sandwiches the night before, wrap them up and keep them in the fridge overnight”.

There is also plenty of advice about the sorts of breakfasts officers should eat before a day’s work. Forces tend to advise against a traditional English breakfast, but where officers are not able to resist, their employers have some helpful hints on how to make them more healthy. The Met suggests grilling, rather than frying, sausages or bacon, and having a poached egg.

A 25-page document for Merseyside Police officers on healthy eating, proposes: “For a change from ordinary toast, try a wholemeal English muffin or some toasted fruit bread”.

One force, Wiltshire, even offers its officers a supermarket tour to encourage healthy eating habits. It also gives a presentation to staff, with tips such as using herbs, spices and vinegar to reduce salt use.

Some of the documents are for officers who might have to work late shifts and contain advice on their bedtime routine.

A 16-page “shift survival guide” for Durham officers suggests they have a “large wipe clean calendar in the kitchen to record all the families (sic) work, school and leisure activity schedules for the week”.

It suggests: “remember your needs are important and you need time to yourself to follow hobbies / interests of just have time to chill”.

It proposes a bedtime routine for officers: “such as soaking in a hot batch and then reading a book or listening to relaxing music”, and adds “ensure your mattresses and pillows are comfortable and supportive.”

It adds: “Try to restrict fluids to prevent visits to the bathroom, although it has to be acknowledged that some people like to have a milky drink prior to bedtime to help soothe them.”

But a guide from Northamptonshire Police reminds staff: “There can be few things more frustrating than just drifting off to sleep then having to get up to visit the toilet. You should avoid liquid towards the end of a night shift – otherwise your full bladder will respond in the correct fashion.”

David Davies, the Conservative MP for Monmouth and a special constable with the British Transport Police, said: “This advice is frankly ludicrous. It is the kind of advice I would give to my children, who are all under the age of ten. Most of my colleagues would find this a little bit patronising.

“Police officers can have highly stressful jobs and can work unusual hours. But it is going too far to tell them to have a wee before bed and to check their pillows are comfy. And while I like to have a healthy sandwich, I don’t need a manual to tell me what to put in it.”

“The intentions behind all this might be good. But it will just infuriate officers. Any good advice the guides might contain will be binned in a state of fury.”

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: “Our officers and staff are our greatest asset, and as such we have a responsibility to protect them and promote their well-being.

“It makes good sense to provide staff with advice and support to enable them to function effectively while maintaining a good work/life balance.”

Lithuinian Men Celebrate “National Men’s Day” by having a swimming gala where inflatable dolls are used as rafts!

Over 200 men registered for the race on the Neris river in the capital Vilnius but only 20 were chosen to take part in the event.

Liudas Pestininkas, accompanied by his inflatable doll “Vaida”, was the first to cross the finish line winning the 2000 litas prize (£250).

“Vaida was a very good girl, and only listens to me. She is cool. Other participants don’t have dolls as cool as mine,” he said.

The race was arranged to mark what one radio station had called “National Men’s Day”, which is not officially recognised in Lithuania

“We did a survey on the internet and all voters said that they needed to celebrate such a day.

“Therefore, today a race between men swimming on inflatable dolls on the river, the “Baracuda 2011″ is to be held, and we will see who will be the fastest,” he said before the race started

Obama ‘sex doll’ for sale in China!

A doll wearing a dark blue suit and red tie, and with Mr Obama’s face carefully screen-printed onto its head, was exhibited at the recent 8th Sex Culture Festival in the southern city of Guangzhou.

The doll was photographed by Chinese state media nestling behind several other standard plastic female toys.

Mr Obama is widely popular in China, and a “Maobama” t-shirt, bearing an image of his face crossed with a portrait of Chairman Mao, has become a best-seller.

The Guangzhou show, which was only open to adults, cost 30 yuan (£3)

to enter and was visited by “tens of thousands” of people, according to a spokesman for the Guangdong Gongchuang Economic Development company, the organisers. One star attraction was a female doll costing 98,000 yuan.

“We do not know which manufacturer produced this doll,” the spokesman added.

However, the picture of the Obama doll, which circulated on the Chinese internet, drew an wide array of responses. “How could they place the US president behind those other poorly-made models. He is the head of a big country, after all,” wrote one anonymous commentator on the Netease internet forum.

“Why can’t we have a Mao Tse-tung toy?” asked another.

A list of interesting ‘excuses’ from fraudulent benefit claimants

People making false claims for benefit told inspectors they didn’t realise they were on benefit, must have their identity stolen – or had an identical twin making claims.

Ministers published the list to highlight the £1.6 billion of taxpayer’s money lost through fraud in benefits and tax credits each year.

