Is Plato’s Allegory of the Cave really a Near Death Experience?

The other day one of my friends posted a short video by Doctor Eben Alexander about his near death experience(NDE). After I watched the video I posted the comment, “How has this changed your life?” The only response I got was something like, well it can’t on this earth plane. I thought to myself, what a shame. Here is some important information and they are willing to ignore it.

If you are not familiar with Dr. Eden and his book, Proof of Heaven, here is a brief overview.

Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.

Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.

Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.

Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.

I was working with a client the other day and I played an animated video of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. As I was watching it, the similarities between a near death experience and the individual in the allegory walking out into the light were striking. I’ve included a ling to the automation video. It is pretty short and well worth the investment in time.

Here is the video:

Does it strike you that the Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is really a near death experience?

You Are More – Is That Really True?

You Are More

P1010117“You Are More” seems like a very positive statement. Who wouldn’t want to believe that they are more than they have been taught they are for all their lives? The real question is “Can you believe that about yourself?”. When you silently repeat that phrase, I Am More, how do you feel after you say it? Does it feel good and give you a sense of well-being? Or, does something tighten up inside you? Does that statement make you feel uneasy? Do you hear another statement right after you say, “I am More”, that causes you to disbelieve that you really are more?

250px-emile_coue_3You might have heard the affirmation, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”. This was developed by a French psychologist named Emile Coue over a hundred years ago and has helped untold numbers of people. It doesn’t work for everyone, however. In order for it to be effective, according to Coue, the patient must refrain from making any independent judgment. This judgment often comes in the form of an inner voice saying, “Yes, but……”. You can fill in the blanks with anything, “I’m not getting better, I don’t feel any change, This is never going to work, etc.”
If you have ever tried affirmations in the past and wondered why they were not effective, think back and remember if you heard that “Yes, but…..”. If you did then you likely made an independent judgment about the statement which negated the possible positive impact that it could have had.

Why is any of this important? If I say to you or ask you to say to yourself, “You Are More, I am More”, and you have an independent judgment about it, then you are probably never going to believe this about yourself. How do you know if you have an independent judgment about this statement? Do you hear a little voice in your head talking to you? Does the little voice agree with the statement, in which case you will probably feel calm and relaxed any time you say it, or does that little voice say, “Yes, but…..”? And if that little voice inside disagrees, you will most likely not feel comfortable when you say, “I am more”.

Here is my suggestion for getting that little voice to agree with you. Every time you say, “I am more”, if you hear disagreement, then stop and think of five things about yourself that are positive and you know to be true. Here are a few examples;

• I am a good spouse.

• I am a good mother/father, daughter/son.

• I love to……. fill in the blank. For example, I love to help people.

• I tell the truth.

• I am trustworthy.

You get the idea. Say each one of these silently in your head. Make sure the last statement is “I am More”. Start saying what is true about yourself and the stuff that isn’t true will soon fade away into the distance.

Let me know how this works for you.

Mythology and Personal Transformation

garden of edenI was recently given one of Joseph Campbell’s books by a friend of mine. This particular book is entitled “Pathways to Bliss”. I have of course heard of Joseph Campbell and seen a couple of PBS specials about him, but I always thought he was pretty much into myth and literature, particularly old medieval poems like Beowolf and Parzival and Dante’s Inferno. The subtitle to this book intrigued me. It is, “Mythology and Personal Transformation”. So I decided to read it. I am very glad that I did.

According to Campbell, there are four functions of mythology. Let me list them very quickly.

1. “The first function of a living mythology is to reconcile consciousness to the preconditions of its own existence; that is to say, to the nature of life.

2. The second function of mythology, then, is to present an image of the cosmos that will maintain your sense of mystic awe and explain everything that you come into contact with in the universe around you.

3. The third function of a mythological order is to validate and maintain a certain sociological system: a shared set of rights and wrongs, proprieties or improprieties, on which your particular social unit depends for its existence.

