By Life Positive March 2001 Despite the amazing advances made by science, many mysteries of life and death and some strange phenomena remain unexplained. No wonder, the paranormal continues to excite interest—look at the popularity of X-files, and nearer home, horror shows on TV. Life Positive has occasionally delved into the subject How to Tap your ESP Follow your hunches. With time, the hunches will become stronger. Try to remember your dreams first thing in the morning and interpret them intuitively. They might offer strange insights. Relax. A tensed or overcrowded mind is a bad receptor of ESP. Practice telepathy with close friends. You’d be surprised how easy it is to create mind links. When practicing telepathy, start by synchronizing the time of sending and receiving messages. Increase your ESP by card guessing and other such activities. Trying too hard to concentrate can often result in negative concentration where you end up concentrating on concentration itself and not the object required. Time Travellers By Kajal Basu Damanhur, a spiritual kibbutz in Italy, claims to have devised a system of time-travel with their first ‘successful’ trip back in time that reportedly took place in 1994. Although they have not made their research public, Damanhurians do claim ‘it is possible to obtain results that contemporary science declares impossible, if you combine human creativity and will with technology‘. Oberto Airaudi, Damanhur’s chief ideologue, formed the society in 1978. Today he claims to have traveled back in time to meet Planck, Heisenberg, Pauli, Bohr, Einstein… the list goes on. To Airaudi’s credit, there is one theory of time travelthat makes sense to the layman: ‘Imagine the universe to be made of directions instead of particles. In the flux of time we are carried to ‘future’ directions, whereas other particles would be ‘past’ or ‘present’ directions. ‘For a solid body, it is the observer’s position that determines the meaning of high, low, long or wide. If we take a wooden cube and define its directions by writing them on its faces, they will change as soon as we rotate it, so that ‘high’ becomes ‘long’ and so on, with respect to us.‘Similarly, a time cabin is a system to ‘turn the cube faces’ and to give a different direction to the observer in the time flux of past-future directions.’ The foundation of Damanhurian creativity rests on the ‘Golden Mean‘, a quadrangular fractal design found in nature. They call it ‘the spiral‘, the basis of ‘selfica, an ancient science‘. Selfica is also the architectural matrix in Damanhurit helped plan the main hall; it forms the ‘Temple of Mankind which has 300 tons of circuits and connections hidden inside its walls and floors.’ The Damanhurians claim this to be a giant capacitor producing the mega-volts required for time-travel. This is good hypnotic stuff in bold neon, but is Damanhur really a glorious marriage between science and art? How permanent and truthful is it? Only time will tell. A Witch is a Total Woman By Kum Kum Bhandari Three years short of the 21st century, I am seated opposite a modern day witch. Ipsita Roy Chakraverti is attired in black and silver. ‘Black,’ she explains with a sweep of her manicured hands, ‘is the color of absorption and therefore of inscrutability and mystery, of women and of thunderclouds. Of things said and unsaid,’ she says in that smoky tone. A witch is one who knows all about the curative properties of certain sounds and uses ancient chants for rituals and therapy. She connects deeply with nature, learns to harness energy from the elements and to project it, knows how to be centered despite her tumultuous environment and develops her intuitive abilities. Being a witch is about ripping away layers of social conditioning and gender limitations. It is, in a sense about moving towards being the complete woman. There is intensity, conviction and passion in the way Ipsita talks about witchcraft, or Wicca-the Craft of the Wise. Ipsita is approached by simple village folk as well as members of society’s highest stratum for Wiccan therapy, crystal therapy and energy transmission. However, when she first declared her ‘witchness‘ in 1986, she was vulnerable. ‘TheNew Age movement didn’t exist then,’ she says. ‘I was a pioneer. Remember, call someone a ‘witch‘ and you could be in for slander. Legally.’ In Montreal, where Ipsita was educated, her passion for reading led to an invitation to participate in a study circle where women met to talk about ancient cultures. They would also experiment with ancient rituals. Practical training in witchcraft followed, which included learning self-development techniques and understanding ancient chants, symbols, gestures and the use of apparatus integral to witchcraft. At the end, each new witch received symbolic gifts from Wiccan goddesses. For many years, Ipsita was involved in Wiccan therapy. Now, she feels neither the inclination nor the necessity to offer therapy or interact with people. There is an occasional workshop on Wicca, though, for women who want to live the Wiccan way. Ipsita is emphatic in her denunciation of society that is motivated by lucre, lust, ambition: ‘Break away from it as much as possible. Stand alone. To a certain extent, you will have to play certain games that society plays, but beyond that, do your own thing.’ ‘Life is free. This is what has given me energy. If I do a ritual, I could formally invoke energy, otherwise it is all round me. Energy flows when you live freely, without letting others define or limit you.’ ‘Society does not really understand who a witch is. A witch is a total woman. Jacqueline Kennedy, Indira Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Namita Gokhale, Kiran Bedi-all of them could count as witches,’ she adds. ‘A Wiccan knows how to live life. There is no negativity, no dullness, no pulling back. Before drawing energy from the elements for rejuvenation, you have to love nature and attune to it. To bring it to a practical level, you must have an almost sensuous and sensual relation with what is around you. The more you sensitize yourself, the more Nature reveals her secrets.’ Says Ipsita: ‘You can make magic happen for yourself in simple ways. If you want to energize your room, float red rose petals in a crystal bowl full of water, leave it in the sun (15 minutes in summer, an hour in winter), let it cool and put it in your room. You can even splash it on your face and pulse points. The energy levels will rise. ‘Nothing is inanimate. Tap that energy. Use it. Sensitize yourself to Nature’s hidden gifts. Sometimes you feel life is one dull day following another. But it’s not so if you know how to bring the magic back.’ The Force Within By Anupama Bhattacharya Is the paranormal a mere fantasy, a creation of self-suggestion? Or is there a deeper truth that can take mankind to the threshold of a higher existence? Dream VoyagesWhat happens when dreams invade reality? In 1959, a New York disc jockey, Peter Tripp, attempted to stay awake for 201 hours. After three days, he began to hallucinate. It was almost as though sleep-deprivation was allowing dream images to break into his waking consciousness. As Bharati Ramachandran, a Bangalore-based journalist discovered, dreams can also open new avenues of experience. ‘My dreams unfolded a world of ecstasy and beauty. It was not just the images but the feelings-of oneness, of peace-that somehow strengthened my belief in the God within me,’ says Bharati. ‘I also had recurring dreams of a group of people, none of whom I consciously recognized, yet they seemed familiar. It was almost as though some people with whom I have a strong mental rapport could reach me across time and space. It made me wonder if there isn’t some truth in the theory of soul groups who continue to meet in different lifetimes.’ For Shamshir Luthra, compere and radio jockey, dreams have another connotation: ‘Once, I dreamt that a friend fell down from his terrace when the railing broke. In the evening, the same friend told me that he was actually leaning against the railing when, for some reason, he pulled back and the railing broke. Did I send a telepathic warning?’ If dreams can be telepathic, what stops them from opening channels to other worlds? After the poet Dante’s death, 13 cantos of his epic poem, The Divine Comedy, were located by his son who dreamt of his father guiding him to them. Did Dante himself give the directions or did his son somehow tap his father’s memory? The answer is difficult. But dreams certainly act as means of communication between altered modes of consciousness. Artists, poets, scientists often seem to get their inspiration from dreams. Robert Louis Stevenson gave his dreams credit for many of his stories, including Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Back from Death’s Door Near-death experiences (NDEs) include out-of-body experiences, rushing through a tunnel that ends in a white light and a free fall as the ‘dead person’ returns to his body. Says reiki master Priya Agrawal: ‘I stood beside my own body as the doctors declared me dead. However, intravenous drugs were administered and I was revived. Suddenly, I seemed to become a ray of light and whoosh, I was back in my body.’ On waking up, she felt immersed in joy. Mind Links Telepathy is the most common form of the paranormal. People often seem to be saying ‘exactly’ what we are thinking. Or friends drop in just when we think of them. The Koestler Institute at Edinburgh Universi
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