A survey by fraud investigators revealed their top ten worst excuses used by benefit cheats:

– “We don’t live together he just comes each morning to fill up his flask”.

– “I wasn’t using the ladders to clean windows, I carried them for therapy for my bad back.”

– “I had no idea my wife was working! I never noticed her leaving the house twice a day in a fluorescent jacket and a Stop Children sign.”

– “My wallet was stolen so someone must have been using my identity, I haven’t been working”.

– “I didn’t know I was still on benefit.”

– “I didn’t declare my savings because I didn’t save them, they were given to me.”

– “He lives in a caravan in the drive, we’re not together.”

– “He does come here every night and leave in the morning and although he has no other address I don’t regard him as living here.”

– “It wasn’t me working, it was my identical twin.

– “I wasn’t aware my wife was working because her hours of work coincided with the times I spent in the garden shed.”

Lord Freud, Welfare Reform Minister said: “Benefit fraud is no joke, and yet our investigators are routinely dealing with barefaced cheek and ridiculous excuses for stealing money from the taxpayer.

“Universal Credit will simplify and automate the benefits system. This will make it much easier to catch people who make false claims.”

So back to our main topic – EVIL!

In the show we’ll hear from Bishop Manchester, psychologist Phillip Zimbardo, author James Bradshaw and comedian Eddie Izzard have to say on the topic of ‘evil’, ‘the devil’, ‘God’ and ‘free will’.

Here’s what Catherine has been thinking and researching…

Charles Darwin stated that one of the reasons he couldn’t believe in a beneficent God was because of the existence of something like a parasitic wasp, its life cycle seemed to him to be evil.  Investigating its living habits, it’s easy to see why he came to this conclusion.  The wasp injects a caterpillar with a unique virus-like substance that renders it paralysed and stops its immune system from attacking; effectively making it into a living incubator for the eggs it lays.  Lovely.

This falls under what is called Natural evil or surd evil as opposed to moral evil.  This is defined as an uncontrollable occurrence, such as illness or natural disaster.  In these circumstances evil is inflicted on a person but there is no perpetrator, which raises many questions about the reason for natural evil.

Christians believe that everything has a purpose even if we cannot see it, that God works in mysterious ways and that His divine will is not always clear to us as He is beyond our small human understanding.

The fact that God gave us free-will ties into the idea of natural evil as well as moral evil, as it is thought that for us to be able to fully utilize our ability to chose between God and evil, there needs to be evil in the world in the first place.  It is mostly thought that God is pure and benevolent and that He therefore did not intend this evil Himself.

He Who formed the sight did not make blindness.” (Gregory of Nyssa)

This notion can be further explored by the concept that evil is a non-being (Athanasius).  That it is not a force, a thing of physical matter, or something that can exist on its own but merely the absence of good.  God does not create things that do not exist, therefore He did not create evil.

Some say that the fall of man when Eve was tempted in the Garden of Eden was not just something that affected humanity, but nature as well, hence the unpleasantness of things such as the Ichneumon wasp.

Some think the ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ motto perhaps comes into play here, as good can come out of evil.  A tornado, for example, while causing suffering and destruction, could also unite and bring out some nature of harmony as communities gather to help and people naturally do what they can to assist.

There has to be evil and disaster so that there can be goodness and hope”, (Clark)

Without the capacity for evil, man would not have the capacity for moral virtue.”

We’d be unable to define evil in the first place unless we knew it’s opposite.

Furthermore, what of the beautiful things that come out of suffering? Such as art and poetry? If nobody suffered we wouldn’t have the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde or the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. Sometimes it feels right to indulge in a kind of melancholy, is that evil?

If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive.” (Elbert Hubbard)

Lucem demonstrat umbra: It is light that makes shadow/the darkness shows forth the light.

Even the most pious of us occasionally enjoy a good horror or a twisted computer game, (I regularly make visits to the delightful Silent Hill!) which seems to be an indication that it is part of human nature and that as we are old enough to know what we should and should not imitate it is acceptable to indulge in such a thing.  However, when it comes to children, who are impressionable, who are more likely to imitate ‘evil’ behaviour, what do we put this down to? Are these games or programmes allowing them to become more open and corruptible from the ‘forces of evil’? Or are they merely more likely to deviate from the socially accepted limits after observing it as enjoyable behaviour? Or, is it a chemical thing? An addiction to the adrenaline produced when frightened?

Religion is an enormous factor in investigating the nature of evil, the origin of Satan being the most significant as it seems to mark a point when evil became especially personified.