4. The fourth function is psychological. The myth must carry the individual through the stages of his life, from birth through maturity through senility to death.”

Before going any further, I believe that for those of us living in the Western Hemisphere, religion and mythology are synonymous. So I believe his comments are applicable to the major western religions. Again according to Campbell, “The second and third functions have been taken over in our world by secular orders. Our cosmology is in the hands of science.” And he states further that our social order no longer comes directly from god. He is essentially saying that our science and sociology today no longer match the science and sociology of four thousand years ago. So we are suffering from a ”disintegration of the inherited myths”.

You may say so what? His response is, “ when the whole of society loses its imagery, it can be in what’s called a wasteland situation”. This is an interesting assessment and I think it is well worth pondering. How does life hold meaning for an individual let alone an entire society when the traditional myths hold no meaning?

His solution is this. It is up to each of us individually to find or create his or her own myth. Well that makes total sense. Just how does one go about doing that? Campbell’s suggestion is to go back to your youth and remember what you had a passion for. Remember what gave you joy and then follow that now as an adult. I wonder how many of us have tried that?

Our Personal Identity

P1010119In November of 2014, I spent a week in Bermuda and I must say I found it to be a magical island. I booked our accommodations at a bed and breakfast on the harbor road. My initial attraction to the island was the beaches. I had heard stories of how beautiful they are and indeed I found this to be true. What surprised me, though, was the warmness of the residents. And I am not just speaking of our hospitality givers. Everyone was so friendly. It took me by surprise.

I sat one evening thinking how wonderful it is to be in a place where the people are so open and caring. At first I found it a little unsettling that strangers would come right up to me and ask how I was doing, but I got used to it . Then I really started to enjoy it.

It turns out that the owners of the bed and breakfast are long-time residents of the island. The husband is a retired psychologist who practiced on the island for over 30 years. We had the opportunity to have a friendly conversation about his work and my work. While we were talking, he mentioned Dr. Gerald Jampolsky and his work. He had found the concepts of Attitudinal Healing which Dr. Jampolsky developed to be very effective in his practice. As a matter of fact, he knows Dr. Jampolsky personally.

I told him how much I admired Dr. Jampolsky’s book, “Love is Letting Go of Fear”. This book has sold millions of copies worldwide. If you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favor and get a copy. What I like so much about the book is that the message is delivered in such a way that it is both entertaining and easy to understand. This is exactly what I am trying to achieve with my concept of “You Are More”.

It turns out that I had a copy of two of Dr. Jampolsky’s other books already on my bookshelves at home. So when I returned, I started reading them. I recently read this paragraph about personal identity and I want to share it because I think it is so beautifully written. It is from his book, “Teach Only Love”, page 73.

“To have inner rest and contentment and an increasing experience of freedom and release, it is necessary for us to question our old sense of identity. Are we really only a body that lives a little while and then dies? Does the body set the limits to our strength, dictate how we must feel, and define the tiny range of activities in which we can engage? Or is there a potential within us that knows no limit of any kind and is unending in its capacity to make us happy and set us free?”

This old sense of identity is the one we created when we were younger. I sometimes refer to it as our personal foundation. When we question that Identity we evaluate whether it still serves us. Or have we had life experiences that replace some of those earlier building blocks of our identity? Perhaps it is time to do an evaluation and integrate our life experiences with our existing sense of identity and create a new one. Perhaps this will lead us to our happiness?

Modern Mythology

mythologyHow about a few thoughts on Modern Mythology. Now there might be someone saying to themselves, “How can mythology be modern. I thought it was all that Greek and Roman stuff from two thousand years ago”? That is a fair question. I’ll bet that most people think mythology has to do with really old fables and stories. But think about what those old stories were all about. It wasn’t just about what the gods and goddesses represented, the god of war, the goddess of love, etc., it was also about invoking their favor through rituals which were generally offerings of some kind.

If you wanted to be victorious in war, then you had to appease the god of war. If you wanted love in your life, then an offering to the goddess of love had to be made. If you wanted to have abundant crops, then an offering to the god or goddess of fertility was called for. The gods bestowed their blessings on humans so that they could prosper. The gods also gave us our morality. They instructed us in what was acceptable and what was forbidden. They taught us right from wrong. And in some cases they even punished the transgressors.

Is it any different today? If you live in the West, the popular religions have combined all the aspects of life into a single God whom we still petition for his blessings and favors through prayer. We still have our moral guidelines that have been handed down from above. And good and evil are still engaged in a never ending battle.

Harry PotterWe find all of these values and morals depicted in our literature just as it was depicted in the literature of the ancient civilizations only now our literature also includes movies and television. We see the battle of good versus evil in our comic book characters that have recently taken over our movie screens. The movie Star Wars comes to mind when we think of the journey of the hero that was such a popular theme in the literature of the middle ages. We have an entire generation that devoured the tales of Harry Potter. All of this is modern mythology. A strong argument could be made that most if not all of our modern art, in its many faceted forms, is an expression of modern mythology.

The question is this. Is all of that mythology still applicable today? Do we still believe in a place called heaven and a place called hell? Do we still believe that a woman deceived a man and we were all expelled from the garden because of it? If you don’t still believe in some of the old mythology, then what have you replaced the stories that no longer make sense to you with? What makes sense to you now?

Please feel free to write your thoughts below. I am really interested in reading what you have to share.

Just How Crazy?

Just how crazy do you think things have gotten? One of my favorite ways to judge craziness is to look at the politicians and this year we have a Presidential election so there are plenty of hopefuls who are letting it all hang out.

democraic debate 2016Let’s consider the Democrats first since their side is less complicated. We have one Presidential hopeful who is a female and pretty much represents the status quo of the Democratic Party. To say that she is a veteran of Presidential politics is an  understatement. Then we have the outsider who labels himself as a Democratic Socialist. Now just a few years ago, anyone who was identified as a socialist in any way would never have been taken seriously. These days the Democratic Socialist is actually winning primaries.

Let’s turn now to the Republicans. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Everyone is scratching their heads at this one. You have an outsider who is leading the pack. He is surrounded by a leading Tea Party figure on the one side and a traditiorepublican debate 5nal Republican mainstay on the other. The analogy of a three ring circus is hard to pass up. There seems to be a coalition that is building that is bent on preventing the front runner from getting the nomination. It looks like they are hoping to sort this all out at their convention. Stay tuned for that!

Now the faithful Republicans are offering a return to the conservative values of Ronald Reagan. And while this would seem to be quite enticing, there are not that many takers of that offer. There just doesn’t seem to be anything else that the traditional leaders can offer to the rank and file Republicans. Of course the group that is supporting the current front runner is not interested in returning to Reagan economics. They are following an individual with a different vision.

Broken compass 2I point all of this out as a way of illustrating the idea that I have borrowed from Joseph Campbell. He has suggested that the moral compass or in his words the cultural mythology of the West is broken and needs to be replaced with an individual mythology. I couldn’t agree more. Just like a large portion of Republican voters are unwilling to go back to Reagan ideals, a large number of Westerners are unwilling to go back to a cultural mythology that is over 4, 000 years old and has been seriously challenged by modern science.

This is precisely the focus on my recent work. I will be expanding more on this in subsequent posts, but for now I believe the solution that will help most people who feel that their moral compass is broken is to build a new personal mythology to use as a foundation for moving forward. It turns out that the personal insights that I have previously shared are very key to building your personal foundation, but they must be treated as only examples to illustrate part of the process. Every individual has their own personal insights and these are the ones that must be worked with. Again, mine are only examples.

Look for more information about building your own personal mythology coming soon.