Biblically speaking, Lucifer was an anointed cherub before he fell and there are thoughts that he was one of the most beautiful residents of Heaven, possessing twelve wings and perhaps even being the Angel of music, or, at the very least, of praise and worship.  He is supposed to have been dissatisfied with his position and pined for higher things, no longer wanting to be ‘just’ an angel of God.

His falling is meant to have been the first sin, the temptation of Eve occurring after this.  The idea that Satan makes people sinful is a perhaps incorrectly interpreted, as though his role in the story of evil becoming borne in the hearts of men is significant, he did not put it there himself.  The idea is that he tempts us to be sinful but that God gave us free will, therefore we chose whether or not to commit the sin.  Therefore, he inspires evil in man.

The Hebrew word ‘Satan’ actually specifies an adversary or someone that opposes something, so historically speaking ‘the Satan’ was not necessarily a specific person or character.

It was not until 168BCE that the idea of the Satan that we are more familiar with gained some nature of notoriety.  At this time, Antiochus Epiphanes declared that he was to eradicate the Jews and their culture and those who resisted called the Jews who did not ‘Hellenising Jews’, using Satan to demonise them.  They felt that their Jewish opponents had been ‘seduced by the power of evil/Satan’.  The stories of Satan circulated and the tale of his fall and his origin began to gain more influence along with the idea that he was a force that worked as a source of negativity and conflict from within a community of believers.  It became a central theme in early Christianity.

“They saw the foreign occupation of Palestine – and the accommodation of the majority of Jews to that occupation – as evidence that the forces of evil ruled the world – and, in the form of Satan or Mastema, had infiltrated God’s chosen people, turning most of them into allies of the Evil One.”

This also led to the idea that the battle in Heaven also takes place on earth, those who side with the forces of immorality and those who strive for goodness – the traditional good vs. evil.

Thusly, Satan could also be a social reflex, a notion designed to keep certain things in check.  The fact that Lucifer was beautiful but became corrupted warns against vanity and pride, as well as against hoping for power above God, perhaps warning against rebelling against authority on earth as well?

Christianity states that we should beware of Satan as he disguises himself as an Angel of light, or in pleasing forms, and that he will do whatever it takes to deceive us as he is the King of lies/liars and his ultimate goal is to get us to sin.

Things that destroy unity are usually attributed to ‘forces of evil’.  Governments and other such authorities ultimately want cooperation and obedience of their subjects and therefore anarchy and the destruction of unity is something that they would benefit from the demonizing of.

Having said this, these are reasons behind moral evil, evil with a perpetrator, but the debate surrounding the issue of natural evil is harder to deal with. Therefore, perhaps that makes it impossible to define the complexities and varying levels of evil as something that is used just to keep us in line?

William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies puts forward some interesting musings on the subject of evil. He uses children, the least influenced by society, to illustrate that evil is something that exists within everybody, that without laws and hierarchy we could fall subject to our own personal evil and pursue pleasure and self-gratification instead of the civilized ideals that would better us.  It is not black and white; he shows how some simply do not have any barbaric or savage nature in them while others fall prey to it the moment they are left to their own devices. The children symbolic of morality are killed, suggesting that evil is afraid of morality as it could put a stop to their deeds and bring them back to a selfless existence. The one child who is intelligent enough to understand that the evil they all fear is one that stems from within them is also killed, this character often drawing parallels with Jesus – Jesus tried to teach us moral truth, but our ignorance led us to killing him.  Thusly; ignorance is an evil and we fear the unknown. This character also converses with a barbaric token of sacrifice left for the ‘beast’ that the others are afraid of, it tells him that evil lies in every human heart and that it will yet have some fun with him, perhaps illustrating a supernatural element and manifestation of Satan’s influence in human affairs.  He summarises evil as something we know intimately, then. Cleverly, however, he does not let on whether he believes evil would eventually entirely overrule civilization without intervention from other sources (In the story, adults rescue the children as they are pursuing the final child symbolic of law and authority, we never know what might have happened).

Areas that are hazy are issues such as euthanasia, as murder is a sin, but the suffering is also a sin on its own, so where do we draw the line?  Which is the lesser of the two evils? Most laws define euthanasia as a sin, and it is difficult, from a Christian point of view, to understand how Satan might play a part in such a scenario.  If we are fighting against the forces of evil, which evil do we fight in this situation?

And Fee asks…

EVIL IS THERE SUCH A THING?

People, places and things have all been labelled “EVIL”, so what is it – what constitutes evil? Adolf Hitler is a favourite reference when you are looking for an example of an evil person followed by Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler).

As for ‘Things’ that are considered evil … what are your thoughts on alcohol and drugs unusual sexual practices like paedophilia, rape, sodomy and incest. How about a religious Biggie? Blasphemy! Wow! That one is – or was – punishable by excommunication from the church – even death.

In religious circles not only Christians are pointing fingers, but all mainstream religions decry the evilness of the above mentioned, as they do thousands of other people, places and things. Let us not exclude ‘thought’. That one is a real ball-buster for the “Kings of Piety” to lord over us. It seems that you or I can THINK evilness. Perhaps that is true, but if it is it holds true for every man, woman and child on the planet. Talk about thought police …

If you ask any religious person of any faith the question, “Is God the maker of all things?” they will inevitably answer yes. Is God good? A resounding, “YES!” Can God do EVIL? “NO!!!” Fact is, God can do, and has done evil. The great flood in my view was an evil doing – purifying the lands sounds almost like pre Hitler thoughts – not only did it destroy millions of innocent people if it did happen but all those animals that were innocent too. Isn’t that inhuman and could that be classed as Evil???

Evil is measurable. It has substance. It is a present force like Gravity, magnetism, transmitted waves, etc… these things were unknown to us before we understood them and could measure them. We’ve taken evil for granted. The time will come when we “discover” that it is as real as anything else in this “physical” world or will we???  Is it  merely an extension of the baseness of our nature?? Is it our lower self?? And could it be that Without us evil is nothing??

What is evil anyway?

Is it that it was the human dimension that underpins nearly all interpretations of evil??  Evil is something created or committed by humans. This means that evil is not random and therefore it generates a very emotional response. Could the below be interpreted as Evil???

Abuse of Power:
* Abuse of power is seen as constituting evil when it results in unnecessary suffering or gross neglect
* Abusers of power have denied their victims the right to free will and fairness
* The abuse itself may be very deliberate (Nazis, organised torture, arsonists, corporate evil or animal abusers), or a neglectful shirking of responsibility (governments who tolerate homelessness)
“Terrible Unknown”:
* The Terrible Unknown is a distorted or disguised version of humanity
* Evil masquerading as goodness (in human form but really soul-less, behind a mask) includes an element of deception, amplifying the evil via a demonstration of intent
* Common disguises interrupt the accepted norms of safety: clowns or other common children’s icons of safety
The Other:
* The Other is evil as it disrupts conformity (EMOs, extremists, scientologists): humanity fears that which we don’t understand
* The lack of conformity is seen as irrational due to the breaking of accepted social norms, therefore it is possible for individuals or groups to be non-conformist and non-evil (goths, EMOs) –the evil occurs when The Other attempts to challenge social norms via recruitment/preaching (religious fundamentalists)
Vice Squad:
* Vices are evil willingly played out in the face of evidence and reason
* Cigarettes, alcohol, gambling and drugs were repeatedly raised as evil that is amplified because it’s unnecessary and preventable
* Interestingly, humans who fall victim to vices aren’t the evil, the humans who provide, create and encourage the vices embody evil (cigarette companies, drug dealers, pokie manufacturers)
Impotent Evil:
* Impotent Evil is a representation of the old manifestation of evil
* This version of evil has been so commonly used in public dialogue that the icons of devils, demons, skulls and the fires of hell have become impotent and kitsch
* Impotent Evil has been so neutralised it’s now commonly used for invoking humour rather than fear
Everyday Beasts:
* The only core theme that isn’t a human evil, Everyday Beasts invoke an emotional response from pure fear
* Sharks, snakes, spiders and aggressive dogs all represent a fear of violent physical harm
* Unlike the other themes, this evil is largely random, often heightening the fear
* This theme was strongest with kids, indicating the fear is often neutralised with age

Some other thoughts I will be adding into the debate…

Spinoza : The difference between Good and Evil is merely one of personal inclinations.

Jung: depicted as the ‘dark side of God’

M Scott Peck: describes evil as ‘militant ignorance’

Anton LeVay: asserted that evil was actually good – reflecting the natural pleasures of men and women

Perhaps the greatest of all evils is CONSCIOUS SILENCE!

To appreciate all of the points being made and any discussions which may stem from it please download or listen to the podcast.

Interesting References

www.one-evil.org

www.imaginenosatan.com

www.freeliberal.com

Music on tonight’s show

Benny Tetteh Lartey – You Can’t Hide

The Truths – Miracle Drug, Everybody’s Crying

Raising Days – It’s About Time, Heart Stand Still

The above can be found on www.aardvarkmusic.co.uk

Geoff & Michaela Smith – Fill My Cup

Geoff & Michaela Smith can be contacted here

Ahanan – Bedlam

Details of Ahanan’s Music can be obtained from alan@aljones.net

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,