Twelve Personal Insights

My recent posts to my web site have been few and far between because I have been working on a project which I call my Twelve change your perspectivePersonal Insights. My intention is to have these all combined into an easy to read book. In line with that, I’ve kept the descriptions of each insight brief. Or at least what is brief for me. I am going to be adding them to my website in a very abbreviated format.

These insights are from my personal experience. As I look back on just how I came to accept these insights, I ponder the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is information. Wisdom represents a shift, a transition. What shifts? Wisdom is more like knowing why the information is important and how to use it. Wisdom allows for some practical applications of the information.

Most of these insights started out as knowledge that I acquired somewhere along the way. Some took a lot longer to shift from knowledge to wisdom. I suppose that was due in part to some internal resistance on my part. I believe these insights represent wisdom for me because I have not only come to believe that they are true, but also use them in very practical ways. I believe them to be relevant to everyday living.

smooth sailingI feel a great impetus to move forward. That is combined with a feeling that I have emerged from something that has been difficult and complicated and convoluted. Now I feel like there is smooth sailing ahead.

I have felt this urge to move forward for a couple of years now. I love to read, but sadly I don’t find much that is new. I find the same old dogmas everywhere I look. I believe it is time to introduce some new thinking into the mainstream. So often we talk in hushed tones about our ideas. Frankly, I’ve had enough of it.

Let’s talk openly about the Creator and not be afraid if anyone gets offended. Let’s talk openly about incarnation, reincarnation, and death. Let’s talk about letting go of judgment. Let’s talk about the concepts of good and evil, god and the devil, obeying the commandments and sin. Our conversation should be out in the open and no longer suppressed by dogma that is four thousand years old.

Allow me to share these Personal Insights with you one at a time. I am not trying to convince anyone that my way of thinking is correct. I’m just offering some insights that I hope could move us all forward and make life so much more enjoyable.

Twin Flames

Twin-FlamesThe twin flame relationship is a unique opportunity to experience this third dimensional reality. What makes it unique is its intensity. Twin flames are capable of an energetic connection that creates the possibility to push beyond any previously established relationship limits. There is a depth of connection that is beyond any other type of personal relationship in this dimension. That is pretty much the good news. With so much potential there is also high risk.

The probability of success with twin flame relationships is not very high. Why is this? Think of the proposition. You are in an intense relationship with yourself. You are constantly looking into a mirror and seeing yourself reflected. Each doubt is doubled, each fear is doubled. There is no place to hide in the relationship. Either one of you can spook the other. Of course there is the other side of the coin. The love is doubled. The recognition of who you are is deepened. The joy of life can be felt at a level never before possible.

The key to success in twin flame relationships is a commitment to doing your own work. You need to be willing to look at your fears squarely and resolve them. You need to be willing to find forgiveness for yourself, your twin, and anyone else whom you feel has harmed you. The list of issues goes on and on. If you are not prepared to face your issues and move beyond them, then save yourself the heartbreak and walk away from the twin flame relationship. If you are committed to doing your work you can be successful and when you are the twin flame relationship will take you to levels of human experience that you never before thought possible.

There are many questions that individuals have about twin flame relationships. This is where I can be of service. Most individuals who believe they have found a twin flame don’t have anyone close to them that really understands what they are going through. I have first-hand experience with twin flame relationships. I understand the ups and downs of a twin flame relationship and I can bring a perspective that will hopefully help you make sense out of what you have been experiencing.

Please feel free to contact me and discuss your personal situation.

Joan Grant

I am currently reading a book by Joan Grant that was published in 1942 eyes of Horusduring the Second World War. The Book is entitled, “Eyes of Horus”. Here is the quote for today from that book.

“Only by remembering your own divinity can you draw on the source of power by which you were created, and so be strong enough to bring about conditions on Earth in which love can flourish and happiness prevail”.

Joan wrote seven books which she described as “far memory” books. They are accounts of her other lives that she was able to remember and encompass various historical time periods. They are quite extraordinary.